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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Legally Grand Cookies!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Lawyers, they say, are known for their attention to details. And for the many great legal minds, they have brought this attribute into the kitchen as well. I am falling short in that respect yet (and also in height! haha) as I have stayed away from the kitchen most of my life. Lately though, I am becoming such a baker! Maybe in a week, there are two days I would just stay home and bake cookies for my nieces and nephews and for friends who allow themselves to be the guinea pigs!

So with the cookies, I started small...

then made them a little bigger...

then comes the monster cookies...I call them legally grand cookies!!!

Because I always lose the faxed recipe, I am putting it here (for my own consumption haha).

Choc-Oat Chip Cookies


1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups QUAKER Oats (quick or old fashioned) uncooked
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels


Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. beat well. Add flour, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Stir in oats, chocolate morsels and nuts. mix well.
Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 9 to 10 minutes for a chewy cookie or 12to 13 minutes for a crisp cookie.
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet,remove cookies to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Our Father's Day Celebrations 2009 & 2010

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Like Mother's Day in May, we celebrate Father's Day in a big way on the third Sunday of June of each year to honor four fathers in the family. But while I write about our Mother Day celebrations, there was nothing said about Father's Day on this blog. So here's a recap of our 2009 and 2010 Father's Day celebrations.

June 21, 2009

We celebrated Father's Day last year at the church,after Sunday services.It was organized by the Primary Organization. The children gave them Father's Day medal and letters where they would read to their fathers. Their messages are simple and funny but you can sense their love for their dads.

On my part, I have them choose gifts (not exceeding P2,000) that I could buy for them. My papa Lito (in short Palito, but nt the skinny actor in the 1980's,ok!)chose new dentures and that is triple the ceiling for gift.But since he is my father and he really needs the new dentures,so that's fine. For Kuya Mike I got him two pairs of trousers, for Allan is a Nike shoes (which is also worth more than the ceiling)and Joel decided to buy a new cellphone (which as expected is also more than the ceiling). But well,oh well, those are just little simple gifts for great fathers like them.

June 20, 2010

Since there was no celebration at Church for Father's Day, we devoted our weekly Sunday family home evening for our tribute to our four fathers - Lito, Mike, Allan and Joel. We had the wife-mother and sons/daughters teamed up for the "Pinoy Henyo" game. They will hove to guess the famous fathers and sons from the scriptures or modern day. Their husband-father gets the price which are gift certificates from Robinsons - P500,P600,P700,P800 denominations. We also prepared our four father's favorite food, songs and games and keep them out of the kitchen.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Breaking Out of A Rut: Traveling To Dasmariñas City!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

After my stay-cation (read as: being home for two weeks -hanging on the couch, chatting with friends overnight, baking and just taking it easy during the holiday frenzy),I am finally hitting the road today. My destination: the newly declared city in Cavite - Dasmariñas City, as the venue for the wedding of my friend's Dale and his pop-eyed Olive.

Located approximately 30 kilometers south of Manila,the City of Dasmariñas is a first class city in the province of Cavite, Philippines. It is not my first time to travel to this place dubbed as the "Melting Pot" of Cavite, but my first after its attaining cityhood pursuant to Republic Act 9723 dated October 15, 2009 which was ratified by the registered voters of Dasmariñas through a plebiscite conducted last November 25, 2009.

So to both Dasma (as in Dasmariñas City!) and Dale, may you enjoy the new roads brought about by gaining independence (yes, for Dasma) and on losing it (for Dale (haha! peace Olive! peace!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Singles Singing Their Heart Out: A Deparo Ward SA Experience

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

If there's an activity everyone will enjoy, no matter who they are,it is a Videoke party! Yea,that's proven and tested during the Deparo Ward Single Adults Home Evening last June 14,2010 holiday!

As a tribute to three of my ward mates - Tess Calingacion, Raffy Abaya and Sister Rivera (our full-time missionary finishing her mission in our ward this month) who are leaving the ward soon, I thought of holding a Ward Single's Home Evening that's both fun and easy to pull through. The Videoke machine was a hit!

Well, the Home Evening style get-together is still the main theme but having a videoke machine did the entertaining before we formally started the FHE. Also since there's a videoke, the food I need to prepare is simple. I had some chips, crackers,and peanuts around. For main course is Korean kimbap (sushi roll),pancit bihon and the cake!

The FHE was so much fun. Thanks to Raffy for the energetic conducting. I enjoyed the hilarious games by the full time missionaries -(seksing butiki (sexy lizard),kuba na bading (hunchback gay) and buntis na upaw (pregnant bald man) who would you rather be?take your pick.and the winner is,este losers - the seksing butiki!Then Jethro and Jesse introduced the animal sounds game. It was funny!

As for the highlight, it is Jojo and AA's lesson on following our Guide in making life's decisions.Heavenly Father gave us scriptures, church leaders and prayers as our guides in this life's journey in the same way as he gave tools and instructions to Nephi in building the ark. It was Jojo's first ever FHE lesson and he did it really well!!

For the finale is the skit entitled "Pamilyang Dimagiba" where they portrayed the characters of the three - Raffy,Tess and Sister Rivera in a funny way! I was laughing loud!!

And after the refreshment, Jojo and AA (the performers in the group) wrapped up the night with the hosting of the "Sing Galing" contest, where the two teams race to score 3 points by singing the remaining lyrics of the song that AA and Jojo have chosen. Raffy (our ever mysterious, reserved type boy -next- door,ehem!) scored our team's 3 points! A revelation!

Friday, June 11, 2010

One Lazy Friday Sweet Treats!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

TGIF!Not for gimick or night-out but a day for me to sleep with sporadic checking of work emails! Yes, Friday is my coding day or "no drive- day" (for non Filipinos who are not familiar with this Philippine motorized scheme) which means a day to just stay home. Today though,is not like my usual Friday!.Well,I still get tons of sleep and tons of work done but this time I decided to bake cookies (something I haven't done in a year) and prepare frappe for my nieces and nephews living with me. Today is their last Friday of vacation since school starts next Tuesday! So I guess they deserve a treat!

Strawberry Frappe (Alaska milk inspired recipe)

3 cups crushed ice
1/2 cup ALASKA CREMA - All - Purpose Cream
1/2 cup ALASKA Fresh Milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup strawberry syrup (but you can use 8 pcs strawberries or 1 cup strawberry ice cream)
1. Place first 6 ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
2.Pour into serving glasses and top with whipped ALASKA CREMA. Garnish with candy sprinkles and mint leaves if desired.

Choc-Oat Chip Cookies (this time muffin shape chewy cookies)

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups all- purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned) uncooked
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts


1. Heat oven to 375 degree.In large bowl,beat margarine and sugars until creamy; Add eggs,milk and vanilla; beat well.Add flour, baking soda and salt.mix well. Stir in oats,chocolate morsels and nuts.mix well.
2. Drop by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. I used muffin pan for some for muffin shaped cookies!
3. Bake 9 to 10 minutes for a chewy cookie or 12 to 13 minutes for a crisp cookie.
4.Cool 1minute on cookie sheet; remove cookies to wire rack. Cool completely.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

LDS Cebu Philippines Temple: Looking Back and Looking Forward

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

My whole family is looking forward to the dedication of the Cebu Philippines Temple located in Lahug,Cebu City on Sunday,June 13,2010.For my whole family and for those who have just joined the Church after 1984 (when the Manila Philippines Temple located at White Plains Avenue in Quezon City was dedicated ), this will be our first time to attend a temple dedication ceremony. There will be three satellite broadcasts in all Stake Centers around the country. We decided to watch as a family at the Novaliches Stake Center at 12noon. We specially ordered a white handkerchief for this occasion.

The Cebu Philippines Temple stands majestically on an 11-acre site with the church meetinghouse, patron housing, residences for the temple president and mission president, and a mission office in the background. This temple is the second Latter Day Saints (LDS) temple to be dedicated in the Philippines. Although all LDS Temples are really special to me (especially the Manila Philippines Temple where I can always attend session weekly), the Cebu Philippines Temple has a particular attachment to me for a different reason. I am literally involved in its purchase and construction!

When the plans to build a temple in Cebu City were announced to local church leaders last April 18, 2006, I was then the newly hired Church International Legal Manager for the Philippines since January 3,2006. The post allowed me to be involved in the contracting and coordinating matters relative to the temple purchase and construction.

So looking back, let me share some photos I have taken during my visits to Cebu.

February 2007 -The formation of the Cebu Temple Construction team and signing of all the documents for the construction.

June 28, 2007 - A visit to the site with my then intern Mark Poff (now my prince). The site is full of grass.

Media Briefing on November 14,2007

Groundbreaking and site dedication on 14 November 2007 by Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

March 14, 2008 - Laying the foundation

January 7, 2009 - Progress of the Construction

May 6, 2009 - Construction status.Visiting with my then boss Jim Pollock (and his wife Bonnie) and being toured by the Cebu Temple Manager, Alan Rudolph.

Open House for VIPs - May 19,2010

So, as and by way of looking back and looking forward,Cebu Temple Philippines will be the venue for my parents and our family sealing which like its dedication has also been a long awaited dream!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Stakes Of Life in the Book of Judges

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

For today's Sunday School lesson, I brought the picture of a young tree I saw when we went to Paradise Ranch in Clark, Pampanga and shared the suggested activity to begin the lesson.
"President Gordon B.Hinckley told of time when he planted a young tree in his yard but neglected to use supporting stakes to help it grow straight.In time the wind caused the tree to lean badly to one side. President Hinckley realized that if he had tied the tree to stakes, it would have been supported until it was strong enough to resist the wind on it own.(In Conference Report, Oct.1993,77-78;or Ensign,Nov.1993,59)"

We may sometimes be like the young tree,unable to withstand the wind (the temptations of Satan) on our own. In the book of Judges we learn about some of the "stakes" that can support us.

LDS writer Ted L.Gibbons said "Those trees are an effective metaphor for Israel in the Promised Land. There were forces working against her in that environment. She needed anchors to grow up in perfection. Five of those anchors are suggested by the stories in Judges. Four of these stories are given in the lesson. I will add a fifth and try to offer some new insights into those anchors mentioned in the Gospel Doctrine manual".

Righteous parents have a duty to their children to create an environment in which those children can grow up in Christ, without unreasonable pressure from the world. These Israelite parents seem to have been righteous for a time:

"And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel" (Joshua 2:7).

Have we embraced the counsel of the Lord and his leaders sufficiently to drive out all the enemies of righteousness from our homes? A safe environment is a powerful anchor to the young and growing soul. WE have been commanded to stand in holy places (see D&C45:32; 87:8; 101:22). We must make our homes such places.

There is a second side to this equation. Children must be willing to follow the righteous example of their parents. Apparently the Israelite children who were born in the Promised Land were not.

"And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger" (Judges 2:12).

"They turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in" (Judges 2:17).

The Israelites was in bondage and Barak was commanded to deliver Israel. Barak,however,is willing to go to Sisera if Deborah,the judge will go with him. Deborah is such a true friend that she went with Barak to face Sisera.

True friends inspire us to obey the Lord and give us strength to do what is right. I suggested that class write down the names of their friends and ask themselves (1) if they are like Deborah to these friends and (2) if these friends are like Deborah.


When Gideon believed that the Lord truly commanded him to deliver Israel,he went forward with faith. When the Lord commands us to do something,he will help us accomplish it.

As a Nazarite and a member of the house of Israel, Samson made covenants with the Lord. However,he soon broke his Nazarite vow and his covenants as a member of the house of Israel. Because of Samson's violations of his covenants,he lost his physical and spiritual strength, and the Philistines blinded him and bound him.

In the book of Judges the Israelites began to lose spiritual battles,letting themselves be influenced by the Canaanites' wordly practices and false gods. We face similar spiritual battles. We can succeed in these battles as we (1)follow the ways of righteous parents and ancestors,(2)make good friends, (3) increase our faith in the Lord,and (4) keep our covenants.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Foot Massage: My WENSHA Pasay Experience

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

I went to WENSHA Spa Pasay with my friends Margo,Tess,Jean,Raffy,Imee and Kuya Robert from Utah who is in town and wanted to see me. Since Kuya Robert is temporarily staying in Paranaque,WENSHA Pasay is more convenient for him than WENSHA Timog.It was my first time there but not first time with the WENSHA experience. In fact I wrote about WENSHA Timog on this blog last February 18, 2010.

Like its main branch, WENSHA Spa Pasaylocated along Buendia Avenue (behind the CCP Complex and in front of the World Trade Center)is a 24/7 spa with an eat-all-you-can buffet forming the package rate of P680 per person for the one hour full-body massage (among other services offered) and a free use of the jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath within six hours.

Since I have already tried the whole body massage in the Timog Branch and is getting a whole body massage on a weekly basis from my masseuse lady,my sister in-law Imee, I decided to try the foot massage. It is only P600 so cheaper by P80 compared to a whole body massage. And for Imee,I got her the full - body so she can experience this pampering while learning of the Wensha style that she could apply on me. Call it hitting two birds with one stone huh!

WENSHA Pasay is a lot different from WENSHA Timog. The locker room for female is at the ground floor just near the entrance so I feel that it is less private. In fact,when someone uses the comfort rooms (with out having paid yet the entrance fee)you will gain access to the locker rooms as the c.r's are inside that room. Worst, the jacuzzi pool is only separated by curtains and one can get a good peek of a bunch of naked females from the locker room. Eeeewww. In Wensha Timog, the female locker room is in the second floor and can only be accessed by females who are properly admitted.

Also, I must protest the showers,sauna and steam room. Everything was too hot.I almost got 'burned'at the shower with only hot water coming out no matter where you turn the knob - either left or right. Well,the other showers were okay.

So what's the consolation? It is in their jacuzzi and the foot massage!

The jacuzzi pool consist of one main irregular - shaped pool with lots of platforms around and two small round pools beside it.Why it is good? Well, there are more places to hide (my sexy naked bod haha). Again,it is about privacy!

The foot massage was great! It was like a full-body massage just made cheaper haha. It includes massage of the back and arms and the feet is buried in hot water with some treatmeant.It is very relaxing!! Also, the foot massage room is co-ed so for those with partners,getting a foot massage would be ideal. They can get the pampering they need while holding hands!! Looking forward to doing it with my prince.

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