Monday, March 7, 2016

Of Valentine's + Prom + A Night To Shine

I think every girl dreams of prom night from the moment they start high school. It's the time when they truly get to dress up, wear some make up and fix their hair a special way!

This time next year, it's my oldest daughter's turn to attend her own prom. As early as now, I am already both excited and anxious for her. I also find myself wishing that she stay a li'l girl for a little bit longer. Like can she grow up later... like maybe on her thirtieth birthday? Tee-hee!

Taken during my cousin's garden wedding a year ago.

J goes to an all girls' school and so she will have to ask a guy to be her prom date. She has older friends from the swim team and she has been asked to help with promposals in the past so I know promposals are a big thing with kids nowadays. But I know my daughter doesn't like attention-grabbing public gestures, so I'm pretty sure that while she will be creative with hers, her promposal will most likely be meaningful but low-key.

I asked her if she has a short list of possible "promspects" but she said she doesn't want to really overthink it right now. And she's right, it's still months away; a lot of things can happen in between. But I know she is smart enough to get someone she is comfortable with. Someone whom the conversation flows easily and whose company she enjoys because that is the best way to enjoy a special night like this.

As a prelude to next year's prom (omg! I think I'll cry when the time comes!), one of my daughter's guy friends invited her to be his date for a school sanctioned Valentine's dinner - as a friend lang, of course. When she told me about it right after he asked, I didn't give her a hard time na. I know she's been friends with the guy for quite some time, and they've been talking regularly. And to be honest, I don't want to be a strict mom when it comes to that because their dad is doing such a very good job of being strict all by himself! hahaha!

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Last month is not just the month for Valentine's and proms, February is also the National Down Syndrome Consciousness month. And my thoughts turn to my fellow moms whose hearts are pure and brave, and have been hand-picked by God to be blessed to take care of kids who are extra special.

If you are a long time reader of the blog, then you surely must have seen several posts where I worked with Mish Aventajado. We both love spending time in the kitchen with our girls. In fact, our love for cooking has given our older daughters the opportunity to know each other as well.

 Our two girls during our Holiday Cookie Swap

Mish is mom to 4-year old Gelli, and she dedicated the whole month of February to share stories about families with special kids here.

She also shares her own feelings, worries, triumphs about raising a daughter with Down Syndrome. I have read her posts, and each one is touching that I find myself teary eyed after reading, most especially the one where she talked about her oldest daughter's recent prom, and how she would want her own Gelli to experience the same thing when the time comes.

It's been 4 years since Mish and her family has been blessed with the special gift of Gelli. Mish has since been active in her advocacy for the acceptance and inclusion of people with special needs.

Lucky for Gelli and for all the other kids who are born with that extra chromosome, they can now take part in their own special Night to Shine

My friend, Betty is one of the Manila organizers of Night To Shine.  Betty and I go to the same church, and we have a few common friends. I am witness to how she is so generous with her time and talent to serving the Lord. And so committing herself to an uplifting project like this is something that I have already come to expect of her generous nature.

Betty is mom to four beautiful girls. 

Night To Shine

Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 16 and older. This year, more than 200 host churches in 8 countries hosted Night to Shine last February 12, 2016. That’s more than 70,000 volunteers and 30,000 honored guests sharing the same amazing prom experience on the same night around the world.

Night to Shine was held at CCF in Frontera Verde, Pasig. The church was transformed into magical ballroom. For that one night, every guest of Night to Shine entered this complimentary event on a red carpet complete with a warm welcome from a cheering crowd and friendly paparazzi. Guests received the royal treatment including hair and makeup stations, shoe shining stations, corsages and boutonnieres, a karaoke room and, of course, dancing! Of course, everyone of the guests that night was crowned as a king or queen of the prom.

The Tim Tebow Foundation sponsors this yearly worldwide event. I know Tim Tebow as the super guapo American football quarterback who is known for his outspoken Christian faith. he has received considerable press attention for his public displays of Christianity, both on and off the field.

Tim spent his growing up years in the Philippines where his parents served as Baptist missionaries and built a ministry.

Betty's own daughter, Kayla, was one of the prom queens that night. Betty shares her prayer for her daughter: 

"Dear Lord,THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for giving us KAYLA! You gave us a precious gift! There are no words good enough to thank you. Because of Kayla we have a deeper and intimate relationship with you. You truly know best! Down syndrome is a gift you gave that we at first didn't want to receive but now I realize that it is your special gift to us that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. One of the greatest blessings we will always praise you for!"

photo of Kayla with her daddy. 
Taken from Betty's Facebook page

If you would like to know more about CCF and their work with children with special needs, you can go to their webpage:

If you would like to know more about Tim Tebow and his foundation, you can go to his webpage:

If you would like to read more about how having a child with Down syndrome can be a blessing, please go to Mish Aventajado's blog right here: