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Spring Break 2019

April 27th, 2019 No comments

Our kids had their spring break during the last week of February. So Matt planned out a fun 3-day itinerary and we invited some friends to join us. We were only a few hours out of Manila, but it was nice to get-away from the city and create memories as a family.

Day 1

Lunch at Marcia Adams near Tagaytay
Sunset at Lago de Oro resort
No electronics on this road trip, so they played cards

Day 2

We drove about 90 minutes to Canyon Cove
We got to play on this inflatable island by ourselves for an hour or so
View from our room of Canyon Cove

Day 3

Morning snorkeling near Canyon Cove resort
We drove a couple of hours to People’s Park in Tagaytay
We spent hours on this outside porch at the Air BnB talking and enjoying the fresh air in Highlands, Tagaytay

Day 4

We drove about an hour away to arrive at Republic Wake Park. While Matt & Tia did some wake boarding, the boys played in the pool while Kalani watched them
A couple of Matt’s former co-workers from Chevron met us at Republic Wake Park
After lunch we drove 45 minutes to Enchanted Kingdom to meet up with some friends
Blake’s first time on roller coasters and he LOVED it

Baby shower for a Legend

April 26th, 2019 No comments

Over five years ago while living in the Philippines, we really wanted one more baby. But, we needed help to get pregnant. Matt did some research and found KatoReproBiotech in Makati. We saw them and soon we were pregnant with Blake. We told some other friends who also had some problems getting pregnant about Kato and they went to see them and were able to get pregnant. While at lunch with this mom who was expecting her first child after seeing Kato, I told her I would throw her a small baby shower for the people in our church congregation to be able to celebrate this miracle with her. Well, things changed and we ended up combining our small “church friends” shower, with her main shower — which included several famous people/couples from the entertainment business in which she and her husband work. Thankfully, this mother-to-be was able to help with getting food and party favors donated (“sponsored”). I did the decorations, games and some other food. Overall it was a really fun baby shower and we heard everyone had a great time.

With the parents-to-be
Food spread
Our helpers who worked behind the scenes to keep everything in order
Blake got to be reunited with Billy Crawford & Coleen Garcia
Everyone who came to the baby shower
You can watch the video of the shower here on our friend’s channel
About 6 weeks after the shower, I got to hold baby Legend

Tia turns 40

April 25th, 2019 No comments

When trying to decide what I really wanted to do for my 40th birthday, I couldn’t think of just one thing. So, I took a page out of my sister’s book of birthday celebrations and did something for myself everyday of the week!

Monday: People’s Palace lunch with friends
Tuesday: hike with friends and ended up at this dam
Wednesday: Mani/pedi at Dashing Divas
Thursday: after going to our temple, my friend took me out to lunch at La Creperie
Thursday: Matt took me to dinner at “Blackbird
My birthday dessert at the restaurant
Friday: Exercise at Jump Yard trampoline park
And now I’m 40
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2018 Year Review

April 24th, 2019 No comments
In January we celebrated 15 years of marriage
We went to the Bay Area and got to see Apple, Google & Facebook
We had brunch with other Chevron employees that were in the Philippines with us
Family got together in California for the funeral of Grandpa Farley
Matt bought a new car
Attended a wedding in Cebu, Philippines
We had an 8 hour layover in Taipei
Mason played Simba in the play “The Lion King”
Girls night to watch Hamilton
Cousins get together to play Dungeons & Dragons
Neighborhood block party that Tia arranges
Mason’s YMCA baseball team
Poulson Family Reunion in Utah
We put our dream home on the market and it sold in a few weeks
Exploring the Philippines and making new friends
We participated in #LightTheWorld in buying gifts for people in the Philippines
Spending Christmas in Phuket, Thailand with friends

Phuket, Thailand Vacation

April 23rd, 2019 No comments

We knew we were moving to the Philippines in August 2018. Towards the end of that month our friends (living in Indonesia) posted on Facebook that they would be spending Christmas in Phuket, Thailand and asked if anyone wanted to join them. Matt & I saw the post and quickly said, YES! We met Derek & Cathy in the Philippines in 2012 and became fast friends. Our kids got along well with each other and the parents too six years ago and still today. They booked the hotel, Horizon Karon Beach Resort, and once we got to Phuket we came up with an itinerary for our duration there.

We are so excited to travel to Phuket, Thailand to see our friends!

Day 1

We rented a “Party Van” to take us to and from church
Normally this small branch in Phuket has 40 people in attendance. But because of all of the visitors and tourists during the Christmas season, there were nearly 100 people at church. One couple visiting from the states actually knows my uncle!
If we are going to stay walking distance from a beach, you better believe we were going to visit
There is a three year difference between these girls, and they hadn’t seen each other in five years. But, they never ran out of things to say.
Double Date Night for the adults inside another “Party Van”. Using the Grab app in Phuket was fun because you never knew what type of car was going to pick you up!

Day 2

View of Phuket at the start of our Half-Day Island Tour + Elephant Trekking
Mason and Blake got to hold this Sea Eagle…but we liked to call it a “Seagull-Eagle”
We got to visit the Big Buddha. Mason was pouting and didn’t want to be in the photo.
We stopped to visit Chalong Temple
Our “white monkey” getting a photo with another monkey after a show
Elephant rides for everyone
Mason getting some elephant love after our ride with other elephants
The resort had a Christmas Eve party for all of the guests and the kids got their face painted

Day 3

Christmas morning with the gifts we brought from the Philippines
We got to spend Christmas evening at FantaSea together
The evening show at FantaSea was just behind us. They make everyone turn in their phones, so there are no photos from the show
A few more mannequins at this store

Day 4

Bathing an elephant…trying NOT to think about what’s in the water
Matt trying to get the monkey to climb on him outside of Wat Suwan Khuha (Cave Temple)
Inside Wat Suwan Khuha is Buddha laying down. To show respect, all women have to cover their legs
We had a quiet bamboo river raft ride
Cooling off at a small waterfall

Day 5

Island hopping tour to Phi Phi Island and others
The kids enjoyed each other company on the boat ride and did a good job of not getting sunburned
While on a short stay on Rang Yai Island we ran into some good friends of ours. They use to live in the Philippines with us (their daughter was in Mason’s kinder and 1st grade class) and now are in Hong Kong. We had no idea each other was in Phuket for Christmas

Day 6

The “Dab” kids saying good-bye
The oldest two were glad to reconnect in Phuket
The dads that work hard to make these fun vacations possible for us
The moms who had a great time catching up…maybe we will visit them on their next assignment

More photos from Phuket here.