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Family Reunion 2016

July 16th, 2016 1 comment

My mom’s side of the family started to plan a reunion about a year ago. At that time we were still living in the Philippines and weren’t certain that we would be back in the states. But, we were able to relocate home and attend this family reunion. The last time that Matt and I attended a family reunion for this side of the family, I had just found out that I was pregnant with Kalani. Now 13 years later we were all able to reunite and the extended family were able to meet Blake for the first time. The reunion was in Utah and this was the first time that our children had been to this state and I think that they all had a great time.

 

Day 1

With the weather being so lovely and no humidity I convinced my siblings and their kids to go for a walk. The kids all loved running around on the grass.

With the weather being so lovely and no humidity I convinced my siblings and their kids to go for a walk a few hours after we landed. The kids all loved running around on the grass and just enjoying each other’s company.

My brother lives only a couple of blocks away from the Provo Temple so I took the opportunity to show our kids that temple and any others that we came across.

My brother lives only a couple of blocks away from the Provo Temple so I took the opportunity to show our kids that temple and any others that we came across. It had been 16 years since I was last at this temple, before serving a mission in El Salvador for our church.

Since we arrived on the 4th of July, it was great to see the kids play with their cousins and use sparklers to celebrate.

Since we arrived on the 4th of July, it was great to see the kids play with their cousins and use sparklers to celebrate.

Day 2

When I knew that we would be in Utah, I started the ball rolling to have a reunion for our church ward family from the Philippines. Not as many people came who said they were going to be there, but it was still fun to meet up with people who we shared time with in the Philippines.

When I knew that we would be in Utah, I started the ball rolling to have a reunion for our church ward family from the Philippines. Not as many people came who said they were going to be there, but it was still fun to meet up with people who we shared time with in the Philippines.

My friend forgot about our Philippines church reunion, but we were able to meet up with her and her boys at a dinosaur museum.

My friend forgot about our Philippines church reunion, but we were able to meet up with her and her boys at a dinosaur museum.

As soon as we got home from the dinosaur museum we went out to dinner with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend.

As soon as we got home from the dinosaur museum we went out to dinner with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend.

We ate ice cream on this Provo temple grounds and enjoy the scenery and company. A few days later we took the kids to this temple also.

We ate ice cream the Provo City Center Temple grounds and enjoy the scenery and company. A few days later we took the kids to this temple also.

Day 3

My sister is going to school to get her license to cut hair. I trusted her to cut my hair a couple of inches.

My sister is going to school to get her license to cut hair. I trusted her to cut my hair a couple of inches before we left for the family reunion.

We stayed at Camelot Resort on the Strawberry River up the Provo Canyon. The kids really enjoyed the view and were excited to see our cousin from Texas already at the resort.

We stayed at Camelot Resort on the Strawberry River up the Provo Canyon. The kids really enjoyed the view and were excited to see our cousin from Texas already at the resort.

One of the first things we did after unpacking was to go on a short hike with any cousins that wanted to join us.

One of the first things we did after unpacking was to go on a short hike with any cousins that wanted to join us.

Day 4

A much bigger group went on a longer hike that ended at an area that over looked our resort.

A much bigger group went on a longer hike that ended at an area that over looked our resort.

The kids enjoyed tubing down the river even if the water was really cold and only about 15 inches deep.

The kids enjoyed tubing down the river even if the water was really cold and only about 15 inches deep.

Day 5

After breakfast was a morning of crafts that my sister planned. Painting rocks that we found on our hike, FruitLoop necklaces, Kool-Aid lip gloss, etc.

After breakfast was a morning of crafts that my sister planned. Painting rocks that we found on our hike, Fruit Loop necklaces, Kool-Aid lip gloss, etc.

We had nearly 30 cousins participating in a Kid-Friendly Olympics that my aunt and I planned.

We had nearly 30 cousins participating in a Kid-Friendly Olympics that my aunt and I planned.

Mason participating in the pool noodle javelin throw

Mason participating in the pool noodle javelin throw.

Kalani racing against her cousin in the pool noodle hurdles.

Kalani racing against her cousin in the pool noodle hurdles.

The finale of our Kid Olympics was to have these two cousins run around with candy glued to their shirt...they were a human pinata and it only lasted about two minutes before the candy was all taken.

The finale of our Kid Olympics was to have these two cousins run around with candy glued to their shirt…they were a human pinata and it only lasted about two minutes before the candy was all taken.

After lunch my aunt and I set up slip-n-slide kickball for anyone who wanted to participate.

After lunch my aunt and I set up slip-n-slide kickball for anyone who wanted to participate.

It was so much fun to play with kids of all ages.

It was so much fun to play with kids of all ages.

After family photos and dinner we had a family talent show. My sister and I performed a song we learned from a church girls camp.

After family photos and dinner we had a family talent show. My sister and I performed a song we learned from a church girls camp.

Day 6

After we packed up and left the resort and grabbed some lunch, we made our way to Salt Lake City to see the temple, walk around Temple Square and meet up with a friend of ours from the Philippines.

After we packed up and left the resort and grabbed some lunch, we made our way to Salt Lake City to see the temple, walk around Temple Square and meet up with a friend of ours from the Philippines.

We befriended Leslie in the Philippines and encouraged her to serve a mission. She returns home the end of this month, so we count it very fortunate that we got a VIP tour of Temple Square with her and her companions. Here we are inside the Tabernacle.

We befriended Leslie in the Philippines and encouraged her to serve a mission. She returns home the end of this month, so we count it very fortunate that we got a VIP tour of Temple Square with her and her companions. Here we are inside the Tabernacle.

More photos of our family reunion adventures in Utah here.

Puerto Princesa, Palawan

November 10th, 2015 No comments

It took us nearly three years, but we finally made it to Puerto Princesa in Palawan (along with some friends)! The Underground River was the main attraction and reason for our trip. So we decided to stay at the Sheridan which is near Underground River, but it is a two hour drive from the airport. The weather was not the best since there was a typhoon in the country, which meant we got some heavy rain. However, that didn’t stop us from having fun and doing everything that we wanted to do. We were able to stay for three nights and had a wonderful time.

Our flight was delayed in Manila, so to pass the time the kids shared the iPads.

Our flight was delayed in Manila, so to pass the time the kids shared the iPads.

Sheridan resort had nice rooms and friendly staff, but the food wasn't great...we discovered Daluyon Resort/restaurant nearby that had AMAZING food

Sheridan Resort had nice rooms and friendly staff, but the food wasn’t great…we discovered Daluyon Resort/restaurant nearby that had AMAZING food

The clouds were coming in, but we still stuck with our plan to do the Underground River

The clouds were coming in, but we still stuck with our plan to do the Underground River

The kids waiting for the paper work to be completed before boarding the boat for the Underground River tour.

The kids waiting for the paper work to be completed before boarding the boat for the Underground River tour.

Other people waiting to board the boat for the Underground River asked to take photos with Matt.

Other people waiting to board the boat for the Underground River asked to take photos with Matt.

On the boat ride to the Underground River we could see the "Sleeping Giant" in the mountain.

On the boat ride to the Underground River we could see the “Sleeping Giant” in the mountain.

We made it to the Underground River.

We made it to the Underground River…Blake stayed at the resort with a babysitter.

Our group is ready to enter the caves of the Underground River.

Our group is ready to enter the caves of the Underground River.

Bats and sparrows where the cave.

Bats and swallows were in the cave.

After a huge downpour, we all decided to go swimming. The kids really liked this trench and spent a good portion of their time here.

After a huge downpour, we all decided to go swimming. The kids really liked this trench and spent a good portion of their time here.

The dads did boogie boards and had some pretty decent size waves.

The dads did boogie boarding and had some pretty decent size waves.

After swimming we decided to do the zipline over the ocean. Mason was a bit scared and probably too young as well to ride by himself, so I went with him

After swimming we decided to do the zipline over the ocean. Mason was a bit scared and probably too young as well to ride by himself, so Tia went with him.

Kalani got to ride the zipline by herself and we bought the photo the company took of her.

Kalani got to ride the zipline by herself and we bought the photo the company took of her.

We did a mangrove tour and saw 2 different snakes in the trees...and we got wet with another downpour.

We did a mangrove tour and saw 2 different snakes in the trees…and we got wet with another downpour.

We waited for the rain to stop and then used these umbrellas for the tour which came in handy since the rain started up again. Tia's three-year old friend had a nice nap towards the end of the tour.

We waited for the rain to stop and then used these umbrellas for the tour which came in handy since the rain started up again. Our three-year old friend had a nice nap towards the end of the tour.

Dinner buddies...this little three-year old LOVES Tia.

Dinner buddies…this little three-year old LOVES Tia.

We went to Daluyon Resort for lunch and saw a monitor lizard. The kids were all very impressed.

We went to Daluyon Resort for lunch and saw a monitor lizard. The kids were all very impressed.

The walk between the Sheridan and Daluyon was along a dirt road and the kids had a great time exploring.

The walk between the Sheridan and Daluyon was along a dirt road and the kids had a great time exploring.

Palawan 2015 was nice and we are so glad that we were able to be with friends.

Palawan 2015 was nice and we are so glad that we were able to be with friends.

More photos of Palawan here.

Camping 2012

May 15th, 2012 1 comment

For the past 2 years I have taken our kids camping by myself while Matt worked.  Finally after being married for 9.5 years and having 2 kids, Matt joined us on a camping trip!

"We are a happy family"

 

Mason loved playing with our friend's dog

Kids enjoying nature

Talking to friends around the camp fire

5 families that all went camping together

 

Thanks to our friends who planned this trip and invited us to tag-a-long.

 

Crazy Campers

March 30th, 2011 3 comments

The first crazy camper is me, the mom. Who in their right mind would take a 7 year old and a 22 month old camping without their spouse? Through one of my homeschool groups they set up a camping trip and Kalani LOVES to go camping with friends. I took the kids last year with Mason as an 11 month old and figured that this year would be a little easier since he was older.

The other crazy campers enjoying nature

The weather didn’t cooperate completely since it was wet most of our second day there and then was really cold trying to pack up on the third day. Nature is also a little loud at times. Like at 3 am when a coyote and cubs decide to make their presence known near our camp site. Or the owl that was above our tent. And then there are the man-made noises like trains that want to blow their horn in the middle of the night.

Most of the group going on a "hike"

But, I know that “I Can Do Hard Things” (sister’s favorite saying). Like going on a hike…we only walked a mile and then turned around, but I walked that mile holding Mason at 30 pounds for the majority of the hike. On the way back we decided to take the road since we wouldn’t have to worry about rocks and going up and down hills. A friend brought her wagon since she has 3 small children and Mason got to ride in the wagon while I pulled it. Mason started taking off his hat, then shoes and socks and throwing them out the wagon. I guess he was done riding in the wagon and stood up while I was pulling. I looked back just in time to see him stand and then fall backwards and hit his head on the asphalt! Blood appeared, water was poured, pressured applied and baby was crying. I wasn’t completely sure what I should do since it looked like he needed stitches, but I also needed to take care of Kalani and I didn’t know where the hospital was since we were over 2 hours away from home.

2 cuts

Luckily I have great friends who took care of Kalani for me, a dad ran back to camp to get his car so I could get Mason to the hospital quicker and then all the kids were looking for my keys that I couldn’t find (they were under my pillow). I asked the park ranger where the nearest hospital was and it was only 2 miles away. I was doing a great job of staying in control and not freaking out.

I got into the ER quickly and Mason was acting like himself, playing in the water at the sink, giving the nurse high 5’s, saying hi to people, etc. There was a lot of waiting around…2 hours later Mason leaves the hospital asleep (it was his nap time) with 2 staples in his head.

2 staples

I asked to cover the staples since there was still blood and I knew we were going back to camp where Mason would be playing in the dirt. I really didn’t want to deal with an infection on top of everything else…AND with Matt in California and not being able to talk to him because of poor reception, I felt totally on my own.

100% boy

The staples aren’t keeping Mason down. He only knows they are there when I change his diaper since he doesn’t lay down very often. But in 10-14 days he gets them removed. I feel like a real mom now after going to the ER with one of my children. I think that Mason is going to change me and how I parent! And I am crazy enough to take our kids camping again, even by myself if Matt can’t be with us.

BAYOU WILDLIFE PARK

November 7th, 2010 1 comment

A lady from a homeschool group I belong to arranged a field trip to the BAYOU WILDLIFE PARK in Alvin, Texas.  It was a good 90 minute drive from our house, but Kalani and Mason had a GREAT time.  Our first encounter with the wildlife was with an ostrich as we were driving to the parking lot.  This bird came right at me and then to Mason…I had to quickly roll up the windows!  And then an emu also tried to get into our car…you can hear Mason crying in the background of this very short video.

VID_20101020_094851

We saw alligators, cattle, goats, giraffes, antelopes, camels, bison, lemurs, deer, peacocks, pigs, etc.  They even had 2 ZONKEYS … donkey and zebra offspring.  Most of the animals came right to the tram that we were riding and the kids had a fabulous time feeding them.  Mason had a great time petting the deer that roamed free.  The weather was great, the company was wonderful and it wore my children out.  The only bad thing about this field trip was that Matt couldn’t be there with us.

ZONKEY

Kalani and Mason making friends with the wildlife

This deer became Mason's best friend

One of the many animals Kalani fed during our tram ride