Siargao Vacation

July 9th, 2015 No comments

In February the kids had a 4 day weekend, so we took advantage of that and went to Siargao here in the Philippines. Siargao is known as being a surfing destination. Although we don’t surf, we still had an enjoyable time exploring the island, going island hoping, and trying out surfing at the famous “Cloud 9“. A friend also told us of Kalinaw resort to stay and it had delicious food (homemade bread, wood fire pizza, etc) and a wonderful and helpful staff.

We flew from Manila to Cebu. Then took this plane from Cebu to Siargao

We flew from Manila to Cebu. Then took this plane from Cebu to Siargao

The local grocery store

The local grocery store

Kalinaw Resort.  Our room is on the right and the kids loved that the pool was right next to our room.

Kalinaw Resort. Our room is on the right and the kids loved that the pool was right next to our room

Kalinaw Resort at dusk. The owners have made this such a nice resort with the little details.

Kalinaw Resort at dusk. The owners have made this such a nice resort with the little details

Day 1

First island to visit was "Naked Island". Nothing there, just sand.

First island to visit was “Naked Island”. Nothing there, just sand.

Second Island to visit is "Dako Island". We had a yummy lunch prepared by our resort here.

Second island to visit is “Dako Island”. We had a yummy lunch prepared by our resort here.

Last Island to visit "Guyam Island". Not much here, just some trees and rocks.

Last island to visit “Guyam Island”. Not much here, just some trees and rocks.

Day 2

Traveled around the island to Magpaponko Swimming Hole during low tide.

Traveled around the island to Magpaponko Swimming Hole during low tide.

Exploring the island of Siargao. Very quiet and peaceful place.

Exploring the island of Siargao. Very quiet and peaceful place.

Day 3

Our last day we met this family during low tide. The father was teaching his children how to fish.

Our last day we met this family during low tide. The father was teaching his children how to fish.

We made it to the famous "Cloud 9" surf spot. Matt and Tia got surfing lessons and we both stood up on our board. Here Tia is surfing a small wave.

We made it to the famous “Cloud 9″ surf spot. Matt and Tia got surfing lessons and both stood up on our board. Here Tia is surfing a small wave.

We enjoyed our time at Siargao, and the staff at Kalinaw resort was a big help during our time there. They played with Blake during all of our meals and were just so pleasant.

We enjoyed our time at Siargao, and the staff at Kalinaw resort was a big help during our time there. They played with Blake during all of our meals and were just so pleasant.

More photos of Siargao here.


Baby Blake turned 1

July 2nd, 2015 No comments

Last week our baby turned 1! We have loved this past year to be able to have a baby in our home again. Blake brings so much joy and happiness to us everyday. And living in Asia, he gets a lot of attention with his blonde hair and blue eyes.

 

He is well traveled and loves the beach and ocean

He is well traveled and loves the beach and ocean

How he was normally carried when we left the house…attached to his mom using the Moby Wrap

Now he gets around using his Plasma Scooter

Now he gets around using his Plasma Car

We love this baby of ours

We love this baby of ours

 

Before Blake turned one he has been on 22 airplanes and 6 countries. And I am sure there hundreds of photos with him and different Asian people.


6 year old Mason

June 21st, 2015 No comments

Mason turned 6 in May. This past year a lot has happened for our fun, sensitive, temperamental boy.

Exactly one month after Mason's 5th birthday he became a BIG brother. And he is a wonderful big brother who always loves to play with his baby brother.

Exactly one month after Mason’s 5th birthday, he became a BIG brother. And he is a wonderful big brother who always loves to play with his baby brother.

He started school and loved making new friends and playing.

He started school and loved making new friends and playing.

He lost a bunch of teeth this past year so his mouth if full of holes.

He lost a bunch of teeth this past year so his mouth if full of holes.

He still loves his uncle Robbie. And he discovered that he can touch his nose with his tongue.

He still loves his uncle Robbie. And he discovered that he can touch his nose with his tongue.

He loves to help out in the kitchen...mostly making chocolate chip cookies.

He loves to help out in the kitchen…mostly making chocolate chip cookies.

He likes to be happy, laugh, tell jokes and cuddle.

He likes to be happy, laugh, tell jokes and cuddle.

On his actual birthday we were at Coco Grove Resort in Siquijor. The staff made a special sign for him, sang to him, and gave him a small dessert. It really made him happy.

On his actual birthday we were at Coco Grove Beach Resort in Siquijor. The staff made a special sign for him, sang to him, and gave him a small dessert. It really made him happy.

Six facts about 6 year old Mason:

-He wakes up around 6am everyday

-He takes a nap nearly every late afternoon

-He is over four feet tall

-Reverse psychology works well with him.  “Mason you cannot be in this photo, Mason you can’t have any fun, etc”

-He is learning to read and write…even though he doesn’t really care to learn to read and write

-He is adventurous. This year alone he has done wakeboarding, platform jumping into the ocean, snorkeling, elephant bathing, tiger feeding, and swimming with whalesharks

*More photos of Mason here.


Aunt & Uncle Visit Philippines

April 22nd, 2015 1 comment

I have an aunt that is only nine years older than me. She took great fun in making me scream/cry as a child, but now we have grown to be the best of friends. We lived with her family for six months while we had our home built in Texas in 2007. And when we moved to the Philippines over two years ago, we really wanted them to come visit us. Finally they were able to come out to visit us for two weeks at the end of January. We packed in a lot of fun things and made some wonderful memories during their visit to the Philippines.

My uncle had to go to Taiwan for work for a couple of days, so my aunt and I did some girls things. Like take a sugar cookie decorating class with some of my friends.

My uncle had to go to Taiwan for work for a couple of days, so my aunt and I did some girls things. Like take a sugar cookie decorating class with some of my friends.

I celebrated my 36th birthday with my aunt by going to see the musical play "Beauty and the Beast".

I celebrated my 36th birthday with my aunt by going to see the musical play “Beauty and the Beast”.

We showed our aunt how we watch movies at home...by having a massage therapist massage your feet, back, arms, head, neck, etc.

We showed our aunt how we watch movies at home…by having a therapist massage your feet, back, arms, head, neck, etc.

I took them to Tagaytay so they could see the countryside. Here we are with Taal volcano in the background.

I took them to Tagaytay so they could see the countryside. Here we are with Taal Volcano in the background.

And we enjoyed sometime at Nature Spa which was so relaxing.

And we enjoyed sometime at Nurture Spa which was so relaxing.

We made them work out with us at Focus Athletics. We had to burn off some calories before we hit the buffets and restaurants.

We made them work out with us at Focus Athletics. We had to burn off some calories before we hit the buffets and restaurants.

Our uncles enjoys seafood, so we took him to a Dampa seafood place where we chose different seafood to buy and then took our purchases to the restaurant and told them how to cook them. It was all delicious.

Our uncles enjoys seafood, so we took him to a Dampa seafood place where we chose different seafood to buy and then took our purchases to the restaurant and told them how to cook them. It was all delicious.

Magnum cafe is always a favorite since you get to make your own magnum bar.

Magnum Cafe is always a favorite since you get to make your own magnum bar.

We took a plane and then a boat ride on the Coco Princess to get to Siquijor island.

We took a plane and then a boat ride on the Coco Princess to get to Siquijor island.

We stayed 2 nights at Coco Grove on Siquijor. We were so happy to be able to show them the island that my grandfather came from and the beauty that island holds.

We stayed 2 nights at Coco Grove on Siquijor. We were so happy to be able to show them the island that my grandfather came from and the beauty that island holds.

We were able to enjoy dancers while we ate outside one evening at Coco Grove.

We were able to enjoy dancers while we ate outside one evening at Coco Grove.

We had so much fun being all together again.

We had so much fun being all together again.

 

Here is a great video that our close friends who also came to Siquijor with us created of our time there.


Singapore Again

April 1st, 2015 No comments

Since we weren’t able to go to Singapore for New Year’s Eve, we decided to get out of the Philippines while the Pope came to visit in January and head to Singapore. We were able to be there for four nights and booked a tour guide. Last time we went to Singapore, Matt had to work and I just found things to do with the kids on my own. Unlike other SE Asian countries, Singapore is relatively easy to navigate without a tour guide. But, it is just stress-free if there is a tour guide telling you where you are going and the history and they know the best time to be at certain areas. Again we booked through Viator.com and this time ended up with two different tour guides for the two days we were there. Both guides were very good with our children and easy to work with. And then we spent our last day on our own exploring Sentosa Island, although we didn’t take many photos of all the fun activities that we crammed in (iFly, Luge ride, Adventure Cove).

Inside the Fullerton where we stayed and had this amazing view while going to the elevators

Inside the Fullerton where we stayed and had this amazing view while walking to the elevators

The Fullerton staff spoiled our children and gave them their own plate of sweets. We love how friendly the Asian people are to our family.

The Fullerton staff spoiled our children and gave them their own plate of sweets. One of Matt’s co-workers has a sister who works at the hotel and played a part in this. We love how friendly people are throughout Asia.

Day 1

Our first destination was Jurong Aviary where we watched 2 different bird shows and got to see lots of different birds.

Our first destination was Jurong Bird Park where we watched two different bird shows and got to see lots of different birds.

We ate lunch like locals at the hawker stations

We ate lunch like locals at the hawker stations

Kalani got a henna tattoo that lasted about a week

Kalani got a henna tattoo that lasted about a week

We spent the afternoon at Gardens by the Bay

We spent the afternoon at Gardens by the Bay

Cloud Forest with the tallest "indoor man-made waterfall"

Cloud Forest with the tallest “indoor man-made waterfall”

The Flower Garden was decorated for the upcoming Chinese New Year

The Flower Dome was decorated for the upcoming Chinese New Year

Day 2

The "wet market" in Singapore is found in one building in Chinatown

The “wet market” in Singapore is found in one building in Chinatown

We visited a Hindu temple called Sri Mariamman Temple. The outside roof is full of character

We visited a Hindu temple called Sri Mariamman Temple. The outside roof is full of characters

The ceiling inside Sri Mariamman Temple is full of paintings

The ceiling inside Sri Mariamman Temple is covered in paintings

Our tour guide took us to this model of SIngapore. It shows what developments they plan on making in the next 5,10, & 50 years!

Our tour guide took us to this model of Singapore. It shows what developments they plan on making in the next 5,10, & 50 years!

We got to ride in the Singapore Flyer and get a different point of view of the country

We got to ride in the Singapore Flyer and get a different point of view of the country

We all were able to fly a plane with a real pilot in "Flight Experience". We chose what airport we wanted to fly to and then were given different flying experiences (daytime, night time, bad weather, engine out)

We all were able to fly a plane with a real pilot in “Flight Experience”. We chose what airport we wanted to fly to and then were given different flying experiences (daytime, night time, bad weather, engine out)

To end our 2nd day we took a ferry boat ride and did the River Explorer

To end our 2nd day we took a ferry boat ride and did the River Explorer

View of the Merlion of Singapore that we saw on from the ferry boat

View of the Merlion of Singapore that we saw on from the ferry boat

Day 3

We spent the last day on Sentosa Island

We spent the last day on Sentosa Island

iFly Skydiving Experience was awesome. It is for 7 year olds and older, so Matt, Tia & Kalani participated.

iFly Skydiving experience was awesome. It is for 7 year olds and older, so Matt, Tia & Kalani participated.

Our last night we went over to Fullerton on the Bay hotel and had some snacks and drinks at "The Lantern".  The brother-in-law of Matt's co-worker is the manager and spoiled us.

Our last night we went over to Fullerton on the Bay hotel and had some snacks and drinks at “The Lantern”. We had a wonderful view of the Marina Bay Sands light show and were spoiled by the restaurant manager who is Matt’s co-worker’s brother-in-law.

More photos of Singapore here.