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Posts Tagged ‘mason’

Lei visits the Philippines

October 21st, 2014 No comments

My sister Lei came out to visit us in June. Her husband and 2 year old twin boys stayed home so she was able to relax and just be a sister to me, an auntie to the kids, while pampering herself with regular visits to the spa. Of course we took her to our favorite restaurants and introduced her to our long lost cousins and other friends. She even attended my doctor appointments, but unfortunately missed Blake being born 10 minutes after she left for the airport.

We spent time doing puzzles at home since we both enjoy them

We spent time doing puzzles at home since we both enjoy them

Getting fake eyelashes

Getting fake eyelashes

Trying on jeans at Greenhills

Trying on jeans at Greenhills

Bowling with Mason

Bowling with Mason

Evening out with Kalani to watch the performance STOMP

Evening out with Kalani to watch the performance STOMP

Fabric shopping at the place where the stores come to get their fabric = cheap fabric

Fabric shopping at the place where stores come to get their fabric

Lei got to meet our cousin Marites in Manila

Meeting our cousin Marites in Manila

We went to the Mall of Asia to watch the fireworks

We went to the Mall of Asia to watch the fireworks

We got out of Manila and went to Tagaytay and rode the Ferris wheel at Sky Ranch

We got out of Manila and went to Tagaytay and rode the Ferris wheel at Sky Ranch

We took her to watch a PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) game with a friend who recently received her mission call to Temple Square

We took her to watch a PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) game with a friend who recently received her mission call to Temple Square

We watched Matt play basketball a coupe of times as well

We watched Matt play basketball a couple of times as well

The night before she left we watched the Transformer premier at the Director's Club movie theater

The night before she left we watched the Transformer premier at the Director’s Club movie theater

And she took me to the hospital before she left for her flight.  She missed Blake being born by 10 minutes!

And she took me to the hospital before she left for her flight. She missed Blake being born by 10 minutes!

We really loved having her visit with us. And I think she really liked having Mason ask her every day: “Do you like being a pretty married lady?”

Categories: Family Tags: , , , , , ,

Northern Luzon Roadtrip

October 11th, 2014 No comments

The kids had a 5-day weekend in August so we took advantage of that and went on a road-trip. I must confess that I was a bit apprehensive since Blake was only 8 weeks old and was colicky. But, Matt did a wonderful job planning this road-trip and all of the kids did great. I really like spending time with my little family and exploring more of this country.

The route we traveled in northern Luzon in 5 days. We discovered once again how beautiful this country is outside of the big city

The route we traveled in northern Luzon in 5 days. We discovered once again how beautiful this country is outside of the big city.

Our first stop was to Baler where we stayed at Coasta Pacifica. We stayed here for 2 nights and enjoyed the swimming pool, beach, having a tour of the area and getting out of the car. There were 2 routes to get to Baler and we took the route that goes through the mountain which tacked on 3 extra hours...thanks Google Maps for the recommendation

Our first stop was to Baler where we stayed at Coasta Pacifica. We stayed here for 2 nights and enjoyed the swimming pool, beach, having a tour of the area and getting out of the car. There were 2 routes to get to Baler and google maps recommended we take the route that goes through the mountain which tacked on 3 extra hours.

All of the kids on a surf board. This was Blake's first time in the ocean/pool & Kalani's first time back in the ocean after being stung by a jelly-fish

All of the kids on a surf board. This was Blake’s first time in the ocean/pool & Kalani’s first time back in the ocean after being stung by a jellyfish

Our "city tour" took us to Cunayan Falls. The kids were a bit disappointed that they didn't have their swimsuits, but we told them they could swim in their clothes like the locals and that made them happy

Our “city tour” took us to Cunayan Falls. The kids were a bit disappointed that they didn’t have their swimsuits, but we told them they could swim in their clothes like the locals and that made them happy

We got to explore the "Millennium Balete Tree" where you can walk through it since there is a path "carved out". And the kids could have stayed here for a couple of hours climbing all over it

We got to explore the “Millennium Balete Tree” where you can walk through it since there is a path “carved out”. And the kids could have stayed here for a couple of hours climbing all over it

We left Baler and the only road to get to Tuguegarao was a bit scary at times with it only being dirt roads and even some roads were washed away

We left Baler and the only road to get to Tuguegarao was a bit scary at times with it only being dirt roads, land slides and washed away in some places

On this road to Tuguegarao we saw some of the descendants of the very first people in the Philippines called "aeta"

On this road to Tuguegarao we saw some of the descendants of the very first people in the Philippines called “aeta

After a few hours in the car we made it to Tuguegarao and met up with our friend Mavis. She and our driver Juan joined us exploring the C caves

After a few hours in the car we made it to Tuguegarao and met up with our good friend Mavis. She and our driver Juan joined us exploring the Callao caves

There are 7 "openings" at Callao caves and in the 2nd opening is a "church" that holds services once or twice a month

There are 7 “openings” at Callao caves and in the 2nd opening is a “church” that holds services once or twice a month

We said our good-byes to Mavis and continued driving north to reach Cagayan Resort. This is the place that Survivor 2012 was located

We said our good-byes to Mavis and continued driving north to reach Cagayan Holiday & Leisure Resort. This is where the Survivor Cagayan crew stayed

Cagayan Holiday & Leisure Resort has a bunch of homes (5 bedrooms & private pool) to rent out, a casino & private airstrip...mostly caters to Chinese clients

Cagayan Holiday & Leisure Resort has a bunch of homes (our had 5 bedrooms & private pool) to rent out, a casino & private airstrip…mostly caters to Chinese clients who like to gamble

On our way to our next destination we came across the "Filipino Family Vehicle"

On our way to our next destination we came across the “Filipino Family Vehicle”

We stopped at Padgudpud beach and enjoyed the powder white sand and beautiful scenery

We stopped at Pagudpud beach and enjoyed the powder white sand and beautiful scenery. They call this place the Boracay of the north.

Our hotel on the north/west of Luzon was at Fort Ilocandia and it was wonderful. There was so much to do/see at the resort

Our hotel on the north/west of Luzon was at Fort Ilocandia and it was wonderful. There was so much to do/see at the resort that we will most likely go back since we didn’t get to do everything we wanted to

We got in this jeep and went on some sand dunes as a family

We got in this jeep and went on some sand dunes as a family

Mason really liked sliding down the sand dunes

Mason really liked sliding down the sand dunes

Kalani went horseback riding around the resort and on the beach

Kalani went horseback riding around the resort and on the beach

She also tried out archery for the first time

She also tried out archery for the first time

After staying at 3 wonderful hotels, our last hotel, in La Union, would be considered a dive. But, we enjoyed a walk on the beach and were now only 6-7 hours away from home

After staying at 3 wonderful resorts, our last hotel in La Union would be considered a dive in comparison. But, we enjoyed a walk on the beach and were now only 6-7 hours away from home.

We enjoyed the beautiful countryside on the north

We enjoyed the beautiful countryside of Norhern Luzon

More photos from our road trip here.

2014-2015 School Year Begins

August 6th, 2014 No comments

The kids woke up at 6am and got ready for their first day of school!  They were both very excited to see friends at school and anxious to see what this school year brings.

First day of Middle School in 5th grade

First day of Middle School in 5th grade

Ready for Kindergarten

Categories: Family Tags: , ,

Blake has arrived

July 26th, 2014 2 comments

After years of not being able to get pregnant we decided to do “In Vitro Fertilization” . It wasn’t something I thought we would do in the Philippines, until we found Kato Repro Biotech Center. Kato was very professional and high-tech — overall we were very impressed. Our first appointment with them was in August and the last appointment was in December. Everything was really easy for us without any complications and we were successful on the first attempt (the doctor had quoted a 33% chance of success in our case). It was a great experience and the final result was our baby boy Blake!

Blake arrived at 4:10am on June 26 and weighed in at 7 pounds 13 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long

Blake arrived at 4:10am on June 26 and weighed in at 7 pounds 13 ounces and 20 3/4 inches long

My sister was at the hospital with us until 4am when she then had to leave to catch her flight back to USA...she missed meeting her new nephew by 10 minutes!

My sister was at the hospital with us until 4am when she then had to leave to catch her flight back to USA…she missed meeting her new nephew by 10 minutes!

Although we had been up for nearly 24 hours, we were so happy to meet our new son

Although we had been up for nearly 24 hours, we were so happy to meet our new son

Just over 36 hours old and we are ready to go home

Just over 36 hours old and we are ready to go home

Kalani and Mason couldn't wait to go to the hospital to meet Blake and hold him

Kalani and Mason couldn’t wait to go to the hospital to meet Blake and hold him

Now we have the 3 Amigos!

Now we have the 3 Amigos!

They may not grow up to look alike, but they start off as newborns looking like siblings

They may not grow up to look alike, but they start off as newborns looking like siblings (From left to right: Kalani, Mason, Blake)

Blake is now 1month old

Blake is now 1month old weighing in at 10 pounds 3.5 ounces and 22 inches

More photos of Blake here.

Categories: Family Tags: , , , , , ,

Vacation – Brunei

May 29th, 2014 No comments

The last country we visited during spring break was Brunei. We were excited to visit this country since the only cousins from the Philippines that we had not met yet live in Brunei and we were anxious to meet them. Matt booked us a wonderful tour guide through ViatorEsjay was a great fit for our family and easy to work with, and without her I don’t know how we would have gotten around since there are NO taxis in Brunei. We only had 2.5 days in Brunei and at first the kids were done traveling, but they had a wonderful time meeting our cousins and seeing the sites of Brunei.

Day 1

Our flight arrived in Brunei around midnight from Manila

Our flight arrived in Brunei around midnight from Manila

We spent our first afternoon swimming with our cousins at the Radisson Hotel pool

We spent our first afternoon swimming with our cousins at the Radisson Hotel pool

Royal Regalia Museum you can see things that the Sultan has used like this chariot that is about 50 years old

Royal Regalia Museum, where you can see things that the Sultan has used; like this chariot that is about 50 years old

Brunei has proboscis monkeys in the wild; along with other animals that we were fortunate enough to see

Brunei has proboscis monkeys in the wild; along with other animals that we were fortunate enough to see

We visited a water village that we had to take a "water taxi" to reach. There was a home that was open to tourist and it was interesting to see how people live at this water village

We visited a water village that we had to take a “water taxi” to reach. There was a home that was open to tourists and it was interesting to see how people live at this water village

From the water village we took a boat to try to find some wild animals. Our bout driver spotted this crocodile

From the water village we took a boat to try to find some wild animals. Our boat driver spotted this crocodile.

We also found these monkeys near the water edge. We also found proboscis monkeys and a lizard, but they were too far for a clear photo

We also found these monkeys near the water edge. We also found proboscis monkeys and a lizard, but they were too far for a clear photo.

Esjay, our tour guide, was well prepared and brought along binoculars that Mason loved using

Esjay, our tour guide, was well prepared and brought along binoculars that Mason loved using

 Day 2

We also got to tour around the Mosque that the current Sultan had built. It caught me a bit off guard when the men wouldn't even acknowledge me or the kids while there

We also got to tour around a Mosque that the current Sultan had built. It caught me a bit off guard when the men wouldn’t even acknowledge me or the kids while there.

In order to tour the mosque we had to dress appropriately and remove our shoes

In order to tour the mosque we had to dress appropriately and remove our shoes

Our tour guide drove us around Brunei and told us how the country/government functions. This is a government built home.

Our tour guide drove us around Brunei and told us how the country/government functions. This is a subsidized government home.

At the Marco Polo Club there is an elephant kept there. We were told that the elephant belongs to the Sultan's sister.

At the Polo Club there is an elephant kept there. We were told that the elephant belongs to the Sultan’s sister.

Our last night we stayed at the Empire Resort and it was spectacular. The kids didn't want to leave.

Our last night we stayed at the Empire Resort and it was spectacular. The kids didn’t want to leave.

Matt took Kalani kayaking for the first time in one of the pools of the Empire while Mason and I hung out at the kids pool/playground.

Matt took Kalani kayaking for the first time in one of the pools of the Empire while Mason and I hung out at the kids pool/playground.

Our family in Brunei stayed with us at the airport while we waited to board our plane. We LOVED being with them and getting to know them better...Family is what it is all about

Our family in Brunei stayed with us at the airport while we waited to board our plane. We LOVED being with them and getting to know them better…Family is what it’s all about!

More photos of Brunei here.

Categories: Family, Travel Tags: , , , , , ,