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Posts Tagged ‘robbie’

December/Christmas 2014

March 30th, 2015 No comments

We were lucky enough to convince my brother to come back to the Philippines for Christmas and New Years. It was wonderful to have him around again and he remains Mason’s favorite uncle. And he went back to Siquijor with us for Christmas and got to experience Coco Grove Resort. It was great to see family again, but our time in Siquijor was extended 3 extra days since a typhoon came through and we couldn’t leave the island! Ironically, this happened to us 2 years ago when we visited the same place with the same brother. The island just loves him too much to let him leave! However since we got stuck in Siquijor for 3 extra days, we missed our flight and reservations to Singapore for New Years. (but we were able to reschedule that trip for February)

We made hygiene kits at church and then Matt and Robbie delivered them with other members from our church.

We made hygiene kits at church and then Matt and Robbie delivered them to the city jail with other members from our church.

We went to the province to celebrate our cousin's 1st birthday party and all of these guys wanted a photo with Matt and Robbie before we left.

We went to the province to celebrate our cousin’s 1st birthday party and all of these guys wanted a photo with Matt and Robbie before we left.

Mason with the 1 year old birthday girl.

Mason with the 1 year old birthday girl.

Annual Light Show at Ayala Triangle

Annual Light Show at Ayala Triangle

Life-size gingerbread house at the Peninsula Hotel

Life-size gingerbread house at the Peninsula Hotel

Manila Airport was a mess on Christmas Eve. Luckily we found a place to wait to board the plane on the floor in front of a TV

Manila Airport was a mess on Christmas Eve. Luckily we found a place to wait to board the plane on the floor in front of a TV

We were able to ride on the Coco Princess from Dumeguete to Siquijor. It is Coco Grove's private boat that goes straight to the resort.

We were able to ride on the Coco Princess from Dumeguete to Siquijor. It is Coco Grove’s private boat that goes straight to the resort.

We enjoyed our time at Salagdoong with cousins

We enjoyed our time at Salagdoong with cousins

Mason got dropped off the platform at Salagdoong. Later he ran and jumped off on his own while other adults were too nervous to do the same.

Mason got dropped off the platform at Salagdoong. Later he ran and jumped off on his own while other adults were too nervous to do the same.

Because it rained the day before, Cambugahay Falls wasn't as clear as it normally is. But still beautiful and we enjoyed our time there.

Because it rained the day before, Cambugahay Falls wasn’t as clear as it normally is. But still beautiful and we enjoyed our time there.

We explored more of Siquijor and found another waterfall after walking through the "jungle"

We explored more of Siquijor and found another waterfall after walking through the “jungle”

While hanging out with family, the kids played in this "tree house" that was built for our 5 year old cousin.

While hanging out with family, the kids played in this “tree house” that was built for our 5 year old cousin.

The children who live near our cousins welcome our children to play with them whenever we arrive.

The children who live near our cousins welcome our children to play with them whenever we arrive.

The boys always seem to go to a cock-fight in Siquijor

The boys always seem to go to a cock-fight in Siquijor

We got to listen to Island Melody Band on Christmas Eve. Due to the rain they had to move the show indoors.

We got to listen to Island Melody Band on Christmas Eve. Due to the rain they had to move the show indoors.

We arranged to have our family to Coco Grove to have dinner with us. This is the first group of people to arrive to the resort.

We arranged to have our family come to Coco Grove to have dinner with us. This is the first group of people to arrive to the resort.

We tried to see how many cousins could fit on the circular bed at the Penthouse.

We tried to see how many cousins could fit on the circular bed at the Penthouse.

All of our cousins and 2 sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who came over to have a catered dinner with us at Coco Grove.

All of our cousins and 2 sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who came over to have a catered dinner with us at Coco Grove.

We were able to attend church in Siquijor with our friends from Manila.

We were able to attend church in Siquijor with our friends from Manila.

Finally on December 30th, we were able to return home and the kids could open their Christmas presents.

Finally on December 30th, we were able to return home and the kids could open their Christmas presents.

Matt and Robbie went out dancing with friends 2 nights.

Matt and Robbie went out dancing with some of our Filipino friends

2014 was a wonderful year for us and we are looking forward to 2015 and all the adventures it holds for us.

2014 was a wonderful year for us and we are looking forward to 2015 and all the adventures it holds for us.

Brothers and Sister-in-law visit

October 11th, 2014 No comments

In 2013 we missed the yearly festivals where our family in the Philippines live by a week. So, Matt really wanted to be sure to attend in 2014. However, I was about 35 weeks pregnant didn’t want to risk having a baby in the province. So Matt started contacting our brothers to see if anyone would be willing to come out to visit us and then go to Siquijor for the celebrations. One thing led to another and in the end we had 3 of my brothers and a sister-in-law coming out to see us! The boys stayed for 1 week since they had to return to school and work. My sister-in-law stayed for 11 days and we were able to have some girl pampering time together.

They arrived early Sunday morning and were jet-lagged the whole week they were with us. But, luckily they can sleep anywhere, like at the movie theater, restaurant & lounge (which my 17 year old brother did)

They arrived early Sunday morning and were jet-lagged the whole week they were with us. But, luckily they can sleep anywhere, like at the movie theater, restaurant & lounge

A morning of shopping at Greenhills where we bought knock-off purses and other souvenirs. And of course they got to see "lady-boys"

A morning of shopping at Greenhills where we bought knock-off purses and other souvenirs. And of course they got to see “lady-boys”

We had a nice dinner at The Peninsula and then went to the lounge to watch/listen to a live band

We had a nice dinner at The Peninsula and then went to the lounge to watch/listen to a live band

These guys flew to Dumaguete from Manila, and then took the hour long ferry boat to get to Siquijor

These guys flew to Dumaguete from Manila, and then took the hour long ferry boat to get to Siquijor

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Getting ready to take our cousin’s boat to Salagdoong Beach (on the way they snorkeled from the bamboo arms)

3-man jump from the platform at Salagdoong

3-man jump from the platform at Salagdoong

My 17 year old brother about to jump off the platform in the tree at Cambugahay Falls

My 17 year old brother about to jump off the platform in the tree at Cambugahay Falls

They enjoyed their time at Cambugahay Falls and made friends with the locals that were also spending the day there

They enjoyed their time at Cambugahay Falls and made friends with the locals that were also spending the day there

They played some basketball with cousins

They played some basketball with cousins

They enjoyed the decorations for the "Coconut festival"

They enjoyed the decorations for the “Coconut festival”

And they danced the night away with cousins and new friends

And they danced the night away with cousins and new friends at the village disco

Photo of cousins at the disco

Photo of cousins at the disco

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is now on the island of Siquijor and they were able to attend worship service and classes before heading on the ferry and plane back to Manila

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is now on the island of Siquijor and they were able to attend worship service and classes before heading on the ferry and plane back to Manila

Our siblings enjoyed our club pool and gym that we have at our condo

Our siblings enjoyed the pool and gym at our condo

After the boys left, my sister-in-law and I did some girl things...like attending a baby shower that they ladies from church threw for me

After the boys left, my sister-in-law and I did some girl things…like attending a baby shower that the ladies from church threw for me

And I threw a "Pamper Me" Party at our condo and had some friends over and each person had their own massage therapist for an hour

And I threw a “Pamper Me” Party at our condo and had some friends over and each person had their own massage therapist for an hour

My brother Robbie was also here, but had to stay in Manila with me since his online Master's Program started that week. But the kids were happy to spend more time with him

My brother Robbie was also here, but had to stay in Manila with me since his online Master’s Program started that week. But the kids were happy to spend more time with him.

We love spoiling our family when they come to visit us and to show them life in the Philippines. And they took full advantage of this opportunity to meet our extended relatives and see how ex-pats and locals live in this 3rd world country

We love spoiling our family when they come to visit us. And they took full advantage to meet our extended relatives and see life in a 3rd world country

A favorite phrase from my 17 year old brother: "I can't, I'm only 17!" And he posted this photo that lets us know he had a good time with us...now he just needs to learn how to spell Philippines, or at least use spell-check!

My 17 year old brother wrote this on a photo he took to let us know that he had a good time… now he just needs to learn how to spell Philippines, or at least use spell-check!

California Fun – Part 2 “Sac Town”

November 22nd, 2013 2 comments

When I found out that I was going to California I made an agenda to be certain that I did everything that I wanted to. Once my siblings found out that the kids and I would be in California a couple of them made the trip out to see us from Utah. We were feeling very loved and special!

My schedule for California

My schedule for California. Shopping was very important since I needed to stock up on items not found in the Philippines to last me for the next 1-2 years.

The home I grew up in is surrounded by 3 rice fields and a canal in the back.  My dad, uncles and grandpa built our home about 28 years ago.  Now my brother and dad are building an "Ag Building" that will be converted into an apartment.

The home I grew up in is surrounded by 3 rice fields and a canal in the back. My dad, uncles and grandpa built our home about 28 years ago. Now my brother and dad are building an “Ag Building” that will be converted into an apartment.

The joys of living out in the country.  Exploring for critters with your uncle.

The joys of living out in the country. Exploring for critters with your uncle.

Cousins having fun on the trampoline ages 9, 5, 5, 4, 1

Cousins having fun on the trampoline ages 9, 5, 5, 4, 1

Mason LOVED playing with all of the toys at grandma's house.

Mason LOVED playing with all of the toys at grandma’s house.

We had a bonfire at my parent's house a couple of times and even roasted some marshmallows and made smores

We had a bonfire at my parent’s house a couple of times and even roasted some marshmallows and made s’mores.

I had lunch with my grandma.

I had lunch with my grandma.

Dinner with my friends who I have known for over 25 years...I brought them a "bra organizer" from the Philippines.

Dinner with my friends who I have known for over 25 years…I brought them a “bra organizer” from the Philippines.

Afternoon at a pumpkin patch to choose pumpkins to decorate.

Afternoon at a pumpkin patch to choose pumpkins to decorate.

Dinner with ALL of my siblings and their spouse who were in California for the week.

Dinner with ALL of my siblings and their spouse who were in California for the week.

My brothers...just missing Seth who is the youngest.

My brothers…just missing Seth who is the youngest.

My sisters...just missing Lei who is number 4 sister.

My sisters…just missing Lei who is number 4 sister.

Ninjas are invading the house.  Both kids wanted to have the same ninja costume this year.

Ninjas are invading the house. Both kids wanted to have the same ninja costume this year.

Ready to go Trick-or-Treating with cousins.  We only lasted about an hour or so, but everyone was happy with their loot.

Ready to go Trick-or-Treating with cousins. We only lasted about an hour or so, but everyone was happy with their loot.

The family who watched Jeffrey's football game.  He scored 4 touchdowns that night!

The family who watched Jeffrey’s football game. He scored 4 touchdowns that night!

The kids thought looking at the stars and running around with other kids was more fun than sitting in the bleachers and watching the football game.

The kids thought looking at the stars and running around with other kids was more fun than sitting in the bleachers and watching the football game.

Before we left my sister took photos of the kids per my dad's request.  Here is our Hawaiian princess.

Before we left my sister took photos of the kids per my dad’s request. Here is our Hawaiian princess.

Our Big Kahuna!

Our Big Kahuna!

Our brother “Rah Rah” visits Asia

March 1st, 2013 No comments

When we found out that we were going to live in the Philippines for a couple of years we wanted family and friends to come visit us.  And our first guest was my brother (that our children call Rah Rah) who arrived December 3 and stayed with us until January 10.  He got a first hand experience to figuring out how to live in  the Philippines with us since we were still very new to living here.  He was with us while we were living in our serviced apartments and then helped us move into our condo.  Rah Rah has traveled with us through Europe and also done his own traveling with friends through Europe, but this was his first time in Asia and in a developing country.  I think he enjoyed his time in Asia and we all LOVED having him visit us.

 

Ayala Triangle where there was a music and light show for the month of December

Ayala Triangle where there was a music and light show for the month of December

We had a lot of fun taking photos at two different 3D art places

We had a lot of fun taking photos at two different 3D art places

Attending Matt's End of the Year work party at Hotel Manila

Attending Matt’s End of the Year work party at Hotel Manila

Day trip to People's Palace...or Sponge Bob's house since he lives in a pineapple

Day trip to People’s Palace…or Sponge Bob’s house since he lives in a pineapple

Day trip to Taal Volcano in Tagaytay

Day trip to Taal Volcano in Tagaytay

Entrance of the Chinese Garden at Rizal Park

Entrance of the Chinese Garden at Rizal Park

Day visit to the American Cemetery in Manila

Day visit to the American Cemetery in Manila

The Philippines love to celebrate Christmas...even at work with crazy head pieces

The Philippines love to celebrate Christmas…even at work with crazy head pieces

Robbie got to meet our cousins from the Philippines for the first time

Robbie got to meet our cousins from the Philippines for the first time

We went to Cambodia together and Rah Rah carried Mason for most of the trip

We went to Cambodia together and Robbie carried Mason for most of the trip

Fish massage in Cambodia...it was nice after walking around all of the temples

Fish massage in Cambodia…it was nice after walking around all of the temples

We all got a foot massage and Robbie's lady asked him to take off his pants so she could massage his calves...it was awkward, but gave us all a good life.

We all got a foot massage and Robbie’s lady asked him to take off his pants so she could massage his calves…it was awkward, but gave us all a good life.

Enjoying the view of Siquijor from our resort (Firefly Cove)

Enjoying the view of Siquijor from our resort (Firefly Cove)

Exploring a Tree House Lodge on Siquijor...it was the Ultimate Tree House

Exploring a Tree House Lodge on Siquijor…it was the Ultimate Tree House

Last night with Robbie - Midget Boxing

Last night with Robbie – Midget Boxing

Last dinner with Robbie was at the Hobbit House...since we did see the movie "The Hobbit"

Last dinner with Robbie was at the Hobbit House…since we did see the movie “The Hobbit”

Using Robbie's iPod was Mason's favorite pastime

Using Robbie’s iPod was Mason’s favorite pastime

 

 

 

 

Christmas in the Philippines

February 24th, 2013 No comments

Christmas starts in September in the Philippines.  They decorate all during the “BER” months (SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, DecemBER) and the decorations are pretty nice… it’s almost ridiculous how beautiful the Christmas decorations are when you remember that the Philippines is a developing country!  And during the second week of January they start to take down the decorations.  So, for a third of the year Christmas is “celebrated” in the Philippines with music and decorations!

There are over a million people who live in downtown Manila.  During December that number increases as oversea workers return to the Philippines for the holidays.  And then the number decreases as all of the Manila residents and oversea workers return home to their provinces for the holidays.  We decided to go to “our province” as well for Christmas…that being Siquijor island where my grandfather left around 1925 to go work on a sugar cane plantation in Hawaii.  However, he also left a wife and 2 children in Siquijor, whose descendants we recently made contact with.

We spent 5 days on the island with family.  We rented a car and our cousin drove us around.  There were no presents, no Christmas trees, not even cold weather.  But, we all had a wonderful time enjoying the company of our family and seeing the beauty of the land.  God must really love us to have blessed us with wonderful family members.

Enjoying lunch that our cousins provided and spending time at the beach

Enjoying a picnic prepared by our cousins and spending time at the beach

Tia and Mason getting ready to jump off the water slide.  Water doesn't run down the slide unless you pay extra for it...and after Typhoon Pablo many areas of this water park got destroyed

Tia and Mason getting ready to jump off the water slide. Water doesn’t run down the slide unless you pay extra for it…and after Typhoon Pablo many areas of this water park got destroyed

The kids loved playing on the beach, exploring the area and finding sea shells

The kids loved playing on the beach, exploring the area and finding sea shells

Village volleyball tournament held at least yearly.  (Cousin Judith Grado #18)

Village volleyball tournament held at least yearly. (Cousin Judith Grado #18)

While the village volleyball game was going on, our kids were introducing the village kids to an iPad.  Not sure if more people were watching the volleyball game or the kids with the iPad

While the village volleyball game was going on, our kids were introducing the local kids to an iPad. Not sure if more people were watching the volleyball game or the kids with the iPad.

Cambugahay Falls - We had a rope swing to use here and swam in the water...we all loved being here

Cambugahay Falls – We had a rope swing to use and swam in the water…we all loved being here.

Butterfly Santuary.  Sadly Typhoon Pablo destroyed a good portion of this...and we discovered that there is a local fee "donation" and a foreign fee "donation"

Butterfly Sanctuary – Sadly Typhoon Pablo destroyed a good portion of this…and we discovered that there is a local fee “donation” and a foreign fee “donation”.

Capilay Springs - swimming and relaxing ... parts of this area was also damaged by Typhoon Pablo

Capilay Springs – swimming and relaxing … parts of this area was also damaged by Typhoon Pablo.

Enchanted Tree - 400 year old Balete tree

Enchanted Tree – 400 year old Balete tree.

Cantabon Cave - Exploring where there really were not any rules (swimming and breaking off a stalactite for a souvenir) and our cousin carried Mason the whole time

Cantabon Cave – Exploring where there really were not any rules (swimming and breaking off a stalactite for a souvenir) and our cousin carried Mason the whole time.

Matt and Robbie watched this cockfighting where our cousin had a rooster fighting.  That rooster lost and I'm sure ended up as dinner

Matt and Robbie watched this cockfighting where our cousin had a rooster competing. That rooster lost and I’m sure ended up as dinner for someone.

Our cousin's finance invited us to his village disco where ages ranged from toddlers to elderly

Our cousin’s finance invited us to his village disco (a yearly celebration) where ages ranged from toddlers to elderly.

Christmas dinner at our cousin's house warming party.  Family was put into a separate room while neighbors ate in the living room area.  There was also a "brown out" during dinner so we ate by candle light.

Christmas dinner at our cousin’s house warming party. Family was put into a separate room while neighbors ate in the living room area. There was also a “brown out” during dinner so we ate by candle light.

We spent time doing family history.  Our cousin would point out a relative while driving who was sitting on the side of the road and we would pull over and Tia would interview them.  This old lady is my grandfather's niece

We spent time doing family history. Our cousin would point out a relative while driving who was sitting on the side of the road and we would pull over and Tia would interview them. This old lady is my grandfather’s niece.

Our cousins introduced us to  Julie's Bakeshop and we love it.  When our ferry boat got cancelled to leave the island, we hung out here to figure out what to do since we had plane tickets to reschedule

Our cousins introduced us to Julie’s Bakeshop and we love it. When our ferry boat got cancelled to leave the island, we hung out here to figure out what to do since we had plane tickets to reschedule.

 

We were able to leave Siquijor the next morning at 5am and some cousins went back to Dumaguete with us and made sure we got to the airport

We were able to leave Siquijor the next morning at 5am and some cousins went back to Dumaguete with us and made sure we got to the airport.

Siquijor isn't a tourist trap but more of a hidden treasure.  We look forward to visiting again and spending more time with family and enjoying the beauty of the island

Siquijor isn’t a tourist trap but more of a hidden treasure. We look forward to visiting again and spending more time with family and enjoying the beauty of the island.

 

More Siquijor photos here.