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Posts Tagged ‘robbie’

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.

 

Dumaguete, Philippines

January 13th, 2013 1 comment

We knew we wanted to spend Christmas with our extended family in Siquijor (the island that my grandfather is from).  The first time we visited Siquijor we flew to Bohol and took a 3 hour ferry to reach the island of Siquijor.  This time we decided to fly to Dumaguete so our ferry ride would only be around an hour!  An added bonus is that we have a cousin that is living with her daughter in Dumaguete.  So we made arrangements to stay a couple of nights at the Pura Vida resort and meet up with our cousins before taking the ferry to Siquijor.

Bamboo huts that were our rooms at Pura Vida

Bamboo huts that were our rooms at Pura Vida

Sleeping under mosquito nets.  Reminded me of mission in El Salvador!

Sleeping under mosquito nets. Reminded me of mission in El Salvador!

If there is a beach, our kids want to be buried

If there is a beach, our kids want to be buried

 

Farley Totem Pole

Farley Totem Pole

Chicken fighting in the pool

Chicken fighting in the pool

Candle light dinner on the beach

Candle light dinner on the beach

Walking from our resort to the road to catch a "bus" to take into the city

Walking from our resort to the road to catch a “bus” to take into the city

First time for all of us to ride a Jeepney...it got pretty crowded

First time for all of us to ride a Jeepney

Mason found a "Bat Mobile" at a "county fair" type place

Mason found a “Bat Mobile” at a “county fair” type place

Kalani with her new found cousin Kennybie on a "Ferris Wheel" at the fair

Kalani (age 8) with her new found cousin Kennybie (age 13) on a “Ferris Wheel” at the fair

All of the family that happened to be at the mall in Dumaguete

All of the family that happened to be at the mall in Dumaguete

We were all born within 4 months of each other...all cousins

We were all born within 4 months of each other…all cousins

Aftermath of Typhoon Pablo that came through about a month before...this ferry isn't going anywhere

Aftermath of Typhoon Pablo that came through about a month before…this boat isn’t going anywhere

More photos of Dumaguete here.

Two Months in Asia

January 13th, 2013 No comments

Having visited the Philippines several times over the past two years, we knew that there would be a lot of fun family activities waiting for us once we moved here.  Looking back over the first two months since our arrival it’s amazing how many trips and memories we’ve made in such a short amount of time.  Below is a summarized list with links to photos documenting our experiences.  (linked photos are also displayed at the end of this post)

During the past two months, we……

 

…. and as if that wasn’t enough, over the next few months we’ll have three separate extended visits from friends and family (Nate and Laura + 3 kids, Ryan and Sarah + baby, and Felicia, who will accompany us to Thailand on a combined business trip + vacation)!

Photos from the links above:

Ayala Triangle Light Show

Ayala Triangle Light Show, meeting cousin Jennifer for the first time

Cebu Shangri-La

Cebu Shangri-La

Paragliding in Cebu

Paragliding in Cebu

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Cebu/Mactan Shangri-Law Cultural Performance and Buffet

Mactan Island Beach (Cebu, Shangri-La)

Mactan Island Beach (Cebu, Shangri-La)

Traditional dancing performed at a Bangkok restaurant

Traditional dancing performed at a Bangkok restaurant

Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

Long lost (found) cousins!  Jennifer, Kennybie, and Belinda

Long lost (found) cousins! Jennifer, Kennybie, and Belinda

Village volleyball tournament (Cousin Judith Grado)

Village volleyball tournament (Cousin Judith Grado)

Family picnic at Salagdoong Beach

Family picnic at Salagdoong Beach

Village Disco (Belinda and Robbie pictured)

Village Disco (Belinda and Robbie pictured)

Cantabon Cave

Cantabon Cave

Siquijor Cockfighting

Siquijor Cockfighting

Waiting with our cousins to find out if the ferry is canceled (typhoon)

Waiting with our cousins to find out if the ferry is canceled (typhoon)

We ran into 2nd cousins while driving around the island

We ran into 2nd cousins while driving around the island

We bought bread here almost everyday, and this employee is our cousin's cousin

We bought bread here almost everyday, and this employee is our cousin’s cousin

Junior doing the spider-man pose at Cambugahay Falls (Tia watching) (Siquijor)

Junior doing the spider-man pose at Cambugahay Falls (Tia watching) (Siquijor)

Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary (Siquijor)

Siquijor Butterfly Sanctuary (Siquijor)

Enchanted Tree (Siquijor)

Enchanted Tree (Siquijor)

Capilay Springs (Siquijor)

Capilay Springs (Siquijor)

Christmas dinner at our cousin's house warming party

Christmas dinner at our cousin’s house warming party

Firefly Cove B&B (Siquijor)

Firefly Cove B&B (Siquijor)

Taking the ferry back to Dumaguete

Taking the ferry back to Dumaguete

Hanging out with our cousins at Julie's Bakery

Hanging out with our cousins at Julie’s Bakery

This dentist in Thailand fixed  my tooth (until I could get back to Manila)

This dentist in Thailand fixed my tooth (until I could get back to Manila)

Christmas Party - Receiving the award for our performance

Christmas Party – Receiving the award for our performance

Ascott Halloween Party

Ascott Halloween Party

View from the Ascott (our temporary apartment for the first 9 weeks)

View from the Ascott (our temporary apartment for the first 9 weeks)

3rd place in the basketball tournament

3rd place in the basketball tournament

Mason's first professional haircut

Mason’s first professional haircut

Kalani at her new school (International School of Manila)

Kalani at her new school (International School of Manila)

A concert at the Mall of Asia

A concert at the Mall of Asia

American Cemetery

American Cemetery

Rizal Park

Rizal Park

PBA Playoffs

PBA Playoffs

The King and I

The King and I

Market Market in the fort

Market Market in the fort

Greenbelt Shopping Mall

Greenbelt Shopping Mall

Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano

Dampa Seafood Market

Dampa Seafood Market

Dinner at the Hobbit House

Dinner at the Hobbit House

Midget Boxing

Midget Boxing

Lunch and a movie (The Hobbit) with Lory and her husband Sugar :)

Lunch and a movie (The Hobbit) with Lory and her husband Sugar :)

3D Art

3D Art