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Family Reunion 2016

July 16th, 2016 No comments

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.

El Salvador

August 26th, 2011 7 comments

June 19, 2000 I boarded a plane and headed to El Salvador after spending 2 months at the Missionary Training Center learning Spanish and how to be a missionary. It was a crazy adventure and helped shape me into the person I am today. While in El Salvador there were 2 earthquakes (7.6 & 6.6 magnitude plus all of the aftershocks), rumors of starting another war, 9/11 happened, and all the other crazy things that happen when you live in a 3rd world country.

Aftermath of the January 13, 2001 earthquake

When I left the country on October 11, 2001 I didn’t really have any plans to ever return. Then we traveled to Matt’s mission in France and that was fun to see his areas and the people he taught. I kind of wanted to return to my mission, but it had to be for a good reason. When the prophet announced that a temple would be built there…that was the reason to return. I got in contact with a couple of my mission companions and we made the return trip happen. And of course there were many adventures.

135 operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Flor de Izote is the national flower of El Salvador and is seen in the decor throughout the temple

Youth Cultural Celebration

After 10 years it was nice to see that the country has made some progress. They now have a beautiful temple of the Lord in their own country. But, there were things that were also still the same…the food, people riding on the back of cars, animals on the side of the roads, beggars, friendliness of the people, etc.

Fit as many people you can, however you can is the rule in El Salvador

Salvador del Mundo is still there...drove around it a few times

Koloshanpan...the flavor of El Salvador

FAB...the laundry detergent we used as missionaries

We ate at this McDonalds every Monday before we did our shopping...It was called Hiper Pais, but Walmart took it over 3 months ago

El Salvadorean enchalada

Typical breakfast...eggs, beans and tortillas

PUPUSAS ... so yummy!

The roads aren't well kept...I drove around that big crack

I had a bad day driving...left the headlights on, needed to ask for a jump in Spanish, something needed to be replaced around the battery and the windshield wipers started to go off.

It was a great adventure and I am so happy that I was able to return to my mission with my mission companions. And if anyone wants to go to El Salvador (don’t know why you would unless you served a mission there and want to go back now) you should stay at the Hotel La Posada del Rey Primero. Super friendly staff, clean, near the city and temple and close to a yummy/inexpensive restaurant called Tipico Margoth.

A couple of the staff members "Here to serve us"

More photos of El Salvador

Categories: Travel Tags: , , , ,

Boys Away so the Girls Play

August 8th, 2010 2 comments

Matt had to go to California for work and had the brilliant idea to take Mason along with him since both of our parents live in California, and Mason is still FREE to fly.  The grandparents loved the opportunity to be with their grandson who they really only met at Christmas last year.  So that meant that Kalani and I would have a week of doing “girl things” or at least things that would be difficult to accomplish with 14 month old Mason!

So, here is what our week consisted of; plus some eating out and Kalani swimming at our aunt’s house:

Sunday – Kalani had her cousin Olivia spend the night

Laundy room painted with bead-board and trim

Monday – Kalani and Olivia watched my niece Jaedyn while I painted and put up bead-board and trim in my laundry room.  It turned out pretty well, especially since I didn’t know what direction I really wanted to go when I started.  Went to blockbuster and Baskin-Robbins to end the day.

Tuesday – Painted Mason’s room…nothing excited just the same color as the rest of  the house.  Attended a Hawaiian Family Culture class in the evening…going to try to learn how to make some of the traditional Hawaiian crafts.  And Kalani had her cousin Caleb spend the night

Toy Story 3 in 3-D

Wednesday – Watched “Toy Story 3” in 3-D and then went SHOPPING!  Kalani has been wearing the same 3 shirts and 3 jeans for the past 5 months…hopefully now she will change her wardrobe a bit and actually wear some shorts in the hot, humid Texas August!

1st fondant cake decorated

Thursday – My wonderful sister watched Kalani so I could attend the temple.  Then I took advantage of my alone time and finally used the massage gift certificate that I have had since I was pregnant with Mason.  After I picked up Kalani I went to a friend’s house and learned how to decorate a cake with fondant.  So, easy and fun…I think I may have cake decorating a part of our homeschool curriculum this year!

Jedi Kalani...or maybe a Bounty Hunter


Friday – Our year pass expires at the end of the month so we went to NASA for a couple of hours.  This summer they were showcasing Star Wars Clone Wars and Kalani was excited to try to be a Jedi.  I then had lunch with a friend from California and her daughter while we were down by NASA.

Kalani's idea of fun while I was being pampered

Saturday – I got a free facial at ULTA and then spent the day cleaning the house and doing laundry.  My reward for my hard work and for Kalani being such a good kid this week we went back to the movies and saw “Despicable Me”

Sunday – Matt and Mason got home and we are a happy family together once again.

I wore her out with all of our mother-daughter time

Categories: Family Tags: , , , ,