Monday, December 20, 2010

The Simplicity of Walking. . . . .

I love taking walks with the kids & even by myself. It makes me feel so fortunate to be alive & healthy. It is something so rejuvenating to be outside with nature & to just breathe fresh air. Who would've ever thought that such a simple act could feel so good. :D

I take my 3 younger ones on walks daily along w/our dog, Titan. They love it & look forward to it as a means for them to leave the house & get their wiggles out. :D I also look forward to it because it gives me an opportunity to burn some extra calories. Lol. Another reason is because I want my kids to be exposed to living a healthy lifestyle. Being outgoing. I want them to experience the simple things in life & know that they don't have to go to Disneyland to be happy. Happiness is found in the most simplest of things. Something else I've found that comes from our daily walks is the conversations we have. The quality time & attention they get from me & I from them. It's priceless. :D The sense of humor & unique personality of children always leaves me in AWE. They uplift me with their innocence without even trying. I love them so much.

I've always known that if you do something that makes you feel good about yourself, about life, about others. . . . .then it's definitely something worth continuing to do. And this is something I will never give up doing. When we lived in Riverton/South Jordan area, Hoko & I would drive to the Daybreak Lake & just walk it. It's a little under 3.5 miles around it & it's beautiful. Now we're here in Ogden & the funny thing is. . . . .it's just as beautiful walking our neighborhood as it was when we walked the lake. :D

Hoko's been home for a little over a week now & we've been able to take our walks together with all half a dozen kids. :D We had a little snowball fight in the middle of it. We have a 'AGE IS NOTHING, BUT A NUMBER' rule in this. In other words?? No mercy!! Hahahahaha!! Way too much fun for some more than others. Lol.

It was great fun admiring the different homes/architecture of the neighborhood as well as the different decorations people had up. Even the Christmas trees shown through the windows of different homes. I love being able to see the personalities/styles that reflect through the decor of the individual homes. We walked 4 blocks down & 4 blocks back. It started to rain towards the end of our walk, so we were kinda soaked. But we enjoyed the small talks we have during these walks which I know for sure probably wouldn't take place otherwise. I'm grateful for the simple things in life. The complicated things take up too much time & sometimes. . . .too much money. Lol. And aren't even worth it cause it's so easy to get lost in it & before you know it, it's over & you're left asking yourself if it was worth it.

Well, on this particular walk last Saturday, we had the wonderful opportunity of meeting one of our neighbors who came out to meet us when she saw Titan. She also has an English Bulldog. A girl. Same age as Titan. Her name is Ema & she wants to breed her with our lil fella. :D We've been looking into getting a girl dog like Titan to breed them so we can sell the puppies. Just a little something to make an extra income. We quickly exchanged information & we'll be hearing from our neighbor down the street as soon as her Ema is in heat. :D We're excited. The highlight of our walk wasn't just about meeting Ema, but also her owner. Who goes by the name of Tina. She just moved here as well. But from California. She seems awesome & we look forward to getting to know her & her children over time. I feel nothing, but gratitude for so many continuous blessings. I love this time of year. :D

One of my therapeutic releases?? Walking!! I highly recommend it to EVERYONE. :D

Saturday, December 18, 2010

1st Annual Tu'akoi Gingerbread House Making Activity :D

Yesterday we got a phone call from Fine saying that Polu wanted all of us to get together & have the kids make gingerbread houses. What was supposed to be a competition between our individual families was now turned into an activity for only the kids. Polu cancelled that competition stating that this activity should be FUN for the kids. Not the adults, I guess. Hahahaha!! So we packed the kids in the van & headed to Winco for graham crackers, all sorts of candies & different colored marshmallows. The kids had a blast picking everything out. :D Hoko & I on the other hand?? Not so much chasing them all over the store. Lol.

We grabbed a bite to eat before heading down to Salt Lake for the night. It was GREAT!! All the kids got to make their own gingerbread homes. Sila was the LUCKY DUCK that partnered up w/her dad & ended up with the BIGGEST gingerbread house of the night. :D We put all the houses together after we were all done & this was the end result!! :D They turned out great & the kids were MOST excited about getting to eat it afterwards. I'm positive that next year we, as in all the adults, will be ready & equipped with what we need to go ALLLLL OUT on our gingerbread houses. Especially Sheena & Taeao!! Hahahahaha!! Their competitive spirit kept going further & further down the drain with Hoko working right over their shoulders. LMBO!! All in all, we had great family time spent together & another memorable night to go down in the books. :D

Monday, December 13, 2010

Grateful :D

Sunday always seems like the day of the week that I get to wind down & be spiritually uplifted. And when that happens, it leaves me feeling 'GRATEFUL' for God's hand in my life. And the role it plays in every aspect of it.

Hoko's been home since Wednesday night. :D And I've been all SMILES since then. I've missed him so much & I can't believe how much this guy does for me. I've had all of our home decor from our old house just sitting around waiting to hang themselves up on the walls & he comes home & gets that all done. :D It's been great. It makes our home feel so much more homier!! If that's even a word. Lol. Especially with the holidays here. We've been getting so many things done around the house, thank goodness, & I really am such a happy camper right now.

Hoko was able to attend church with us at our new ward & it's so crazy how 'small' of a world it really is. Case in point. . . .we were running a little late to church today & we start with classes first. There was only 10 min left of relief society and I didn't wanna interrupt the spirit that's always present by walking in, looking around to find a seat, & then finally getting seated so we waited it out in the foyer. Hoko, Savou & I. Sacrament was coming to an end for another ward that we share the building with. As the members of this ward were leaving, they stopped to see if we were new members of their ward & we politely shook hands with a couple of them & nodded our heads 'no.' Then one brethren came up, did the same thing, but when we said 'no' he started talking in Tongan to us. We were quite surprised, not just because the color of his skin clearly revealed to us that he was caucasian, but also cause we didn't see any polynesians come out behind him. He explained to us that he served a mission in New Zealand & that one of his companions was Tongan. Ed Hansen. What a small world!! Let me explain. When my parents decided to move our family here to Utah, we stayed with Bishop Ed Hansen & his family. Bishop being the father of Ed Hansen who served a mission with this lovely fella. :D We continued talking & before you know it?? We had an invitation to spend FHE with his family tomorrow night. We humbly accepted & now I am just so EXCITED to be getting to know more people here.

There isn't any other way to explain it, but the fact that there is a God. That He's mindful of my family & I. That He loves me. That He knows me better than I know myself. That He knows the desires of my heart. That He knows my needs even before I do. That He understands every bit my need to be able to raise my children up righteously. That He sends people into my life to remind me just how much He loves me even though He knows I can't quite comprehend His fullness. That He continues to bless my life through even the most simplest of things that go easily unnoticed. That He can forgive me so willingly & help me to do better. That He came & gave his life for me, a sinner, as the ULTIMATE example for me to follow in His footsteps & as if that wasn't enough?? That He even lightens my load by carrying the weight of the world from off of my shoulders if I so, but ask in humble & sincere prayer. He is the very reason why I am so very grateful for everything in my life. The good, the bad & the ugly. The good because it helps me to become more like Him. The bad because it helps me learn life lessons I know I need in order to progress & proceed in my life. And the ugly because it teaches me that with patience & endurance, through the UGLINESS this world has to offer, those simple principles that were taught to me because I was 'born of goodly parents,' I am now able to know that in the most UGLIEST of situations comes blessings in disguise that we aren't able to receive unless we go through these UGLIEST of experiences. And for that I am grateful. :D

It seems that there is so much to be excited for in life. So I am very optimistic for the future & feel very fortunate to have been born knowing the 'truth of all things.' May we continue to have the holiday spirits within our hearts & carry the attitude of gratitude all year long. Christmas is about much more than just presents. Christ lived his life serving others. And yet on this, His birthday, we celebrate it by giving gifts to everyone else that we sometimes forget whose birthday we're celebrating. May we all continue to remember the reason for the season. Happy Holidays. :D

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Turning A New Chapter In Life. . . . .

Taken outside of our new place before dropping Hoko off @ the airport to head back to Michigan :(

Today was our first Sunday attending our new ward here in Ogden. And I am feeling tremendous blessings from a loving father in heaven who I know, knows me by name. :D

When we arrived at church, I walked the older kids to primary n while I knew they were nervous, they walked in with a such a reverence that would make any parent proud & I held my breath as I turned & walked the opposite direction towards the nursery to drop baby Hoko off there. My brave little man of the house, as his dad refers to him & reminds him of his title/responsibility here at home while he's away. He was a little quiet & shy as he met his new teacher & then was shown to the toys where his eyes lit up & he happily forgot that he was in a new ward. :D This only left Savou & I. We wandered the halls in hopes of finding the relief society room, but I was distracted at the ward bulletin board in the hallway. It was filled with upcoming events, including the ward Christmas celebration this Saturday, the ward temple night this Wed, employment classes being taught to the unemployed as well as the under-employed, marriage classes being offered on a weekly basis to young married couples, young adults, & then also married couples in general. I was amazed!! While I was reading up on all these things, the Bishop approached me & introduced himself. I did the same & we talked a little bit. Then he showed me to the RS room & I was shocked. There were so many sisters in there. I quickly took my seat & was immediately overcome with such a strong spirit whose presence was in the room. The lesson was on being more Christlike & forgiving. Being more mindful of others. It was great. Then the RS President got up to close & she bore testimony of visiting teaching. She said how there are 269 sisters in the ward & only 170 heard the message last month. She pled with the sisters to please share the message with their assigned sisters this month so that everyone could feel the love of Christ this holiday season. Her testimony was so touching. Was so sincere. She had such a Christlike spirit & it has motivated me to really focus on what this Christmas season is really about. Service to others. Compassion to others. Forgiveness of others. I am truly thankful for this gospel & the examples of those around me.

There was a sister sitting next to me that introduced herself to me afterwards. Come to find out, we live on the same street & her husband works overseas so she's home with her kids as well. She gave me her number & addy in case I need anything. And then another sister stopped & introduced herself as well. She also lives on the same street & wrote her number & addy down as well. With Hoko working out of town most of the time, I sat there & was overcome with such gratitude to such a loving father in heaven who understands wholeheartedly what I go through day in & day out as a mother of six, struggling to teach my kids 'righteous principles' in hopes that we will ALL return home & continue to be an eternal family.

I was passed the attendance folder to sign my name & was in awe of the different tabs in there. When first opening it up, there was a sign up sheet for this Tues night between 7-8:15 pm for free babysitting services at the church so that parents can go do Christmas shopping. And the page after that had an email address written down asking for favorite recipes that will be put in a book that one of the sisters is putting together for the RS sisters. How awesome is that?? :D I am so EXCITED to be a part of this ward & feel so blessed to be amongst such wonderful members.

While it's always so nerve wrecking, exciting, tiring, frustrating & much needed when turning a new chapter in life. . . . .there's always the reassurance of continuing in faith believing that no matter what, if you focus an unwavering life with Christ at the center, you will always succeed. I love my husband & am so grateful for his sacrifice in providing for our family so that I can be a stay at home mom to our kids as well as a full time college student. I love him for loving me despite my weaknesses & for his continuous support in all my endeavors. He says that he doesn't know what it is about Ogden, but that he LOVES living out here. WOW!! Lol. That's definitely something to be excited about. Life is looking a little more like Christmas around here & may we all remember the reason for the season. :D Happy Holidays. :D

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wasatch Elementary Presents. . . . .

That's the name of the new elementary school the girls go to. It's not exactly new, by any means, but it's new to them since the move. Last night they had their Christmas Program to kick off the holiday season. And it was GREAT!! I was so impressed by the way it was all put together & most importantly. . . .the promptness of getting the kids on & off the stage. Mind you, these are all elementary aged children K-6th grade. It was AWESOMENESS in it's fullest power. If that makes any sense. Lol. The performances were so organized, simple, but very entertaining. Here are some pics from the night. It totally got me in the holiday spirit & I'm so ready 4 Christmas!! Excited!! :D

Thanksgiving's Over Already??

December is in FULL SWING & I'm still recovering from Thanksgiving. Lol. Maybe cause Hoko came home for a 4 day visit & I'm wishing he was still here. :( But I'm so grateful that he's still working & providing for us. He's in Kalamazoo, MI. Exactly 1,521.78 driving miles away, which would take 22 hrs & 26 min of driving time to get there all the while driving through 5 states!! Wow!! This is the 1st time he's working in the eastern time zone. He's been there since Sept & last week was the 1st visit home he got. :( But we had such a BLAST!!

Ugh. . . .so far

As soon as we picked him up from the airport, we headed straight to the Gateway for some much needed family time. We watched MEGAMIND, which I must add was soooo flippin' HILLARIOUS!! We loved it!! :D After that, we bought the kids some food & met up with my parents at a bakery downtown & they went with grandma & grandpa for a sleep over. Hoko & I were long overdue for an anniversary date night. After all, it was only our 10 yr anniversary that just passed in October. Lol.

Hoko asked me where I wanted to go & I immediately said, "TEXAS ROADHOUSE!!" I'm a die hard steak & potatoes kinda girl & I've been dying to try this place out. It was my first time there & they did NOT disappoint. We got their famous cheese fries as well as their complementary dinner rolls with honey butter. Mmmm Mmmm GOOD!! It was DEE-LISH!! We weren't even able to finish our main course. So we boxed it up & headed home. Hoko hadn't seen our new place that we've made HOME at, but I was so happy that he LOVED it just as much as I do. :D

The next day was Thanksgiving & our first stop was my parents house. Everything was ON POINT that I couldn't stop eating. I was STUFFED. And yet we still had Hoko's family dinner to head to. :D It was a GREAT day/evening. The kids were so full that they hella knocked out on the drive home, which made it easier for Hoko & I to sneak out & check out Walmart for black Friday that started at midnight. But that didn't last long. When we got there, there were no carts available. It was too packed to even walk around. And we weren't prepared with any kind of list on what to get and what was on sale. So we quietly turned around & walked out of the store totally empty handed. Lol. Which was GREAT for our bank acct anyway. Hahaha. . . .We came straight back home & slept the night away. :D Which was even better. :D

The next day we headed to the 'LIGHTS UP' celebration at Temple Square. Met up with my sis, Fine & her family. And they came totally equipped for the night with a cooler of cocoa that we made good use of cause it was FREEEEZZZZZIIIIIIINNNNNNGGGGG!! We had a blast as we do every year & even had the chance to run into Sister Lautaha. :D I'm so proud of her. And just the day before, we had the wonderful opportunity of running into Elder Lautaha. :D I'm truly blessed & I love my families all so much!! :D

Saturday night came & it was Hoko's last night. We decided to head to the Junction, which is pretty much the hotspot here in downtown Ogden. That place is AWESOME!! There's so much to do. Bowling, swimming, skydiving, surfing, restaurants galore, movies & more. :D We went out to eat with the kids at Golden Corral & then headed to the Megaplex 13 to watch 'TANGLED.' Another CUTE movie to add to the collection of movies we've seen this year. :D The girls LOVED it!! :D It was a GREAT way to spend Hoko's last night in town. But I'm happy to report that he should be home in a couple of weeks for the rest of the winter months that he gets to spend at home with us. :D Yay!! :D I love him so much!! :D