Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Family Night Hike. . . . .

Last night we took the wonderful opportunity of hiking up Strongman Trail to Waterfall Canyon. It started out very exciting cause we'd never been on this hike before & so the kids were anxious about it all day. Lately it seems that Hoko & I have really come to love the outdoorsy recreation that Ogden has to offer. We took a drive out to Cache Nat'l Forest Campgrounds that is literally like a 15-20 min drive from our home. There's a beautiful lake there with a beach/marina area for families to go swimming. They also offer fishing there. We're planning to head there this weekend with the kids.

Anyways, back to hiking. What started out exciting, started turning into feelings of frustration on would we ever get there?? We literally got lost three or four times before we found some fellow hikers that were heading to the same place & we were able to get our butts on the right track. Lol. Had we not gotten lost so many times, we'd have shaved off an hour or two of our overall time. The kids were such TROOPERS & didn't complain much at all. Savou hiked up the WHOLE way on his own & Hoko & I took turns carrying him on the way down. All the rest of our kids did such an AWESOME job & they all agreed that it was worth it once we finally reached the top. Which I must add that we will NEVER do this hike again with all our kids until they're older cause it's actually quite a difficult hike for your average adult. But such a GREAT workout & one of those that once the destination's reached, is breath taking!! :D I didn't know I took so many pictures so enjoy. . . . .I feel like these pics don't do the real thing any kinda justice. But I can't wait to head up this trail again soon.

There were so many times that I wanted to flat out give up & turn around, but I didn't want to let my kids down. Seeing how determined THEY were to reach the top was so invigorating, yet so humbling for me. So I kept my thoughts quiet & kept encouraging myself to keep pushing on. When we got back last night, Hoko said that he was thinking the same thing. And we both realized that this has been the story of our lives. Ever since we started our journey as a family, we've set goals, re-set them, changed them altogether & even gotten off track totally & been lost. We've looked back on our lives so far & can specifically pin point areas that were exactly the way our hike went. With our kids totally being the driving force behind our motivation to get back on track & focus. And then there were the times when Hoko & I needed each other in taking turns passing our kids back & forth between each other in order to carry them through their rough times. It was such an incredible experience & I will never forget it. Our oldest, Aaliyah, totally took charge & clearly proved the reason why she's the oldest of our six kids. She's responsible, caring, loving & very aware of her younger siblings. Hoko & I didn't have to ask her to step up to certain responsibilities that I would've thought we would have to. She is AMAZING & I love her so much. Lote si'i was her loving, constantly supportive & encouraging self. She was constantly looking out for everyone else during our hike & I was so grateful for her child like spirit. Polu Marie was pretty much miserable because we had gotten lost so many times. She gave up on us & wanted to turn back long before we reached the top. And even when we did reach the top, she wasn't as excited about it as the rest of us. Lol. But she kept her complaints very minimal & was patient with all of us in our effort to complete the task at hand. So for that, I am grateful to her. :D Sila didn't join us. She was at a sleep over at her auntie Lote's house. Baby Hoko was absolutely remarkable!! He reminded me of the times when Hoko would get sent out of state for work & he would be on the phone with him. . . . .Hoko would always tell him that he was the man of the house & to take care of us while he was gone. *tears* Well, he demonstrated that yesterday & continues to impress us with his four year old nature. He was constantly racing with his older sisters wanting to be in the front because he wanted to 'show us the way.' Lol. On the way down he fell on the rocks, but he's always been our one that holds his emotions inside if he can. Considering that he's only four, he's not always successful. But the fact that he tries so hard to take things on with out complaining or crying always leaves me feeling so heartfelt for him. Even when he gets beat up by his bully of a cousin, Spencer, (hahaha) he'll hide so as to not let any of us see that he's hurt. Stinky Spencer!! Lol. I ended up giving Baby a piggy back ride a little ways down the hill cause his knee hit the rocks pretty badly when he fell. My husband was so patient. I am literally in awe of the way Hoko & I seem to balance each other out. Especially at times when it's needed most. When I was ready to give up, he would encourage me along the way. When his legs were shaking uncontrollably from carrying Savou on our uphill climb, it was like my mind went into some kind of survivor mode & I had the strength to take over for a little while. I love my family so much & the experiences that we share never fails to teach me more & more of the unconditional love Heavenly Father has for each & every one of us. It's mind boggling to even try to consider it being a parent myself & thinking of the overwhelming love I have for my own children. I'm eternally grateful for the opportunity to continue to progress & grow through the different strokes that life throws our way. :D Til next time. . . . .

Thursday, June 9, 2011

'Untie the Rope'

I got an email from Tyler Perry a couple of days ago that I was pretty excited to read, as I always am. Well, I guess I shouldn't try & make it sound like it was 'only' to me, which is pretty hard when it begins with, "Hey there, Fiona. You good?" Lol. . . . .but I subscribe to his email listing & it goes out to a TON of people. But even if it didn't start out like that, you'd think you had it like that with him cause of the way he's able to speak about such personal matters in his email. When his mom passed away, I got an email & it was so touching. I could totally feel his hurt over her loss.

Anyways, the main principle of this email was about untying the rope. Something I think everyone NEEDS to hear every once in awhile. He talks about just finishing up a shoot for a movie, called Good Deeds, that'll be out next Feb. But how he was taking a break & going to the Grand Canyon for some hiking, climbing, & so on because he still had 20 lbs to lose for his next movie project called Alex Cross. Here's what he says:

At one point in the climbing, I was over a steep drop and was tied to a safety rope, while a buddy’s safety rope was tied to me. It was my responsibility to help him up, since I was bigger and weighed more. I told him, “I’ll hold on to you to help you up but if you start to pull me over with you, I’m going to untie this rope.” We had a good laugh about it, but I was serious…

I started thinking about that moment a few days ago. How many times are we tied to a person, people or things that are pulling us down and we won’t untie the rope? For whatever reason, be it family, friends, society, or just the feeling of being obligated, trapped or that if you don’t, no one else will. I have watched so many people go over a cliff with a person that they are trying to help up, it’s sad. YOU MUST UNTIE THE ROPE!!!

This is your life and you are wasting it being tied to someone who is destroying his or her opportunities and yours. If the person that you are trying to help does not know that they are worth being saved, how do you expect them to put any value on you saving them? You’re not worth it to them. They can’t get it! SO YOU NEED TO! Listen to me, untie the rope and don’t lose yourself trying to hold on to someone who can’t survive on your level. You hear me? Maybe they have gone as high as they can go. Just because you can survive on that level doesn’t mean that everyone else can. Stop trying to help them, UNTIE THE ROPE! I know you may feel this is cruel, but what is more cruel is dying a death that’s not your own. Letting your destiny go to hell because someone else pulled you there. Are you kidding me? That isn’t God!

Here is what I have learned over the almost 20 years that I have been in this business. Let me tell you, I have seen and worked with some of the most talented people you can imagine and I used to wonder why they never got any higher than they are. You know, the kind of people who always seem to be at the door, but never can go in. It used to blow my mind until I got a revelation from God.

For many years I was the same way, I would get close and things would fall apart. I couldn’t get any traction, not in my career, not in my personal life and not in the pursuit of happiness. I just couldn’t move forward. Through much prayer and self-discovery, I found out that I used to be, notice I said “USED TO BE,” a self-saboteur. I would find a way to subconsciously destroy every good thing that was in my life and I didn’t even know I was doing it. Most self-sabotaging people don’t know that they are doing it. I don’t think there is anyone sadder than a person who blames everyone else, but themselves for their situation. The very revelation that I was causing my own problems was one of the greatest blessings God could have allowed me to see. Once I realized the behavior, I was able to change it. That is why my life is in such a great place right now. I realized that my very thoughts were keeping me from being successful at everything. “So, as a man thinketh, so is he.”

Many times a lot of us sabotage subconsciously because of what mamma or daddy said, traumatic childhoods or any number of things that happened growing up that made us feel that we shouldn’t have or that we didn’t deserve it. I’m here to tell you all, that misinformation was wrong. You do deserve it! You are worthy of it! For me, knowing that Jesus died and rose again makes me know we are all worthy.

Why am I saying this? I’m just tired of people being upset with people who have realized their dreams. The only difference in someone who is living their dream and someone who can’t get it to come to pass is they don’t feel they deserve it. They don’t feel they are worthy of it. So many of us have dreams, dreams that the world is waiting for, talents that will help heal and change nations, but we keep destroying our own successes. I know for a fact that if I had not figured this out, you wouldn’t be reading this email right now. Nor would I be a happy soul.

The world is waiting for your gift. Give it to yourself and you will give it to them, but first you have to UNTIE THE ROPE.


How amazing it he?? I am so grateful for this man who is so on top of his gift that Heavenly Father's blessed him with It's inspiring & encouraging on days when things just don't seem to be looking up.

We all have people or things in our lives that are pulling us down from being able to 'REALIZE' our dreams to it's fullest. We need to untie those ropes. We need to let go of those things or we will be pulled farther & farther away from where we should & can be. At this present time in my life, I feel there are a few people that both my husband & I need to 'UNTIE THE ROPE' with in order for us to grow in the pursuit of our dreams/goals. It seems that the adversary is never ending in his ongoing efforts to relinquish us of our strive to be better. In our reassurance that WE are sons & daughters of God & that we have been endowed with the ability to achieve whatever it is we believe we can. That simple, but oh so powerful a principle can 'save a nation.' In the wise words of the one & only Beyonce. :D

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Politics Anyone??

But does it even matter?

So we had quite the heated discussion in my history class this morning. And personally, for me, it was wayyyy to dang early for any kinda heated anything. Lol. But I listened to the different views of my classmates and quickly became really involved in my thinking about this discussion. We were talking about the electoral college. I've never been into politics or anything, but becoming a mom has changed a lot things including this. :D So my professor went on to explain that the electoral college was created when conditions in the 1700's were a lot different from today. Education was only available to those that could afford it, which was definitely not many people at the time, traveling conditions were horrid, to say the least, and you had to be a white male, 21 years of age and older, own land and actually be a member of a church. If you didn't meet any of the above, you couldn't participate in voting. Well, on top of all this, congress still felt that the average American out there weren't intelligent enough to make a smart decision when it came to picking a president so they came up with the electoral college. Each state had a certain amount of representatives according to population and whatever the majority vote of the state is, that's the vote that counts in the electoral college. As of now, Utah has 6 electoral votes, whereas California has 55. Because of the fact that they have a TON of more people living there. And even if the vote is a simple majority, it still counts to whoever the majority of the vote goes to. If there isn't a majority vote for any ONE candidate, then it goes to the House of Representatives and they decide who will be the next president. Not taking into consideration the voice of the people as to what their decision will be. It's just a flat out, whoever they want it to be. And they did this on purpose thinking that this is how it would turn out every time. Not knowing that this would be the exception.

Is that crazy or what?? So the heated discussion was on how it's understandable for this electoral college to have made sense in the 1700's because our country was still evolving as a people & growing, but now that we have evolved & so much time has passed where information is available to us at the click of a mouse, or a switch of a button, or even on hand held devices. . . .why are we still living in the 1700's with this electoral college still around?? How is it that if we live in Utah, where it is by far a republican state, that if you're a supporter of the democratic party, your vote pretty much doesn't count because it's not the majority??

This doesn't even make sense to me. We live in a time where every ONE person is supposedly supposed to have a voice & be heard, but with this electoral college, only the majority is heard. Back when Al Gore was running against President George Bush, he had the MOST votes as a whole, but President Bush won with the most electoral votes. That's like a slap in the face from the government of this country that individual voices/votes DON'T count cause if you're not a part of the majority in your state, you're outta luck, but please try again in four years. Annoying much?? I think so!! And so did 99% of my classmates. Well, times have changed & if we are supposed to have a voice, then we better start educating ourselves in these matters because this is the future of our upcoming generations & they & WE deserve better than this. With the current state of our nation right now, we probably NEED to or we will sink & burn, if that's even possible (lol). Maybe I should try law school when I finish up at the U. Follow in the footsteps of some of my family members that are currently practicing law right now & even the ones that are entering law school. Hah!! We'll see.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Four Weeks. . . .

Four weeks. . . .that's how long my mom's trip to Fiji was. Seemed like FOREVER at first, but as always, as the time got closer to her returning, it flew by & next thing we knew. . . . .we were all at the airport awaiting her arrival. :D There's a reason why CERTAIN people in your life are missed more than others. And my mom's list can go on FOREVER!! :D

I think it's safe to say that the grand-kids missed her the MOST. We all headed to my parents' place afterwards & ATE wayyyy too much. But it felt so good to be together with my parents & siblings as well as families from out of state.

My mom's main purpose for her trip was to go acquire land for our family that's been divided amongst us siblings, to farm crops on in hopes of turning a profit & starting a family business that can be passed down to our children & generations to come. One thing that I love about my parents is the fact that they're always looking to the future. How can they leave something behind that we, as their children, will be able to carry on with our own little families & make something out of it has always been their goal. I've learned so much from these two role models of mine & I will be eternally in their debt for the way they've raised me.

Our plan, if things go well, is to be able to spend our summers in Fiji, once I'm done with school, & work on the farm as well as do some kind of humanitarian aide for the people there. I'm hoping in the long run that I'll even be able to open up a pharmacy there. Who knows?? The possibilities are endless. The kids are excited about the family farm & I hope that excitement stays with them forever, but more importantly. . . . .I hope we'll be able to do some good there. My mom has a lot of family there that will be taking care of the crops while we're here in hopes of being able to provide a living for their own growing families. It's been in the works for the past couple of months now & we're heading to Fiji in December to legalize each of our parcels of land. It's a very EXCITING process in the works. Nevertheless, it'll take a lot of hard work & patience on our end in order to see this through to fruition. Hoko & I have talked about the many possibilities that this could turn in to & we both see the Lord's hand in all of it. It's crazy how we've been able to tie certain events in our lives to our future that we never would've imagined had anything to do with it. And that's when the Lord comes in. Where He sees things that we can't. Where He knows what's best even when we don't. And how He always comes through on his end & then some, when we fall short.

Our hopes in the end of all this is that our children learn to be more charitable. More giving. Closer to each other. Closer to the Lord. That would be more than enough for me & I would give anything for THAT kind of success. :D

Pictures coming soon. . . . like when I get home from school. Lol.