"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

November 30, 2009

Makai Family Thanksgiving Feast....

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving w/ my side of the family on Wednesday night so that all those who were married could celebrate w/ their in-laws on Thanksgiving day... we, as usual had a blast! I love getting together with family because we always seem to have a great time. This year our family was in charge of it, so at our FHE a couple weeks ago we divided up the food assignments....it turned out so nice, we had tons of food and it was all delicious!! Especially the dessert table, which is where I spent most of my energy!! Lol....

Marie and Lini put together some games to keep us entertained, and we were all laughing so hard. They played like a 'how well do you know your spouse' game and we were all rolling at some of the answers that were given.... Lol....

Tim & Siu

George & Sarah

Uili & Kathleen

Daniel & Denise

Misi & Sipola

I just love how we try to focus more on the kids, planning games and activities for them to have a fun and memorable time. That's the best of the holiday season, watching your children getting older, making memorable experiences and creating never-ending relationships with their families...something that will hopefully be carried on whe our kids are parents!!

We also did tug-of-war, musical chairs, and the kids got to smash a pinata.....

The tug of war was girls against boys..... of course w/ the help of their uncles, the girls kept on winning! :)

I can't say it enough, I love getting together and spending fun family time...especially during the holidays!

This is a picture of my brother & sisters w/ our grandpa Carr.... my mama's dad. So glad he could join us to celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday!
And of course Filimone always wants to take a shot w/ his Grampa Makai

So much to be Thankful for...

Thanksgiving is such a special time of year, a time to reflect back on all the many many blessings you have been blessed with, as well as a time for you to think about the trials and struggles you have been handed, that in some way or another have shaped you and molded you and made you a better person. In sitting here reflecting on this past year, I have so much to be thankful for.
First and foremost I am thankful for my handsome husband and eternal companion Ovaleni Fangupo. I'm grateful to him for loving me unconditionally, for being so patient, a great father, a good son to his parents and Ma and Tea, for making me laugh all the time, for giving me his shoulder to cry on when I have my cry-baby moments (which happen often), for spending quality time with me and our boys all the time. For his improving health, and for being a hard-worker. I'm grateful to him for giving me 2 handsome boys, and a little princess on the way. I'm so grateful to him for being him and for showing me how great life really is, regardless
of all the trials, drama, financial struggles or negativity that can arise. I love him so much and am so grateful for the blessing of him in my life. Second, I'm grateful for my children. I feel extremely blessed to have these two handsome little guys in my life. I'm a better person because of them. Makai, my kind-hearted 6 year old who
loves and cares about everyone. I'm so grateful for him, for how good he's doing in school, for the great example he is to Filimone, for listening and following directions, for his testimony, for running to me every time I come in the door to kiss me and tell me he loves me, for always wanting to help out around the house. I'm thankful that's he's healthy and strong and that he
wants to be just like his daddy when he gets older. I'm so thankfulfor my little monster Filimone... I'm thankful for his little personality and how he can be so loving and tender and at the same time be so rambunctious and crazy. I love how he follows Makai around and wants to be just like him. I'm thankful for Mone and love when he comes in the room while I'm sleeping just to kiss my forehead and tell me he loves me. I'm grateful for his protective nature and how he will stand up for me or his daddy, or his big brother...not matter who is bothering us. I'm so thankful for my healthy handsome boys and feel very very blessed to have been entrusted to raise them in this life. I'm also grateful for this pregnancy and the blessing I have to be receiving another little spirit to raise and take care of. I wait anxiously to be able to meet her and get to know her personality and the different blessings she will add to our little growing family. Third, I'm grateful for family... I could go on and on about my family. I'm so grateful for my parents, for my mom for being such a hard-worker and my dad for his unbelieveable faith in all things. I'm so grateful to them for being such great and loving grandparents and for being such good examples to all of us. I'm grateful for Ova's family, for loving and accepting me from day 1. I'm grateful for my brothers and sisters, both my Makai ones and my Fangupo ones. I'm so grateful for all my beautiful neices and nephews and the blessings they are to our family. I'm also grateful for all my aunties, uncles cousins and friends who basically are family. I'm grateful for the wonderful gospel in my life and for how much it has greatly blessed me. I'm grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ for his loving sacrifices and for loving me and my family unconditionally regardless of the mistakes we might make. I'm grateful for the miracle of forgivness and the knowledge that we can repent of our wrong doings and receive forgivness. I'm thankful for all the blessings that have touched my life because of the gospel. I'm thankful for temples, and for my husband who takes me to the house of the Lord every week. I'm thankful for friends who add so much to my life. Most of my friends are my family, or my husbands family and I just love them so much. Like the title of my post, I have so much to be thankful for.....

November 23, 2009

A Tribute to Kalolaine Katea

Tea is such a wonderful woman. She is the youngest daughter of Gramma Sa'ane, and Ova's "Aunt Mom." She raised him from the time he was a baby, and really I owe a lot of thanks to her for raising such a handsome, family-oriented, loving, wonderful man. Tea is the kind of person that is always giving of what she has, and she doesn't blink an eye at doing it. She's got a heart of gold and will do anything for anyone. The reason I wanted to do a tribute to her on my blog today is because she recently taught me a very valuable lesson... before I get into the lesson learned, I want to explain a little more about this wonderful woman. She is Ma's caretaker, and has pretty much taken that on as her life's purpose. Ma lost her husband, Grandpa Timote almost 30 years ago, and Tea has been by her side every day since then. It's funny because I knew Ova's family before we ever started dating, and Ma and Tea loved me from the beginning, I could feel their love. When I got home from my mission, I had heard that Ova was interested, but it was actually Tea that asked me for my number for her son (cause he was too shy...or whatever...lol) Ova and I started dating, and things progressed pretty quickly and I remember when Ova went and told her and Ma that we had decided to get married, she was so happy. Before Ova and I got married, he had the conversation with me that it was his responsibility to take care of them since they had taken care of him his whole life, just giving me the heads up that they were our responsibility.... Ova and I lived alone together for only 1 year, and after that, Ma and Tea moved in with us and we've been one big happy family since then! It's so true that you really get to know people and how they really are when you live with them.... I've gotten to know both Ma and Tea very very well, and I love them both so much just as if they were my own Mom and Grandma. Of course, we've had our differences, but we always seem to be able to work them out. Tea completely adores my boys, and she does anything and everything for them. They are spoiled rotten little brats because of her. They love their Gramma Tea so much!

Tea is the kind of person that always puts others before herself and finds joy and happiness in doing that. Tea is very smart and has, for several years, been making payments on Ma's funeral services to help aliviate the stress when the actual day does come. She bought burial lots, the casket, the vault, and even paid for the funeral services. Everything was paid for, except she still owed like $600 on the vault. Ova and I talk about it all the time, how grateful we are for Tea for being prepared and thinking of doing this before it happens so the family doesn't have to stress out. Well, as you know from my other posts, Ma has had quite a few scares in the past couple months, going in and out of the hospital and with the way she is talking about how she's ready to leave. Knowing that she's all set if that day were to come is very comforting.

Well, there is a family in our ward who tragically lost their mother a couple weeks ago. It was a very sad situation, especially because the mother was in good health and her death came very unexpectedly. We heard about her passing and our thoughts and prayers were with the family for comfort. A couple in the ward came over to visit with Ma and Tea, and they were talking about how the family is stressing out because they didn't have any preparations made for their mother's passing, and they didn't have the money to get everything they needed. The couple that was visiting continued to talk about what happened and how tragic it was for the mom to pass so suddenly. Tea got up and called Ova from the room. I had no idea what was going on, but Ova came and told me that he was running with Tea somewhere and that he would be right back. I didn't think anything of it, I just continued watching t.v. with my boys and Tea and Ova left. They came back a few hours later and I could tell they had been crying. I asked Ova what was going on, and he told me that they had just come back from the family's house.... Tea went and gave them the burial lot, the casket, the vault, and the services that she had been paying for for Ma. I can't even imagine how the family must have felt to receive such a blessing, especially when they had no idea how they were going to be able to come up with what they needed to give a nice funeral service and a nice resting spot for their mom. Ova told me that they couldn't stop crying and they kept calling her an angel, and an answer to their prayers. I still get teary eyed when I think about this huge act of service and kindness, and I feel guilty for the way I acted when Ova first told me. I didn't look at it from the point of view of the family, or of Tea being giving, I looked at it like "what the heck did she do that for? Ma is getting old, now what are we going to do when Ma passes" I was very selfish and obviously needed to learn a lesson from this. Ova was disgusted with my response, and he totally put me in my place (which I totally needed) and then I was able to realize the true love of Christ, and charity, and willingness to give of herself Tea had. In the 6 years they've lived with us, I've always seen this from Tea, she gives food to anyone who's hungry, she gives her clothes away, she gives her coupon stuff to anyone and everyone....and she never complains about it. If she only had $5 in her pocket to last her a week, she would give it away without ever thinking about it, that's just the kind of person she is. I have learned a lot from this wonderful woman and I'd like to think that I am a better person because of her. Thank you so much Tea for teaching me how to be more like Christ. I love you!

November 21, 2009

New Moon

So it was another successful girls night out w/ my beautiful Fangupo sisters: Tina, Alisi & Mua! Started out w/ dinner at Chili's where we did the 2 for $20 deal and ate WAY too much..... so delicious! Can't believe I got these tickets way back a few months ago, and the day finally came.... I think that's the earliest I've ever pre-paid to watch a movie and it was so worth it!!
Sittin' up against the top wall..... chillin' w/ our popcorn and sodas....
I must say, Jacob has sure grown up.... it was so funny to watch all the girls goo-goo and gaa-gaa'ing over him... but I must admit he was pretty ripped! :) Of course, the movie didn't do the book the justice it deserved, but I still Loved the movie!! Except that Bella totally pissed me off.... but she did in the book too! I'm so team Jacob, and I just totally hate how she runs to him when she's sad and then kicks him to the curb so quickly.... I was telling my SIL's after the movie that Jake should have been like "Hurry up and bite her already so I can kill her...." Lol.... "what you mean you don't choose me?" :) I know, a little drama.... Lol....
Alice was totally the winner though, cause everytime Jake would come on the screen w/ his shirt off, she would SCREAM.... Jacob is so freakin' fine.... Tina, Mua and I couldn't stop laughing... that was a side of Alice we'd never seen before! See what this movie can do to you.... it brings out your inner animal......Alice's inner warewolf!! Lol!! Too funny!
I totally love my sisters...thanks so much ladies for making the night so much fun!! :)
Now, Eclipse in June and Breaking Dawn in November!! Can't wait!

Us @ Chili's, getting our grub on!

Me & Tina... showing off our TEAM JACOB pins....

Mua & Alice
Us w/ Jacob & Edward.....

November 19, 2009

Another Scare...

While I was at work on Monday night, I got an urgent call from my husband letting me know that he was on his way to the hospital with Ma. He said she had a lot of blood coming out of both ends of her and it just wouldn't stop. Ova called 911 to send an ambulance because he thought it would take too long to for them to get her into the van and drive her themselves. The firetruck showed up within minutes of the call and about 10 paramedics/fire fighters came in to assess the situation. As soon as they walked in the room and saw all the blood, and smelt it...the head fire fighter said they were not waiting for the ambulance to come, that they would just rush her to the hospital in the fire truck. They loaded Ma into the fire truck and took off to the hospital (Ova and Tea followed behind them) She was in the emergency room for what seemed like FOREVER, and after several hours, they finally admitted her into the CVICU. Come to find out she had a bleeding ulcer in her stomach and that's what was causing all the blood. While she was in the emergency room, they had to give her some blood because she had lost so much. Once she was admitted, they gave her 3 more bags. I wanted so bad to leave work early to make sure she was okay, but Ova was on the phone w/ me constantly and told me to just stay because I would just be sitting w/ him in the waiting room if I left work. It was a LONG night at work that night! Finally I was off and I headed straight to the hospital.... Ova was there waiting for me and we went into the room so I could see her.... as soon as I walked into the room she started crying, which of course made me completely break down (I was trying really hard to keep my composure, but there was no way) I bent down and kissed her forehead and asked her if she was okay. She just kept telling me that she's ready to go now. Her body was weak and even though she had tons of blankets on her, she was so cold.... I just stood there and cried while her and Ova were talking. She just kept saying over and over that she was ready to go, the whole time with tears running down her cheeks. Ova asked her to hold on.... at least until baby Lautala was born so she could see her. Ma looked over at me and asked when I was going to have her, and I told her next month. She just shook her head ok and continued crying. I walked over to the side of her bed and she rubbed my stomach and talked to Lautala. It was a very very overwhelming experience, and so so sad. We all stood there in silence for about 15 minutes, just crying and then we kissed her and told her we'd be back tomorrow. I couldn't help myself that whole night, I just cried all night long....while Ova comforted me... it should have been the other way around. Tea stayed at the hospital that night with Ma and we called her bright and early in the morning to see how things were going. Tea said Ma was acting really strange all day night long, and especially that morning. Sau Lahi stopped by the hospital to see Ma before he headed out to Portland for work, and she broke down crying asking him why he would leave her when she's so sick. Sau started crying too and made arrangements to not have to go to Portland...he stayed with Ma at the hospital. Namu flew in from San Francisco to be with her mom, and Tea and Pisila were at the hospital too.... they said that Ma started singing, staring off into space, and the tears were flowing down her face.... Tea asking her why she was crying and she was telling them that she visited the place that she's going to... it was so beautiful... she was telling them that it was so bright and peaceful, and she didn't want to come back. She said it was the place that her husband prepared for her. It's just so crazy to hear her talk like that, the last time she got sick it was a total scare for all of us because of the way she was talking.... this time it seemed to be multiplied.

She ended up staying in the hospital for 4 days and was finally released last night because they fed her some soup and jello and she was able to keep it down. Ma is an incredible woman, so loving and caring and soft spoken...she's the backbone of the family and the one that keeps everyone together. All of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are so blessed to have her around and you can see how much she is loved.... we had a full house last night, tons of family there to welcome her home. It was Pisila, Line, Namu, Tauafu, Sau Leka, Ova, me and our boys.... and Mele, Li & Leka are flying in tonight. Sau Lahi stops by constantly to check on her, and Ova Lahi is trying to come out. She is very blessed and always surrounded by her loved ones. It's kinda crazy, because even with her going in and out of the hospital, she seems to be so healthy....she walks around, she laughs, she can hold a conversation, she remembers everyone.... it's just different because of the way she's talking. I think her body has a little while longer, but she wants to go. We are grateful that she's doing well enough to be at home and continually pray for comfort that whatever the Lord has planned for her, we will all be ready!

As you know, the swine flu outbreak has everyone all wound up...and the hospitals here in Utah are super strict with their new policy of only 2 visitors per patient and nobody under 12 allowed in the hospital. We were going to try to take our boys to see Ma while she was in the hospital, but watched as like 4 vehicles were turned away because they had little kids. We decided not to even chance it. Makai wasn't so happy, he really wanted to see his Ma. I explained to him that Ma really wants to see him too, but that there's a lot of sickness going around right now and it's really bad if kids get sick...so the doctors won't let them go to the hospital. I went and bought him and Mone some paper and crayons and markers and told them to write a letter to Ma and we would take it to her when we went to see her. They spent pretty much 4 days straight writing letters and drawing pictures for their grandma....

We took a couple of their letters to Ma while she was in the hospital and hung them in the room so she could see them.... and when she cam home last night, they gave her ALL the rest of them...

This is Makai explaining one of his letters to Ma

This is Filimone explaining his letter

All their letters and drawings
They sure do LOVE their Great-Grandma!

A Lesson Learned

A lesson to my boys from their father:

You always need to wear a white shirt and tie to church on Sundays....other color shirts are okay to wear to meetings and dances, but wearing white on the Sabbath shows our love and respect for the Lord and his sacred services that are held that day.

Also a lesson to me, if I dress them in white shirts and ties every single Sunday, they will get in the habbit of wearing it....I'm teaching them to be like missionaries!!

So, I know this post is random....but my husband always gets irritated at me when I throw a collared shirt on my boys for church....and in the summer time, I will admit that I put shorts on them w/ a nice collared shirt, not necessarily a white one.... now I understand his reasoning... and what's more important is my boys understand. This may just be Ova's point of view on a small thing we can do to show respect to our Heavenly Father....but I love the little life lessons he teaches our children!

November 16, 2009

Showered with Love

People keep asking me when I'm due, and I can officially say "next month" now...can't believe how fast time has just flown right by. Ova and I joke about having to go back to buying diapers and wipes, and waking up at all hours of the night.... but really, it's no joke. Those wonderful times are soon approaching and it's time we really prepare ourselves again. We sometimes wonder how much life is going to change with this little one...not only because it's a little girl, but everyone tells us that going from one child to two isn't that different, but the difference between two children to three is HUGE..... One thing we know for sure, is we are super duper excited!

This past Saturday was a very special day for me, and for my little baby girl.... because my sisters (bless their hearts) put together a baby girl shower for me.... to be completely honest, I felt a little ackward having a shower since I already have kids, but I don't think they know how much I really really appreciate them for doing it, because we had nothing little girl in our house at all. They just invited a few people, pretty much first cousins or their wives.... it turned out so nice, and I was showered with a bunch of pretty pink girly things.... I just love my sisters, on both sides and hope they know how much I really love and appreciate them for always being there for me and my little family!

Tina was the shower photographer....and got some really good shots...
This is the delicious food they prepared...like usual, there was WAY TOO MUCH, but it was delicious and we ate all night long! Leslie and Marie decided to go with the fondue theme, and it was a huge success! One side of the table had the chocolate fondue fountain...with anything you could think of to dip in it.... strawberries, pretzels, bananas, strawberry flavored pink marshmellows, angel food cake peices, rice krispie treats.... it was so good!


On the other side of the table was the cheese fondue... oh my goodness, it was to die for! It was a spinch/artichoke/cheese dip and they had a variety of things to dip in it, like wheat bread peices, broccoli, crackers, pita bread, peices of ham...it was so good!
Then Tea/Alisi/Tina made some egg sandwiches, tarts, cookies, and banana bread... and it was all set up and decorated so nice!

Above is my little sister Marie, playing fun shower games...
Here's me opening my gifts....my little neices were such good helpers!!

And some shots of the family that came....
Siosiana w/ baby Pailate & Mua w/ baby TiTonga

Pisila Lupe w/ Alisi & Pisila Lupe w/ Ana Lavoni

My 1st cousin Emily w/ her baby girl Sakara

Alisi & Barbara

Kesa & Baby Fui

Some of my neices & nephews w/ me

Barbara & Marie

My little brother Misi

Leslie, Talia & Me

Pisila Lupe, Amelia, Halle

My 1st cousins Lexi, Cindy Leka and my Auntie Denise

Lomu sisters Lavi, Hine & Ani

Siosi, Ruby, Kesa & Mua w/ the baby boys

Siosi, Baby Pailate & Polu

Lovely Lomu Ladies.... Barbara, Kesa & Auntie Ana

My Bestest Talia & I

My little brother Misi & his girlfriend Sipola Fakalata

My Fangupo Sisters and I.... Christina/Me/Alisi

My Makai siblings.... Marie/Misi/Monica/Leslie

It was so wonderful to be able to spend the day with family and friends! I'm so grateful for them... now when my little princess comes next month, I will be a little more prepared. I love you guys!