"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

May 31, 2010

My Tapa Pictures...

Yay!  I'm so excited!  I've had these tapa designs pretty much since Ova and I got married and have never had the chance to use them.  Every time a family member goes to Tonga, I always ask them to bring me back a tapa design...these are the three I have. 

They weren't framed,  I was having a hard time finding frames for them because they are odd shapes, and I didn't want to use them w/out frames because I didn't want them to rip or get damaged....so for the past almost 8 years they've been rolled up in my closet collecting dust.  Well, I'm super excited and dedicated to decorating my new house that I just had to do something about them after all these years.  My grandparents on my mom's side have always been crafty and have always, since I can remember made things for us.  Anything they gave as gifts was homemade and handmade especially by them.  I mean anything, from clothes to food to toys....it was all hand-made.  They made little rocking-horses for all the grandkids when Makai was about one year old.  My grampa cut them out and my gramma painted them white.  I remember she was so ashamed of them because you could tell how shaky her hand was while she painted them.  That was the last thing my gramma gave us.  She passed away not long after that.  I miss her a lot, but I have tons and tons of homemade things that she gave me that help me to remember her.  My boys were playing with the little white rocking horse the other day and I remembered that my grampa has the wood cutting machine.... so I went down and we made some homemade picture frames from some of the scraps of wood he had laying around his garage.  I didn't realize how much stuff he had, like tools and stuff...he had everything you would ever need to build anything.  We measured the wood, cut it with his saw, nailed it together with his air pressured nail gun, he sanded the entire thing for me and all I had left to do was to paint it.  I obviously didn't have glass for it, so I just thumb tacked the picture to the frame....and ta-da, they look amazing!  I'm so grateful for my grampa's handy work and that I finally get to use these in my home!

The finished frames...

Before and After pictures...

May 20, 2010

Be like a child!

I really enjoyed the talks given in our sacrament meeting this past Sunday.  The bisopric had two young couples choose any topic to speak about.  I love listening to young couple's speak.... not saying that I don't like listening to the older people, but it's not too often we are given the opportunity to speak in church, and it's nice to hear the younger generation's perspective on things.  All four speakers gave really good talks, but one talk in particular stood out to me.  The talk was about children's innocence, their forgiving hearts, and their christ-like attributes.  She talked about how as we get older, we get jaded.... we tend to, without even realizing it, lose touch of some of our christ-like attributes that we were born with.  She gave several examples of how children love unconditionally, they don't judge others, they accept everyone.  Think about a little child going into a situation where there are several other children.  They might act shy at first, but it doesn't take them too long to start playing and soon enough, become best friends.  You see children fighting over toys and getting mad at each other, and two minutes later, they forgive each other and are best friends.  Why can't adults be the same way?  Why is it that when we offend someone, or are offended by someone it's so hard to sincerely forgive and forget?  Why can't we be more like children? 
Her talk made me think of a situation that I've been going through, something that has been going on for way too long.  I offended someone and they offended me, and instead of trying to work it out right away, we let it simmer, we held grudges, we ended up hating each other.  I ask myself, why??  Why wasn't I/we more like a little child?  Why wasn't I/we more like the example I see in my own children?  Why wasn't I/we more Christ-like?  What started out as something so small turned into a huge problem becasue I/we wasn't like a little child. 
Thankfully, we have been able to lay our differences aside and forgive each other for the things we'd done.  I pray that we both can be like a little child and forget and move on.
We can learn a lot from a little child.  It's sort of ironic because we are parents and we teach our children everything they need to know.  Everything from their ABC's to how they should act and behave.  But sometimes we need to stop teaching and learn from them.....
This made me think of my son Filimone.  He's a wild and rambunctious little guy that is always FULL of energy.... but he constantly is teaching us humility and how important it is to put other people before ourselves.  Every single time, without fail....he is always thinking of his older brother.  If we take Mone to the store and let him have a treat, he will ALWAYS bring two of whatever he chooses, one for him and one for Makai.  If we're cooking dinner, he ALWAYS passes his plate on to Makai before he eats.  Just last night we bought him a little golf set and right when he opened it, the first thing he said was "I'm going to share with Makai"  I'm so proud of my little boy and am so grateful for his innocent, Christ-like personality.  Children, although they get into trouble and get on our nerves, are such great examples of being Christ-like, and as adults we can learn a lot from them.

May 10, 2010


I just spent a good hour writing a post about Mother's Day weekend, only to hit some wrong button right before submitting it and DELETED the whole thing.....so not happy right now and about ready to throw my laptop against the wall......uuuuurrrrrrrggggghhhhh!!  I would re-type everything I just wrote, but I'm irritated right now and don't feel like it so I'll have to calm down and pick it up again tomorrow....hahaha!  I did have a great Mother's Day though!  I hope all you Mother's out there did too!!  :)

May 9, 2010

My Creation...

So for my new house, I wanted to focus on our Tongan heritage, while keeping it modern and not fobby.... hahaha!  Here is the one of the projects I've been working on.  I still need to frame it, but I thought it was a good way to make use of the tapa cloth that Tea was going to throw away.  I'm so excited to see what my house will look like once we're completely done decorating & painting it.  Thanks to my older sister Leslie, I've got a lot of really good ideas floating around in my head.  I'll be sure to post pictures up as soon as I'm done!  We've also got some pictures and the mat inside the frame is covered in the tapa cloth.... it's all coming together so nicely and I'm so excited!

May 5, 2010

Camera Phone Pix

Finally got some pictures of her smiling.....
She's 3 months, going to be 4 months on the 8th of May.  She's so much fun!  We sure do love our little princess!  :)

May 3, 2010


Something recently just happened that really bothered me, so I thought I'd blog about it.....to vent my feelings.  We have a foster-daughter named Ashlee, she's been with us since July '09.  She turned 19 years old last November.  Yes, usually they leave the state's custody when they turn 18, but she's a special case because her mom lives here locally and because of the things that happened to her when she was in her mother's care, the state doesn't want her to go back.  Ashlee is a very tall (as tall as Ova) African-American girl with the sweetest personality.  She's mentally the age of a 10 or 11 year old, which I think is due to her upbringing.  It's not that she's dumb, it's that she lacks common sense because she wasn't taught it when she was younger.  Because she thinks like a child, she plays very well with all the kids.  She's not on any medication....she just needed some guidance and love, something that every single child should have, but she hasn't.    When we first got her, she had some hygeine problems (as most children in state custody do) but Tea taught her how to take a shower.  I've never really taken notice of how by doing everyday things like taking a bath, brushing our teeth, cleaning....and things like that, that we are teaching our children.  Ashlee didn't have that example when she was young, so just now, at age 19 she was taught how to correctly take a shower.  Before, she thought if you just got in the water....that was good enough.   Tea had her put her swimming suit on and got her a sponge and some nice smelling body wash and she told her, starting from her head down to her feet to scrub every part of her body....ever since then she's been taking a shower every single day.  At her therapy session, her counselor noted a substancial improvement on her hygeine.  All it took was a little patience and love from Tea.  We had a meeting at our house, a very intimidating meeting I might say, with all of Ashlee's state people....our living room was full of people, Ashlee's counselor, her caseworker, her therapist, her tracker, someone from the agency that placed her, two people from the state, and Tea and me.  The meeting was to discuss Ashlee's progress and to determine weather she would be capable (because of her age) to leave the program and get her own apartment.  I didn't agree with how the meeting was held.  At first it was okay because they were asking Ashlee how she felt she was doing and so on....but then they got into the part where they pointed out to me and Tea all her short-comings and problems....and they weren't nice about it.  Her caseworker would point at her and tell us that she has a problem with hygeine, but instead of wording it like that, he would point at her and say she stinks.  They talked about and bashed her mother, they put her down, they basically said she was too dumb to live on her own.....it really irritated me.  The things they said were true, but there is a more tactful way to say it, especially when she's sitting right there listening.  I understand that these things needed to be talked about, but why did they have to say all those negative things in front of her?  With no thought of her feelings?   I don't even know if it bothered her, but it sure did bother me.
That was just one incidence.... this 2nd incidence just pushed me over the edge....
Her caseworker came over one morning a few weeks ago.  We were making omlets for breakfast and so we made him one and he joined us for breakfast.  As we were sitting there eating, he very bluntly tells Ashlee that he spoke with her mother and that her mother didn't want to have anything to do with her anymore because she's slow.  He said "your mom wants your little sister Alexia, because she's normal, but she doesn't want and will never want you because you're too slow."  I felt a stab in my heart just hearing him say that to her.  She burst into tears...Tea and I did too.  She was crying uncontrollabley.  How could someone be so heartless?  If that was something that needed to be said, why couldn't he find a better way to say it?  Ashlee loves her mom, and has always had the hope of one day being able to live with her again (In her mind, that would happen even though we all know it will never happen) so hearing such harsh news must have been so painful.  Her mom is retarded, and such a horrible mother.... the things that happened to her children while they were in her custody, and while she knew about it just makes me cringe.  I never understood why people like that are blessed with kids, when there are so many other women out there that would kill to be able to have children.  After he finished his breakfast and told her the news, he left.  Ashlee was left sitting there on the couch crying, feeling unwanted and unloved.  Bless Tea's heart!  As you know from my other posts, she's got such a kind and giving heart... her heart ached just as much as Ashlee's did.  She gave Ashlee a big hug and told her not to worry about it, she could stay with us for as long as she wanted.  Later on that night when Ova got home, we told him what had happened.  He felt so faka'ofa for her and told her that we loved her and told her again that she could stay with us for as long as she wants.  I just don't understand how some people can have absolutely no regard for other people's feelings.  Especially kids that already feel unwanted by their parents because they are in the state's custody.  I can't stand her caseworker!