"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

October 31, 2010

General Conference 2010

This year's conference was a little different.  Grampa Makai got tickets for all us kids, and the older grandkids to go into the conference center on the final Sunday session.  As soon as Makai heard about it, he was so excited and could hardly wait.  He kept asking me questions that whole week about what it was going to be like....so excited that he was going to be in the same building with the prophet.  General conference weekend rolled around and we were so excited and ready to listen to the leaders of the church.  It started out with Ova going to the priesthood session with his boys.  I was happy that he was able to make it because unfortunatly his work schedule has him working on Sunday's so he doesn't get the opportunity to go to church with us.  We try hard to make up for it in other ways, putting a lot of emphasis on family time, family home evening every single week and family prayers.  Conference weekend is a great time for us all to listen to the leaders and teach our kids the same thing the prophet's and church leaders talk about.  Saturday was a great day.  We did some house cleaning while listening to conference and of course during the break we had a delicious meal that Tea prepared for us.  My little sister Leka came and spent the night with us on Saturday because my parent's were going to go to the morning session and Leka didn't have anywhere to go.  We love having her over, she's very talkative and she can spend hours and hours talking to Ma about life back in Tonga.  Ma and Tea love her here too!  Anyways, Sunday morning I woke up bright and early and me, Leka and Makai got ready to head to the conference center. 

We took the trax to temple square and got there for the first session.  I have been to the conference center several times, but I'd never really realized that they have the conference playing on loud speaker over the entire temple square grounds.  There were tons and tons of people there sitting all over on the grass and cement areas, just listening to the talks.  We made ourselves a little spot on the grass and listened to the conference.  The weather was perfect outside.  I gave Makai a little notebook and pen and told him to listen really carefully to the talks and if there's anything he liked, or anything that stood out to him, that he should write it down.  Leka and I did the same thing.  After the first session was over, everyone met at our spot on the lawn for a picnic lunch.  We made it really simple, just tuna fish sandwiches, chips and water.....and when lunch was over we headed over to stand in line to go into the conference center.  The little kids were so excited, you could see it in their faces.  Marie's son Pita kept saying "Makai, we're gonna see the prophet" and Makai would say "I know, this is so cool"  I was so happy to see how excited they were because they understood what an important man he is, and what a big deal it was for them to be in his presence. 

We went in to the conference center and got our seats, almost taking up a whole row.  Everyone had their pens and papers and were ready to take notes.  The conference was wonderful, the messages were inspiried and muchly needed.  It was an awesome experience.  After the conference we caught a ride back home with Gramma & Grampa Makai....when we pulled into the driveway, Tea was telling them to come in.  We walked in to see this huge meal prepared and all Tea's gold place settings set out on the table.  She's so sweet, she had prepared a meal for my parent's to come eat.  She had made everything from lu pulu, to ota, to lo'i ho'osi, and a triffle cake.  It was delicious....and I wasn't one bit surprised because that's the kind of person Tea is....always serving and doing kind things for others.  My parents enjoyed the meal (I think my dad ate too much...haha) and then headed home.  We all sat around as a family for a little bit after that and talked about what we learned from the conference.  It was such a great day! 

Ova said that they weren't too busy at work that day and it was just him and one of his friends (another Tongan guy) who were working....they usually have a radio so they could listen to music while they're working in the cooler.  That day they blasted the conference, which was nice because they got to listen to the messages even though they had to work. 

One last thing, another funny from Filimone.... when Makai and I were getting ready to head to the conference center in the morning, Mone kept begging me to take him too.  He kept saying "I promise Mama I'm gonna be good"  "I promise I'll be quiet and listen"  he kept saying it over and over again.  I finally sat him down and tried to explain to him that it wasn't me that didn't want him to go.  I told him that the prophet said you have to be older to go into the conference center and that when he's older, I would take him.  He made a mad face and folded his arms and said "The prophet is mean".... I totally laughed and told him that the prophet is not mean, he's just listening to Heavenly Father.  Then he said "I'm gonna talk to Heavenly Father".... the whole time he's dead serious and his face is so mad.  I just told him "yes, go pray and talk to him."  hahaha  he's such a funny kid and he always keeps me entertained.

Gramma & Grampa Makai w/ Makai
Uncle Misi & Pola
Jalen ~ Salote ~ Pita ~ Makai
Leslie ~ Jalen ~ Gramma Cindy ~ Pita ~ Makai ~ Salote

October 27, 2010

Bloggers GNO

I've been blogging for a while now and I absolutely LOVE it!  Not only does it allow me to keep a record of the things that go on with me and my family, but it's my "me" time to vent, praise, brag or comment of things that I think or feel.  Through my blog I've met and become good friends with many other bloggers.  We follow each other and leave comments, and it's nice sometimes to be able to relate to others.  Well, Dianna Otukolo is one of those bloggers I'd become friends with, and even though we followed each other and commented on each other's blogs, we never actually met.....until recently.  She's awesome!  We got together and planned a Bloggers Halloween GNO so we could get together to meet all the other bloggers out there.... so there you have it!!  Our Bloggers Halloween Girls Night Out is happening this Friday October 29th...... and everyone is invited!!  There are, however, 3 thing you MUST do before coming to the party....

1-  Bring a spooky/halloweeny dish..... it's a potluck!

2- Wear a costume.... prizes will be given for the most original!

3 - Write out a blog post about yourself!  (Don't post it on your blog until after the party) Tell us all about you!  Not stuff like how many kids you have or where you work...we want information that we wouldn't know from reading your blog!!  Print it out and bring it with you to the party....we'll let you know what we're gonna do with it when you come!!

It's gonna be so much fun!!  Can't wait to see you there!!

October 26, 2010

9 Months

Our little princess is 9 months old!!

I really can't believe how fast time is flying right by and how quickly my kids are growing up right before my eyes.  Lautala is 9 months old now and her personality is developing and showing more and more everyday.  She brings us so much joy and happiness, we sure do love her!  Here are some of her stats at 9 months:

- She weighs about 23lbs.
- She wears a size 4 diaper
- She hates every kind of baby food, but will eat anything we're eating
- She is very impatient and throws temper tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants
- She's definetly a mama's girl and throws that same tantrum when someone else holds her and she only wants me.  (I love it)
- She's starting to notice strangers now and cries when they try to hold her
- She LOVES her Uncle Po, he's definetly her favorite uncle right now!
- She likes to go around with me and I usually always take her
- She is very lazy and still doesn't crawl
- But, she can somehow scoot on her butt all the way across the room to get what she wants
- She sleeps through the night
- She has 8 teeth, 4 on top and 4 on bottom.... and she grinds them like crazy
- She's given up on her binky, but constantly sucks on her bottom lip
- She loves to eat bananas, or ma paku paku with cocoa
- She can drink from a straw
- She wears size 18 months clothes
- She's been wearing headbands with flowers since she was born (as you can tell by all her pictures) but she's started to pull them off......and I'm sad about that....boo-hoo  :(
- If you say "Tevolo" to her she'll squint her eyes, it's so cute!
- She can still sit with Ma for hours and hours without crying, but she won't do that with anyone else

She's such a joy and she constantly makes us laugh and smile every single day.  We are very blessed to have her as part of our family.  We sure do love our little princess!!

My baby boy's in school!

So Filimone started preschool on the 11th of October.... I really can't believe how much he's grown up and how big he is.  He's been looking forward to going to school for a long time now and has been asking me constantly since Makai went back to school when he'd get to go.  It's actually funny because he's really not supposed to be in school yet, he just turned 4 years old.   His birthday is September 7th, 6 days after the cut off date (which they are extremely strict on) but since they didn't have a full class they let him stay.  The teacher made it very clear that he probably wouldn't be able to go to kindergarden next year though....haha.  He's HUGE, and even though the youngest, he's the biggest in his class.  I made him stand on the scale the other day and he weighs 56lbs.... just about what an 8 year old should weigh...haha  he's not fat though, he's thick.  He's like a solid rock and he's SO heavy!  He's my solid little pretty-boy!  He's so funny because on his first day of school, I walked him into his classroom and there were three tables set up with puzzles and crayons and stuff for them to do while all the kids were getting there.  One table had only girls on it, the other only boys and the third had a mixture....there were seats open on all the tables.  Mone hangs his bag in his little cubby and walks straight to the table full of girls and sits down to start playing.  I looked at him with that scrunched-eyebrow what are you doing look and asked him if he wanted to go sit with the boys...he smiled and said "No, I like girls", and then another little boy got up and left the boy table to come sit by Mone...and he said "I like girls too"..... oh my goodness, I just started laughing.  I forgot to call my sister Leka to come braid his hair, so I had just pulled it back into a pony-tail.  Fearing everyone would think he's a girl, I went and made sure that the teacher let all the kids know that he was a boy.  She very kindly laughed and said to me "I don't know why people confuse him for a girl, he's a total boy"  we both laughed a little and then I left.  Since he goes to school at the high school, the high school students are his teacher aids.  Well, one of the teacher-students there is like half mexican or something, she's really pretty and I think Mone has a crush on her.  Every day when they have their group projects, he always chooses to be in her group.  Just the other day when I went to pick him up from school, he was walking out of the school holding her hand.  She opened the van door for him and he climbed in and buckled his seatbelt.  She said "Ok, bye Mone see you on Monday" and Mone said really quickly, "Bye, I'm gonna miss you so much...."  Oh my goodness, I couldn't believe it..... the teacher walked over to my window and laughed and said "That's the biggest flirt of a 4 year old I've ever met"..... we both laughed a little and then she went back into the school and I drove off.  I don't know where he gets that from.....he's a crazy little kid who acts much older than his age..... Ova and I have our hands full with him!  haha

He's learning a lot.  This was after just one day of teaching him to write his name.  He's doing such a good job in school, we are so proud of him! 

October 25, 2010


Okay, so a little while ago I posted about our foster daughter Ashlee.  She's 19 years old, 20 in November and she's still in the state's program.  She's improved signifigantly since she's lived with us, and I'm not bragging when I say that, but it's a testimony that a little love can go a long long way!  It's really sad that at age 18 she didn't know how to take a shower, brush her teeth correctly, count money, make decisions for herself....stuff that we all take for granted, she didn't know because she'd never been taught.  In the year and a half that she's lived with us, I've seen her go from a self-consious, un-loved, un-wanted follower to a woman with self-esteem, the knowledge that people love and care for her and the feeling of being a part of a family....something she'd never had her whole life.  Tea is an amazing woman...I know if you've read some of my past posts you will know how much I love and respect her.  She was the main person who made a difference in Ashlee's life.  She loves Ashlee like she's her own daughter and treats her like that.  Just as an example of how much Tea loves her, a little while back the state came and told us that they were taking Ashlee out of our house and that they would get her her own apartment because she needed to be independent.  Tea was so sad.... not because we didn't want to see her be independent, but because we know she's not quite ready for such a huge step.  We were afraid that she wouldn't be able to survive, or that her mom would find her and she'd go back to the life that got her into the program in the first place.  Well, Tea offered the state for her to stay here and rent her room from us...the state said no, they couldn't do that but before she left she had to have her own job and be making her own money.  We had been taking her around everywhere to apply for jobs and nothing was panning out.  The state refered her to a program called VocRehab, what they do is specialize in helping people in the state's custody find jobs.  They do a bunch of testing to see what qualifications they have, or if they are even qualified for the working world.  Well, Tea took her to several testing appointments and a few weeks later we got a letter in the mail saying that Ashlee would be unable to work because she was 'mentally retarded' (that was the exact words on the letter), by stating that in the letter, they were telling us that they would no longer help her try to find a job.  Needless to say, the state took back their decision and told us she would be staying here until she found a job.  Well the reason for this post is because Ashlee got a job, and it's the perfect job for her!!  She's working at Little Ceasars Pizza as the sign holder.... she's making her own money, she has a set schedule every week and it's easy work.  She's happy, the state's happy and we're happy and proud of her.  By her getting a job, we know it means the state will probably come in anytime and take her out.  At least if it does happen she'll leave a better person than when she came here.  And she knows she'll always be welcome to come back and visit.

October 10, 2010

Hopekids - Team Tevita!

My nephew Tevita Tonga Fangupo is part of an awesome program called Hopekids.   The program was created to give possible terminally-ill kids the opportunity to live life to the fullest with their families.  The cost of medical bills for these kids are outrageous and what this program does is it funds different activities each month so the hopekid and their siblings can have fun, in cases where they financially might not be able to on their own.  My sister in law Tina told me about this program and all the different activities they've been able to do.  What a blessing!  HopeKids provides ongoing events & activities and a powerful, unique support community for children with cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions.  They surround these remarkable children and their families with the message that hope can be a powerful medicine.

A while back, I think in November I blogged about my nephew Tevita.  Here's a little but about Baby TiTonga from his mom:

Tevita Tonga was born with multiple tumors inside his neck.  At times these tumors grow to where they obstruct his airway which affects his breathing.  Unfortunately the E.N.T. specialists are unable to perform surgery at this time because of the tumors being so near to his spinal cord and many nerves in his neck.  Every couple of months Tevita has to go through chemo to shrink the tumors and we're hoping that they will eventually scar up.  Although our son is young and small but he truely is a fighter.  He's our little hero!  We knew it from the day he was born.  We ask for your donation. We are greatful for any amount, no amount is too little. Thank you for your love and support. 
-Fangupo Family

The Hopekids program held a 5K walk/run in honor of the kids.  It was held on September 11th, 2010.  As soon as Tina told me about it, I told her we'd be there.  Anything to support our handsome little nephew Tevita....like she said, he's such a little fighter!  I told Tea and Ma that we were going to go to it and they both wanted to go too.  I was surprised that Ma wanted to go, but she loves her great-grandkids so much and didn't even think twice about it.  That morning we got ready, loaded the wheelchair for Ma and the stroller for Lautala and headed to This is the Place Park to support little Tevita.  There were tons of kids there and tons and tons of families and friends supporting.  I'm super emotional and cried right when we pulled into the parking lot.  What an awesome program Hopekids is.  If you go on their website, you can see the awesome things they do.  And you can donate to this special cause.
"Why Hopekids? Because it's necessary.  There is a need to keep kids focused and thinking about the future
and looking forward to the future.  The more positive their attitude, the better their chance for recovery."
                                                   -Tom Lehman (Hopekids Honerary National Chairperson)

 Here are some pictures of our 5K walk in support of Baby Tevita! 

 The main man Tevita Tonga Fangupo
 Lautala supportin' and so happy about it!  haha
 Uncle Ova & Uncle Joey.... walking for hope in Honor of Tevita!
 Grandpa Kina & Ma supportin'
 5K, half was uphill, but we still did it....haha
 Auntie Sela showin' her support!
 Go, Go, Go Team Tevita!!
 Filimone supportin' his little cuzzin...
Having fun with lots of activities after the walk...
They had face-painting... 
 Yummy treats like snowcones...
 Even Lautala got her face painted..... GO UTES!!  haha
Pink Panthers Rugby girls showin' their support!
Ova ~ Gramma Kesa ~ Taeao ~ Nick
Me & Tina
Taeao & Nick w/ Baby Tevita
The kids havin' fun!
Yay!  Team Tevita!

We LOVE you Baby Tevita!

"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no
tonic so powerful as the expectation of something tomorrow."
- Orison Swett Marden

October 9, 2010

Temple Portrait Class

Check out my sister's website http://www.templeportraitclass.com/ she is a teacher for PoppySeedProjects and they've just started making these temple portraits.  They are the vintage-looking canvas paintings with a thick  4 1/2inch frame.  The same ones that you'd buy from Deseret Book for hundreds of dollars you can make yourself for only $50.  Right when my sister told me about it I was so excited!  I told her I wanted to hold a class because I was sure there were some people who would want to make one.  A group of us got together in the relief society room of the church and made our pictures.  It was actually the first class my sister had run on her own, but she's a natural teacher and the class went so smoothly and turned out awesome!  I'm pretty sure everyone who attended was happy with their finished product.  The class only took 3 hours and in that time we painted our frames, texturized our pictures, and assembled the whole thing.  We ended up with a 27X33 gorgeous picture of the temple.  Check out my sister's site, she not only teaches how to make these temple pictures, but you can also make family pictures and they also are poster-sized 27X33 when finished, for $50.  If you are interested in making one, log on to her site and see when she's hosting her next class, or if you know 10 people who want to make one, you can host your own class and yours will be free!!  I'm thinking of having a class sometime at the end of November, beginning of December just in case people want to make some for Christmas gifts!!  Check out her site....they really are nice!!

Here are just a few pictures from our class.  It was a fun girl's night out!!

October 1, 2010

My baby boy is 4

Can't believe it, even though my Filimone is the size of a 6 year old, he just turned 4 on the 7th of September.  I can't believe how fast my kids are growing up right before my eyes....it actually makes me sad cause I LOVE having them at home with me.  Mone's a simple kid, he didn't ask for anything big for his special day...when we asked him what he wanted, he told us that he just wanted to go to Chuck-A-Rama with his family, so that's what we did!  I took Makai and Lautala with me to the store to buy him some gifts and luckily when we got home Mone was dead asleep on the couch so we had time to wrap them without him knowing what they were.  It was a nice chill relaxing night for our little guy.

We all (Tea, Ma, Ashlee, and our family of 5) loaded in the van and headed to Chucks.... while we were sitting there eating Mone leaned over and to me and said "Mama, don't forget to tell the lady to sing to me"....so I let the waitress know it was a special little guy's birthday and they all came over and sang to him and gave him a root beer float.  He felt so special!

Auntie Tina made Mone his very own double-chocolate oreo cake with sprinkles....it was delicious!  When we got home from Chucks, we sang to Mone....watched him open his presents and just hung out together as a family.  Nothing to big, just a special day dedicated to our little fatso!

He's been asking me forever if he can go to school, and I keep telling him he has to wait...it's not his turn yet.  I was a little torn about whether I should let him go this year, 1- because he misses the deadline (late birthday) and 2- because I had a bad experience with the preschool teacher.  If I enroll him in preschool this year, he'll probably take it for 2 years because they will not let him go to kindergarden next year because his birthday is 6 days past the deadline.  Makai is the youngest in his class because of how his birthday falls, and Mone will be the oldest.  He's been asking so much so I decided to check it out.  The preschool that he would go to is just down the street from our house, it's actually at the high school.  There is a preschool teacher there, and her assistants are some high school students that are going into a field where they will work with little kids.  Back in June when I was first inquiring on whether I really wanted him to start school or not, I took him with me to preschool.  The teacher knelt down to Mone's level and said "well aren't you a pretty little girl".... I said "he's a boy, he just has long hair" (keep in mind he totally has boy clothes on)  the teacher stood up and with an almost disgusted face said to me "why in the world would you grow your little boy's hair out like that"...... I was shocked and so pissed off, if I didn't have any self control I would have told her off right there, but we were in front of a bunch of little preschool kids and I didn't want to make a scene.  I was really really pissed off though.  Mainly at her facial expression and the way she said it, and because it's none of her business if I want to grow my sons hair out.  I bit my tongue (but she knew I didn't approve) and finished taking the tour of the preschool.  As she walked around to all the high school student aids, she would said "this is Filimone, and he's a boy"..... after about the second time she did that I just grabbed Mone and we walked out.  Mone was confused at why, but I'm not about to have the teacher single him out and make him feel out of place....which was exactly what she was doing, in front of my face.  I left there fuming mad and told Mone I was sorry but he wasn't going to be able to go to school this year.  He cried.  I just really needed time to cool off.  Funny thing that when we got the parent packet in the mail last month the teacher we met with wasn't on there.  I called and asked, and the school told me that she had moved and transferred to another school.  I was very happy because now Mone can go to school and I don't have to worry about him being treated differently.  We went to the orientation last week, just so Mone could meet his new teacher and the kids he would go to school with...I was so happy because she's the nicest lady!  Mone wasn't one bit shy, he just went and made himself at home.... I did call my little sis Leka to come and braid his hair before we went, just so there would be no confusion.  Here's my little long-haired preschool BOY!!