Amid all other influences

Amid all other influences
"reaching for the light"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Nikki Tikki Tavi"

Have you heard the story of Rikki tikki tavi? Its about a mongoose who lives in the wild. Well, when our family was younger, the name rhymed with one of our daughters whose birthday we celebrate today. So, in honor of her birthday, this blog is for YOU, Nikki!

Happy Birthday, your 31st. Our first three children were born in the deep south, Mississippi, on the Gulf Coast. It was a nice place to live if you could stand the high humidity or the threat of hurricanes. Other than that, it was a fun place to be.

About the time you were born, your Grandparents from Hawaii came for a visit. It was a timely visit since we were beginning to make preparations to move to England. It became a cozy visit with all of us living in a two bedroom duplex.

When we moved to England, you and your siblings were adored by our neighbors and ward member friends. We did a bit of traveling to see the sights as part of our stay in England. You gained another sibling, Erin, and did much to help with her upbringing.

We then moved to Hawaii. The trip back was very eventful with your Mom holding on to four children in that long move. She didn't rest until you got to California to meet the family there. She dressed you girls all in identical outfits so as not to loose any of you. You enjoyed the high dessert country of Apple Valley and got to go to Disneyland and other attractions. When I arrived, we continued our trip to Hawaii where we met up with your Hawaii relatives. We lived on "fruitloop" circle and once again, you gained another sibling, sister Rachel. It was apparent that as your baby sister grew, your parents had a hard time telling your baby pictures apart and would often refer to you both as the twins. You loved the beach, playing T-ball, and soccer. You got really tanned there and had very special time mingling in with your native cousins and family.

We then moved back to England and there you met up with previous friends. You and your older sister started taking up piano lessons and you progressed very well. You had a couple of recitals and loved to play the piano. Of course, we had several pianos during that period of time until we decided on one. You loved the area, culture, and many friends there.

We then moved to California where living in the neighborhood you became industrious. You dilivered newspapers, earned passes to Magic Mountain for upping subscriptions of newspaper, continued piano lessons, made new friends, help keep your baby sister amused with productions of "The Little Mermaid" by inviting the neighbor children to view the production in our driveway, and above all, made a profit by selling refreshments such as otter pops, candy, cookies, etc. I don't think you had a business liscense but were very successful. Just as you were becoming comfortable with the friends and life in California, your parents moved the family to Hawaii,

The transition was probably the hardest because of the adjustments. Remember living in the tiny two bedroom duplex? Remember the exciting time crushing empty aluminum cans, eating peanuts, and drinking sprite soda with your relatives? Remember spending the summer sleeping in a tent in the yard when Sally came to visit from England? I know those were only some of the fun times but you can't forget the scene when in middle school, you were told that you couldn't use a particular "Ladies Restroom" because "only Filipinos" could use that one and if you or your sister Erin did, you would get beat up? Then I told you that you should tell them that you are part Filipino. How can you forget those memories? Of course it was fun to be with family and we had a lot of good times there.

Then our family had a family council and decided that they wanted to move "again" this time back to the mainland. Your Mom and Dad went to scope out the possibilities in Utah and took a trip there. When they returned, they had bought a home and the family was once again on the move. Of course, as time would tell, it was for the last time up to this point in time.

You represented the family well in the Miss PG Pagent a couple of times, and was well supported by your family and friends. You also got to use your talents in local theater productions, you even worked at the Alhambra Theater, got the family cheap tickets and refreshments, and learned you were allergic to lilies. But the best part of all, you prepared and sent in your papers to go on a mission. That evening you went on a date with a certain retrun missionary who lived just a block away. You knew he was the one, told the Stake president you had second thoughts, and retracted your application. The rest, well, he made a fine addition to the family, especially offering in exchange or bargaining 39 cows for your hand.

There's more to the story but I won't go into that all at this time but perhaps another time. Besides Dan, there was Pookie, then G, and then Bun, and of course Ham. Who said your or us weren't blessed. Your whole life as well as your siblings has been a blessing. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Capturing A Picture On Canvas

This blog post is a tribute to JoMama. She has been the gem of our family and marriage. Even from the first time we met, she has always been an inspiritation, fun to be with, strives for perfection, enjoys life, family, Ipo doggie, and friends. Anyone who has ever gotten to know her will tell you of how talented she is, yet in her modest being, she'll tell you the opposite.

Who do you call when your without the right ingredients for a special dish you're making? JoMama, that's who!
Who do you call or go to when you need something special sewn? JoMama, that's who!!
Who do you call when you need to repair a treasured yellow, quilted, blanket? JoMama, that's who!
Who do you call when you need your trousers hemmed or button moved on the collar? JoMama, that's who!
Who do you know that once wore combat boots and bopped dits? JoMama, that's who!
Who do you know that wrote and compiled and published her own recipe book? JoMama, that's who!
Who do you know that has more fabric for quilting, humanitarian projects and other clothing? JoMama, that's who!
Who made the quilt that graces the top of you bed? JoMama, that's who!
Who do you know that reupholstered several pieces of furniture in our home? JoMama, that's who!
Who do you go to and have your papers or resume reviewed for correct english? JoMama, that's who!
Who do you know that made your picture/memory quilts? JoMama, that's who!
Who do you know in the family that has a birthday that's comming up on April 8th? Guess carefully!
and now, who do you know is having a rebirth in painting? READ the rest, you make the call!

We have a couple of talented grandchildren who like to color and draw on paper. Give them a piece of paper and a crayon, and they start to express themselves. On a couple of occasions, I've stopped by the big huge print presses that we have in the department and pickup some large sheets of paper that are used to calibrate the print colors on a job. The guys there usually have a fair amount of blank sheets that they let me have. Then when the grandchildren are visiting, they get lots of joy from coloring on the large sheets. Thus is born a future artist. If guided and nurtured, they will learn to express their imagination and won't worry about coloring and staying inbetween the lines.

Let me share with you some of Jo's recent paintings. Before we got married, she did some painting and learned to express her imagination. What she accomplished was capturing on canvas, some of the beautiful sights we've seen in our travels. Even more fun is to stop and look out and see a beautiful scene and want to record that with a camera and then later put that same picture to canvas with oils. So, enjoy and be proud of what Jomama has done. Maybe some of these will one day hang in your living room or maybe in an art gallery.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Catching Up!

These aren't real eggs but actually rocks that have been polished into eggs. They were on display at the Rock and Mineral show at the Spanish Fork Fairgrounds. But look how pretty they are.

I realize Easter has come and gone and all that's left are the regrets from eating too much candy or Easter dinner. It's not the same if you don't have a bunch of grandkids to help with coloring Easter eggs or making baskets or hiding them for the egg hunt. With the early Easter celebration this season, we just overlooked a bunch of the fun of Easter. There are two of our grandsons who celebrated their birthday together on Friday afternoon.

I really have to compliment our daughters who are so creative. I try to keep up on their blogs and it's so fun. They do all types of fun things for their children's special dates, and learning experience. If it's not one daughter doing a neighhood Easter play day and egg hunt under a parachute, it's another making her living room an adventure playground for a birthday, or another daughter turning their yard into an obstacle course with multiple activities, such as on "American Gladiator". They are all so creative, and as parents, we are just happy they are the ones doing the fun activities, because we've about run out of steam. So, let me share some pictures of George & Henry's birthday celebration (more kids than I could keep an eye on at one time.)

George at the obstacle course that Erin designed.
They had a zip line that was cool, courtesy of Joanne and Toby.
Henry preparing his team for the Tug O War.

Blowing out the candles.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Birthday Party Suggestions?

I know my posts are less frequent, sort of irregular, but I do try to keep up with those of you that mean more to us. I wanted to tell you that your blog post really makes my day. I enjoy reading about your lives and what's happening in your family. It's especially nice to see that you've included pictures of the children or family activities. In many ways, that seems to be the best way for me to keep up with what your doing. Unlike your mom who often gets calls or call you, I'm pretty oblivious to what's happening. Believe me, that's not all bad because I know your spouse is taking good care of you.
Of course, your lives are filled with the daily activities of the children, family needs, church callings, friends, personal hobbies and projects, and other assorted things.
Up to this point in the calendar year, there've been several birthdays of children, spouses, and grandchildren. I am glad to see that those special days are being celebrated with family filled excitement. There's more to come within the next few weeks and the rest of the year. Of which will come one significant on in our family. One may call it a milestone and I want to remind all of you significant family members that your Mom's significant birthday (she prefers to call it a recelebration of her 35th birthday) is coming up soon, that is April 8th., Hence, I've decided and with her concurrence, to celebrate this birthday sometime in the very near future. I've thought about having a birthday party for your Mom perhaps when Leslie and the family will be down here around General Conference time. I briefly talked to Erin about this and am looking for more input from the rest of you. I know you most likely will not be heading this way but I thought it would be nice for you to particiapate somehow. I am looking for ideas and thoughts on this matter.
So to keep this discussion off the public blog page, please email me at my work email address. Perhaps your spouses and children can give some significant thought to this such as what could we do for the birthday party. Maybe the grandchildren can suggest games to play or what kind of treats to have. Anyway, let me know.
Remember when you were a certain age and you got to invite that many friends to your birthday party? I wonder if we do something like that?