Happy to be a Mom!

I love this thought from President David O. McKay

"She, who can paint a masterpiece or write a book that will influence millions -- deserves the admiration and the plaudits of man. But she who rears a family of beautiful sons and daughters, whose influence will be felt through generations to come, long after paintings have faded, and books have been destroyed she deserves the highest honor that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God. In her high duty and service to humanity, she is co-partner with the Creator himself."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nick Name Extreme

The Philippinos take nick names to a whole new level. It pretty much just becomes your new name, it kind of cracks me up since some of them are pretty interesting. example.

Real Name: Nick Name that they go by
Rufrino Junior: June (so after Junior) :)
Gazalem: Guzzy
Shiblon: Bon Bon
Aliahana: Iana
Laurie-Jewell: Jewell
Abish: Abby
Nimrod: Nimrod
Eunice: Yeng
Corazon: Cora
Bisho's Wife: Princess (people really call her princess- thats is my kind of nick name- I don't even know her real name).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Our Little Lady

Here is a picture of Spencer at 5 months and Marianne at 5 months, i think they have similarities but definitly have their own look.

Marianne just loves the cute baby in the mirror, it always smiles at her every time :)

She has officially got the Roll down, she has been rolling from her back to her stomach for about a month giving herself lots of tummy time. She will get her bum into the air and look like the beginnings of crawling. And just in the last few days has mastered the art of rolling from her stomach back to her back, so now she can do the full roll at 5 months. Watch out Mommy here I come. I can't wait to be able to lay her on the floor (ours is all tile) instead of the bed and see where she goes.

Getting ready

On to my stomach

And I'm spent

Here is a video of Marianne giggling at 5 month, I had one of Spencer at 6 months and just love it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Devin went Singapore this week for a job interview with O'Melveny & Myers- we won't know anything about it for at least a month. But he got to spend a little time in the city and really enjoyed it. Singapore is like the Switzerland of Asia very clean and pristine. Its about the size of Rhode Island and has about 4 million people. Two Rolles Royce, Two Mercedes, and a Porches
Big White Church St.Andrews

in the background you can see three sky scrapers on top they built this yaht for big events. Kind of cool

The metro check out how clean it is.
Circulor Hotel
The Fountain of Wealth: Must Do Steps for the Good Things from the Fountain

Stretch out your right hand and touch the wall
Make a silent wish
Follow the directional sign
Walk around three times

Well Devin wished for a job so we'll see if it works.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Typhoon Conson

A Trip to the Philippines, is just not complete without living through a Typhoon, ( ) n. A tropical cyclone occurring in the western Pacific or Indian oceans. So yep we can now check that one off the list. Tuesday Morning, my friend Cora comes by to ask if we have enough food, because there is probably going to be a Typhoon coming into night. Rain Dance? Definitly not needed !

Tuesday afternoon it started pouring, which occured for a while and then stopped, but then about 11pm the wind picked up, it was the most incredible wind I have ever heard. I thought the windows just might shatter. I couldn't sleep through it, Devin woke up after I had been listening to it for like an hour- and siad "I gues the wind is blowing", yep sure is don't know how you have been missing it.
Then Spencer woke up about 1 am after the power got turned off due to telephone lines being blown down. So we watched the wind, we live on the 15th floor and saw all the lights everywhere had been cut. Pretty interesting.
Then the power went off leaving us in hot and humidness for 24 hours, not very fun to say the least. We couldn't cook, so we had PB and J for Breakfast and Lunch, and then spent the rest of the day at Market Market, and had Pizza for dinner. The power still wasn't on when we went to bed and just as I was about to fall asleep in the hot humid room with not even a fan -the Heavens blessed us and our part of the city got power, I have never been so thankful for air conditioning and electric fans in my life. Do they make fans with batteries? They should!

Playing at Market Market for the day!

We even made the news- thats kind of cool:

MANILA (Reports) – Typhoon Conson sliced through the Philippines' main island of Luzon, killing 22 people, felling trees and snapping transmission lines that could leave millions without power for at least two days, officials said on Wednesday.
Twelve people were injured and 57 reported missing as the storm packing winds of 95 kph (59 mph) roared off toward China.

Haircuts, Cushions, Perm ...

New Haircuts for my cute boys, Devin is going to Singapore tomorrow for an interview with a big firm, so he wanted to look his best, good luck Honey! And Spencer was looking a bit shaggy so while we waited for the power to turn back on we entertained our selves at Market Market!

We build Cushion forts at least once a day, We build, spencer knocks it down, and we build again adn spencer knocks it down, and then we build again . . . and you get the idea (video below)

Our favorite family over for dinner.

So I decide to go out on a limb and get my hair permed, so this is the after picture. I am enjoying it, but I did get a littl enervous when I sat down and the hair dresser started and acted like she hadn't done one of these before-- which could be true cause no philippinos have curly hair. So I might have been a little too brave for my own good, oh well, at least it was way cheaper to do it here than in the US.
I hope you can tell that I purposely tried to look terrible in the before picture :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Personal Questions- How well do you know your neighbor?

I guess every culture is a little different in a lot of ways, for instance the Philippine people do not have large personal bubbles. Examples below of the personal questions I have been asked since being here by people of very short acquaintance (and complete strangers).

Note: These questions and answers are taken just as a fact, like oh you have blue eyes, not a judgement call and it doesn't change the way they treat you, just something they want to know (most of the time).
Q-Their question, A- My Answer, C- Their comment

Q "How much is your rent?"
A-"25,000 Pesos"
C-"Oh thats pretty, good", "Oh thats really high", and "that is less than ours, do you own your apartment"
N "No we are renting it from a friend"
C "My friend pays 70,000 pesos, she lives in the high end district" (that friend she was speaking of was sitting right next to me)

Q "How old are you?" "How old is your husband?" "How old or young (I get that phrase a lot) are your children?"
A- "26, 29, 2, 4 months"
C- "Oh you are young to have children"
A- "Yep"- not sure what else to say

C -" You look much thinner since being here" (Devin told me before we got here that at least one person would comment on my weight- I have had this comment twice- at least they say thinner, not fatter- which they would say even if I was a women)
A-"Thank You"
C- "Yes, thinner it is in your face"
C-"Spencer is much fatter, in his face" ( I can't tell the difference)

Q "Did you go on a mission?"
A- "no",
C-"Why Not?",
A- "Well I got married at 21"
C- "oh well then thats ok"

Q "How long have you been married?"
A 4 .5 years
Q "How old is your baby? (meaning Spencer- they always call him a baby)
A "Spencer is 2 years old"
C- "Oh did you have trouble having children when you first got married?"
A- "Well, i did have a miscarriage before Spencer"- this seems to make them feel better like I hadn't shirked my duty, even though we did intentionally wait at least a year before trying to get pregnant-but I didn't add that part :)

Q "How much is your rental car"
Q "How much is your Hotel?"

Q"Do you have a YaYa? (meaning nanny)" (I get this all the time, most people have YaYa's to watch there children, It is not very expensive, -if they live with you then you give them room and board and $60-$100 a month, if they don't live with you it might be $200-$300 a month)
Q"Why don't you have a Ya Ya?" ( cause I want to raise my own children not pay someone to do a worse job than i'm doing -but I don't say that either)-
A "I'm just here for a short time" or sometimes I'll say "I'm just here on vacation"
C- "I be your Ya Ya"
A "Thanks for offering, but really I don't have one in the USA either, just me all by myself, and I don't have a maid either" (then I get this look of shock and amazement)
C-"You don't want to work too hard being a mom you need to save yourself" (said by someone who was 33, rich, and no kids) - yep sure save myself for what? something more important than my children?

Q"Where does your husband work?"
A "He is doing an internship for a law firm"

Q to Spencer "Hello Baby, What's your name?, how old are you?" (Spencer gets asked this by strangers like 50 times a day, and if he doesn't answer they keep asking until I continue on to our destination or they get board.
A- "Pancer, 2 earold"- says this to people most of the time, unless he's annoyed.

Q: "How old is Marianne?"
A " 4 Months"
Q "Do you breastfeed her"?
A " Yes"
C 1"Oh that is very good"
C2 "Sometimes milk is not enough, you need cereal"
Every time she cries people tell me she either needs milk or is too hot (I get this regularly most of the time it is because she is tired)
C3: "We do not hold babies that way when they are so young here" (I had her on my hip- she is holding herself up just fine I might add)

Q: "Where your children both regular births or CS?" (meaning C-Sections) - this was asked a complete stranger who was a man who's wife was expecting there first child- who was due "really soon" (even though she was like only 18 weeks along)

Q: "Is your husband Philippino?" Q "Is your wife Philippina?"
A: "No"

Q "Why do you speak Tagalog?" (Said to Devin)
C "It is so weird to hear such a white person speak Tagalog"
C2 "You can speak Tagalog really well, but our previous American intern (Devin's friend from the mission) was much better than you" (but the next day someone else told him he spoke better than Devin's friend.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Visiting Devin's Mission!

Last Wednesday we woke up at 3am to start our journey up north, we first went to Bagio, then saw the Rice Terraces in Bontoc, then further north to Vigan, and Lagangilang. The trip's purpose was to go see where Devin served his 2 year mission (click to learn more about mormon missions) the trip was great, a lot of driving but well worth it, Devin was able to see many of the people he baptised and many people that he knew. And they were all VERY excited to meet us and see hime again. These pictures are all in reverse order- oops At our Hotel in Bangued, 20 minutes from the small town of Lagangaiang. We had the most incredible view at this beautiful hotel- the only one with in miles. Sunday morning.

This is the Sacdalin family, wife and kids, the husband had to work, but we got to go and visit him at work. When devin met them they had 8 children, but were unmarried, and since you have to be married to be baptised, Devin and Companion had them married by the bishop (the Relief Society even decorated the chapel I am told) on a saturday morning and then had them baptised that afternoon. Devin says it was one of the happiest days on his mission. They are a darling family, they know have 12 children and 6 grand children, one of which they named Devin. You can see how excited they were. The boy in the white shirt in front of his mom just had a birthday so Devin gave him his Tie.

This is the V*. Family. They live in Vigan which we didn't know when we were there, so on Sunday they drove the 1 1/2 (on Trikes) to come and see us at church in Langangilan. The dad bore his testimony about how the church has changed his life and how he was so excited to see Devin that he couldn't sleep the night before :). Devin says before this man joined the church he looked like a Punk biker with long hair and dark sunglasses.

This is the Dad of the Sacdalin family we went and saw him at his work since he couldn't come to see us. Devin and him both were teary at the meeting. Brother Sacdalin told me that he thanks the lord for the gospel of Jesus Christ and for Elder Wagstaff who brought it to him.

Sorry out of order, but family picture at the hotel in Bangued

One of the familyies in Lagangilan that we visited * at the chapel. When we arrived in town we went to the LDS church and the Relief Society sisters were already preparing for the Family Home Evening activity that they were having that night- which was planned because they new we were coming- it was so nice.

You can see Elder Paulin in the back (the only other white guy) he was so excited to see other white people :) and visa versa. Most spoke Tagalog but a few spoke english as well. My children were wisked away from me through out this weekend by lovely philipinos who wanted to play, touch, and entertain my children, there love was a little overwhelming and I had to play referee a few times to make sure we were all happy.

On Saturday Brother and Sister Omli invited us to lunch, we ate on their farm, they had 2 types of fish, shrip, mussels, chicken, rock roll ups (which I thought was a like an egg roll) and of course rice. It was a wonderful meal.

This is at the chapel in Lagangilan, look there is our Wedding announcement, they have had it for almost 5 years! Devin served in Lagangilan for about 7 months, and it was his favorite area.

On Thursday night we got to Vigan and stay at Grandpa's Inn, they darling hotel they is made to look like its early 1900s. It even has hot showers the first since being here in the Philippines.

The gorgeous sunset at Vigan's central Plaza. Vigan is set up like a spanish town with a central plaza and cobble stone streets. It reminded us a lot of Madrid, Spain. We loved it.

Here is the Bautista Family, Devin helped reactivate them on his mission. The father has been really sick for about 5 years, and hasn't been able to work, but he just found some medicine that will hopefully help, so we hope they will be doing better. These teenagers were just 4 years old when Devin saw them last.

In the coblestone streets of Vigan.

Marianne and her best friends her feet, she just loves them these days, they are very attached to each other, pun intended.
Yea nice hotel room (see not so nice hotel room below), we really enjoyed Grandpa's Inn which included Hot Showers, and breakfast!

The ocean that we saw on the drive up.

The WWII memorial, that we stopped and looked at along the way to Vigan on Thursday.

Wednesday we drove 5 hours to Bagio and then another 5 hours in the afternoon to Bontoc and then Thursday we drove 8 hours. We only had one car seat (we asked about renting one, and the car rental place looked at us like we were crazy). So depending on who needed to be strapped down the most Spencer and Marianne shared, and the other rode on my lap.

In bontoc we saw Rice terraces and went to a museum that happened to keep this fat pig as a pet, so they let Spencer feed him. Spencer was thrilled.

This was a beautiful place, so green. In fact the green was almost overwhelming. Do you ever wonder why Heavenly Father made some things certain colors. Like why green for al lthe plants, why not purple or another color? just a thought :)

Here is Spencer looking through one of the model baboo huts they had on display.

Looking out the window at the- not so nice hotel-, it had wonderful food and a great view at least

Our room, at the -not so nice hotel- it was very hot, the shower rained onto the toilet (small bathroom) but surprisingly hada a hot shower- the first in the philippines, but lets just say this is the third room we looked at before we decided to sleep in it (the first had ants all over the wall)- this room probably did too, we just didn't see them.

Our rented car, we really needed a 4x4 (you will see why below), but we were too cheap to get one, and really we made it- so I guess we didn't need one after all.

After driving 10 hours today on very winding roads (300 Kilometers of nothing but swichbacks), we got to .5 miles from our hotel and ran into this mud slide. So at dusk Devin borrowed a shovel from a few guys who were fixing their tire on the side of the road and they helped him fill in the ruts so that we could drive over this small hill. We were happy to get to the-not so nice hotel - above.

Rice Terraces, they are beautiful these and the gorgeous drive through the greeen mountains is why we drove 13 hours on switch back barely 2 lane high ways.

A little wobbly from driving.
These mountains were just breath taking.

Wednesday morning we left at 3 am and arrived to the Bagio Mission home about 8:30, Bagio is up in the mountains. And is NOT humid and NOT hot, it was like 70 degrees with a slight breeze and was perfect. Oh we loved it and wanted to move there.

We found this park in Bagio here is Devin and Spencer coming down the slide.
here is Spencer RUNNING towards the toys in this cool weather. He was sooo excited!

At this lovely park that has a lake in the center.

McDonalds is one of our favorite friends here, especially if it has a play place, which they did in Bagio and which we went to 2 x in 24 hours. Ronald McDonal greeted us Wednesday morning after our long drive.