Saturday, November 9, 2013

I'm Back

Three months of not blogging or writing of any kind.  Three months feels more like three years.  Three months of my darling husband being hospitalized and still not home yet.  This coming Thursday, he will finally be home and I'm back to blogging, journalling and writing again.  Gosh, but how I've missed it.  But these three months have been an awakening.  Not a rude one but more of a wise awakening to my senses physically, emotionally and spiritually.

So many things has happened.   From High School Football, to JR High Basketball.  Mahonrai's team is undefeated still.  Believe it or not, he has a girlfriend.  Her name is Allie and I loath her at first.  But then my heart melts and accept her because my son cares for her.  Beverly is the only 7th grader in the her school varsity Basketball team.   Leveni is busy with on the road gigs.  Sisilia and her boyfriend are going strong.  Mele, my right hand at home.  She's my greatest helper and her love for me shows no bound.  And then there is Leli, well Leli is who we all go to when we are short of money.  That son is selfless and silent.  But I would never mistake that for weakness.  He a silent tiger.  His heart is big and strong.  He's been our rock.

As for my precious granddaughter, Selamafi.  She's growing so fast.  Almost 4 months old and I love her.  I love her mom too.  My dearest daughter-in-law Fusi.  She is a sweet addition to our family.  We may no see eye to eye on everything but I still love her as my own.  As for my husband, he's been through so much with his health.  There were times where he thought he was going to go.  As for me I was always steady in my belief that his earthly and fatherly obligations are not yet done, so he's not going anywhere.  I count my blessings that he's still around.  In so many ways, I still need him so much and am glad that he'll be good enough to come home to us.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Missing Her

I missed my mother last night.  More so then others because watching my father get ready by himself to go to a ward's program, I can picture her fussing over him.  Now my aunt/adopted mom Peta fusses over him.  I helped him comb his hair, all white and not a single trace of dark hair.  His skin so dark in contrast now by the tremendous amount of time he spends outdoors.  Always working, never resting.   It's all new to me seeing how anxious and excited he was to get to the program.  Single, old and still going on without my mother.  I wondered if at times like these, he misses her too.

As I dropped him off at church and drove off.  I couldn't help but get teary eyed.  Her image fills my mind of her all decked out with her glossy hair, bright twinkling eyes and always so classy with her clothes.  So beautiful and she smells so sweet.  Unlike my dark skin, hers was always so white, smooth and soft.  I cried.  I miss her so much.  I wondered if my children will ever miss me like how I miss her when I die. 

The other day my sister told me she saw her again.  She's always seeing our mother.  She said that mom is so very busy doing Secretarial work on the other side.  I believe it.  My sister always sees dead people.  Unless something was about to happen then I see them.  Other than that, I listen to her stories because they visit her in her dreams.

I know that  life doesn't end in this life.  That our spirit continues on with the great plan of Salvation Heavenly Father has prepared for all of us.  I know that now is the time to prepare because death is only a stepping stone towards a much higher life.  I also know that I will see my mother again but I miss her so, so very much during this time of mortality.  That I could hug and hold her one more time and kiss her cheeks.  Tell her that I love her.  I whisper it to the winds for I know they can hear, see and watch over us.

Life is precious.  The bodies that shelter our spirit are so amazing and wondrous.  The way they function and work.   Each organ, each cell right down to the nucleus of our physical being are all beyond my imagination.  Only a God can come up with that.  So again and again, I see clearer then ever before, how precious our lives are in this beautiful world.  To live and to make each second, each moment counts by hugging, loving and serving others so they can feel our love.  Like the love I still feel for my mother and the love I feel she has for me.  Blowing kisses to the wind.  I love you mommy. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

Chicken coop, dating and Sunday Program

Of all things that's been occupying our Summer, the children has been helping their father with building a chicken coop in the back yard.  Mahonrai, especially has been complaining about spending his time laboring in a chicken coop instead of real work that can give him spending money: 
"I can't believe I'm spending my summer working on a chicken coop mom.  Pretty soon we'll have chicken poop to deal with."
He's just off to football camp this morning so the chicken coop in on hold until he returns.  Hubby is set on eating natural.  Something about GNO or GMO taking over our world of dieting and eating.  He's also going to build a green house with tilapia and vegetables.  We'll see how those goes.

Last Wednesday Mahonrai went on his very first official group date.  "Mom, I am seventeen now, I can talk to girls."  Then he arranged for his very first date this girl Saane.  He's had a crush on her since their elementary days.  I made sure his sister Mele Vasiti chaperones him but he also took all his other cousins so there were about 8 of them all together.  I jokingly stated,  "Remember no hugging, no kissing and no monkey business!"  LOL.  Mele Vasiti however is as blind as a bat.  She won't know what's going on in front of her own nose 'cause she keeps loosing her glasses. 

As for the program this past Sunday, it was a success.  We talked and sang about "Standing in holy places". 
In preparing for my talk I came to realize that all our holy places linked and are somehow connected.  Our temples, chapels, our bodies and our homes.  However, our foundation and anchor begins in one place and one place only and that is within the four walls of our homes.  When our homes are in order, everything else will be in order.   

During song practices with the younger kids, I mentioned to them that we should just have them sing one song and have their oldest sister sing one song.  I couldn't believe the retaliation that fired back:
"Nooooo, we don't want her to sing.  She's out of the spotlight.  It's our turn to shine now mom."
"Shoot, her time is over.  Long gone.  It's our time now."
"And let her take all the glory, heck no mom."
 Ba ha ha.  Doesn't this sound like something on TV?  I couldn't believe my ears at what I was hearing.  These kids are killing me. 

Last night, everyone was gone to their aunt's house for movie night.  Only me and hubby was home and as I was closing up the house, I tippy-toed down the stairs in the dark and somehow miss a step and fell.  It's a wonder I didn't break my ankle because I'm a hefty 250 pounds.  I gave out a squeal and was sure my husband heard but obviously he was oblivious to everything except his movie that he was watching on his phone.  I picked myself up, check my ankle and thank God for supplements because they keep my bones strong.  As for my hubby, next time I'll pretend not to hear him whenever he screams in pain from gout.

The only disappointment I experienced this past week is that I didn't know American Idol was in town.  We totally miss the whole freaking audition.  My girls would have loved to go and audition.  May be next time.

Life is a bliss.  I love it.  I have been tremendously blessed.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Time, Grand Children and Blogging

The irony of the four seasons is that when it comes to Summer heat, I yearn for the Winter cold.  Not so much as snow though.  Here in Utah though it feels more like we only have 2 seasons, Winter and Summer and they both seem to last for ever.  Especially when the air conditioning is down and the heater has no controller switch so instead of giving heat, it becomes a burning furnace.

Anytime now, my son Leveni and his wife Fusi will be having their very first child.  I will be a grandmother and I am ecstatic.  My family tree is growing and instead of being one of the branches, we are slowly edging towards the deeply rooted roots of the tree.  We are building a foundation for a future generation just like my great, great, great grandparents did and the ones before them and so on and so forth.

I don't know what it is but each year it just seems to get busier and busier.  I'm wondering if it's just because I'm getting older and older and that my days of living are numbered.  I'll say one thing for sure though is that, I'm realizing just how short life is and taking one day at a time now.  Enjoying each day and the simple pleasures it brings.  Enjoying my children and showering them with hugs and kisses whenever I have the chance for who knows when and where our Makers will call one of us back.

So far, Summmer has been a blast.  Of work for me and fun for the kids.  This week is the very first week that they actually get to stay home and have time to do their chores.  Tomorrow though, our Toki family reunion starts and so we will all be back on the grind once again.  Places to go and talents to show.  Yes we always have these Talent Shows during Reunions.

As for blogging, I'm gratified that I discovered it at the time that I did a few years ago.  It became a much needed outlet for my emotions until I can learn how to deal with them accordingly.  Now, I can enjoy blogging without having that overbearing urgency to spill it all out on my blog.  It's quite liberating to be at peace with one's emotions and life.  Not that my life is perfect now.  Far from it.  It's just that I'm accepting things as they are and the realizations that life will always be a work in progress like myself.  Taking one step at a time.

I'm a full time working mother now.  Funny but I'm hustling every day at work for sales and to make money for my family.  Since April 1st of this year I've been back to work full force.  I have no guilt now because all my children are pretty much grown and can fend for themselves while I work to bring in the dough since my husband is still unable to work.  I love my job and I see the hands of God in every direction our lives are leading to.  His purpose is clear and we are where He wants us to be at the right place and at the right time.  I have that brightness of faith in His will for He knows everything that is good for me and my family.  I always put my trust in the Lord.

Monday, June 3, 2013

No more Mourning Clothes

In two days I will no longer wear my black clothes to mourn my mother's death.  It will be exactly a year this coming Tuesday, June 4th since she passed away.  For 365 days, I've wore nothing but black.  It is our customary Tongan way of mourning a father or a mother is to wear black for either 6 months or one year.  My sister and I decided that it was appropriate to wear our mourning clothes for a year because she is our mother and she has done so much for us and sacrificed so much for us.

This past year I felt so much closer to my sister than I have ever done before.  Our mother's death has strengthen our bonds as sisters and deepen our love for each others.  I can't help but realize just what a lousy older sister I have been to my two younger ones through the years.  I have been so selfish and self-centered because as the oldest, I was spoiled and used to having things my way.  Lorna is an amazing person and I'm glad that we're much closer now.  I love her.

Since our mother passed, I've only seen her in one dream.  She was so young and beautiful.  My sister seems to be having constant dreams of our mother as if she communicates with her on a monthly basis or so it seems.  She sent messengers or speak to her herself.  By the way my sister describes her dreams, our mother is involved is some very important and time-pressing work.  She is very busy.

Removing my mourning clothes does not mean I'm going to stop mourning my mother.  I miss her tremendously and it seems that I think more about her now then when she was alive.  It's weird but everything reminds me of her as a mother, a daughter and a wife.  There's always some new sense of awe and gratitude when I think about her.

I don't know if I'm going to miss wearing black.  My body is ready to wear some light, summery clothes.  The only problem is, I have no other color clothes so I need to do some shopping.  I love my MOMMY!  I look forward to the time where I will see and meet her again.  I sure do miss her.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Her laughter

Her laughter is pure enchantment.  It brings hope.  It brings joy.  In the dark midst of my thoughts, all whirling like angry whirlpools in my head, I hear her sweet laughter from her room and all my dark thoughts, all my sadness and frustrations melt away.  It was stunning!  That one moment I was momentarily overwhelmed by all my troubles.  Then her light, joyful laughter drifted into my room like a cool breeze and stripped all my madness, worries and troubles instantly away.  Lightening my burdens and healing my heart.  It was an amazing experience.

My daughter Sisilia may never know it.  But the effect of her innocent laughter was like a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.  It just zaps me out of my miseries and made me smile from ear to ear.  Reminding me that life is about joy and laughter.  Not dwelling in our misfortunes and whatnots of every day living.  Last night I had a disagreement with my oldest son.  It weighed on me all night into the early hours of the morning.  Then she comes in late out of nowhere.  Probably watching some funny videos on youtube in her room and one simple burst of laughter escaped her mouth, had the power to practically dissolve what seems to be layers of my burdened heart and mind away.  I felt it and words just can't describe it.  But it literally left me in awe on how one simple little thing, such as laughter, can be life altering.

I love to laugh.  Sometimes it's hard to laugh through the uncertainties and miscellaneous disturbances of life itself.  But laughter is indeed the "best medicine".  Totally liberating and healing.  I love it.  My daughter just reminded me of something I haven't really thought about lately.  That we need to take more time to laugh out loud or laugh softly at that.  Find more things to do that makes us happy and joyful.  Nothing makes me happier then being around my children.

Last night though we laughed wildly over deboning chicken for the Rugby Banquet tonight.  Patiola was wrestling the dead meat to the ground trying to debone it and it was hilarious.  She swears in her life her future children will all be Vegetarians.  It started out with a bit of whining at first because it was late at night and here comes their father with endless boxes of chicken for Mahonrai to debone.  I had to get the girls to help him and my other son Leli before it goes on all night.   It was so much fun to hear them laugh and watch them work together.  Then they went shower and hit their beds all exhausted.

This morning as I'm blogging, I already feel that this day will be a beautiful day.  It didn't start that way but a simple and pure act of laughter pointed me in the right direction.  "Oh what a beautiful morning..." you sing the rest and have a fantastic day.  LOL. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Heart Is Full

A day well spent.  What more can a mother ask for?  All I wanted this Mother's Day was to have my children spent a day with me.  My wish was granted and MY HEART IS FULL!  All seven of them.  Usually on Sundays they'd be gone to their own wards and with friends.  To-day, I felt like the Mother Hen gathering her chicks under her wings.  It was sweet and joyful.  It touched me deeply that they were so eager to please and I loved every moment spent with them.  They are my greatest treasures.

Early this morning I was served breakfast, then I head off to the Cemetery because I missed my mother terribly.  I'm not one to show the vulnerable side of me and give in to crying.  This day, I was a water pot.   I went and sat with her and thought of all the wonderful ways she has influenced my life.  As a mother, a career woman, a nurturer and care giver.

I wanted to thank her from the bottom of my heart.  For everything I am to-day it's because of my beloved mother.  As mother's we've got so many different roles to play.  We are everything to our children.  We are Care givers,  Comforters,  Peace Makers and Taxi Drivers.  We have so many different roles and we love everyone of them.  I hope every one had a great mother's day..

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Credit Repair?

Talk about living in a cave for years.  I might as well have when it comes to CREDIT!.  Coming from a remote island out of the middle of an Ocean, didn't help either.  What the heck is credit I ask?  Like so many people I talk to on the phone, I was an ignorant baboon when it come to credit.  Didn't know what it was, what it means and how it can have a significant effect in one's life.

"When you don't have money, you need good credit!" My son stated firmly.  He blames us for not teaching him about credit.  Oh yeah, how can we teach something we never knew anything about.  We've dealt with cash on everything we do.  Never had a credit card under my name.  I never believed in bank accounts.  Even though my husband every now and then went out and got one and had to close it because he  couldn't manage it.  Now I have a prepaid card that I had to get because my work doesn't give out paper checks!  What?  What is the world coming to?   I like picking up my checks and running to Walmart to cash it.  Yes I'm a simple woman but simple doesn't seem to cut it with everything requiring good credit now-a-days.

Let's zip back in time for a minute.  Growing up, it was kind of strange looking back at it, but we never lacked for anything with both my parents working.  Most women in Tonga stayed home.  But my mother and a few others had career with Liahona High School just across the street from us.  She had gained her education by coming to Hawaii.  So she was the executive secretary for all the LDS church schools in Tonga.  My father was the head mechanic.  He can fix anything.  By that, I mean ANYTHING!

We had the cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, boat and to top it off a store.  My dad would make trips out here to America and he'd come back with all these things.  Or people would give it to him because they couldn't afford to fix it or don't have the parts for their vehicles.  We were the first to have a TV, video game in our village.  Kids would climb our Touhuni tree outside our windows so they can take a peek at what a TV looks like.  It made me giggle when I'd see them hanging outside the tree trying to peek in.  We had a huge two story house with eight bedrooms, that one day in the unforeseen future, I'd like to go back and fix up because everyone says that it's falling apart under my little brother's care with his wife. 

Anyway, back to credit.  My aunt Peta was the storekeeper and whenever I need something, or am hungry, I always go to the store and get it.  But I noticed she had this big red book that she keeps people's name in and what they bought but didn't pay for.  Then they'll come back on their pay day and pay with money.  Or they would bring something from their plantation in exchange for what they took.  It didn't click on my tiny brain back then, that this is how credit works.  If they don't pay up, my aunt would send one of my cousins to run to their house and tell them they owe her money.

Fast forward,  it's a long way from a tiny island to a big continent.  It feels like we've been clearing our way through a jungle with a machetes rather then a nice plow to clear the way for us.  With bankruptcy back in the mid-nineties, charge offs, repos (we got a brand new aerostar back in the days and my father-in-law rammed into us on our way to the airport and there was no insurance so we ended up not paying for it) late payments and foreclosures we are finally beginning to make sense of it all.  And we're almost half a century old did I mention.  Not that I knew any of the meanings of those words until it was too late.  So yes, I have been living in a cave.  When it comes to managing finances, I suck at it and living from pay check to pay check, it really didn't seem all that matter anyways because there was really no money to manage. 

Now in my older and wiser days, I wish I'd known back then what I know now.  My admiration for my parents knows no bounds because I simply don't know how they did in an island that had no money.   Here in America, we have everything in our fingertips.  After being here for what seems like centuries, I'm finally understanding something about money, credit and finances.

We are going through credit repair.  Luckily my work offers free credit repair for employees.  I talk to people everyday who are on the same boat.  Trying to fix their credit.  Credit is vital, especially with the way the economy is.  I went from knowing nothing about credit, to knowing everything about credit now.  I went from being a stay-home-mom, to work-from-home mom, to a full time working mom now.  My husband, due to his poor health which have been going on for almost 25 years now, is staying home.  We have braved being broke for me to stay home with our children.  Now they are all grown and don't need me at home, I'm contend to go back to work full time. 

Most of the people I talk to, are people who are in the 500s low or 600s to 640s high in their Fico scores.  They are being denied from getting anything because they're are told that they need a higher score in order for them to qualify for a loan, vehicle, mortgage etc.  Before, the 600s were good to go.  Now, your score have to be in the 700s or better in order to qualify for low interest anything and low monthly payments.  So it makes a huge difference when you have good credit.

Now and then, we have some who are in the high 700s or 800s, they are still looking to repair their credit because having "good" credit is just not good enough.   They want "excellent" credit.  Unless you're a millionaire and have tons on money, then you might not need excellent credit.  But if you're broke like me, then we need to work on getting good credit through credit repair or debt consolidation.  We've settled some of our debts with certain companies that settles.  Making payments on time though is the best way to avoid having negative items on your credit report.

I've come a long way from my cave days with credit.  Life is all about progressing and moving forward.  We may be moving in SNAIL pace but we're moving nonetheless.  There are so many aspects in living this life.  If it's not one things it's another.  However, one thing I'm sure of, nothing will ever be more important to me then people themselves.  Starting with those whom are dear and precious to my heart.  My children.  My families.  Then it ripples outward to all human beings.  They are the ones with souls.  So our bonds doesn't end here in this life.  They go on forever and ever. 

We will always have something to work towards.  Some goals to reach.  Some perhaps just one or two things.  Others, perhaps five or six things.  It varies but THINGS will always be THINGS.  They will never be compared to people, family, friends and loved ones. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Good Riddance!

All I can say about this past week is, "I'm so glad it's over, gone and done with."


It was one of those weeks where I felt like hiking my skirt up and run naked in the streets (and that would have been a terrifying sight), pull my hair out and scream at the top of my lungs:  "Can I at least be sick for one day people!"

Do I even deserve a sick day?  I mean with all the mothering, nurturing and love I showed everyone else, I can at least lay in bed and be sick, have someone put a thermometer in my mouth and a cold towel on my forehead and say.  "Here mommy, you're going to be just fine.  I'm going to take care of you"

Bah Humbug! 

How heavenly that would be to be sick and have people take care of me when I need them to.   Because I was sick like a dog delirious with a fever and a water fountain flowing out of my nose, plus a headache the size of Australia. ( the biggest island on earth and that's what my headache felt like).  To make is worse, I can hear waterworks in my head!  I thought I was on the verge having a water stroke or something.

But NOOOO, everyone else has to be sick at the same time including my darling husband who seems to be sick every day of the year now.  Well, not that I mind him being sick but damn, I just wanted to have a decent miserable sick day or night.  Is that too much to ask?

So I was miserably sick for a total of 2 days but I only got to lay down on my bed in total of 5 hours over all because I still had to work, I can't miss work cause it's a new job and I'm in training.  Still had to drop off, pick up kids, cook, shop, clean, wash, make sure everyone got their dose of medication, morning before leave to work and in the middle of the night when I'm in agony of being sick!   I was a walking zombie the whole week. 

Until Sunday of course, where I went to church and the good Lord fixed my annoyed heart and pampered me with his love.  Sundays always saves and cures me of all my sickness in my mind, body, heart and soul.  That is one day that I am forever grateful for. 

I am just glad it's a brand new week and a brand new start.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Oh boy, another birthday in the house

Oh boy, another birthday for this month in our home.  Three to be exact.  On the 4th was my Mahonrai, then my princess Beverly Shania.  Now, just yesterday, we celebrated my second to the oldest son Petueli.  He is an amazing individual.  We call him Leli.  Above is a picture of him and his sister Sisilia.  Those two have always been close.  We had so much fun last night making his favorite food for dinner and baking him his cake.  He thinks he's too old to blow out any candles, so he uses his hands to extinguish the flames.  I like to baby their birthdays because I know it annoys them to no end.  They think they're too old and too cool for birthday celebrations. 

I didn't get to see Leli until after 9pm last night.  He was gone to work before I woke up and I had to work and run errands to my Auntie Peta and my dad.  I came as he was eating his fish and manioke.  His cake looked like someone walked on it.  His sister Mele had the honor of putting the frosting on it and she totally ruined the friggin cake.  Nevertheless, we had not choice but to put on the candles and force him to listen to our singing the birthday song.  Afterwards, the whole family was on the ball in devouring all our favorite good old fashion, chocolate cake.  Yuuuuummmyy...


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Grief and Loss

How can we possibly know the depth of grief a mother feels when she looses her one and only son?  My friend and distant cousin, Tupou lost her only child Sione to a shooting early this morning at a Maverick.  At first I didn't want to hear the news when my son told me.  Because with one so alive, handsome and so full of life, all at once killed before he's suppose to leave this life.  I can imagine the grief and sorrow she must be going through.  But to truly understand the pain, I don't think I can even comprehend a fraction of it. 

This picture is of Tupou and Sione with our customary ta'ovala around his waist.  He was her pride and joy.   The apple of her eye.  Just a day ago I saw on Facebook that she was preparing for Sione's wedding.  I was surprised so I inquired to make sure he's getting married.  Just a few years back he accompanied my daughter Sisilia when she sings for my oldest son's wedding.  My son's name is Sione too but I call him by his middle name Leveni.

Sione is an affluent piano player.  Started at a very young age with the best teacher money can buy.  He played at church functions, educational functions and everyone was impressed by his ability to play the piano.  He also was a member of a Polynesian dance group.  He was as talented as he was good looking.

Death comes to us all of course.  But "when" death comes, is the big question.  I grieve with my friend Tupou.  She may not know it, but she's not grieving alone this day.  So many of us loved Sione and the cold sorrow of his death chills us all.  We all experience deep sorrow and sadness when we loose loved ones.  We mourn together with everyone that has ever experience such loss.

"My grief lies all within, And these external manners of lament.  Are merely shadows to the unseen grief.  That swells with silence in the tortured soul."       Shakespeare


Monday, April 8, 2013

Spiritual Nourishment

Yesterday was the last two sessions of the 183rd session of the General Conference.  My soul has bask in a much needed spiritual feast to lift up my spirit and ease my burdens.  I love General Conferences.  Most of all, I love listening to the prophets and apostles of the Lord.  They say exactly what I need to hear, so I can improve myself and help my family improve themselves.

President Monson's talk made me laugh and reminded me of my own mischievous young age.  He was forbid by his parents never to use a match or lighter without adult supervision, but at the age of eight, every child is prone to some type of mischief.  So, during a Summer vacation up in their cabin on the mountains, he took upon himself and his best buddy at the time to sneak in the house and steal a lighter.  The consequences was almost devastating of course.  The key to his talk was obedience

Eld. Bednar perhaps made the most impact on me as he outright, without hesitant or sugar coating, talk about Chastity. 

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a single, undeviated standard of sexual morality...Violating the law of chastity is a grievous sin and misuse of our physical tabernacles...Marriage is between a man and a woman...Defiling the body is an act of rebellion and a denial of our true identity as sons and daughters of God. Love increases through righteous restraint and decreases through impulsive indulgent..."

So many wonderful talks from our church leaders these past weekend.  Makes me ever so grateful that I am part of this great and marvelous gospel.  Where would I be without it?  Where would my children be without their upbringing in this magnificent gospel?  I tell you,  we'd all be lost within the carnal whirlpool of this life.  Sucked in by the temptations of the devil that we may all be miserable like unto him.  During this conference I came to understand exactly why Satan desires that we misuse our bodies and not keep the law of chastity.  It's because he, himself doesn't have a body and this enrages him so he stays true to his promise that he will do everything in his power to destroy our spirit so we won't return home to the presence of our Heavenly Father.  

Every General Conference gives me renewed strength and courage to strive to be as perfect as I can become.  To focus on the most important things instead of the frivolous material things of this world.  That I should always count my blessings that I am part of a great and eternal plan.  Our spirits are eternal and when it's time to lay this body down to the grave, my spirit will soar on forever and ever.  That's why it is pivotal and utterly important that we make sure we live a well lived and righteous life.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


So my Mahonrai Teancum  is seventeen to-day.  He is the last of the "MOHICANS!"  my
youngest son and he brings such joy to my life.  Easy going
boy and full of compassion and love for his family and friends.  This boy is like a walking Wikipedia.  He remembers everything he reads about and his knowledge of  World History is mind blowing.   Very bright and very distracted.

His little league coach nicknamed BIG MO.  To this day, many call him by this.  MO.  I can't believe he is 17.  On my wall is a picture of him running to me from his Kindergarten bus after his first day of school.  To-day he's 6'0 almost 250lbs.  His smile is infectious and he is such a big momma's boy.  This is Mahonrai with my father "Charlie".

 Mahonrai makes parenting so much easier.  His main focus is in school, games and sports.  Too immature to notice girls as of yet.  Too busy with games and Rugby right now.  Next year he'll be 18 and leaving on his 2 year mission.   Time sure flies.

Being last of the Toki boys in the family, he gets a bit frustrated with his two older brothers.  They claim he's too soft and spoiled but nothing can be farther from the truth.  This boy's got the strength of Samson and one thing I dread is that he doesn't have a brother closer to his age to grow up with.  My two oldest sons always had each others back.  They did everything together.  Mahonrai got his 3 little sisters and I just know they annoy him to no end.  He likes to boss them around because for a while there, he was the man of the house for dad was always sick. 

I love you Big MO.  Happy Seventeenth birthday.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


He is risen! He is risen!
Tell it out with joyful voice.
He has burst his three days’ prison;
Let the whole wide earth rejoice.
Death is conquered; man is free.
Christ has won the victory! 18
Yesterday my youngest daughter kept asking, "Where's the candy?".   "Aren't we having an Easter Egg Hunt?"  
"Is that all you think about is candy this Easter?"  I scowled.  A bit annoyed that there are so many things to distract our children from the true meaning of these holidays that we celebrate 
Easter Egg Hunt
How many gifts are we going to get for Christmas?  etc etc etc
"Do you even know what Easter is all about?"  I asked, hoping that in all her almost 12 years old, she has an idea of how significant this Holiday is.
"Yes, it's when Jesus Christ died and was resurrected in three days."
I almost howled with joy
"Yay, she knows what Easter is all about!"  Then why is she relentless in asking about candies? 
 Children will be children I concluded
That it's not about the Egg Hunt and it's not about Candies.  And I have no idea how those traditions even fit into the picture of Easter to commemorate the Magnificent Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.
I worry sometimes that the things we have taught our children will gently slip their minds as they grow older.
This day, this day, the  Heavens rejoiced because Christ unlocked the door of Death and was the first fruit of the RESURRECTION.

What better words, than that of a living Prophet Thomas S. Monson to describe this event:

Following the agony of Gethsemane, now drained of strength, He was seized by rough, crude hands and taken before Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod. He was accused and cursed. Vicious blows further weakened His pain-racked body. Blood ran down His face as a cruel crown fashioned of sharp thorns was forced onto His head, piercing His brow. And then once again He was taken to Pilate, who gave in to the cries of the angry mob: “Crucify him, crucify him.” 9

He was scourged with a whip into whose multiple leather strands sharp metals and bones were woven. Rising from the cruelty of the scourge, with stumbling steps He carried His own cross until He could go no farther and another shouldered the burden for Him.
Finally, on a hill called Calvary, while helpless followers looked on, His wounded body was nailed to a cross. Mercilessly He was mocked and cursed and derided. And yet He cried out, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” 10

The agonizing hours passed as His life ebbed. From His parched lips came the words, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” 11
As the serenity and solace of a merciful death freed Him from the sorrows of mortality, He returned to the presence of His Father.

At the last moment, the Master could have turned back. But He did not. He passed beneath all things that He might save all things. His lifeless body was hurriedly but gently placed in a borrowed tomb.

No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary when, on the first day of the week, they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord. Spoke the angel:

“Why seek ye the living among the dead?

“He is not here, but is risen.” 12

Our Savior lived again. The most glorious, comforting, and reassuring of all events of human history had taken place—the victory over death. The pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary had been wiped away. The salvation of mankind had been secured. The Fall of Adam had been reclaimed.

The empty tomb that first Easter morning was the answer to Job’s question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” To all within the sound of my voice, I declare, If a man die, he shall live again. We know, for we have the light of revealed truth.

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 13

I have been missing my mother lately.  She's on my mind every day.  With the resurrection I know I will see her again.  I'm not afraid of death as it is just another stage that every one must pass through.  But I glorify in my Savior Jesus Christ, that His one main purpose to offer is Eternal and Everlasting Life for all mankind.   

So this Easter, let us all REJOICE.  That through HIM, we shall all live again.   


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Another Birthday, So What!

I think I stop counting my birthdays since I turned 40.  After that it's all a blur.  LOL.  To-day I turn 49.  Funny but it feels like I've been 49 for a long time.  This past few nights, I 've been feeling the numbing on my right fingers more acute then before, I think I have Carpal Tunnel.  I've been doing typing since I was in high school and for a living now as a Sales Agent, so now, I think it's catching up with me.  Starting with my fingers.

What I have truly learned in my years of growing older and wiser is that, "Happiness is a State of Mind".  It doesn't matter who you are, what you have and where you are in this life, if you choose to be HAPPY, you will be Happy.  It's an ATTITUDE that comes from GRATITUDE.  Not taking what you have for granted.  Most of all, PEOPLE are what matters most NOT THINGS.  

How is it that 49 is such a small number in the scale of life between 1 and 100?   I've only lived 49 years and for most people that is half of their lifetime.  To some people, they lived only this long or shorter.  This morning I looked at old pictures and smile.  Life has always been full and exciting.  Every second counts and we have to make the best of it.  Their is no time for whining and complaining.  The air outside is free and while we're still breathing, we need to make the best of it. 

My children are my JOY in this life.  It's hard to breath sometimes when they're in despair and distress. As a mother, you want the best for your children.  What I want most for my children is to live a happy life.  To find joy in the simple things in this life.  In love, in laughter, in hard work and in their relationship with each others and with those around them.  Not to let the pressure of this world for material things, determine the happiness they can have just from enjoying the simple blessings that God has granted them. 

Breathing alone, is a blessing.  Enjoy it while you still have it.  
My heart is merry with laughter and thankfulness.  That I still have this day with the ones I love. 
God is GREAT and Life and GOOD.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

One Lousy Move

Twice this year we've moved and hopefully this will be the last move until all the children are all grown and on their own.  This move took it's toll and one I prefer to forget.  I think I'm getting too old for these moves.  Both the unexpected and the expected happened.  The house is far from complete and funds are short and I need another job.

There were certain moments these past few days where I really question my self confident and courage.  I have always been one to be strong, optimistic and courageous, but boy, there were times where it felt like my whole world was falling apart and I can't get back in control.

Last Sunday we didn't attend church.  We had last minute cleaning up and loads to get out of the old house.  We broke the Sabbath day and I needed to attend church.  I needed that renewal of strengt that comes every Sunday from baring my soul during Sacrament to the Lord.   I needed a gulp of that living water that I desperately in thirst for.  My weekly rejuvenation process and I went without, so here I am weak and rattled.  I can't wait 'til Sunday to renew my soul.  Lord knows I need it.

How can in just a few short days, you feel like you've been to Hell and back?  This is exactly how these moving days felt like.  I'm glad though that we're finally settling in.  Things are looking better and I pray it will get better.  My sweet daughter Sisilia became a surprising force of strength for me, when at a moment of bottled up emotions spilled over, gave me comfort and hopeful joy.  She reached over as I was in tears, and kissed me with such tenderness, gave me encouraging words.  My whole world lit up with hope and it shocked me how a few loving words of encouragement can make a difference in one's life like that of night to day. 

All I know now is that it is great to be close to all my family.  Both on my side and on my husband side.  They're minutes away from us and whenever they need or we need anything, it's nice to just jump in the car and drive there for they are so close.  Especially my dad.  I've always wanted to be closer to him so when he needs something I'm never too far to help.  My beloved Auntie Peta lives with my father and sister now.  I miss her so very much.  The only good thing is that I can go there and see them every day. 

One of the many things I've learned in this life is that, "if we're not careful, we can get caught up in this world and material things that we tend to overlook what's most important in our lives and that is PEOPLE.  NOT THINGS!"   My FAMILY.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Family Time

Because I haven't been able to leave the house this whole week due to my beloved Aunt Peta being sick, yesterday was such a welcoming change.  She was well enough for me to finally able to leave the house and see my two oldest sons, whom I missed so very much.  I imagine it's going to be the same way when the rest of my children will eventually leave our nest and make us empty-nesters.  That's the Inevitable.

Next year my youngest son Mahonrai will graduate from high school.  He will turn 18 and will be old enough to leave on a mission.  I miss him already!  These children are so full of life that there's never a dull moment with them.  With their constant fighting and bickering, to loud singing and laughter, then smothering me with kisses and hugs, most times I'm amused  and grateful, then there are those pothole moments where I wish they could have stayed asleep all day in their beds or SHUT UP!

The house is slowly coming together.  It's such a fun project when everyone puts in their efforts to help.  While we were toiling in cleaning, hammering and dismantling a fireplace, my son Leli walks in with a bunch of cereal boxes in his arms.  As always, he's like a ray of sunshine brightening our day when he comes around.  The girls almost doubled him over with hugs and I had to almost literally shove them out of the way so I can get my hugs in too.   He's used to this kind of welcoming when his sisters and I are around.

I said, "Man Leli, we hardly ever have time for a decent conversation anymore."  Anticipating his keen wits, he replied:  "We, young adult males do not have time to conversate with older women! We're too busy with girls our own age." 
"So I've been hearing from the girls about cancel dates and some scheming to break up a certain girl from her current boyfriend."  His voice boomed in laughter,  "How did you come to hear that?"
"The girls here told me.  I hear there's a (I mentioned various girls name)  Which one is it Lel?
"Non in particular because I like to leave my options open mom".

I treasure Family Time with all the children.  Whenever one is missing, they're great missed.  My husband often mocks me for openly displaying affections for my children.  It's not a very common thing among our Polynesian people.  We love greatly, but display of affections are not publicly shown.  My children often asks us, "Mom, why don't you and dad ever kiss".  My answer is always, "We're Tongans, we don't kiss in public".  Not even in-front of our children.

Earlier to-day, my two youngest girls were curious and they asked, "Mom where did you and dad first kissed?"  (Mind you, no normal Tongan children will ever ask this question to their parents).  My reply was short and to the point.  "On a bench."  Boy did that tickle their stomachs as they giggled and laughed.  "On a bench?"  That was it and that was too much information already for me.

But anyways, back to showing affections to my kids, my husband overhearing me telling my boys that I love them would often remark:  "How many times do I have to tell you to stop saying "I love you" to the boys before they become wussies.  They're men and you're too soft with them."  My husband sometimes reluctantly shows his affections to his children on special occasions.  However, his children never doubts his love for them because it's always there in the way he talks to them and the things he does for them.

This is one of those posts where I can't get enough talking about my children.  LOL.  I just love my family so very much.  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Best of both worlds

Started this post on Valentine's day and just now have time to finish and post it.

All I can say to-day is that I'm glad yesterday is over!  You know when you have one of those days where everything goes wrong from sun up to sun down.  And it was Valentine's Day for Pete's sake.  Well into sun-down though, things gradually got brighter.  With my two youngest girls pampering me with waffles and kisses until my world light up with laughter and gratitude.  It all ended in jubilee and when I close my eyes to sleep, I welcomed the abyss of darkness and rest, allowing my body and mind to embrace nothing but the bliss of a deep goodnight sleep.

This morning I woke up refreshed and grateful.  Never appreciated my roots and where I came from more to-day then ever before.   Back in the island we weave our mats as tightly as we weave the bonds that bind our families together.   One that can not be unraveled by time and runs deep as the ocean that surrounds us.  We are Polynesians and we're unique and unmatched when it comes to taking care of our families, immediate and extended.

Yesterday, I truly questioned myself as a mother because it felt like I disappointingly SUCKED at it.   Perhaps because I measure how good a mother I am by the behaviors that reflects from my children.  Which I know I shouldn't.  Any may be, just may be because I'm too Americanized and forget to instill our Tongan ways, (anga faka-Tonga) to my children.
"Just because we are here in America, does not mean you forget about your roots and your culture!"  I reminded my daughter
"Then you should have born us in Tonga", she cuts in.

We came here because we wanted a better life for ourselves, our parents and our children.  A better education and an opportunity to improve our way of living.  While we seek these things, we struggle to retain our identity as Tongans and keep our traditions and cultures because this is what defines us as a people. 

The very CORE of our Tongan culture branches out in two-folds: KINSHIP and RESPECT.  Our family circle does not end with mother, father, sisters and brothers.  It includes aunts, uncles, cousins etc etc etc.  Your house is not only your house, its' your "kainga's" (relatives) house as well.  Our house was always full because my mother brought many of her relatives to live us so they can go to school at Liahona High School.  She worked and provided for us and them because that is just the way our Tongan custom works.  You take care of you family and your relatives if you are able to.

Respect of elderlies and respect of parents and others is the epitome of our Tonga culture.  Children are taught to respect those who are older then them and honor their parents.  When parents speak, children listen.  There's no back talking or murmuring.  I don't ever remember talking back to my parents. I respected and love them too much.  I might not agree with what they're saying, but that doesn't mean I have to disrespect and talk back to them.  This is just part of honoring our parents and our culture.  Moreover, children are expected to take care of their parents when they get old.  It is the way it is.  Not put them out in some Senior Citizen facility when they are old.  It is very very rare that we see any Polynesian putting their parents in rest homes.  Very rare indeed.  We take care of our old.  

I have made a drastic mistake in not teaching my children our Tongan language.  Perhaps this is the gravest mistake I made.  When we loose our native tongue, everything else is bound to slip away.  Slowly but surely.  My children blames me for this.  They long to learn how to speak Tongan.  My son is determine to have us speak in Tongan to his children.  I'm obligated to live by his request because I have error in not teaching them the language.

Our generosity as Polynesians knows no boundary.  Sharing and giving has always been our way of life.  There's no "me, myself and I".  It's always, "we, us and ours".   There's no such thing as "independent" for our 18 year olds.  You live with your parents until you're good and married then you can go off and build a shed somewhere and live there.  Here in America, parents can't wait to push their children out the door when they turn 18 and then 18 year olds can't wait to be on their own.   I've learned to tolerate the two.  What's more important to me is the time I still have with my children and how we choose to spent it.  The door is open if they want to leave, but if they don't, they can stay as long as they want.

There are good in both worlds as a Tongan living here in America.  Instead of juggling between both world, I can do my best to adjust and to teach good values to my children so they themselves can adapt.  My son Leli said the other day:  "It's a doggy dog world out there mom, every one fends for themselves!"
I say, "No son, it doesn't have to be."  Only those who are self-centered, self-obsessed and selfish, sees a world where everything is about "me, me and me".  Look around you, there are people who are always in need and it is our responsibility to lend a helping hand and make their life better.

I am proud to be a Tongan in this wonderful America.  There is so much goodness in my rich Tongan heritage and this magnificent land of opportunity and freedom. 


Friday, February 8, 2013

Lesson Learned

It got ugly yesterday.  That's all I'm going say for now.  What I knew was going to happen, happened and I saw it coming a long time ago but my husband chose not to listen to me.  So, in all life's lesson, this one is learned.  A bit too late and not short of tearing all our lives apart.  However, the Lord always has a solution for every problem and a way to teach us all a lesson.  Then he allows us to work on putting all the pieces of lives back together again, with His help of course.  One I am always counting on and He has never failed me. 

If we chose to hold grudges and not forgive, then there's a deeper pit lying within everyone of us that remains bitter, angry and unforgiving.  I myself have been, what some may claim,  "cursed with a kind heart".  Not that I mind at all and it definitely is not a curse but there are some who thinks that it is indeed a curse.   Many years back, we went to this Medicine Woman, a lady who by looking into our eyes, can tell us everything that is wrong with us.  She can see cancer, if you have it or any kind of sickness or disease presumably.  She took one look into my eyes and she said,  "You have the biggest heart ever.  A big, big heart."  And she smiled and that was that.

I love people and I see goodness is every one.  My husband says that I'm naive and gullible.  When things happens to prove me wrong, he'd say "I told you so".  But this doesn't blur my vision of seeing goodness, sweetness and mercy in others. Not matter how flawed they are, I try to understand where they're coming from and why they do the things they do.  So many things have happened in my life that had it happened to anyone else, would cripple them with anger and rage.

Yes,  I get can angry and disappointed but have learned to let things go and not hold anything against anyone.  Nor remain angry after the sun goes down.  When a new sun rises, my hopes are renewed and I'm looking forward to a new beginning and a second chance.  Everyone and everything deserves a second chance.  This is the story of my life and I'd have it no other way.  I love this life and the people in it.  So precious and wonderful. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Way too funny!

Yesterday morning, my husband was preparing one of our (mine and his) favorite delicacies, OCTOPUS, for dinner.   He had cooked it for a while and it was sitting on top of the stove waiting to be sauteed in Coconut milk.  While hubby was busy doing something on the computer, he asked our daughter Papi (whom I've written a number of posts about) if she could transfer the Octopus from the large pot to the small pot so he can use the big pot for the potatoes. 

Well, Papi, bless her heart, is afraid of anything smaller then her nose.  Flies, spiders, ants, moths and any bug that flies, crawls or moves. 
As she approached the pot, her eyes widened as she let out a disgusting squeal.
"Look mom, this thing has TESTICLES.  There are many of them!"
Her outburst caught me off guard and in a blurry state of mind I blurted out, "Isn't testicles suppose to be something nasty?"
My hubby, abandoning the computer came up to her and yelled,  "Those are not testicles, they are tentacles you idiot!"
It finally clicked on me what my daughter just said and I just couldn't help but laughed and laughed and laughed.  There's tentacles for ya!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Remodeling and Rebuilding

Remodeling, rebuilding and renewing.  Not only of a house but also of relationships and family ties.  We are working on remodeling our eldest son's very first house.  It was given to them by his wife's parents.  The house is huge with 5 bedrooms, 3 living rooms and 2 1/2 baths.  It also needs are lot of work and we're all assisting in tearing down, patching up and painting.  

For years I've longed for a way to be closer to our son and his lovely wife and the Lord has provided us with the opportunity.  Of all things, it comes through rebuilding and remodeling a house.  We're all having a blast tearing down walls, patching up holes and painting over old paint.  Slowly do we see the results of our labor and it's beautiful.  In the process of doing all this, we're bonding once again with each others, especially our 3 oldest children as they've all grown and out of the house.  Now this house, is bringing us all back together again and I can't help but rejoice in this unexpected chance.

First, my daughter-in-law's pregnancy.  She's just gotten over her first trimester and she's been sick like a dog with IV at home and constant throwing up, cramps and loosing weight.  She was always a tiny little thing but tinier now because of a very rough pregnancy.  Sometimes my son would call me in the middle of the night seeking advice on how to curb throwing up.  I offer all the help I can get. 

Every one of the children are involved with some type of work.  So fun and rewarding.  It's not all dandy like that all the time though.  We disagree here and there on styles and colors.  What to leave up and what to take down. I'm learning so much about my daughter-in-law, she's a tiny little thing but full of big dreams, big ideas and opinions. Which adds to her uniqueness in her own way.  It's so funny watching them discuss, debate and agree to disagree on certain things in their first house.  Married right out of high school, they've come a long way since then.  Expecting their first child after 5 years of marriage.

My husband on the other hand, forgets sometimes that his sons are grown men.  No longer little boys to be told what to do all the time.  He gets ahead of himself and I'm there to bring him down!  LOL.  Hot tempered, loud and impatient.   The children are used to him though.

I find that joy comes from being with the ones you love the most.  Life is precious and sweet.  Nothing can replace time spend with the people you love.  Not money, not silver, gold nor any material things.  I've learned that happiness is indeed a state of mind and that things have no lasting effect in comparison to our relationships with one another.   My joy is full when I'm around my family.  Both my immediate family and my extended family.  I love them all. As we remodel our son's house, we're strengthening bonds and ties within our growing family circle. It's been a long time coming. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Funny things they say or tell

Mele, who just turned 14 years old came from school yesterday and shyly admitted to me that this boy in school was hitting on her.  He approached her and asked:  "Did it hurt?"  Baffled by his question, she asked "What do you mean?"
"Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven!"
Laughing I assured her that boys will always throw out silly lines like that when they want to get attention from a girl.  She smiles and this girl's got big, humongous gorgeous eyes and continued, "Yeah mom, and the same guy said another thing to me again.  He goes, "Do you take karate lessons"  Which she answered "No" of course.  The he blurted:  "Because your body is kicking!"  Ba ha ha. What else would these kids come up with.

Children are always coming home sharing funny stories from school or places they go. 

Patiola, is not shy about anything.  She said "Mom, you know in my math class, I'm smartest when we do things in class and participating in the lesson.  But when it come to testing time, I always get an "F".  Patiola was born a month premature weighing in at only 5lbs.  Her Doctor said that she might be a little slow in school.  She has been in the Special Education program since first grade.  Now it's only certain subjects like Math that she's pulled out of her regular class for Spec. Ed. class. So it's no surprise to me when she tells me this. I call her "Papi"  (Puppy)  as that's my pet name for her. 

"The students around me always looks at my paper trying to get the answers off my papers.  I looked and them and mouthed:  Get you own answers!"
They'd beg, "Please we just need a little help."
So she lets them and  then when they get the test result, they pass the test and she flungs!
Then she went on in a loud voice "I think someone erases my answers when we pass the paper forward.  That's why I'm getting an "F"!
This girl kills me.  She's got an attitude the size of Texas too. 

11 year old Beverly always wear these headbands that I crochet, to school.  They come in different colors and I made some for Christmas to give away to their friends as gifts and now we have a bunch of leftovers so she wears them to school.  She came home yesterday and informed me that some of the girls in her school wanted me to make them some headbands.  She also said that she told them that it'll cost $3 each.  I'm thinking that this girl will be a great sales agent one day. 

Big Mo (16) is always saying:  "This girl in school likes me mom".  I'd questioned:  "How do you know she likes you?"  He'd say :  "Duh mom!  She's  always staring at me every time I look up".  LOL  I'm just glad Mahonrai is not girl crazy and doesn't even have a girlfriend.  Less headache for me 'cause I don't want to have to deal with girlfriends and boyfriends until they're old enough, like 18 or may be older. 
Thinking it was cool to give my Return Missionary son tips on dating I encouraged him:
"Son don't forget, date as many girls as you can so you can find out for sure who's the right one"
He looked at me, chuckles, shakes his head and replied:  "Mom your tips on dating are so outdated.  You
see, dating has become revolutionized since your days." 
His reply caught me off guard as I burst out laughing.  He just made me feel 1000 years old.  Ancient.  Then he went on: "It's an ocean of sharks out there mom.  Some of them can sniff the money in my pocket from miles away.  Plus it's not more of looking right now. It's more of a HUNT and sometimes mom, it feels like I'm the PREY!"  ROTFL
This guy is hilarious.  He's got some sense of humor.  Any girl who marries my Leli will be lucky. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My beloved Charlie

When I speak of my father, Charlie, I speak of a man who was 100% dedicated to his wife and his children.  This past Monday, Jan. 14th, he turned 73 years old.  His hair is all white now, he limps when he walks due to a mild stroke a few years back.  I've already wrote about him in some of my previous posts, but to-day I wanted to make a tribute to him, for I am forever and ever will be grateful for all that he has done for me, for my mother and the rest of his children.

My mother was his queen.  I grew up adoring the way they loved each others and the way they loved us.  I made up my mind at a very young age that when I get married, I wanted someone just like my father.

His examples were not merely from his words alone, but also with labor and much patience at that.  I remember him as a mechanic for the school district and as a cook at home.  He treated my mother with respect and cherished her until her last breath when she died of breast cancer last year.  Never, have I witnessed a husband so loving and dedicated to his wife as my father did for my mother. 

This man was fun to be around.  Never a dull moment with my dad.  He'd take us riding on his big machineries at his work.  Plows, Tractors, Bulldozers and we'd watched him dig holes after holes for buildings and other things.  Then he fixed cars from all over our island.  He fixes things.  We'd go to our plantation and plant all kinds of things.  And then he'd take us swimming in the ocean.  When he does, he loads up our pick up truck full of the kids from our village and head out to the beach up town.  Boy it was fun.  To this day, I cherish those memories. 

One of the funnest things we use to do as kids was playing out in the pouring rain.  All the children gather together to the high school and just run wild, slipping and sliding until our skin become rubbery and wrinkly.  My father took me out this one night and not only it was raining hard but there was thunder and lightning lighting up the sky.  It was the most beautiful thing to me.  I stood there in the dark, clinging to one of his legs and just watching the sky as it pours down hearing the drumming of thunders while lightning lights up the sky.  I was not scared at all for my dad was with me.  I remember everything about my father.  To this day it never fail to bring a smile to my face.

I'm thankful that I was blessed with a dad such as Charlie.  He would sit on our piano and play and sing so loud.  Our house was the only two-story house in the village and when he sings, the who village can hear him.  Not that he knows how to sing or play the piano.  Noooo.  He just made up words and made up notes.  It was hilarious. 

I don't know how long he's got to live.  One thing I know for sure is that I have to make it count.  He lives with my brother Tuita.  But what I would really like to do is to take him home, back to the island.  To his big house and the place that he loves.  I think if he dies he'd want to be buried right next to the woman he loves.  But I think what would really make him happy is that if he takes a trip back to the home he build and the places he loved.  I love my father.  He can't read English at all, he speaks very very little of it but it's always funny how I'd go to his house and he'd describe to me what is going on around the world just by watching TV and trying to make out what they're saying in the news. 

Charlie has left us all a very rich and joyful legacy.  I can't thank him enough for everything he has done for us.  Even to this day, he helps in everything that we're in need of.  From fixing our broken down cars to our broken down houses.  He makes things better and beautiful.  I love you dad. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The decision not to be pursuing a career in the working world was out the door as soon as my ears heard that very first screech of a newborn baby boy.  My firstborn son Leveni.  Nothing else was more important then me being home nurturing and nourishing my son.  I made up my mind then that I will not work until they are all old enough to attend elementary full time. 

A few years passed and more children were born, then I began to realize that one income and hubby's health issues just wasn't enough to meet everyone's need.  So every now and then I'd work but never for a long amount of time.  Here and there, a temporary job with temporary agencies until we moved here to Utah.  It was shocking and thrilling to find out that Utah, was THE capitol of mothers working from home and I've long cherished Utah since then.

So for eight years now I've been with the same company.  Working from home (part time) at night so all my days are completely free to be home, at the crossroads, whenever my kids are home or whenever they need me.  I firmly believe in the positive effect of parents, especially mothers, being home for their children.  If I'm not home, who is it or what is it that influences my children the most?

Now and then, I'd go to the office when I have issues with my computer system or training meeting.  It's nice to mingle with other people.  I think I'm ready to pursue a career now that my children are all full time out of the house for school.  While they're in school, I can be at work and then we'll all meet back at home in the evening.  I also think it's time for me to go back to school and finish the unfinished business that my brain is hungry for now.   

I've enjoyed being a stay home mom.  Even a work-from-home mom.  Tremendously.  I think I've done a pretty good job raising my children with my husband.  He's health has continued to decline so this  year, I need to step it up and pursue a career and go back to school to provide for my family.   

Monday, January 7, 2013

Beatiful Sunday

Sundays to me feel like these:

-A slow motion stroll along a rose garden feeling the warmth of a beautiful sunset on my face.
-Walking barefoot on a sandy beach, allowing the wind to ruffle my hair with cool breeze and untainted hope. 
- Like it's the end of the day and I'm making peace with myself, ready to take on another day.  It refreshes my spirit and warms my soul.  It's taking a break from the things of this fast and furious world, to bask in the love of God and my sweet Savior Redeemer Jesus Christ.

Each Sundays feel like a vacation at the end of a hard working week.  I'm refilling my cup, enfolding myself in the warm embrace of a loving Father and  being assured that "these too shall pass" and being told that "You can do it.  Just put your trust in me". 

I love Sundays.  When I was younger, I use to dread taking a break from the excitement of my daily world.  "Darn, here's Sunday and I have to go to church again!"  There was no where else to go but to church.  My parents made sure of that.  But growing up in the island of Tonga, where everything shuts down in the honor of God on Sundays, I already learned at tender age, that Sunday was a special day.  It was the day of REST.

It's the only day of total dedication to the Lord.  We go to church to worship and to learn about Him and Jesus Christ.  Then we come home and ponder on things which we have learned and also to count the countless blessing which He have blessed our lives with.  We have truly been blessed.  I am grateful for Sundays and will continue to be for as long as I live.  It's day of a very much needed and deserved rest in the glory of God.  It's a beautiful day. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Starting With a Bang!

This year literally started with a Bang.  That bang is a result of a car crash.  My son Leli called while were putting new tires on my daughter's car, that he crashed his brand new car he just got about 5 months now.  A 2012 Jetta VW.  The only thing that mattered to me was that he is okay and not hurt from the crash.  It was a three car accident.  He was on the process of changing lanes, and while looking back over his shoulders, there was a car ahead of him who rear-ended another car infront so Leli ran into it.  The front car took off and they only got a partial license plate. 

Fortunately, he's got full coverage on that car but the car is not what's important to me.  What's important is that he is alive and well and I couldn't be more grateful to God for it could have been worse.  When he called and I hear his voice telling me he got into a car crash, I asked him if he's okay.  I love my Leli and all my children.  I don't think I can bear it if I get those types of phone call informing me that anything dreadful is happening to them.

Another welcoming surprise is that my daughter-in-law is pregnant.  I will be a grandmother this coming July and I am lost for words with excitement and joy.  "I AM GOING TO BE A GRANDMOTHER!!"  For five years they were unable to conceive.  We pretty much gave up hope on them.  My son, I think, got himself used to the idea of not having any children.  Well, the Lord has other plans so my beautiful Fusi, that's her name, is pregnant.  Sadly she's sick like a dog!  Morning sickness, throwing up and not keeping anything in.  She runs I.V. at home and have lost a grip of weight.  Pray that she'll be okay. 

So much for 2013.  It's going to be a SPECTACULAR year. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

This Brand Spanking New Year

January 1st 2013!  Who would have thought?  Came across this quote which I thought was very much enlightening.  Because each end of the year, we don't have to look deep and far to see our faults and flaws.  It's all within there in the vastness of our own conscious minds like pins and needles.  We inspect, analyze and measure our failures.  In the process, we often fail to recognize the goodness within us.  All we see is our incompetence, inabilities and lousy dispositions.

 "We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room,
drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.
Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through
the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for
potential."      -- Ellen Goodman

What are my potentials?  Yes, I have so many.   I am good in so many things and in so many ways.     Some have been stowed away in the back burner just awaiting a lighter to set flames to them.   Some have been overlooked due to negligence and some very much forgotten because I have been distracted with the busy nothings of every day living.

This year, 2013, I will focus more on my potentials!  The possibilities are endless.  Every day, as we still live and breath, we have a chance to love more, serve more and touch lives and lift them up from whatever situation or circumstances they're in.  There's so much goodness, power and strength within every one of us that we can make this world and those we come in contact with, better.