Saturday, May 30, 2009

If I had 47 pesos for everytime I heard.....

"she is not fat!" from one of Richard's relatives I could buy........

The only picture of us they have seen is our engagement one. I was not fat. I was bigger than i am now but not plumpy:) The picture does make my face look very round I noticed but I loved that picture. Anyway....every relative that has met me has said that expression. It is followed with "she is so thin" and then asking "how she lose weight". And you have to say "fat" like /fot/ to have the same effect.

It doesn't bother me at all....i think it is pretty comical. It makes you think about Americans and our body image. Later I told Richard's family it would be extremely rude if you told a lady she was getting fat or just fat. And it would be a double whammy if a man said it. Those kind of insults cut deep with American women. But here it is ok.

Yesterday we visited Richard's cousin who owns a salon. She, of course, commented on my shape and that led into the whole exercise discussion and then a little later she was talking to Richard's SIL and told her "you are getting fat". It is just OK to tell people that I guess. I did hear one of the cousins...she is 15...make a comment after eating cake that made me think she was talking about her weight. She probably weighs 110 pounds. i guess no one, no culture, is totally immune to the body image blues...whether it is too fat or too skinny. i did notice the actresses here have healthy bodies with an actual layer of body fat! Something we never see in Hollywood....we do see healthy women but they are clothed! The women I saw were in bikinis or on the show Wowwow wee ....think Solid Gold Dancers meets Game Shows...they all were healthy.

Here everything revolves around food. Every relative we have visited has something for us to eat. Every meal here is homemade and large. It is a sign of posperity if you can offer your guests food and if you are a little larger than normal it means you have plenty. I will come home with a little more baggage than I left but I am not worried. Just another souvenir! I can bring it to the gym with me:)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the sea...

We went to Tudela yesterday and visited Dolphin here to read a better description of this place from a native......i would put that in parenthesis but those keys don't work.... It was beautiful! Even the drive is very interesting as we pass by so many different "houses" of the rich and poor. There were many rice plantations and coconunt trees. When we got to the entrance of the Island the road was flooded. It was high tide. We drove through the first part of the road and then parked our van and walked the rest of the way carrying our stuff. sophia was having a hard time wading in the water because she had to use the bathroom "real bad"! We were ahead of the group a little and i didn't know how to ask for the restroom but my 7 yo nephew did. There was no public restroom nearby. We had to keep walking out across the sea to a little resturant. since it was high tide the wooden bridge....think those suspended bridges from the movies that are rickety and missing slats....was right at water level in some spots. I thought "for sure there is another bathroom somewhere closer. there was other buildings around the entrance to the park"! but no....we really had to walk across the bridge to get we carefully started our journey. We made it to the bathroom and like most here there was little or no toilet paper. The flushing mechanism was not there and no toilet seat. Those are 2 things that are useless. There was a large bucket of water and a large ladle. you pour water into the bowl to flush. it was an experience.

So after using the bathroom we kept walking across the wooden bridge to the ferry boat that took us to the island. it was a 20 minute boat ride. The island was really out in the middle of the sea! It was gorgeous! It was also a place where they rehabilitate dolphins and for 250 pesos you can swim with them for 20 minutes. That is only $6 so we let sophia do it. i would have loved to pay for all the kids to do it but we still have over 2 weeks here and needed to save money....and i think if we started paying for stuff now it might become expected that we buy other stuff!

So anyway....we spent the afternoon swimming in the so salty. I don't remember the Atlantic Ocean being that salty....although it has been a long time since we have been to the beach. it was also so clear and clean. The water was not freezing cold either. it was such an enjoyable day!

Monday, May 25, 2009

We made it!

this keyboard has a few keys that do not work so excuse the typos!

So after 19 hours of flying we made it to Tangub City Philippines! We almost didnt' make it onto our first flight to San fransico but thanfully we didn't start our trip off that way! That was a hard flight because the seats were right in front of the bathroom and didn't recline much....not that they do normally....but it would have been nice! :) We flew Delta to Ca. and then after a 6 hour layover boarded PAL Philippine Airlines for our 14 hour journey to Manila. The flight took off at 10:30pm and around 11:30 they came around with dinner. What? dinner at midnight? The kids were already asleep so we passed on theirs. i took mine just to see what it was. wow. Beef and tasty! fruit and roll and I can't remember what else. PAL sure does have the best airline food! breakfast was a choice of omelet or chicken adobo. i chose the omelet. it also came with rice, tater tots...i guess that is their version of hash browns...filipino sausage, fruit, and drink. the kids meals were eggs, sausage pancakes, cereal and a banana. So much food!

After picking at my dinner i tried to fall asleep. This was harder than i thought it would be. My body likes lying horizontal to sleep! We all kind of napped off and on. What made it bearable were the personal video screens we all had. We could watch movies, listen to the radio or play video games. i can't imagine what it would have been like without it!

We flew into the small airport of Ozamis. Coconut fields and grass huts lined the airstrip. When we got off the airplane, which was so small we didnt' get a snack, we walked down an iron staircase where they were handing out umbrellas. Nate was confused since it wasn't raining~! one odd thing were all the men in yellow t shirts very anxious to get in the airport. Richard said they were wanting to get your baggage for you. Their yellow shirts were their uniform. There were also street vendors in the parking lot selling fried bananas. i felt sorry for one guy because he just stood around us the whole time...following us whereever we went. no personal space issues here.

it wasn't as hot as I thought it would be. i mean it is hot but I expected my breath to be taken awayt! After getting off the airplane we went to a chicken BBQ place, It was yummy. Then we headed to Tangub City where Richard's family house is. There is defintely no middle class here. poor and the rich....well just from the size of their houses you can tell their income. i would say Richard's house is "rich" but they aren't flashy. Rich means sturdy:) There were so many grass and plywood huts right next to the large concrete houses like Richard's. It is beautiful country. lots and lots of green~

Well i better go. Where the computer is there is AC. It is pretty hot in the rest of the house but not so bad. i think one of my biggest worry was the heat....just didnt' want to sweat through my clothes right when i put them on! So far it hsn't been the case but we haven't done anything either! ha! We are going for a walk soon and i am sure i will be sweating:)

Hope to get pictures up soon....if we can figure it out!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Out with the old....

Early last year we were at some downtown function where Sophia was wearing a cheap pair of flip-flops. We went inside Solomon's (a locally owned, mom-and-pop operation-like Bennett's-for those from Athens) to cool off and look around. They carry name brands that aren't carried in department store like Rainbow and Crocs and Reef....just to name a few. I never knew flip-flops could be so expensive....anyway....we were trying on different flops and Fia fell in love with this pink pair. Her feet were hurting from walking around in the cheap flops so she REALLY wanted these. They were soft and squishy and the straps were this soft cloth! I didn't want to pay $20 for a pair of flip-flops that might get lost so i told her I would only get them if she paid half. She agreed. forward over 1 year later and she was still wearing them....until yesterday.

We finally made it into Solomon's and purchased a brand-new pair. We tried to buy cheaper flops at different stores but none were as comfortable. And we even went to Solomon's a month ago or more looking for this pair but they didn't have it or we just went for another color...can't remember which. But she did get a green pair then...although they aren't as comfy(a different style...but she HAS to wear them doggone-it!)
So anyway....when I saw how PINK the new pair was it made me a little embarrassed that I have allowed her to wear the old ones for so long!!! I kept thinking they looked bad but she wanted to wear them so I let her. No telling how many parents looked at her feet and judged her mother!!
They didn't look so bad on those cute feet though!! Since she wore these until they were brown I paid the whole price for the new pair. She definately got her money's worth out of these! I am sold on the nice flip-flops though. They are so comfy...a little pricey-yes- but if you only buy one pair and they last you 6+ months and that is all you were during the summer(see me trying to justify getting MYSELF a pair) it is worth it!! I did find a pair I I just need to check the couch cushions for the extra change!
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Monday, May 18, 2009

So sad...

I finished another year of preschool. It was wonderful. I introduced Zoo Phonics which worked so well and for a short while I had no spots available! The sad part about it was the 3 students who graduated. These little ones were with me when I opened my preschool. They were my guniea pigs. I definately learned right alongside them.
We had our graduation party on Friday. There were a few moments where I felt like I was going to cry-3 times during the party and a couple while I was getting things ready. I am excited about the next year but sad to see this one end.
In May I had 6 students signed up for the next school year. Because of job transfers and other issues I could drop to only 2! I am not worried about getting more students but a little sad again that the ones I am losing won't be coming back! I want what is best for these families but would love if they would just drive their children to my preschool that too much to ask? I mean how bad would a commute from B'ham be at 7am?? hardy har har! I could just open a boarding school....
Here are Kylie and Chase in their cap and gown. Aren't they precious!
We painted these shirts for everyone.

Richard took this picture of Isabel. I included it here because it was such a good picture.
One thing I love about preschool is the different personalities of the children. It is so fun to watch them all interact. This little one loves action figures...power rangers to be exact....and ninja turtles. During the graduation ceremony I had each child say their name and what they wanted to be when they grew up. Isabel and Todd want to be Power Rangers. Kylie wants to be an "every job girl"; Chase wants to be an engineer; Trent wants to be someone who fixes bridges; Addy wants to be a veternarian.
I just want to be a preschool teacher and never grow up!
One more thing...Jessica told me today that yesterday when she got home from church Chase told her that he is so lucky because even though preschool is over he still gets to see his preschool teacher at church. sniff, sniff. Today when I saw Chase and Nolan they each gave me big hugs. Nolan said " Bye Ms. Mary Quate. I am going to miss your berry much". my heart out! Good thing they are only going to B'ham!
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Just some random pictures....
This looks like a failed attempt at making a bed....but it is actually Nate! He likes to wrap himself like a cocoon!
This is Obie-our 6 month old Bichon(yes....his hair is too short). This is Cricket's bed. He likes to steal it from her....but he doesn't actuall y fit!
We started letting Obie sleep with us recently. We put him on the bed with the kids one night. He started off at the foot of the bed and then when we went in later he was sleeping in between Fia and Nate. He is such a sweet boy!
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Cub Scout Crossover

Well we finished our first year of Cub Scouts! This was a very good activity for Nate on many levels....there was a lot of anxiety in the beginning but his confidence grew as the year progressed. He had moments of not wanting to continue but Richard is adamant that he go on until he gets his Eagle Scout. I agree. And after he got all his belt loops and awards at this ceremony I think Nate wants to continue....but don't ask him because he will say he doesn't like it!

That half-circle striped thingy behind Nate is what they walked across to advance to the next level...."crossover"....from Bear to Wolf.
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Young Author's Award

Sophia won the young author's award for Long Cane Elementary. She wrote a story about Cricket -not for this competition but just because she wanted to-and then when she found out about the contest she entered this story....and she won!!
Doesn't she look so old there???? We are so proud of you Sophia!
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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Family Scrapbook

The next few posts were created by Nate to fulfill the
Cub Scout requirement of working on a family scrapbook.

My family, Grandma and Grampie, and our cousins

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Grampie, me and Sophia

This is a picture of me and Grampie going to play the X-Box. We play snowboarding.
Grampie is going to take a picture of us. He does it everytime we visit.
Me, Sophia and Grampie playing one of his games.
Grampie, me and Sophia taking our picture together.
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Learning how to make rope

Forrest and I learned how to make rope in Nauvoo IL.
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My Dad and Mom

My Dad went to the temple and took his picture before he left.
My Mom is at the temple too.
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This our dog when he was furry.

This is our dog when he was not furry.
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