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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Festivities!

Although Halloween hasn't yet arrived...we've already participated in several fun activities to get us ready for the spooky holiday! Ü Our good friends, the Afemata Family, invited us to their branch's Trunk-o-Treat activity this past Tuesday. Seeing as we had just moved wards and weren't familiar with anyone yet (and they weren't having a Halloween activity anyway...such a bummer) we were delighted to join them! Our girls were so excited to wear their costumes for the first time and they waited anxiously all day to start getting ready. Sariah was the perfect Cleopatra and Madysen was a lovely "big girl" ladybug. :)
As it would be...it started snowing just minutes before the activity was to start. :0/ Luckily they were able to relocate everyone indoors into the cultural hall. Everyone setup decorations around their chairs and the kids went around collecting their goodies. Our girls joined their costume parade...and they both won! But then again...who could resist an adorable ladybug and a stunningly beautiful Cleopatra (our opinion's a little bias though hehe) Oh...and thanks Nana for the costumes! Ü
On Wednesday we had planned to take our girls to the Cornbelly's Maze & Pumpkin Patch at Thanksgiving Point and what would you know...snow! We woke up that morning to a blanket of white everywhere! Why in the world is it snowing in October? (that's the grumpy part in me who's still use to California weather lol) Even as the morning hours passed, I still hung on to the hope that the sun would come out and beam it's rays of warmth to melt all the snow away and dry everything up by the afternoon. Didn't happen. We were definitely disappointed, but it's a good thing there's always a Plan B! We moved over our Thursday's plans and ended up taking our girls to the Dannon Trick or Treat Day at daddy's work! A little background info-Fred has been working at Dannon for a few months now and it's wonderful! Before we moved to Utah from CA, he worked in the dairy industry for Rex Creamery as a foreman & pasteurizer for over 5 years. After we made the big move we had hoped he could get something within the dairy field because of his experience and we were so grateful that he found something at D. Ü Anyhoo...we went over to his work Halloween party and the girls had a great time. They had fun Halloween crafts, cookie decorating, family portraits, games, and plenty of candy! Ü I was glad to meet so many of Fred's co-workers and their families as well.
After the Dannon Trick or Treat activity we got together with our Masuisui Family to carve pumpkins with the kids! We stopped by the Schmidt's Pumpkin Patch and the girls each picked out a pumpkin.Luckily for the kids, both Fred and his cousin Pearl are artists, so the majority of the pumpkin 'faces' were hand drawn. :0) Yay for artistic talent! Lol Funny how it started off with all the kids and the daddy's planning on what to carve but eventually ending with Fred and Pearl doing most of the work-drawing, cutting and gutting-while the kids danced and played (checking on the progress every now and then lol).





















And what a treat for us that Pearl's wife, Kara, was making her famous chocolate coconut macaroons...they were divine! Ü After all the carving, we stuck a few candles in the pumpkins so the kids could see them come to life! (and for some photo ops too Ü) The children were so proud of each of their pumpkins (with much credit given to some awesome daddy's too). Holidays always seem to bring about the best fun...but then again, so do families. Ü

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spontaneous...just a little.

It was one of Fred's days off and (not like usual) he didn't have any appointments and all of our errands were already taken care of...so, 5 minutes before we picked up Sariah from school we decided that we would (finally) take our girls to the "This Is The Place" Monument. I know for everyone who has lived here in Utah for several years you might think, "how boring!" hehe...but we were pretty excited! I am a LOVER of history and one of my most favorite periods of was during the time of the pioneers (that must be the reason I have several seasons of Little House on the Prairie lol) We initially planned to go during the Summer or Spring, but never quite got around to it. I knew we would be visiting in sort of an 'off season' and when we got there...we were the only ones there! And we like it! :)
We took the train ride tour and I loved the scenery! The leaves were already changing color and some of the mountains and hills were already capped with a bit of snow. The sky was an ocean and the grass was still a spring green!
All of the buildings in the town were closed for the day so we were bummed we couldn't go inside...most of our view was peeking through the windows! Lol
We took a few "tourist" photos lol and did a little shopping in the Village Store. I enjoyed our little outing and thinking it was time to head home...my hubby decides he wants to visit the Church Library and History Museum! Ummm...okay, let's go! We got a little lost downtown and ended up stopping at the Pioneer Memorial Museum. Closed. :0( So we drove by the Capitol Building so the girls could take a look at "the white house" lol. We finally made it to the Church Library and...closed. *sigh* I guess I should know by now that some places in Utah seem to close early on Mondays (yes, I know it's FHE Monday) But hey, some families want to make FHE activities out of those visits! Nevertheless, we enjoyed our little spontaneous outing...even if it was just a little one. Ü

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin "Patch"

It wasn't a "true" pumpkin patch in respects to the word, but The Pumpkin Factory at Westminster Mall was just as fun! Ü While visiting back home in Ca last week we had the chance to visit the Pumpkin Factory with some of our family. It was actually our girls' first time! We purchased tickets and they enjoyed a visit with some barnyard animals, trips up and down the bouncy slides, a few small scale carnival rides, a chance to drive mini John Deere tractors and pony rides! We walked through the pumpkin patch and the kids searched relentlessly for the "perfect pumpkin." I can't remember how many times each of them came to me with a little pumpkin in hand asking, "Is this the perfect one?" Lol The kids asked to get their faces painted before we left and they looked so cute! :) I took so many photos that I figured I would arrange them into collages so as not to have a single-photo overloaded post. Lol After taking photos we wrapped everything up with a dinner outing and a stop to drop off some food to a hard-working daddy. Ü So thankful for families.
(Leina, Hadyn, Madysen, Rae'lani, & Sariah)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Besties

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature." If this is so, then I must humbly declare these five friends of mine be deemed the "Picasso's" of this very statement. Ü
Gloria Sagato (Taala) and I have been best friends since we were 5 years old. I have so many sporadic memories of the adventures we had growing up together. Gloria has an older sister, Verona, who just so happens to by my older sister's best friend as well! That being so, much of my memories aren't complete without the additions of Verona & Chrystel. Gloria is such a sweet and caring person. For much of the time she seems quiet and shy, but she can definitely speak her mind and "laugh out loud"! When her family decided to move to Utah, I was so heart broken at the thought of losing my best friend. I remember the day that her family pulled into our drive-way with everyone in-tow ready to head to Utah. They made a stop at our house so that we could say good-bye to each other. Although I was sad to see her go, I was adamant at that young age that distance would have no constraint on our friendship. We made a pact to write each other as often as we could and to talk on the phone whenever our parents would let us make the long-distance call. Lol As time has told, distance had no effect on our friendship and after 23 years, I'm glad to still call her my best friend. P.S. Do you like cheese? LOL
It shouldn't come as a surprise that I consider my older sister to be one of my besties. Ü My sister Chrystel (Magalei) is older than me by 13 months. It must be because of our closeness in age that we were always bickering (as my mom use to say lol) when we were younger. Chrystel can be pretty moody herself (lol), but at the end of the day she really does have a soft heart and she always makes me laugh. Ü My sister and I spent a lot of time together during high school. I remember riding the bus to and from school every morning and eating lunch together in Mrs. Schwartz's classroom. During high school we had one class that we would cross paths on our way to and during this time we would pass a note to each other. In our notes we talked about our day's activities and anything that was going on during that time. We even drew pictures and decorated them with bright words using Crayola markers. I wish now that I had kept some of those letters but even having the memory of it is just as good. I love you Chrystel...thanks for being an amazing sister. ÜVerona Luse Sagato is Chrystel's best friend and they are in fact a lot alike! Ü Verona gets into her grumpy moods sometimes (like her bf does hehe), but I always think it's funny that she is still willing to hang out and have fun with everyone. She'll even complain that she's grumpy...even while we're having a good time! LOL Since moving to Utah, I've become much closer to Verona and I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that much of what she does reminds me of my big sister. Verona and Gloria have made my transition here so much smoother by being there for me and of course by being the wonderful friends I have always known them to be. Verona is such a funny person and I know she doesn't even have to try! She always...always makes me laugh and most of the time it's because of something silly and minute. :) There aren't many people in the world that you can whole heartedly and unequivocally be yourself around without worry of judgement, and for me, she counts herself as one of them. Ü
My little sister Sherilyn (Seli) Manuma has always been the spoiled one in our family of girls! Lol I'm having resentment issues already just writing this! Hehe Just kidding sister! :) I love my little sister. There's an 8 year gap in between Seli and I and even though we never attended the same school together or were in the YW together...I still have many memories and experiences that I share with her. Ü It seems as though she's grown up so quickly in the past few years and I'm so proud of the person that she has become. She definitely has her own unique personality and aside from her little attitudes that sprout up occasionally (j/k Seli-not really! haha) she is a sweet and loving person. My sister recently had a baby 4 months ago (my beautiful niece Chloe) and being in a household of 3 mothers it's not always easy taking direction & guidance, but I commend her for taking it all in and for using our advice to be the best mother she can be...and to that she has done. I love you Seli-Weli! Ü
Last but not least...my cousin Lynne (Hunt) Lupeamanu. Ü Lynne has been a favorite cousin of mine since as far as I can remember. Her family has lived next door to mine since we were in elementary school. My memories of us growing up are a smorgasbord of events from school, Young Women, sleepovers, getting into trouble, sadness, jumping over the wall and having fun! Remember Betty?! Lol Lynne is one of the kindest persons I have ever known. She is so easy-going and it's so comforting to be around her because we can be ourselves. One thing I admire most about Lynne is her patience. Oh that I can have half the patience she has! Lol During the times we have outings with our families and children, I have never heard her lose her temper with them and it doesn't surprise me because her mild-manners are seen on a daily basis. I'm so thankful to have such a wonderful cousin who in retrospect is more like a sister to me...love you Lynne. Ü See...I didn't even write about the apple through the window event. LOL ;)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gardner Village

One of the first things I did when we came to Utah was look up some interesting places we could take our kids to. I read about Gardner Village online and put it down on my list of places to visit. We had been meaning to go there for some time but never quite got down to going. When my best friend Gloria invited us to meet them there, I jumped at the chance to finally get up and go while my hubby got some rest from work. Gardner Village reminded me a lot of a place in San Diego that we had gone to, coincidentally called Seaport Village. The village and shops resemble something from centuries ago with hand-made items, gifts, historic facts of early settllers and brick-lined paths. We stopped at The Village Quilt Shop and some of the quilts and blankets were so detailed and elegant, but they sold everything from fancy to practical. Ü











It being October, Gardner's Village was
also holding a Witchfest! Witches, pumpkins and black cats adorned every corner of the village and the Halloween theme was evident in all of the shops.
Our favorite shop to visit was, not surprising lol, Sweet Afton's Candy Shop.
(top photo courtesy of www.sweetaftons.com)
Aside from being the home of their famous fudge...Afton's also had a ton of nostalgic treats and collectibles from I Love Lucy to Betty Boop, old lunch boxes and old-fashioned drinks. I found it hard not to indulge myself in all of my favorite chocolates. The chocolate peanut pinwheels were delicious and the chocolate bark with sea salt was a delight! We hung around the village for a bit taking in all of the ambiance. We didn't have enough time to visit all of the shops and activities but that being so, it'll give us a chance to visit again...and soon!