Monday, November 29, 2010

1st Year Anniversary

Wow! It's hard to believe that we've been residents of Utah for a year now! (I'm very much still a Cali girl though Ü) I still remember how sad it was the day we left California after Thanksgiving of 2009. And to be honest, we're still adjusting...but nicely. Ü It wasn't always easy though. For most of the year we were pretty homesick. Except for Fred, that is. :0) I'm not sure if it's a "guy thing" or just a "Fred thing" lol...but he is just fine living anywhere-even if it's far from family. He's always had a very independent attitude and I love that about him. :) We've been through so much since we got here...Sariah had her first major injury since she was born here! She broke her arm at my grandmother's house, I spent a day in the hospital, Fred got really sick, I went to the hospital again and all this was before we even got medical insurance! Aside from the trials, we've experienced more good than bad and we're thankful for that. After being in 4 different wards we finally settled into an amazing english ward and we love it there! They are so welcoming and kind and our girls absolutely love their primary teachers. Ü Our goal in moving to Utah was to save up and purchase our own home because the price of homes in CA is crazy high! Ü We rented a house in CA before we moved and we agreed that renting a home would just mean bigger bills. Bigger place=higher electricity bill! Lol So, in the meantime while we save, we've moved into our cozy apt. :) Sariah loves her new school. She'll be taking the ALPS Test this weekend to see if she can move to an advanced class at a different school and she's pretty excited. Sariah was in an advanced class at her old school in CA and a lot of the time she thrives for more challenging work in her classes. Hopefully she'll do a great job, but we're proud of her accomplishments nonetheless. Ü Before moving to Ca, Fred worked in the dairy industry for more than 5 years as a foreman and pasteurizer and we're definitely grateful that he was able to land a position with a company in his same field. Work is always a blessing! Luckily for us we've traveled to CA so many times during the year that it has made it so much easier on us to still be able to see our families often. Like wise our family has visited us here in Utah many times and we just love it when they're here! :0) Madysen has made so many friends in church and with meeting new family members and friends. It doesn't surprise us much because she is such a happy, outgoing and friendly little gal. She can't wait to go to school and since turning 4 this year, she's asked me at least twice a week if it's time for her to start school yet. Ü I know I mentioned it earlier but it's hard to believe how quickly time has passed and yet, it feels like we just got here. We're so thankful for the adjustments we've made so far and for all of our family and friends who have helped us settle here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Game Night=Fun Night!

We are officially (minus my hubby lol) crack-gamers! :0) Last night we had our Game Night and it was incredibly fun!! Scrabble is one of my all-time favorite games (even though we didn't end up playing it lol) and so I used it as inspiration for the invites I created. I must say, they're super cute! Ü
Most of our get-togethers are usually potluck and we love sharing dishes & desserts! We had egg rolls, broccoli & chicken casserole, homemade pepperoni pizza, seafood pasta salad, spinach dip, chips, pumpkin pie, cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies. :) Since it was still Thanksgiving weekend, we missed the presence of a few of our friends (you guys better be there next time! lol) but we had a great time nonetheless. I tried to catch some pictures in between all of the outbursts, jumping out of our chairs, immense laughter and giggles!
We played Taboo, Catchphrase, Phase 10 Masters and Quelf! All of the games provoked some serious laughing from all of us and Quelf was definitely one for the books! I'm told it's like the game Cranium, but we've never played that one...yet! During the game we drew from different piles of cards that had tasks and questions we had to complete. One card required everyone who was playing to end all of their sentences from that point to the end of the game with the word "izzle". You can imagine how silly we sounded trying NOT to forget to end our sentences with that. :) We also had to jump up and yell "PIZZA PARTY!" every time the doorbell or a phone rang. A special thank you to Chrystel who kept calling every one's phone just so we could jump up...and I was always the last one to do it! Ü We loved Game Night and we're looking forward to many more with our family and friends...soon!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Happy Thanksgiving Indeed...

It's hard to remember when the last time we spent Thanksgiving in Utah was. A once yearly tradition had changed in the past few years and instead of everyone traveling to my grandparents home to celebrate the holiday, we'd been traveling to Moreno Valley, CA to the home of my aunt Amy and our Atuaia family to feast there. Well, that was almost the plan this year. Kind of. My grandparents had plans to travel to San Francisco this year and when those plans fell through, the original plan of my mom and sister's coming to Utah was put into full effect! We were so excited! Ü My little sister (Seli), her hubby and baby had planned to join us here in Utah but because of work schedules, they weren't able to come. We were pretty bummed that we would miss them but having my mom and the rest of the family here was such a treat!! Ü We spent the Thanksgiving holiday feasting at our grandparents house with the additions of my Uncle David and his family and my Uncle Shakey and his kids. My mom is one of the best cooks in our family (totally true and unbiased...a little Ü) and we were so glad to finally enjoy some of her cooking along with everyone else who brought dishes that day. Since there weren't enough seats at the table, we tossed a blanket on the floor of the family room and the kids had no problem digging right into the food! :0)
We enjoyed a combination of American & Samoan dishes from turkey (of course), ham, stuffing, rice and meatloaf to ulu (breadfruit), povi masima (salt beef), chop suey, palusami, fa'alifu talo and more. :0) Dessert was just as good and after we filled our bellies, the kids decided to play around and wanted me take silly pictures of them which I didn't mind. We stopped by our aunt Zelda's place as well and it was fun laughing with everyone there and enjoying their company too. Ü We love our families so much and we enjoy spending time with them. It's just something that never gets old. Aside from having my little sister and her family here, it couldn't have been a better Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Hubby, the Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday to my wonderful, loving and amazingly talented husband! I could go on and on about how great this guy is...but then again, my opinion might be a little bias. :) His artistic abilities alone can stand to prove how amazing he is...but there's more. Who could ask for a more crazy hard-working man? Someone who not only has set goals for his family and himself but strives each day to make aspirations a reality. Ü He isn't afraid to hard for what he wants and is the epitome of the word "go-getter". I'm so thankful for all he does and for the sacrifices he makes for our family. For being a loving father to our girls and for already thinking about their college tuition, missions and marrying in the temple. For reading Book of Mormon stories every night and having family prayer. I'm thankful for priesthood power and for his humble spirit. Thanks hon for always giving me my way lol and for treating me like a queen. Ü I've found in you, the better half of me. We love you!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Seli!

Wishing my little sister, Sherilyn Ashley Manuma, a very Happy Birthday today! :0)
She was always the bratty and spoiled one growing up, but I still love her so much. Ü She's grown up to be a beautiful young woman...just like her sister (Shenna). Lol ;0) Thanks for being a wonderful aunty to Sariah and Madysen and for all of the things you do. We love you so much! Hope you had a fabulous birthday!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Individual Worth

I did a photo shoot! Technically, it wasn't my first, but its the first one I'm actually posting! :0) I was one of three photographers (if I can even call myself one lol) who was asked to lend their services to the Young Women of the Taylorsville 6th Ward. The focus of their activity this past Saturday was one of the YW Values: Individual Worth. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was the table of goodies. Lol Just kidding. On the table was a frame which read the words, "You're Worth It". The YW leaders set up stations where the girls could get "dolled up" for their photo shoot. They did hair & make-up and each girl was to bring two outfits that reflected their personality and represented who they were. One of the girls even wore her prom dress because she said she loved it. :0) How cool is that?

Lita and I went around the chapel trying to find a good place to take our photos. We had to be a little bit creative because, after all, we could only choose spots around the chapel. It was freezing cold outside and despite the crazy...crazy wind, the girls did an awesome job (and the photographers too)! I had so much fun taking photos of them and even brought along white pieces of paper to do some photoshop'n fun after I started editing. Each of these girls was unique and beautiful with all the promises in the world of becoming truly amazing women. Ü Here's how some of them turned out!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Temple Recommend

I received this poem in RS last Sunday and thought it would be nice to share. Ü

Many cards will fill your wallet
traveling through this life.
A card that lets you borrow books,
a card that lets you drive.
A card to call long distance
and a card to buy your gas.
A punch card for the bread store,
and a discount movie pass.
A card that lets you cash a check,
get money from machines.
Cards that make is possible
to live beyond your means.
What's the most important card
you're ever going to hold?
It's not American Express; it isn't Visa

It's the card that lets you enter
where no unclean thing can be.
Where wealth is gained in gifts that last,
through all eternity.
You can use this card with frequency
and never get a bill;
All that's asked is worthiness,
just try to do God's will.
Treasure this card always, never let it
slip away.
It's your key to peace and safety
in this harsh and troubled day.
Other cards my get you all around the
but in the end-
The card that gets you furthest
is your Temple Recommend!

Photoshop Compulsion

Lately, I've had the itch to create something...anything on photoshop. I LOVE photoshop. I will honestly make an invite for anything! hehe Hey, it's good practice! :0) I started playing around with photoshop a little over 4 years ago and even though I've learned so much already...I know I've only scratched the surface of it's capabilities. I am self-taught and if there's something I don't know how to do, I look it up and find online tutorials. Photoshop definitely comes in handy for creating everything from goody bag tags and church handouts to invites and collages. I've always loved taking photos and I've been dabbling in photography for the past year or so as well. Ü Photoshop and photography seem to go hand in hand so it's double the fun! I've been wanting to take classes for both, but if only I could find the time. Lol I guess for now...I'll just have to keep on reading tutorials. :) Here's a handful of the random things I've created!
(This baby shower tag was created for Leti's awesome went with a little goody bag of popcorn Ü)

(Yes, I'm a dork for misspelling Surprise...not once, but twice! Lol)