Saturday, June 20, 2015

Staycation: Day 5 - Pamulaklakin Forest Park

For our Epic Staycation day # 5--- we headed to the Pamulaklakin Forest Park-- for a Rain Forest hike with an Aeta (local tribal person) guide.
We headed into the jungle with our intrepid crew--With bug spray slathered all over. Don't go to the jungle without it...
Learned about natural camouflage from our guide-- this special type of leaf sticks to your clothing like velcro! Our guide said we should wear it because it was "patunayan" or proof that we had been in the jungle.
When we came to a fork in the path, we took it...It was a fun hike-- not strenuous. There was some uphill climbs, but our 6-year old boys were fine, and so was 8-year old Asia.
4-year old Skye was not quite as impressed by the jungle...and was carried most of the the time. She also did not appreciate the giant red biting ants.
The boys channeled their inner Tarzan, and were loving all of it...
Our guide, R.J., was great--taught us about medicinal plants, different types of trees, which sap burns the best if you need to make a fire, how to make a bamboo whistle---and he kept us on the right trail and even made a hat out of leaves for Asia. 
Then, we spent the rest of the day in the jungle river-- which the kids absolutely loved. Not too cold, and plenty of shade which is great since it is HOT in Subic.
We tried our hands at catching minnows...
The boys swam, hung out on the rocks, tried their hand at catching minnows...then tried their hand at eating them...
...that part didn't go so well.
Super fun place....definitely want to go back to this one. Why? Well....the following pics of happy family for starters....





Rainforest Cafe? No, not available, but we got to eat our picnic lunch on the rocks in the middle of the Rainforest river...



And...Brian got in a few minutes of reading a novel for fun....Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson....

We also bought some cool bow and arrows that the Aetas made--- So we did some target practice in the back yard when we got home. So far only one has ended up on our neighbors roof...
And we finished our Epic Staycation day 5 by practicing our sweet new bamboo whistles that our guide made for the kids....they got pretty good at it!  And we definitely want to go back to our new favorite Rainforest!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Flashback Friday: Father's Day

Father's Day is coming...and I thought I'd give a shout out to my awesome husband and amazing father of the Fantastic4...  I wish I was gifted with words like he is...cuz he could totally turn this into a funny, rhyming poem...but alas, I am me and he is him...  or something like that...

Here we go...Flashback to Father's Day Past...

2007--I must have a picture of this...but it was before I had FB...so, guessing it's somewhere in storage...In a barrel...in the US...
2008--Back when Asia was an only child...
2009--we didn't really have our act together...the twins were babies...and that time in our life is kind of a blur...so, only a picture with Asia...
2010--living in Manila...and another kid on the way...always had his hands full...and he still learned Tagalog and took care of us...he's an incredibly hard worker....and such a servant!!!
2011--my brother Brandon was visiting...going out was kind of ridiculous...little Skye was sleeping in the stroller...Brian busy with the boys...even on Father's day...
2012--this was an insane time in our life...but Brian learned yet another language...and took good care of us!
2013--amazing what a difference a year can make...
2014--last year in the USA...

Brian, Brian...He's our guy!
He's self-less...He's Compassionate..
He's caring...  and He's daring...
Ok...Well...that's all I've got...  Boy, I sure am glad you write the blog...  :)

You get the point...we'll keep him.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Staycation: Day 4 - The Beach

Finally....we made it to the beach! We have four kids who absolutely love the water, and they have not been swimming in almost 9 months. Yes, we are horrible parents, we know.
But, our day at the beach started making up for it...it was a great day of sand and saltwater.
Slater found that two yellow noodles make a great banana boat. Nice for relaxing.
Asia continued to work on her floating skills--- getting pretty comfortable in the water.
The location was pretty--- the beach was inside a cove on the west coast of the Philippines. Lots of jungle on both sides of the beach.
The boys had an awesome time playing in the water, trying to swim, and also trying to dig a hole to...well, they said they were digging to Japan...
Great time as a family for our first Staycation day out!

Staycation: Day 3

On the Staycation Master Plan...day 3 was supposed to be swimming. But, with the car breaking down (see blogpost: "Staycation: Day 2") activities had to be rearranged. 

Brian took a bus to town to get the car where we left it, and try to get it fixed. And thankfully, mommy always has plan B up her sleeve...
So, our flexible crew didn't swim in water, but they did paint with watercolors--- 
Our 4 budding artists wasted no time creating some new masterpieces for our Refrigerator Art Gallery.
If you can't tell, Skye was painting a portrait of Daddy...we got everything from a still-life to a forest for our painting day.
Skye likes to give daddy black hair....and daddy is fine with that.

And after a long morning of fun at the auto repair shop, Brian got the car fixed. New ignition coil and new fuel filter. Pricey, but could have been a lot worse. We are just super thankful we broke down where we did.

For our next day of Staycation...we're gonna actually all leave the house!

Staycation: Day 2

So, on day 2 of Staycation, (drum roll) our car broke down, We were driving in to town to take care of grocery shopping, and the car started running bad. Really bad. We just made it to the local mall, and Brian dropped off Brooke and the kids while he tried to get it fixed. 

It was Sunday, and all the mechanic shops were closed---except for one. It was a somewhat sketchy place, but Brian managed to drive into it and get the car looked at. 

The fuel filter was REALLY dirty...gasoline is sometimes not the cleanest here. Thought that was the only problem. Test drive. Nope. Still bad. 

Brian finally parked the car for the night at the mall parking lot and we made plans to take a taxi home. And...that's where this not so good second day of Staycation gets really good---

First, a bit of background. For several years, it was sooo hard for us to travel and go out with all of our kids, because they would get fussy, cranky and entirely un-fun to be around on a regular basis. 

We tried to faithfully keep working with them, but someimes, we felt like we were fighting a losing battle. 

But on day 2 of Staycation...we were reminded in a big way of how far they have come and how much they have grown---

The pic below kind of says it all-- this is after a long day of waiting  for daddy as he tried to get the care fixed. And yup--- they're all smiling. They weren't whiney, weren't cranky....they were actually still fun to be around in a rather un-fun situation. 
We love our kiddos....they are growing so much and we are having an awesome Staycation with them....and the rest of our life with them is pretty great too! 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Staycation: Day 1

So, we finally managed to schedule our first vacation (well, staycation) since returning to the Philippines--- It's been an insane first six months here....so we are really ready for it!

To kick it off right, well...Yup...we're that family...
Yes we did...We started off our vacation with a 500 piece solar system puzzle...we might get it done before staycation is over...
Hey, we finished the perimeter of the puzzle in our first family puzzling session....so a few more hours of puzzlement and we might get 'er done.
We practiced our headstand skills in the backyard. Looks like we're all getting the hang of it.
And, we just hung out too...sometimes the boys just like to stand around doing nothing much...
Skye demonstrated her own personal hula hoop technique...
And, we took some time out for roughhousing--having grass is awesome, cuz the whole house is tile and concrete...and somebody always gets hurt. On grass, they don't always get hurt. Just sometimes.
And Asia, unable to decide between two of her favorite things, decided to combine them. Yes, she is reading her book while hula hooping. Well,that was our first day of Staycation...stay tuned for more  close-to-home craziness as we check out what we can do for fun near where we live. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Flashback Friday: Church

on our way to Church in June last year...
on our way home from Church this year in June...