Tag Archives: PhoneDump

Phone Dump

18 Jan

Josh is gallivanting in the other hemisphere for 2 and 1/5 weeks, so we are trying to keep things simple and chill. “Simple” isn’t too easy with 5 kids running in all different directions, and “chill” has been super easy with winter and an ice storm.

I was so excited when Mackenzie brought home this certificate, and not at all puzzled that it took the world 12 years to realize what I’ve known all along.


When our new nephew was born, his sisters came to stay at the big house for a couple of days. Since my big kids were at school, the girls played with Caleb and Sim during the day. After some snow play, we followed up with some serious hot chocolate!


Our resident animal lover, Bella, loves Linus and will take any opportunity to run and play with him in the yard.

…and then the ice came. After all the weather stations delivered forecasts that can only be described in Revelations and was accompanied by the cancellation of….everything, this was the worst that we got.


I wish I remembered why I took this picture…oooh, Nashville is on!


I can get enough of watching this girl play volleyball! Their team just qualified for the Power League. I don’t know what all that means, but it’s a big deal!


Mackenzie (and the rest of the kids) have all jumped on the Ham train. Mackenzie even borrowed the book that inspired the musical! We take turns reading it, casually competing over who is further in the book.


After being cooped up in the house during the ice storms, I decided to take the kids to TRex.

Poor little Simmy wasn’t convinced that the dinosaurs were fake. We were seated by one that moved his head toward us every few minutes, and each time, poor Sim started shaking and screaming.


Now, we’re definitely in countdown mode until Josh’s return!



Phone Dump

9 Feb

It’s wayyyy too chilly now to hit the pool everyday. Like, it’s only 81* and cloudy–brrrr! But in about a month, we’ll be pushing the triple digits and be out there daily.

But last week, Josh was gone, so I took all the kids out there in order to burn energy but keep the house clean! Simeon was too cold to stay in the water, but he had fun exploring.


On Friday night, the school had a Retro Night fund raiser basketball game. Both Josh and Mackenzie played in different games. They tried to rope me into playing in the Alumni game, but my back is still paying for the game I played on New Years Eve!

Anyway, as soon as we got there, everyone (except me) found a ball and basket .

Mackenzie got busy playing Bump with her friends.


Look who else joined the game….


….but look who was still in at the end! (In my day, we shot our first shot from the free throw line! 3 pt Bump is not my bag, baby.)


Mackenzie played in a coed middle school game and her team won! Then Josh played with his varsity team against the Alumni, which is the game they wanted me to play in. I believe their exact words were, “It’ll be fun, you’ll post up on Josh.” Yeah, sounds fun. Although, Josh said he would’ve let me block him. Give the people what they want!



Mackenzie left for Outdoor Ed week yesterday. They are going to Bataan/Corregidor, which is the same place I went for my OE in 6th grade. It’s crazy, only now am I realizing what an interesting and historical place I have in this city I live in. Because I grew up here, it was normal, everyday, kid stuff to have an island with WWII ruins, canons that we could play on, and buried bullets and shells just waiting to be excavated by us. Because of its location, it’s been a critical fortress dating back to 1570, when the Spanish ruled the PI! In WWII, the American and Filipino forces worked together on the island to defend Manila Bay, eventually surrender, but recapture the island from the Japanese! They have left the ruins as they were after the war in reverence to the Filipino and American soldiers who died there. It’s really interesting! Come visit and we’ll take you there.

Right, anyway, I couldn’t send Mackenzie off without grooming those tootsies first! Since we live in the tropics, it’s flip-flops everyday, which means our feet begin to look like extras on the Walking Dead. Thankfully, pedicures are just around $4 here, so it makes a fun girls day activity for Mackenzie, Bella, and I. It was rainy and we were cold, so we all warmed up with Chai tea lattes while our dogs got beautified.


I do believe someone stole my phone.


Finally, I had to snap a photo of Caleb running up this hill before church on Sunday. Before he took off, his hair was perfectly placed, his shirt was tucked in, and his pants were in place. By the time he got to the top, everything was in disarray. But the before and after of his face were the same – adorable, happy, boy!



Phone Dump!

1 Dec

Sometimes Caleb just curls up next to me in the afternoon and falls asleep. He looks so precious and tiny in our king-size bed! The boy loves his blankie.


The middle school is collecting hygiene packets to give out to some less fortunate people who live around us. We made some that included shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and paste, laundry soap, dish soap, sponges, and bandaids. Apparently, they have collected over 1000 packets!


I’ve had all kinds of Christmas fabric sitting in my closet for years, so I decided that instead of making more table runners, I’d put them all to use. Enter Pinterest. The first is a tree made from scraps on a canvas. That idea came from pinterest. But the second project was really just one thought into another. I started by tying scraps of fabric around a cardboard ring that I had laying around. I didn’t like the shaggy way it looked, so I just started french-braiding. Then I finished off the loose end and covered it up with a bow. I think it makes a cute little wreath!

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Our Saturdays have become an organizers dream project. We have soccer on three different fields, plus basketball in two different places. Trying to make sure all the kids are present and cheered for is an activity of its own, but we’re doing so far, so good, thanks to our village that is helping raise our children!

I caught a couple shots of Deacon and Bella’s game on Saturday before taking Mackenzie to a different school an hour away for basketball. Bell scored her first goal!

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Mackenzie had two games, both against rival schools. They were missing one of their best players, so we didn’t think they’d do so well, but we won both games!!!! Mackenzie is the youngest, but tallest girl on the team. She does a good job rebounding, but doesn’t have the instinct to put the ball back up for a basket. She’s more comfortable kicking back out to an 8th grader, which seems to work out at the moment. I’m just happy that they beat the school’s who beat my varsity vb team this year!


Phone Dump

18 Aug

We came home from date night with this gem last week. Simmy likes it, the older kids guffaw over it.


Someone, Josh I think, discovered that a litter of kittens were born underneath our water tank! We were all pretty excited. The kids have been visiting every day, and even made a kitty playground out of cereal boxes and other crap treasures from around the house.


The kids each claimed and named one. The mother doesn’t like to have us around, but she’s cool as long as we look but not touch. I’m so the opposite kind of mother. As long as you’re looking, make yourself useful and hold one of them!


Alas, they were removed today. I don’t know who came and got them. Someone was putting cat food out, so someone else knew about them. I’m pretending that they have gone to a special kitty farm, where they can eat catnip all day, chase mice until their little hearts are content, and sip from a milk river.

This is Simmy sporting Bella’s new headband. He looks like a little present with a big bow on top!


My early risers can’t fight the drive home from church. That Sunday meal combined with a drive home gets them every time.


Caleb is so sweet about cuddling up with me after the other kids have gone to school! He fits right in the crook of my arm and it’s crazy to know that one day, he’ll be a big ol’ dude and I’ll remind him of this in a high-pitched baby-talk whine.


The other day, I told Caleb to go do something and he replied with, “Ok. But first, wait until I kiss you,” and then planted a big kiss on my lips. Swoon.

In other news, Josh and I are eating super-duper clean this week. I think we’re qualifying as vegan. No meats, eggs, or dairy. We’re eating a lo-hot of veggies, fruits, beans, and nuts.  He wants to clean his insides and I’m always up for depriving myself of yummy things in order to have better-fitting jeans.

Both of us were over it by lunchtime on the first day, but today Josh found a vegan restaurant and brought home 3 dishes, including a tofu curry, a tofu-beef stew, and a tofu bistek (filipino dish). We liked them all, and even better, they cost $1.50 each! We might go there for our date night tomorrow, since we can’t enjoy our usual favorites until next week. For me, the biggest bummer will be no popcorn when we take the kids to see Inside Out this week! My favorite theater puts sour cream-flavored powder on it. It doesn’t taste like sour cream to me, but I love it just the same!


Phone Dump

30 Apr

Sim and I were having a little giggle the other day. Him, about my tongue sticking out, me about this picture of Caleb…


….but I was able to capture his first two little teeth!


We didn’t even know that Long John Silver’s had opened here. I got a groupon for it, and I looked at it in disbelief. There are always copyright infringements happening here, so I figured someone else jumped in on the fun and opened their own, unrelated, seafood restaurant.

Not so!

It really is here, but only in one mall that is a long, traffic-y, wild fist-flying, drive away. Fortunately, Josh is hosting a basketball team from another country right now, and they had a game out there, so he grabbed the group and headed to LJS’s. His synopsis was that it tasted the same, but they don’t carry tartar sauce….like, ever. How messed up. I wrote on facebook that that was as bad a decision as not ordering McDreamy’s head CT!

Mackenzie is all about baking these days. The girl loves food. She watches the Food Network (says it’s her favorite network), has all the chefs and shows ranked, loves to try new foods, (she was mad because all the spinach was eaten when she went back for seconds!) and wants to bake all the time. She has also said that she wants to be a food critic when she grows up. Unfortunately for me, baked goods are my kryptonite. The smells, the tastes, the look, even the sound of the mixer makes my mouth fill up with saliva.

She brought home the Star Wars cookbook from the library the other day, and was asking to make Wookie Cookies.


I don’t know if it was the recipe or if Mackenzie has the magic touch, but they were a-mazing. I used to use Phoebe’s grandma’s chocolate-chip recipe (aka: Nestle Tollhouse), then I switched to the Pioneer Woman’s recipe, but I think Chewy is the front runner now. Shoot, it’s right there in his name.

The recipe actually calls for semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips, but we can’t get the latter here, so Mackenzie used white chocolate chips, and they were gems.


I’ve signed up for a half-marathon in June just so that  I can keep taste-testing Mackenzie’s creations, but still be able to zip up my jeans!



23 Feb

Mackenzie said we HAVE to take a picture of our cherry coke shirts for Uncle David, who is a graphic designer for Pepsi. Coke and the Yankees are her go-to uncle-aggravators.



Josh and I both cracked up when the kids brought Simeon in disguised as Michaelangelo, complete with nunchucks.

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Then we had our own Sim-fun.

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Remember how I said that Simeon loves to sleep with his sock monkey blanket over his face? While I was typing that post, and he was finished getting his face contorted into different poses, I gave him his sock monkey. He pulled it over his face and dozed right off.


Since we spent Valentine’s Day watching Paddington with the kids, Josh and I celebrated alone the next week. Josh got a recommendation for a great restaurant from a foodie-friend, and it did not disappoint! While in the middle of the city, it was quiet and cozy. We shared everything – salad, lobster bisque, steak, and raspberry cobbler.


The girls classes performed in chapel last week. They both did a great job narrating. Bella’s class acted out Max Lucado’s “You Are Special” and Kenzie’s did a reading of Samson’s story, with pictures that they illustrated themselves.


I can’t believe that Mackenzie just performed in her last elementary chapel!!!! How is that possible? Her kindergarten performance was just an eye-blink ago!


PPD #?

23 Jan

It’s been so wonderfully lovely out recently. Low 70’s in the morning and mid-80’s in the heat of the day. Perfect, IMO. I’m trying to soak it all up because it’s a-comin – that unwelcome witch called hot season. It’s the time of year when I’m way more faithful about icing after a workout because that’s the only way I can enjoy my morning coffee!

But right now? Right now, I’m hugging a hot cup of coffee and wearing a hoodie. (Yes, I realize that it is still 75*, but that’s COLD for us tropics-dwellers!) My knees won’t get their ice pamper, but….this is where I would use #yolo, right?


Simeon has been all about his piggies recently. It’s always impressive to me how babies can comfortably kick their feet up to their mouths!


It’s passport time for Sim! It’s an organized, but still annoying, process to get our babies passports here. After loads of paperwork, which Josh graciously takes care of, we all have to make the trip out to the embassy. There, we have to take oaths and answer…hmmmm…interesting questions. For example, when we went to get Caleb’s passport, they asked us, “Where was the baby conceived?” Josh and I looked at each other and forced ourselves to not reply with something snarky like, “Well, it was around the time of that trip to Hong Kong, so it could very well be somewhere above the Pacific Ocean…” It’s probably not even required information. The embassy employee just likes to add a little spice to their monotonous day!


Our friend gave us a big ol’ package of construction paper, so every day after school, the house gets showered with the confetti of crafts from the kids! Can I just say that watching hours of TV requires zero clean-up???


This isn’t a great shot, but we were all enjoying Simeon’s huge giggles when Bella was tickling his tummy the other day. I think he really loves when they all get home from school and play with him. It keeps him from having any kind of napping schedule, but as long as he’s getting chunkier every day and sleeping all night, I’m A-OK with no schedule.


The kids just celebrated their 100th day of school. This is a big deal in kindergarten! They each make something out of 100 pieces of anything. Deacon, of course, made a 100-Lego creation.

The other exciting part of this photo is the absence of Deacon’s front  right tooth! It came out in school the other day, and now he talks so adorably!! He has that little lisp that only comes from missing front teeth. I love it!


I just completed Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred on YouTube. I worked out every, stinking day, except for 1 when I was sick. The workouts were only 20-min so they weren’t hard to get motivated to do. I lost about 6 lbs. and an inch or two here and there. My core tightened up, which I really needed!

I started it on Dec. 18, so I may have had even more results if not for holiday eating! I have to say that I was skeptical to expect results in just a 20-minute workout, but that Jillian knows what she’s doing! Level 1 was easy from the start, Level 2 started off hard, but got easier, and Level 3 kicked my booty right up until the end! Those plyometrics and push-ups are from the underworld, but they get results!

So here are the before and afters!

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In the pictures, I really only see a difference in my core, but I can feel new definition in my triceps and inner thighs (ahem….jumping lunges!) It’s inspiring and motivating to see and feel results!

I didn’t run at all during the shred, which I kind of liked. However, when it was over, I decided to hit the road, and I was shocked at how much my running had improved! Before doing the shred, I could barely crank out 2 miles and was miserable the entire run!  But my first run out after completing the shred, I pounded out 4 miles and felt great in that I’m-dying-but-it-feels-good-to-work-hard way. I was shocked and excited. I’m guessing it is a result of all that core work+conditioning.

So I was totally up for it when Josh said he wanted to train for a race. He wants to be in better shape, but doesn’t like to run for no reason. So we’re going to run a 10k together in March. He wanted to do a 21k (half-marathon), but I wasn’t up for hard-core training this time around. I’m doing the Hal Higdon 10k intermediate training plan (although we started it a week late.) It includes cross training and strength training, so I’m planning to work in some other Jillian videos.

I’m hoping that this will get rid of those last 10 baby lbs!