Thursday, July 17

Red, White & Blue

Fourth of July cupcakes courtesy of Susan J.

A big thank you to our friends, Omar & MP, for hosting an awesome Fourth of July celebration! We had a great time at your house relaxing with good friends, delicious food & rockin' music!

And, thanks also to Camera Tamra for allowing me to steal her photos!! What would I do without you?!

Sam & Amberly, Tamra & Matt, MP & Omar
Oh no... we did NOT plan this!! We are just that cool!
(Blue, white, red... blue, white, red!)

Fourth of July Hot Mamas

More July 4th pics here...

Tennis Twins

The twins have now taken about 6 tennis lessons & so far, they still enjoy it! It's fun to watch them learn a little more at each lesson & work on improving their skills. I hope this is a sport they continue to love as they get older.

Warming up with Coach Allan
Samuel practicing his backhand
Sydney working on her backhand
Perfect serving position
Sydney serving one over the net
And, of course, Nicholas cannot be left out

You can see many more pictures here.

Sunday, July 13

Random Musings

Samuel & Nicholas were sitting on the floor earlier today, rolling a ball back & forth to each other. At one point, Samuel's roll did not land between Nick's legs like it was supposed to. Instead of jumping up to get the ball, Nick just stared at it. Samuel finally said, "Nick, go get the ball!" Nick responded, "But, I'm little. See, I have a little bellybutton & you have a big bellybutton. You go get it." Now, this might be true of any other big/little brother duo, but not my two! Any of you who know Nick's bellybutton history definitely know that his is MUCH bigger than Samuel's & probably always will be! But, for some reason lately, he has been obsessed with it. He remembers getting it "fixed", as he calls it. However, he has recently said that the "doctor didn't fix it right" because it doesn't look good. I have no idea where he got this from?? I wonder if another kid said something to him... Either way, his bellybutton actually does look good & we're confident he will grow into it as he gets older.

I think it is so much easier to have friends over to play with my kids rather than listen to my three bicker with each other all day long! The arguing stops & they actually all play together really well when friends are here!
Either my taste buds are completely off or I just ate a handful of bad M&Ms. Can M&Ms even go bad? It's gotta be my taste buds...
Here are a few conveniences from the States that I miss:
- Drive through ATM machines
- Drive through McDonalds (They do have these in Manila & Clark, but not in our area.)
- Online bill pay or automatic withdraw options to pay bills
- TARGET!!!!

Tuesday, July 8

Sad Face?

Have you ever seen a sadder face?

Just so you know, Nicholas wasn't truly pouting in this photo. He was trying to make a funny face & this is how it turned out. Not too funny initially, but when you realize he was being silly, then yep... it's pretty funny!

He is such a ham!

Video of Nicholas Posing

This is my very first video download! Don't know what's taken me so long, but I can't wait to post more videos soon. However, I'm not sure how to edit or change the direction of it. If anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear them. Otherwise, I'm sure I can search online to get some answers.

While we were waiting at Sydney's & Samuel's tennis lesson today, I took this cute video of Nick smiling at the camera. He thought I was taking a still photo & posed for quite a while. He was too precious!

(Unfortunately, you also get an up close view of his dead tooth. He's knocked it loose so many times now, I'm honesty shocked it hasn't fallen out yet.)

Monday, July 7

Sam's New Friend

Sam went to a seaside restaurant to pick up dinner for us last night & made a new friend while walking inside to order:

I wonder if this little fellow escaped from the kitchen, narrowly missing the next order of crab cakes. Mmmmm... I love crab cakes!

Sunday, July 6

Jogging Thoughts...

While jogging this afternoon, I was thanking God for blessing me with such a thoughtful and adoring husband. This man works hard 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday. And, on Sundays, instead of sleeping late like he deserves, he gets up early with the kids and lets me sleep in late. Then, it struck me that my priorities in life are completely wrong! Instead of putting the importance on sleeping in late on Sunday mornings, we need to start focusing on getting our family back into a worship service. It was a much easier transition while living in Manila. We found a great church near our condo unit that had a wonderful children's ministry program. We enjoyed the singing and the sermons and the fellowship. Once we moved to Subic, we knew finding a church home would be more difficult. There are a few Christian churches nearby but we have only visited one a few times. It was quite a different experience, but after our first visit, the kids said they wanted to go back. So, we did. Then, the novelty wore off for all of us. There are no organized children's classes, which made it all the more difficult for my kids to enjoy attending. After the few times we attended, we gave up and never visited again. Instead of trying a different congregation, we took the easy way out and just quit making church a priority altogether. My goal is to change that. Starting Sunday!

In the meantime, I downloaded a few sermons from our home church back in Richardson, TX to listen to on my jog today. I listened to one from our friend & spiritual formation minister, Houston. And, two from our preaching minister, John. All three lessons were refreshing and uplifting. I felt as if I were back home amongst familiar places and faces. I'm so grateful that Richardson East uploads their Sunday sermons online so that I can stay connected in this way. Thank you guys! It was exactly what I needed to hear today!

Back to my amazing husband... today, after tearfully admitting a character flaw of mine that I try my best to keep hidden from him and everybody else, he reinforced for me the reason God chose for him to be my spouse. Not only did he build me up and assure me of his love and admiration for me, but he took partial responsibility for my feelings of inadequacy. Which was completely unnecessary. This man, whom I pledged my life to over 10 years ago, continues to bless me daily with his unconditional love and support. He proves to me that I can be real and honest in all situations and he will still be the husband to me that God called him to be. Thank you, Sam! I love you & I am grateful for your love in return!

Friday, July 4

Fourth of July Hike

We started our July 4, 2008 by taking a 6 mile hike! It was quite muddy, but the weather was beautiful. Our halfway point was a picturesque rocky "river", according to the locals. (Personally, I'd call it a creek.) Sam & I decided we needed our photos taken in just the perfect spot, so we risked our lives (or so it seemed) to climb a rock overlooking the creek. I have to admit... it was worth it for the great background!

We are gonna make it!
Having doubts about jumping over
Amberly & Sam at Pastolan River

Thursday, July 3

Happy Fourth of July!

It is already starting out to be a wonderful Fourth of July in Subic Bay! Sam took the day off work... it's not raining (yet)... and the kids are sleeping late! In my book, this is a perfect start to our morning.

We will celebrate today, by joining a few friends on our weekly Friday morning hike. We usually hike for about 3 hours. It's great exercise and an excellent way to see the Philippine jungle up close and personal. Last week, we hiked through grass and shrubs so tall, we all had to lift our arms up over our heads so our exposed skin wouldn't get all scratched up.

After our hike, I need to run some errands, one of which hopefully includes buying a new pair of tennis shoes. With all the walking/jogging/hiking/frisbee/tennis I've been doing lately, the tennis shoes I brought from home are pretty much hanging on by a thread. They are in sad shape! And, I am living in the best place to buy new athletic shoes. Subic Bay has not one, not two, not three, but FOUR different athletic wear outlet stores. I don't know what's taken me so long to make this purchase, but I think I'll celebrate America's Independence with a new pair of running shoes. And, maybe some wrist bands for tennis. I'm tired of sweat dripping down into my eyes.

Tonight, Sam & I are going on a date. We just haven't decided what we'll do yet. The only movies showing here are Hancock & Kung Fu Panda. We've already taken the kids to see Kung Fu Panda, so we're thinking of watching Hancock. Or, maybe taking a trip to Clark to see Wanted. Has anybody seen either of these movies?

I hope you all have a wonderful Fourth of July holiday when it rolls around there in the states. Enjoy the fireworks that I will definitely miss! Enjoy your independence as an American citizen! Show your gratitude to those who daily ensure your freedom remains!

Wednesday, July 2

Batty Saturday

The kids & I ventured out to a friend's new condo unit this past Saturday. We enjoyed swimming in their new pool & playing at the nearby playground. It was a great way to spend a Saturday while Daddy was at work.

New Hanjin Condos
Lap Pool with Playground in Distance
Shallow Kid Pool
Kids Swimming in Shallow Pool
(Nick's friend, Seo Jin, on left side)
Strong Swimming Brothers
Sydney Swimming in Bubbles
Nick's Friend, Chan Woo

On the drive home, we noticed hundreds of bats flying overhead. It was their daily migration time. We pulled the car over, rolled down our windows & stuck our heads out to watch these amazing creatures up close & personal. I was glad I had my camera handy to snap some great photos.

Favorite Bat Photo
Bats Hanging in the Tree