Sunday, January 25

Toy Madness

I have been meaning to clean our playroom for quite a while & am finally getting around to doing the unpleasant task today! I keep laughing at all the crap, i mean toys, that I'm stumbling across. So, I decided to keep a running list here. One day, it might be funny (for me) to re-read:

* 2 cherries to our Hi-Ho-Cherrio game
* 1 bell for our I Spy game
* 1 sleeping bag zipper that I might have accused Julie of losing (ummm... sorry!)
* 4 rubber vampire teeth... so far
* 1 headless Luke Skywalker
* About a hundred paper snowflakes from Christmas (Thanks Molly & Neele!)
* Too many McDonald's Happy Meal toys to count (That's probably not a good sign, huh?)
* A hay bale from our Old Macdonald Had a Farm game
* A Barbie head missing its body (Guaranteed to be the work of one of my boys!)
* More Pokemon cards than any kid ever needs
* A Hannah Montana game piece that does not even belong to my kids! (Sorry, MP.)
* A dusty goldfish cracker
* 20 mismatched poles from a princess tent Sydney used very few times

There will be so much more later! I'm not even halfway done...

Saturday, January 17

Subic Trees

Sam took some great shots of the trees & surrounding jungle during their Tree Top excursion. They deserve a post all to themselves...

My favorite picture!

Sam & Kids at Tree Top

Unfortunately, Sam was not able to join us on our venture to Tree Top a few weeks back with Mom & Dad. So, he promised Sydney & Samuel that he would take them the first chance he could. The twins were thrilled to have some fun, quality time with Daddy! Luckily, the weather proved to be perfect for enjoying the beautiful Subic jungle a few Saturdays back. Although Nicholas is too young to enjoy the slow cable car ride, he & I went along to hang out & watch the action.

Sydney, Samuel & Sam getting all suited up:


In the meantime, Nicholas made a friend who was also too small to enjoy the treetop ride. They ran around together the full hour wait & had a great time playing! This adorable little boy's mom & I talked about getting them together for a playdate, but unfortunately, he lives in Manila. Would have been fun!

Just hanging out...

The twins are loving this!

They want to do it again!

Nick's turn for fun! The guide made a quick harness for Nicholas & took him on a walk on the hanging canopy bridge. Nick thought he was so big to go up by himself & walked it like a pro. The boy has NO fear whatsoever!

Waving to Mom

Mom & Dad in the Philippines

We are so grateful that my parents were able to visit us here in the Philippines! We all were so anxious for their arrival & of course, sad to see them go.

While here, we were able to show them so many beautiful people & places in and around Subic Bay. Here is a sampling of their 3 short weeks with us...

Welcome to our home!

We were lucky to have Mom & Dad here while we also hosted our Up With People girls, Molly & Neele. Mom & Dad had the opportunity to get to know both of these lovely girls, as well as attend the outstanding performance the cast put on at the convention center.

I was thrilled Mom was able to attend the December Bunco get-together with me & meet some of my wonderful girlfriends in Subic! And, as an added bonus, Mom LOVED her White Elephant gift!

We had the chance to visit an hours old foal at the El Kabayo stables, thanks to Heather. The kids & adults alike enjoyed petting the soft pony... when mommy horse allowed us near.

Mimi & Papa enjoyed watching Nick's Lower School Christmas program. Nicholas was so proud to have them there on such a special day for him. And, of course, the little kiddos were adorable!

One Monday morning, after we dropped the kids off at school, we relaxed on a hanging cable car journey amid the tall Subic trees at Tree Top Adventure. We ended that outing with a thrilling zip line run, called The Superman. It was a great way to see the jungle of Subic Bay.
(Dad is showing off his big guns here!)

We all visited Ocean Adventure & had front row seats for the amazing dolphin & whale show. We also had fun "talking" to some rescued monkeys. Amazingly, the kids spoke their language!

LinkThe sunset at Punta de Uian beach resort was amazing, as always! And, the kind owners of the resort were so sweet to offer us a complimentary full spread meal for dinner. We love this place!!

Punta de Uian Sunset - Gorgeous!!

One of the most special opportunities I have had while living in the Philippines happened at Punta de Uian resort while my parents were visiting. We were lucky enough to be at the beach the day they decided to release over 100 endangered baby sea turtles. The Pawikan Conservation Project works hard to ensure these little creatures a good start in life. We felt blessed to be a part of their amazing journey!

Thanks to my friend, Jen, we took Mom & Dad to the beautiful resort at Anvaya Cove. We spent the entire day collecting seashells, lounging in the sand & playing in both the pristine swimming pools & the ocean waves. We had such a great day!

Mom & Dad were also entertained by a crazy kid wearing monster teeth!!

After I showed Mom & Dad the new Texas Instruments facility that Sam is working on, we had a very nice dinner at delicious C's Italian in Angeles. They probably have the best food outside of Manila! YUM-MY Panizzas!!

On their last night in the Philippines, we stayed at The Peninsula hotel in Manila. The hotel proved to be a great end to their 3 week Philippine vacation. The Christmas tree was a beautiful sight! We ended the evening lounging by the pool, enjoying the cool night air while the kids & Sam swam nearby.

And, I wanted to throw in one last picture... just for fun.
A Male Urinal on the side of the road in Manila! These are sparsely scattered along the main highway that runs through Manila, EDSA. And, while it's nice that there is semi coverage... you still know the reality of what's going on. Ewwww!
(I was trying to explain these urinals to Mom & Dad. So, this picture is for you guys...)

Mom & Dad, we all thoroughly enjoyed your visit. And, we all agreed that it was WAAAAAAY too short! But, we were so thankful for the time we had to spend with you both. Thank you for flying halfway across the world to come see us! We love you both!