Monday, January 31

Sneak Preview

Here's a sneak peek at one of the many photos we took over the weekend. Madison loves the beach, he was digging away in the sand the whole day. When it started to rain, he simply went underneath the beach fale and kept on digging away.

The New Car

Well there it is, our new car. We took it to Lalomanu beach on the weekend and had fun in the sun. Maddy had a blast playing in the sand and in the ocean.

I'll post the photos of our trip on his website first thing tomorrow morning.

Thursday, January 27

Just Another Day

Nothing much to report today.

Madison and I dropped Grandma off at the cemetery after work, she went to visit Lloyd's gravesite. Mommy was working overtime, as she will again tonight, so Maddy and I went for a short ride and picked up a dvd.

Maddy still has a cough but is a lot less grumpy, which is always a good thing.

Sydney Faasau of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture called my office today asking when Papa is returning. I told him sometime in March. Sydney said that he misses Papa's input and feedback during their meetings. Isn't that nice?

Wednesday, January 26

Better Now

Our little Maddy is almost 100% again. Yesterday when Rachel and I got home, he ran out to meet us with a big smile on his face. It's so good to have our little happy boy back again.

Madison turns 2 and a half today. He's growing fast, his legs and arms are getting longer and his feet are huge! He is very talkative now and can name everything in the house.

We have the best conversations, he talks very matter-of-factly as if he's a big boy having a man-to-man conversation with his daddy, complete with the "I know what you're talking about" head nods. It's hilarious.

Monday, January 24

Little Sicky Boy

Madison has been sick with the flu for the past few days. His temperature has come down a lot and this morning he looked more like his old self. Mommy has been doing a wonderful job of looking after him, with Grandmas help - the both of them have endured some sleepless nights looking after our little sicky. Giving Maddy medicine was not easy - he did all he could to avoid taking it, including tantrums, screaming and running away but to mommy and grandma's credit, they managed to get it into him and now he's getting better.

Friday, January 21

We Have a Car!

In what seems to be an incredible convergence of good fortune, we are now the proud owners of a 1999 Ford Explorer. WOOHOO! It's new-in-Samoa straight from the U.S. and is in excellent condition.

After my meeting with the bank in which they said we'd have an answer by Monday, I was surprised to get a phone call from our loans manager at 3pm yesterday saying that she had a nice car that she could give us at a reduced price but needed an answer from me that same day. So I took the car from a test drive and knew that it was a steal. I called her up as soon as I got back to the office and told her that I wanted it.

When I asked her about my loan and the fact that we wouldn't know whether it'd be approved until Monday she told me that she had already approved it! She told me to go pick up the keys and that the car was ours.

The amazing thing about the whole thing is that she told us that we needed to come up with 20% before the loan could go through. Now it looks as if the bank is fully financing all 3 of our needs (car, land and house). How lucky is that? I feel as if we won lotto, the sweepstakes and powerball all in one go.

I've already picked up the change of ownership papers from the previous owner and am off to the Transport Board this afternoon to make it official.

Thanks for all your well wishes and prayers.

Thursday, January 20

And Now We Wait

I had another productive meeting with the bank this morning. In a nutshell, it's in the banks hands now. I'll be getting a reply as to whether our loan is approved on Monday. If all goes well, we could have a new car next week. Madison will be so happy!

Wednesday, January 19

Hope Renewed

Yesterday I had a very useful and eye opening meeting with a loan manager from the Samoa Commercial Bank. I won't list all the details of our meeting here but let's just say that hope has been restored and things are looking brighter.

We may be able to get one big loan to buy a second hand car, a quarter acre of land and enough for a house, all at once. It's too early to start celebrating, there's a lot to do between now and then but it's a start and I'm hopeful and excited. Watch this space for updates, I see the loan manager tomorrow at 10.30am for another meeting. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, January 18

Hey Where's My Popcorn?

Last night Rachel and I went to the movies to see Ocean's Twelve. Before we left, Madison made sure to let us know that we had to bring him back some popcorn, lollies and some bubblegum. When we got home, he was already asleep with Grandma.

When he woke up this morning, the first words out of his mouth were, "Mommy where popcorn?". Boy did we feel stink because we forgot to bring him back some popcorn!

On a brighter note, it's good to have Grandma Lisa with us. Her and Maddy are thick as thieves now and get along great. She reads him books, sings songs and takes him on walks. I'm so happy he has family to look after him while we're at work.

The car has been sold and today at 10.00am I have an appointment with the Samoa Commercial Bank (a new bank) to find out whether we are eligible for a car loan. The problem is that banks are happy to loan you the money as long as you can come up with 30% of the cost of the new car and have freehold land as security. We don't own land and 30% of $60,000 is $18,000. OKA that's a lot of money.

Wish us luck, we're going to need it.

Friday, January 14

Grandma Lisa Comes to Town

Rachel's mum arrived last night from New Zealand. Rachel, Maddy and I went to meet her at the airport. She'll be staying with us for 2 months and is intent on spending as much time as possible with Madison as she can. You can probably imagine how happy that makes Rachel and I, especially with all the baby sitter hassles we've been having since Papa went to NZ.

Thursday, January 13

Old Bertha

Our old pickup Bertha, is falling apart, literally. Last week the front wheels nearly fell off, they were pointing out at 45 degree angles making the car look like it had knock-knees.

The body is rusted, the indicator lights are mostly all cracked and the power steering hasn't worked for over 5 years. It squeaks and groans whenever we drive it, which turns heads all over town.

Two days ago, I told my mechanic, Semi, that I wanted to retire the car and start looking for another one. He told me that he'd help me look for a buyer. To my surprise, Semi called me up today saying he'd found a buyer and that they want to pick it up today after work.

When I realized that I was about to part with my old truck, I couldn't help but feel sad. Maybe I have a bond with it, because I am not looking forward to parting with ole Bertha. My head says get rid of it, it's a money draining black hole but my heart feels otherwise.

How are we going to get around now? Good question. We're looking at moving back into Lalovaea at the end of the month so we can start saving money for a new car. I'm not looking forward to that.

Wednesday, January 12

Tofa Soifua

It appears to me that noone reads Madison's Journal (the lack of comments is disheartening) so I'm going to discontinue this part of Maddy's site until further notice. There's nothing more demoralizing than posting pictures and posts only to have noone read them. With Rachel's mother coming tomorrow for 2 months I guess I won't have much time for it anyways.

Saturday, January 8

Off To Church

This is a photo of Madison getting ready to go to church this morning. He said that he looked like daddy when we put on his shirt and ie faitaga.

I'll pick him up at 12 noon and from there we'll go grab some lunch with mom. Who knows? Maybe if it gets hot today we'll bring out the pool again.

Tomorrow we have a BBQ planned up at Bob & Mele Garner's place, so I'm sure Maddy will love that.

Have a nice weekend y'all.

Friday, January 7

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Rach was going through some dust covered boxes in our closet last night when she came across some old photo albums. It was fun looking back, seeing how what we used to look like and reminiscing about old times.

It's funny how we think we don't change much from day to day but then when you go through the old photo albums, it's quite apparent that even from only 2 years ago, we all look different.


Da Girlz

This is a photo taken at Joanne's place in Whitby back in 2002. I think the girls were making things in preparation for our big day. Looks like they had fun!

The Ponini Family

This is a photo of the Ponini family scrum taken almost 5 years ago. Doesn't everyone look so happy in it?

Poko, Trish, Maia & Larissa

Wow, this is a photo taken almost 5 years ago. Maia isn't a big buddha anymore, he's a big boy now. I hear that Larissa is just as tall or almost the same height as Rachel now. Time sure does fly by, doesn't it?

Motufoua and I

That's one of the few photos I have of my friend Motufoua, also taken at our wedding in 2002. I was surpised to see him there and was honored that he agreed to give a small speech too.

3 Years Ago

That's a photo of Bex, Sachi, Lagi and Tolly taken at our wedding in 2002. It's funny how we all look different in a matter of only 3 years.

Baby Maddy

A photo of our little Maddy taken just after he was born. Boy does he look different now!

Way Back When

This is a photo taken back in 1998 not long after me and Rach first met. It seems so long ago!

Rach had a spiral perm back then and I was sporting a no-hair/baldy look. Oh my, what were we thinking?

It wasn't too long after this photo was taken that Rach and I made the move to Samoa.

The Three Musketeers

This photo of Jonathan, Cameron and Kaenz was taken in 2002. I love this photo because it reminds me of how close me, Nigel and Sonny were when the three of us cousins grew up.