Tuesday, December 19
Thursday, December 14
Friday, December 8
I wonder if we'll have a white Christmas this year? Wouldn't that be nice? I don't remember having a white Christmas since we lived in Alaska over 20+ years ago.
Thursday, December 7
Madison would like to thank his Nanna in NZ for all of the mail he has been getting in the mailbox. He's even got mail from his Aunty Carlta, Aunty Susie, Aunty Patsy and Uncle Kenbo. You should see his eyes light up when his Mommy tells him he's got mail!
I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday season.
Wednesday, December 6
It's good to see him growing and gaining weight.
Friday, November 24
Thanksgiving was nice, it's always nice to have a day off, but it seems utterly ridiculous to have to come in again for work on Friday only to have another 2 days off for the weekend. The metro was empty today and the city is like a ghost town today; it seems like everyone took annual leave today except for me.
Mental note to self: Take annual leave on the day after Thanksgiving next year.
Thursday, November 23
This is a pic of Madison counting the money in his moneybox in anticipation of Christmas and his XBox. He told us this morning that, "I can't wait to get my XBox!". He had a grand total of $19.95 which is just a little short of the $400 target but there is still time to save up between now and Xmas.
I better get a second job.
Wednesday, November 22
It's interesting because when Papa called last night, he was talking to Madison in Samoan the whole time and Maddy seemed to understand (or he faked it pretty good) but only replied in English.
Last night we went to the supermarket and the checkout lady had a cute conversation with Madison, it went a little something like this:
Madison: (handing the money to the checkout lady) Here you go.
Checkout lady: Oh thank you, you're such a cutie! If I was a little girl I'd fall in love with you. How old are you?
Madison: I'm four.
Checkout lady: Are you in preschool?
Madison: No, I'm not 5 yet.
Checkout lady: I bet you have lots of girlfriends, do you have many girlfriends?
Madison: (straight faced) Yes.
Checkout lady: (Laughing) I bet you do. Thank you darling.
Madison: You're welcome.
Monday, October 23
He wanted us to buy him an online game last weekend but I told him it costed money and he needed to find 18 dollars. So off he went to grab his piggy bank and asked Mommy to help him count out "eideen talas". He came up $11.00 short but after giving Mommy his sad puppy dog eyes, Mommy lent him the balance and Maddy got his game and Mommy and Daddy got big thank yous and hugs in return. A pretty good exchange, if you ask me.
Friday, October 20
Of course I said yes, so off we went to the kitchen.
We didn't think we made much of a mess, but Mommy thought otherwise!
we all had a nice piece of Madison's first cake. He's quite the little chef.
Licking the spoon and bowl was his favorite part!
Tuesday, October 17
Monday, October 16
We spent Saturday downtown DC at the National Museum of the American Indian and took a few photos and bought a few postcards to send to Nana, Papa, Grandma and Grandpa. The building itself was amazing in design and shape and the Kasota stone used to build it was beautiful. Surrounding the building was a cascade flowing over boulders known as Grandfather Rocks which symbolises the Native Americans relationship to the natural world ~ it was just beautiful! The many artefacts on display and exhibitions were breathtaking and I was able to capture a few pictures on our cell.
Friday, October 13
Luckily for those of us living abroad, a few new Samoan news sites have popped up. Edwin Puni's EventPolynesia.com site has a nice little section on news from Samoa. I also found another site called www.wsamoa.ws which also has some regularly updated news from back home.
According to these sites it seems it is never dull in Samoa. The leader of the opposition party SDUP has stepped down after a failed leadership takeover, leaving Samoa without an opposition in Parliament. That can't be good. Also in the news, the Police Commisioner just crashed his car and the first officers on the scene just told him to leave the scene and that noone would know about it. I won't even go into how many parlimentarians have been suing each other and losing their seats to bribery allegations. On a lighter note, the newly crowned Miss Samoa was forced to step down because it was found that she was under age (17).
What's going on back home?
Tuesday, October 10
Tai Iesu, (Faafetai Iesu)
Thank you for my TV and my games. (He loves watching TV and playing games on the laptop.)
Thank you for my walks. (Mommy takes him for walks around the neighborhood each day to get out of the house and get some fresh air and exercise.)
Thank you for my flashlight and my toys. (We bought him a little Superman flashlight while grocery shopping yesterday.)
In your name we pray,
Sunday, September 24
I dedicate a song to you called "Time To Say Goodbye" by Andre Bocelli and Sarah Brightman as you are laid to rest. We will always remember you the "Divine Miss M", and how much you have touched our hearts. You will never be forgotten. Until we meet again, All Our Love Rachel, Matt and Maddy :)
Thursday, September 7
We've been keeping busy, which is good but unfortunately when we've got lots of stuff to write about, we never have the time to sit down and write about it. Rachel and Madison are adjusting well to the new timezone and place and according to Madison, he never wants to go back to Samoa, he likes it better here. I don't know if it's because of the new digs or what but I think it's just because he likes it when both of his parents are with him at the same time.
That's a photo of me and Maddy standing at the bus stop across the street from our house. We were on our way to see the doctor for his monthly checkup and rheumatic fever injection. I didn't realise that we both had our left hands in our pockets til I saw this photo. Like father like son :)
Our friendly neighbor Cathy from downstairs gave us a nice stroller for Madison. Maddy likes going for walks but lacks the stamina to walk very far, or so he says. I think he just gets lazy (I wonder who he gets that from?) and prefers to be carried or pushed around in his stroller. Thanks Cathy!
Madison has become very adept with the computer. He is very observant and picks up quite a lot from just watching us use the laptop. He can turn it on and off, use the Favorites menu, the Back button and knows how to start games and tab through the different open windows. He is a master with the mouse, I didn't even need to teach him how to use it. I think he's teaching himself intuitively, a process I find to be amazing at his age.
That's the view from our verandah. There isn't any grassy open spaces or playgrounds in our complex but Madison loves riding his bike in the underground parking garage. We're fortunate to live in a safe neighborhood with nice, quiet neighbors.
That's Rachel and Maddy at the Air and Space Museum standing in front of some big rockets.
Daddy and Maddy in the Mall with the Washington Monument in the background.
Maddy loved the Air and Space Museum.
On the Metro on our way into DC. Maddy must have the window seat!
The highlight of Madison's day was riding the dragon on one of DC's oldest merry-go-rounds.
Wednesday, August 16
We can vouch for that, especially after our move to Washington DC. We simply couldn't have done it on our own. We would like to sincerely thank the following people:
- God. First and foremost. Traveling half the globe to a foreign land is no easy task, especially with the threat of terrorism, but we all made it here safely with no drama. We sincerely believe that our guardian angels were working overtime keeping us safe and sound so we could be reunited as a family once again.
- Our families. Their support has been unbelievable, they were always there for us, from caring for Rachel and Madison while they were in NZ, throwing Madison a birthday party, providing moral support, to helping out with our air fares. We are blessed to have such supportive families. Thanks guys!
- Cindy Streb. Cindy is truly one of a kind and her help from Day 1 was heaven sent. From helping me apply for the position, to letting me stay in her condo rent-free while she was away on travel, Cindy has been a fantastic friend. She even gave us her TV for free. Thank you Cindy!
- Adam Tremper. Adam was kind enough to pick up groceries and medication for me while I was sick and stuck in the house. I think the measure of a true friend is their willingness to come through when they're really needed. Adam came through when I needed someone the most and I will never forget that kindness.
- Steve and Lu Nagler. Steve and Lu in Connecticut have always expressed their willingness to help out in any way they can. It's comforting knowing that they are only a phone call away. They are our bigtime safety net!
- Kathy and Hugh Ngaga. Kathy is our neighbor and lives in our building. I met her by chance on the day I moved in but the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that meeting her was through divine intervention. Through her we have a 2 piece couch set with pull out bed, dining table, 2 coffee tables, a vacuum cleaner, ottoman and a lamp all for FREE. Hugh even helped me drag all the stuff over to our place. We are very fortunate to have made their acquaintance.
- Candi Bryant. Candi has been a huge help to me since I got here. She has driven me places in her car and has been a wonderful resource, helping me find my feet in a city that can be very confusing to a simple island boy.
- Mark Bellinger. Mark is a co-worker who was kind enough to help me move a bed I found online to our place with the use of his truck. It was a lot of heavy lifting but Mark never once complained or asked for compensation.
- HP, Teuila & Maxine. My friends and former co-workers from Samoa. They showed true friendship by checking up on Rachel and Maddy after I had left for the States. Maxine made sure that I got my medicine when I was sick, even though she didn't have to.
As a family we are truly blessed to have so many people who have gone out of their ways to help us. We may not be able to fully thank you ourselves but we hope and pray that God will bless you for the kindness you've shown us. Thank you, thank you all!
Monday, August 14
Walking to the station on the way home, Madison decided that his feet were hot so he removed his socks and shoes and went island style through the gravel, grass, pavement and subway system. It was funny seeing him walk the streets of Washington DC barefoot, his mommy wasn't too impressed but I thought it was a hoot.
Saturday, August 12
This is a photo taken by Maddy with our cellphone while we were waiting for a taxi after grocery shopping. It was funny shopping with Maddy because he wanted one of everything that remotely looked like a toy.
That's Maddy with a donkey at the zoo. He later bought a stuffed donkey at the Visitor's center even though there was a choice of panda bears, giraffes and elephants.
That's Maddy at the airport smiling now that he's back together with daddy.
Tuesday, August 8
Last night I picked up a king sized bed that I found online on Craigslist.com , which is a really convenient website to find second hand stuff that people in your area want to sell at discount prices. The bed was bought 6 months ago at $1495 but I got it for $600 and it was still in its original plastic wrapping so I think I got a good deal. It's a pillowtop type bed and while it's very comfortable, it sits quite high off the ground, even I have to jump up a little bit to get on. Weird but once you're on it, you can't tell that you're high off the ground, unless of course you fall off it.
Tonight I'll be going to Toys 'R Us to pick out a few toys for Maddy. I won't go crazy but I think he deserves to have a couple of pressies waiting for him at the house when he gets there. I think I'll try and get 3 pressies and not spend more than a hundred bucks. Maybe there'll be a sale on.
Rachel and Maddy fly out of Wellington in approximately 10 hours. I wish them both a safe journey to the States. Hurry home hon!
Monday, August 7
I have so much to get done before they get here in the wee hours of Thursday morning. I've already paid for an airport shuttle to take me to the airport and we'll probably cab it back home. I was originally going to use the Washington Flyer service which takes us to the West Falls metro station for only 9 bucks each but then that would mean that we'll have to lug all the bags onto the train and then all the way home. Not the best of ideas when you've just spent the last 2 days travelling from the other side of the world!
I know my son is expecting some birthday presents so I'm going to do some shopping for a few pressies after work on Tuesday or Wednesday. I found a bed online and am picking it up tonight with the assistance of a friend from work. I should also try and clean up the place a bit before Rachel gets here although I know she'll still think the place is untidy.
Thursday, August 3
On a more pleasant note, the 1 week countdown starts today. Seven days 'til Rachel and Maddy arrive wooohooo! I had a bad dream last night that Maddy and Rachel arrived and I had forgotten to buy Maddy a birthday present and he asked me, "Daddy fea la'u pressie?" as soon as he walked in the door. I woke up in a cold sweat. Or maybe it was just hot due to the heatwave, but either way I better remember to go shopping for him before they get here or I'm a dead man! Seven days to go.... yay!
Wednesday, August 2
Tuesday, August 1
Wednesday, July 26
I am planning a little birthday celebration for when he gets here on the 15th of August, including hiding a present for him in every room of the house and having him hunt for them (that should be fun).
Now that Rachel and Maddy's visas have been approved we have decided that they will be coming over to join me on the 15th of next month, which should give them time to visit with family while I try and get us some furniture.
It's hard to believe we've had Maddy for four years already, it's gone by so fast!