Thursday, July 31

What A Lovely Surprise!

Thank you very much Aunty Susie for Maddy's birthday present that arrived in the mail today.

He received a 'baby animals' reading and photograph book, a coloring book with pencils and $5 to put in his wallet.

You should of seen his eyes when he received the parcel from Gene the mailman!!!

What a lucky boy :)

Saturday, July 26

Annie's Birthday

Annies beautiful birthday cake - flowers and butterflys

Maddy and Danny

On the water slide

Maddy and Michael filling up their super soaker water guns

Happy Birthday Son!

Today is the day Madison has been looking forward to for such a long time now. When he woke up this morning he flopped on the couch to watch some tv oblivious, it seemed, to the fact that today was his birthday. When Rach and I said, "HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY SON!!!" a big grin spread across his face as he remembered that today was the day he turned 6.

Thank you to everyone who sent him a pressie, he got so many! He really does have everything a boy could ever want and he is indeed fortunate to have an extended family that loves and adores him so much.

Wednesday, July 23

Five More Books To Go

Maddy signed up for the Summer Reading Program with the public library and Barnes and Noble starting mid June and has almost completed his list of 15 books. He has 5 more to go.

Once he completes his list, he gets a coupon booklet full of free and discounted coupons from Macdonalds, Silver Diner, Coldstone Creamery (ice cream), Six Flags, Borders, Barnes and Nobles, Pizza-hut and Dominoes and other yummy food places like that.

He is doing really well with his reading and now reads books to me at bedtime.

I'm On My Way Home!

Just got a call from Matt this afternoon telling us he is coming home tommorrow night. Apparently the computer equipment has not arrived in Guatemala yet and when it does, it usually takes at least a week to clear through customs. They suspect the equipment won't arrive till 4th August which means two weeks of nothing to do.

It's not his fault the equipment is not there as it's handled by another division. I'm sure it's going to mean another change in his schedule though so who knows how long he is back for until he is scheduled to go out again.

Maddy and I are happy to hear Daddy's coming home. He is going to try and take another week off because he has so much comp time racked up that he needs to use the hours or else he loses them. I hope he can because we still have a month and a bit of summer holidays, and it would be awesome to take Maddy to Splashdown Waterpark before school starts up again.

Tuesday, July 22

Yay Another Swimming Class

I managed to get Madison into the Level II - Fund Aquatic Skills Swimming Class which starts 4th August and ends 14th August. I thought that they were closing the pool which they are but not until 15th August. Yippee! He is so excited that he is able to continue his lessons.

Sunday, July 20

BBQ and Birthday

We spent the last day with our visitors at the Mason Neck National Park for a bbq and to celebrate Madison's 6th birthday. We played baseball and tossed his parachute toy around, while Chef Mano'o (Matt) cooked the steak and hamburgers for lunch to go with the potato and green salads.

We want to thank Aunty Sachi, Uncle Mark, Cuzzie Micah, Nana and Papa for the awesome Pokemon game and Kung Fu Panda Playstation game maddy received in the mail.

We also want to thank Grandma and Grandpa Ponini for the All Blacks rugby ball and $$, Aunty Mary for $$ and dinosaur stickers, Aunty Lu and Uncle Steve for the Power Ranger toys, and Aunty Ramona and Uncle Iulio for the Pokemon cards, aloha shirts, snacks and chocolate goodies that he also received in the mail too.

Thanks to Mom and Dad who bought a Pokemon T-shirt, a Dark Knight T-shirt, a Dinosaur Curator set, Blendy Pens, and Naruto PS games.

The "Aunties from the Islands" Visit DC

My Mum and Aunty Mary as well as Aunty Lu and Uncle Steve, visited us for eight days. It was a full on sightseeing, shopping and eating venture. We took them all around DC and visited monuments and museums and also got a chance to tour the US Capitol and meet the American Samoa Representative to the US Congress, Congressman Eni Faleomavaega.

Matt was wonderful and cooked us dinner every night (I helped of course LOL) and Aunty Lu also cooked us meatloaf to celebrate her birthday.

On the last day we took them all to Mason Neck National Park for a bbq and to celebrate Madison's birthday. We did it early because the Aunties were here and Matt is due to leave for Guatemala and Belize on Tuesday (22nd July).

On our way to see the Kennedy Family Gravesite at Arlington Cemetery

Inside the Planetarium (Air and Space Museum)

Inside the Rotunda (US Capitol Building)

Outside the US Capitol

Passed with flying colors

Maddy passed his first swimming lesson and has been recommended to join the regular levels for age 6 and up. Instead of starting at the Advanced level one, his instructor said he is ready for level two. Because the pool is closed for a month for cleaning, I will have to wait till the fall to enrol him in his next set of classes.

He has done well so far and as you can see from the video posted below, he almost swam one length of the pool. He is still learning to coordinate his arms with his breathing, but in his next class he will be taught more in-depth lessons on how to do it properly.

Learning basic safety techniques in the deep end (12 ft)

Practicing his backstroke

Maddy and Dillon

Final Pee Wee II Lesson

Alex T's Birthday

Alex and Maddy
Watching the instructional video of the "do's and dont's of Pump it Up"
On the Obstacle Course

Playing Basketball

Having Fun

Pizza time and Presents

Wednesday, July 9

Pee Wee Easy

Maddy started his Pee Wee II swimming lessons this week and is finding the class way too easy. I couldn't believe it - he remembered everything his Papa and Daddy taught him when we were in Rarotonga and started showing off to everyone as soon as he entered the pool. There were suppose to be four pee wee swimmers but one never turned up and the other was not quite ready for their class and joined the first one instead.

From what we observed over the past few days, Maddy is a natural and learns very quickly. Apparently he and Dylan are being taught more advanced swimming techniques and not the usual lessons that are taught in that class. According to his instructor, it looks like Maddy might have to skip the Pee Wee III class and move onto the more advanced swimming classes instead. Way to go son!!