Monday, March 2, 2015


If you are a mom, you have more than likely been roused from deep sleep by the piercing screams of an infant, who, as luck would have it, you are responsible for.  You fumble through the dark to put an end to the dreadful wailing using whatever method you think might end in success (No, I'm not referring to some ghastly deed! A bottle, diaper change, etc.).  Last night. I endured a night such as this.  As I laced up my running shoes this morning and began my first steps, I felt like I was hit by a truck.  I realize that my attempt to shrink to my old size might take more time than I thought.  You may already be aware of the benefits our bodies reap from a good night's sleep.  You may also know that depriving you body of this much needed rest will cause your metabolism to be altered, thereby resulting in weight gain (Patel, Malhotra, White, Gottlieb, & Hu, 2006). That being said, I am going to blame my being overweight on my kids who insist on waking up 500 times a night for various reasons.  Last night it was Alisi who had a bad dream and Lusi who was just screaming.  Now I get to try finalizing Outcome #3 of my portfolio so I can turn it in tomorrow.  All I want to do is sleeeepppp!

Patel, S. R., Malhotra, A., White, D. P., Gottlieb, D. J., & Hu, F. B. (2006). Association between reduced sleep and weight gain in women. American journal of epidemiology, 164(10), 947-954.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Run

For anyone who knows me, you know I must run.  Since picking up where I left off in my Master's program, I have found it a challenge to have time to do anything, let alone go for a run.  Now that I am taking only one (and the final) course, I am once again hitting the pavement.  

My innate drive to overdo takes over in most aspects of my life.  Whether it is eating a bag of cinnamon bears or running, I do things to the max.  Some might say this is a fortunate quality to have, and it may be at times, but it can also be somewhat of a curse.  As I have taken up running again, I applied the same gusto to it as I do to other things, resulting in very sore ankles and a previous hip flexor injury ominously threatening once again.  I decided it was okay to try walking.  I see other people out walking and they seem to feel satisfied with themselves.  I somehow feel less of a person if I am walking.  Mind you, I must be out the door at 6:30 am if I want to have sufficient time to exercise, so I didn't want to waste it simply walking.  I did try walking for a few days and each time returned home without breaking a sweat.  I walked for about 45 minutes and covered about 3.40 miles.  Today however, I decided to run three minutes and walk one.  The results were tremendous!  I was able to keep a 12:30 pace (yes, I know that is extremely slow compared to what you run) and feel like I did not waste my morning.  I covered about 4.5 miles today and I felt like I could have gone even farther.  Now that I think about it, that is how I trained for the half marathon I did ages ago. I did a walk run until I had built up the endurance to run the full distance. It’s not that I can't run 5 miles because I am out of breath.  My lungs aren't the issue.  My problem is my legs (and apparently my ankles) are not strong enough to get me there.  

So I guess I am starting from scratch.  I have come to terms with this.   I just don't want to jeopardize a lifetime of running by permanently injuring myself because I want it all now.   I have to take it slow and work for it, just as I do everything else in life.  The only way to become a good runner, is to work hard. As long as I have a good book in my ear and sweat on my brow, I will get there and have a good time doing it. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Do I seriously have time for this? Absolutely not!  I realize I haven't posted anything for about 5 years and that is just deplorable.  Who in their right mind has time to keep up with a blog when they have 5 children, 2 businesses to run, a Master's degree to finish, and a house to keep clean?  I'll tell you what this is...a stalling tactic.  At this very moment I am supposed to be demonstrating my "ability to apply the techniques and principles of second language assessment, ant to interpret the results of such assessments in determining language proficiency and student progress". 

Despite all the commotion in my present situation, I feel happy.  Anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed, but I must admit that peeking over the top of all these emotions is happiness!  I have a husband who bends over backward to make my life easier.  I have children who are kind and loving to me (not so much to each other) and a mother who is there to listen and back me up if ever I am in desperate need of assistance.  Above all, I find comfort in my testimony of Jesus Christ who I know is aware of me and my little family.  I know He understands what I am going through and that the only reason I have made it thus far is because Him. 

And so as I sit here typing away, thinking of the 27 page teachers test guide that I should be editing, while overhearing the contagious laughter of 3 year old Sefa, as he points out that his dad is showing his belly button on their way to the hot tub, just feeling happy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

November, by Aleta Utaatu

I'd like to share my Snapfish photos with you. Once you have checked out my photos you can order prints and upload your own photos to share.
Click here to view photos

Saturday, April 4, 2009


As many of you know we finally went to Tonga! It really was a last minute decision prompted by my dad. We have been struggling to find jobs and it seemed like that might be our best chance to go. Its much better to go when you don't have jobs so you can actually leave. Besides that I'm pregnant (girl!) and the next time we go it will only cost more money. So we went! Everyone has been asking how it was. I can sum it up on three letters...HOT! It was also very beautiful as you will see from the pictures. It was so nice to finally meet my inlaws. They were very hospitable. We even got our own room to stay in and got to sleep in a bed. Joe was so happy to see his family. It has been very hard for him to be away. It had been eight years since he had been home last. There were a lot of tears when we arrived and twice as many when we left.

Tonga, for those of you who don't know is a very tiny island in the South Pacific. They are a day minus 4 hours ahead of us. So on a birthday you would have to call the day before. While we were there we experienced a very small but strong earth quake. As I mentioned before the weather is very hot and humid. When you take a shower you can't seem to dry off. It rained off and on like it does here only in much larger quantities. Even when it rained it was hot. All the kids, and Joe, enjoyed playing and dancing out in the rain. People there save the rain water in big concrete tanks. The water comes off their tin roof and goes through a gutter connecting to the tank. To use the water you have to get a bucket with a long rope attached and dip down into the tank. They also had water from the tap in the house but it was very inconsistent. It worked in the day and would be shut off in the evening. One never knows when that will be however. There is also no hot water. So imagine taking a shower for three weeks in cold water! Other nice amenities missing from Tonga, or at least from Joe's parents house are, a refrigerator, dishwasher, oven (they use a camp stove with a propane tank), and a washing machine. We washed our clothes by hand and ended up trashing some of Kalo's clothes when we got back. She was always covered in dirt.

One thing that was difficult for me was the amount and size of the critters that we lived with. Cockroaches get very large! We also were visited by very large lizards in the evening and night time. They wandered all over the ceiling and walls eating bugs. That is a good thing I guess. Joe's family owns a lot of pigs and chickens. None of the animals are in any sort of cage. They roam freely wherever they wish. Kalo loved this. She chased the pigs and chickens all day! Her grandpa would take her with him to feed the pigs and taught her how to call them to eat. They say, "Ma, ma!" So Kalo would run all over the yard shouting, "ma, ma, ma!" Even now at home she still says that when she sees a pig in our books. She really loved her grandpa. He took her with him around the yard and to feed his cows. Siosi doesn't have the same appreciation for dirty animals that Kalo does. She laid on the dogs and threw the cat around. Kalo cried and cried when Grandpa left her with us to feed the last cow. She has no fear! Siosi is more of a lady and much more delicate. Some people commented that Siosi was a paalangi (white person) and Kalo was Tongan. Also because Siosi burned and Kalo never did. She is about the same color as Joe now.

And now the news you've all been waiting for. Yes, Joe climbed a coconut tree. Too of them actually. I thought he was going to die and I would be going home without him. He seemed to have not forgotten a thing although he claims to have been much faster as a youth. I have it on film but not on camera. If anyone wants to see it sometime just let me know. We had a blast playing on the beach. The water is warm and the waves are very small.

These pictures are not in order unfortunately. Good luck!
Kalo's usual tried, hot look.
Latu, Joe's sister.

The beach Joe grew up playing on.

Grandpa Havili with the girls.

Joe with parentals.

The family with a few cousins.

This is the immediate family. We are missing Joe's brother who lives in New Zealand, and his youngest sister. We think she was at school.

Joe and Kalo with Great Grandma Tupou, Grandpa's mother.

Joe, Kalo, Latu (Joe's sister).

Guess who!? Joe at 12months!


Me and the kids. So hot!

Grandpa and Kalo feeding the cows.

Grandma and Kalo!

Joe wanted to show how a wild coconut grows. When the coconut falls it just starts taking root on its own.

Someone brought us this fish.

Siosi enjoying her drink of choice. The girls drank tons of coconut milk.

The backyard.

We got to go to the temple! Joe's parents watched the girls so we could go. Joe is the only member of our church.

This coconut tree is illegal to pick coconuts from because of the unusual way it grew.

Tongan temple.

On our way to a buffet lunch at a resort. We spent the weekend with Joe's Uncle who works for the Tongan government. His aunt gave us the royal treatment while there. She fed us, let us wash our clothes in her washing machine, bought toys for the girls, took us to an island to swim all day, and even bought a fan for us to use.

This is the island we went to for the day. We rode in that boat. It was about 15 min away from the main island. Very touristy spot.

On the island still.

Joe had a blast on that rope swing.

Siosi was all tuckered out.

On the island.

Back at home. Kalo entertaining Grandpa.

The girls with Grandma.

Hanging around at the house.

Great Grandma Tupou is like 84! The Tongans like to take naps on the floor with these wooden stools under their heads.

The blow holes. We went on our own little tour of the island. It was kind of crazy with the kids. We were driving all day and the kids don't use carseats there. They were climbing all over the seats and screaming. It was just so hot!

Me at the blow holes.

Can't remember what this is called. I don't want to explain it either; so google it.

This one they believed the first king of Tonga used to lean against with a stick and hit at anyone who wasn't supposed to approach him. They say he was 7 feet tall...hmmm...

It was really hot so thats why no shirts.

Captain Cook's landing.

Yes, he is holding T.P. We had to take it everywhere because most of the time the bathrooms didn't have soap. I had just gone but this place surprised me and did have it.

This is a replica of the first Tongan homes.

We had a big feast the first Sunday we were there. They roasted five pigs!

Joe's parents.

This was the day we flew out. We had to drive to L.a. to catch a cheaper flight. Crazy, I know. So we stopped at the L.A. temple to kill some time.

'Uta'atu Family

Introducing...the 'Uta'atu Family!