I decided to look back on our time as grandparents and Christmas celebrations with the grandchildren. It took a bit to find all the pictures, but here are some of them.
One year we went as a family to visit a dear friend in his 90s, Elder Glenn Rudd. He had been our Area President when we served in Tonga.
Since Lily joined our tribe, we have been going to her Friend to Friend productions which are a highlight of the holiday season. She has never been afraid to get up and sing in front of an audience and astounds us every time.
One year we had the children dress up and we did the nativity scene. It was very fun and special.
One of our favorite places to visit during the holidays is Salt Lake Temple Square.
We have two birthdays in December and one anniversary.
A few more pictures…
Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without grandchildren! We are so blessed to have our grandchildren!
Wishing each of our friends and family a very Happy Holiday. Christ is the reason for the season.
This time of the year is beautiful with the weather cooling down and the leaves changing colors. It is probably my favorite season. Both my husband and I have birthdays in October as well as our anniversary, so it is a special time for us. We have fond memories of pumpkin pie and outings to celebrate our birth and marriage. Also, we get to see our grandchildren turn into amazing creatures for Halloween!
When the kids are small their parents usually pick out their costumes, but when they get older, they create their own look. They are usually ready well ahead of trick or treating time. I have gone through our pictures and share a few of my favorites here:
Then there is our youngest son, Jacob, who makes professional photos out of his kids and their costumes:
Of course, some of our own children (the parents) sometimes get involved and want to relive their childhood by wearing their own costumes too:
Then Grandma (myself) has to take some of the Halloween children and make it into a fun Halloween collage:
Here is a picture with several of our grandchildren altogether:
Halloween is particularly fun for children since they get to dress up and beg for tons of candy. The parents “get” to take them out while they are young in inclement weather. Grandparents can stay warm and dry inside and wait for a treat from one of the grandchildren.
Halloween is not my favorite holiday but it is definitely fun to see the children enjoying themselves. I have written about ghost stories over the years and also some scary experiences we have had at Halloween time. BEWARE!
Isi met Joel and kids in Auckland, New Zealand. Ruth, Meilani, and Lily awaited anxiously for any news, pictures, and videos from the islands.
The missionaries had planned all of the reunion in the respective islands of Tonga. They had arranged for a place to stay for the travelers, transportation, food to eat, and entertainment. They outdid themselves royally! Many thanks to all who helped out in any way to take care of this bunch.
Here are some good looking people that took care of ‘Isi, Joel, and the three grandchildren.
Of course, a Tongan Mission Reunion would not be complete without a trip to the temple and a service project. Also, our missionaries ministered to several of our RMs including widows, sick, and those in prison as Jesus has taught each of us to do.
There was feasting, dancing, and loving.
Tonga Nuku’alofa Temple
Pictures of ministering:
It is good to know we are still remembered in the islands. We have the souvenir of the poster with our family on it and a water bottle with our picture on it also. Then there were two different colors of t-shirts that referenced our mission. We are so grateful for all the love that was shown to us by our missionaries.
One highlight of the trip was for President Kongaika to meet with Elder and Sister Fie’eiki who served as our senior office couple. I don’t know how we could have done it without them.
Isi, Joel and the kids stayed at Liahona where we used to live for ten years before our mission call.
The Hahake Group also had a feast and a dance at Pelehake Chapel.More pictures – sorry if I left anyone out. Please tag everyone!
Brother Kongaika even got to visit his home in Kahoua that his father built.
So, I cheated this time, but hey, it is a holiday tomorrow. So excited to see most of my grandchildren and bring a couple home to stay for a bit. I’ll have to keep taking photos to embarrass them with again. haha!
Who doesn’t love a playground? We were fortunate when we lived in Hawaii to have a fun playground in our side yard. The grandkids were basically raised there. We would gather together for BBQ under the mango tree and the kids would swing, climb the treehouse, challenge themselves on the monkey bars, and play in the sand! It was the best!
There was also a baby swing that was part of the great set that was put up before we moved into the home on BYU-Hawaii campus. My husband was Vice President of Student Life at the time. The house you see in the picture was the president’s home. The avocado tree bore wonderful huge avocados too!
At least half of my grandchildren got to swing in the baby swing. I tried to find all the pictures (sorry, only found six of the twelve, but aren’t they too cute!!):
Here is a poem about swinging:
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
How do you like to go up in a swing? Up in the air so blue? Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall, Till I can see so wide, Rivers and trees and cattle and all Over the countryside–
Till I look down on the garden green, Down on the roof so brown – Up in the air I go flying again, Up in the air and down!
I believe the power of this poem is in its cadence. The sounds swing you up and down with the visuals. It is also such a timeless poem; one with which children can still relate.
Swinging seems to make all the trouble go away. It was relaxing swinging the children and they seemed very happy.
Here is a video of Ileina and her mother got a bit carried away…
haha – kids are funny too!
Here’s more of my grandkids except this is not in Hawaii: