Artwork, Beauty, Cultures, Grandchildren, Hawaii, holidays, home, Parenting, photography, Religion, travel, Uncategorized

Bridging the Generation Gap

I totally adore my grandchildren. Each day I try to think of how I can best help them so they will enjoy a productive happy life. They all have wonderful parents and I don’t want to overstep my bounds. I would like to share a few nuggets of wisdom left by those who have gone before me in this great adventure of being a grandmother.

Granddaughters playing with dolls. Photo by Ruth Kongaika

My own paternal grandparents gave me a feeling that I still long for from time to time. They allowed me to feel that their home was my home. I remember roaming their little home and farm, watering the plants, getting the eggs in the chicken coup and enjoying the peas in Grandma’s garden. They also raised sheep and I remember a time when Grandpa put a saddle on one of the sheep and let me ride her. My grandparents always encouraged me and made me feel warm and sunny inside.

My parents, paternal grandparents and Great-grandmother, aunts and uncles. My father is holding my older brother.

In this world of so many voices, I think it is my responsibility to plan some time to interact with our grandchildren. They need to feel close to us and hear our stories. Each time I see my grandchildren, I try to single each one out of the group to talk to them and reinforce my love for them. Hugging is a way of showing your love for each one. I remember my maternal grandfather used to plant a kiss directly on my lips. That was a bit uncomfortable, but it is what it is.

My maternal grandparent behind myself on far right with an aunts, uncle and cousins.

Grandchildren each have a unique personality and their demands are different. I have a couple of grandsons that are happy just to give me a quick hug and then they do their own thing. Some of the other children need me to listen to every word they say. It takes effort to really listen, not just pretend to listen. I learn so much from them and they sometimes say funny things. One thing for sure, they are honest about how you look when they are young! Alll but two of my grandchildren are taller than I am! The other two are 10 and 11. Wow!

Three of my grandson we visited when they lived in Egypt. Aren’t they handsome?

I may not see some of the grandchildren because they live miles away, but I do remember them daily in my prayers. I also try to talk to them every weekend by phone or send an email to check how they are doing. Sometimes I just share fun things I find on social media

My oldest granddaughter! Isn’t she lovely!

When we are together, I try to do what the grandchildren want to do for a while. In the past, we played card games, dominos, board games, went to the park to swing, or played ball. Now that I’m getting older, they usually go out for a walk around my block together. We still watch movies, play board games and eat goodies. I think it is important that we laugh with our grandchildren. That is a priceless, wonderful gift.

Two sporsters!

My husband tries to get the grandchildren to help him around the yard and in the garden. Hopefully they will remember him as a hard-working person. They try to get away from doing any work while they are with us, but it is important that we teach them the value of work. Recently, the older grandchildren have begun asking for money so grandpa has them mow ing the lawn, cleaning the window wells, or other chores instead of just giving money to them.

The ability to love unconditionally and to show it are the most important qualities a grandparent can possess. It is hard when you see your grandchild being disciplined for something they did wrong, but it is important not to interrupt the way their parents have chosen to deal with their children. I have learned this the hard way. Only give advice when asked.

Christ said “Suffer little children…to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14) Here, suffer is a verb. It is an action word. It means to allow or to experience. Christ instructed his disciples to let the children come, and then provided a great example by drawing the children to Him. Because of the children’s purity and innocence, He said we are to become as they are. We draw the children to us to enjoy and learn from their faith, innocence, and trust. From us they can learn how to live in a corrupt society without being corrupted by it.

Artwork, Beauty, Cultures, food, Grandchildren, Hawaii, health, holidays, home, Parenting, Religion, travel, Uncategorized

The Other Side of Heaven 2

The Other Side of Heaven 2 Main actor Christopher Gorman

We went to see the movie, “The Other Side of Heaven 2”, and I thought it would be good to share my impressions with you.

We were fortunate to be with a group that previewed the movie before it was shown to the general public. The theater was filled with relatives of one of the main characters in the movie, Tonga Toutai Paletu’a. The story was about his conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his relationship with his family prior to that decision and after.

Elder John H. Groberg was depicted in the movie as the LDS Mission President at the time who had served his first mission in Tonga. My husband happened to be one of his missionaries. This movie has special significance to us and to our family. Another interesting fact is that our daughter married the grandson of Tonga Toutai Paletu’a! It was very exciting to have so many connections.

We had been anticipating this movie since we found out there would be a Part II, having loved the first movie ten years earlier.

One thing I was interested in was that the same actor who played John Groberg’s part also starred in the second movie. He had hardly changed in many years and did an excellent job in both. Anne Hathaway who had played his wife in the first has gone on to become quite a Hollywood star, so they chose another actress, Natalie Medlock to play the part of his wife. I thought she did a marvelous job!

Natalie Medlock

I enjoyed the movie from start to finish beginning from when it showed BYU TV and Kolipoki Pictures. Those of us who have lived in Tonga or are somehow affiliated with it will know the significance of the name Kolipoki. It is “Groberg” Tonganized.

Us and the Grobergs

The actors chosen to play Toutai Paletu’a and his family were all excellent! The man who portrayed his father even made me dislike him very much for his portrayal of a very strict minister who would not admit his own faults.

There are many lessons throughout the movie that can benefit all people. Respect, forgiveness, love of family, hard work, the power of prayer, and fasting, Christlike love, and many more.

The fact that I personally knew Toutai Paletu’a and his wife made the movie so much more meaningful. When we lived in Tonga, when you met President Paletu’a, it seemed as if he could see right through you. He knew that I was having a very difficult time adjusting to my new life in the little islands. He told me if my husband ever gave me a hard time, he would talk to him. Somehow he sensed my culture shock and was trying to help me out.

The person that played our late prophet Thomas S. Monson has an uncanny likeness to him. I almost forgot it wasn’t really him. Kudos to the person who found him.

My favorite movies are those based on true life heroes. This was definitely one of our family’s favorites. One of the stories portrayed in the movie took me right back.

The Grobergs had several daughters until they moved to Tonga where they were blessed with a son, John. The baby became very ill and was close to death when the Queen and all the people who knew them fasted and prayed for him to get better.

When we lived in Tonga, I gave birth to my first son. He was very small and became so ill that he was unconscious. We rushed him to the hospital which was a 15-20 minute drive from where we lived in Liahona. I tried to wake him up all the way there, but he would not. Once we got him to the hospital, Dr. Havili gave him a shot of adrenalin. We were so happy to finally hear his little cry and knew he would be alright. I relived this experience through the movie.

The Grobergs worried over their sick son in the movie.

Myself, our missionaries, and my husband when we served in the Tonga Nuku’alofa Mission 1989-1992

Spoiler alert: Why was the movie rated PG-13? I was a bit concerned taking my grandchildren to see it because of the rating. The fact that the father threatened his son not to come home ever again and asked his other son to throw a piglet into the ocean (substituting the pig for his son). The other part that was offensive, and I understand it did not really happen, was when the father buried one disobedient son in the sand at the beach and then there was a big storm that could have drowned him, but somehow he escaped. The other scene is when their baby was thrown to a person from the boat to the shore. My little granddaughter was quite upset about that. Someone mentioned the plucking of dead chickens as being offensive, but I was used to that when I lived in Tonga (try eating one of those rubber chickens)!

President Groberg and his son in the movie

My favorite part besides the adorable children’s interaction with their father was when the wife of Paletu’a’s father called him a stubborn pig. Because, he was!

I urge you all to see the movie and you will come away with a new awareness of life in Tonga and a greater appreciation for those that stay true to their beliefs despite many hardships. Congratulations Elder and Sister Groberg on fulfilling President Monson’s wish of a comeback!