Saturday, September 19, 2009

Are you ready for some football?

I'm happy to say that I am no longer a soccer mom. Nope, this year I will be a "football mom" instead. Kobe just started his first year of flag football. He'd been wanting to play for the past few years but we've usually always limited them to just one activity at a time (Even though I only have two kids, I still don't have the time or the patience to shuttle them around town to a million activities in true soccer-mom style.)

Anyway, the good news is that Kobe seems to like it so far. He's apparently a good blocker because the coach has him in that position a lot (either that or you just automatically get to be the blocker when you are one of the two biggest kids on the team :)

Today, they played against a bunch of kids from Kobe's b-ball team last year--which is pretty much made up of all Polynesian kids. Kobe had a fun time playing against his friends and even asked if we could sign him up to be on their team next time. Who cares about school boundaries--we'll apparently be going the free agent route next year.

PS--It was hard to post about football after BYU's game tonight. Maybe there's room for one more on the team...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Experiences in the Life of Tahauri Hutihuti

So I just got home from class and I should really be working on my homework but I just found the coolest email in my in box. No, there is not a bank account in Nigeria with my name on it. The subject line was as follows: Experiences in the Life of Tahauri Hutihuti

It's not every day that you get an email about your great-grandfather. This was written by a former mission president in Tahiti and was sent to me by a distant cousin. I'm still not sure how they even had my email address but I do know one thing: I hope I can be even half as good of a person as my great-grandfather was.

Experiences in the Life of Tahauri Hutihuti
By Stephen L. Graham – September 2009

First Member of the Church in his Family:
Evidently, Tahauri Hutihuti was the first member of his family to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was previously a member of the RLDS Church (now known as the Community of Christ) or “Sanito” in Tahitian. Following the monumental work of Noah Rogers, Addison Pratt, and Benjamin F. Grouard who introduced the gospel and opened the Society Islands Mission in 1844 (a fourth missionary, Elder Knowlton F. Hanks, died and was buried at sea on their way from Nauvoo to the islands), the mission was officially closed from the mid 1850’s until the early 1890s. During this interval, missionaries from the Reorganized LDS Church stopped in the Society Islands and came in contact with members of the Church. They falsely claimed that the church they represented was the same church as the one represented by Elders Pratt, Grouard and Rogers. They established themselves as such and have continued their presence until the present time. Efforts were made to reclaim these members after the LDS mission was reopened in the early 1890s. The majority of the original members returned, but some did not. Tahauri Hutihuti’s roots had their beginnings in this confusion. His mother was a “Sanito”, but when Tahauri learned the truth of the whole matter, he joined the true Church and remained faithful to the end of his life. (Recounted by Brother Marlowe K. Ashton – Orem, Utah – September 2009)

Tahiti 1963-64: Elder Thomas S. Monson, as a newly-called member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was assigned to the Pacific Islands area following his call in October 1963, and visited Tahiti several times. In a meeting in the old Fariipiti Chapel while the congregation was standing singing “We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet”, Elder Monson looked down from the stand and seeing old Tahauri Hutihuti standing near the isle singing, went down and stood beside Tahauri, put his arm around Tahauri’s shoulders and sang along with the congregation. From those early visits in Tahiti, Elder Monson had a deep interest in this good brother in the gospel. (Recounted by Brother Marlowe K. Ashton – Orem, Utah – September 2009)

Nauvoo Temple Dedication in 2002: During his talk at the dedication of the reconstructed Nauvoo Temple, President Thomas S. Monson, counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, recounted the story of Tahauri Hutihuti as an example of faith in obtaining the blessings of the temple for his family. He told how Tahauri Hutihuti saved his money for many, many years as a pearl-shell diver in the atolls of the Tuamotu islands so that he could take his family to the temple and have them sealed to him. As it turned out, not only did he travel to the New Zealand temple on a couple of occasions, but also traveled to the Laie, Hawaii Temple so that his son Turoa and his wife who had gone there to help establish the Tahitian Village of the Polynesian Culture Center could be sealed to him. (Recounted by Brother Marlowe K. Ashton – Orem, Utah – September 2009)
At the New Zealand Temple – December 1963: Tahauri made his first trip to the New Zealand Temple with the first group of Tahitian to attend a temple as a group, in December 1963. He was accompanied by his second wife, and during the sealing ceremonies for spouses, Tahauri and his second wife stood proxy for each others’ spouses; Tahauri for the first husband of his wife, and she in turn for Tahauri’s first wife. Following the sealing ceremony, President Hawkes, President of the New Zealand Temple at the time, in conversation with Elder Marlowe K. Ashton, a missionary in the French Polynesian Mission who accompanied the group from Tahiti to New Zealand, asked: “Did you see them?” Elder Ashton answered: “See who?” “The ancestors of these people!” said President Hawkes. “They were present and filled the room.” (Recounted by Brother Marlowe K. Ashton – Orem, Utah – September 2009)
Tahauri Quotes Isaiah: I remember speaking with Tahauri Hutihuti one day a few months after my arrival in Tahiti on my first mission in 1963. Tahauri had been out on the grass of the big lawn of the old Fariipiti Mission Headquarters raking leaves. This was a year-round job in Tahiti, rather than seasonal as it is here in the Mountain West, since there are not four seasons, and there are always falling leaves year ‘round. Tahauri loved the gospel and loved missionaries. He got excited when new missionaries arrived and would greet them warmly. One day he came up to me and quoted the following verse in Tahitian:

Isaiah 5:26-28 - 26 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:27 None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken: 28 Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses’ hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind:
I certainly didn’t understand everything he said with my limited experience in Tahitian at that point in time, but I understood enough that I was able to go back and look the verses up and understand and appreciate what he was saying. This was the year that Pan American Airways and French UTA began jet service to Tahiti. Tahauri had been to the airport and heard the roar of the engines, and had seen missionaries come and go and appreciated in a very real way what the Lord was accomplishing. He took me by the shoulders in his hands and said to me looking me directly in the eye: “This is you he is talking about in these verses! You come from long distances quickly and don’t even have to change your clothes or take off your shoes—this is His work—you represent him here among us!” I could feel the enthusiasm and excitement at this thought as he spoke to me with great animation and with a twinkle in his eyes. At this point in his life he had only a couple of teeth on the top in the front, but he was so expressive and animated in his love for missionaries and for the gospel.

(Recounted by Brother Stephen L. Graham at the Sunday evening fireside at the Provo Missionary Training Center – 6 September 2009)

Thursday, September 10, 2009


No, it's not the name of some new swine flu mutation--It's secret code for:
Happy Birthday Hani Bani

Yes, our little Hani Bani (aka Tehani) is eight years old today. While Tehani won't be having her big girl party with friends until Saturday, she did get to start off the morning today by opening a few presents--a fancy new kite from Kobe and girlie golf clubs from her Dad (and Mom too:) Here's a pic of Tehani trying to take her new present to school for the day:Anyway, in true blogger fashion, here's a list of 8 Reasons Why We Love Tehani:

  1. Talk, talk, talk--Tehani is definitely her mother's child--she is a talker! Tehani was very late to start talking--so much so that we saw a speech therapist for a whole year. Apparently the therapist did a good job--almost too good--because Tehani hasn't stopped talking since then!
  2. Smile--Tehani is always smiling. She's got that funny little grin (not quite as funny as it was when she was missing ALL of her front teeth last year) but it is too cute.
  3. Confessions of a Shopaholic--Tehani loves to shop. I've given up even trying to sneak out of the house without her--she's got some type of extra sensory ability to know when I am trying to do this. She shows up at the garage door (with her shoes already on) asking "What store are we going to?" And don't even get me started about all of the stuff she wants to buy when we are out and about.
  4. Girlie Girl--I'm assuming her love to shop stems from the fact that she is also a girlie girl. From nail polish to fixing her hair, she has more stuffed animals than I know what to do with. Go Girl Power!!
  5. When I grow up--Tehani talks all of the time about what she is going to do when she grows up. Last I heard she was going to be a veterinarian. And she is going to have 10 babies. I know this because she asked me once if I could live by her because "I won't be able to hold all of the babies at once so I will need you to help." Great, I'm raising Octomom II.
  6. OCD--She's a girl that has to fix the roll of toilet paper because it's on backwards. Need I say more. (Tehani also told me a few weeks back that she had already written all her thank you notes--for the birthday party we haven't had yet! That's my girl!!)
  7. The Animal Whisperer--I'm pretty sure if I let her Tehani would bring home every animal she could find. She LOVES her cat Neko and has already started campaigning for the day that we can add a dog to the family...
  8. But we love her most of all...Because she's our Hani Bani!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Time Flies

Well, I'm not sure what has happened but sometime when I wasn't paying attention its gone from January 1st to September 8th in just the blink of an eye! Between work and school it never ends--its seems like it was just New Years Day. Anyway, this warp-speed "time travel" like year has been so crazy that I've had to take some drastic measures to try and cope:
  • We've resorted to eating on paper plates at home--Please do not call Tahiti and tell my mother as I am afraid she is going to disown me for this. I know the environmentalists are also going to be appalled but with my new "system" there are never any dirty dishes in my sink so that is one less thing for me to worry about.
  • I've color coded my kids--Tehani wears only white shirts to school and Kobe wears red. Strange, I know. Remember, they wear uniforms so it is not that weird to limit them to one of the two colors they have to choose from, right? Each Sunday we also put out all of their clothes for the week. Now if I could just figure out a way to color code all of their junk that they leave around the house!
  • I heart Sam's Club--I've never been a huge fan of buying in bulk but the thought of being able to stock up on enough stuff so I don't have to shop for the next three months sounds particularly appealing to me right now. Who cares if it is all processed and individually packaged--I'm saving myself a trip to the store!
In other less crazy news, it was my birthday last Thursday. To celebrate, I spent the day at work and topped it off with an evening at class :) Luckily, the hubby and kids were thinking ahead and cooked me a b-day dinner the night before.

Over the long weekend we also managed to go camping, take a hike to the Y, and made one last trip to the Scera Pool before it closed for the season. Wheh, I'm still tired (and sore) just thinking about it. Anyway, I've decided that if I could just get an extra week of time I could get all caught up on my list 'o stuff to do. I might even be able to get a little ahead. So I'm starting a collection. If you've got any extra time you'd like to get off your hands, just let me know.PS--A quick pic of me and Tehani at the pool. I believe this was right after she got done asking me "Why are your legs all jiggly like that?" You gotta love a girl that tells it like she sees it :)