Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday, Feb. 7th

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KIMI!!!!! That is one child that will not let you forget her birthday! We called her today and it was so fun to see her and see little Grace. She is growing and changing to fast but she still reaches for us when she sees us on Kimi’s phone. We hope she will reach for us when she sees us in person --- but we aren’t counting on it. She will be old enough to be afraid of us by then. Kimi looked great and was planning to have a fun birthday dinner and party when Mike got home. She asked for an APRON!! for her birthday. Who would have guessed. She has turned into a great cook and she enjoys it. Way to go Kimi. We hope she has a wonderful year and that we get to share part of it with her. She is trying to plan a summer get-a-way for the family. We are really excited about that!!

I had to work on the Cyclone Ian spread sheet this morning. It needed to be updated and sent to New Zealand before our phone conference this afternoon. I also continued to work on the Nukuhetulu Project. I just about have it done in CHAS now. I just need to finalize the budget and attach some documents and we will be ready to send it.

After we talked to Kimi, Alan called Morgan. We call the grandkids from time to time, but they never have their phones on. He got Morgan today and we were able to facetime with her and show her and Alli the view from our office window. They loved seeing the ocean and the palm trees. It was so fun to talk to them and see them again! They are BEAUTIFUL!!! Wow, they have really grown up in this last year. It will be fun to sit down with them and hear all about their lives when we get home. We also got to talk to Tiff for a few minutes. She showed us the snow in her back yard. It has been snowing since they started their fast on Sunday. That is great news! We hope it will keep piling up in the mountains. I really want to be able to have a garden this summer.

When we got home I made a cake for a Faetu’ui that we were going to tonight. I had to do it fast so we could make it to the phone conference on time. I made a German Chocolate cake.

The phone conference went well, but was stressful for me. I have been able to keep up with what is going on the spreadsheet so far, but today they started talking about building houses for the members who lost everything. We went from $25,000 to $100,000 in the first month and now they are talking somewhere between 5 and 6 MILLION dollars. That is WAY out of my comfort zone, I don’t deal with that many zeros!! I need Bryan to come for a visit and stay for 4 months.

A Faetu’ui is a Tongan custom that deals with taking care of a family after the death of a loved one. A man in our ward lost his mother a few weeks ago. She lived in the states, so he and his family went there for the funeral. When they got back, the ward planned a Faetu’ui. The sisters in the ward made cakes to take and then we all met at the church and went together to the Kaufusi home. We presented them with the cakes and then all gathered in their living room to have a Family Home Evening. We had a song, I gave the opening prayer, Alan gave a short talk, the wife and the husband both gave a brief thanks and then the councilor in the bishopric gave a concluding remark. We sang another song, had a closing prayer and left. It didn’t last long but the Spirit was so strong and it really bonded the ward members to that sweet family. What a great idea! Some of the Tongan traditions are worth looking into.