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Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Remembered

Late last night (9/10/11) I started watching specials on The History Channel, TLC, and A&E on 9/11/01. Then I started seeing friends post on Facebook their memories...where they were, what they were doing, how they felt...

It started weighing on me and I started reflecting...

9/11/01 - Just 30 days prior we had buried my dad. My mom still wasn't sleeping well and she woke me up about 4 am. I couldn't imagine what worst news I'd hear after losing my dad. But there on TV was the North Tower smoking and on fire. I was so numb...it felt so far away, yet close to home. At the time I was working at Camp Smith, where much of the Military Pacific Command worked. I managed to get on base by 6 am, but by then the military bases started locking down. Only a handful of us made it into our office. We were eventually sent home around 10 am. The rest of that day and the following 2 days I spent glued to the news with images likes this,







displayed repeatedly. From every possible angle, from news coverage, to personal videos. We'd hear voicemails left to loved ones and panicked calls to dispatchers. But I'm not sharing anything new..most of the country, if not world was watching the terror unfold.

It wasn't until the following weeks and months did 9/11 impact me personally. Here in Hawaii it could take hours to get on a military base, whether you were active duty or civilian employee. Anyone who's traveled since that fateful day knows the impact.

I started to feel scared. Talks of the draft came up and at the time my husband and just about all my friends and family were eligible draft age. But that never happened. I hate to admit it...but life started to get back to "normal" or what would from now on be considered normal.

Thousands lost their lives on 9/11/01. Men and women who innocently and unsuspectingly got on 3 commercial flights, men and women going about their usual day at work in either of the World Trade Center towers, and so many of those unsung heroes who stepped up daily as a NY Fire, Police, or Paramedic/EMT personnel. I give those first responders so much credit. Many of them knew that as they responded to this horrific disaster, they themselves could possibly never return to their families.




So many heroes emerged on 9/11...average men and women who attempted to overpower terrorist hijackers, more men and women who put their own wellbeing aside to aid others escape the towers, hundreds of first responders who lost their own lives. But the list should include the single parents now tasked with raising children without a husband of wife, the men and women of the armed forced who fight, who've enlisted, who've re-enlisted for my safety.

I've never been overly patriotic, but how can you hear these stories of courage, the acts of charity and kindness, the miracles of lives saved or see an image like this




and not feel a swell of pride!! "I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free..." I WILL NOT forget the sacrifices made on 9/11 and all the days to follow! I am grateful to those who fight for my freedom. I will continue to pray for America!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, August 19, 2011

Slacker!!!

My husband came home tonight telling me a friend of ours came across my blog. I was a bit embarrassed seeing as I hadn't blogged in a year and a half!! What a SLACKER!! lol!! So here I am, live from my iPad (a development that occurred during my blogging hiatus), committing to my adoring fans that I am baaaaack!!

But a truly good recap will have to wait another day!! G'night all!!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Paradise

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

9 years of marriage

You know you've had a blog for awhile when you have repeat milestone posts! I've already blogged about my 7th and 8th wedding anniversaries and it just seems weird to me...lol!! But this year makes 9...9 years of being married to my best friend and eternal companion! And like with the last 2 years, I've looked up traditional and modern gifts for year #9...mostly cuz it's funny! So what are we supposed to be buying each other this year?

Traditional: Pottery and Willow; Modern: Pottery; Alternate Modern: Leather

Pottery? What exactly is Willow? All the searches I did for willow came up with picnic baskets...maybe I'll be funny and pick up the Willow movie? That's got a special place in his heart!! LoL!! And leather...that can be a bit risque! But I have a leather watch from Fossil that I wouldn't mind getting another!! But we don't normally exchange gifts for our anniversary...however I have requested for my 10 year I get a new diamond ring and diamonds are the "modern gift" for a 10 year, so we'll see next year if it all goes according to plan!

But after the last year, material gifts are really that important to me. So here's 9 reasons why I'm so happy to be married to Taei for 9 years:

1- He's fun!! He's laid back, easy going, and does what I say! LoL!! But when we take trips he's open to whatever. In the last year we've gone on hikes, took days off to go to the beach, did a few community runs and while not always my ideal type of event, having Taei by my side always makes it fun!

2- He's humble. Taei doesn't ask for much. Of course he LOVES his shoes and he's always cleaning our car, but other than that he doesn't require much maintenance! He'll eat cereal for dinner everyday without ever complaining! Every time we eat no matter where, who makes it, or what he'll always end the meal by saying, "thank you for the food." He didn't grow up with much and because of that he's SUPER content with what he has!

3- He's strong. Not just physically, but emotionally, and spiritually too! He has an aura about him that so many people tell me he's just a nice guy! But physically he impresses me everytiime! And he's always willing to slow himself down to help me out and that makes me feel special!

4- He's patient. I've said this before and about a million times over, but it's true. He's SOOO patient!! I'm not easy to live with and yet he does it and never complains! He's really slow to anger, so if you see him mad, it took a lot to get him there!

5- He's interesting. Most people don't hear him talk much, but he does. In fact non-stop when you're trying to watch something on tv! But he's traveled more than I have and he's got life experience that I still don't have. He got literally start a fire with 2 sticks and some kindling and I find that amazing! Every once in awhile he'll spit out some fact about whales or trees that I never knew all because he loves watching the discovery channel!

6- He's trustworthy. I've never heard him gossip. If you tell him something in confidence, he really won't tell anyone, even me!! And I'll admit I share EVERYTHING with him, but he's neve repeated it to anyone else. You could give him a wad of cash and every last dollar will still be there when you get back!

7- He can eat! And eat and eat and never gain weight! But what's best is considering I never cooked a whole lot growing up, he'll eat whatever I make even if I don't want to and always tell me it tasts good! LoL!

8- He's respectful. To just about everyone...even when they don't really deserve it. I have seen him lose it on occassion, but for the most part he's always resepctful.

9- He loves me...the real me that no one else knows. Even with my impatience, my yelling, my throwing of things, my flaws, my shortcomings...he loves me!

Busy weekend! Part 2

Sunday is church day and there was A LOT going on! In November 2008 I was called to serve as the Stake Relief Society Secretary. Let me explain a few things...

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all church work is done voluntarily. We do not receive pay or compensation for serving in the church. The church does have an administrative side where employees are paid and compensated just like any other regular job, but this part of the church supports other things such as church published magazines, church welfare, and other church business. But the religous component is all done for love and faith.

Relief Society is the organization of Women within the Church. We meet on Sundays as well as during the week and for other events. The main mission of the Relief Society is to provide charity for those in need. This is not limited to church members and often our service projects help elderly centers, homeless shelters, foodbanks, disaster relief, and many other causes.

Our church is organized geographically. A "ward" is a group living with certain boundaries. The times you attend church is determined by what "ward" you live in. A "stake" is a group of wards, normally 7-8 wards make up a stake. For example I am in Makakilo Ward because of where I live in Makakilo and I belong to the Makakilo Hawaii Stake which encompasses the entire leeward side of Oahu starting in Makakilo/Kapolei, clear to the end of Makaha.

So as a Stake Relief Society Secretary, I worked along side three other sisters to help train and coordinate events for the 8 wards living within our Makakilo Hawaii Stake boundaries.

But this past Sunday MANY changes occurred. I was very happy serving as the Stake RS Secretary. I really enjoyed the Sisters that I worked with and have had the chance to learn much from them and many new people I met in this capacity, but our Heavenly Father sees the big picture and had other plans in mind. So I was released from my call and extended a new calling as the Makakilo Ward Young Womens President. Let me explain again...

The Young Womens program within the Church is designed to help teach girls between the ages of 12-18 about gospel principles along with church dress standards and preparation for college, marriage, and working after high school. We have many activities for the youth that I grew up with myself including dances, youth conferences, and camp. I am VERY, VERY nervous about this calling. I had EXCELLENT leaders growing up and don't believe I come anywhere near these wonderful ladies, so it's a little nerveracking to think that I'm someone else's leader! But I want to serve my Heavenly Father faithfully and that is what I'll do!

Afterwards, Taei and I took our nephew to the 2010 First Hawaiian Bank Auto show. It's something we do every year because it doesn't cost much and we get to see all the latest model cars for many of the manufacturers and also some custom cars from various car clubs on the island.













Busy weekend!

This 3-day weekend FLEW by and as a result I needed to take an extra day off from work today to get stuff done and recuperate!! LoL!! My niece Alena turned 2 and her birthday party was on Saturday. So Friday I helped my sister-in-law, Jolena, put together some centerpieces.


Here's our birthday girl, Alena! The party was Hello Kitty themed and a friend of Jolena's made this awesome cake! It looked like a beach bucket with "sand" all around it! The cake looked yummy, but since I'm trying to lose weight I skipped on the cake.
(photo courtesy of Mz. Tiffany)

The birthday party was held at Jolena's brother pool. It was such a relaxing pool...very oasis like!! I didn't swim, but everyone looked like they had tons of fun!

Afterwards we headed on down to Mililani theatres to catch the latest kids flick, How to Train your Dragon. It's an AWESOME movie!

This movie is packed full of star voices, including Gerard Butler, Jay Baruchel (She's Out of My League), America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Jonah Hill (Super Bad), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin) just to name a few! We didn't watch it in 3D, but with all the flying I'm sure it would've been awesome! But the 3 adults who tagged along with the 2 kids to see it LOVED the movie! It's got a lot of themes that kids and adults alike can relate to; being accepted by your peers, approval by your parents, doing what is right, selflessness along with the fact that it's got dragons and is super funny! It's definitely a must see! I can't wait for the DVD to come out!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Daily Scripture study

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are counseled often to read our scriptures daily. We should read our scriptures with our families, individually, as part of our Sunday lessons, and for some even as part of a church calling. In our church, high school students attend Seminary. Seminary is a class dedicated to the teaching and education of the scriptures for teenagers ages 14-18. The Seminary year follows the school year schedule. Depending on where you live, seminary might be held early in the morning before your school day even begins, on Saturdays for a few hours, or even as part of your high school curriculum. In many schools in Utah you would find Seminary instruction as an elective. Even at Kahuku High school here on Oahu, seminary is offered in school.

I remember my years of seminary. Since I attended Kamehameha Schools, it was already a given that I'd be waking up earlier than the rest of the kids in my school district because I'd be traveling to town. But since my seminary was held at 6 am every morning in Kalihi, I'd often wake up between 4:30 and 5:00 am every day to make it in time. It was rough, but sincerely the BEST way to start your day, especially as a teenager. I was no angel, by any stretch of the imagination, but I wonder how much worse I would've been had I not gotten a spiritual shot every morning! LoL!!

So I did have daily scripture study all throughout high school, but afterwards, it wasn't so easy for me! That's why I'm so glad my friend Carol posted this blog post! Thanks to her I've been reading my scriptures daily! You don't have to be Mormon or LDS to use this website and if you don't want to read the Book of Mormon, then you don't have to. There's also the King James Version of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. But if you're a little curious, I would HIGHLY recommend you check out the Book of Mormon! As an LDS member, the Book of Mormon DOES NOT replace the Bible in any fashion. We study and read the Bible along with the Book of Mormon. We believe the Book of Mormon to be ANOTHER testament of Jesus Christ and of his visit to the Americas.


So this website, LDS SCRIPTURES-READ THE SCRIPTURES, allows you to create schedules for your readings and will eMail you your daily readings! You could set up a schedule that sends you a chapter a day of The Book of Mormon (or whatever you book you'd like to read); Or if you have a specific completion date as a goal, you stick that date in and then it sets up how many chapters/verses you need to read and will email them to you in order to reach your goal! Besides the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price, there are a few other resources to choose from including various editions of LDS Church magazines, such as The Ensign and The New Era. The Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society lesson books are included too! It's a pretty awesome tool!

Once you have your schedule all set up you can even highlight scriptures and journal right on the website! Of course it's your own personal profile so you don't have to worry about everyone reading your thoughts. There's a notation function after each verse. And by far, my favorite feature, is that I can listen to an audio recording of the scriptures! Sometimes I even prefer to listen AND read along. So check it out and at the very least, get your daily scripture reading in!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Changes

I'm sitting at the bottom of my stairs, in the (I guess) foyer of my house. I am waiting for a ride, but I'm also sitting in silence. Thinking. Contemplating. Wondering.

The past year has been crazy. Busy with work, busy with church, busy with drama. Life, it's what it is. And the other day I typed a blog revealing who I am today. But things are about to change. I do not like change. It scares me and I attempt to avoid it at all costs, but sometimes you just can't. And sometimes, just sometimes, you don't want to.

For the first time, maybe ever in my life, I think I'm ready. I think I want change. Change can be healing and that's what I hope and want this to be. Change is still scary and all the usual fears are still there...

"Am I ready?"

"Am I the right person?"

"Will I fail?"

"Will I make a difference?"

I might do all of that or none of that, but I'm ready. So change...I'm not as afraid of you as you think!! I think...