Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My friends' blessings

This family with 5 children, one of whom has battled cancer, are some of my best friends. The twins are Dakota's age and homeschoolers too. They were nominated by our Children's Director at church for an Extreme Makeover. They will receive $5,000 and then $5,000 to donate. We are so thrilled for them!!!
From VBS 5th night

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Spam, anyone? The meat, not junk mail

Spam in the A.M.Image by asmythie via Flickr

One thing I have learned during my long stay in Hawaii is that Hawaiians LOVE their SPAM! It's everywhere and I do mean everywhere.

Want a SPAMburger? Just head down to your local McDonald's or Burger King and pick one up.

How about SPAM and eggs? Any IHOP, coffee shop or Pancake house will be happy to help you out.

I think my biggest surprise was when I was shopping in Target the other day. We stopped at the little snack place (at the entrance of Target where the shopping carts are) to get a smoothie and I was browsing the menu while waiting on Felicia to get the smoothies. I noticed the usual pizza slices, cookies, sushi (yeah, well that may not be normal for MY Target but I would expect that here in Hawaii...LOL) - but what I didn't expect was to see this:
I found out these can be purchased in convenience stores and restaurants alike. It is a favorite "to-go" food and just cost between $1.00 - $2.00 each.

When I walked over to where The Dollar Spot should have been, this Target had The Aloha Shop. There were 4 rows of SPAM souvenirs and memorabilia -- I couldn't resist taking a picture! Anyone want a SPAM purse?
According to Wikipedia...
Hawaiians have a love affair with Spam - they eat it as a delicacy, adding it to soups and stews, treating it as a side dish for breakfast, and enjoying it as the main event for lunch and dinner. Residents of Hawaii consume more Spam than populations anywhere else in the world: More than four million cans every year, or an average twelve cans of Spam per person per year. In fact, Hawaii is so well associated with Spam that Hormel even introduced a limited edition "Hawaii" can in 2003.

Too bad I'll be leaving this Saturday to head back home or I could join Felicia at the annual Spam Jam Waikiki 2009 on April 25th.

Oh yeah....one more thing - NO, I did not partake of any SPAM while in Hawaii! Been there done that - YUCK!
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Toon-ful Tuesday

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Blog - God and Chocolate

Awakening...!!!Image by Denis Collette...!!! via Flickr

Just found this new blog today - God and Chocolate - only one post but very insightful. Looking forward to seeing what she has to say in the future. Check it out!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Relay for Life

official logo of the American Cancer Society R...Image via Wikipedia

Every year I participate in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event to raise money for cancer research. I got involved in this when my best friend CJ got cancer several years ago and started her own team, Walk By Faith.

We have so much fun at this event. If you aren't involved in a Relay would you consider joining our team or making a donation? All donations can be made through my team page and they are tax-deductible.

If you would like to get involved, find a Relay event in your own hometown and join a local team or start a team of your own. These events are fun, family-friendly, energetic all night affairs that get the whole community involved!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pineapples, hiking and worship

I have been here in Hawaii for four days. Everyone is resting right now (Sunday afternoon nap) so I thought I would take a few minutes to update my blog as to what I have been doing the last four days.

My first full day here we started out early dropping Allan off at school and then Felicia drove me around the entire island (I think - I really can't remember at the moment if we did in fact go around the whole island or not and she is asleep so I can't ask her.) I loved all the varieties of trees and foliage I saw. It is absolutely beautiful here!
Will and Felicia and the boys climbed this moutain - it is 1000 feet up by way of stairs!! They did this 6 weeks after Shawn was born. You can just barely make out the trail in this picture. Oh my goodness...NO WAY!

Sweet little Shawn just rides along in the pack on Will or Felicia's chest when they do all their weekend hikes.
So many pretty pictures to take...
This reminds me of Brazil - all the houses stacked on top of one another. It is really funny because there are lots of similarities between Brazil and Hawaii.Nathan and I
The 2nd day we went to the Dole Pineapple Plantation. Felicia and I shared this pineapple split..
Have you ever seen one of these trees? A Gum tree - they are so colorful and beautiful. I have never seen a Gum tree before.
Yesterday we hiked to the summit of Diamond Head crater. It was a long steep climb. The boys were real troopers!

The view from the top was amazing! Me and Felicia were exhausted by the time we reached the summit - me from being out of shape and her from carrying Shawn on her chest in a pack! lolOne set of steps (out of 3) we had to climb. We are coming back down in this picture...Allan is in front of Will who is carrying Shawn in the pack.Waikiki in the background....from the very top of the crater.
The boys and I at the top.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm here!

After 10 hours of flying...

I managed to sleep off and on during the 2nd leg of my journey so I could stay awake until 7:30 Hawaii time last night (which was 12:30 my time.) This was pretty good considering I had been up since 4:00 am. The boys were excited to see me...as I was to see them. Precious Shawn, the baby, kept cooing and smiling at me. He is 3 months old now. Felicia said I was going to spoil him because I kept holding him...isn't that what I'm here for?? lol

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Making plans for Dakota while I'm away

I am leaving today for Hawaii. Dakota isn't going with me. This is bittersweet. I am thrilled beyond words to be leaving to go visit my daughter in Hawaii whom I have not seen in 2 years...but (there is always a but isn't there?) I leave behind Dakota, my dear 12-yr-old with whom I spend every day with - homeschooling, playing, talking, just being together.

The separation will do us both good. We haven't been apart like this since I went to Brazil two years ago. I've been trying to make arrangements for Dakota while I am away since Greg has to work everyday. Little did I know Dakota was making his own arrangements (via his Xbox) with some of his friends until he asked me about it last night over dinner. At least - he had this whole weekend already planned out! I called and verified everything with the other parent and then set up all the transportation arrangements between my mom, Greg and the other parent and we are all set.

He has had me in tears a few times here lately begging me not to go...but now that he is taking control of where he is spending "some" of his time the next few weeks - and it is with HIS friends he is a little happier over my leaving. Praise the Lord!
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Two more days...can hardly wait

Sunset in KonaImage via Wikipedia

Two more days!!!! Then I am off to Hawaii for 2 1/2 weeks to see my darling daughter and newest grandbaby!!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Warmer weather = butterflies, birds and squirrels oh my!

An Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis...Image via Wikipedia

We have had the most wonderful weather the last two weeks. High 70's - low humidity, gentle breezes...ahhh, I love it! I have been itching to get out and work in the yard but I've been putting it off until I return from Hawaii the first weekend in April.

With Spring in the air the birds are back again in full force. I have a couple of bird feeders in my back yard but neither of them are squirrel-proof so every time I look out my window those pesky squirrels are IN the bird feeder! I need a squirrel-proof bird feeder! I am going through bird feed like crazy (and sending my dogs out to run the squirrels off.)

In searching for different bird feeders and hummingbird feeders for my back yard, I found this website which searches the entire web for Home and Garden products - not just websites which pay for the ad space. I can't wait until I get back from Hawaii. I've been spending time just planning out what I want to do in the back yard...I am ready to get my hands dirty!
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Do your kids play video games?

Dakota is a video game junkie. I try to keep up with what games he is playing but it's not always an easy job. I just discovered this website that will make this a little easier to do now. It's called
What They Play: The Parents Guide to Video Games
I looked at just a few of his games on there and was pleased with the reviews I read.
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hearing Aids

80s hearing aidImage by pneff via Flickr

I went with my mom yesterday to her appointment to have a free hearing test done at Miracle-Ear. I was sitting with her throughout the whole process and watching all of the tests she went through. It was quite different from when I remember having hearing tests done to me as a child. She didn't have to go into a separate room while we sat on the other side of the glass.

We stayed in the woman's office and when she was ready to begin administering the tests, she just closed her office door and ALL outside noise was blocked off - we heard nothing! The lady inserted these spongy things in her ears which pretty much blocked out all noise except what she was saying to her through a headset or the noises that were coming through the computer during the testing phase. Overall, my mom did well. She was told to have her ears checked again in two years.

While we were sitting there talking I mentioned that I had been wanting to get my ears checked because I have noticed my hearing is different. We were about to leave the office after my mom's appointment was over and the woman asked me suddenly if I had time and wanted to go ahead and get my hearing checked. I gladly took her up on it because I really have been wanting to do that anyway.

After about 45 minutes of testing (much longer than my mom) I found out I do have mild to moderate hearing loss and she recommended hearing aids for me. This did not really surprise me.

What DID surprise me was the results of speech therapy test I had to do. I had the spongy things in my ears and she was talking to me through a headset. She adjusted the volume according to when I told her I could hear her fine. Then testing each ear separately and then together I listened while a man's voice would say "Say the word and" or various other words and I would repeat what he said. The word he said would flash on the computer screen so my mom could see what the word was. I had my eyes closed and was turned the other way so I couldn't see the word. I had told her ahead of time that I knew my left ear was worse than my right ear - I was right. I scored 85/100 with my left ear - meaning I missed words!! I was shocked! My mom told me later I had missed the first word and I really couldn't believe that....I thought I had heard them all fine. This was definitely an eye-opener.

I don't think our insurance covers hearing aids - one of my jobs today is to call and find out. The aids she wanted to fit me with are cute! They look like a piece of jewelry. They even come with 4 interchangeable colored covers and you can buy more colors to match any outfit. Isn't that crazy? LOL

Now I need to make an appointment for Greg...his hearing is worse than mine!
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Could it be more obvious?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Perfect match

This is our shower curtain in my bathroom. We spent a little more for this a few months ago because it is a fabric curtain as opposed to a plastic curtain. I can just throw it in the washer though to clean it and it will last awhile so the extra cost was worth it to me. I love the colors - teal, orange, tan, mocha, chocolate and a cream color. Lots to choose from!
Look what I found at The Dollar Tree the other night - these adorable little baskets! The small ones were 2/$1.00 and there were larger ones that were $1.00/each.
I bought 2 small and 2 large....they match perfectly!!
Oh yeah (Ashleigh - this is for you) on my last post about remodeling - my friend that went with me shopping that day helped me considerably! I was amazed at the ideas she has for decorating. I would never have thought about putting the CD's/DVD's in boxes like that or some of the other ideas she has given me that I will implement with more time (and money...LOL.)

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Toonful Tuesday

We can never make the goal of salvation on our own. We can trust Jesus to take the ball and score the goal for us.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pink Bunny Girlie-Girl

Tina, Bryant and my grand-daughter Bailee came into town for the weekend. Bryant's sister and brother-in-law (and their 3 little girls) are moving this week and they came into town to celebrate Easter together with his mom one last time before all her grandkids officially move away. Bailee and her two older cousins had a blast hunting eggs and playing together. The youngest one is still an infant.

Tina and Bailee got away for a little while Sunday morning to come to church and see us. When Tina called me between Sunday School and church to let me know she was on her way she got my sleepy voice on the other end of the phone...she had just woke me up. With the change of daylight savings time, Greg having to work until 11:00 a.m., and my late night Saturday night I had overslept and didn't make it to church. They detoured to our house instead.

Bailee is all dressed up for church....she is such a prissy girl (her mommy is MAKING her a girlie-girl!!) LOL She carried her little purse around the whole time she was at our house!

Momma and her prissy girl - they are both adorable!

Ken Davis - Christian comedy

A friend called me Friday and asked if I wanted to go with her and volunteer at a local church on Saturday evening where Ken Davis, the Christian comedian was going to perform. She said if we volunteer we get in for free. I love listening to his comedy blips on the radio so I quickly agreed. We ended up working the product table before the show, during intermission and after the show. There were over 1200 people there to see him! It was the funniest show I have ever been to!! This man is hilarious.

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Saturday, March 7, 2009


Countdown (game show)Image via Wikipedia

I have another week and a half before I get on a plane for Hawaii. Have I expressed how excited I am?? Much like my 10-day trip to Brazil 2 summers ago though...I am trying to get everything in order here at the house...ya know, just in case...
  • something happens to my flight
  • we have a car accident while over there
  • I have a heart attack or something and breathe my last breath in HI
  • I just love it over there and decide to stay and never come back - LOL
Okay, these are morbid thoughts I know but they are my thoughts that cross my mind anytime I get ready to go on an extended trip away from my guys. Yes, I am thrilled to go see my daughter I haven't seen in two years and I know the 2 1/2 weeks I am there are going to fly by wayyyyyyyyyy too fast...but it's the moments leading up to boarding the plane that are the hardest for me.
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