Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I seem to have problems keeping up with this blog. I don't know why because I do really enjoy blogging. I'm going to try to do better. I know I know you have heard that before, but I will try.

A while ago I wrote a blog homage to my oldest sister. I wrote it because I wanted to express some of my love my family. And to state it individually. Not as a blanket statement but to share the little individual ways they have touched my life. To give tribute to them as separately. My sisters and brothers have enriched my life so incredibly. A large part of who I am is because of them. My siblings have inspired me. Encouraged me. Challenged me. They give me such happiness. Many, many times of laughter. Though at times they have caused my faith to be strengthened through trial and tribulation. Hehe. I think that that's all apart of being a family.

Being family doesn't mean you have a lack of conflicts and arguments it means working through them until there is resolution. Now don't get me wrong my family is by no means perfect. Like everyone we are still learning. There is now the learning of how to deal with each other now that most of us are adults and no longer children. Taking on new challenges and difficulties. But through all of this there is the confidence of a secure foundation of love holding us. I am so thankful for that. Beyond words I'm thankful for it.

This next blog is a tribute to my sister Dara. Ah Dara, where to start. My sister Dara like Angeline is one of the sisters I bummed around with more then the others. Actually I would have to say Dara is probably the one the bummed around with the most. Angeline had her own friends that she would do things with but Dara and I 'shared' friends. Isn't it funny how that works, when you are a kid the ages are so distinct and separate but as you get older age doesn't matter much. Now we all have friends that we 'share'. But back then, not so much. Like I said Dara and I shared friends so usually it was the both of us doing things together. Not only that but we shared a room together. You don't really know someone until you share a room. Many a night was spent in long conversations of everything and nothing. Even after Dara got her own room she would let me 'sleep over'.

We used to tease Dara because she was always the voice of our conscience in our group of friends growing up. We had a friend who always had these wonderful, awful ideas. Usually it involved us doing something we shouldn't. Dara would always remind us that we should do what is right. That Jesus wouldn't want us to do this. This of course didn't necessarily sit well with the rest of us. I'm proud of my sister for standing up for what is right even when it wasn't popular or easy. Like I said we teased her about being a goody two shoes but it's because of her we didn't get in more trouble then we did. And it didn't matter who we were with my sister had a very good sense of what was right and what was wrong. If it was wrong she wouldn't do it. Please don't get the idea that she was boring and a sick in the mud. That is totally not the case. She just has very good ethics. She wouldn't let people push her to do something she knew she shouldn't.

My sister has been a great sounding board and balancer for me. She always encourages me to do more, to be better. I don't know how many times we have gotten into long conversations about what God is sharing with us. My sister is a good example of being faithful to the call God places in your life. As I mentioned before my oldest sister has been in a couple of ministry groups. One has even taken her overseas. I think sometimes it's just as hard to be the one God chooses to stay as it is to go. As hard as it can be for the one who goes the one who stays has to constantly deal with staying fired up and encouraged. The daily drag is exactly that. I personally think sometimes the people who say behind have a harder time of getting out of the rut of life and realizing how the mission field and God's plan is here. To be excited when there is nothing to be excited for. I have seen my sister faithfully serve where God has placed her. Wanting to do something different but accepting that this is God's plan for now. Dara is such a inspiration to me.

My sister is very creative. She knitted, yes hand knitted, me a absolutely gorgeous scarf. Unfortunately it was just before I moved here to Hawaii and the scarf was way too warm. She can be very patient and disciplined. She has written and directed plays. Acted in many plays at church. She leads worship at church and has a beautiful voice. I am always blessed by her openness to the Holy Spirit and His leading. She loves music, making it, listening to it. She was my major source music. I would always steal here cd's and she being the nice sister would let me. She is very generous. Giving of herself and her time. She would always be the first one to mention praying over something. She's solid. Making sure she's grounded in God. In most difficult times of my life she has been there. If not physically then through prayer. We always used to tease Dara because she's such a beauty that most guys who came to church developed a crush on her. Though I think it was more then just how pretty she is. I think they were more attracted to who she is. A incredible woman of God. I know I haven't nearly done you justice but thank you Dara, I love you!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


As per usual it has been quite awhile since my last post. In fact my last post was last year. Not that last year was all that long ago. But still, it's time for a new post.

I've been thinking about what to post for a little bit now. I was thinking of doing some of my favorite pictures again. Or my year in pictures. Or just randomness. But then I thought about what my last post was on. I thought about how I have never tried to draw a picture of my siblings with words before. I thought that might be interesting. So starting now, for the next little while I will post on my siblings. Bragging on them in my own small way. I don't know if i can do them justice but I want to share how much they mean to me.

My family has some interesting natural...uh...for lack of a better word, 'breaks' in it. The top tier was 'The Older Girls' which was my oldest sister Angeline (#1), then my sister Dara (#2), then myself (#3). The next tier was 'The Girls' which consisted of my sister Melody (#4), my sister Chrissy (#5), my sister Rena (#6). Now my youngest sister Katy (#8) has been added to 'The Girls' group. Then there was 'The Kids' which was my sister Rena (#6), my brother Josh (#7), and my sister Katy (#8). Seven years after Katy was born the first of 'The Boys', Joe (#9). Joe (#9) and Jon (#10) round out the group. They are 'The Boys'. Don't ask me how or why it was, it just was. I said all that to kinda explain the family dynamic. How we interacted with each other growing up.

As mentioned paragraph above though my whole family is very close, at times we were closer to some more then the others. My sisters Angeline and Dara were my closest siblings growing up. It wasn't the age "closer" it was liking to hang out together "closer" We were the Three Amigos. We did alot together. Hanging out. Talking about life. Trying to figure who we are. What we were supposed to be and do.

Though Angeline bore the brunt of responsibility of oldest child there was alot that the three of us shared. Setting good examples. Doing the majority of the chores. Lots and lots of babysitting. Putting the fear of God (and mom and dad) into the younger ones. We were the enforcers, the peacemakers, the trailblazers, the game-makers, the imagineers, the guinea pigs. I love my parents and am very thankful for the way they raised me. But like every parent they had to learn as they went along. In all things there is trial and error. Let's just say we were the ones who mellowed mom and dad for the younger ones.

I think it's only right to start the series with the one who started it all in my family. My oldest sister Angeline. I really admire my sister. She has been there for me so many times and in so many different ways. She is a amazing person. So very beautiful. She pulled alot more of the exotic looks then I did. Alright I can face it, I got none of the exotic in my family. But it's more then just the way she looks, she is truly a beautiful woman inside and out. Her character matches her outer beauty. Strong and confident. Funny. Very empathetic but she will tell you exactly how it is. Resolute. But she also understands the necessity of compromise. Courageous and brave. That's my Angie.

My sister is also so very talented. After graduating she worked for about a year then went off on the road. She went with a ministry group called Covenant Players. They traveled all over the country using drama and music as a ministry tool in churches, schools, prisons and bases. She memorized many skits and plays, some being just monologues. One time she was back at our church with her team and she was right in the middle of a monologue when this great commotion broke out. Out of nowhere a little girl in the 3rd or 4th pew right in the middle got sick. Let's just say it wasn't fountains of living water coming out of her. The mother took her out while a brigade of deacons and ushers assisted the dad in clean up. Through it all my sister continued, not missing a beat. Talk about showmanship. I don't remember the play but I do remember that.

Not only did she do plays but she was apart of a elite group of singers. Not surprising for me as she has a gorgeous singing voice. I remember her telling me about not being sure if she could make it into the group. But, of course, she did. The last year she was in the group she was also a team leader. Everything that could possibly go wrong for a team happened to her that tour. From a team member getting seriously sick to van break downs and no funds to fix it. Hearing now what she went through then is astounding and I marvel at her faith and faithfulness to the call on her life then. But that isn't the only time she has left all that is familiar to follow God's call on her. She ministered in Nepal for 2 years. Working with the women there, some of those were rescued out of prostitution. Prostitution not of their own choice but prostitution that was forced on them. She went into orphanages. Loving the children there. She assisted the local churches there and would minister to those found along the river. Many of whom were considered of a lower caste, thought of as untouchable. Through all this she was learned the culture and language.

A couple of months before she went to Nepal she and David, my brother-in-law, started to date. They went through her whole tour only seeing each other in person once. And that being when he came over to visit her and propose. She got back and had to adjust to being back in this culture and back in our family, plan her wedding that was happening a little over 2 months later when in a freak accident she broke her leg. That's right, broke her leg. So much for those fancy high heels. She, in fact, wasn't sure if she could even walk down the aisle. There was all sorts of discussions of how she could get down that aisle. Talk of go karts, a horse, a remote controlled car thingy, a red wagon. My favorite was a sedan chair. Maybe just be because it was my idea. But none of those were needed because the day arrived and she was able to go with just having dad on one side and a crutch on the other. When my sister makes a decision she works very hard to fulfill it. She has been such a example of a strong Christian women. Not just in her faith but in who she is personally. She exemplifies for me what a real woman is suppose to be, not perfect but always trying to be the woman God made her to be. She doesn't rest on past victories. She continues to look for what God has next for her. There is so much I could say but I'll end it here. You are and will continue to be my hero. I love you Ange!

Friday, November 13, 2009


One of my babies is lost to me for now. Today my brother, my Joshie died. No longer will I hear his great laugh. Will I see his amazing smile. Will I look into his smiling eyes. No longer will I share in life with him. He was barely a man and yet he already left such a amazing and rich legacy. Like a shadow in late afternoon his shadow was long, it fell on and touched so many.

My brother was amazing. I am and was so proud of him. He lived his life to bring beauty to God and to others. Whether it was in his love of music , or in his love of singing. He brought beauty in his love of dance. His love of photography and sharing the beauty of nature as he saw it. His love of plants and growing them. He loved sharing about God and what He was doing in his life. He was exuberant and stubborn. He was growing to be daring and confident. He would take time to listen and gain wisdom from those around him. He was unashamed and unabashed in his love for his Savior.

He wasn't afraid to show you what he was feeling. To show you the depth of his emotions. He truly loved and cared for people. You felt that and knew it. He took all our teasing so well, well most of the time. And tease him we did. At times because he made himself such a easy target. When Josh was fascinated with something he would find books about whatever it was and study them. Learning all he possibly could. If you asked him he would share all that knowledge with you. Sometimes even when you didn't ask him. My brother was so gifted in so many different ways. It's hard to distill that. It's hard to make a snap-shoot of the amazing picture of who he was. I feel sad for all who won't be able to know him. I feel sad for all of us who did know him. Because all of us who knew him grieve, not because God elected to take Josh to be with Him. But because we will no longer have Josh with us.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Beast

If you have seen any of my status updates the past couple of days you would have seen that I have been locked in a land war with a diabolical foe. In the front of my grandmother's house is a bush that I lovingly (read sarcastic undertones) refer to "The Beast". My grandparents have had this bush for a very long time. As long as I can remember in fact. My grandfather brought a clipping from the Big Island and planted it in front of the house. As a kid I had many fond memories of this bush. My sisters and I would gather up the small purplish-pink four petaled flowers and toss them in the air over our heads. They would spiral down over us in a shower of little helicopters. That's what we would call it, the helicopter bush. Like I said I had many fond memories of that bush.

Not anymore. Not since I became the one to have to control it. I didn't think I would mind so much. I enjoy being outside. The warm sun shining down on me, a cool breeze and blue, blue skies overhead. How bad could it be to trim one bush. But soon I discovered that the bush wasn't going to peacefully submit to being tamed. It grows like a giant rats nest. Branches shoot out 6 feet or higher straight up to the sky and every other direction. It looks for any thing it can latch onto and wrap it self around. The branches twist and turn, entwining and weaving themselves into a tangled mess. And it grows incredibly fast. I swear I just cut it and 2 days later I will see a vines sticking out 6 ft in every direction. As if the isn't bad enough the leaves have this little hairs on them that are annoyingly itchy. And the branches bite. I always end up covered in scratches after I finish.

I actually haven't taken on the Beast in about a year. Last year a friend of mine was helping take care of the yard work for me. I wasn't able to get out and tackle it due to caring for my grandfather.It was nice to not to have to worry about it. It was also nice to because I run into problems with grandma when I do it. I tend to try to keep the yard somewhat under submission and I guess I was cutting too much back for grandma. It's hard when you have someone who is rather indecisive in some things. Going back and forth on what she wants done. And very set and unmoving on other things. It was hard to make her see that some things were better. That it needed to be done. It was also rather frustrating to have my friend tell grandma the exact same thing I was telling her and have her go along with it because he told her it. So after a while I just let things slide until she would ask me to do it. One of those things was the bush out front. I was going to go out and cut it one day when she told me that she would rather I didn't since the bush hadn't bloomed with as many flowers as it used to. Since then I haven't touched it. As it is a rather forceful and encroaching beast it has been steadily taking over the front yard. Then last week grandma came into my room and said "maybe we should cut the bush. It's taking over the yard." We being me of course. I actually don't mind as long as I don't mind as long as I don't have to deal with drama with it.

On Monday I set out into what would be my first foray. Due to the fact that my grandpa was very frugal and wanted to keep things as simple as possible my weapons were a pair of hedge shears, a lopping shears and a pruner. I was three hours into a major engagement with the Beast when I decided to fall back and go get some heavy artillery. I was running into the problem of having lots of small branches intermingled with thicker branches. My poor hedge shears were doing great with the small branches but just couldn't cut it with the bigger branches. And it was taking way too long cutting them one at a time. So out I went to get a big bad electric hedge trimmer.

Maybe it's because I'm so much like my dad but I love tools. Especially big, bad, monster tools. Give me a pneumatic framing nail gun. A 19.2 volt cordless drill/driver. A table saw. Oh baby! Love them. So needless to say I wasn't a hard sell when it came to getting another toy...uh I mean very important tool. Tuesday came all bright and sunshiny and I was ready to battle again. Unfortunately the skirmish again went to my enemy. The hedge trimmer worked like a dream. It cut through the resistance like a hot knife through butter but I was left to clean up the casualties and there was much more of them then I could manage. I stuffed as much as I could into the green waste bin but that filled up way too quickly. Next I tried to stuff them in to garbage bags but they shredded the bags. I then got a tarp and wrapped up a massive load and drug it to the compost pile in the lower yard. But even after all that I still had a yard full of debris. I filled a large trash can and finally had to call it quits. I was way to hot and starting to not feel too good. I had been out for 3 hrs in direct sun and 90ยบ temps. Even with my "killer hat" as my neighbor called it I was done in and had to beat a strategic retreat.

Day three came and I decided to follow the advice of a very wise woman to wait until later in the day for a sneak attack. Well, actually she said to wait until night fall but I decided to wait until after 4 to lull the Beast into a false sense of security. Some of the reason I decided on this strategy was because I had to take grandma to a Doctor appointment and some of it was because it was another scorcher today. After the Doctor appointment I stopped at the store to pick up some different trash bags. What followed was another hard and long clash but I was able to finish most of clean up. Eight bags later, I had to again retreat when it got too dark. For now the Beast is tamed. My foe is vanquished, but only for a time. Soon I know the time will come again when I will have go out again and battle.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Week 3

So today was week 3 of the experiment. And I must say I have continued to be impressed. There is lots of new growth and on the cherry tomato lots of flowers. It's getting harder to water them now because of all the new growth as I have to stand on the ledge to reach the top. Not a bad problem to have I suppose. But I guess I'm going to have to break down and get a watering wand pretty soon.

Roma Tomato: Week 3

Cherry Tomato: Week 3

Roma Tomato: Week 3

Cherry Tomato: Week 3