Posts Tagged ‘traditions’


Thankfulness 2014: Week 4

December 6, 2014

Nov. 22 Thankful for books to read, clothes to fold, and cooking competitions to watch and giggle over with the girls. What a relaxing Saturday!

Sunday night took a turn that had me feeling less than grateful and struggling to give thanks. But I suppose it is only fitting that:
Nov. 23 if I am granted tomorrow then I am thankful it will be a new day and that today will be behind me.

Nov. 24 I am thankful for the brief blast of warmth today and the mother-daughter time with T1 and another new “first”. Let me not forget that these things will be just as new to T2 when her time comes. (We went to a friend who sells Mary Kay to learn how to apply make up with the ‘less is more’ philosophy … because she was caught trying to wear make up without permission.)

Nov. 25 I am thankful for the fellowship, conversation, and family fun of a night of coffee and bowling. It was such a low-key night. Probably the first time in 9 years we didn’t have scouts [the Tuesday before Thanksgiving] and oddly (gladly?) I don’t feel guilty about it one bit.

Nov. 26 I am thankful for the rain and wintry mix. Perfect for resting and hanging out at home, working on projects… so glad the Chief is still home to help T2 finish her science fair project! The rain also got me out of running sprints but I have to make it up on the bike. ūüė¶

Nov. 27 I am thankful for the table of plenty were shared in. We have never truly known want and I hope my children understand that. More though, I am thankful for the feast of God’s love that He so generously invites us to. His grace and mercy are abundant and unending and for the first time in a long time, I am content to sit in that glow.

Nov. 28 Because it is our nephew’s birthday I am thankful for all our nephews near and far! I am also thankful for the friends who carry on the crazy tradition of getting together for some good food, good conversation, and starting off the holiday season just right!

Nov. 29 I am thankful for the difference time and letting go make. To end this month of thanksgiving with a real appreciation for counting blessings and being grateful instead of … well, if you know me you know what the alternative is …, it is something to be savored. It is peaceful and it has been a long time. I enjoyed this relaxing Saturday morning with the Chief, appreciating his presence and for being my rock. And then the girls came home… LOL

Nov. 30 I am thankful for the calm before the storm … is the house ready for Christmas? Nope and I don’t know when it will be. Does that bother me? Yeah. But it is mainly because we don’t know when the Chief is shipping out and the vagueness is killing me. I’m going to take a breather and reread my list of 30 Days of Thanks and then just conquer my list of Things to Do one task at a time and remind myself to not sweat it if it doesn’t all get done. And Yeah, for the first time ever we have some outdoor Christmas lights. LOL


She’s Getting Leid!

June 4, 2014

So, our Hawaiian ohana¬†(family) posted pictures of recent high school and junior high graduations. When the junior high cousin’s pictures popped up on my Instagram feed I took notice (we weren’t directly related to the HS grad). T1 is about to “graduate” from middle school too … but they don’t have a ceremony (the closest thing is the invitation-only, all grade level, awards ceremony this Thursday). But I’d like to do something special. Besides, it is a nod to the Chief’s childhood on Hawaii and our ohana still there.

So I made a comment and congratulations for our cousins on FB and I got a personal message with YouTube links to how-to videos! I could not believe how simple they are. Now of course I have only tried the basic ones. I have not added beads and rosettes yet.¬†I haven’t tried ribbon leis yet either.

Lei Making Supplies!

Lei Making Supplies!

See here are the supplies and here are the almost finished products–I must have¬†the Chief make larger holes in the beads and I may go get more charms. I have enough to make one more lei¬†so I will ask T1 what style for fun fur lei she likes best (don’t have anymore boa yarn).

Three Leis; Upper Right: close up of the charm that reads "Blessed"; Lower Left: single straw with alternating fun fur; Lower Right: two colors of fun fur, two straws (or flat lei).

Three Leis; Upper Right: close up of the charm that reads “Blessed”; Lower Left: single straw with alternating fun fur; Lower Right: two colors of fun fur, two straws (or flat lei).

**She was talking to her 8th grade semi-formal “friend-date” and telling him I was making her leis for graduation¬†(I believe she actually said, “Help! My mom is making me leis for graduation!”). So I told her to ask him if he wanted me to make him one. That may be what happens with the last lei. But then I have not tried the three straw lei yet… Maybe I have to go get more supplies!

From our cousin:

This one is for a single straw lei:

This is for a two straw lei:

This is for a three straw lei:

Hope this helps. It’s really easy and fast. If you aren’t able to see it just YouTube it.

There are cool ribbon leis too.

To add the kukui nuts & shells you just have to tie off then put the kukui nut then start again. You can put beads or fake flowers too if you want.

Father-Daughter Dances of the Past

April 28, 2014

This is our 8th Father-Daughter dance (since T1 was in 1s grade). I believe the Chief has only been home for 4 of them. As I posted pictures of my daughters and my BILs from this past weekend I realized just how special are my BILs and how blessed are my daughters.

2007 my father took T1. At the time my parents were “threatening” to move to the beach so I thought I should ask my father to be her escort just in case. They haven’t moved and in fact have sold their condo.

2008 my FIL took T2 and the Chief escorted T1. The Chief was actually at the office doing his EODP and one of the stipulations for the abrupt schedule change was that they would fly him home for the weekend so he could take his daughter to the dance. Red-eye home Saturday morning with a return flight Sunday afternoon.

2009 the Chief’s brother took T1 and the Chief escorted T2. This is the one and only year I made their dresses … don’t get excited. They were those ruffled dresses that only needed one seam and are worn like a tube top … I added straps and pretty bows. This was the last year for corsages.

2010 my FIL¬†took T1 and my father escorted T2. This was a Sock-Hop so I thought the grandfathers would dress casually. Nope. They both wore suits while the young dads came dressed as the Fonz. I got to witness the dance because the organizer had a small troop and was desperate for help so my MIL and I served drinks all night. We found coordinating bracelet “corsages” at the new Charming Charlies.

2011 my sister’s new husband escorted T2 and the Chief was home to take T1. This was the year of the dress drama. We found a prom dress in size 2 at the Good Will … it fit T2 and not T1. Needless to say this was the beginning of having listen to T1 pitch a fit if I didn’t agree with her expensive tastes in dresses. It was cold and rainy outside so we had to take pictures inside this year.
*The Chief’s brother was on stand-by just in case the Chief couldn’t make it home. I had asked my own brother to take¬†one of the girls¬†and he waited until about a week before the dance to tell me “no” which is why my sister’s husband stepped in.

2012 my father escorted T1 again while my FIL¬†took T2 again. T1 wanted a “little black dress.” This gave the grandfathers heart failure to see their 12-year-old granddaughter looking so mature.

2013 it was T2’s turn to have Chief be her escort and my father escorted T1 again.

So my oldest scout in the troop decided she wanted to host the Father-Daughter Dance this year. She asked my co-leader to help and it has been quite an experience… I’ll post tomorrow about the recap.

2014 The Chief’s brother took T1 again and my sister’s husband took T2 … guess I didn’t realize we should have switched that up. Oops. Well now I have a list to easily look back on for future dances. All the grandparents came for an early dinner at our traditional place and BIL’s girlfriend came and actually went to the dance with ME and helped run the event. It’s hard to believe there will only be 4 more of these for T1.

The bottom line is how truly blessed the girls are to have such loving male figures in their lives when the Chief can’t be home. They’ve never “shared” an escort either. T1 has her first school formal coming up and I know things are going to change but these Father-Daughter Dances will always be special family experiences. I know¬†I’m blessed to have wonderful brothers-in-law and if my Texas rebel BIL were only closer I know he would have stepped in too.


Seasons Change

October 28, 2013

The girls and I joined my in-laws for our annual amusement park and haunted house thrill weekend. After T-1’s slaughter game, that is. What an interesting weekend to say the least. Of course it was the last possible weekend, the Chief wasn’t with us, the weather had turned cold, etc.

But BIL was bringing The Girlfriend.

My girls adore her. I think I adore her, even if she is taller and thinner than me. She’s really hard not to like. We’re all crossing our fingers and hoping *she’s the one!*

In fact this summer, when visiting with the SIL and her family, the topic came up quite a bit. Now my MIL has never been one to truly play favorites, even with the one niece. The grandchildren are all equally spoiled. I walked in when my MIL was saying she’s resisted calling the grandson her favorite grandson (because he’s the only one) because she hopes BIL¬†will one day get married and have children. Thus she calls the older granddaughters “Her favorite oldests” and mine “Her favorite youngest (though hoping for more)”.¬†My SIL’s husband says “I’m her favorite son-in-law” and we all laugh because he’s the only one. So I say, “Well, we all know I’m about to be replaced.” My MIL has never, I repeat, never¬†yelled at me … but she did. “SNIPEWIFE, YOU DON’T MEAN THAT!” I look at my SIL, her husband, the oldest niece, and giggle. “I’m mean, hey, 18 years is a good run.” In relating this to others I usually add, “My place is secure, I gave her T1 and T2. I’m good.”

I’m actually okay with being replaced. It kind of has to do with the fact The Girlfriend is 12 years younger than me. And if and when there are new grandchildren, it will be such an age gap that my girls won’t be replaced either. We’ve had a good run and we’re moving on to new phases of our lives.

I didn’t feel like there was someone new intruding on my weekend, my Halloween fun, my¬†traditions. No, there was someone new to go into the haunted houses with me and be as scared if not more scared of clowns than me. Okay, I still screamed more, but she thought I was hilarious. Maybe it didn’t hurt that for the first time T1 was not being sent home with the grandparents as soon as the night creatures came out. T1 was joining the ranks of the scary thrill seekers.

On the first night, T2 tried to make it through the pirate haunted house but she became hysterical. BIL led her through as quickly as possible and then she was sent home with the grandparents. While he escorted them to the car, The Girlfriend, T1 and I hopped on a few rides to wait for his return. We had a great chance to talk and get to know each other without him around. We talked about that moment when you know the FIL has accepted you by the awkward out of the blue hug. We talked about the SIL, spoiled grandchildren, previous vacations.

We talked about what had happened that morning while everyone was waiting for T1 and I to join up. No one would make a decision. No one would make a plan. Everyone was just so polite. BIL¬†declared he didn’t want to be in charge. They started texting me and eventually calling me about what we should do. Once BIL¬†had made a choice we thought it was settled but suddenly FIL said that wasn’t what he wanted to do. This is rare but the frustration came out “Well, why didn’t you say something 20 minutes ago?” I just grinned and nodded at her.

“You want to know why that was happening? It’s because I wasn’t there. They won’t make decisions. They were waiting for you the make the choice. Too polite and all. I took charge. Couldn’t stand not having a plan. And they let me. I’ve always planned things and gotten them to make choices.”

The Girlfriend was all like, “That’s fine. You can keep on doing that.”

See, I won’t be replaced after all. LOL

I told her about the conversation this summer and finally getting MIL to yell at me. She found it very amusing. “Tell you what, why don’t we make it an even 20 year run if it happens? I’ll wait till then to replace you.” Sounds good to me. By then I can have her trained just the way I want her. Probably the closest thing I’ll have to a daughter-in-law of my own.

So T1 was thrilled to be hanging out with the adults. T2 was finally tall enough to ride the last roller coaster. T1 conquered her fear of roller coasters and went of 4 of the 5. T2 was brave enough to go through the vampire haunted house with us the next night–and she loved it! I screamed so much I have no voice today but that’s all good! I love screaming!

Now suddenly we can all ride the big roller coasters and stay past the witching hour together. It was an entirely new experience. I miss the days when we’d stay an entire week with my in-laws but school seems to frown on missing too many days. But I know it won’t be too long when the Chief and I can join them on our own. Who knows what the future holds with BIL and The Girlfriend (she felt no pressure whatsoever that we’ve all “discussed” her and their relationship) but we can only hope and wish them the best. Hopefully there will be many more new memories to make.

Now we just have to see if she can survive the holidays with us …. now that would make a great haunted house! Bwaahahahaha!

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