Monday, January 7, 2008

Kim's Birthday

So, I believe I will take the time tonight to introduce to you some of my Hawaiian "ohana" --which means "family".

Today is my friend Kim's birthday--So Happy 24th Kimsy! Kim is from Randolph Co. too, but we just met a little over a year ago here in HI. She is moving in with me at the end of the month--which is going to be great fun, and kind of cool too because our husbands are rooming together in Iraq.

So, we went to a new restaurant, E&0 Trading Co. and it was so great--a South East Asian cuisine if you will (Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, etc.) ...the smells took me right back to Sri Lanka and the food was great (and in my personal opinion, much better than Sri Lanka, for most of the time i ended up with only french fries and cheese sandwiches!) Notice the awesome bamboo shoots our coconut rice came in!

Our friends Carrie--also a Carolina girl, southern carolina that is but we forgive her for that-- (that's her above with the rice) and Renee from California came too. We had a good time talking and laughing as always, but then we noticed the time--a surprising 9:45! And just like 4 Cinderellas as the clock struck 12, we ran straight out the door and headed for home because it is definitely Monday night we all have work and HI traffic to deal with in the morning...oh the life of a grown-up!

*note: heard through the grapevine (or more specifically, Mike's roomie's wife (Kim, yes you got it!) that Mike is in the bed sick with a very sore throat, no voice,etc ...poor Mikey, everyone please send him some love to make him feel better!

Following the Crowd

Ok, so I should go ahead and say it now...i have never been much of a journalist. Through the years I have these great ideas to start journaling my life and all i have to show of it are a tall stack of beautiful yet almost completely empty diaries that I lost interest in after a week or so. But...hey with the amount of time I waste on the computer every day, just maybe this will work out...and everyone else is doing it, so here i am.

So its a New Year and I am just beginning to settle in after yet another big life change--Mikes 4th deployment, this time to Iraq. I wonder if I will ever know what it is like to have a normal, predictible lifestyle--you know the kind where you come home everyday from work by 6 to have dinner together, Saturday mornings are for yardwork and playing with kids and Sunday's you come home from church to maybe take a nap..or at least just slow down and get ready for the next week. But for now, my life is all about change and not missing out on any of it. When Mike is here, there is never a schedule (mainly thanks to the ARMY), and every minute we have together we are out exploring and taking everything in. When he is gone, we stay busy--but for different reasons. Staying busy keeps our minds off of being lonely and feeling sorry for ourselves. For me, even though he is gone, I have to still live--I can't just throw away a year of my life because it's not exactly the way I want it to be.

I couldn't possible be involved in more things right now. I am currently substituting at some elementary schools in my area. I have gotten particularly involved in the SpEd. classes and I love it--i feel like I am learning a lot and really making a difference. Although the job started out slow, as I have made contacts and friends in the schools, I am up to working at least 3 days a week and they are calling me months in advance. I know, I say its just substituting, but here in HI--teachers are always out for something and I spend most of my time in the same classrooms and have really built some good relationships with the teachers and kids...and it offers great flexibility. I can work as much or little as I want! Besides working, I also am assistant coaching a girls soccer team ages 6-8. This will be my 3rd season and its also a lot of fun. The coach is a good friend of mine and the girls are adorable-we are expecting to have a winning season, I'll keep you posted. Also, I am the Family Readiness Group Leader for Mike's unit, which can be quiet for periods of time and then quite busy. The newest thing I have started is helping lead Children's Church at the church Mike and I have attended since moving here. It is called Na Keiki A Ke Aloha, (Children of Grace in Hawaiian). This a completely new program, just started in December. My friend and I lead praise and worship, and the large group lessons. We are constantly working on skits and stage design/props and over the next few months will be renovating the space into a kid-friendly and fun environment...which is SO up my alley!

As for Mike, he is doing well and is very busy. We talk about twice a week. He has to wait in long lines to make a call and only has 30 minutes once its his turn. That time is always up before we know it--by the time we get through the business meeting know, what do do about the broken refrigerator, the wireless adaptor, where he hid the dril, etc. Apparently all the phones are attached to one large conference room table so when you are talking to him you can also hear everyone else's conversations as well. Not the best set-up ever, but at least we get to talk. Actually this deployment has much more amenitites than the other times. There is a large PX with anything he needs, Burger King, Cinnabun and other fast food chains, cable in their rooms and his personal favorite--real showers. Us wives here joke they are just on vacation over there, getting to play video games and watch football games! But really, that is good because 15 months is such a long time...any comforts they can have, the better.

So I guess for my first entry I have written a small novel...but now everyone should be completely caught up. So Happy New Year! Hope to hear from you all!