Saturday, June 14, 2008

Private Pickle!

That's right! Our exciting photo debut with Private Pickle is on the MWR website. Here's the link: We are famous! Okay, maybe a little exaggeration, but it's kinda weird when you stumble on a picture of yourself online--especially from an event that big! I guess it was pretty funny that a group of grown women were taking their pictures with a mascot for the kids.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Waikiki Weekend

It's been over a month ago now since our Waikiki Weekend, but it was too much fun to not post here it is.

The week i got home from NC, Hillary and Carrie and I planned a tourist weekend in Waikiki. That weekend we stayed in a super nice hotel--the Sheraton Moana Surfrider. It is right in the heart of Waikiki--the beach on one side and the busy strip on the other. We shared a room, and even a double bed--because that was the only room they had left. Just like college sleepovers all over again! We ate a wonderful meal at the Cheesecake Factory and enjoyed the market and entertainment on the streets.
Picture with the Gold Man

Us doing the typical Japanese peace sign with some man in our picture!

Waikiki by Night
The next morning we went straight to the beach for some sun and it was SUPER HOT and voggy. After a few hours, we decided to try something that is the very epitome of a 'tourist'--the Trolley! and we loved it! we rode around Waikiki and ended up at the mall where we had to get off. Since we were there, i took Carrie and Hillary to get Bare Minerals makeovers (if you do not already know this about me, i am a firm believer in their makeup!). We had a great time, ate dinner at Red Lobster and then went back to our homes that night--sad the weekend had to end, we had a great time. It is so cool to be so near all of the fun that we can just spontaneously decide to have a mini vacation for a weekend in a place where some people never get to come to their whole lives. We are so LUCKY!

Our Beautiful Hotel

On the trolley with our cool shades!

Hillary tying out the minerals

Carrie learning to use the eyeliner


It is 2.5 weeks until my visitors start arriving--starting with Amanda, which i am SO EXCITED about. I have spent this Hawaiian holiday (King Kamehameha Day) making this calendar for her so she would be excited too--and know what to pack. If you click on the small calendar image it will take you to a link so you can read and get jealous. Careful--it may also make you want to make a trip out here too, which of course i would love! You are all welcome to visit!

**click on me!**

Also today, i had an interview for a FRSA (Family Readiness Support Assistant) job with 3rd Brigade (the sister brigade to the one we are in). A FRSA serves as a liaison between the military and its families. I would really like the job, plus it would get me into the government's system (we call them GS jobs). Once you get a GS job--and getting in is the hardest part, then you can always move around to other jobs and be transferred when we PCS (move) somewhere else. The interview went well i thought--but i was told by the Lt. Col. interviewing me that he actually has no say so over the hiring process--it is contracted out to someone else--and that these interviews are basically pointless. The hiring company chooses who it hires based on rank (prior military, mil. spouse already GS, military spouse not GS (that's me) and then civilian). So it looks like, no matter how well the interview may have went, I will probably not be offered the job. That is kinda disappointing considering the Col. seemed to be someone I would like to work with, the battalion was fairly small and close-knit, and the FRG's were very active. Now that i know how it really works, i am going to go to all interviews and apply as much as possible, just to try and get in the system--so i can eventually get the job i want.

No Air

You may or may not know, but i am 100% addicted to So You Think You Can Dance--if I could do anything, the inner me would most definitely choose to be a dancer--but in my case those who can't, watch.

Anyway, tonight was the opening night and although i did think there were a few very good performances. This one stood out to me.

Right after the boys deployed, Jordin Sparks song "No Air" was released. The song seemed to embody all the words and emotion that we were feeling. Then, tonight it was so strange that that song was put to a dance about a soldier deploying and leaving his wife behind. It seemed that every scene matched perfectly with how it really felt to go through that situation. From finding out the news, to the emotions of fear, anger, sadness and lonliness, to trying to get through it together and then having to be the strength and support when the other person couldn't take it, to the end when being left with just his shirt (cause i don't know one girl who didn't keep at least one worn shirt of their husbands just for the smell).

Obviously, i was very moved with the performance and I just wanted to share. On a lighter note though, you should watch the show--it's my all-time favorite reality show!

*by the way when you watch the video, make sure you stop the radio in the lower righthand corner or you will have a lot of crazy noises going on!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

June Down Range

So, these past couple of months has been a very busy part of the deployment for me as we transition into a force that is more focused on training the Iraqi Army. During this time I have had the opportunity to dispose of mountains of ammo that I found to be bad during my inspections. Working with my EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) counterparts we were able to blow most of it up in a single day. This is a real tiring process, but with a lot of helping hands we were able to lay out all of the munitions and do some training for some of the younger Soldiers. The explosion may have been a little larger than what we said it was going to be, so there was some negative feedback once we returned, but I say it was a success since the shockwave actually moved the vehicle I was sitting in.

One of my very good friends Bryan Williams took command of A Company last month which has vastly affected the dynamics of the unit. My Soldiers are re-energized and come to work every day ready or whatever is thrown at them. This new found motivation was needed as moral was starting to go down as the temperatures keep inching their way up.

The school semester is almost over and I have to say my stress level is getting ready to go down once I finish finals week. I have had the opportunity to see just how much I can fit into a day and I have to say this isn’t something I want to do all the time. The Army has decided not to fully fund its educational programs from now on due to the cost of the war on terror so it looks as if I might have to slow down a little bit.

I have been taking financial management classes the past few weeks as I try and make the most of my time here. The classes are based off of a program by Dave Ramsey who a well known financial counselor and syndicated radio host. My roommate Jordan and I go every Monday night in hopes we are able to take away some information that both we and our Soldiers can use.

As you can see I have found many things to fill my time while I am over here. I feel the more that I can cram into a day the quicker it will go by…the quicker these days go by the quicker I can get back home to my wonderful wife as well as all of you…

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hawaiian Word of the Week (and very overdue!)

Okay, so i haven't really felt inspired to update the word of the week lately--probably because my contact with the locals has been minimal as of lately. But, no worries--back in the school system I get to hear my fair share of pidgin, and oh do i ever have a word for you.

Yesterday, one of our EA's (education assistant, i believe) in the preschool class had to leave early to go help her daughter who had just been physically assaulted on The Bus (Hawaii's public transportation system). What happened was a supposed schizo lady got on the bus acting very strange and after a few minutes of riding she off and punched the girl in her face. The Bus of course pulled over and called the police--the lady already had other outstanding warrants and was arrested on the spot. The daughter is okay--just shaken up, a little scared to ride the bus now, and has a black eye.

My version of the story is merely a translation from the conversation among the EA's in the room. It went something like this..hopefully i can do it justice.

EA1: Whaddsdascoops?
EA 2: Da Kine daughter got false crack in da face
EA1: Not! Fo' real?
EA2: Some lolo woman got on da Bus at Wahiawa--ya know dem people there. Dey say she wuz tweekin' and touchin her face an hair an den outta nowheres she false crack 'er

The word we will focus on is False Crack. It took me a little while to actually figure out what had happened to the girl--i came to the assumption she was punched, and after coming home and looking it up, i was right.

False Crack; A Hawaiian slang term meaning a punch to the face and, from what I thought, often done without much more than a verbal warning at most. A surprise punch that catches the recipient at least somewhat off-guard.

Also just to "false" or getting "falsed"
Also "dirty cracks" or "dirty lickings"

ex: Dey wuz arguing for so long until James jus wen false crack em!!!
You betta watch yo' mout or you gonna get one false crack, bra.

**courtesy of the Urban Dictionary and my own personal experiences!**

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Design Here, Design There...

The past few weeks I have been in a mood to create and change things--so last week I focused on my living room. There is a wall downstairs that has been bare ever since we moved in. I have had plans for the wall from the moment we bought the house, but as it was not a necessity I kept finding other things to do. Then it got to be halfway through our 3 years and i decided i didn't want to keep working on things in the case that we might move. Last week though i decided to do it anyway. SO...first things first i had to dig out the painting Mike and I bought on our honeymoon to Greece so i could get it framed. From there, everything just fell together--my shelves were inspired by Pottery Barn, I framed some pictures Mike and I took right before he deployed on the beach and found some pillows that I swear were "made" for this room.

The end result is beautiful if i may say so myself..and even just with some new shelves, pics and pillows--the blue makes it feel like a completely different room!

~My beautiful plate from Katie~

This past week and weekend, my focus was our Children's Church room. We are starting our summer curriculum about the Fruits of the Spirit, so the room is decorated like a summer in the country with red checkered table cloths, fruit stands, sunflowers and mason jars. The biggest feat was the fruit stand, which Hillary, Carrie K and I constructed ourselves with no help from any boys! And although, it was a learning experience and very comical, the fruit stand is sturdy and stands on its own and we are super proud of yourselves! I know you are all impressed--i may just have a future in construction! or not ;)