Sunday, July 1, 2018

10 days...again.

I am a lover and keeper of quotes. I like to scour the internet, books, magazines, posts and what not to find beautiful words put together to create meaning. One quote that always stops me in my tracks is the wise words of Buddha,

"The trouble is, you think you have time."

There are many, many quotes about time. In fact, on the daily, I have caught myself talking about time, "I'm trying to kill some time...", "Time flies when your having fun!," "Time is SO dragging right now!," 'Wait, I need some more time!"...and so on and so forth. But the reason why Buddha's words really hit me is because, that "you" he is talking about, can very well be me he's talking about. "The trouble is, I think I have time..." But I don't. I feel like as if, right now, I am living by 10 days countdowns.

When this year started, I would have never in my wildest dreams even had an inkling that everything would be crashing down in the middle of the year. This time eight years ago this same thing happened. The only difference is now that it's happening again, I know that I can get through it. The first time it happened, oh wow, it took all my strength and will-power to go through each day with a smile on my face. It. Was. Hard. But I did it. I did it slowly. With the help, love, and support of my family. I did it. And what kills me is that it wasn't until maybe two years ago when I thought, wow! I made it! I got through that tough time and I made it. Eight years later, and it's happening again. I hate it.

I still have the help, love, and support of my family. Seriously, I really don't know where I would be without them. Everything is crashing around me, and right now what's keeping me going is the fact that I did it once, I can do it again. But I don't want to! I don't want to go through with it again...but now I have 4 little reasons why I can't just give up and give in. Those 4 reasons are my 3 nieces and my nephew. I love them. And for right now, I will try my best to remain positive through it all for them. I can't really think of myself right now, because I feel like when I do, I just don't want to, but for them, and because I have a wonderful support group with my family and friends, I WILL GET THROUGH THIS.

I moved here 8 years ago so that I can stay with my family. I had just gotten back from being abroad for about 6 years and when I came back, a few months later, my parents decided to go and be missionaries at the same place where I was alone for 6 years! That threw me for a loop...and then my sister announced that she was moving back to Hawai'i (we were in California at the time)...and brother was going with her...shoots, I didn't want to stay behind so I came with them. I thought that I was only going to stay here in Hawai'i for about 2 years, heal, and then go back to my comfort zone in California...and then my sister got pregnant and there was no way I was going to leave. So I stayed. And I ended up opening my heart to this beautiful place and I can now call this place home. Hawai'i is my home and I love it here. I love my job. I love my friends. I love my I want them to stay here.

My parents left the day after my birthday. That was hard. They were here for about a year and they are finishing up their time "home" in California before going back in the mission field. I miss them. And 10 days starting today, my sister and her family will be moving back to California. And my world is crashing around me.

It's happening so fast. One month ago, there was no thought of anyone moving back to the mainland. I already knew that my parents were going to leave and I had already psyched myself up to the moment that we would say goodbye. It was as hard as ever to say bye to them, but I already have plans to go visit them later this that made it only slightly easier (like not even a little bit!) to say goodbye to them. And then I was hit with the news that my sister (along with my brother-in-law and 2 of my nieces and my nephew!) will be moving back "in three weeks." Those three weeks is now down to "in 10 days...".

On top of that, I made the hard decision to move from my studio next to the ocean to a beautiful horse ranch a few minute walk from where my sister lives to be closer to them (and also because I wanted...needed...a bigger place)...and my (soon-to-be ex) landlady is "disappointed" in me and has given me the cold shoulder. I wouldn't have cared less except for the fact that the three years that we lived together, were got super close...and she didn't even give me the chance to explain why I made that decision. (I'm sorry, 224 sq. feet sudio was NOT happening anymore!)

So my life right now has been crazy. I moved out of my studio in about 3 days (I still have some stuff there...I technically have the place until July 09), moved into my sister spare room for the time being to help them with packing their things...they had about a week or so to pack (their shipping container will be heading off to California tomorrow), I will initially go with them to California to help them settle, I will come back to Hawai'i and move into my brother's house for a week or two and then I will finally be able to take my things out of storage and move into my new place--a place that I thought would only be a few minutes walk from my sister and is now a plane ride away. (No regrets, the place is beautiful! And I firmly believe, God-given.)

I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


These past few days have been super crazy, busy, chaotic, crazy, emotional, exhausting, crazy, confusing, hurtful, extreme sadness...oh and did I mention crazy? Oh my days, has it been crazy or what?!

I don't even know where to begin. Well, let me just start with what has been on my mind lately.

Friendship. More importantly, what does it mean to be a friend? I have come to realize that my definition of friend can vary from another's definition of what a friend is. Over these past few days I have strengthen my relationships with some friends and (unwillingly) broken others. I have made new friends and caught up with past friends. I have said goodbye to friends and have had deep conversations with other friends.

But the relationship that I have on my mind at the moment is the relationship that I have with my (soon-to-be ex) landlady. I moved into my studio a few years ago, a little over 3 years. In those three years I had gotten close with her and our relationship had blossomed into comfort with each other. I saw her as a mentor and she would advise me on thing as she would her daughter (her words). But just recently all that has change with my choice to move out. It was a real hard decision and it was one I did not take lightly. In-fact, I had just wanted to talk to her about it before confirming my decision, however the moment she realized what I wanted to do, she became petty.

At first she expressed her desire for me to stay on as her tenet, but I felt like I needed a bigger place with more storage room (this place I am renting from her is a 234 sq. feet studio with limited storage space) I also felt as if I wanted a place where it had an actual kitchen and the front door didn't open up to the bathroom. I wanted a kitchen sink. At least a second sink...washing the dishes in my bathroom sink was getting old (when I first moved in, she did mention putting in a bigger sink, but that was it, no action.) But a lot of factors were put into consideration when I decided to move.

On the top and in bold in my "Pro" list was my friendship with my landlady. But what hurts is the fact that she grew instantly cold towards me because of my decision. I have been blind-sided by her frostiness towards me and it sucks, no lie. I feel like above all that has been happening in my life, I didn't expect to have this much DRAMA with moving out. I didn't even want to move out, but I was thinking about "the long run," and my current situation.

I feel as if the older I become (what?! My birthday is coming up?! Ahhh!!!) the more picky I have become when calling someone my friend. I am a friend to all, and I try to live my life by the golden rule...but when it comes to adding a person into my circle of friendship, I am more selective. Why? Because I love and care too much. And I realize that I hurt, I hurt something real bad when things go south with a friendship. Oh okay, I know that I'm no one special...EVERYONE hurts when betrayal happens, but this is the way that I protect myself. (Shoots, I believe I'm boarder-line hermit!!)

Too much change in such a short time forces me to grasp on something stable. Something like would HOPE that friendship is a stable thing...and when it's not, it spirals out into negativity and I want to distance myself from that. But it still hurts. So now, instead on trying to spend meaningful time with my parents before they leave for an undisclosed amount of time, I am forced to move all my stuff and (technically, but not technically) become house-less for a time being. Technically, I have the studio until July 09, but it's very uncomfortable living somewhere where you no longer feel safe and welcomed. 

All I can say is karma. Karma will come around and she will treat you the way you treat others. Karma can be can be a bitch or she can be friend, so with all this, I am still going to be me. I have a hard time being mean and I will continue to be nice and I will continue to be a friend to all. And in the days ahead, she (my soon-to-be landlady) will not be able to say anything bad about me, save the fact that I have chosen to look out for myself and move out and continue with this new transition in my life (something she is not supportive of.)

"Never wish them pain. That's not who you are. If they caused you pain, they must have pain inside. Wish them healing. That's what they need."-Najwa Zebian

Friday, June 8, 2018

10 Days.

Ohuhu Watercolor Paints & Kuretake Zig Metallic Brush Pen in Silver & Tombow Mono Drawing Pen 0.1
10 days. I can't help myself but do a mental countdown to the extreme sadness of my parents leaving. I am always so grateful when they can come and spend some times with us after being away for so long...but that's the life of a missionary. When you have this calling from God to go. And that's the calling that my parents have. They are missionaries and they help so many people get to know our Creator...and I am so happy that they do. But I am so sad when it is time for me to say goodbye.

Although, they are not going straight back to the Philippines (they will be going to see other family across the water), it is a goodbye for me and my siblings because we will not see them again until they return in a few years. Now until then it will only be a few phone calls, some chance skype chatting/viewing, but other than that the reception is so bad we can only hope and pray that they are okay. I guess that is where faith and trust come in. But no lie, it is hard.

Kuretake Zig Fudebiyori Brush Pen in CBK-55-032 & Uni-Ball Signo Angelic Colour in White
They came here about a year ago, and they were suppose to return back to the Philippines in December, but they stayed on longer because my brother and his wife got pregnant! A lot happened in the year that they were here. Namely, our family grew by two adorable baby girls. And I couldn't be more happier. They are both my heart. But now it's time to say goodbye to Lola and Lolo and my heart is heavy.

I didn't get to spend as much time with them this time around. They mainly came here to help out with my sister and her new baby and then when my brother them had their baby, to help around with them. It that is good. I'm glad that they were able to spend time with their new gradbabies...and I know that its' going to be hard for them to say goodbye to them. My sister's babygirl, especially, is super close to my parents. And it really does sound like she says "lolo" and "lola" when she calls out to them. As much as I know that she is going to miss them, my parents are going to miss the little ones as well. I mean, I am so thankful that we have the internet and we have these messaging apps (Skype, Viber, etc.) that assists in keeping in touch with my parents, but it's not the same.

Kuretake Zig Fudebiyori Brush Pen in CBK-55-040 & Uni-Ball Signo Angelic Colour Gel Pen in White 
& Bianyo Micron Pen 0.6
I wish they would stay.

But I would NEVER hold anyone back from what their calling is. Never.

It's hard though...and as I write this, I am tearing up just thinking about it. I don't want to say goodbye. I don't want my parents to leave. I don't want to wonder every day if they are okay. I don't want them to go. But just the way they let us live our lives, I am going to let them live theirs and have faith that we will see each other again.

But 10 days. We have 10 more days together.

Broad Tip Crayola Marker in Orange

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I am blessed.

Broad Tip Crayola Markers in Black, Blue, Pink, and Green & Uniball Signo Angelic Colour in White

These past couple of days have been a roller coaster of emotions for me. Extremely proud of our preschool graduates (some of the those graduating where some of my first students as a 2-3 year old teacher in my current school!), sad to see them go, sad to see some of my keiki go (they will be moving off island), super happy since I have some former students returning to me, super excited because my RocketGirl is walking now, super happy because my DollGirl got the Best Sportsmanship/Athletic Award in Kindergarten, that same DollGirl graduating from Kindergarten (what is she really a 1st grader now?!), My GemmaDoll is starting to smile a LOT now, my KaiBoy talks and talks and talks and talks...and I LOVE IT! Super happy and excited that my good friend is getting married this weekend! I am overwhelming sad when I think about my parents leaving in a less than two weeks. And I could go on and on and on and on. 

When I start feeling overwhelmed by emotions, I try my best to stop and think just how blessed I am. And I am blessed.

I am blessed:
My ohana. My friends. My job. My co-workers. I live in Hawai'i. I live in Lanikai. I am able to paint. Letter. Create. I get to see the beautiful sunrise every morning: beach side! I can smell the ocean breeze. Flowers. Cinnamon bread. Ripe Mango. I can walk/run the shoreline. Swim in the ocean. Blue skies. I can feel. A puppy's fur, My uke strings. My soft blankets. I have my Gummies and DollGirls. I have a TV. Netflix (Currently have a Nature Documentary playing. Chasing Monsters. Yeah, I'm a sucker for fish!) My FishBabies: Morning Star, Sir Jupiter, Rainbow Frost, Raspberry, Blueberry, Medusa, all my little fishes in TankTown.

Yes, I can go on and on; I should write a book! *laughs* But yes, on these rough days when I just can't find a reason to smile, I just think of all the reasons why I am blessed and just writing them down makes me smile. And if  I smile once today, it was a successful day.

Kuretake Zig Fudebiyori Brush Pen & Sakura's Gelly Roll Metallic Pen in XPGB-M #356

And I have to remember that whenever my life isn't going so "smooth"..."A smooth sea never made a skilled mermaid."

Kuretake Fudebiyori Brush Pen in CBK-55-025 & Uni-ball Signo Angelic Colour in White

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Goodbye, Hello.

Who knew that goodbyes can be so draining. Emotionally draining. Mentally draining. Physically draining. Just draining of your soul and happiness. At least, to me, that is what it seems. The first two rounds of goodbyes in this month of goodbyes have happened, and yes, it was just as hard as I remembered and dreaded.

As a teacher, whenever the month of May rolls around, you already know that emotions will be flying here and there and everywhere. Not only is it the end of the school year, but it's also a time of "last minute things." This year the end of the year came out of nowhere. I mean, I was aware that it was coming up, and then BAM it was there!

The goodbyes started early this year. Way before the official last day of the year. In the school that I work at, we have a lot of military families...and we had a lot of families this year that were stationed at a new place before the end of the year. I will forever respect and pray for all military family...whether they are currently in the military or if they once were. As much as I dread saying goodbye to my families at the end of the year...these families have said goodbye to a life that they created in one place to move to another. That is hard...and yet, they still do it for the love of our country...and I appreciate, respect, and admire these families. (Thank you, with deep respect, thank you.)

Every year I tell myself, Charity, there is no need to cry when you say goodbye, but every year the tears flow. It's the parents that get me. At the end the school year, I have the parents coming up to me with tears in their eyes as they thank me for helping their child develop and discover new things about the earth around them. We talk story about WOW how their child has grown from the first day they walked through my door until now, not only are they taller and more mobile, but how they are more confident, more curious, and more verbal. We talk about how independent they are and how they have grown to have such wonderful, unique personalities. And being a 2-3 year old teacher, one thing that we talk about is how they are finally potty-trained and able to use their words more. They thank me for all of this, but it wasn't only me. I thank THEM for their patience with me, their trust in me, for inviting me into their families to become an "Auntie/Teacher" to their child. I am forever grateful for their trust and open arms. We did it together...with the help of each other. There is no doubt in my mind that I could have done any of that by myself.

This year (and for all the years that I have taught so far!) I had such awesome parents that liked to be involved with what we did in school. I felt like I had a wonderful relationship with "my" school ohana; we had open communication all around and although this year started with a lot of criers, it ended with tears of happiness and accomplishment. And it is because of the close relationship that I had developed with each family over the bond of love and respect for their child that made it hard to say goodbye to them at the end of the school year.

Now with the majority of my keiki gone, yet with some returning for the summer, I have a "new" class. A new class with a different dynamic of personalities and minds. Today is only the 2nd day of our summer program, but I can tell already that it's going to be full of laughs, fun, dancing, singing, exploring, and running around in the sprinklers! I usually have a smaller group for the summer, that this year it's no different. I have joined up with two other classes to make things more interesting and fun. But on our own, in my own class...we laugh, we dance, we are ohana.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Hello March

Hello March! I can't believe how fast this year is going! I seriously feel like I blinked and 1/4 of the year past! But Christmas break is long gone and I have survived this far...and I am so looking forward to Spring break in a week or so!

Work/School is going...going...going...well. I have finally gotten all the keiki where I wished that they could have been 2-4 weeks from the beginning of the school year. I think this is the first time I have worked with the younger 2..some starting on their birthday. And I have to say that it was rather difficult (with this age group) when a child started, since all they would do is cry, cry cry. And when I finally got that child settled, another child would start at a later date, and the whole crying process would start all over again. Which is what happened this year. I had children starting as late as November...and another one that started this past FEBRUARY! It was hard only because the whole dynamics changed in the class and I had to work real hard to get it back to where the children were wanting to learn, instead of trying to grasp to the newness of But wow, I made it...and I am still loving it, that's for sure! I love my keiki; I love what I do. I love getting to know each child individually and as a group. Each year is goodness, each DAY is different and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Now to only try to get the children to stay home when they are sick! I feel like this is a constant battle among teachers...sick children coming to school...spreading their sickness...irritated parents from hearing other children sick and coughing in their child's face...and then having to deal with that as a teacher...who feels like she is now sick from all the sickness spreading around the school. I have never had this many children "allergic" to something. The "reason" why the children come to school with runny noses, coughing, drippy eyes, and a lethargic behavior. "They're not contagious- it's just allergies." But they are STILL leaving a trail of mucus and whatnot where ever they go! But what do I know? They probably do have allergies...

But enough with that. I love my keiki...and I love my class. I love the spontaneous aura I have in my class...the whole "no two days are a like" is so my class. Working with two-year olds is so rewarding because I have the privilege of seeing so much develop in such a short amount of time! A lot of my keiki started not talking...(or speaking in gibberish or "minion-talk"), and now we can talk story for days...and I actually can understand them! I love hearing their thought process, the why of life, and the reason for anything under the sun! I love watching their confidence and self-esteem grow stronger each day and I love seeing "my" little ones start developing ohana feelings for their classmates and for myself. Their attention span is improving...they all love art...and dancing is a must in my class. We have these wonderful impromptu dance/karaoke sessions in my class...and I tell the little ones that as long as they are singing "anything can be a music instrument." They are getting to know the rules to that though...PEOPLE are not drums...and neither are fish tanks. And their little voices singing is so endearing to me! I love how they are in a habit of singing most anything. I love hearing them make up their own lyrics and dancing to their own beat! And I am very impressed with their "clean-up" skills and how they are using their words. They are always game to trying out new things for artwork, exercise movement, activity, and/or circle time.

I was real impressed the other day when we talking about the alphabet. At this age, I don't normally try to teach them letters (we are a more social/behavioral school)...but since our topic for this month is music and literature, I try to introduce to them a letter a day and of course I started with the letter "A." I was telling them that "A" is for alligator and had plans to read the book "There's an Alligator Under My Bed" by Mercer Mayer, pretend we were alligators, had an alligator artwork ready for them...the whole she-bang. But as I drew the letter on the board and said "Okay my friends, "A" is for alligator"...I had a little boy speak up and say, "Aunty, "A" is for Aloha." And he couldn't have been more right! :) We do sing that song:

"A" is for Aloha ("A" is for Aloha)
"L" is for Love ("L" is for Love)
"O" is for Ohana
"H" is for Hawai'i

so, of made my heart smile.

It has been cold, cold, cold lately and a few weeks ago it rained so hard, I thought I was going to get stuck! Where I live there is only one way out on a bridge. If the ocean rises enough from all the rain and floods the bridge (which I am told that it has happened!) Then I guess it's good that I'm so comfortable swimming in the ocean to get to the other side! *laughs* Nah, I have my friends who have boards and boats that could probably get me, OR I just stayed on my side of the bridge and did some artsy stuff while listening to the steady flow of the rain! And since rain doesn't bother me so much, I did walk down to the beach and sat at the shoreline for a bit. I love watching all the moods of the beautiful ocean. Right now it is saying that it is 68degrees. Cold, super cold for Hawai'i. But then then again where my sister lives, I feel like it is much colder than where I would normally be at this moment. At home.

Now, that is another long story. But for short...the heavy rains drove the critters out of their homes and so I have been finding a lot of RATS (which I first thought were mice, but was wrong!) INSIDE MY STUDIO. So until they cease to enter my place I have moved out of my beloved studio and have come to live with my sister for the time being. I do go back to my place every morning to get ready for work and after work I stop by before come here to my sister's only because my landlady is still there (for some reason the rats are finding their way into my studio, but apparently not here house) and I go there to check up on her and make sure she is okay and of course, my fish. I have 6 aquariums with my darling fish, and I have to feed them and make sure to do their water changes when needed. But is has been tiring to say the least. The whole back and forth, back and forth of it all. I am so grateful for my sister and her family for allowing me to stay with them, but I also really, really miss my own space and home. Plus, I feel like it's a LOT colder where my sister live...but it's always so good to be with family. :)

My family is growing...and I couldn't be more happy about that! In the past couple of months I have gained several nieces and nephews some whom I haven't yet met, but still love so very much! My best friend had her baby and I am so looking forward to seeing him in a couple months! All these babies are making me smile! I am so happy that I work at a preschool, because watching the new generation grow and develop is such an awesome feeling! I love being a part of a child's life, helping them learn the skills to get along in life...and just watching their personalities shape into who they are. But my family is everything to me; I love them. I love them all! :)

My family makes me feel blessed and loved. I feel like that there is no stronger bond (other than God's love for us!) than a family bond. I also feel like people can choose who is in their I believe that friends can also be family to you.

I have always loved to paint. That doesn't mean that I am any good by far! But I am choosing to get better so I am doing it more. I love to paint with acrylics, but now I am venturing out of my comfort zone and trying to watercolor paint. So. Much. Different! Wow, it's so different! I like it though. I feel as if it's more soft and challenging. Don't get me wrong painting with acrylics is not an easy thing, but because I don't paint watercolor painting as much it's more of a challenge for me. Lately these "galaxy watercolor" paintings have catching my eye and so I wanted to try them out myself. They are so beautiful and so I tried my hand at it, and even though it looked easier enough to do, it was harder...well, more different than what I was used to. I am also loving all these creative quotes! I made a few of these round galaxy with quotes in them and I have given a few of them out to share. They are a lot of fun to made and look at !

Another thing I have been trying is the pointed pen. Wow, that is fun! I love writing with the pointed pen. I have to hold myself back from buying all the supplies for the pointed pen! I actually have a few material for the pointed pen but when I got the tools that I needed from a new subscription box that I subscribe to (The Inky Box-mini). My sister actually gifted me a 3-month subscription to this box and I couldn't be more happier with it! I might have to continue with this subscription because it introduces me to new ways to letter that I haven't even thought about it! With the pointed pen it's a lot different than the brush pen that I am used to. I like that pointed pen because it does force me to slow down and really thing about each stroke of the pen.

Every day I am trying to post something up on Instagram that makes up my life. Whether that be some lettering that I've done, some artwork that I've painted, my fish (I love to aquascape their homes!), some book I've read, a place that I visited/travelled to, a view that that made me smile, my current planner moment, one of my journal entries...something...anything. It's always fun to look back to see what I've done and it's also a fun way to meet people and get inspiration and tips and other things. (Feel free to follow me! @mylife_oceanstorm)

Before I forget, I wanted to mentioned that in the beginning of the year a celebration of life was held for Legend. I had so many emotions as I was a part of this amazing event. Saddness all around, but happiness and awe to see just how many peoples lives were touched by the 3 life-filled years of this young, precious boy. My friend was able to get this picture of while we were walking back to my place after the event. There were so many people who were brought together to support and encourage and grieve with Legend's parents and sisters. I consider myself blessed to have known this young boy who was taken from us too soon. Legend, my you rest in peace, little one. Can't wait to see you again one day!

Well, hopefully I can be more consistent with my blog entries.  I miss writing I will try my best to find time to write. If not, I will be day. :)

"I can't go back to yesterday because I was a
different person then."
-Lewis Carroll
Alice in Wonderland

Please check me out and follow me on IG: @mylife_oceanstorm

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Ramble of Randoms

When December first started, I thought I had prepared myself for all the busy-ness that was going to happen. Well, I learned one thing [again...every year! I guess it's something I will never really "learn"!] you can't really plan out your end-of-the-year months! The only thing that you can really plan for these months is...crazy. I should just put that in my planner..."Today: Crazy"...*laughs* But no joke, it's been one hell of a ride this month. And it's not even over yet...but I have a few moments to write. I seriously have been meaning to write more in my blog...keep it more up-to-date, but it's more of, "when I get the chance to write, I'll write!"

I don't even know where to start. One person that is on my mind right now is Legend. I know I'm going to cry writing about this, but writing has always been therapeutic for me and I don't ever want him to be forgotten. And "they" say if you write about something/someone they will be immortalized forever. And Legend, you will never be that can even happen in my lifetime, at least.

Legend lived a few short wonderful 3 years. He was a child at my preschool and he was more a quiet one. He loved his skateboard, his shark backpack, his giraffe and his teacher, Mrs. A. He would nap in my classroom at times and he had "his spot" where he would want his bed to be and he was very particular about how it was set up. He had the tiniest shark backpack (which had to face him while he napped) that somehow his mom would miraculously fit 2+ blankets in with a random assortment of special things (one time it was blue party napkins another time his finger was a surprise every time). After nap time he would asked me to help him put his blanket away and as hard as we would try we rarely could fit his blankets in his tiny backpack the way his mom did. He was his teacher's opihi, always having an eye on her and/or always holding onto her somehow...holding her hand, her shirt, her leg.

He would come in my room and dance. His classroom is right next to mine and we have a "secret door" (that isn't so secret since Mrs. A and I like to keep it open during class hours)...and whenever we had music playing (which is all the time) and my class had another of it's many impromptu dance parties, Mrs. A's students would hear and poke their head in my class and join us. At first he would be hesitant to dance, and then he would warm up and you can see him jumping, spinning, holding hands, and twirling with the other kids.

Every morning he would call out, "Hello Ms. Charity" and give me a huge smile all the while clinging onto Mrs. A and whatever toy (most times his giraffe) he had brought with him that day. He was a beautiful boy with a beautiful soul...who unfortunately was born with a rare birth defect that went unnoticed until it was too late. Less than a week ago on December 23 his mom wrote, "Legend was born with a rare birth defect none of us knew about. He had a tangle of arteries and veins in his brain stem which caused his brain to hemorrhage. There was no surgery they could do because of the location so they tried their very, very best to stabilize him, unfortunately they were unsuccessful and he went to fly up to heaven." He was and is very much loved by his family. His sisters doted on him and his family is so close knit.

Legend, you will be very much missed by all those you touched. I will miss you.

Wow, that was hard to write.

I am glad that I am on winter break. More time at the beach for me! I still value my early mornings at the shoreline just watching the sunrise. Since it is winter break, there are a lot more people at the beach when I go. A lot more people with their cameras set up to catch the sun rising over the horizon. And I go pretty early as well. It's always confusing's like the sun has a mind of it's own...there are times where I'll go to the beach at 6:30 and it's still super dark...and other times I'll go at that time and the sun is already up...well, not fully up, but up enough!

It's been too cold to swim in the water, but I will still walk the shoreline with my feet in the water...the ocean water is so healing! I can read all day at the beach...but like I said, since it's winter break, more it's not as calming. But that's okay...everyday is still a beach day to me!

Christmas this year was HOT HOT HOT! We all went to my brother's house to celebrate and one of the first things I said to them was "My days, it's hot!" But the next day, it rained like the ocean was falling out of the sky! You can't really see here, but this is what it looked like right outside my front door. And it was like a waterfall coming down the roof...and I am right by the drain cannal to the sea...and it was like a river rushing by! I love the sound...and if you ever want the beach to yourself...this is the time to go. Not as much people there...and the ocean is a different kind of beautiful! I am so glad that the power didn't go out though! (Although I do enjoy lighting a scented candle when I'm home!)

Well, I decided to change up my fish tank: TankTown. For the longest time I wanted everything (as much everything as I can) to be natural. TankTown (my 35 gallon fish tank) had blue and green marble as "gravel" and treated coral with small kine live plants on them. I wanted it to be a more natural look with driftwood and more I redid the tank...and I feel like my fish are much more happier!

I had to use a rubber band to hold the plants down until they settle and take roots...should be in a few weeks. But I can't wait until I can remove them! I still like the coral in the tank...but I added a few pieces of drift wood. Changed out the marble completely with a more finer, natural looking gravel and added more plants.

My favorite aquarium plant is the anubias...even though they are slow growing...I like the look of it and once they are established...they look real nice! Plus, when they get bigger you can propagate it! I also added some java fern and water ferns. More bubblers as well and, of course, lots of marimo moss balls (which I also love and have them in all my tanks!) It looks as though my fish are more active and I love watching them explore around the tank and swim up and down and through the bubblers that I placed around the tank. (You can't see the bubblers that I added in the tank since I took this picture before I added the bubblers.)

Oh, and I can't forget! I added another betta fish to my growing fish family!

Meet Mr.Glorious. I met and adopted him while at my favorite LFS. I was there to buy more Zebra Danios for TankTown and I saw him there...and I was thought to myself "what glorious fish!" and I couldn't pass him up! I was meaning to get another betta anyways...and so I did. No, this is not the tank that I have him in anymore. I just put him in there as I prepared his home tank. I wanted him out of his tiny little container that I got him in; he is currently my most active betta fish! I can see him swimming around happily in his tank and exploring his cave and other live plants that I placed in there with him. You can't really tell in the picture but he has a gorgeous, iridescent blue body with transparent black fins and tail. And I think he's quite glorious.

I also brought Mr. Blueberry home from school since he wasn't looking too hot there. Plus, three other betta fish died in different classrooms within two days at the school...and I am not chancing anything with Mr. Blueberry. He was starting to become real lethargic and unmoving while in the classroom...and since he's been home with me he has been swimming around like his old self again. I'm not quite sure what happened in school...but he's going to stay with me for the time being.

On to some exciting baby news! My cousin had her baby, my (sister's) sis-in-law had her baby, and my best friend had her baby! All on the mainland, so I'm super bummed about that...but I'm so excited for them! My cousin and my (sister's) sis-in-law had their baby on my mom's birthday (December 19) that was a wonderful birthday surprise and my bestie had her baby a few days ago on the 26th!

My sis-in-law is beautifully pregnant and I get a wonderful happy feeling when I feel Baby PeachNectarine (DollGirl nicknamed her!) kick and move! She had her very successful baby shower and since we all love our tea time, the theme was a "Tea for 3" theme. After our Christmas celebration at their house, all the men got together and cleared out the baby room and put together their baby crib...and I am getting SUPER excited!

And, of course, my adorable baby niece, RocketGirl (who makes 6 months this month) has everyone's attention for the moment! I think that it's so cool that her and her cousin will less than a year apart! And oh my goodness, look at her, she has discovered her toes!

This year for my preschool children's Christmas present for their parents, I decided to do something "easier and faster"...since I knew that a good portion of the children in my class would only be here for a few days before traveling for the holidays. I showed them several projects and the one that they chose to do was the mistle-"toes" feet painting!

I laugh at this because we had just did a paint activity where we went outside and allowed my children to paint their feet and dance on the bike path and grass. And now they think it's the coolest thing to do...paint with your feet! So, of course, they had to choose the painting feet project! I loved hearing them giggle as I painted their feet! We added glitter and laminated it so that it would last longer (and be easier to frame)!

And every year as gift tags I always do the hand print Christmas mitten. I'm real big on saving those tiny handprints and footprint of the children and so I'm glad that they chose the feet mistletoe project. I hope the parents liked it as much as the children did when they saw the final product. They even decorated their own wrapping/envelope for their parents!

Oh, and how can I possible forget?! I went to the Nutcracker ballet this year with two of my friends!

It was a lot of fun to dress up and go with friends. I remember seeing the Nutcracker when I was younger and this one was a little bit different from the one that I remember when I was younger since the one that went to had a Hawai'ian take to it! I should have paid more attention to that because I was quite confused when the turtles and clownfish came out to dance!

But it was beautifully done and I feared to blink my eyes else I might miss something! The Cavalier in Act II: A Lush Tropical Garden was amazing...but everyone EVERYONE did such a breath-taking job! One of the persons that I went with happens to also be my school boss and classroom aid...and then next day in school during our impromptu dance parties you can bet your bottom dollar we were doing our various of ballet dancing with the children! It was an amazing event and I am so glad that I went this year!

Well, enough ramblings for now...I must go and do some productive things today! But here is one more beautiful picture of my favorite beach...doesn't it make you just want to lay down on the powder soft sand and cloud watch to nature's musical sound of the waves bubbling on the shore?!