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?!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Day of Thanks.

On this day of Thanksgiving, I am sitting here thinking of the many things that I am thankful for today and every day.

I also can't help but think about how amazing my breakfast smells right now! My sister had a craft/small business party this last weekend, and at her party her baked goods where a HUGE hit (if you have not had the opportunity to try one of her delicious creations, I am sorry to say, but you are SO missing out!). One of the perks of having such an amazing baker as a sister, is that I get freebies! She know that I live in a tiny space with a tiny toaster over, so she makes my breads custom made to fit just perfectly in my toaster oven. Here is the result of my last stash from her. Her Wheatie Oat Cinnamon Swirl Bread with a healthly spread of coconut butter. So very ono!

It's safe to say that up there on my thankful list this year (and every day/year) is family. I am incredibly blessed to have such a close-knit, loving (most times!) family. No matter where I go in the world, no matter how much I sometimes want to just shut myself out from family is and will always be there for me. I have no doubt. My parents are here this year, and that is something that fills me heart with happiness every day I see them. (They are currently staying with my sister.) My family is growing. I am thankful for all my nieces and with me, and those who are far from me. But I am so in-love with the new addition to our family, my RocketGirl and I am already in-love with my unborn niece (due in February!). Yep, my family is growing and I couldn't be more happier. There was a few years where I had to live without my family physically there for me, and was a lot harder than I care to admit. So, with the family that I have close to me, I am so thankful for. With the family that aren't so close to me, I am so thankful for technology that allows me to stay connected with them. I love my family.

I also love my friends. The quote that comes to mind is, "You will never be completely at home again, because part of you heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place." Not only do I have family that live all over the world, but my friends do to. And I am at that point in my life, where my friends are like my family as well. I am blessed to have made some friends here on the island that I consider my family. We may not always hang out, but I have no doubt that when I need them, or when they need me, or if we happen upon that chance where we are both free, that I can always turn to them. My friends are a necessity in my life. And I am ever so thankful to have them and call them mine.

I am SO extremely blessed to have found a career and job that I love so much. I am a preschool teacher and I love what I do. I have the amazing privilege to go to work 5 days a week to unlimited hugs and honis. I get cuddles to! Not only that, but we play all day...we do art...we paint nearly everything, from our hands and feet...and face leaves, and rocks, and even our door! We go outside for nature walks and run after butterflies...and go exploring for bugs, pretty flowers, and dance under the showering trees! We fly on the swings and zip down the slides. We practice our bird calls and pretend we are the garden growing sunflowers. We have spontaneous marching bands and dance parties...and we sing, oh my days, we sing and dance, and dance and sing. And then we lay down on the carpet, the grass, the sidewalk to read stories, have an impromptu snack picnic, trace our bodies with chalk or just watch the clouds and birds go by...sometimes we'll even see a helicopter fly by! I get to come up with fun games to learn our colors, numbers, and shapes...all through play. And at the end of the day, I get hugs and honis from every single one of my kids with farewell words of  I'll miss you, I can't wait to come back tomorrow, I had fun today, lets do that again! I'm not saying that working with the younger generation is always fun and laughter...easy, but I am saying that the happy moments will always outweigh the hardships (at least for me). And I am thankful for each one of the little bodies that come through my door. Not only for them, but for their whole family as well. 

And my co-workers. I get to work with an amazing group of people. I have a boss that cares for the well-being of myself and those who work with me. I am blessed that I not only can call my co-workers, co-workers...but friends. We may not always see eye-to-eye...but we respect each other...and every single one of them will willingly jump in to help another whenever one of us needs help...with work, or in our personal lives as well. We are there for each other. I have come to realize that finding a job where you can get along with every single on of your co-workers is rare...and I am blessed that I work in a place that I can count on my co-workers to help me, support me, encourage me, and just be friends with. Yes, I love my job.

And there are million other "small" things that are "big" things that make my life so worth living. I am blessed to be able to realize that I have such an awesome life...and I can find the silver lining when things get rough. My life is far...super far...from perfect (and I know this all sounds cliché), but it's because my life isn't perfect I can see the "perfect" little things that make my life SO worth be here for. And for that, I am thankful for.

Just a quick list of only SOME of the things that I am thankful for. I know that I am going to leave SO MUCH out...but still...
  • mornings
    • by the water
    • sunrise
  • stickers
  • subscription boxes/packages
  • Amazon and Target (free shipping to Hawai'i!!)
  • rainbows
  • washi tape
  • stationary paper
  • pens
  • my fish
  • elephants
  • candy
    • chocolate
    • gummy candies
    • sour candies
    • jellybeans
  • my car
  • slippers
  • summer dress (year round if I really wanted too!)
  • living in "Paradise"
  • my "corner of the world" (my studio)
  • clear skies
    • stars
    • clouds
  • chai tea/latte
  • wintermelon boba drink (Taste Tea!)
  • postcards 
    • so VERY thankful for the postcrossing program!
  • post-its/stickies
  • make-up 
    • lipsense
    • nailpolish (is that considered make-up?!)
  • Lovely smelling bath gel
  • Dragon Fruit
  • Envy Apples
  • Blueberries
  • scented candles
  • planners
  • warm rain
  • music
  • lots and lots and lots more and more and more!!
But most importantly, I am thankful for my God, who loves me more than I can even fathom-no matter what I do, no matter how far I stray, no matter what happens...He will ALWAYS have my back and I trust He will never give up on me. And I am so thankful for that.

Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE, I pray you have a beautiful day filled with family, love, happy moments and YUMMY FOOD! 

(Okay, now, f'realz, I have to get ready to go to my sisters house to be bombarded with hugs and kisses from my niece and nephew! Can't really complain!)

Monday, November 13, 2017 a nutshell.

I know. It's been a very long time since I've written a post, and I have been going back and forth whether or not I should start up again, and I've decided, why not? I see that the last time I posted was way back in February, and wow, does a "few" months make a huge difference with what can happen in life! I will try my best to hit the highlights (which I am more than sure I will forget some), and then go from there...but to start it all:

I am still an ocean child. *laughs* I don't know why, or even how, that would change in a few months. I rely more and more on the healing powers of the ocean. As life happens, I realize that in order for me to start each day with a clear mind I have to remember that I am only a tiny being in this huge, huge universe. Being near the ocean reminds me of that. There is something about the consistency of the waves hitting the shore that calms me and reminds me that no matter what, time will continue on. Whether I've had a "bad" or "good" day...time will continue on whether I want it to stop or not, it will continue on. I know that that is just a simple thought, but wow, does it help with my perspective in a lot of things.

Two quotes that I claim as my own are:

In a world where you can be anything,
be kind.


Anyone can find dirt in anyone. Be the one who finds the gold. (Prov. 11:27)

I already love and claim the quote:

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

So whenever I feel like I have been wronged or that life isn't fair, I always think:

Be kind. Find the gold. Dance in the rain.

I know that that seems like it has no relation to the ocean, but to me whenever I go to the ocean I always think and re-evaluate my day, was I kind today? Did I find the gold when I wanted to find the dirt? Did I dance? It's kind of my consistent devotion with God. I am constantly asking Him to help me be the better person and to concentrate on working on myself instead of finding fault. If that makes any sense.

One of the new things that I have taken up as a hobby is hand lettering. I have always admired the beautiful lettering art that I see and so I decided to try my hand at it. And I have to say that I love it! I bought two books that helped me get started and a few pens (at first) and I am hooked!

I am trying out watercolor painting to enhance some of the lettering that I have done. I love to acrylic paint, and watercolor painting is so much different, but I love it and it is a lot of fun! The exercises that I do to practice my lettering is so repetitive that it is also another way for me to calm my crazy mind. :) I do have to practice control though. I just want to buy all the pens and paper out there!! *laughs* I do have my favorites...but I can't help but buy all the pens I see! *laughs*

I have so many things that I have an addiction too!
  • stickers
  • pens
  • stationary
  • stickers
  • pretty paper
  • postcards
  • stickers
  • washi tape
  • watercolor paints
  • stickers
  • subscription boxes
  • stickers
Oh wait, did I mention stickers?! Yeah, I think I may have a problem there. Or is it a problem?! *laughs*

Postcards. I still do love collecting postcards. I love how I discovered my love of postcards again. I remember collecting them when I was younger...and wow, if only I found out about the Postcrossing program a long time ago; I am still addicted to that site and I love sending out postcards to the world and receiving postcards in return. I will always wish that I can travel to every where in the world, this is my way of traveling. It makes me smile to know that a piece of me is out there in other places in the world. 

Another site that I have enjoyed utilizing is Send Kids The World. If you have a heart and some time, please go and check out that site. You have the power to make a child's day.

Back in March, the world lost a beautiful "Pineapple Princess" due to a horrible car accident. Although she wasn't technically in my class yet, she was enrolled to start soon, and her brother comes to our I would see her and my heart broke with the news of her death. Month's later, my eyes still tear up when I think her. Her parents are one of the strongest parents I know, and I tell them that no matter what, I still consider them part of my class ohana. Just recently the parents of our school got together and employed an amazing local artist to paint this beautiful mural in memory of her. Not only is this a beautiful mural, but this mural also leaves a smile on our faces for what it represents. 

In the few years that I have been a teacher, I have lost several keiki to the clutches of death; and it's never easy. Each and every time I cry. It's always sad when we loose someone; and it's always hard when it's a young child. For our beautiful Pineapple Princess, you will forever be remembered. 

I have a new batch of keiki from the last time I wrote. It's always hard for me to say goodbye to "my" keiki at the end of the year. But there is always that excitement of the new ones who will enter my door. It's always nerve-wrecking for me every new school year. Not only do I usually have the kids who probably have never been in a school setting, but I have parents who this is their first time as well with sending their most precious "jewels" to a place other than family. It is always my goal to not only help the child feel comfortable and safe in our school, in our classroom, with me...but also help the parents feel comfortable and safe in our school, in our classroom, with me. I am blessed with awesome parents and equally awesome keiki. 

I do have to say that it's a slow start this year. I still have not have all my enrolled keiki start. The requirement for my class is that they have to be two-years old. And there are some who are enrolled, however they are not yet two. Tomorrow the last two will join my class. Then we will be complete. Although there are more criers than I ever had, I am so proud of my keiki...they are so smart, caring, and fun to be with. 

Music, dancing, and art are a big thing in my class. And it makes my heart so happy when I hear my children singing and I love it when parents tell me that their child is always dancing and singing at home teaching their other siblings at home the different songs we sing. My class is always randomly bursting out in song and dance. I love it.

Four favorite things that happened this year:
  1. My parents are visiting from the mission field.
  2. My sister had her beautiful baby.
  3. My best friend is pregnant: she's having a baby boy!!
  4. My brother and his wife are also expecting: they're having a baby girl!!
I don't even know where to start with this! Four times where I was rendered speechless.

I will always miss my mommy and daddy when they are not with me. It makes me tear up when I think that they will be leaving to go back into the mission field. Although, I know that they are doing God's work...selfishly, I wish they would stay with us. But for now I will enjoy their presence here. 

At the end of my birth month, my sister had her baby girl a few weeks early. And once again I am reminded that you can fall in-love at first glance. Well, I fell in-love with RocketGirl the moment I learned of her. I love her so much!

My bestie is pregnant and it makes me sad that I can't be there. But I am super excited to meet this little one...and yes, I am in-love with him already as well!

And two days ago I felt "PeachNectarine" move for the first time in my sis-in-law's belly! Whether it was a head nudge, an elbow jab, or a kick...I don't know...but what I do know is that this Auntie has so much love for her unborn niece!!

My family is growing and I couldn't be more happier!

I have been hiking a lot more. Well, kind of. I have been getting out more. If that makes any sense. I am learning...well, trying to not say no to hikes. I'm not much of a hard hiker, but I am a nature lover and so I go on "easy" hikes...because the views are so worth it! There were times where I questioned the meaning of "easy"...but I figured that I just have to keep going and no matter what, don't stop! *laughs* On one of the earlier hikes that I did, I dropped my phone in the river down below. I was super bummed about that since that was the first time that I was hiking to a waterfall. And it was amazing! But that's okay, my friends got pictures and my other crazy friend decided that my phone was worth saving, so she scaled down and rescued my phone. It was dead upon arrival...but oh my days, the views and swimming under the waterfall was so worth it! :)

I still hate mornings, but I still wake up early. Not only for work days, but on the weekends to be at one with the earth. Seriously, it feels like that! I don't ever want to take for granted that I live in paradise...or so near to the ocean for that matter. And so on the weekend when I feel like I want to sleep in, I get my ass up to watch the sunrise over the water. My favorite quote for moments like this is:

"I love early mornings when it feels like the rest of the world is fast asleep and you're the only one whose awake and everything feels like it isn't really real and you kind of forget all your problems because for now its just you, the world, and the sunrise."

I don't know who said that, but I found that quote on Pinterest...and I fell in-love with it. But I consider mornings "my time" with God. After-all, it's just me, and God, and the beautiful sunrise He created for me. 

I am still crazy into planning. I am trying my hand in making/creating/designing planner stickers...and I have a lot of fun with it. I am trying to branch out with it, but also trying to master this art of creating stickers. (Remember when I said that I may have a problem with stickers?!) My eventual goal is to start another blog/store that lets people download planner stickers for free. I have always appreciated those who did that because that helped me a lot when I first started decorating my planner. And it would be nice to help others as well. But for now, I am just trying to figure out how to allow people to download something that I post up...and also get better in making these stickers. 

I love how when I am designing my own stickers, I can just make the ones that I know that I will use and also I can choose the design that I want for that week. I am currently trying to try make up stickers for different layout options. I was never good a computers and trying to figure out the designing program is proving to be a lot more difficult than I thought, but that's long as I don't give up, I know that I will get it! And I'm loving how I have this hobby. I have always been a planner, journalist, writer...and so now I just combining it all together now. Kind of...I like to say that my planners are like my yearbook's in the making...*laughs*

Well, that is everything that I can think of in a nutshell. I can't say that I will post every day. I might, and then I know that there will be times where it might be a few days, weeks, months, that I'll post again, but I don't think that I will ever give up on posting blogs. It's another way for me to document my life. But for now I will go. (I'm actually sick at the moment. I have slept all day...and now I can't go to sleep...hence the reason why I am writing this!!*laughs*)

"The one who falls and gets up is much stronger than the one who has never fell."