Monday, April 18, 2016

I love Skype.

Yes, I do, I love Skype. But NO I will not marry it! > < *laughs* I love Skype because it's a way that I can talk to people that I don't get to see on a regular basis. I got home later than usual, and I worked out for an hour (basically did a Combat/Kickboxing workout video) and after I was done with that, I hear that someone was trying to call me on Skype. I ignored it since it was someone that I didn't now. But they were really insistent. So, I finally messaged them asking how they know me and if I knew them. Instead of answering me though, they tried to call me again. I wasn't going to have it, and so I ignored it, but they kept on calling and so finally told them that if they didn't tell me who they were I was going to block them.

They replied with "This is Dad and Mommy. Call us in Skype." I was really confused because it was not at a time that they would normally have reception, and so I told them to prove it. They just call me instead. And I still ignore it and I told them that they have one more chance to prove that they were my parents. They called instead...and I was like, fine, so I was about to block them when my sister texted me informing that the person who was trying to contact me was indeed my parents using their friend's computer.

So I finally answered the call and it was them. I was like "Why didn't you just answer my question?!" And my dad was like, because we just wanted to talk to you. Blah, I told them that I don't answer people if I didn't know them, and that if my sister hadn't texted me right then, I would have blocked them!

Anyways, they had drove 2 hours away to get better reception and go to their friend's house. They were there to try and find a solar charger for their phone. But I also talked to my mom and dad for about an hour and you best believe that I'm smiling. I miss my parents and I am so glad that I was ale to talk to them and see them again. The reception was fairly clear too, and so that made it that much more easier to talk with them. I miss them. I miss them so much.

Day 16 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #16: What about your body are you grateful for?

I am grateful that my body is fully functional. I can walk. I can see. I can feel. I can hear. I can taste. I can move and run and walk and jump. I don't ever want to that any of that granted.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Missing them.

I got to talk to my parents earlier today. It was the first time in more than two months that I was able to talk to them. My sister had heard from them a few weeks ago, but this was the longest that I've been without hearing the voice of my parents and I miss them so much. I do try very hard not to be worried for them because I know that God is taking care of them but I know that I slip and I still worry about them and how they are doing.

For 12 minutes and 9 seconds I was able to speak to my parents, and it was difficult. For more than half that time I could barely understand them or make out what they were saying. I could make out that they could hear me just fine and so even though I so desperately wanted to just keep saying "I can't hear you! You're breaking up! What?!" since I knew that they could hear me, I told them that  I was having a hard time hearing them and then I talked about all the news that I could think of to tell them. I remember being away from home I longed to hear any news, no matter how minute and unimportant they thought it was...anything was better than nothing and so I talked about just anything that I could think of. I'm good at that. Talking. I talked to them about their grandchildren, how DollGirl was doing so well in school and how KaiBoy was walking so well now and he is SOOO funny. I told her how both of them got along so well and that DollGirl is overprotective of her brother. I told them how we spent my sister's birthday and how much we missed them. And how much we loved them. And how we are praying for them and looking forward to the day that we can see them again. I told them about the confusing weather we were having and that I got new fish for my aquarium at home and at school. Every so often, I would stop to listen to them and I could hear my mom tell me to keep talking and how much she missed my voice. And I really wanted to stop talking and just listen to her voice, but I knew just how much she and my daddy missed me...us...and so I talked. I called my sister on my phone (I was talking to my parents on skype on my iPad) and asked them where they were and to quickly come to my house or to my brother's house if they were in the Kailua area...they were trying to call my sister, but they couldn't get a hold of her.

It makes me sad to hear the longing in my parents voice...They really wanted to talk to my sister for her birthday, but they couldn't...but oh, they wanted too...and I wish that they were here. So badly I wish that they were here.

I was able to get from them that for some reason at 11am our (Hawai'ian) time, they had one bar on their cell phones for almost 30 minutes...on some days, but was uncertain on what days they would have it...but they have notice that for that short amount of time, for some reason, they are able to contact us...and so they try. And I do get random messages on FB or on skype to please call them, but when I do, by that time the signal is gone. But I am glad that, at least, I know that communication is possible, not stable, but possible.

I miss them. I miss them so much.

They did buy land in Mindanao, and even though I have been to the Philippines, I have not yet been to that part of the islands...and I actually have no idea how to get there! But one day, I will go there...and I will see where they live. I will figure out how to get to that part of the Philippines and I will see them. They are happy, though, and that is all that I ask for.

I just miss them so much, though. So very much.

Day 15 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #15: What season are you grateful for?

Fall use to be my favorite season, however since moving here to O'ahu, I would have to say that I love spring. It's not too hot and it's not to cold. I am not liking this crazy weather...but it's beautiful. The whales are passing by and there isn't too much tourism going on. Summer's are pretty amazing too, but for right now the season I am grateful for is the season of Spring.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mochi Waffles.

I love mochi. I love waffles. So, naturally, since Mrs. A gifted me a brand new waffle maker yesterday, I decided to make myself some mochi waffles. Oh goodness, I sooo love waffles! I love breakfast food actually. I can eat breakfast food all day long! :)

I remember seeing this video about making mochi waffles on facebook, and so I decided to look it up again and use it in my first making of mochi waffles.


I have been wanting to try this for some time already and so was so excited to try this out! I did everything that it said to do, but I didn't put it back in the microwave for the extra 30 seconds, I didn't think that it was needed and it was SUPER sticky already. And I have to admit that although I really really wanted to have it with ice cream and whip cream, I just used syrup and butter. :)

 

So, this was how my first one turned out. I like my waffles more crunchy, and it said that it will also cook itself and be more crunchy after you take it out, but I realized that it wasn't crunchy enough for me, so I left it in the waffle for a minute longer and it turned out perfect!

So, using this batch I was able to make 4 good sized waffles.



The one on the bottom left was the perfect one for me. So as you can see I experimented with the length of time that I kept the waffle in the maker. I did keep it on medium heat though and left it on for 8 minutes. And yes, it was sooo good! And dare I say it, but it didn't need the butter and barely any syrup it was super sweet enough and it reminded me of the Filipino dessert karioka, which I made here (minus the coconut though!) But it was so ono! If...or more like WHEN I make these again, I think that I would use a different recipe though. It was really sweet and sticky and hard to eat with a fork since it kept sticking. And I saw other recipes using 1/2 sweet rice flour and 1/2 regular white flour, so I might try that one. But in all seriousness, you need to try this, it's sooo good! And maybe next time I will use the ice cream and whip cream AND raspberries! :)

Day 14 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #14: What sight are you grateful for today?

Well, I woke up early this morning, and so I ran/jogged/walked the Lanikai loop and stopped and stayed at the beach afterwards and this was like at 5:30 in the morning...and I was able to see the sunrise. So I would have to say I am grateful for the sunrise at the beach is the sight that I am grateful for for today. I hope that I never take for granted that I am able to witness such a beautiful sight. I love the ocean...and at that time there is next to no one there, and it's so calm but not quiet. It's nature quiet. I hope one day you will know what that means. The birds were just waking up so they were calling to each other, the ocean waves were kissing the shore, and the morning calm stillness was surrounding me as I watched the sky grow lighter and lighter as the sun rose. It wasn't as pink as I've seen it before..but it was just as beautiful. And I am so grateful for being able to see that today.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Lemon Meringue Pie.

I am so glad for Friday. I have nothing planned this weekend and I am looking forward to actually being able to thoroughly clean my little corner and just get things done! I had things that I needed to get done at school and so I got home late and when I got home my amazing landlady texted me and told me that she got a pie at Safeway for thieir $5 Fridays...and when she told me that she had a Lemon Meringue Pie, I couldn't resist!



She gave me HALF of the pie...and she told me that when she saw it, she wanted to get it to share with me since she remembered that I love anything lemon. I love her; she is so sweet. As much as I love my tiny studio, I know one of the cementing reasons why I love my place is because my landlady is amazing.

She is SO thoughtful and she really watches out for me. I usually leave my porch light on in case I don't come home while there is still light out. And it can get really dark on my side of the house, so if forget to leave my light on, and she takes her cute, adorable dog out for a walk and see's that I'm not home yet, she will text me asking if I'll be coming home, and if so, should she turn on the side light on so that  I'll be able to see. When she makes goodies for whatever party she is going to, she always makes extra to give to me and she invites me over plenty times to have dinner with her or just to hang out. She went with me to see the Blue Angels air show when they came and my family didn't want to go with me. When I mentioned that I have a love for popcorn, she went out and bought me an air pop popcorn thingy...and she keeps an eye and ear out for the weather so that she can tell me what the weather would be like so that if it is going to be really windy, she can tell me to take my plants down so that they won't blow over. She also knows what the weather is like in the Philippines so that she asks me how my parents are when there is a bad storm. And when I went to California a few weeks ago, she jumped at the chance to watch my fish and water my plants for me while I was gone and she refused to receive any payment for it! She is so sweet and one of the most thoughtful persons ever! I'm glad that I met her and I will forever say that God was really watching out for me when  I was looking for a new place because there is no other place on the Windward side that I could afford...much less in Lanikai. I love where I live...and I love the people that surrounds me. :)

Day 13 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #13: What abilities are you grateful for?

I am so glad that it's abilities with a plural form because I have no idea how I would be able to choose one! First and foremost, I am glad for ALL of my 5 senses and that I have them and that I can use all of them. I will never take that for granted! I am also grateful for my ability to be able to have patience when it comes to children. I know that that is a special gift because not everyone can do it. I am also grateful for the ability to appreciate music. I don't know how I can live with out it...music helps me live, I swear it's part of my bloodstream! :) I don't care if that doesn't even make sense! :) I want to say that I am also glad for my ability to be sensitive to body language and emotions. I won't say that I'm a pro at it, but I would like to say that I'm more sensitive to it than the average person. I also am grateful for my imaginative and creative ability. I believe that it makes me more aware of designs and color coordination (especially when it comes to flowers. :)) I know that there are a lot more, but for now, that is all that I can think of.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ice Cream.

I love ice cream. I absolutely LOOOOVE ice cream! It is a staple in my little corner, and I don't think that I'll ever get tired of ice cream. Especially if it's loaded with chocolate...and NO NUTS! But my absolute favorite is mint chocolate chip ice cream. But if you do go to Safeway, you should try the Safeway Select brand ice cream the Mint Crumble is basically like cookies and cream (another favorite of mine) but it's mint instead of vanilla and it's absoLUTEly exquisite.

But today, I think I might have found a favorite...and it's not mint flavored. *Dun dun dun* How is that possible...well, it's because it's loaded with lots and lots of chocolate yumminess! Today I had dinner at my brother's house. We had my yummy vegetable lasagna and the best garlic Parmesan breadsticks...and then for dessert, I had a choice of what ice cream I wanted...and I don't even remember what the other options were but have you ever tried this one?



"The Tonight Dough: Caramel & Chocolate Ice Creams with Chocolate Cookie Swirls & Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Peanut Butter Cookie Dough." It was amazing! If I had to make any change to it, though, I would make the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough into Chocolate Mint Cookie Dough. I'm not too fond of peanut butter, but in this case it wasn't over powering and it didn't taste bad, but this ice cream was SOOO yummy! I so recommend it if you are not allergic to nuts and you are looking for a cold sweet treat. :) So thank you to my sister-in-law, Mandy, for introducing to me this amazing ice cream.

Verdict? I still love my mint chocolate chip...but wow, this one almost almost took the favorite spot. :)

 

Day 12 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #12: What texture are you grateful for?

Oooh, any Faux Fur/Microfiber throw blanket. You can't go wrong with that amazing softness as you are cuddled on your couch or on your bed. Living in Hawai'i you don't really need a blanket when you sleep, but since I grew up in a place where it's good to have a blanket all my life until I moved here, one thing I can't do without is a blanket. No matter how hot it will get. So I love the blanket that I do have. I love that feeling (almost as much as I love the feeling of new sweaters when you first put them on. :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Update Playground.

I love my co-workers and I can say with certainty that not only are they my co-workers, but that they are my friends. I am so blessed to be part of a school that is so close-knit and so very ohana. Today, I stayed at school until very late, not because I had work to do, but because I ended up talking to one of my co-workers and whenever I talk with her, we end up talking for nearly forever and a day! Well, they have put up the big play structure of the playground and we wanted to get a closer look at it, and so after I finished cleaning the school (and my friend helped) me, we climbed over the temporary divider that the workers had put up to keep the kids away from where they are working and for the first time, we explored the new big structure. I didn't take too many pictures because we were having way to much fun...but I was able to take some.

 

I love how green the (fake) grass is! It's so beautiful! And I love the rainbow colors of this slide...and so here is me (well, actually my feet!) about to go down the slide. I didn't slide down as fast as I thought, but that was because my 'okole is so big! *laughs* But it was still fun to try. :) And least I fit! :)

  

Here is one of the many climbing structures. I am actually kind of nervous about this part. My 2 year olds might try to climb all the way to the top and not be able to get down...and so this is one of the problem spots that I see, at least until I am sure that they are able to climb it up and down. I'm comfortable them climbing until the blue part, but I'm not so sure all the way up to the red part...but I'm sure that the older ones will have fun climbing this thing!

 

This is another climbing structure that I'm nervous about, but it did say that it was age appropriate for my kids. I'm not too sure that I trust that rating. And trust me, I am not one to undershoot the abilities of my kids, but we will see. As a teacher I can see them falling, but as an Aunty, I am so up for the to master this thing!



This is another view of the same structure with Iwa standing on it. It's doable, but I think for the first few days that the new play structure is open, I will be a nervous fit trying to make sure that my little climbers will be okay.

 

I love this feature!! It's perfect for my little ones and for the older ones too, and I love it! I wish that I could have something like this IN my classroom!



This is another feature that I absolutely love! The monkey bars under the fish (open) tunnel stair thingy (I totally forgot to take a picture of it, but I will on my next update!) It looks really high in the picture, but it's not actually. It's a good hight....:)

And my most favorite part is this....

 

...our very own SWIMMING POOL!!! :) JOKING! Oh my goodness, that would be pretty cool, but that would also be very VERY nerve wrecking and crazy if we did have a pool! :) This is our sand box! Built right into the ground...and I know that my DollGirl will be in here like the whole time...she LOVES the sand and so do a lot of the other kids! I can't wait until it's filled with sand...I can't wait until the whole playground is finished! We are waiting for the "physical fitness" structures, our swing set and our musical structures that we ordered. We had thought that they would be here by now, but unfortunately they won't be here until sometime in May...which is a bummer! But, at least by summer school we will have it already! :)

Day 11 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #11: What holiday are you grateful for?

Well, I can't decide which I like better Thanksgiving or Christmas...! If I have to choose one it would be....uhm, Christmas. I love the whole holiday feeling surrounding it. There was a time where I missed the chill in the air part of the holiday, and it took a long time for it to finally feel like Christmas without the "chill", but now, since I went "home" to CA for Christmas, even though I loved being home for Christmas, I think that it's going to be a LOOONG time until I do that again. I did not like the cold. I can do without the cold or the chill or the frozen body. *laughs* I love Christmas here on O'ahu. The Santa's are on surf/paddle boards and they are wearing board shorts with sun glasses throwing the shaka. There aren't as many Christmas lights, but I do enjoy going to town and riding the Trolly to see the city lights. And it does get "cold"...and I am with my family. Christmas is even better when there are kids involved and I love how my Gumball loves Christmas too. And her excitement is so contagious. And I can't wait to spend more Christmas with her and KaiBoy. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Classroom pet.

My keikis are sooo interested and curious about plants so we started a window sill garden. They love it and I love that they love it so much. They enjoy planting the seeds and get so excited when they some plants growing! As soon as our new playground gets finished, my boss has told me that we can start a school garden again, and we are going to transplant the plants there when they are big enough. One of the seeds that we "planted" is an avocado seed. If you can, you should try "planting" one. We just actually "plant" it in water...:) So basically, you get the seed and wash it off and then stick three tooth picks and try look to see where the bottom of the seed is and place that part in the a cup with water with the toothpicks holding it up. After a week or so, the seed will "crack" and then a week or so after that, a plant will grow straight out of the crack and it grows FAST! The only bummer is that it will take 6-7 years for it to fruit. But for now the kids can watch this one grow.

Today as we were looking to see if we needed to put more water in the cup, I saw that gained a new classroom "pet!"



You can barely see him in the picture, but right there where the plant is coming out of the crack in the seed, you can see our little friend, Mo'o (gecko). He's just chilling in there, and I think that he's pretty happy there. :)

 

You can kind of see him better here...and he looks like he has made himself a home. :)



I tried to go closer to take a picture, but he disappeared! :) But it was a cute thing to see, and my kids have claimed him as our honorary "classroom pet". :)

Day 10 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #10: What taste are you grateful for today?

OoOoOooOo! I love food...but I have to say that I am pretty grateful for the taste of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream! I love ice cream...and my most favorite is Mint Chocolate chip! The best is from Baskin' Robin's...because they don't have chips, they have flakes of chocolate...and that is SUPER yummy! :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday and Popcorn.

I was still in high spirits when I woke up this morning from the amazing time that I had yesterday...and that lasted for nearly the whole day! For being a Monday, it was good day. I miss my keiki's when I don't see them, so it was good seeing them again today...I still love my job and what I do. I seriously can't complain about having a boring day because every day is different. And I love that.

Today (and nearly everyday!) felt like a popcorn day and so when I got home, for the first time in a long I had no pressing matters that I had to do! I made myself a big bowl of popcorn and added some nacho cheese flavoring and just sat on my couch, right next to my fish tank and watched some shows on Netflix. It was a good day...stress-free and beautiful day.



Day 9 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #9: What place are you most grateful for?

I would say that that's an easy answer, but in reality there are two places that I'm most grateful for, but I would say I am most grateful for my little "haven"/my little "corner" of the world. My studio is only about 230 sq. feet, and I did a post on my place about a year ago entitled My Little Corner and I am still in-love with my place. It looks a bit different than when I first moved in (which was about a year ago on this date!), and I might do an update post of my little studio, but for now, I would have to say that I love and am so grateful for my "little corner". And that includes having my place super close to the beach that I can go to the ocean (nearly) every day. My place may be small, but it's perfect for me...and I really do have one of the best landladies ever. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Birthday Celebrations.

Today was an amazing day. I had a lot of fun spending time with my sisters. The older that I have gotten, the more that I realize that there are certain people in your life that will stay in your life-active and there for you no matter what. I have been blessed to be have a few of those people in my life. Today, I got to spend time celebrating my sister's birthday with two other people that mean a lot to me, my sister-in-law and a family friend who I admire so much and am so blessed to have in my life.

Our day started nice and early with my little Doll Girl coming to wake me up. I slept over my sister's house last night since I was there to watch my niece and nephew last night so that my bro-in-law could take my sister out for her birthday dinner. (I totally recommend that no matter where you are at in your relationship with your other half, you should NEVER stop taking each out on dates!) I can 98% count on my little Gumball to wake me up each morning I sleep over at her house. When she was younger, she use to jump on me and want me to play with her right away...now that she is older, she just comes into the room that I am sleeping in (I have strict instructions from the little one to not lock my door so that she can come in the morning! :)) and since I am a light sleeper, I always wake up to the door opening, but she will crawl on the bed and just cuddle up next to me, and she will whisper, "I'm not going to wake you up, Aunty, I am just going to lay down and wait for you to wake up." It cracks me up that she does this, but she really does, she will wait for me to wake up, and the second I open up my eyes, she'll give me my chapstick and ask to put some on me and I'll put some on her and then in her words "Can we explore the world now, Aunty?" *laughs* Gosh, I love that girl. Well, today, I knew that she was extra excited since she knew that we were going to be going whale watching on the Star of Honolulu with her other Aunties as part of our girls day celebration for her mom's birthday celebration.

I was pretty excited too. I love whale watching...well, the nearer I am to the ocean, the more relaxed I am...and being on the ocean is pretty spectacular. I was bummed because the first time we went whale watching earlier this year, we didn't get to see any whales, so I was excited to go today. And we did, we saw whales! They are so beautiful and just to awe-inspiriting to be around! There was a mother and her calf just playing in the water and we were just watching at a safe distance. By law, we are not allowed to get near the whales, but if they swim up to us, there is nothing that we could do, and we have to stop the boats propellers so that we wouldn't hurt the whales by accident...and they did get close enough that we had to stop the boat. The captain of the boat was so nice because since there wasn't that many people on the boat, he allowed us to be out on the water even longer than the 2 hours than we were suppose to have! I can't wait until next year to see the whales again. I have seen the whales from certain places on the island, and even though I have not seen any while on my beloved Lanikai beach, my landland has told me that she has since they have to pass us to get to where they want...but being out in the water is a different feeling. I like being out on the water no matter what...but when you see these magnificent creatures it's another story.

I have friends who surf, kayak, canoe, sup, and have had moments where these whales (and sharks and hono's (sea turtles), and other sea creatures) have surfaced near them, or have swam under them...and it's pretty scary, but amazing at the same time. There have also been times where I have been swimming out (ALWAYS with other experienced swimmers!), and I don't even question them when they tell me to swim a certain direction or even back to shore "fast'...but I love the ocean, and I hope to never fear it.

After our mini whale cruise, we went out and got Acai bowls at Lanikai juice and headed home to get all dressed up to go to tea! That is "our" thing. To go to high tea. It's fun and we could be there for hours just talking and talking for days and days! :) I chose not to take pictures to be there in the moment, but my sister-in-law was able to snap a few pictures. I am still waiting for the whale watching pictures...but she sent me some of tea time...



Here is a candid picture of my beautiful sister. All of us are always so busy with our crazy schedules, so just being able to go out to celebrate my sister's birthday is a treat to all of us.  We all have our favorite tea's and favorite tea sandwiches and goodies and it's always good to have friends and family that you feel comfortable with that you can keep a conversation going forever! :)

 

Tea at 1024 is our favorite tea place here on O'ahu. I have to say though that because our favorite person just recently left (she had been working there for years!), it wasn't as fun of an experience since it wasn't as personal and then they charged me for an extra person, and then when I told them, they gave me back how much that person would have cost...but I still paid tax and tip for it even if it was 5 people when only 4 of us was there. I had to give them the benefit of a doubt since the new girl was fairly new and really didn't know what she was doing...and so yeah, but over all, it was fun hanging out with my family...and I am so glad, lucky, and blessed to have such an amazing, talented, there for me, gifted, beautiful sister. :) I hope that she had fun. I know that I did. :)

 

Day 8 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #8: What book are you most grateful for?

Oh my goodness! This is an extremely hard question! I love to read! It would be more easier if the question was "What author are you most grateful for?" I can answer that so easy...but just one book?! My goodness, uhm, let me take a moment and think....

Oh okay, after a few minutes of conflict I have chosen a book. It's not really a book, but yet, it is...and the book I am most grateful for would be my planner/journal book. DO NOT ask me which planner/jpurnal, because I can't tell you that one, it was hard enough to answer. *laughs*

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Happy Birthday, Ate Ko.

I love how Facebook sometimes posts up on your newsfeed some of the memories that you posted in the years past, and here is the one that showed up on my feed from two years ago.



This picture collage of my sister that I made two years ago made with pictures of us throughout our lives makes me smile. I don't see how people think that we are identical twins. She is obviously way more beautiful than I am. :) I love her and I am so glad for her.

"Ate Faith, I love you to the moon and back....and then to the door, to the swings...and then to the rubbish can! :) I love you, I love you, I love you. Happy birthday."

Day 7 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #7: What memory are you grateful for?

Oh goodness! Of course, on this day, the memories that I have with my sister! I promise, I don't look at the questions until I  get to the end of my post! But yesterday and today seem like it read my mind...lol!

Well, let me tell you about some of the memories that I have with my sister using this collage. The first picture on the top left, I don't really remember that time when that picture was taken. But I do remember my sister always going into my parents room and jumping on their bed just laughing and singing. I wonder if this was one of those times that were caught on camera as we were resting from our latest jumping on the bed moment. :)

The top right picture is when I visited my sister when she living in So Cal when she got back from her honeymoon. I told her that I didn't want to go stay with her since she just got married, but she bought me a ticket anyways and told me that she wanted me stay with her for at least a week. I was going to school in the Philippines at the time and I had come her for her wedding. I arrived there the night before their wedding day, and my sister told me that this was her time...and she was NOT going to let me leave back to the Philippines when she only got to see me for one day...so this was a picture of that time. :)

The bottom left was a picture taken on her birthday in the year, I believe 2005, when I was home for a bit before going back to the Philippines again. She had come up to Nor Cal to be with family for her birthday, and my brother had taken this candid shot of us in front of our parents house.

The bottom middle picture is of my sister and I in our childhood home back yard. My mom had made our outfits and....gosh look at our hair! :)

The last picture on the bottom right was when my sister was going to a different school from I was and I was so homesick, since it was my first time being in a boarding school and away from home. So she drove all the way to me (our school was her school rival!) and picked me up to bring me to the music fest in Santa Cruz.

That is my sister...always thinking of me and always there for me. I love her...and I cherish all the happy memories that we have together. I hope to make more as the days go by. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Family Beach Time.

For my sister's birthday (which is tomorrow) her amazing husband (the best brother-in-law EVER!) put together a fun beach outing with a lot of my sister's friends and family starting at 5pm. The only problem was, I don't get finish with work (my second job) until around 5:30pm...and I had to back track to pick up my sister-in-law, which I didn't mind since she was without a car and she would definitely do the same for me, and she has. And since the beach that he wanted to go to was in town (Honolulu), it was going to take about 20-30 minutes to get there...oh wait, there was also traffic going there (much less getting out of Lanikai, which is where I had to backtrack to)...so it was going to take a little bit longer...so I was bummed that I wasn't able to make it there for the initial "Surprise, Faith, Happy (early) Birthday!" But that was okay, because my sister understood and it was as usual, a perfect day for the beach with family. :)

Magic Island was where it all happened...in Ala Moana...and for a long time that was my favorite beach. I'm not really sure why, but in my defense, when I first visited O'ahu in the year, I believe, 1999 this was the main beach that we went to. And it was the beach that I had my first BBQ birthday for my 16th birthday with my family and my best friend's family (we came with them here because they have family here and we stayed with them.) And it really is a beautiful beach with a lot of shore and one of the stillest waters ever. I use to swim far out over here with my brother every Sunday morning and it's a perfect place to bring family/friend's visitors since it's a really nice family friendly beach. The sun sets here are spectacular and so amazingly gorgeous. You can float in the waters and watch it, you can sit right at the shore line (where there is no worry that a wave will hit you because the waters are that still!), or you can just plop yourself down on a beach chair facing the water and just enjoy the breath-taking view.

 



 



Pictures do no justice whatsoever to the sunset last night. My phone's quality isn't the best either...but if you ever get the chance to see it in person, you should. It's so beautiful...and there are no two sunsets alike.

When the sun goes down on Friday, and when it is dark enough, stay where you are because in a few minutes the Hilton Hawaiian Hotel will have a firework show. Every Friday this happens and you can see it from where you are. Well, you might to turn around, but that's okay...lol...from this beach the fireworks are towards the side...but it's still there.

It was a fun time with friends and family celebrating the birth of my sister. I love her and I'm so glad I can call her MY sister. :)

Day 6 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #6: What in nature are you grateful for?

Wow, what a fitting question this day when I was just at the beach! I can say so much...but really it's this. I am so glad that with nature it can prove to me that there is a God. At least this is proof for me. Some people may scoff at the idea, but for me, I just look to nature and I see proof.

There are no two sunsets that are alike. There are no two snowflakes that look the same. The perfect distance the earth is from the sun so that we can survive. Gravity so that we can stay on the only planet that we can survive on. The millions of animal life...all plant life, so much that we have not yet discovered all of them.

The topic for my preschool this month is space...and I was trying to explain to my little 2-3 year olds how tiny we really are compared to the universe and all the galaxies that exist. We are tinier than the smallest piece of dirt...we are just a mare speck of nothingness compared so space. And as I was trying to explain to them this concept, I can see that they have no idea what I am talking about. The idea is to complex and abstract. This age can only grasp concrete things, but that's okay...but it's fun to talk to them about it just to see their faces trying to grasp the concept. And as I was talking to them about it, it hit me again how amazing and blessed that we have a God who, even though we live in this extremely TINY planet, still cares for us. So yes, I am so glad that in and with nature, for me, it all points to a God that created it all for....me.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cookie Buttter and Ocean Waves.

When I go back to California to visit, I will always make it a point to go to Trader Joe's to stock up on my favorites. They so need to open a branch here on O'ahu! I know that it will be a big hit and I know that I'll always be going there to do my shopping! I am trying to make it a habit to eat breakfast every morning, but sometimes I'm just in a huge rush and I'm just barely running out the door before I forgot that shoots! I forgot to eat my breakfast! Today though, I wanted to have toast. So I toast my bread and I pull down my Cookie Butter (CHUNKY Cookie Butter!) so that I can use it as a spread when I realize that awwww man!!!! My jar is empty. And since I am not a morning person and my brain does not function at full speed until a few hours later, I had a moment of panic before remember that I had just recently restocked my cookie butter just two weeks ago! So I open my cupboard and right there in front of my row of cookie butter (hey! Don't hate! I don't know when I'll be going back to replenish my stock! :)) was a new Cookie Butter...at least to me it was new. The last time that I was there (which was in December) I don't remember seeing the Pumpkin Pie Spice flavor Cookie Butter. But this time around, I did. I wasn't too sure that I was going to like it, so UNFORTUNATELY I only got one jar. That was a mistake.

 

I have a new favorite! This Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter is soooooo ono! I honestly didn't know how I was going to feel about this one, I don't know why since I am one of those people who LOVE the flavor of Pumpkin Spice...and smell of it...oh my goodness....so divine!



With this spread on my toast, it was then I realized my mistake of only getting one jar. It's so good. So I know for a fact that I will be saving this and rationing it out for special occasions! I so wish that I knew about this earlier, I would have gotten 3 jars of these instead of only one! But oh well, at least I know.


 

But this definitely solidifies the fact that I really wish that they had a Trader Joes here. That would solve this problem, for sure. Or maybe it's its that they don't have one here...that way I won't ever take what I do have from Trader Joes for granted. I love all their tea (I am currently sipping on their Coconut Tea (with lemongrass and ginger) and it's super yummy! I always got their organic popcorn (since I LOVE popcorn and eat it nearly everyday!), I also love their Chai Latte (regular and pumpkin spice), and of course their famous Speculoos cookies...just to name a few. But oh my, my morning started off on a good foot with this amazing Cookie Butter! :)

And to close Day 5 of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #5: What sound are you grateful for today?

This one is a hard one. I am so grateful for my ability to hear. I love music and would not know what I would do if I were not able to hear music. I am grateful for the sound of music *sings The hills are aliiiiive....with the sound of muuuuuusic...ah ah ah ah...* I am grateful for the sound of my keiki's laughter, I am grateful for the sound of the filter, bubbling sound of my fish thanks, I am grateful for the calm sound of the wind rushing around on the leaves outside...but for today and every day, I would have to say that I am most grateful for the fact that I live SO close to the ocean to be able to say that I am grateful for the sound of the ocean.

The sound of the ocean sings many different tunes. But the one that I am currently talking about is the waves as they run and crash on the shore. It's such a calming and soothing sound and I love the fact that I don't need a sound machine to achieve this sound that I'm hearing now. I fall asleep to this sound and I wake up to this sound and I love it.

I am grateful for the sound of the ocean waves.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Playground.

During my Spring Break the new playground that we will be getting at the school that I'm teaching at was getting started. It has only been about 2 1/2 weeks since the project started and already it looks so good! I am so happy that we were able to get this new playground put in, because the old playground wasn't up to Hawai'i's safety standards, and it was already looking really old. All the sand from the sandbox was getting EVERYWHERE and the grass was looking old and scraggly already.

When I returned from my spring break, what greeted me was amazing (fake) grass that was soo green! My co-workers who would come to school during the break just to see how the project was coming long had texted me while I was away and they told me that I was going to be so happy because it looked like Ireland...and anybody who knows me knows that I have been itching to visit that beautiful country...and so I was so excited to see this wonderful new playground of ours.





Look how beautiful that green is! That is true green! And I love it!  It won't be complete until May when the rest of our play equipment will be here (we had to order it all from the mainland and so we knew that it was going to take awhile. But we are aiming that we will at least get the big play structure put in so that the kids can play with it by the end of April. Also get the playground leveled like we want it, the sandbox made, the bike track made, and all the NyLawn put in.

So far, it looks pretty spectacular!

 

This looking at the front part of our playground from the front gate. We expanded this section of the playground 3 feet wider than before and we kept our "old" play houses and structures for now as we wait for our new equipment to be coming in. We are keeping the cement tunnel and my boss had asked me to repaint it during the summer if I have time. As for the other play houses and structures, they are still in pretty good condition, so we will be donating it to a friend of ours that is starting her own child care and she said that she can use them in her outside play area. I am glad that we will be able to donate it to someone who is starting their own childcare because I can only imagine how hard it is to start one up...and the structures and houses are in really condition. So that is good.



Because I am real happy for this little guy, I just wanted to show you my classroom's baby pineapple that we are caring for. A former teacher that use to work at the school started it, and had asked me to take care of it for her when she left. So my little keiki's have adopted it into our classroom school life. :) This guy sits directly under it's own personal "waterfall" a.k.a my classroom's A.C. drainage tube. :) It's going to be awhile before we can eat this little cutie and start another one from the top, but I am sure it's going to be worth the wait. :)

 

Today that "worker" men laid out the turf in the bike track that they finished yesterday. It looks so nice already! I wish I took before pictures, because then you would have been able to see how much of an improvement this is! The "worker" men (as my darling little keikis' have affectionately dubbed the construction workers!) put up this make shift fence to keep the kids out of the "construction site. They worked fast to get the front part up during our spring break so that we would have a place to play outside, but it's so funny because, although the kids love playing on the new turf....

 

...they also just love to sit here and just watch the "worker men" work from here! The men are so good with the children too! You can tell that they work hard and that are trying to work fast to meet their deadline, yet do their job efficiently.  But what I appreciate about them is that at least one of them will patiently answer all the questions the children are asking! They don't roll their eyes, they don't ignore them, they patiently explain to them what they are doing...and I really appreciate them doing that. It gets pretty hot and they wear long sleeves to protect themselves from the sun, and what they are doing is not easy and is strenuous.... and at times you can see that they are frustrated and just hot, but they have never once raised their voices, told the children to go away, or rolled their eyes at the children. And for that, I appreciate them.

 

This morning one of our caterpillar's chrysalis hatched out a beautiful monarch butterfly and all day long the children were waiting for it to stretch out it's wings and get ready to fly away. When that happens, they all gather around and watch as the butterfly flies off for the first time. It's so cute watching the little one's faces as this happens. :)  Well, the time came and Ms. Jade allowed the butterfly to walk on her hand and she as she held her hand out the children were all quite for once (we told that the we didn't want to scare the butterfly on it's debut flight!). I wish you were all able to see their faces as the butterfly opened it's wings and took off! Because we told them not to yell and/or scream their excitement were all contained and it glowed out of their faces...and as we watched that butterfly fly away we saw it land on the turf up there. But the thing is, the "worker men" were still laying it out and nailing it down. They were walking all over the place trying to get it done efficiently, but as fast as they can. The children all walked toward the makeshift fenced and just looked at the butterfly just resting there, flapping it's wings as it continued to stretch it out. It was funny listening to them talk to each other. "I hope uncle doesn't step on it!" "Oh no! They don't see it!" "Butterfly! Fly away!" Until one "uncle" took pity on the children and bent down to let the butterfly get on his finger as he returned the butterfly to safety. See, like it said, I really appreciate the "worker men". They work hard and fast and yet still take the time to make the little ones smile. :)



This is the farthest part of our playground. I love how my school has a big outside play area! The children love it and I love it! It's so fun watching the children as they all play with each other and come up with random games that don't make sense. :) And I am so excited to when this playground will be completed! We will be putting a swing set here and this is where we will try to also make a community garden! All this will be NyLawn except of the part where we want to make a garden.

I am so excited for the community garden, even if it's not a community garden, I'm excited for a school garden! It will be so much fun and I can't wait for my kids to be able to transplant the plants that we already have in our classroom! Maybe one day I will take a picture and post about our classroom window sill garden. We have an avocado seed that just cracked and is growing a plant, several lemon tree seedlings, carrots, our beans are growing super fast, rosemary, oregano,  peppermint, a pineapple top (we're waiting for it's roots to come in so that we can plant it!), a potato, a sweet potato, an onion, and some green onions. We will be starting our flower pots of marigolds, petunias, and violas. I want to start some sunflowers and more herbs. But I found a few bird's nests on my home property and had brought them in and the children had wanted to add them to our garden. So there are random nests in-between the planters. It's cute. :)



But I am excited for our playground. The kid are excited for the playground and I hope that every thing will work out for the best! :)

Now on to the question of the day: 30 Days of Gratitude

Day #4: What food are you most grateful for?

Lemons. I love lemons! Every morning I drink a fresh cup of lemon juice and I love it! I love the smell of lemons and I just think the fruit itself is just so happy. The lemon seedlings that we have started in school came from lemons that I have used...and it's so fun to see them grown. I currently have 10 growing in my studio right now, and people have already asked for them. It's going to take years for them to fruit, but that's okay. I do plant on buying a dwarf lemon tree to keep in my studio, but I don't know when that will happen. But lemons, I am so grateful for the lemon. :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Pink.

It's late and I just got back from my friend's house. This lady is like a mom to me and she invited me over to her house tonight after work (no matter what time I got off!) just because she said that sometimes it gets lonely to come home to an empty house all the time, so just come over to her house and she will be there to keep me company for awhile. She lives real near where I live so even though I got off of work late, it was okay. She always sleeps late anyways.

Every morning she wakes up she chooses to be happy, and it's so obvious when I see her. She is ALWAYS happy. Her favorite words are, "Don't worry! Do you see me worried?! There's nothing to be worried about!" She is awesome. Her family is awesome too! I took to them real fast and her kids are my age. Her husband is real nice, her son and daughter are real nice...they are a genuinely "real nice" family. Super funny too. It felt nice going to their house for a bit after a long day of work to just be with family again.

I have to admit, when my friend asked me to come over to her house to meet her family, I really wanted to say no. I didn't want to because after a long day of working and being on my feet, I just wanted to go home and just put my feet up, but she has been so nice and giving me and she talks about her family all the time, that I thought that it wouldn't hurt to go over.

When I got there, her family was there and I got to meet them and they are just as nice as her. They had waited for me to have dinner and we all had a late dinner...it was good to eat a nice home cooked dinner with a family that treated me like family. The conversation flowed and I never felt out of place.

Well now I am home late and I just want to take a shower and go to sleep, but I wanted to answer the 3rd day question of 30 Days of Gratitude.

Day #3: What color are you grateful for?

Wow, how am I suppose to answer that question?! I am so grateful for ALL colors! But my favorite color is pink. All shades of pink. I tend to want stuff that are pink...and so if there is one color that I'm grateful for, that is pink.

Have you ever witnessed a sunset or sunrise and the way that the sunlight hits the clouds and explodes in the sky is all the shades of pinks (venturing into purples, blues, and a bit of oranges)...it's so gorgeous. There are times where I would lay on my rooftop and look up and just enjoy the clouds floating by that are all shades of my favorite color. Whenever I am processing flowers and I see that the majority of the flowers are all kinds of pink, it makes my heart smile...I don't know why pink attracts me so much, but ever since I was little it was like that. I love the color and I am so grateful that it exists.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Pluviophile

Pluviophile- (n) a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

Right now the rain is falling and the sound of it rivals the love I have of the sound of my beloved ocean waves. It's such a calming sound and I love it. I have a rain canal right outside my place and I can tell that it's slowly getting filled with rain water and the sound of the collected water bubbling down to the ocean adds to this tranquil moment. The raindrops splashing and falling from the trees completes this amazing, relaxing sound that I am in the middle of.  Wow, I love where I live, and I am so glad that I am able to call this place home. 

As I pulled my car into the garage, I sat in my car for a moment just to enjoy the sound of the rain and peaceful moment before entering my "little haven" to complete my checklist of "Things to do before I go to bed." As I am sitting there, I hear my landlady call my name and I look up to see her looking at me in concern as to why am I just sitting there. I just have to say, I have The Best landlady EVER! She is one of the sweetest person that I know...so thoughtful and so caring. She has a cute little dog named Snoopy, and I adore the fact that he knows the sound of my car and he gets all excited when I come home. She had come out to let Snoopy come and greet me. I love that little dog...and I love the fact that he gets so excited when I arrive home. One day, I want to have a dog again. One day when I have a little bit bigger place that will allow me to have a dog (and a cat.)

I love the fact that I am surrounded by amazing people. My Teacher's Assistant (TA) has become like a mom to me. She texted me over the weekend to tell me that she has a 60 gallon aquarium (FULL SET UP) that her son is willing to give to me! (She also offered me a custom built 100 gallon fish tank! I am SOOO tempted! :)) Just give it to me, just like that. How amazing is that! I currently have a 35 gallon aquarium and a 10 gallon aquarium...and I just don't have room for a 60 gallon just yet. She told me that she will keep it for as long as I needed her to. She told me that she believes in me and that I will be able to get a bigger place where I can have all the fish tanks that I want. :) Her son actually was the one who gave me the two that I have now. I love my fish. They are pretty awesome. :) I am trying to see if my sister will take the 60 gallon tank, but I don't want to force her because taking care of your fish and is big responsibility and if she doesn't even know if she would want to have fish, I think that a 60 gallon is a bit to big for a starter. But who knows, maybe...:) But for now, my amazing TA (and friend) will keep it at her place for me. :) No matter how long. She's awesome. :)

A few weeks ago my sister asked my sister-in-law and I if we knew any devotionals that we can recommend to her since she was in-between devotionals. I gave her my two cents, but Amanda told both of us about this Bible Study Journal by Darlene Schacht and it was very interesting and I wanted to give it a try. So I went and bought one for myself and my sister (Amanda bought one for herself and it was being delivered to her already). Mine and my sister's arrived a few days before we were to leave to California, so I decided to wait until after I got back to start it. 


Last week was one of the most tiring, exhausting week EVER! The week I was in CA was super busy (SUPER FUN, but SUPER busy), and then coming home to go straight to work with a classroom full of 2-3 year olds, that was NOT happening for me! I barely got to the weekend before crashing all day Saturday! But yesterday, I was so wide awake with SO much energy, so that was good. I knew I just needed at least one day to recover, and I finally feel as if I can survive life again. :)

Anyways, as I was saying, so Amanda introduced my sister and I to this journal and to be honest, I am pretty excited to start. I'll be starting it today day (at 9:PM actually :)) I still have the DR Journal that I do in the mornings, and so this one I will be doing in the evening. The layout is pretty simple actually and it's really straight forward.


So, all the pages are somewhat like this. I like how they have "3 things I'm thankful for." I think that it's a very good thing to reflect on; the things that you are thankful. When you are having a bad day, it's good to be able to look back and read what you wrote down. 

I honestly thought when I got it that it would be more of a study guide and have verses or what not to reflect on, but I like this too, so that way I can choose what I wanted to study. But in that way, that was a problem. I haven't read my bible in such a long time. I do do devotionals in the morning and I do read the verses that are in my devotionals, but I haven't read my bible Bible. So, I think that it's good that it's going to help me get in the habit of exploring the Bible. After researching and doing much thought, I have chosen the book of James that I would study. 

When I was in the Philippines as a missionary for those 6 months, I remember liking the verses that I read from there...and plus I saw this:


And so I decided to find a study guide/reading schedule of the book of James and I found this:


And this is the guideline that I will be following! I made a print friendly version for myself.

 
(and yes, I just realized that I spelled the source wrong :( I found it on Pinterest.com actually and it brought me to goodmorninggirls.org, so your should check that place out if you want to find where I got this reading schedule.)

So, that is my newest journal...and I'm excited! 

 

So now to answer the day 2 of my 30 days of Gratitude:

Day 2: What technology are you grateful for?

Hands down, my cell phone. Which is saying a lot, since I am always getting in "trouble" for not always having it with me! If I leave my phone home, I don't freak out, I just say "whatever" and move on and see whats up when I get home. :) For a long while I had wanted to not even have a cell phone. 

But then my parents became missionaries in a different country. Now my cell phone is the only way that I can get a hold of them. (Well, technically, my cell phone, computer, and/or iPad, BUT....) My cell phone has skype and facebook and can be with me where ever I go (that's if I don't forget it somewhere!) And those are the two methods that my parents try to get a hold of me.

To say that I was in an empty place when my parents left only brushes the surface of how I really felt. June 2010 was one of the most hardest times of my life...well, actually it WAS the most hardest thing that I had to go through (up-to-date). So many things were happening all at once and I felt like I would never stand on solid ground again, and when my parents left, it left me floundering in a whirlwind of chaotic emotions...and I felt like I was going into a dark place and I was scared that I wouldn't have been able to return. (That's where my wonderful sister came and helped me. :) Gosh, I love her!)

And that was when I started to really rely on my cell phone to keep me in touch with my parents. I don't have the most fanciest phone out there, but it is a piece of technology that I will never take for granted because it keeps me connected to my parents. The hard part is, I never know when they will reach out to me, coz I can't just call/message/text/skype them. I have to wait for them to be able to get in a place with service to be able to contact me. The last time I talked to them was more than 2 months ago. The wait to hear from them is killing me. But I have to trust that they are okay.

Another reason why I am grateful for it is, since I live alone now, it makes family seem closer. If I need to talk to my sister for whatever reason, I can call her. Same goes with my brother. Same goes with my best friend. Same goes for my cousin. I like how if I can't physically see them, I can still talk to them and that makes it feel like I'm not so alone in this world. 

So yes, the technology I am grateful for is my cell phone.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fresh, clean laundry.

I just finished making 20 pipe cleaner "flower" leis for the graduating class at my preschool. They are all so cute and so colorful!
 

I use to help make all different kinds of crafty leis for the previous school that I use to work with, and making the pipe cleaner "flower" leis were by far the easiest to make...with a lot of color! And the kids can keep them forever or recycle and give them away to a friend rather than give them real ones that will die and wilt the second you give it to them. Don't get me wrong though! I love flower leis (especially the ginger flower lei! They smell SOOO amazing!)

I had ordered the bright colored pipe cleaners on Amazon Smile right here. I ordered 4 packs since there was 100 pipe cleaners in one pack and I knew that I was going to use 18-20 pipe cleaners per lei, so it worked out well. Oh yeah, side note: When you order things from Amazon, you should order from smile.amazon.com which is the same as Amazon...BUT whenever you buy something, money will be donated to a charity of your choice at no cost to you. How cool is that?! If you want to know more about this, you can check it out here. And here I am assuming you shop at amazon all the time, like I do! *laughs* When you live on an island in the middle of the ocean, sometimes that is the cheapest and most convenient  way to go. :)


So, if you are looking to give someone a DIY flower lei, this is a fun way to do it. :) It does take some time to make them though, so I used the time that I was making these leis to catch up with the Netflix shows that I had wanted to watch! :) That way I didn't have to feel guilty for watching multiple episodes...after all, I am being productive at the same time! :)

So anyways, as I was surfing the net the other day, I found this list from textmyjournal.com and it was a list of Gratitude Journal Prompts! And so I decided that I wanted to do this journey of 30 days of Gratitude. Although, I know that they are journals prompts, I want to use it as a "Blog prompt"...I guess you can say, *laughs* that actually sounds really funny...just say it out loud! At least to me, it sounds...interesting! *laughs*...Oh well, so I will try my best to blog for the next 30 days about the 30 things that I am grateful for.

So without further ado...

Day #1: What smell are you grateful for today?

Hm...well, I can think of so many smells that I am grateful for...the smell of ocean air (I think that it's a given fact that I can say that anything that has to do with the ocean I am grateful for...well, not everything, but most everything!), the smell of chocolate (I had a piece of chocolate a few minutes ago...and you have got to admit that it's a wonderful smell!), the wonderful smell of Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte from Trader Joes (Yay! I was able to replenish my stock last week! :) Can you believe that don't have a Trader Joe's here in Hawai'i...say what?!?! I have a glorious cup of the amazing deliciousness in front of me right now!)...but for today I will say that I am grateful for the smell of...

fresh, clean laundry.

Seriously though, have you ever just took a deep breath of fresh, clean laundry?! It smells so homey and it fills you with all these comforting feelings. :) Unfortunately, I do not have a laundry machine or dryer...and so I do wash my clothes by hand, well, using this amazing invention. I guess that's where I say that it's good that I actually learned how to manually wash my clothes in the Philippines! It does save on water and on energy...however, it does take time. And there are many times where I just go to my sister's house and use their washing/drying machine when my week is way too busy to keep up with the washing. But I was able to wash my clothes today, and the smell of my clothes drip drying filled my tiny studio and it smelled refreshing. And it also filled me with accomplishment...I literally have to set aside at least 2 hours to do laundry and I can tell you that I can never take a washing/dryer machine for granted!

But yes, that is what I am grateful for today...the smell of fresh, clean laundry.