Saturday, December 23, 2006
Reflecting on 2006--April
I cheated a bit and let you peek into April in the previous blog.
Dave came home to help with our move. Within the first week of April, we put our house up for sale, were thrown a staff going away party, had a dead battery in our truck (thankfully as I wanted to leave Sam's Club, so I was able to get that sorted out there), sent Dave off to Vermont and Massachusetts to visit his family, had the movers come the first time, etc. (Of course, this was amongst the usual stuff!) Dave's sister Donna was expecting her second son, but he didn't come out until the day after Dave returned to Louisville/Southern Indiana. Welcome, Dominic! :)
Most significantly, April 8th marked my last Saturday Nights Together (SNT) with our international students. (Does anyone have pics to share?) It was bittersweet. It was purely bitter in that good-byes are always difficult, especially with people you love and care for. We had a Mediterranean night at that SNT and had InterVarsity join us. It was sweet in that I couldn't have scripted a better last SNT (even though it was not advertised as such b/c of the short notice of everything). Esin helped our church (primarily Leslie and Krista) make delicious Mediterranean food. :) Musaffer played for us on his guitar. Myream shared her story of how God has drawn her and her mother to him. It was the final time to teach at SNT--Oh, how I enjoyed preparing for and teaching the lessons! We kept taking out tables and tables to allow people a place to sit and talk.
On April 12th, Dave and I left for Hawai'i. :) It was the first time in more than 5 years that Dave had been back. Since we still weren't sure about traveling opportunities after he reentered the active duty side of the AF, he made an executive decision to take a little R&R in my homeland. :) No complaints from me!
Our trip just so happened to have come right after the 40-something days of rain with which Hawai'i was drenched. The Ala Wai was a mess (more than its usual state). Many beaches were closed. It was still quite windy for the first week we were there. Nevertheless, it is home. Ahhhh, the sweet air, the fragrant flowers, the 'ono (delicious) food, the aloha spirit--no ka 'oi! :)
We were able to visit with family and camp for almost the entire time at one of our favorite places in the world: Bellows. Getting up to the sound of crashing waves, watching the sunrise, smelling the salt air--a great way to greet God and intake his word in the mornings. Those were my favorite moments. With the frenzy of life around us, I cherished the tranquility of the morning moments.
Don't get me wrong--we had a great time with family and friends. We also had to finalize the sale of our house via long distance and were thankful that Hickam AFB was nearby to notarize some paperwork. :)
On Easter Sunday morning we went to the sunrise service on the beach at Bellows. It was beautiful! The great news of Jesus' death and victorious resurrection was clearly articulated. The chaplains from Hickam were in charge of the service, and we were encouraged to see their passion to share God's news with the campers. It got Dave more excited about going on active duty as a chaplain.
Because Grandpa passed away in October of 2005, Mom and Uncle Dennis decided to move out of their Kaimuki home. They were both going to downsize in dwellings, though, and needed to get rid of a LOT of stuff (understatement!). I told Mom I'd coordinate a garage sale--what an undertaking! That ordeal took several days to get underway, but in the end it was successful. We moved Mom to live with Kawika and Mary's family in Nanakuli and she shares Kayla's room. :) A byproduct of the sale was that I was able to see Maile, Mary's long-time friend, and meet her daughter. We also saw some Marshallese who knew our family.
Dave hadn't seen the Manning's in a while, so he got to meet the additional ones that came after 2001. :) It was great to see Gary and Barbie again in their wonderful home. :)
One of my favorite hikes that Gary Manning introduced me to is the Olomana one. Dave and I love to hike it for its view of the windward side of the island. We didn't take our traditional Jenga game with us, though. We were also able to take in a hike near Papakolea/Tantalus. God is truly amazing with his handiwork!
It's always a dilemna to choose between Aoki's and Matsumoto's when it comes to North Shore Shaved Ice. This time, however, Aoki's was closed for renovations, so the choice was made for me. Mmmmmmm! :)
In the mornings at Bellows, Kayla, Kyle, and Kason would look for sand crabs. (Actually, Kason was more interested in finding coconuts along the way to the beach.)
We strolled down memory lane on this trip, especially because Dave hadn't been back in so long. We went to visit our wedding site in Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens at Kahua Kukui. It is not the same, but it is still beauiful. We also went to each of the places Dave lived in the 7 years he resided in Hawai'i (which included our little townhouse in 'Aiea).
Adoption: While in Hawai'i, we discovered from our adoption agency that the RMI would allow me to travel alone to appear in court. Since we were prepared to go for a long time but just now were changing modes in life, they made the exception. WOW--what a FANTASTIC surprise! When would we travel? We had to wait for the birth mother to sign off and wait for 30 days. Okay, we can do that! :)