Thursday, December 28, 2006
Reflecting on 2006--September
September seemed to speed by in comparison to August (perhaps because it also has one less day?). Makana and I stayed in Hawai'i for a week, and during that time, she was able to meet many people who love her. We had a gathering at Leonard's house and were excited to see people I hadn't seen in a while! The bummer part was that since the party was at night, Makana slept through most of it. :( She had had a busy day at Chuck E Cheese for her cousin Taliah's party. :) She was also at the very beginnings of her first cold. :( However, we had a great time with our family and friends.
Dave and I missed being together again (the 2nd year in a row) for our anniversary on September 2nd. He actually performed a wedding on base for a couple of military members that day.
We went on some nice, long walks in Moanalua, where we were staying. We had a stroller! :) That was a blessing! Makana enjoyed being able to lie there without having body heat right next to hers. She ate more pup (pandanus) that we brought back from the RMI. She also tried poi (pounded taro) and liked that as well. We brought back about 10 pounds of it to Arizona.
I had wanted to visit more people, but I also forgot how terrible traffic can be on O'ahu. Perhaps on our next trip we will be able to meet up with more family and friends. In fact, on our last full day in Hawai'i, we spent a full 2 hours either in a standstill or creeping a mere 5 miles to pick up Kavin from his babysitter. Apparently, there was an army convoy that did not have a permit to transport equipment (like a crane, I think) on the freeway, and the equipment hit a pedestrian overpass. That incident completely shut down westbound traffic at the western edge of Honolulu. If anyone is familiar with Honolulu at all, he would understand that that was not a pretty sight. My ND friend Asako was going to come over that night, but because the freeway was a nightmare, she couldn't get to us in any sane manner. Thankfully, we were able to see each other at the airport, and she actually helped us get checked in.
Moving to the Continental USA:
Yeah! We were heading to Makana's first permanent home! Dave got a ticket for my mom to come out for 6 weeks to stay with us, and that was truly a blessed time. Since I have 6 other siblings, I don't think I can think of a time when I have ever spent with my mom exclusively for that duration. It was wonderful! Makana enjoyed having Grandma in the room next to hers and thought it humorous at first when she saw Grandma with rollers in her hair. :)
The chapel community has completely embraced us! As Dave put it, we had a "posse" meet us at the airport; it brought me to tears. After such a long trip and having known these people for such a short time, it was great to know that God brings hearts together faster than anything else can. With signs, balloons, hugs, and smiles, they greeted us. Thank you! I felt as though--finally!--we were at home after our long journey! (Can you imagine the welcome into the heavenly kingdom and how right that will feel, worshiping God constantly? Wow! It is beyond my comprehension!)
Our flight got in quite early, and since Dave was at work, he could not track our flight like the others in the posse. He came a little after the greeting party, and it was the first time Makana saw her Daddy in uniform. Nonetheless she recognized him and clung to him!
Mom also became a part of our chapel community. She joined our women's study on Ephesians and made lots of friends. Everyone keeps asking about her. Our Ground Floor dorm ministry is also constantly on her heart. It was nice to share our lives in that way.
Another treat was that Dave's parents came out to visit this month as well. Makana loved them! It truly is amazing how she has been taking to our family. At first she studied her Grandpa's face, looking as though she thought he were familiar. She smiled a huge one. I think she could see the resemblence of her Daddy in her Grandpa. :) She felt completely at ease with her grandparents, for she easily fell asleep on GiGi's (Dave's mom's) shoulder. At times like these, it is difficult to be away from so many family members, but we cherish the time we actually can spend with them.
By this time, we have crossed over several time zones and slept in many different places. For the first time in her short life, Makana had her own room. I bet it must have seemed extremely weird at first for this little one.
She started to play her version of "Peek-a-boo" by pulling down a blanket when I hid her face. She would laugh heartily.
Makana loved keeping rhythm with her hands. She would hit the floor or anything else around her. I would imitate her, and at first, it startled her. When she realized I was following her every move, she would exaggerate her movements to include kicking up her legs or rolling over.
Daddy taught Makana how to catch and throw a ball. She loved watching the ball fall into her arms. She had great fun throwing or rolling the ball.
Makana met her great-grandfather and loved him immediately as well. :) On another visit, she met her grandaunt and granduncle, and she took to them, too. :)
Dave and I started teaching a marriage enrichment class a week and a half after Makana and I got in. In the description, Dave stated something like, "Using the Bible as our main text, . . . ." His supervisor came up to us, jokingly saying something like, "How can you use the Bible as the main text? Aren't you going to use something else?" The reason is because we didn't have a book the attendees had to purchase, while all the other Bible studies did. We had a great time with our class. It was a good refresher for us as well. :)
Picture note: Blogger was not handling the volume of pictures, so I resorted to the slide show at the end. Hope you enjoy the pics! :)