Where I Am

March 3 Where I Am

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I am at a place in my life where I’ve accepted who I am as a mother of four and a wife to my best friend. I have many a dreams to uncover and fulfill but my ultimate goal is to take care of this dream that already came true for me.

From a very young age and being a part of a dysfunctional family, I asked for mercy and hoped for a family like the ones I saw on TV like Growing Pains, Family Ties, and The Cosby Show. I was oblivious to a higher power but noticed the Jesus tapestries and cross on the walls of my childhood home and even had a short season of Religious Education in elementary school. It was like I kept wishing on a star or sometimes Santa Claus came into mind! But I was in need of a Savior whom I succumbed to in the perilous postpartum battle after the birth of the twins.

My dream came true when I had my first child and I married my husband. That was the start of my family. Five years later we had a son and five years later we had twin girls who are pictured above. Now it took me a while to realize that I was granted this as I let the hardships of marriage and motherhood get to me. There was an enlightening feeling when I finally realized that this family that I was entrusted to was in fact my prayer being answered in my moments of despair as a young child.

Now it does sound like a fairy tale that I just made up but it is far from it when life is real and circumstances pop out out of nowhere. My husband and I bicker and we disagree. I sometimes yell at my children when the message that I am trying to get across isn’t heard clear from the same people who are able to hear a chip bag open from another room and my impatience can get the best of me like a whiny 2 year old waiting to be fed. Sometimes I feel the need to let everyone in my house know how I truly feel during our morning rush to school, dinner dilemmas, or unfinished chores.

Doesn’t sound pretty but it is all worth it as I take a moment to notice how quickly my teenager has grown as she is now physically looking eye to eye to me and my preteen son’s pants are ‘high waters’ (pidgeon slang for pants that are too small that it exposes the ankles). I have conquered the first five years with the twins in which the first 3 years was almost unbearable and driving me to the point of insanity. As my husband and I approach our 16th year of marriage and 19th year together, I can only express gratitude for meeting this wonderful fellow and through the years we have learned a lot about each other and, believe it or not, even after so many years, we learn new things about each other. Sometimes it can be scary or surprising as time changes us both but that is something that married couples must be open to.

So where I am now is a good place. I am thankful that I have overcome the worse. Now I observe and I see and I take advantage of the moments and time where it is possible to pick flowers, to smell the roses, to appreciate this place where I call home, to take each breath with gratitude, to wake up in awe of the rising sun, to marvel at the blessings of a passing storm. All my gratitude and praise I give to my Savior: Jesus Christ. He was with me all along even when I didn’t know of Him. I thank God for each and every moment that I am given. This is where I am.

“I am with you wherever, where you go is where I am.”-Matthew West’s ‘More’

Love and Blessings~
Mrs Halpern

Pompeii~Behind My Dark Glasses

Apologies for being out of my online journaling loop in the past couple of months. I am in disbelief about how quickly we have navigated through January and February. Mehana finished a whole new awesome season of high school soccer and dove right into the track and field season. Is it really March already?!
The family New Years photo cards are still in the envelope that I received it in from Walmart.

This video is a song about a volcanic eruption over the city of Pompeii in Rome. I heard this song on my daughter’s favorite local radio station as I was driving her around town to her many commitments. This song will stick to me forever for the most difficult thing in January was saying goodbye to a dear friend. “And the walls kept tumbling down in the city that we lo-o-o-ove. Great clouds roll over the hills bringing darkness from abo-o-o-ove…”

It was something that I was barely prepared for especially since it was just too early for him to go. 30 years is really a short time to live. He suddenly left and his death could have well been prevented. As I was leaving 2013 with a sense of peace, the 2nd day of the new year brought devastation to loved ones including myself who knew this person. I’ve said this before that we can never be too sure of when we are to see each other again. Each and every person who was and is placed in my life has a special space in my heart.

It’s so hard to see the sorrow that dear friends must go through. It’s difficult to see people hurting. It is uncomfortable to feel pain and grief under such circumstances and it is something that must be dealt with and grief must take its course rather than blocking it out to cause more pain later on. “Now how am I gonna be an optimist about this?”

I dare not put on a blind eye. I want to be supportive. There is a time for everything. So when sad times come, yes, it’s ok to be sad. Take the time to be sad at the time and place given to be sad. Only God can take away the pain and aid in moving forward to the ones who walk alone from the absence of a loved one.

“But if you close your eyes…”
As I move forward without this wonderful gentleman, I am grateful for his laughter that still echoes in my ears. This person is my really good friend’s brother. I met him first when he was a young teenager (about 14). Mehana and I were in the kitchen of the Haili street house. Mehana was an infant and she was in her little play center-the thing with the swivel seat-and she was spinning around and wobbling in it and playing with all the amusing toys that were attached to it. Casey was resting in a nearby room and he too said that that was his most distinguishable memory of Rasi. My friend was already hapai (pregnant) with her now 15 year old daughter. But they both came walking into the living room that was connected the kitchen and Rasi was immediately amused by Mehana. He had a high pitched hearty laugh that kind of pierced my ears but brought comfort to my monotonous and long suffering beginnings of being a new mother. And I thought, WOW, this teenager is just amused by this beautiful baby and this beautiful baby doesn’t even know how she has brought a little ounce of joy to this teenager. As he was intrigued by my baby girl, I felt confident that this little girl was to bring abundant joy to my life and she does to this very day! And that is what he gave me. In that moment, I was given the confidence to go on and take care of my little precious bundle of joy.

I continued to see Rasi briefly at my friend’s family get togethers. He had grown into a very tall and handsome adult. He started a family and the last time I had seen him was at his son’s first birthday party 4 years ago. So basically, I saw this boy grow up and it’s so unsettling to have someone like that precede me in death.

As I struggled to find the beauty through my dark glasses that I wore to my friend’s memorial, I did find the blessing of the clear blue sky and flawless sunny weather. The perfect weather conditions that made the coconut leaves dance gracefully in the gentle afternoon breeze did not take away the feelings of missing a person that I had known so dearly. There was so much life teeming with laughter from children bouncing about in a jumping castle, radio music blaring through our ears, the murmur and voices of people conversing closely together and at the same time, a burst and shriek of surprise and laughter between friends coming together after years of being apart. Pairs and trios with arms and hands interlocked. A hand on a shoulder. The closeness. The closeness was real and the closeness was beautiful. Even behind my dark glasses, yes, there is beauty in pain and sorrow and suffering. Together we cry. Together we laugh. Together we hug. And together we heal. Together we move forward in love. Rest in Peace Rasi Summers.

“Oh~Where do we begin?”
The death of a loved one really truly breaks my heart. We are here to go on without them and deal with the absence and feelings of sorrow. The battle is long and the road is rough but God is always here to bring healing and comfort. God has an uncanny way of bringing people together, for placing the right people at your side at just the right time with the right words to say. When that happens, thank God. When that happens, praise God. Because only He knows how it feels to walk the road you’re walking right now.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
-Psalm 90:12(NIV)

Love and Blessings Always,
Mrs Halpern

God Makes Things New

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There is a different feeling in me this time around on New Years Eve. I am usually anxious and rushing around trying to get things done and organized before tomorrow. Or before 12am. But there is none of that…it is a feeling of peace. Is this the peace that I’ve longed for and prayed for? I have no unsettling or uncertain feelings. Is it because the bills are finally being paid off and I’m finally getting my finances organized? That’s still in the works. Is my laundry all caught up? No. The laundry is as constant as Lily’s shedding fur finding the corners and edges of the hallway. Did I go to the rubbish dump today? No. I can do that on Thursday.

My worries and priorities constantly change every year. Healing is evident as we make changes and let go of past hurts and sorrows. Forgiveness is the key to letting go. If forgiveness is not made in the heart, then all sorts of ungodly traits can take root and become overgrown, which in turn may block the view of obvious blessings from nature, from the people that are in my life, or from unexpected moments and encounters. I guess I’ve learned to accept the good and the bad with a grace that I can’t really explain. I refuse to be moved by things that attempt to take root in my heart in an unhealthy way. Let not my thoughts be entertained by self pity and wasteful drama. My overly dramatic traits have taken the back seat as I reflect on why my heart feels so calm and collected at the moment. As I write this, I am on my bed and the twins are using the back board as a jungle gym singing Lorde’s Royal. I just had to put in a slight glare as Hulali’s heels whap at the small of my lower back. Am I numb? Or am I well rested from being on Christmas vacation? No. No. Am I aging? Yes. Gracefully? Hopefully lol.

I’ve seen my children change and mature in ways that made my heart skip and sink at the same time. I’m so happy that they are growing and achieving milestones but at the same time I am sad that time has no patience for any human being.

The people I’ve known and the people I’ve just met do add flavor to my life. How can I learn new things when I’m around the same kind of people? Each person in my life has contributed to who I am today whether it was a good or a bad encounter. We can learn from each other in many different ways. And yet in some way, it can totally change my direction to my future.

My happiness thrives on the many unexpected moments that I encounter every single day. I love those moments. I love the moments that God has intricately planned for me that all I can really say is nothing but, “Thank You Lord.” Or “God, I love you.” Or “Praise God!” Or even: “Forgive me Lord.” Or “Lord help meeee!” God uses each and every moment of my life to seek Him and to use His grace in it. He doesn’t even need any words. God wants me to be in constant awe of Him.

Revelation 21:4,5
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things have passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write these down for these words are trustworthy and true.”

As each year brings new joys and sorrows, my heart shall be set on God’s promises. In everything that we encounter, God has the power to make everything new. Love every moment you have with each person. If you look for good things, you’ll find it. If you look for bad things, you’ll probably find that too. It’s a person’s choice to choose which one to magnify. Enjoy the time given to you with each person. You never know when it’s someone’s last hour and you never know when someone’s gonna change. You just don’t know.

Time with people continues to be important to me. People I know, people in my family, and people whom I meet through people I know. I guess I’m a people person. But as much as I am a people person, my alone time is just as important to me as well. Achieving balance continues to be something I want to achieve as well. I’m NOT even gonna label that as my New Years Resolution!!! But it is something I long to obtain.

Here’s to a new year. Aloha 2013. Thank you for being good to me. Thank you Lord for the memories. Welcome 2014!!!
Love and Blessings always…
Mrs. Halpern

December Memories 2013

Behind the Scenes at the Craft Fair

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Lily and Me

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Happy 27th Cassie!!!

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Winterball 2013

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Happy 83rd to My Aunty

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Taking a Break at the Playground

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Hula Ministry Christmas Party

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Mehana’s Soccer Games Rain or Shine

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Mommies and Children
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Antipasto with the Coleman’s

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My How Urban Has Grown!

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Christmas 2013

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Good Times with the Kloningers

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Cleaning Up For the New Year-Rainy Town

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Out with the old and in with the new! Welcome 2014-we have been waiting for you!

A 6 Year Old Pair

Happy Birthday!!!

20131005-125335.jpgToday I celebrate in joy for Hulali’s and Malino’s 6th year of life. They will always be my babies in my heart. All my children will always be my babies. Being a mother of 6 year old twins and four children has led me to appreciate this journey in my life. I might not show appreciation for what I have at times due to lack of patience or sleep but God shows His mercies always at the right time. Children have a way of bringing out the best in us and even the worst! They are a new creation everyday as they are still learning about their surroundings. They are true gifts from God. Find the time to seek God in our children. God will show up in their actions and in what they say.

Knee Hug

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“Happy Birthday!”, I tell a squinting, sleepy eyed Malino. “Is this the fifth day of October?”, she asked in a groggy morning voice. “Yes,” I tell her. Then she smiled, stretched out her arms and hugged me where I was resting on the couch and she crawled in the blanket and cuddled next to me.

Before I could tell Hulali happy birthday, she had let Lily out of her crate, she put her leash on and took her outside. After Malino had made her way into the blanket to cuddle, Hulali and Lily stormed up the stairs through the kitchen door. Hulali gladly announced Lily’s outdoor accomplishments. I said, “Happy Birthday Hulali!” “What did you get us?”, she asked.

After giving a brief lesson about manners, I quickly went into the other room to put their presents together. They each received some polka dotted butterfly wings for their Halloween costume, some princess head bands and purses. They had found some See’s lollipops that their Aunty had given them and I didn’t feel like telling them that they had to eat breakfast first. Happy birthday girls! Lollipops for breakfast!

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20131005-125136.jpgYou know they’re growing up when:
-Malino stops sucking on her fingers.
-They are able to fix their own snack.
-They are able to dress themselves.
-They carry their own backpacks.
-They don’t want me to walk them to their class.

“But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”-1 Timothy 2:15
Thank You Lord for Hulali & Malino…
By Mrs. Halpern 2013

Quick Chicken and Kale Soup

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Home remedies shared here are recipes that have worked for my family and I. Everyone is different. Please check with your doctor first.

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This week, the twins were feverish and nauseous. Perhaps the weekend was just too much fun. πŸ™‚ When they are feverish, they’re inactive, and they have little appetite. Here are some little things that I offer the children when they’re under the weather:

Ginger Ale
Crackers
None acidic fruit
Yogurt
Soup
Warm water or tea

Hulali had a fever on Monday, missed school on Tuesday and returned on Wednesday. Then Malino had a fever on Wednesday, missed school on Thursday and returned to school today. This must be life with twins! This must be life with siblings and germs but it’s okay because sharing is caring! πŸ˜€

Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of hot chicken soup. When taste buds malfunction, when an intestinal eruption may occur, or when dealing with stuffy head cold symptoms, chicken soup has healing properties that may help shorten the lifespan of viruses or infections or even offer an immune booster for the other family members who remain healthy.

Here is my recipe for:
Quick Chicken Soup with Kale

Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
8 pieces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 finger ginger sliced into thin pieces
2 cans chicken broth or 1-32oz box
2 cans beef broth or 1-32oz box
or
8 cups of homemade broth
3 bunches dino kale (chopped)
1 tsp. Turmeric root or powder

Directions:
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season thighs with olive oil, salt, and pepper (your desired amount). Let sit for 10m.

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Pour olive oil to cover bottom of pan and heat on medium high heat.

SautΓ© onion, garlic, and ginger for about 1 minute.

Brown chicken with onion, garlic & ginger until cooked on the outside.

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Transfer browned chicken to a large pot with chicken drippings, onion, garlic, and ginger. Turn on the fire (gas stove) to high heat and add chicken broth.

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Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium/low. Simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Check and stir from time to time.

In the meantime, wash and prepare kale.

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After simmering, take out each thigh, place on a cutting board and shred it using two forks. Put shredded chicken into soup and stir.

Add kale to soup, stir, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

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Stir in turmeric root or powder, and turn off the flame.

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There can be many variations to this recipe. I had some leftover lasagna noodles so I sliced it thin as a side of starch and added it to the soup to make it into a chicken noodle soup. Chicken soup leftovers become more tasty and flavorful than its freshly cooked past. The tastes of each ingredient intermingle as they cool off in your fridge overnight. Thus, creating a one-of-kind flavor packed healing and goodness to the soul.

Variations:
Just add your favorite veggies. I made the soup a second time after Malino got sick. Instead of using kale, I switched to potatoes and carrots. These veggies (chopped) may be added in with the browned chicken and seasonings and boiled and simmered from there.
Also, a little bit of rice may be added in place of noodles. Crackers always add a nice crunch and the children love to dip it in the broth. We had Krusteaz box corn bread with the second batch of soup.

With much rest, lots of love, and some honest to goodness natural healing ingredients, and a little bit of patience to allow a foreign organism to take its course through the body, fever symptoms are likely to be weakened. Zap’em with some good old chicken soup! ….and don’t forget to GIVE THANKS! πŸ™‚

I would love to hear your different variations to this simple recipe. What are your favorite vegetables or flavorings in your chicken soup? And what is your idea of a side that compliments chicken soup?

Happy Aloha Friday!
Love and Blessings Always…

By Mrs.Halpern 2013

Mandisa’s Overcomer

This is my all time favorite Mandisa song at the moment! It’s so encouraging and the music makes me want to just move and jump out of my lazy and frumpy moods. Sometimes we have to look back at our lives to see that we all are indeed overcomers in this world. We overcome the past and hurts and hardships even when we don’t even know it. Furthermore, if there is no hardship, how do I appreciate the peace? If peace is abundant, how will I deal with the chaos? We need to have challenges in our lives to strengthen and improve our character day by day and even moment by moment. I love this scripture from one of my favorite books in the Bible from Romans 8:

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”-Romans 8:37-39

It’s great to be alive!

Hope you enjoy the music!
Love and Blessings Always,

Myra πŸ™‚

Saying Farewell to September

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After finally adjusting to morning routines, I then approach Fall Intercession. During this brief rest from work and homework woes, I hope to attack the clutter that has been added to our usual clutter after abandoning it when Lily came into our lives. Maybe plan a day at the beach and coffee or lunch with a friend…or even just relaxing and doing absolutely nuh-thing but read a book all day or something…haha(dreaming)!…or perhaps just do something spontaneously? Yes. That’s always fun!

Some September highlights:
My friend Ala planned a surprise party for her husband’s 50th birthday at the Wainaku Executive Center. We’ve known Troy for quite some time now. He coached our son when he was in U6 and U12 soccer and is the current assistant coach for the high school soccer team that Mehana plays for. He and Casey work together as far as supplying the restaurant with his farm products or providing manpower for catering. Ala is my schoolmate. We went to Continue reading

Anuhea Simple Love Song

Tonight marks the 20th Anniversary of my hometown’s downtown ho’olaule’a. There are multiple stages and I sometimes wish to be at all at the same time. It’s definitely a treat to take advantage of free live music presented by all of my favorite local bands. Downtown booms with crowds and I run into people that I haven’t seen for a long time. I love the spirit and I love the aloha. We are blessed and all worries are cast away with the awesome sound of music and the freedom to dance in rain or clear night skies. Here’s a song and artist that will be present and rocking Hilo town tonight!