Day 6 Connect

  
Pool Party Inner Tubing

This was a Sunday pool party connecting with my girlfriends.  We are all busy moms and I was so thankful to take a break from house chores to participate in this gathering.  While we had a chance to catch up on this year’s new blessings, our kids had a chance to connect as well!

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Friends

March 6 Friends

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Growing up, I’ve always admired my twin cousins who were always together and I remember playing with them and having so much fun. As a twin mommy, I am able to see these two interact with each other in a lot of positive ways. Here is Malino practicing her braiding while Hulali is playing a computer game. They are very close in this picture as if they were still in my womb. They do have their moments of fighting and disagreements but witnessing moments like these are so very precious to me. I am thankful that I was able to capture this moment and they were not distracted by the click and flash of my camera.

Love and Blessings~
Mrs Halpern

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

Look Down

March 2: Look Down

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My 6 year old is looking up at me. This picture was taken from the top of the stairs outside of our front door. Urban and Casey were getting ready for a rubbish dump run and the girls were jumping rope. With camera in the palm of my hands, I stopped her and said, “Hey look up!”

I love looking down at the girls when I get knee hugs and I’m thankful that God chose me to be their mom and that they have someone to look up to. Right now, I look eye to eye with my teenager and my preteen son is getting there. They grow up soooo fast! And I love each and every one of them…

Love and Blessings on this beautiful rainy Sunday,
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!

Old and New Friends

My friend Ali from Long Beach came to visit the Big Island. I met her husband (Gehan) and her husband’s cousin and wife from Atlanta Georgia and our dinner party got bigger as they reconnected with a young couple from Long Beach who now lives on the Big Island.

While I was out picking up my order from Grapes a Wine Store, they were having lunch at a nearby eatery called Hapa Mamas. The Grapes owner was hosting his weekly free wine tasting when I walked in. The twins and I ran and dodged a passing downpour as we made our way across the street to meet Ali and the gang at Wilson’s by the Bay to satisfy the twins’ and Ali’s shave ice snack cravings. Even on a rainy day, shave ice from Wilsons by the Bay hits the spot.
Reuniting and Meeting New Friends at Wilson’s By the Bay

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After the shave ice stop, we walked over to Grapes so I could introduce them to the owner. They had some tastes and Gehan’s cousin purchased a red Brunello. Then they left for their volcano sightseeing while I had the kids do their homework, shower, and I proceeded to prepare dinner for them before dinner at Cafe Pesto. I quickly made a pizza with a store bought focaccia, a pizza sauce made from a can of tomato paste, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I didn’t have any Italian spices on hand but it’s okay. The kids can live without strong flavors.
Easy Kid Pizza
Ingredients:
1 ready made store bought flat focaccia bread
Pizza sauce
I cup shredded smoked mozzarella
Pepperoni

For pizza sauce:
I can tomato paste
Salt and pepper
4 TBSP Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic (minced)
Combine and set aside

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place focaccia on non-greased baking pan.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over bread. Add pizza sauce over cheese. Generously sprinkle last 1/2 cup of smoked mozzarella. You may add more if desired. Top with pepperoni. Bake 10m. Take pizza out of oven and let sit 5minutes. Cut into squares, serve, and enjoy.

Here are some pictures from our dinner get together at Cafe Pesto in Hilo:
We started with an Ahi Poke Bowl (chopped and seasoned raw tuna over rice) with a side of ‘ulu (breadfruit) chips. Have it separate or top ‘ulu chip with a chunk of poke and enjoy the added crispiness to the raw fish
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I had the Blue Ceasar Salad with a bowl of Carrot Fennel Soup.

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20131212-093820.jpgOther entrees ordered that evening was the Wok-Fired Shrimp and Scallops, Mango Glazed Chicken, Cheese Pizza, and the Fresh Catch Salad.

Good Times, Friends Old and New, Good Food and Laughter, Sweet Local Live Music

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A Hui Hou (goodbye until we meet again)
Love and Blessings Always…
Mrs.Halpern

Thanksgiving Memories 2013

Morning Run

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To Nana’s House-Volcano

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We also met up with Greg and Gail again from Earth Matters Farm and they always bring over some homemade kale chips. They are devoured by all in a matter of minutes-SECONDS! Here is the kale chip recipe that I promised to post in my previous blog:

Gail’s Kale Chips
Ingredients:
1-1/2 to 2lbs kale (despined)
Olive Oil
A pinch of Cajun seasoning
A pinch of salt
1/4-1/3 cup Nutritional Yeast

Directions:
Depending on oven type, preheat oven to 355-365 degrees.
Dry leaves completely by air drying or dabbing gently with paper towel or a clean towel.

Place kale in a large bowl.
Drizzle a little amount of olive oil on leaves tablespoon by tablespoon and turn leaves until oil is well matted. Do not drench the leaves. Add Cajun seasoning, salt, and nutritional yeast and turn leaves.

Line baking pans with parchment paper and place leaves side by side rather than overlapping.

Bake 15 minutes or until leaves are crisp. You might need to do several test batches before getting it right.

As always I find myself full of dinner to completely enjoy the many tasteful desserts that were served. However, I look forward to breakfast the day after when I can savor each morsel without feeling forced to finish a whole piece of pie. Paired with a favorite tea or coffee, breakfast is the best time time to enjoy Thanksgiving dessert!

The Christmas season is well upon us. And as usual, I haven’t started my shopping yet or my Christmas cards. I always tell myself that I need to get started at least in July…o_O Never happens! I’ll let you know when it does haha!

As I I write this, Mehana is having the time of her life with the Hilo Sunrise Athletics running club. She ran a cross country race this morning at the Foot Locker West Regionals at Walnut, CA. She came in 51st out of 104 in her heat. There are over a thousand participants and about 14 different races. I watched a bit on the website early this morning and I take it that it was a hilly course with steep inclines and switch backs. Also, the runners start out fast paced and they don’t slow down.

The younger kids spent the night at Nana’s house last night to help her decorate her tree today. It’s almost time to go pick them up. I look into my bag of Pepperidge Farm Milano mint chocolate cookies and there’s two more layers full. Mm-hm…cookies last long when the kids are not home! 😉

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Love and Blessings Always…
By Mrs. Halpern