Amid all other influences

Amid all other influences
"reaching for the light"

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Family Christmas Tradition

Our familly has mostly celebrated Christmas with a gala Christmas Eve event. Of course, that means having a special evening with Christmas Eve dinner and program with family and friends. With all the preparations that go into making it successful, there is a lot of benefit for doing this.

For us, we celebrated an early Christmas with Nikki, Dan, and their children. Since this is a special time of the year, we are blessed to have our children come and celebrate Christmas with us, otherwise, it would be a very quiet one here below "G" Mountain.

For one thing, you can have an enjoyable and meaningful dinner for the family as you celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Ours has to do with a nice dinner and a special home evening. We read the Bible story of the birth of Jesus, sing Christmas hymns and act out certain pertinent scenes from Matthew and Luke of the Bible. The special part is that our grandchildren are now the actors and they do a great job with special help and coaching from their parents.

We enjoy the Nativity Story and then have some special gift openings and a nice dessert. By then, its off to bed for the children, more wrapping for the parents, and then to bed.

Our grandchildren get so excited that its hard for them to go to bed. I guess they inherited that from their parents.

On Christmas Morning, we awake and can have our Christmas Stockings to discover. Everyone has to wait until the whole family is assembled and then one of the children will be designated to hand out the presents. We wait each turn in opening so as not to be a free for all. Though it can be time consuming, we enjoy the excitement and the company.

Thats the way its been, and thats the way it will be. After all the presents are opened and we clean up, we can enjoy our gifts and gift giving. Meals or food is easy, left overs from the dinner on Christmas Eve. The day is spent together and just a family together time. Later, we may visit others.

Anna, Leslie, Troy, Emily, Christian

Spending time with family is the highlight of the season. To all, we extend our Christmas greetings and our most joyous Aloha.

Henry, Erin, Theodore, Mark, George

Sterling, Priscilla, Boyd, Jo

Family Tradition - Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's Almost Christmas !!

All the hustle and bustle of the season is upon us. That's not bad but the sudden winter snow storm over the weekend dumped 10 - 11 inches on PG. Snow, snow, everywhere. It was pretty to see it fall but then there's the driving in it, walking in it, and of course, shoveling it. In the evening, the temperature dropped to the low teens and since then, we've had cold, cold weather. We're expecting another snow storm Thursday evening into Friday. Then, it should be it for Christmas.
Our grandsons George and Henry think its great to go out into the snow and make snow balls. They sure enjoy the fun of snow, since they don't get it on the beaches of Hawaii.
Well, in between all this excitement, we're busy running around making sure we've got our list and checking it more than twice. So, driving out in the winter cold is alright if you leave in enough time, but most of the people here are so aggressive in their driving. They aren't as polite or even charitable as in other areas of the country. Talking to some old timers from the area, they reason that people here in "Happy Valley" are the way they drive is because they're late. They don't think its a genetic deficiency or religious belief. It's because people are late and have to rush to where their going. So forget about being polite and doing good and peace on earth kind of stuff. That's for whimps. I've heard it referred to like the scene in the movie, "Fried Green Tomatos" where the female character in her large car says to the younger girls, "Forget it honey, its because I drive a bigger car and have more insurance." That kind of attitude gives anyone a better than even chance to survive the vicious cruelty of Christmas shopping.
So, tis the season and its already upon us.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


There is a balance in life that we often look forward to with either excitement of dread. Such as filling out the annual income tax forms and filing, not excited about this one, more dread. Then there's annual inventory work schedule, more dread here about this one. There is also daily chores and other stuff but I guess this is the way things are.
The most exciting times in our home is when our family members come home for the holidays. Its so great to see them and their families. The grandchildren are our joy. We enjoy every minute of their time with us. As usual, we get to spoil them and later, send them back to their parents, as payback. This is the way things are supposed to be.
When our kids were little, we lived far away from either of our families. At Christmas time, we spent most of it by ourselves, unless the my parents came for a visit. That's been the norm for us. When we stopped moving around, we are still far away from our family. That's the way things are. Now that our children are married and have their own families, they live away from us. That happens and it could be blamed on us for training them that way. But the upside is that they have good spouses, great children, and they are living their lives the best that they know how to.
Now, having thought about this at great length, we conclude that we have to just accept it. When the opportunity presents itself, we hope to spend quality time with each of our children and their family. Now, that means adjusting our work schedule, where possible, and go with the flow, sort of. interpreted, it means that we won't plan and schedule events and activities in advance for each day of their time with us, its their vacation also and so we decided to let them decide and choose what and when they want to do things. Like going shopping, or attending a special function, visit their friends or extended family in the area, etc., etc.
Since this is the holiday season, it should be fun for all, do alot of fun things, eat good stuff, watch great football, or even shop for fun things. To record the moment, we take a few pictures to say we were here and there, and did this and that. Then, we post them to the blog page as a testament of our holiday fun.
Before the next year begins, we've sort of made tentative plans of things we would like to do. Call that New Year resolutions or just a list of wants. When it comes to visiting with our children either at their home or here below "G" Mountain, we might consider the time of the year to travel, the cheapest travel time (if there is any such thing), special family events or in conjunction with significant events. It's like juggling schedules or coordinating our time with that of all of our children.
So, for future consideration, put it on the wish list of future events:
  1. How about a coordinated family trip to Disneyland?
  2. Attend the family reunion in Hawaii, whenever that's scheduled.
  3. Have one of you host a mainland family reunion for our family?
  4. Have a joint family trip together?

As you consider these suggestions, also factor in that mom can't walk far, there should be reasonable shopping areas close by, lodging cost should be cheap or free, and there should be enough room for all of us. Also pick a good time of the year so all of us can attend. This is a work in progress but if each family can project a proposed time of the year with alternate times, we could make this happen. Give these thoughts some time to digest and let me know your ideas.

Well, tomorrow, Erin and the boys arrive in town for the holidays. I'm sure their will be some good "guy time" just as George and Henry call it. Next week, Leslie, Troy and family will arrive. We are going to have some great time, all of us. Anyway, we can't wait. Then later, we'll get to see Klai, Rykell, Shay and their parents. It's going to be a fun visit.

This is what the holidays are all about.

Now returning to the "Home for the Holiday" theme, we look forward to the excitement and fun. For those who we know can't be with us, we will meet

Monday, December 04, 2006

Weekends, Time For Relaxing or Work @ Home ? ? ?

There comes a time when things that you purchase out live their warranty, life span, usefulness, and or give up the ghost. We move to PG in 1992 from Hawaii. We had new carpet put in the family room and master bedroom. That was 14 plus years ago. In between, the carpet was vaccumed, shampooed, peeed on, pooped on, thrownup on, color, stained, rained (leaking roof) on, and probably some things I've forgotten about since.
In the family room, we relaxed, gathered as a family, played, hosted parties, let the grandchildren crawl all over, gave the dog a place to stretch out on, watched TV, movies, and video games, etc., etc. That must be the most used place or well worn place in our home. It's a fun place.
Well, this past weekend, we decided to replace the carpet. It was beginning to show more than its wear. We searched for a replacement carpet, searched the adds in the paper, and went to a couple places to price shop. We selected what looks to be a short shag with a blend of colors that matched the room, furniture, and was appealing. In the process, we learned the addvantages and disadvantages of polyester and nylon, the carpet weave and consttruction, and the carpet pad qualities. (I'd say that we about learned as much as one would for a mid-term exam in that short time period.)
Anyway, we got a more than fair price, set the date for the installer to come, and arranged for help to move the furniture. When it came time to start the move, my nephew Jarom became the mover of choice. As a backup on the Friday evening, I asked a neighbor but at the time, he was home watching his little children. In stepped Jo, and we pressed on. Jarom and I emptied the wall units, and dressers, and proceeded to move the furniture to the living room, entrance hallway, and kitchen. Surprisingly, Jo and I moved the bed (large mattress) to the hallway. Since it was so hard to lift, we put a blanked down, and I dragged the blanket with mattress on it and Jo pushed. We 'gotter done!"
We moved everything out in time for the carpet guy to make some measurements, pull up the carpets and roll them to haul away, and he did the same thing to the carpet pad. What was gross was the dirt under the pad that made its way through the carpet and pad. Once swept up, they were ready to begin laying the carpet.
After it was all done, Jarom came and help put the furniture back in the rooms. The only exception is that we decided to move the furniture around and position the wall units in different parts of the room. So, what that translate into was moving the furniture around several times and to its final place. That decision came because we were tired of moving the furniture. The hard part was trying to make a 1970's designed room fit the modern day use.
Now, we just hope to get good use out of the room as we did before.