Thursday, December 31, 2009

i'm not even gonna try... {hawaii blogger}

i'm not even gonna try to make a resolution this year. it never works out for me - or should i say - i never make it work for me. i already have a large enough dream and resolution graveyard. graveyard of dreams...something that is in all of us- the place where all of your dreams go....the ones you never made happen. we've all had dreams that we either chickened out on, or made an excuse as to why we couldnt make it happen. OH COME ON...I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE.

so here are a few of the dreams i found in my GRAVEYARD of DREAMS, i'll let you know when i knock one off the list. 1) to start a free library 2) to be a big sister (w/Bg Bro's Bg Sis) 3) to start a mobile preschool - for special children 4) to be a mother of 6 5) to have lunch with the homeless once a week 6) to give up everything for michael and i to start a shelter in africa 7) to start a school for homeless children 8) to organize a community redevelopment program for the leeward coast ...I think i will stop, as if this list gets any longer I may begin to wonder "what have i accomplished?"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

When i look at this.... {hawaii childrens photographer}

When i look at this photo - i think to myself...*this is what love looks like*

My amazing, brilliant, and super mama friend Andrea and her beautiful daughter Baby A.

Monday, December 28, 2009

it's your birthday today.... {hawaii blogger}

It's your birthday today and thank god your older than me again. i love being married to an older man. have blessed me with so many wonderful diamond canon. How can i ever repay you? the truth is i can' really i can't...i dont have a job...and never will...i can pay you in enchilada's?

Friday, December 25, 2009

On This Day... {hawaii blogger}

On this day 9 years ago...i watched A Christmas Story for the first time. We were on a trip to Massachusetts, to visit Mike's family...We were in the living room and A Christmas Story played for the next 24 hours. He and his family were so shocked that i had not seen or even heard of the movie. This christmas i surprised my hubby with his very own Fragile Leg Lamp

Because i like to see them suffer, i make my own kids watch 24 hours of A Christmas Story too. love it!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Easter Seals {hawaii foster care blog}

Back when i didnt have kids and would actually do things for other people....i was a volunteer for Easter Seals. I used to go on weekend camping trips, help with teen night, and assist at any event i could. Never in a million years did i think someone in my family would need their services...

All the foster children that we have had, have required their services. Our daughter received services until she was 3. the therapist have made me a better mother, by teaching me techniques to make my kids flourish and be stronger. The therapist at Easter Seals Hawaii are such great teachers and an amazing support.

On Monday we went to their annual Holiday Party sponsored by Matson. Our kids had a blast! They were also treated to a gift, snacks and a visit from Santa.

Thank you Matson for sponsoring such a great organization and for making my kiddies day brighter!! Thank you Easter Seals Hawaii for all your help in building stronger and healthier kids.

Monday, December 21, 2009

addiction is not pretty {hawaii lifestyle blog}

i have never really considered myself to have an addictive personality. there is nothing i have ever been addicted to...i mean sure i've had some flings with slurpee's, michael chang, and martini olives, but it never got to be unhealthy! untill now! you see have i have been addicted to something my whole life and i am just realizing it. a few months ago is when it all began to come out. it all started with a pretty bad ear ache. i went to the doctor, he looked in the ear that wasnt hurting and said "are your ears always this clean?" at first i was a little proud, but soon realized that he wasn't impressed, so i didnt answer. I knew the truth would be the wrong answer. Then he looked in my other ear (the one that hurt like hell) and said "how many times do you clean your ears a week?" here's where my addiction starts taking the path of lies. the TRUTH ..... about 14 time a week. my answer to the doctor.....2 times a week. now he's obviously a doctor because he's a smart man and could tell i wasn't being truthful, and didnt even need to use his super hero powers. he went on this long spill about how wax is good and your ear needs it to be healthy. I know all that....but i have this slight obsession with wax in my ear. if i clean it and there is something on the tip i will continue to scrub it untill it's all clear! I'm a Freak! I know! you dont have to tell me! as do all good children, i am going to blame my addiction to q-tips on my parents. you see in my house, cleaning our ears together is quality family time. if someone got up to get a q-tip, they also brought one out for all members! It would be rude to enjoy all that fun all alone. Damn! as i'm writing this my family sounds weirder and weirder!! to make a very long story short - i COULDN'T quit my addiction...and my ear started hurting again. my husband, the caring man that he is, has hid all q-tips and allots me one every two days (BASTARD). the road to recovery is long and damn hard. It takes everything i have not to start a private stock in my car, or stop at my family's house for a fix. just to make sure i wasn't the only freak in the world i googled "addicted to q-tips" and low and behold there is a whole world of people like me out there!! finally someone else gets me!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

the life i always wanted {hawaii motherhood blog}

while driving stormie to her ballet lesson, i couldn't help but think...she's living the life i always wanted when i was little.

I wanted to drive in a decent car...not one that whistled when you drove it, or one that couldn't reverse, or one that wasn't being pieced together with duct tape.

It's sad to say now, but i was so embarrassed to be poor. i worked very hard to be someone i wasn't. i wanted to take lessons - ballet, girl scouts, piano, gymnastics, ice skating - ANYTHING....but it wasn't something that was in my plan or my budget. I watched the movie Nadia and had the routines completely memorized. and don't tell anyone BUT i'd even perform the balance beam routines on the coffee table.

i'm glad stormie is living the life i always wanted.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

is there anything better? {hawaii family blog}

Is there anything better than giving? i dont think so.

last weekend our church - Grace Bible Kapolei - was able to hand out some food boxes to residents in need in Makakilo. The good thing was, we also had a cotton candy machine to draw their kids in. It was so nice to see the youth of GBCK get excited to give. They had so much pride in helping others and ultimately showing the residents Jesus through them.

My dad has been a constant example of a servant and a giver my whole life. he has taught me that in order to reach people, you must come to them with a servants heart...i hope one day i can be like him.

This is totally lame, but when we were younger, we often got food boxes was always exciting to see what we'd find inside. I remember one year my school was having a food drive and i wanted to bring in canned food so badly, but we hardly had any ourselves, so when no one was looking i'd take a few cans of our "good" canned food and brought it to school. I brought it to school not to be a good person and feed the poor (i was the poor for gods sake) but because i wanted others to know that i had extra food to give away - lame i know...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

all in gods plan... {hawaii foster parent blog}

many times when people find out we do foster care they can't imagine how we can give a baby back after having them in our home for so long. and the truth is many times, I myself, cant imagine how i'm gonna do it. That's when i let god take control. i have to put my entire trust in him. most importantly i have to remember that god plan's lives...and he's planned out their lives too. I belong to an amazing group of foster moms who fight the same battles as i do. they give me strength and remind me that there is purpose to the madness called Foster Care.

At our monthly training last night, a fellow foster mom shared something that was on her heart...She wrote this after her foster son of 2 years left her to be reunited with his mother. it's so beautiful to me. and hopefully whether your a foster parent or not, you will find it beautiful too.

God's plan is bigger than what you can imagine. How one life affects another life in this moment is all that we can see. Our motherly instincts make us believe that we know what is right for our babies. However, God knows where each baby belongs and where they should ultimately be placed. For us, we may be only used for a love and cherish His children at this point in time. He has chosen you because He knows your heart. He knows that you will do the best job. I thank you for saying yes to His call. He wants you to love each child like your own even if he/she belongs to Him. When they leave us, that's just a small glimpse of how He felt when he gave up His Son for us.

We are not only here for the babies, the babies are here for us. We need too remember that through the babies, He is also changing us to be what He wants us to be.

Our birth and adopted children in our homes have a bonus blessing from Jesus. They can see His heart through the process. It might not be a bed of roses, they may experience their first heartfelt loss...but this prepares them for the future. They will learn to be obedient, yielding to God's supreme plan throughout the happy, sad and challenging times. Many people have told me "I can't do fostering, it would hurt me and my kids too much." That is true, but i believe that God has given us a chance to stretch and exercise our faith by allowing Him to use us as a vessel. What an honor! I know that when a baby in our care leaves, everyone feels a loss, no matter how good the circumstance might be...or worse how bad the circumstance might appear. Draw your family close and know that God will take you through this journey and remember the cross.

Fostering is a tough job, but He will equip us with whatever comes our way. i still think and pray for every baby that He has blessed us with and what they left behind in the hearts of my family. i often long to hold them in my arms again. I pray that someday our lives will cross. So ladies, have faith in His ultimate plan. See the face of Jesus in every baby. It still humbles me that He believes that i am worthy of this job.

Acts 17:26-27 From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of us.

Below is a photo of our daughter on her first christmas 3 years ago...without taking the GIANT leap of faith to do foster care, we would have never met. i thank Him for introducing us.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

counting the days {hawaii family blog}

i'm counting the days till mike and i can move into Pohai Nani. You know...the retirement community....Everytime the kids act crazy or we just have a bad day - we remind ourselves that one day we will be at Pohai Nani.

Never would i have imagined that the boy i met 16 years ago would someday be the man i love. my husband. my best friend. my punching bag. my money maker. my love.

In fact i told him that i would never marry him because he wasn't marriage material!! ha ha ha now look at me eating my words.

Monday, December 14, 2009

i ain't gonna lie.... {hawaii childrens photography}

i ain't gonna lie...photographing children is my favorite, but it's also the hardest. i took some family photo's of the FeBenito Ohana and out of 271 shots i got ONE good family photo, hence the photo of her feet. I'm thinking next time i bring a crate of squeaky toys and dress like a clown to help keep their attention...and smile.

i love taking unposed pictures of kids...doing things they have fun doing - even if it includes running into the ocean in your nice clothes....

Guess i better do some more studying about Photographing Children

Friday, December 11, 2009

marred for life {hawaii lifestyle blog}

watching my baby sister walk down the isle was one of the saddest, happiest moments in my life...

she looked so beautiful and elegant, yet to me she will always be the 2 year old who you used pee on me in her sleep. She will always be the 4 year old who wore the same biker shorts for 2 years. She will always be the kindergartner who forged my mom's signature. She will always be the 9 year old who lost half of the skin on her leg when learning to ride a bike. She will always be the 8th grader who dyed her hair orange. She will always be the 12th grader who taught me how to drive. She will always be my little sister.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

barbie...friend or stripper? {hawaii motherhood blog}

i'm having some major conflict with barbie. Weird question, but have you seen barbie with her clothes off lately? Let me tell you...she has the rack of a stripper. Not to mention the stripper shoes she wears...I was thinking i really didnt want my daughter playing with barbie, and then she said something that sealed the deal....she said "mommy, me and barbie have same same shoes." AAAAHHHHH!!!!

That did it - no more barbies in our home. some how she just doesn't seem appropriate for little girls.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

eddie would go {hawaii family blog}

Hawaii has been taken over by big waves this week...hitting up to 40 feet!! The Eddie Aikau Surf Tournament was held today for the first time in 5 years. The kids and i were at home watching it live on the internet. The waves were so clean and beautiful. It's crazy how the ocean can be a place of relaxation and reflection one day and the next be able to produce monstrous 40 foot waves.....? i love going to the beach with our kids. our kids love the water. its so nice to see them discover.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

don't forget the poop {hawaii maternity photographer}

I had the great pleasure of taking some photo's for the Medrano family...with two little girls and a boy on the way - i am wishing them all the luck in the world. Maternity photo's are one of the prettiest sites...the gift of life is something that few things can compete with...It makes you forget all the bad things about kids - like - poop. crying. poop. teething. poop. $diaper$. poop. college tuition and....yes....wait for it........poop!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Family Programs Hawai'i {hawaii adoption blog}

Once again Family Program Hawaii has out done themselves. The Holiday Party was amazing! It is always so well organized and the hard work they put into it is obvious.

I love how our biological children, adoptive children, and Foster children are all welcomed and all receive gifts. I REALLY love how hundreds and hundreds of children receive wrapped gifts with their name on it!

My foster children are a little to young to appreciate the the thoughtfulness behind this event, but i appreciate it for know there are so many adults out there that care that they have a great christmas makes me happy.

Thank you!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

what am i? {hawaii motherhood blogger}

What am i? i am just a mom with a camera...
i always had an interest in photography, but really didnt know how important it was until i had children of my own. I have few photos of my own childhood and often wish i had something to tell me the story about who i was when i was little. What did i dress like? What were some things i liked to do? Who were the important people in my life?

i am by no means a professional photographer, i just use my camera to capture unforgettable moments in daily life, of friends, strangers, and my own family. i use my camera to tell a story. most importantly, i use my camera to record impressions...FootPrints.