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Friday Blessings

This week was a crazy one. Last week I posted that my clothes dryer broke and the fact we got another one free within a day. Then this week our garage door broke and my hair dryer went short of catching on fire.

Well my father knows a great company, who fixed my door and he’s basically calling it my Christmas gift. Thank you God for wonderful people who come in the time of need.

I made enough tips yesterday at work to buy a new hair dryer. I got sat with a big top, which has gratuity automatically added and then they all left me extra money as a tip. It was an awesome feeling just to walk into Target and know I wouldn’t have to stress on how to pay for for what I needed.

My husband and I decided that I should work at the restaurant at nights to make more $$$, which will be a bonus blessing just in time for Christmas. This leaves my days open to substitute teach.

My rankings on Amazon have been really good considering my book hasn’t been out but a month. It’s so excited to me to watch the numbers climb, recede, and then climb again. I pray that God continues to bless this books path and the success it deserves.
I shipped it to a buddy of mine in London, who owns a production company. I’m sure my book won’t be his cup of tea, as he’s more of a Martin Scorses type of guy, and my book is more geared for the Lifetime Movie Network or Hallmark, but hey I’m just blessed to have a friend in the business who supports me and wants to read my work. I shipped the book out this week, so time will tell if he and his lovely wife at least enjoy the read.

I’ve have two photo-shoots this week, and scheduled a wedding for the end of the month. God has been very faithful in keeping me busy this holiday season with family photos. It’s a huge blessing as we really need it right now.

My husband thought his car was towed last night, or stolen…but alas he’s decided he just going senile as his car was only 100 yards away from where he ‘thought’ he parked. This blessing is obvious — the fact that I had a good laugh on my husband was an extra one! On his way out to work this morning I told him not to get lost is his work parking lot. He didn’t think it was too funny — but I did.

Hope you’re all enjoying your Friday. Take a little time to list out your blessings for the week. You’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget to give thanks to God for each and every one!

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Friday’s Blessings

So I got my shipment of books, from my publisher today, on my porch today…ahhh….I’m jumping up and down. My son already gave it his stamp of approval here, or at the sound clip below. I actually ordered one for myself, through Amazon, to see what their quality was like, and because my publisher said they picked up a copy through the print system that wasn’t proofed yet. Yikes!

The book has a few typo’s but what book doesn’t have a couple things that someone didn’t catch? Overall I’m happy, and very pleased to have worked with Vanilla Heart Publishing. They worked hard for me and the release of this book.

My son has carried one of the copies around all afternoon, and won’t put it down. He’s so proud of his mommy, and my heart is melting.

Today we also had a parent/teacher conference, which went exactly as I thought. My boy is sailing through with flying colors, ahead of the curve, and very well adjusted. He’s learning things that I would have in 3rd grade. It’s amazing how young they start kids out these days in their educational curve.

My mom and dad left for Hawaii, with my sister and her new husband to follow this weekend. They’re going to have a family trip together, and I couldn’t be happier for the four of them. I’m blessed they have this opportunity to share.

My husband & I had another date night this week to the OKC Thunder’s opening game NBA game. Our city is blessed with the opportunity to host such a major venue, and we’re blessed to have season tickets to such a fun event.

I was blessed to have Monday and Friday off this week. It was a short work week, but a tough one with little tips. This economy is hurting the ability to leave a little extra for those of us working for tips, but I know I’m blessed to be in a fun environment all the same.

My neighbors found a rental property to move into. Remember the post about how they lost their home to foreclosure? They were packing up their Uhaul today. I’m so sad to see them go, but am glad they’re not homeless and have been approved for a new place to live. Who knows? We may all lose our mortgages if the economy doesn’t start picking up. For now, I know we’re blessed to pay our mortgage each month, and pray that neighbors find the blessings in their situation.

Find your BLISS … Find your BLESSINGS … and Thank God daily for each one!

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Friday Fun

Every Friday I get to look at what God has blessed me with during the week.
Today I get to jump for joy! Here’s a list of what God has given me this week:

***Blessings Abound****
My husband surprised me with a date night, and arranged for a sitter. He took me to see ‘Fireproof the Movie’, which was awesome!!!

Sitting in a theater with a bunch of Christians was a really cool experience. No one had to search for a seat. People were offering to arrange the seating on rows, so we could all squeeze in to offer new seats, for those standing. It was cool seeing God’s love in the simplest ways in just offering a seat theater wide.

The movie itself was an amazing lesson, that every married couple needs. If you’ve not seen this movie — GO SEE IT! Kirk Cameron is just amazing and so cute. I thought he was adorable back in his teenaged TV days, but he’s so mature now and even more cute. I admire him for standing up for his faith, in mainstream Hollywood, to stand firm. He deserves our support. Seriously, you should go see this movie. They also have a blog.
Here’s the trailer:

****
I had a friend text me late last night to announce her copy of my book came in the mail that day. She was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell me how beautiful her copy was. I haven’t even had my copies mailed to me yet, but was and am so blessed to hear how excited she was once we talked on the phone. I’m blessed to have such wonderful friends, who celebrate in my joy and support me. God is good!

****
I made some really great tips this week at work, and I finally feel like I don’t have to double check every thing I do. I seem to have a groove and a rhythm to my job now, and am so blessed to leave at 3 p.m. to pick up my son. Even though we’re financially short, I’m able to invest in my son.

****
I got two photo-shoots booked this week. One for the 27th of October and the other for Nov 15th. Just a little business coming in right now. I’m not where I thought I’d be right now, but some is better than none and I’m blessed all the same. Thank you Lord for being faithful.

****
I’ve prayed for God to bring us a couple friendship. My husband and I have our own separate friends, but have never in the 8 years of marriage had a ‘couple’ friend outside of family. My sis and her husband are our couple friends and I adore them. My brother in law and his wonderful wife are also our couple friend, and we adore them but they live 40 minutes away.

Each member of our family are so wonderful and we love spending time with them, but they also have their own lives. So lately I’ve prayed lately that God would also bless us with a friendship, separate from family, that Todd and I would click with.
God has answered my prayers with a wonderful couple that we go to church with.

Strangely enough … I went to college with my friend, J. We don’t remember each other from back then. And, her boyfriend, C, and my husband grew up in the same area in California, and have some similar childhood memories. All four of us have crossed paths throughout many years, and have just now started a friendship. Funny how God’s timing works … but it’s a blessing to us. J & C are quirky and fun and make us laugh…our kind of people.

****
The last blessing is an obvious … just the fact that my family is alive, healthy, and close to home. I’m blessed each day to live the life I have and be surrounded by my family and friends.

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Monday’s Joy

Today has been so good. I found a jack pot at my local grocer’s of wheat free items, that I can cook my husband.

People take eating for granted. They don’t understand what a luxury it is just to have a slice of pizza and some beverages to accompany that!

My poor husband has been allergic – deathly allergic – to wheat for 8 years. He’ll swell up and die when ingesting just a little wheat. Do you all realize how many items have wheat in them?

Tomato soup and many other canned soups
Licorice
vitamins and prescription pills (it’s used a filler/packer)
of course the obvious – pastas and breads

I could go on and on, but won’t bore you with it. Just know that almost every item at the grocery store will list ‘wheat flour’. IHOP even uses wheat flour to enhance the flavor of their omeletes. It’s a sad day when you can’t order an omelete at IHOP, without fearing for ones life.

Well tonight I made my hubby SPAGHETTI! For the first time in 8 years, we’ve had spaghetti as a family. GLUTANO is my new favorite friend! They have spaghetti noodles made with maize flour and starch.

How nice was it to feel like a real wife, and cook for my family? — vs. cooking for my son and I and hoping to find something my husband can eat.

Yeah Glutano…thank you!

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Tuesday Tid Bits

So far this week I’ve had a lot of little funnies from my son. Every child at this age is candidly refreshing whether they know it or not, but he’s so profound that it really cracks me up.

To name a few for your reading pleasure:
——-
It was sprinkling last night as we left the restaurant. He opened his mouth to get a drop but they got in his eyes instead.

He yelled to the sky and everyone with in miles of being earshot, “Thank you my Lord for the eye drops!”
——-
He peered in at my face as I laughed at something funny he said, and squinted. In surprise, he said,
“Oh mommy I do believe you’re getting your first wrinkle!”

(gee thanks son) grimace before laughter
——-
I got a big spider bite back on my hip/butt zone area last night, which needed some Cortizone cream. I went to do my business first and was sitting on my throne in the privacy of my bathroom, when my son came running in to bring me Desitin, as thats what we use for his bug bites.

He leaned in behind the toilet to try to take care of my bite, with a lump of Desitin on his fingers.

Me–“Son, I appreciate you, but please don’t do that right now. I need a little privacy.”
little T—“Okay mommy, I won’t touch your private butt.”
Me—-“Thank you for trying to help me though. I just need a few minutes.”
little T—“Well then, just let me see those beautiful big brown eyes of yours.”

I couldn’t help but oblige as he was being so sweet. He just is such a love, even if I was in the bathroom needing privacy.
—–
Every night we say our prayers, and we rotate turns. Me, my son, and then my husband.
My husband gets wordy sometimes in trying to pray about things my son should learn about, which is great. It’s just wonderful that his daddy is involved in prayer time no matter what he’s saying or praying. I’m probably a little to wordy too, but I pray more about things of the heart. I want to give thanks for all our family members, their health, and protection.

However, my son has told me next time to shorten it up like he does…
“Thank you Jesus for all of our family and our people. Thank you for helping me sleep through the night. Amen.”
He’s not one to waste words.

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A job is not a definition…

I think my husband has been struggling with the idea that I’ve chosen to wait tables until my own business picks up. I still have to support our family, as we have bigger than a one income budget. And my photography business WILL NOT jump start overnight.

Although I have a jillion people that see me daily, saying…”Oh I need to get with you. We need to do picutres.”
“Okay When?” is my response.

I’m getting a lot of Oct-December shoots lined up. So I know I’ll have some busy work ahead, but for now I need something that will give me the most bang for my buck and still be fun/interesting. I’ve been praying that God lead me on a path, that will lead to what I should be doing. All roads have led away from office ‘professional’ jobs. AND I couldn’t be happier!! I’m so tired of office schmoozers and corporate America. I know office politics happen in every industry…but in sales it just seems a whole lot worse.

My husband’s first reaction when I mentioned I wanted to wait tables was a grimace. He finally asked, “What will happen when one of your sales managers comes in and you have to wait on them? How will that make you feel?”

Well my first gut reaction—my JOB DOES NOT DEFINE ME!!!

My second:

IF they want to be stuck in a dead end boxed in j-o-b, and blind to that, more power to them.

My third:

They’ll do one of two things..either look down their nose at me…or feel sorry for me. Either way I’m gonna kill em with kindess and super good service, which will leave them having to leave a great tip.

Now my only problem is that I may not pass the food test tomorrow. It’s a test with over 150 blanks to fill in that asks for food abbreviations, menu items, and all ingredients on each item. Ummm…it’s a serious test people.

I passed the state insurance exam, where only 1 in 4 people pass. That test was a cake walk compared to this one. What the heck is wrong with that food test that they have to make it rocket science for people to pass?

So please pray that if I’m supposed to work there, I pass this test tomorrow. Thank you all. B/C if I don’t pass, I have no back up plan except substitute teaching that pays $7.50 and hour, and that won’t pay the bills.

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A few reasons why…

Marriage is a tough road. Most couples focus so much on the wedding, that they forget to prepare for life with their spouse. They don’t think to remember that there will be horrifically tough times when you see your partner in a light, you never expected. In 8 short years of marriage, and 10 years total with my husband…we’ve seen each other through a lot.

The life of our child.

The flat line of my husband’s heart, and the miracle that he lived through a horrible experience.

The death of loved ones.

Financial strain.

Financial surplus (still waiting to have that one back).

Proud moments, when the other shines in the spotlight.

Sad moments, when the other almost breaks in defeat.

Tough times, when the other fights through something.

Life throws us all curve balls, and I just don’t know how couples make it without Christ as their center. I know some do…so I know it happens. BUT do they have the peace that only Christ can give?

I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell my adoring husband how much I love him today. And here’s a few silly reasons why…

*Because he leaves me a dry towel hanging in the bathroom every morning for my shower.

*Because he lets me do whatever home improvement project my heart desires, trusting my instincts.

*Because his chest puffs up when he tells people about my book.

*Because he spends so much quality time with our son, who in turn adores his daddy.

*Because he tells me I’m sexy even when I feel I look my worst.

*Because he trys to make me laugh when I’m mad. Try’s being the operative word! Sometimes he succeeds 🙂

*Because he remembers the smallest details and surprises me down the road with little things.

*Because he teaches my son about the most amazing things…from sports to life in general.

*Because he’s himself and that never changes, no matter who he’s talking too…even if resonates a little too loud…I still love him.

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Fridays Bless Me Every Week

Today is the day I post my blessings, and how I look forward to this. Some weeks are harder than others, since it’s a choice to have the peace of God’s love and thankfulness in His blessings, and some weeks just blow me away.

Those that read me know I’ve just come back from a huge blessing in my vacation. I hadn’t been home in 12 long years to Oahu, and hadn’t visited Maui since I was 5. The fact that my son is now five and I took him and my husband to my home was HUGE for me. The obvious blessing was being in a tropical low key, laid back, beautiful environment. Who couldn’t see the blessing in that and thank God for His creation? The not so obvious blessing and the main one for me was to experience it all again as a 5 year old through my son, which really took me home ten-fold. The fact that my auntis, uncles, and cousins got to meet my family is a huge blessing.

Today as I look toward this past week my heart is somewhat heavy as I know I’ve not treated my husband as well as I should have this week. The phrase, submit to your husband keeps going through my mind. This is often a inflammatory biblical instruction for a lot of female liberals. What does it mean…submit? To me, it’s not letting a man walk all over me, as some people like to twist it. To me, it’s having compassion for the man God has chosen for me…letting go of some of my own control and giving my husband his way more than I choose my own.

I’ve been very controlling this week and I don’t feel good about it. What is the blessing in this? That I have a wonderful husband!! He puts up with me and loves me…frustrated or not. I know I need to make it up to him and I’m blessed that he sticks around so I can.

I’ve had no job this whole month…I’m unemployed! HA! How cool is it that this is NOT stressing me out. <—-(blessings right there) This whole month is the only month, before my son starts Kindergarten that I’ll have had all this time with him. I had no one calling me for work…well not for most of the month….so my time was truly “MY” time with my family with no interruptions. I’ve never experienced that freedom before, so this has been a huge blessing.

Now that it’s back to reality and the bills need two incomes…what am I going to do?? I’ve been wondering how I’m going to supplement our household income since I quit my sales career. I have my photography business that I started last October, but that’s not going to take off overnight.

This week my son’s school hired me as a substitute teacher. I turned my new hire packet in this week. I was told that it my be pretty infrequent for the first couple of months, but after that get ready for it to get crazy. I’m not sure how it’s going to pay, but I know God will provide. I’ve also run across a couple of jobs to pay the bills for the next couple of months until teaching kicks in. I’m not sure if they’d be something I’d be interested in, but it’s what they provide that counts. This is the first time in my life that I didn’t have to have something ‘professional’ working that went along with my degree. I finally realize….MY JOB DOESN’T DEFINE ME! I do…being a Christian mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, grand-daughter, and friend defines me. This has been a blessing to get this.

Today would have been my Grandfather’s 100th birthday. If you’ve not read about him, you should…because he was and is still, to me, an amazing human being. He died in my arms, and I saw him see the Lord first hand. Seeing his pupils dialate, his breathe quicken, and his head pop up after being in a coma scared me at first. Hearing the monitors scream at me that his heart rate was bottoming out freaked me out. BUT seeing the look on his face when he saw angels come for him…there’s no way I could doubt that he saw the face of Jesus. And even though terrifying for me at the age of 19 or 20, I know this is a blessing now. For one because they say, those that have come back from the dead, that they see their surroundings when they leave their bodies…so this means my papa knew I was with him too.

You see I got there too late to see him before he went into his coma. He went into his comatose state asking for Kimmy and wanted me. I was selfishly on Spring Break in Texas…but took the first flight out as soon as I heard he went into the hospital. I was just too late in saying my goodbye. I have the peace and blessing of today, his 100th birthday, of that lovely man and his love for me. He was my role model growing up, in what to look for in a man. He was truly one of a kind. Please honor his memory today and go read this post about him and my wonderful grandmother, as she too, was truly one amazing lady. For those that don’t know, he was a photographer and the reason the love of photography is in my blood and heart. I hope he’d be proud that I’m trying to make a living at it.

Lastly the fact that we all came home from a long strenuous trip unharmed and well is a huge blessing. Other than my husband’s small fall, which we think he cracked something…we’re all fared well. My son is an amazing traveler! And no one got sick. Praise God for that!

Thank you for tuning in to my little corner of the web world. Next week is the last week of this contest. You can view the video at the post below to see who’s almost winning. If it stays this close in the running, I may have to extend this by another week to get a clear defined winner. I pray you’ll consider counting your blessings…it truly IS life changing. Just ask Terri…you can read why it’s changed her outlook, here.

I think I’ll leave you with a pic I took of my husband and son, on Maui. Have a great weekend all!

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In a few days…

I will be home…in a few days.
I will feel the island breeze…in a few days.
I will taste my favorite foods…in a few days.
I will see my favorite people from my past…in a few days.

My Aunti and Uncle, although not by blood, by heart are letting my stay with them for the weekend in Kaneohe. They’re throwing me a potluck dinner party for all of my family to come celebrate.

When first moving to Oahu, we were in awe of it’s beauty. We were in awe of it’s weather. We were in awe that we really lived there! I was 5 and life at that age is wonderous any where you live, let alone on a tropical island with mountains at every corner and beaches at every turn.

Living near the ocean is home to me, on so many different levels. Every fiber in my being is pulled to the lull of the waves. To walk the beach, looking for sea shells and chasing hermit crabs, was my ideal day as a child. To find Japanese glass balls floating to the shore, and learn of their origin, was a blessed gift. Digging my toes in the sand, feeling it’s damp heaviness surround my foot right before the sea would rush in and drain the sand away is a sweet memory. Doing cartwheels and leaving hand and footprints down the shore was my signature, leaving my stamp of love for the island I lived on.

I dream of those days most nights. To know I’ve chosen a life away from them is not ideal, but I know I always have a home to come home to in my family away from family, on the island of Oahu. We were the first Hoale family to don the door of the Nazarene Church in Kaneohe, and our O’hana opened their eyes wide and soon their hearts to us.

We learned their dialect, and their culture as if it were our own. I spoke pidgin before I learned proper English. In fact when I moved back stateside, the education board made me take a test before starting school, because they thought I wasn’t smart enough to be in the 4th grade. They assumed my broken dialect was a sign of my intelligence.

I still have that test. It showed my intellectual age being 23, when I was only 10. I blew their tests out of the water. Then they wanted to put me in accelerated classes….I said no thanks. I would do fine in the normal classes with normal kids.

Back on point…I grew to love, breathe, and sleep my island life. Knowing that I will be home in a few days means more to me than anyone could ever know. It will be a short 3 day trip to Oahu, before leaving for Maui for a family wedding. But those short 3 days will be amazing! I will visit the place I went to school, and some of my other favorite spots like here, here, and here.

Sunday, we’ll attend church where I did as a kid. I hope my son and husband can appreciate how unique and special this place is. Not only because of the love for Christ they have in their heart, but also because of where it sits. It’s at the base of a mountain with slat windows, which allow the island breeze to stream through from side to side. You get to see God’s great creation in all it’s beauty, smell the wonderful flowers on the breeze, and worship in His goodness.

Afterwards we’ll go to Pearl Harbor so that my family can visit the Arizona, where I can point out my other house we lived in at the east lock of Pearl Harbor. We lived 20 feet from the Naval Intelligence Building, and it was a house that was pre-WWII, with vegetation that should be in a jungle. I had a closet that overlooked the harbor, with an amazing view.

Needless to say it’s going to be hard to tear myself away from my family and home, but I’ll be going to other family (in-laws) waiting for us on Maui. We’re staying at a beach house a block from the ocean, with the rest of the family to see my brother in law and future sister in law get married. This will be near and dear to my heart as well, knowing we’re making new memories to last a life time not only for me–but my five year old, who will taking it all in with wonder…just as I did 30 years ago.

I wish I could scan some of the old pics of me at 5 to post here, but my scanner is broken. I’ll post some new ones I get from this weeks adventures. Stay tuned!!!

PS….here’s the house in Maui we’ll all stay at:

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Bop till you Drop


Sorry Terri. This is not autographed. We went to Rick Springfield last night, and my wonderful husband had arrangements to get us back stage to meet him again. At that point I was going to have him sign this photo, from his concert in 2000.

My hubbie had his position backstage all night, since he did his show from there last night and got the opportunity to introduce Rick on-stage. My sister & I weren’t allowed back until after the concert. Security was heavy as many had tried to jump the barricades to get up close. I don’t get some people, but it was funny watching them try something stupid and then get in trouble for it.

Unfortunately my poor husband quickly came down with some strange stomach problems after eating some food he’d bought. He says his tummy was upset before hand, as he’d not eaten almost all day. I’d given him a sugary frozen lemonade earlier in the evening and he said the sweetness upset his stomach, but I don’t think the lemon ice started his downward spiral. It may have contributed to it, but he had some severe issues.

Scarrily enough, multiple vomiting in-sued and he passed out. He was as white and clammy as I’d seen him last time I had him in the hospital, which gave me the gut feeling that something was more wrong than sugar ripping into him. I hurried passed security, to ask for a medic. No barricade was going to keep me from my man.

It took a few minutes, but the medics arrived… as well as some lookey-loos. What is it about some people, who have to interrupt while someone is obviously sick? And continue to try to talk to them — oblivious to the fact that they’re feeling as if they’re on their death bed?

Seriously…my husband wanted to die on the spot from not only how he was feeling, but the fact that it was in public view….and 2 ditzy blonde girls want to ooh and aah over him? And then have the audacity to ask if my husband can get them backstage to meet Rick?

—>AAAAAh, that would be a BIG FAT NO!!! I had security send them off immediately.

Long story short we were in the emergency room all night and morning, where in my opinion they discharged him too early. IF a man can’t walk and is barely mobile, someone should be wise enough to keep him under observation!! We got home and he continued vomiting until 4 a.m.

I prayed and prayed that God would bless him just enough to keep meds down. Thank God for answered prayers! He’s finally keeping some meds and a little Gatorade down, and is resting comfortably at the moment.

The official diagnosis was the flu. BUT he had no fever or no symptoms prior to the food he ate at the concert. After eating, within 10 minutes he was vomiting. To me, my wife-dar, tells me that it’s food related…especially with all his food allergy history.

Here are some pluses for the day:

*We’re so blessed that he didn’t have any anaphylaxis issues.

*We’re so blessed the my son was at my mom’s, where he stayed the night.

*We’re so blessed my sister and boyfriend were there to help facilitate the operations of getting my poor sick husband into his work truck, so I could drive him out of there.

*I’m blessed by the fact that at the last minute, I rode to the concert with my sister instead of on my own car…that way I didn’t have to factor in an additional car in the scenario of leaving. My husband could have NEVER driven himself, and my car wouldn’t have been in a safe place overnight

Will you all please pray for my hubby? Pray that God gives him is healing peace? Pray that God blesses his stomach and intestines, so that we can keep liquids down him?

Thank you all!