Saturday, December 13, 2008
So you've probably read about the flooding in Laie, Hawaii, on everyone else's blogs, but if you haven't here are the links to a couple to fill you in:
They have pictures and/or videos so you can see all the action. I didn't really get a chance to take pictures, 1. Because my camera was inside Foxy (my car) and 2.Because unlike some, THE WATER DID COME IN OUR HOUSE! Needless to say, I have been a little preocupied the last two days.
First, I must admit, that we were extremely fortunate. The neighbors right next door to us and across the street from us got at least 18 inches of water throughout their entire house (if not more) while we only got a few inches (if that) and not throughout our whole house. I am thankful for the prayers and support, and can't complain too much because our situation could have been a lot worse.
I woke up Thursday morning to Aunty Irene yelling to Jan to wake me up and have me move my car. I had heard the rain all night but nothing really registered in my head. Maybe because it was 6 in the morning, but even the panic and urgency in Aunty and Jan's conversation didn't phase me. I thought it was trash day and I had left Foxy on the street. In case you didn't get it before, Foxy is my car, I won't explain it again! I rolled out of bed and then asked what was going on.
Aunty screamed, "GREG! Go move your car into the driveway, hurry, its flooding."
Having never been in a flood, I still wasn't that phased but quickly ran out to my car. The moment I stepped into the street I realized that the water was a lot deeper than I expected--up to my knees. It was almost level with my door and I could see Aunty's urgency in me moving FOxy. I pulled her into the driveway, but never in a million years expected the water to keep rising like it did.
Soon the water was waste deep in the middle of the street and knee deep in our driveway. I could literally see the water line rise higher than our back door and watched as the water started to spill into our house from the front door. I had seen neighbors evacuating their houses in canoes. I had heard the horror stories of neighbors houses being 3 feet deep in water. We quickly tried to flood proof our house as best as could (every towel or sheet was used in the process) and then prayed for the rain to stop. We watched powerless as the water kept rising, but miracle of all miracles, the rain did stop!
Luckily the rivers and drains that were clogged got unclogged and our little town drained. The damage had been done already. The water was knee-deep in our garrage and so we went to work cleaning it out. The carpet in our house was ripped out as well as most of the houses on the street. It looked like a total disaster zone as everyone tried to clean up quickly.
I looked inside Foxy and she had about 3 inches of water in her. I started to scoop the water out after we had finished cleaning the garrage, but then the rain picked up again.
So all day Friday was spent cleaning, helping neighbors and worrying about Foxy. Turns out she won't start and about 4 or 5 other cars got towed away because they all drown. I keep hoping Foxy just needs to dry out (inside too because she smells aweful, but don't tell her I said that) and then she will start up good as new, but i'm starting to have my doubts :(
The bad part is that Foxy may never get the chance to dry out! It started to rain hard again tonight-technically it's saturday morning at 2:17 am but since I still haven't gone to bed we'll count it as Friday night. It was the kind of rain that caused the flood, but it didn't last as long. The Thunder and Lighning was unbelievable though. It was so bright and so loud it litterally shook our house like an earthquake. No, I'm not exaggerating and Yes I've experienced several earthquakes so I know what they feel like! OUR HOUSE LITTERALLY SHOOK! I don't know when this rain is going to stop, but it needs to! A telephone pole went down blocking the road to get out of Laie and then if by some miracle your car could leap over the telephone pole the road fell off into the ocean a little ways further! The other side has landslides and ponds blocking it so the rain really needs to stop if I'm going to fly home for Christmas.
So along with Me, add Foxy to your prayer list and All the people in Laie. Many of them didn't have flood insurance and many lost all of their furniture.
Friday, November 14, 2008
“There are young people in the Church of whom I am proud and concerning whom I have a great sense of gratitude and a compelling sense of optimism.
In saying this, I do not wish to imply that all is well with all of them. There are many who have troubles, and many who live far beneath the high expectations we have concerning them. There are also those who waver in their faith and who are troubled and frustrated within themselves. There are some, I regret to say, who step over the line of acceptable behavior and suffer great tragedies in their lives.
But even considering these, I have great confidence in our young people as a whole. I regard you as the finest generation in the history of the Church. I compliment you, and I have in my heart a great feeling of love and respect and appreciation for you
Each time I have stood before a group of young people, there has come into my mind the great and prophetic statement made by Peter of old. Said he: ‘Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light’ (1 Pet. 2:9).
I know of no other statement which more aptly describes you, nor which sets before you a higher ideal by which to shape and guide your lives” (from Ensign, May 1992, 69).
Now, check out the video entitled Generation WE: The Movement Begins-
Interesting, huh!? I haven’t read the book, but I think I will in the not too distant future. I like the idea of “Generation We” though. It’s an inclusive term. As the world continues to get worse and worse, I believe that my generation is capable of doing the most good of any other throughout all time. I think for the most part we are open-minded, peace-loving, and despite what our elders may think, motivated! WE are unique and diverse and soon will be very powerful.
So I raise a question that I hope you will all take time to answer:
Does this new generation scare you, or inspire you? Why?
Monday, November 3, 2008
“You can dress your argument up however you like it but you're still a homophobe just like all the rest of the ‘yes on 8’ types.”
“God’s laws were handed down for our benefit. HIV and AIDS, while no longer exclusive to homosexuals, are still much more rampant and spreading more quickly among the gay community (at least in the western nations).”
“Vote with your conscience, O Progressive, for there are many Conservatives who will vote without one. NO ON PROP 8...if you have a heart.”
“The only thing that gays have to benefit from this prop not passing is calling their same sex union marriage in an effort to try and legitimize their alternative relationship. They are trying to make people accept their relationship as a norm.”
“I have seen little tolerance from opposers of prop 8 personally. I have been yelled at, had my sign stolen, called a hater, bigot, been flipped off, etc. Where is the tolerance from them of me standing up for what I believe in?”
As I have looked up the discussions going on about Proposition 8 in California, I have become very disappointed at the lack of Tolerance coming from many (Both Yes and No Supporters). The arguments have often turned discriminatory, rude, and full of prejudice. It makes me think how sad it is that one Proposition and the differing opinions about it can turn California into such a crazy place! It makes me anxious for the elections to be over so that hopefully people can start to think straight again.
Dictionary.com defines Tolerance as:
"A fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry ."
Proposition 8 is a sensitive subject and challenges individuals to have to prioritize many different values like equality, religious freedom, sanctity of the family, agency, and civil rights. Not everyone will place the values in the same order and not everyone has to agree about it, but that does not allow for either side to make intolerant and bigoted statements about a person’s sexual orientation or religious affiliation. The discussion should be grounded in arguments for or against the proposition. Careful consideration should be made and research about the consequences of either voting YES or NO before individuals cast their votes in a few days.
Remember that tolerance needs to be shown on both sides and sensitivity should be used when entering a discussion about Proposition 8. Also remember that not ALL homosexuals and not ALL Mormons think the same way. The beauty of America is that we don’t have to. So let’s all please be careful not to be so quick to group people together and form unsavory opinions about them.
For further reading about YES on 8:
For further reading about No on 8:
Saturday, September 20, 2008
We packed a lunch—well a huge ice chest big enough to feed an army actually—consisting of eggs sandwiches and tuna sandwiches (because we had vegetarians in the mix), yogurt, chips, pudding, salsa, crackers, and Ane’s seven layer dip! We ate and laughed and swam. The lagoons there are perfect because there are definitely no sharks! LOL!
We had soooo much fun that we decided to do it Thursday too! But Thursday came and our group got significantly smaller—just Ane, Ui and Me. On the way home we discovered the best sandwich shop in the world—Storto’s Deli in Haleiwa! Amazing!
So then we dropped Ane off because she had to go work in the temple and Ui and I decided to pick up a new friend, Nephi, and head back to the beach—this time Sunset. We stayed and swam till the sun went down. I decided that this time around I am going to take full advantage of the beach.
Ui and I made a pact to go at least once a week! We got our own beach crew and definitely our new favorite spots! I decided that the beach makes you forget your problems and brings some peace of mind. I do have to admit I got burned pretty badly but it’s all good…hopefully it will turn to tan! LOL!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I arrived at the airport yesterday at like 3:30 and my flight didn't leave until 5:55 so I had plenty of time to observe the people who would be on the plane with me. I saw that it was going to be a full flight.
One person, in particular, caught my eye. A heavy set, middle-aged gentleman, wearing a bright pink shirt, rolled-up jean shorts, and a dangly turquoise earring in his left ear. I quickly said to myself, "I hope I don't sit next to that person!" As I boarded the plane I looked for my seat 31A and guess who was sitting in 31B? I suppose it serves me right, but to make matters worse he was quite chatty, smelled a little of B.O. and took up my arm rest so that every once in a while my elbow would touch his extremely hairy arms....yuck! Let's just say that it was a long flight cramming myself against the wall to get as far away from him as possible.
I know, I'm a total snob, because he was a nice person, he was just way too up in my bubble!!!! But I made it to Hawaii safe and sound! So the adventure is just begining....
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I hate packing! Of course if you are an organized person, you might pack weeks before you make a trip, but I like to put it off as long as I can. I woke up this morning to my mother asking me to pick up my Dad. I stumbled out of bed, much earlier than I am used to I might add, and stubbed my toe on the wall. Not my big toe, not even my little toe, but strangely enough my fourth toe--You know, the one right next to your little toe. It freakin' hurt, but I ran downstairs to hop in the car to accomplish my task like the good son I am. LOL! While I was driving, I thought to myself, "Hmmm...I still haven't rented a car for tomorrow, found a place to live, or packed anything!" Yikes, I hate packing!!!!!! Did I say I hate packing yet? Well, if you haven't gotten the idea yet- I HATE PACKING! So I do what comes natural to me...avoid it like the plague!
Instead of packing, I found other activities to occupy my time....
I picked up Dad from the Chevy dealer, and then the whole fam damily went to honeycutt farms (commonly referred to as the Ham Shop) for breakfast. I had a Ham, Cheese, and Avocado Omelet After the Ham shop, I discussed some business opportunities with my Madre and nailed down the Hawaii plans a little more with my Padre and then decided to get ready for the day because I needed to go to the Banco! I showered and got dressed and rocked my new red sunglasses that bought in Santa Monica a few days earlier! LOL!
We had finished dinner, Mom's famous Quesadillas, and enjoyed a round of Jeopardy in which Mandi asked, "What's a Vatican?" and a whole episode of Wheel of Fortune later, I was ready for a field trip. We hopped in the Escalade and bumped the music and headed out of the Garage.
Even though the original plan was to go to Claim Jumper for dessert, Mom convinced us to go to Cold Stone so that we could bring her back a treat too. So we headed to Cold Stone and I got Chocolate and Cheesecake ice cream with strawberries mixed in. Yum Yum! My favorite!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The Old Dogs: You know the saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." Not so with these two. If you can wake them up, they are quite entertaining. They enjoy heated games of "sets and runs" and watching old westerns like "the magnificient seven."The Papa Dog: I guess you could call him spot, because sometime you can spot him there and sometimes you can't. Papa dog had to drive back and forth to work a few days a week.
The Veteran Dogs: These pups have had lots of experience with the Doghouse and know how to do lots of tricks. They can wakeboard, stay on a tube, and pack a couch full of bodies.
The Idaho Dog: Likes potatoes and speaks Finnish, but comes around mostly in Summer. Funny story is that he wore this shirt in front of my friend Bubs...a Hawaiian Dog...LOL! (It says Hawaiian girls have nice coconuts)
The Cousin Dogs: Its always fun when the cousins come out, but Uncle Kenny is a bit like the paparazzi with his new interest in photography.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
My family went to our friend Gerald Allen’s missionary setting apart. When we arrived I noticed that the scene was strangely familiar to my own setting apart almost four years ago—I know I’m old! We walked in the door and the Hales were there, their son Derek is on his mission in Baltimore, Maryland, and I was in Hawaii when he got set apart, but I have a feeling that it would have been strangely familiar as well. The Allen’s had prepared food, and my mother was helping set up the table. In walked my old young men’s president, still helping boys go out I see, and then we all waited sat there waiting for the stake president.
When President Smith walked in, the ceremony began. He was asked to speak, and he said something that I will never forget: “I pretty much knew everyone that was going to be here today!” That’s how he began his testimony! He had déjà vu too! As he said that, I became really grateful for the wonderful people in the room.
I am very lucky to have had such a support system while I was on my mission and Derrick and Gerald are too! I am so proud of them and their decision to go on missions. They are great examples to me and they will make great missionaries.
I have gotten to see a video of Derrick while he bore his testimony and I know that he has changed so much for the better and I can’t wait for that to happen to Gerald as well!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
But while I enjoy watching all the other events tremendously, I totally love the swimmers! Seriously, Michael Phelps is the man!!!! He is freakin’ amazing at everything he does. I was a swimmer in High School and I totally appreciate the sport and can see how amazing Phelps’ strokes are. He has to be part fish! I mean, I’m watching him swim the 200 Butterfly (Which is the hardest stroke and the distance would kill me) and he is amazing. There are no words for it. His Dolphin kick is flawless! AND HE WINS THE GOLD!!!!!!
Michael Phelps is not the only amazing swimmer though. I think that my favorite race was the 4X100 Relay with Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak. It probably was the best race of all times! NO, I take it back…It WAS the best race of all times!!!! If you missed it, you have to You-tube it or something because it was amazing. Jason Lezak anchors and swims the fastest split time ever to come back and beat the French, who had previously said they were going to smash the Americans. It was incredible! WAY TO GO GUYS!
Swimming is usually an individual sport, I mean you get points for your team, but when it comes down to it, you want to get first. The comradery that is involved in a relay team is an amazing feeling. If you win, you win together, if you lose you lose together. Its just a great feeling! Anyways, I guess you get the picture! I’ve decided that my kids are going to be Olympic Swimmers! No if, and, or buts! LOL!
On a side note, I can’t wait for the pole vaulting….I know that’s weird, but I actually have been hired to write articles for this pole vaulting site (www.vaultingpoletips.com) so you can check it out and see some of my work. All I gotta say:
“GO TEAM USA”