Thursday, August 19, 2010

SHOCKINGLY SETTLED

We still can't believe that we settled in Utah!!!
Everyone asks the BIG question???
Why in the world would you move to Utah coming from HAWAII??
I guess that is a logical question , but for us it is all about being in the right place. When we moved to Hawaii we moved everything and planned to stay. Unfortunately with the economy and the harsh realities that the kids did not enjoy being a minority even though their Hawaiian Heritage says otherwise.
We arrived in Utah for some family reunions and to enjoy the summer, all the while looking for housing back in Temecula,California.
We had work in Utah reveal itself and every encounter with friends and family always seemed to end up in the same conversation beginning with "Why don't you move here to Utah?"
Even our son Travis who is on his Mission said he would love to come home to Utah!!!
Did I mention that my husband and I swore we would NEVER!! live in Utah....EVER!!
I am still eating our words but to our surprise we are really enjoying it here.
The kids are all ready for school on Monday, Connor is playing football with Alta High, and our home is lovely,the area is so beautiful and our Congregation is truly sweet!! Our neighbors have welcomed us so kindly, it has been wonderful!!
Did I mention that I live in UTAH!!!!!!!!!!
We have lots of friends and family that live in Utah, it has been a joy to visit over the summer and reconnect with those we love.
I have missed my blogging friends, I am so sorry to have been absent for so long.
I am grateful for the new friends and sweet adventures that have happened to me in my move from Hawaii.
This is the first time in our 21 years of marriage that we truly feel blessed to be in the right place. I really would like to not move ever again. The kids need to all finish school and have a sense of roots and home.
As for me, Hawaii is not just home but it;s in my blood and it is with me always.
I;m sure on snowy days I will wander back to the 42 steps from my door to the gentle creamy sand and clear turquoise water lapping up on the shore and washing over me feet to greet me. Balmy,breezy night with plumeria teasing my senses....it will be in my heart forever....
and I am so Grateful that Utah has said to us "E KOMO MAI" WELCOME......

Friday, June 18, 2010

Our Sun is setting for our Adventure in Hawaii...The Land of my Father


And so it is that we are leaving Hawaii at the end of June. I have started to pack up the boxes and prepare for my Family to relocate to Southern California.....

I came to Hawaii to Honor my  Hawaiian Heritage and the Land of my Father ,that he was taken from over 65 years ago and he never did return because of the loss of his Mother that he never was allowed to see or talk too once he left the Islands with his Father and brother, both young under the age of 10.

The tragic story of my Father's journey , being torn from his Mother through an ugly divorce after Pearl Harbor was bombed and relocated to a cement jungle in San Francisco, far from the warm clear waters and gentle breezes and the sweet kisses of his Mother is what brought me home to Hawaii.

Since My Father died after I was married and had never returned to the islands, I felt that if I ever had the opportunity, I would come to the place where he treasured in his heart and honor him, through teaching my children the beautiful things of the Hawaiian Culture. This would be the ultimate ALOHA to my Father and Grandmother and the ancestors before me, to Honor them, to do there genealogy and to stand as a witness that they lived and were always loved, no matter how far the sea separated them.

I thought I was here in Hawaii to stay, but I know that our move back to the mainland is the right move. I will be forever grateful and honored for this exquisite experience...
and it isn't goodbye to Hawaii...only ALOHA O'E until we meet again....

Friday, June 11, 2010

WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

When I was in Utah in this past April, I was invited to bring my crazy group over to visit childhood friends of my Husbands, The Mangome's. We were invited for Sunday dinner. We had 6 people in our group. They had 8 people so, it was quite a party! Now, my Husband Al knew Suzanne from High school days and I knew Mark from High school days. But I had not seen Mark in 30 years. So, upon our invitation we arrived with flowers and a lot of chocolate cake. The majority of the group consisted of teenagers ages 12-22 and 4 adults, it was a blast to be with them.
As I was enjoying this homemade Italian dinner that began with an antipasti, crusty warm garlic bread,lasagna from scratch and shrimp scampi in garlic butter....ooooohhhhyeah..it was divine. Travis , my son and Aubree's boyfriend Ferron and Suzanne's son Tyler had a contest to see who could eat the most Lasagna!!

Well my son Travis won with "14" slices. Honestly I was embarrassed when I realized he had eaten that much. Mark and Suzanne thought it was the best thing ever and Travis was instantly bonded with the Mangomes!!  He is now the Lasagna KING!
This photo shows the results of 14 servings of Lasagna!!
So as we visited over desert, Mark looks at my hand and asked why I was wearing his wife's ring? The story of how we got our rings were a little different. Suzanne got hers for an anniversary and
I got mine from Al as he was trying to get out of the dog house!
WHAT ARE THE ODDS?

this is the Mark and Suzanne, they have 5 beautiful children, Nick,Tyler,Goose,Bella and Connor. They were wonderful to be with and ended up spending more time with them before we left Utah. It felt like being with Family that we had been missing for so long.
We are looking forward to seeing them this Summer....
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Friday, June 4, 2010

A TRIP TO REMEMBER...CROSS COUNTRY PROM

This is Aubree Ann our oldest daughter. Aubree is 17 and this was her first Prom. Aubree was invited to attend her old High School Prom in Preston Idaho. She was invited by a friend that she had known for the last three years.This Prom was to be their first date, when they met they were to young to date, so this was going to be their official first date. Now traveling to Idaho all the way from Hawaii was a long way to go just for a Prom!Aubree came to me and asked if this would be possible. Her Dad and I decided that if she was willing to earn her way and pay for her plane ticket by working for it, she could go.She agreed and said she was up for the task. Aubree had 3 months to earn $800.00 for her ticket.Yes $800.00!! Aubree negotiated with a special Family that we love and they agreed to let her babysit their 3 children exclusively and that she would be on call for them every weekend and week night that she was needed for the next 3 months. They agreed to 80hrs of child care and Aubree did it!!We were so excited for her and very proud of her diligence to work and earn her way.About one month before she was due to leave for this exciting adventure across country, Her Prom date text her and informed her that his new girlfriend did not approve of him taking Aubree to the Prom . Needless to say Aubree was devastated !! She was mostly disappointed and hurt that he had thrown their friendship aside for a new girlfriend. Aubree thought they had a real friendship and she found that this was not the case after all.So,being the Lioness that I am over my cubs, I called this young Mans Father to inquire about this decision and the Father felt that the new girlfriends feelings were top priority! So I closed the conversation by thanking him for the knowledge that He and his son clearly have no honor or respect and that we were clearly better off by not engaging with them any further. I was so hurt for my Aubree, but she gave this situation alot of thought and she decided to still take the trip since she had earned her fare and she would be with me and Travis to drop him off for his Mission in Utah anyway.Preston, Idaho is a very small town and our best friends still live there that we had planned to stay with during the Prom weekend. The word got out as to what her Prom date had done and another friend of hers called her and asked her if she would consider him as her date ? She was glad that she had another invitation so quickly and that she would be happy to accept.So we were packed and ready to leave with Travis to take him to Salt Lake City and then to head up to Idaho for the Prom.Now did I mention that Aubree has been talking to a young man who is my friends nephew, through all of this Prom Drama and he lives in Salt Lake City. So her plan was to meet  him for the first time while we were in Salt lake with Travis. Well they had been chatting for 5 months total before they were to meet on our trip. She was nervous and hoping it would go well.OK, so we get to Utah and our best friends from Idaho come down to Salt Lake to spend the week with us getting Travis ready for the MTC. Aubree's friend arrived to meet her and all of us and especially her older Brother who definitely wanted to give an approval of this new friend.  Well he passed with flying colors and turned out to be a wonderful guy, he also is leaving on a Mission to Atlanta Georgia in August. Aubree and her Friend were together every day while we were in Salt Lake City, we all enjoyed his company and She was in Heaven with this new handsome sweet guy that started out as a pen pal or text pal , and now has all of her attention!!!Well what about this Prom in Idaho? Oh yes, her new friend was aware of her Prom Drama and he drove all the way up to Idaho to spend the weekend with us after she was done with her evening at Prom.Yes, he waited with us while she was at Prom and we had a great time....Do you think they hit it off or what? lol..well I can tell you that Jake her Prom date was very nice and treated her to a very enjoyable evening....and the "Cou De Gras"was that the EX-Friend who had the new girlfriend came to the Prom and Aubree was fine, she handled it all with dignity and courage, she looked lovely and she came home from the Prom Happy! She did not let the Ex-friend get to her, she rose above it all and she got a Prince charming who was waiting for her return......they are still chatting every night by phone and she is hoping to see him off for his farewell for his Mission in August......whew....THAT WAS A TRIP TO REMEMBER!

,All's well and ends well!It was a trip to remember



FInally "12" her last year of Pre-teenness

I KNOW..........she doesn't look 12!!, well with 3 older siblings all teenagers, she just can't help it!
She will be going into the Young Women s Organization on Sunday .
She no longer has to attend with the primary kids and she is soooo excited.
We went shopping on her Birthday she got her eyebrows done for the first time and had  a makeup lesson form MAC at Macy's.
We shopped for a new church dress and ordered Chinese food and had an Ice cream cake for dessert.
She loved her cards and gifts  and wonderful Birthday calls from friends who sang their hearts out!
Her surprise gift was from the Mangome's from Utah who sent her an edible arrangement with chocolate dipped fruit and SHE LOVED IT!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MAKINSEE!
YOU GO GIRL!


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MAN ON A MISSION

Travis is doing extremely well on his Mission. His letters home speak of deeper sense of spiritually, a joyful sense of gratitude for his blessings and a love for the Spanish language that he is trying to master.Sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those who are searching for it is  a journey that he is finding true joy and he is humble and grateful.I have never been more proud of him .....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

COMFORTING CARROT CAKE......AND GREAT WOMEN

Today was a baking day for some comforting moments....We are trying to transition in our life with moving back to the mainland to Temecula,CA.
I remember when I started to blog last year we were packed up to move and our escrow from one of our properties fell through. I remember blogging about my frustrations and taking photos of the beach in front of my house, as I walked along the sand. I received a comment from my friend May in Minnesota, I hadn't known her when she left the comment, but I have loved her ever since. She reminded me of the beauty around me and to keep positive and remember my blessings. I was so surprised to even get a comment, but her comments really spurred me on to MORE blogging and to stay positive.Today I found my self frustrated in the process of our transitioning to the mainland, but I stopped and thought of my sweet friend May at
Currentlyontour.blogspot.com and I baked some rolls and made some carrot cake from scratch. Everyone enjoyed the comforting food today and we enjoyed our day together as well ,this is my Mahalo to May for being my friend when I needed one from so very far across the sea
ALL MY ALOHA
BRANDI
...........................here is the Recipe ...........................
PREHEAT 350 DEGREE
BUTTER AND FLOUR A 9X13 PAN
3 CUPS SUGAR
2CUPS VEG OIL
5 EGGS
1TSP VANILLA
-----MIX UNTIL CREAMY AND LIGHT----------
ADD---
3 CUPS GRATED CARROTS
1 CUP CRUSHED WALNUTS
1/2 CUP RAISINS
1/2 CUP CRAISINS
-----SIFT TOGETHER---------------
4 CUPS SIFTED FLOUR
2TSP BAKING POWDER
2TSP BAKING SODA
1/2 TSP SALT
2 TSP CINNAMON

---------ADD DRY INGREDIENTS TO WET MIXTURE AND POUR INTO A PREPARED PAN BAKE FOR APPROX 30 MINUTES...FROST WITH BUTTER CREAM ICING.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Makinsee's May Day

May Day here in Hawaii is a wonderful opportunity for the Youth to Celebrate in Native Polynesian Dance and also other cultures as well.
My youngest daughter Makinsee participated with her class in representing the Island of Hawaii.
Their colors and flowers are all very traditional.
Her lei and head piece were hand done and the flowers and plants come from the Volcano on Big Island.
We have  truly loved being part of our heritage, I feel really honored and blessed for my children to have the opportunity to know their roots.The best way for me to Honor my Father,and his Mother,my Kapuna(Grandmother) and her Mother is to teach and share with my daughters.

Hawaii is my heart, no matter where I am...
All My Aloha
Brandi

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

BACK TO MY LITTLE GRASS SHACK IN HAUULA HAWAII....

It has been a whirlwind trip to drop off my son Travis and we are all home safe and sound. The weather is a cool 70 degrees and a lovely breeze greets me through the palm trees.
I missed the ocean being so far from it in Idaho and Utah.

I had to get right in the water, it was clear and warm, the water is very healing here. I think it has a lot to do with the Aloha Spirit in the Islands.

Did you know that when the Islanders use to greet people, they would put their forehead against yours and you would  breathe in at the same time. It was to breathe in part of your spirit and share theirs with you.

I love the Spirit of Aloha and all that it stands for, it is in the breeze, the crash of the waves. the quiet reverence of the emerald green mountains..the air is filled with Aloha.
The sound "Ahhh" is the appreciation for breath..,.Alo means the presence of God with us and "ha "means breath, Hence the forehead to forehead custom.

I have just shared with you one of the secrets of Aloha......
Aloha Nui Loa

Monday, April 26, 2010

LOVING THE MOMENT!

Having a great time in Salt Lake with family and friends,Travis is so happy and excited to enter the MTC in 2 days,
I have been traveling with my two oldest and we are really loving the moments together.

I'll check in soon
missing you all
Aloha
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Friday, April 2, 2010

Wisdom?



 Today was the day for Travis to have all four of his Wisdom teeth pulled.He was very courageous and relieved that it is over and done.Now he is counting down the days to leave on April 22 for Utah and his new adventure as a Missionary.I thought this would be a good page in the Family journal to remember his final days at home...here are some facts about wisdom teeth,
They are generally thought to be called wisdom teeth because they appear so late—much later than the other teeth, at an age where people are presumably "wiser" than as a child, when the other teeth erupt. The English wisdom tooth is derived from Latin dens sapientiae.


I made meatloaf,macaroni and cheese and chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting,
hoping he remembers the comfort food and not the "WISDOM"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Favorite Artist of Hawaii



This is the work of Kim Taylor Reece, He is my Favorite Artist in the islands of Hawaii. He has a way of capturing the essence of the Beauty(Nani) of the Hawaiian and Polynesian Culture.
I would like to have a few of his pieces in my guest room someday when I am retired and I can share with my visitors, some the finer things of Hawaii, the classic ancient  Hula is something to preserve and enjoy, it is the true center of Aloha.
all my Aloha
Brandi

Friday, March 12, 2010

"LETS RIDE"

This is "THE BEST BIRTHDAY " I ever celebrated. My Sister Holly came from Arizona with her Husband  Jim and brought their Harley's, we rented ours since we did not own any at the time. We have owned Harley's on and off, but we  have always loved to ride...This was the first time I rode with Al on my own. He likes me to ride with him, but It was time for my own ride!

I was raised on motorcycles from the age of about 7. My Brother raced dessert bikes and so my parents belonged to a racing club. We spent many weekends in The high desserts of California and Nevada racing. For me, being on a motorcycle is home away from home. The Rumble of a Harley underneath me just screams "Cool". It's not about  the speed, just easy rider. There is a certain sense of confidence that comes over you when you are on the open road. It's free open spaces and the wind in your face, ahhhh...love it!
This was for my "40th". I was so thrilled to be with the people I love and cruise up the Coast of Southern California from Oceanside to Newport Beach on Highway 1 along the lovely West Coast.
We stopped at Olamende's  in Capistrano Beach for great Mexican food. It has been there since as long as  I can remember. We stopped in Laguna Beach for a cold drink at Las Brisas on the water. I worked there years ago as a cocktail waitress, oh yes, memories!

I truly loved this ride and the wonderful memories I will cherish forever. It has been six years since this ride and I haven't ridden since. It has been too long. Al and I are thinking we would love to ride here in Hawaii, but with 4 teenagers, our Harley dreams are still brewing.

Here is to the open road in Hawaii. This is a shot of the Highway out in front of my house ....
I'm thinking for my 47th this year in August....."LETS RIDE"
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Friday, March 5, 2010

7 Secrets


I love this motivational message...
I am including this in my memoirs..
for the "loving people" in my life and my Future Posterity
-1-

Aim high in all that you seek
only the Best within you
-2-
Be cool in keeping your temper bridled
a balance in all things

-3-
Every minute is so precious
The time we have is today
and only the promise of tomorrow
-4-
Reflect before you act
Wisdom is in the reflections of your journey
-5-
See the world
Live Life like you mean it
chose for yourself,
do not let society define you
-6-
Be up to date
be present
be punctual
No time for regrets, say your sorry
-7-
Push hard to achieve your goals
Integrity
a solid work ethic
By the sweat of your Brow
There in no substitute for
Accomplishment


I think I should hang out in my room more often!

Sending you all warm Hawaiian sunshine for a successful weekend..
Aloha
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Monday, March 1, 2010

Tsunami Evacuation in Hauula, Hawaii

WILLIAMS FAMILY -HAWAII TSUNAMI EVACUATION 2-27-2010


Does this look like an evacuation or Camping with friends?
Well I have to say it was more like camping last minute with great friends and lots of music. food , laughter and lots of visiting.

We had someone pounding on our door at 5am!! We were packed for evacuation in 45 minutes, we also packed for any chance of robbery while we were absent with the evacuation. It took a bit of coordinating, but each family member really pulled together. I am so proud of my Family!!!We gathered for a family prayer before departing our home that may or may not be there if the tsunami hits?
We gathered at our church building,built up on the hillside of our little town of Hauula. The Bishop of our church was stationed at the bottom of the driveway entrance, greeting the church members and community
as the procession of cars drove into the safe harbor of the parking lot around our Church building.People had smiles and were genuinely happy to see each other.
No arguments, just team work. It was surreal, were we really going to have a Tsunami?? we had to be prepared for at last three days, food,clothes and water, tents,sleeping bags etc...Travis my oldest hooked up his stereo to his converter and his car battery and speakers, Reggae music began to move through the air and people were dancing as they walked by to visit!!
Even our Boxer Duke, relaxed in the back of our old Cadillac with Nana,with no worries.
As I took calls from the mainland of worried family and friends, they were startled at our ease and peaceful spirits! My dear sister Holly cried when she heard my voice,I was taken back at her fear? Then it hit me , we were really in an emergency, but we were truly fine!!
We were at ease , we were safe, together and grateful for our blessings. We could of been worried and fretting over what could of happened, but that would of only brought uneasy emotions and unneeded stress.So we spent the next 8 hours fixing meals out of our coolers, sharing with nearby friends and snapping pictures off and on.
By 2pm, we were given the clear sign to return to our homes, our being 42 steps from the water, it was a miracle and we had just lived through it!

As we waived goodbye to our fellow neighbors and church members, we all had such a huge sense of relief and gratitude for the blessings of the day of safety and the love of our fellow friends and neighbors.

As we got home, the kids were exhausted!!! The emotional buildup of a possible trauma had found it's peak and they all headed for their beds. Not before we unpacked of course. They grumbled a little but not too much, it was so nice to come home to peace and safety. As I walked in the door, I knew that our home was not robbed or visited by any unwanted strangers. This brought tears to my eyes as my mind raced back to July when we were robbed on a Sunday while being at church.

All was well and we were home
We gathered for Prayer to give our thanks for being alive and safe and together....
All my Aloha
Brandi
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