Thursday, May 31, 2007


last night, one of my residents seemed to confirm what God directed me to do. after i gave my two-weeks-notice (after lots of prayers, tears and conversations about this difficult decision!), i was really having doubts if i did the right thing. my boss (and one of the nurses who happened to be in the room at the time) were very convincing in trying to get me to stay. i felt a little confused about my actions and asked God to give me a little confirmation that i had been obedient.

later that evening, one of my residents didn't seem to be oriented to time and place. she told me that she had just gotten fired. i offered my condolences for this unfortunate incident, whenever it occured. she told me that she hadn't been technically fired, but instead had quit a very difficult job. she told me what a hard worker she is and all the employers at all the jobs she's had, have appreciated her efforts. but this job was far too much, according to her. she said that she wasn't willing to stay at a job if it was killing her to do so. she wasn't willing to sacrifice her health or her family in order to do well at an impossible job.

i told her i agreed with her, especially since the same was true for my situation. talk about confirmation.

i also got told by a resident that she "wasn't born behind a pumpkin, you know." God offered confirmation and humor to my evening. as always, he provided just what i needed: reassurance and laughter. and messages on my computer when i got home from friends who care about me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

mahalo for choosing j & j tours!

Wednesday, May 9:
Pearl Harbor, Gyotaku for lunch
Beach/Shopping/Swap Meet
after all our fun sight-seeing, pearl harbor was a bit sobering. being there made me miss poppop. alot. i saw things that i knew he had experienced or things i just wanted to talk to him about. but he isn't here to tell or talk to. i was struck by the similarity to my own age that so many of the soldiers had. i was blessed by learning of the brave actions of some of the men that day: -men like the true hero who held a light so all his comrades could escape, but did not leave enough time to escape himself. -men like the true hero who ran to his car, drove as quickly as he could to his plane and shot down enemy bombers with great risk to his own safety. -men who showed their heroism by helping others to escape. -men who knew the truth of john 15: 13 and showed it through their actions. "greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

after our time at pearl harbor, we made a quick stop at the swap meet to buy a few last souvenirs. then we went to jodi's favorite restaurant growing up. i have a feeling it was like a&w for our family. =) except that there were no hamburgers or french fries to be found. but lots of delicious sushi! for our last night in hawaii, we bought plate lunches and took them to the beach. it was such a beautiful evening. i got to swim, look for seashells and be at the beach one last time. afterwards, my room-mates decided that they had an overwhelming desire to have their nails done. so for the second time in my life, i enjoyed a pedicure! pretty pretty. after the pedicure, we went to the bowling alley to meet up with jenny and her friends, including samson. i think one of the best parts of hawaii was to meet all the people and places that are important to jenny and jodi. after introducing them to my life, i finally got to fully understand theirs.
mahalo for choosing j&j tours! =)

dolphins and dancers, oh my!

Tuesday, May 8
Sea Life Park opens @ 9:30 AM
Eat Lunch at Zippy's
Mochi Ice Cream
Luau @ Paradise Cove

what a full day this was. my sunburnt back was somewhat painful, but i was determined to not let it ruin our day of fun. we started with the drive to sea life park, which is almost on the complete opposite side of the island. i think the dolphins were my favorite animals there. we got there right when the first show was starting, so we got to see the dolphins in action to start of our time at sea life park.

we also saw the penguins, jodi's favorite. apparently, it is a common misconception that penguins are only found in cold places, because, as the sea life park worker informed us, these penguins were native to tropical places and enjoyed hawaii.

we got to watch a turtle feeding. although they were fed all kinds of vegetables, it was clear that the lettuce was their favorite. =)

waiting for the last dolphins show to start-this one had the whalfin performing as well-a dolphin and whale mix. it was slightly bigger and darker than the other dolphins, but didn't seem too different.

after our long morning at sea life park, we went to zippy's for lunch. chicken katsu! yum! then i got to try real mochi ice-cream which was different than jenny's creation in our apartment in oregon. i had chocolate ice-cream covered in strawberry mochi. we went back to jodi's house briefly before heading out to the luau.

julianne and i made braided crowns, with flowers on the right side to show our single status. we all got tattoos (temporary of course.) mine was of a plumeria. jenny's didn't stay on her arm very well, and became imprinted on julianne's shirt as well as jenny's arm. we ate lots of food and had virgin pina coladas and strawberry daquiris. we learned that hawaiians say "ah-LO-ha" and "shah-ka!" enthusiastically at every possible occasion. =) they also call everyone "cousin." julianne and i happily adopted these "customs", much to the dismay of our local tour guides. =) jenny made us promise never to say those things in front of her friends. jodi just laughed.
we watched the hula dancers and the costumed people dressed like the royal hawaiian court. we played "traditional" hawaiian games, which i was very bad at, especially the spear throwing. it was a fun day of being a tourist.

Monday, May 28, 2007

a phone call

i've had people praying for me these past weeks as i've been struggling at work.

it feels better than anything else to be held up by those who care so deeply for me-
who care enough to pray
to carry me before jesus when i am tired and weak.

tonight jodi called me and encouraged me as only a dear friend can.
i know that her prayers, along with those of so many others have given me the strength to finish the task that has been set before me. i've had amanda writing me from alaska, loving me from far away. i've had whitney still acting as my prayer partner. i've had my family pray with me and hold me when i've cried.

i know that he has given me all i need. tonight as i lay in bed weary, wondering if i'm doing the right thing, he sends me a phone call, offering me a friend to show me his love.

i think one of the biggest lessons of this past year is where to look for the presence of jesus in my life. i have found jesus' love to be seen in the most visible forms in those he has placed around me. in their encouragement, he encourages me. in their interceding for me, he intercedes for me. in their love, he loves me.

i've felt his presence so much in the past few days. what a wonder it is to see jesus in other people.

Friday, May 25, 2007

more than enough

"perhaps today your burden is greater than your capacity. tell the Lord, for he will either lighten the load or, by his power, increase your capacity to bear the burden." -nona kelley

i read this quote this morning right after i woke up. the night before i had discovered that i was scheduled to work more than i could ever want for the month of june. my job was turning out to be more challenging than i anticipated. and i was feeling overwhelmed by all the days i was scheduled to work. i wanted to cry...oh wait, i did. i was worried that God would increase my capacity, when all i wanted was for my burden load to be lightened. =) after talking to my ever-wise parents, i felt better. i realized that i needed to work less or quit, which, even though it was the last thing my heart wanted to do, my body was more than ready to do! i hate quitting, but when i surrendered that possibility to the lord, i felt so much peace. i had friends praying for me. i had my family's support and prayers. before my shift today, i went in to talk with my boss, presenting the idea of working part-time, which she agreed to without questions! even though i'll be working on my birthday, i feel like my load is being lightened. i will still need his power over the next two weeks before my part-time schedule begins to fully take effect and even after it takes effect, but he has been my strength ever since i started there and i know he isn't going to leave my side.

thank you for being more than enough. you know me better than i know myself and provide for all my needs. thank you for your care for me as i care for others. you are so good to me. thank you for your peace. you are more than enough.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

dear jane

oh, how i love jane austen. is this not one of the truest statements? how quickly i have observed this to occur, even with my own recent crush. did i just confess to that aloud? which i must add, is no longer present, in any case someone might be wondering...

"a lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment." -pride and prejudice

back on oahu

Sunday, May 6
-Church -Bellows -Surfing/Boogie Boarding -Dinner with Jodi's whole family

i got to go to sunday school with jodi, even though it meant waking up earlier. =) i met her sunday school teacher and found her to be as enthusiastic as jodi described her. i also got to meet quite a few of her college friends...including matt.

i loved going to her church, even though i felt pretty white there. i was definitely the only haole in the sunday school class. her pastor spoke such truth, especially with his hawaiian/southern accent! one of the coolest things i have ever heard.

after church, we went to jodi's favorite beach: bellows. not only did i get to boogie board, but i attempted surfing! matt was a good teacher, but my lack of coordination seemed to hinder me from performing satisfactorily. =) after my many attempts i did manage to stand up though! even if it was for just a second...

it was so fun to meet almost of all of jodi's family! how i would love to have all of my family so close. eating so much food and laughing with people who love jodi so much was completely wonderful. so was trying melona bars for the first time! a new favorite...along with guava juice.

Monday, May 7
-Ali & Jodi go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay
-Julianne & Jenny go shopping at Pearlridge, Waikele Shopping Center
-Iolani Palace -Traditional Chinese dinner with Jenny's family

i loved snorkeling. i'm so glad jodi preferred the water to shopping. i was able to be so close to whole schools of fish that i could have touched them if i had been able to stretch out my hand. time seemed to fly when i was in the water. jodi and i had our underwater camera, but had trouble knowing if we were even taking decent pictures with our masks on! the fish were so beautiful. some shimmered, while others had all the colors of the rainbow. i was glad that water prevented me from speaking as i was watching the graceful swimming of these creatures, because i don't think any words could express the pleasure i obtained in being a part of God's creation. even though we spent hours there, i think i could have been there even longer. and yes, i did see several humuhumunukunukuapua'as, and yes, i can say their name. =)

before we went to dinner with jenny's family, we stopped to play tourist a few more times. apparently our trip to hawaii would have been incomplete without pictures in front of the last queen of hawaii, king kamehameha, the only palace in the u.s. and the capitol.

dinner with jenny's family was fun. i discovered where jenny gets her need for cleanliness. i had trouble containing my laughter when jenny's mom reached across the table so as to wipe out each of our cups with napkins. jenny sheepishly explained that chinese restaurants are not always the most clean places. to show his good nature, jodi's dad proceeded to help her clean the plates on our side of the table. i don't think he was worried about the state of his plate, but wanted to prevent jenny's mom from hurting herself from reaching over the table!

i'm not sure i've ever seen so much food. i think there were 9 courses, including the rice. duck, crab, soup, tapioca...i felt like the food just kept coming! and her family kept encouraging us to eat, and eat more. i must say that i was very hungry, so i did not have too much trouble obeying their instructions! yummy.

my favorite adventure: kaua'i

Thursday, May 3
Kaua'i – night 5:35-6:12

Eating Korean
Staying with Uncle Dennis

we flew into this beautiful island after a full day in waikiki. it felt a little strange to be on the plane for such a short amount of time: less than 1/2 hour! we stayed with uncle dennis and enjoyed pool and the ever-present food. the view of the mountains from his house was incredible, but it was only the beginning of all the beauty to be seen.
Friday, May 4
Jodi's birthday
Leave by 8
Waimea, taro patch, Wailalua
Staying with Uncle Maurice

we left early that morning to begin our drive around the island. we picked up one of jodi's friends, leesa and she joined our party. i loved the curvy roads, the beautiful scenery and the rural hawaii.

we stopped to visit an old friend of jodi's family who owns her own taro patch. she was very gracious and explained all that goes into growing this traditional part of Hawaiian meals.

jodi's birthday lunch at mcdonalds!
spouting horn! we stopped and watched the water spout every few minutes. jodi was the master photographer, able to capture the moment when the water shot up!after we arrived at uncle maurice's house, he took us swimming only a short distance from his house. jenny had a swimming lesson. julianne was scared of the sting ray which turned out to be a rope. i jumped off the pier and swam until the sun went down. it was completely wonderful.

Saturday, May 5
Beach - kayak, boogie board
BBQ dinner
Come back at 8:05-8:34
i'd never been at anyone's house who had their own bananas! although they weren't ripe enough to eat, i was impressed nonetheless. my favorite fruit that uncle maurice grew was called a "cream apple." it wasn't really like an apple, but more like a creamy kiwi. he was happy to see that i enjoyed them so much and even supplied me with some to take back to jodi's house.
more sightseeing and shopping that morning! i thought the taro patches looked like a patchwork quilt from up high.plate lunches! uncle maurice gave me the "healthy one." even though it still had fried chicken, spam and teriyaki beef, i got a green salad and brown rice instead of macaroni salad and white rice. =)my favorite part of the day was kayaking. i got to kayak on the gentle waters of the river, and then in the ocean. i got to go up river by myself and was amazed at the peaceful beauty that surrounded me. i don't think i have the right words to describe how wonderful it was or the emotions i felt being there, but i know that God met me there.

i loved kaua'i. i don't think i was ready to leave the untouched beauty to return to oahu, but the short time we had there was such a gift. visiting the wet and dry caves, kayaking, swimming until the sunset and taking a small hike were some of my favorites. i know that someone of my room-mates felt much more comfortable back in oahu, in the comfort of shopping centers and tourist attractions. and as much as i enjoyed those things, this was the best part of the trip for me. getting to experience the beauty of God's creation in such a real way was better than anything else.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

letters to ourselves

today lucy and i celebrated our birthdays by having lunch together, which was far from enough time to catch up on each other's adventures. how i have missed her! sometimes when i'm at school, i wonder if i'm just imagining that we are as good of friends as we are. maybe we've changed and aren't the little girls we used to be...

its true that we aren't little anymore. after all, lucy turned twenty today, and i'm only 2 weeks behind her. but she is as dear to me as when we played with addy and felicity, had sleep-overs, dressed-up and had imaginary horse races. oh wait. we still do dress up and sleep-over. =)
after a stressful and overwhelming first week of work and being "up," being with lucy was so refreshing. we read the predictions/letters we wrote to ourselves in april 2002, over 5 years ago. we were so off on some of our thoughts, but not too far off on others. today we wrote another set of predictions/letters about the other be opened in 2012.

maybe being "up" isn't so bad. lucy doesn't like it anymore than i do, which is strangely comforting, making it a little easier.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

acting like a tourist

Wednesday, May 2
Swap Meet – Leave @ 6:30?

wow. this was the day for shopping. bargains all over the place, and jenny showed me how to get prices even lower. i bought lots of souvenirs for my family and lucy.

Liliha Bakery, Chinatown
we stopped at the bakery, and got cream puffs. those were delicious. i got a chocolate one. we drove through chinatown on the way, and then stopped to see jenny's grandparents who were completely adorable. they barely spoke english and we didn't speak chinese. but we smiled at each other and jenny did most of the talking. =)

Like Like Drive-In
yum. i had my first loco moco: hamburger patty, rice, egg, gravy. yum.

Walmart/Sam's Club
more souvenirs.

Ala Moana
mall shopping. i bought stamps for all the postcards i had bought at the swap meet. julianne bought her sun-kissed hello kitty at build-a-bear, and i bought jodi her birthday bear, complete with scrubs!

Check in @ hotel Ocean Resort
since jenny was feeling sick, we met her at the hotel. after seeing our room, we headed to the beach. my favorite!

what can i say? i love the beach! water+sun+sand=happy alison!

Waikiki - strip
after dinner with jenny's dad, we walked down the strip. we watched balloon men. we window-shopped. we got invited to a dance club. (no thanks.) by 9:30 we were all tired and headed to bed.

Thursday, May 3
Eat @ Jenny's dad's restaurant @ 7:15 AM
more yummy food, including my newly discovered favorite, guava juice.

Diamond Head – leave by 7:50
what a fantastic view! although complaints were heard by certain people the whole way up, i thought the uphill climb was well worth it. and besides, good practice for walkabout in august!

Check out of hotel by noon
and get ready for heading back to jodi's house

we walked around some more. we stood by the statue so we could wave to our families, via the cameras at the site & the internet. we took pictures of ourselves and acted like tourists.

Be @ Jodi's house by 3
kauai here we come!