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Archive for August, 2014

Last year we switched from a parent-only approach to teaching to the help of an online school.  Our first year on the island it was all me, and with a part time ministry job it really sucked the life out of me.  Moving to a completely new environment without the family support and familiarity made homeschooling even more difficult.  The families that we had been spending our dance and music time with were no longer available.  Taking out the full time teaching has given me back creative time which lets my brain engage the youngest when she needs help with a class.

I’m excited that this year she will write more, read some great classics, have a study hall to help her with any needs she may have with math or science, begin her voyage into French, and study American History up until the early 1800’s.  We have also made music and theater the big focus for the year.  Anyone who knows us may ask how is that any different?  It comes down to her commitment to rehearsing and staying in shape.  We will spend more time practicing, memorizing, and exercising.  It’s not a have to.  It’s a want to.  She should have quite a story to tell by the end of it all.

With a week and half until we are in full swing we are hoping to enjoy the rest of our summer break.  It’s a little different here because seemingly the summer never leaves.  Oh sure, there is actually sweater weather for about a month, but for the most part, if we are willing to drive, we can find sun somewhere on this island.  It’s just finding the time to enjoy it.  This year have blocked out adventure time during the week.  It could be a hike, or a paddle, or just enjoying a good book on the beach.  That whole schedule is still a few days away, so my question for now is what shall we do TODAY?

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Last night was one of those worship leading experiences that leaves you wondering, “How in the world was I allowed to sit behind that piano and lead these ladies in worship?”  It wasn’t a complete train wreck but it had a moment where I thought I was out of my body watching my hands all of a sudden switch to a completely different key.  My biggest fear is that my leading would be a distraction instead of an attraction.  This group is very forgiving, and honestly they don’t need anyone to do anything except start the song.  They love to sing songs of praise.  Thankfully we were able to end it on a good note.

There is a danger when you sit down to lead and your heart and mind are not in the moment.  In that situation I lose concentration quickly if I don’t keep things in check.  I had been distracted by my thoughts of my family.  Changes in school for the oldest, the start of school for the youngest, missing my family back in the Pac NW, family hurting physically and emotionally all cascaded at one time.  One would think that at my age it would be easy to put away those thoughts into a neat compartment only to be opened when I wished it.  I’m finding that’s not the case.  I’m created a certain way, and it’s my job to make sure that I take every thought captive, keep my mind in the right place so that I find peace.  I guess it’s a constant thing.  It’s not something that I can just snap and change about myself.

So, how do I prevent this from happening again?  Take a few moments to myself before I have to step out on the platform.  That five minute countdown should be used to breathe and pray.  Easy fix.

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The storm passed, but not without causing some damage.  Our church ohana in Kona is safe and sound.  Puna, also on the Big Island, was hit the hardes,t and will be without power for up to 6 weeks.  This time of year is very hot and humid.  It makes not having air con or ice even more of a bummer.  Hopefully things will be restored quickly, and the outpouring of help with continue.

Last night we expected to be hunkered down another severe storm system.  The second hurricane heading our way, Julio, veered north and completely missed our lovely set of islands.  We were a little disappointed to not see more wind and rain, but we are so thankful to be safe.  Plus, the already saturated ground needs a little time to dry out.

Even though we didn’t experience a hurricane we wouldn’t change how we prepped for these last two storms.  It’s a very good thing to have what you need.  Being prepared gives one a lot of peace.  Knowing that we can care for our precious pod is a huge relief.

The saying goes “once and homschooler always a homeschooler.”  I learned a couple of new things about hurricanes and the Sandwich Islands.  Only four hurricanes have made landfall on the islands in the last 100 years.  The Big Island has a natural hurricane buster.  When the hurricane hits the Big Island the volcano is so big it breaks up the storm.  The doppler radar shows this amazing natural phenomena.  I also learned that wind shear, usually a bad thing with things like flying in an airplane, actually works to our advantage in a huge storm because it also breaks up the storm.  Kauai wasn’t so lucky 22 years ago when they were hit by Iniki.  It didn’t have that buffer.  We are praying for a very boring rest of the hurricane season.

 

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Our latest adventure surrounds the buzz of the impending tropical storm.

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When the locals are loading up on bottled water and canned goods a person tends to pay attention. I was reminded that it takes the boat a while to arrive with supplies.

We’ve discussed how we feel about it. We are cautious. We don’t live right next to the ocean or an inlet, so a storm surge isn’t an issue. A power outrage is really on main concern. We have a disaster kit from our PAC NW days that we just replenish from time to time. I think we are pretty secure.

We just need to plan a storm watch party, hand crank up the emergency radio, tie down the kayak and BBQ, and pray for safety over our chain of islands.

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The likely hood of making military friends while living on The Island is quite high, and we have already said good bye to two families over the past year.  I have decided the process of making new friends only to have them move a few months later absolutely stinks.  I have also decided that the fruit you receive from putting yourself out there is totally worth it.

Every few years these families pack up everything they own to start over in a new place.  Yes, they signed up for this, but no one understands the unique pressure this puts on a family.  Each of the families that we have gotten to know have endured multiple deployments to scary parts of the world.  The spouses of these soldiers are strong and caring, raising their children as single parents for months at a time.  They do admit to moments of weakness, wondering why they agreed to this life style, but they are deeply patriotic, deeply committed, deeply spiritual.  Their mobile life in the military seem to have given them a better understanding of gracious and inclusive living, and our transition to The Island would be not be as easy without them.

So, today we say “We’ll see ya when we see ya” to some special friends. The heart ache is deep, but we are better for having shared these past months of musicals, drama classes, youth group activities, camp, coffee dates, and fabulous text streams of laughter and tears.  God bless you McDees!  We’ll see ya when we see ya.

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