28 November 2010

Christmas Craft Time

So, it's Christmas time again! Very excited! This year we're keeping it bare bones, but that does not mean boring nor does it mean no decking the halls! This year, I'm creating Christmas from scratch. Between nursing school, planning the regional Christmas party for my husband's company, making Christmas crafts/decorations/gifts has been strategically planned out and penciled into my calendar. So far, so good!
To hold my growing collection of favorite recipes (mostly scribbled on the back of receipts, mail, etc), I made this:

It's fairly simple and took about twenty minutes. I saw something very similar in a StampingUp! catalog and decided to make my own version.

If you want to know how to make it, let me know. Otherwise, just copy it from the picture and use whatever accessories you have to make the apron fit you and your kitchen! I'll be giving a few of these away to some friends with some of my favorite holiday recipes tucked inside. Just an idea!

24 November 2010


I love trees. Not enough to hug them routinely. But staring up at their branches as the sun or moonlight peak through the branches, especially those large, extensive trees that seem to branch off smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller before finally reaching the end.

Sometimes, if you squint, the darkened leaves become the blurry background to the starry constellations of light peering through. Try it.

I love napping under trees. One afternoon, after napping under a tree, I noticed how playful trees are.

All you need is a little wind tickling through the branches to make them dance and rustle, swayinjg from side to side. I love it! The sound and sight are soothing and entrancing like staring into fire.

Strong sturdy trees, as playful as they are, are secured by the trunk and anchored by the roots. Playful, fun-loving, firmly founded, and secure. A lot like a respectable person. Firmly founded but not rigid. Fun-loving but secure. A tree well-watered, sun-bathed, and nurished in rich, firm soil.

22 November 2010

Cut and paste.

Life before cut and paste? I can't remember it. Typing, re-typing, or...writing and RE-WRITING? Wow. What a chore.

I'm amazed at how our minds function and the capacity we have to learn, think, remember, forget, communicate, and feel. And the ability we have to create "commands" such as Cut and Paste, Undo, Copy...and then create shortcuts for these already ingenius short-cuts (Control X, Control V, Control Z, Control C).

Ever wonder if we will ever discover a way to short-cut ourselves out of life? I mean, I can express a thought on paper, then with a few clicks, save, upload, email, post, and reproduce copies around the world in under a minute.

Write a letter with a pen and paper once in awhile, read an article printed on paper, call a friend for directions instead of mapquesting! Life is a process. Love, joy, relationships, it all takes time, and with all our short-cuts, let's not forget to endure the process so we don't cut ourselves short on life, on living.

16 April 2009

the loooove chapter.

"Love is patient, love is kind...." I hear it all the time! I Corinthians 13

i went surfing early this morning then got to class in record time. here's my post-surfing, pre-class meditation from this morning as shared with a friend via gmail-chat.

i was just reading "if i speak in tongues of men and of angels, but have not love...etc. Love is patient, etc.

i always think of those verses as guidelines to my relationship with people - how to love them and to express God's love through me to them....and to show God that I love him....BUT, how do i practice this love - patience, kindness, gentleness, etc - with God...in my relationship with Him?

I think i just assume that because he's Love, that's that. How am i letting (or not letting) the spirit work on my relationship with Him. Am i patient with God? Am i kind and gentle? Not that he can't handle my impatience or at times harshness resulting from hurt or frustration...but what characteristics do i practice or not practice in my daily interaction with him...my prayers? my attitudes?

i got some serious thinking to do on this one! i so easily resort to "expressing" my frustration....and sometimes that's necessary and i believe he wants it. but i definitely don't need to be in a habit of doing so all the time.
anyway. that's my post-surfing, pre-class meditation this morning

23 March 2009

such is life....

exams went well....i'm still enjoying my classes and find them....interesting.

my cousin gave birth to a handsomely hairy, healthy boy last night. birth is.....interesting.

my uncle-grandpa (grandma's sister's husband) passed away....tonight. i was sitting on a comfortable deck bench in target when i found out....interesting. :(

i was telling april about a very, very precious, special conversation grandpa and i shared yesterday....i got teary-eyed as we sat on the comfortable deck bench in target....interesting.
it's almost 11pm and the only thing i want to do is go for a run, which i'll do...but because it's getting late, i'm going to run on the busy streets of ward to avoid dark, potentially scary sidewalks at ala moana park...interesting.

i enjoyed a long surf session at what's become my normal spot and met a guy whose family is from iran and even though he's never been there, i felt an affinity with the very indirect connection we share because of that one time i lived nearer to iran than ever before in my life....interesting.

yesterday, i really missed my brothers and their consistent invovlement in my life.....their consistent, relentless looking out for me and proactively taking care of me. i miss being taken care of....interesting.

did i mention that while surfing today, the back tie on my suit became undone......interesting.

my sister's friend's boyfriend's brother is in town and i've been selected to be his date for tomorrow night....interesting.

such is life....interesting. at least, that's the way i see it. little adventures of interestingness, one day at a time.

26 February 2009

Of sorting soil...one handful at a time.

I'm not sure sorting rocks from soil is my ideal plan of attack for a sunny Saturday. In fact, I'm not sure it's anyone's. So, how did I, after a busy week, end up with handfuls of rocks and fingernails full of dirt on a sunny, Saturday afternoon?

Well, since you asked such a wonderful question.....let's rewind a few hours.

Saturday morning:

7am - wake up
8:30 - drop off Mom at a conference in town
8:45 - jog around Ala Moana beach park
9:00 - take Grandma and Grandpa to buy their weekly supply of papaya from the farmer's market
10:30 - coffee break with Grandma and Grandpa
11:00 - about 20 police officers infest our driveway, guns out, inspecting a vehicle and the empty lot next door
11:15 - Janean and Grandpa enter the garden........
11:35 - Janean wonders, with a handful of rocks and fingernails full of dirt, about all the more efficient methods of separating the rocks from the soil in the garden....

I mean, seriously, there are plethoras of ways to get this job done. On top of many other methods, there are also a ton of other things that need to be taken care of in the garden, which we'll probably NEVER get to because as I sit here, one handful at a time, Grandpa sits on the other side of the garden, one.handful.of.rocks.and.soil.at.a.time.


I think you get my point.

In the summer of 2006, I spent a lot of time gardening with Grandpa. I loved doing whatever he needed me to do - rake leaves, pull weeds, transplant orchids, and other tedious, time-consuming tasks. It didn't matter, though, because I loved spending time with him. Watching his then 90 year old hands masterfully tend to the needs of his garden. I enjoyed this time so much, that I decided to spend one semester at home with him and Grandma instead of returning to Seattle.

One thing I have always loved about being in the garden is the quiet. I work. I listen. I think. I think about how much I passionately dislike slugs and snails for all the damage they cause to the plants and wonder if there's any good that comes from their existence. I think about how much I enjoy getting my hands dirty and how much more I enjoy lathering up and watching the dirt go down the drain. I think about the intricacy of plants - their sensitive resiliency. I think about how this garden, the tangerine trees, the orchids, anthuriums, lettuce, onions, green onions, herbs, birds of paradise, and all the other plants whose names I don't know....how they all reflect the time and energy of a man who daily returns to tend to their needs.

Three years later, I still enjoy spending time with Grandpa in the garden. But today. Hot sun. Lots of soil. Lots of rocks. Lots of OTHER things I could be doing in the garden.

And then, it downs on me. I came out here to help Grandpa get things done in the garden. As if there's a list of things that need to be finished before we can call it a day. As if, somehow, my help will make a significant contribution to accomplishing this list. I came out here ready to get it done, cross it off the list, and move on to the next task. And here I'm sitting, looking across that garden at Grandpa, patiently sorting the rocks from the soil, one handful at a time.

How often do I approach my life like this? Wanting to learn more. Wanting to get stuff done. Wanting to accomplish or achieve a significant amount in order to fulfill this need to produce results. Yes, there are many legitimate things that I need to work on, task that must be accomplished, and goals that should be achieved. But today, Grandpa helped me realize a wonderful aspect about God. Today, I will refer him to Him as Grandpa God, The Gardener.

My Grandpa didn't choose gardening as his hobby because he likes to get things done. Don't get me wrong, he's a hard worker. But there will always be more weeds to pull, more soil to sort, more orchids to transplant, fruits to pick, vegetables to plant, branches to cut...There will always be more that needs to be done. But Grandpa simply ENJOYS spending time in the garden. He loves to see the fruits of his daily, faithful labor. He delights in the dreams he has, the potential he sees for each young seed planted. He faithfully returns each day to ENJOY his garden. He ENJOYS watching the produce of his sweet labors of love.

And then there's Grandpa God, The Gardener. And my garden of life. And your garden of life. Each day, he faithfully returns because He ENJOYS me; He enjoys YOU! Yes, we all have weeds that need to be pulled, rocks that need to be removed, snails and slugs that need to be killed, fruit that needs to be picked, leaves that need to be raked. Yes, He sees the potential that we each have to be vibrant, lush gardens of life full of sweet fruit, organic vegetables, and exotic foliage. And yet, regardless of what still needs to be done, He ENJOYS being in your garden of life. He enjoys spending time with you. He's NOT always sitting there going down a list of things that need to be fixed in your life. If He was all about production and results, gardening would NOT be His hobby. You and I would not be His CHOICE creation....His hobby, if you will.

But we are His choice. He chooses to spend time with us. Enjoy us. Love us.

I know I'm not always the choicest soil....and yet, Grandpa God, The Gardener faithfully returns, day after day, and patiently prepares the soil in my garden – my life – for plethoras of plants still unnamed, unplanted. He patiently sorts the rocks from the soil...one handful at a time.

May you make time to sit and ENJOY your garden of life with Grandpa God, The Gardener. Enjoy being enjoyed. Love being loved. Don’t miss out, because He’s not.

05 February 2009

in no time at all.

it's crazy how time flies. i was just reading a blog from about this time last year (Secret Love Notes) .....i remember it being a difficult time. i don't remember all the details of difficulties, but i remember the lessons i was learning...i remember standing outside, waiting for the sun to peer over the horizon. it was egypt and it was cold. i was tired and exhausted. i didn't want to teach. i didn't want to talk. i just wanted to be warmed. i wanted to be comforted. standing behind the little make-shift snack shop, the lyrics to a song that i still haven't listened to ran through my mind...i had memorized the lyrics after reading them....but still haven't heard it sung. anyway, the lyrics are nice......but in those few moments of feeling cold, tired, and empty, that's all they were, lyrics.

then as the sun began to shine, i closed my eyes. i only had a few minutes, and i knew that if i stood very still, the sun would do what it's good at...warming. and it did. it wrapped its rays around me. and that song began to play in my mind....in my soul....and i began to hear it all around me.

part of me doesn't ever want to hear this song played. for me, it has a melody that no instruments can play, no voice can sing....it's like a verse in our love song....and today, i heard Him humming the tune....and i realized, i haven't been listening. today, i stopped. i stood very still. i listened....

About Me

My photo
Hawaii, United States
trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.
O, dreadful is the check — intense the agonyWhen the ear begins to hear and the eye begins to see;When the pulse begins to throb, the brain to think again,The soul to feel the flesh and the flesh to feel the chain. - Emily Bronte, "The Prisoner