Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pomp and Circumstance, Part II

So yesterday (as many of you know) was the December graduation ceremony for the BYU-Hawaii, and Jobi -- after all the kicks and screams -- finally joined them. Poor guy still has homework left to do, but the ceremony was so amazing that I just congratulate him somehow. So I'm going to devote this post to him... since he doesn't read our blog anyway. hahahaha

I know it's a far shot, but that's Jobi up there, shaking hands with Bro. Christensen. I know in his mind he's thinking, "how the crap am I gonna finish two 10-page papers in 3 days?" But the men on the stand smile for him obliviously.

Then came the part of the ceremony that stood out from the rest: Jobi's commissioning ceremony. For those who don't know, this was basically my mister's personal graduation ceremony from the ROTC program, which upon completion of the ceremony he immediately moves up from a nobody (cadet) to a somebody (2nd lieutenant). It's usually held in a more intimate setting with only family and friends, but since he was the only cadet to graduate this semester (and I'm pretty sure there were some scheduling conflicts as well), the university let his commissioning be part of the commencement program.

And I'm so glad it was!

CPT Saui'a (a BYUH 1997 graduate) swore him into office. All eyes and ears were on these two, taking in each word of the oath, trying to understand what was being said. When the oath was sworn, the entire room stood in applause. A standing ovation! For one man! My husband! I was in awe.

After the oath, his parents went up to the stage to pin his rank onto his jacket's shoulders. He now looks official. Isn't he handsome?

These were some of his buddies that came to support him at the ceremony in their dress greens. From L to R: Jason, Rafaele, and Micah (who took all these pictures. Thanks, Micah. You always got his back.)

And here are Shaka and Jared. Jobi has made some really good friends in the ROTC program here. We will miss them greatly.

I'm still shaken up from the buzz of his graduation, and how awesome he looked in the tacky Army dress blues! I know he's still stressed and he doesn't feel like any of this was for him right now, but I do. I was in the same predicament as him when I graduated (I turned in my senior paper the week after graduation), but he is doing just fine. I'm so proud of him. He's worked so hard, for all of us in this little family, and it's finally coming together. He's the best.

I love you, Sweetie.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

November-December Update

Ok, people, I'm having issues again with Blogger's picture and video uploading. I don't think this system likes me very much. So this will be another picture-less blog... which is sad because Aissa took some really cute pictures of us for Christmas.

They don't look Christmas-y, mind you... Nothing's really Christmas-y in Hawaii!

So I'll just let you know what we've been up to...

We spent THANKSGIVING in Nanakuli with Henry's family. Jobi said he went there a lot before his mission and they were pretty much like his second family, so I was fine with us going. Besides, they said we didn't need to cook, and that was music to my pregnant ears. It was TONS of fun, and there was lots of good food and good people around. We ate at lunch, took a nap, went to the beach, played cards, ate dinner, played pool... and all the single people stayed up until Black Friday. Of course I was out all night, but I sent Jobi to go Black Friday shopping with them early in the morning (they got to Target at 4:30 -- a sister had been standing in line waiting for them since 10:30 the night before) to get the experience. He didn't want to buy anything, but he thought it might be fun, too.

He came back with over $200 worth of "presents" for us.

I'm not even gonna tell you what they are -- I'm still in shock over the whole thing. Ask me later, if you really wanna know.

So that was our Thanksgiving. Good times.

The next phases on our list: GRADUATION, MOVE OUT, HOLIDAYS, and MAUI.

  • GRADUATION is coming up in just short of 2 weeks (December 18 -- woot woot!) and Siope and I have lots to do for it.
  • We MOVE OUT of TVA (and consequently Laie) on the 21st, so we have to send things home, sell/give away things we can't keep, ship our car, and pack for the HOLIDAYS.
  • We are spending the HOLIDAYS in Utah! Our very first Utah Christmas! (I'd say our very first "white" Christmas, but Jobi served his mission in Mongolia...) I know it's not home for either of us, but my sister Lans has Christmas all figured out this year, so we are crashing their party. We're sooooooooo excited!!!
  • After New Year's, we'll be joining the rest of our stuff on MAUI, and that's where we'll be for the time being. I don't know how long we'll be there, but I'm pretty sure our second baby will at least be born there.
I'm still really lazy so my main priority of packing and shipping everything has been going 1-speed right now. It hasn't hit me until this morning that we're leaving, because up until last night I wasn't sure that we actually were. It's a long story and I'd rather not explain it, but at least now we know that my mister will graduate (and that I quit PCC at the right time after all), and so we can get going. Jobi's priority is graduation and commission, and that in itself is going to be a job-and-a-half, so I can't expect him to help me. (But I hope he knows that he can't expect me to help him, either.)

I feel like I'm rambling. I'm losing my train of thought... Ok, let me make my last point, and then I'm done.

This year my family's theme for our Christmas Gift Exchange is "A YouTube Christmas." Since we're all over the place now and strapped for money, we figured this will be a way everyone can get a present and get it on time. I haven't made my present yet, but I made Almonds's present for her cousin the other day (Sam and Bree's newborn son, Roger), and I was so excited it was done that I gave it to them already. So I'm gonna share it with you all. And yes, it's on YouTube already.

P.S. Sorry the song's redundant. My family will appreciate it, though.........   right guys??


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Happy Birthday to You"

This post was supposed to have been posted on Saturday... In attempt to upload video, it froze and refused to thaw out... Until now.....

The past two days were devoted specifically to our little one. Thursday was her birthday, and for most of the day it was just me and her sitting at home feeling my "morning" sickness. Jobi had to be in town all day that day in classes and exams and everything, so it was up to me to make sure Almonds was having a good birthday. Needless to say, she wasn't having any fun and spent a good amount of time crying to me about it.

Luckily we had to go to the chiropractor, so I packed us up into the car, loaded up on snacks and water for the both of us, and braved the trip to Kaneohe. The drive down Kam Hwy on the windward side is bad enough if you aren't sick, but if you are and you're the driver, you end up saying lots of prayers. And thank goodness for prayers, because Almonds and I made it safely to Kaneohe and Jobi, without me throwing up and everything. We had an extra hour before seeing the chiropractor, so I begged Jobi to let us eat somewhere before I pass out. So we went to Farrell's in the mall:

And because it was her birthday, they blew a big horn and the whole restaurant sang "Happy Birthday" to her. Here is her first birthday ice cream:

After we ate there, we had a little bit of time, so we walked around the mall... and guess who we ran into!

For those of you who don't know, it's my oldest brother and his family. He and his wife don't really like being in pictures, so I took of their kids with Almonds. And while she was playing with them in the play center...

Jobi went into Borders to read a book.

So thankfully, her day ended well, and we threw a huge party for her the next day. (Don't even get me started on THAT!!!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

In commemoration of Halloween, I was going to share my favorite zombie dance clip from YouTube... but then it got disabled. Then I was going to share my second favorite... "Uh, yep, he's missing, too!" (What movie is that from?)

So here is a Thriller performance live. Enjoy.

If that one is too long to watch, how about a funny parody of Harry Potter:

Friday, October 23, 2009

She Ate It! With Her MOUTH!!!

For those of you who didn't follow my status update on Facebook yesterday... Almonds ate a gecko yesterday morning. For those of you who DID read that news... yes, I'm still shaken up over it.

Here's the story:

I was walking around the house getting things together. (For the life of me, I can't remember exactly what I was doing -- but I know I was doing something!) Almonds started crawling into the kitchen and searching on the floor for something small to grab. Luckily, I thought, the floor is clean of anything small, so I shouldn't have much to worry about. As she started reaching under the oven (like she always does), I turned my back to her to focus on something else (again, it WAS something... something important...) for a minute. Then I stepped over her in the kitchen to pour myself some juice when I noticed she was sitting upright and chewing.

Hmmm, I thought (still recalling that the floor was clean), maybe she's fiddling around with her new teeth.

I drank my juice and left some for her. The juice was part to distract her so I can see what's inside her mouth, in case something really was in there. So I squatted down with my cup of juice; she looked at the cup and began to reach for it, but suddenly stopped her action and proceeded to spit out what was in her mouth. It was a dark greenish brown color, slimy with perfectly circular black spots. What could that be, I thought? I pulled the small lump out of her mouth and tossed it into the trash.

I was right, I thought, that was slimy. Too slimy.

It missed the trash can and landed on the kitchen floor, but I didn't yet pay attention to it. Almonds took the cup and drank the rest of the juice, and while she did that, I crawled over to see where the mysterious slimy thing had landed. I took a good look and gasped.

It was a baby gecko. And it wasn't moving.

I almost cried with disgust. I scooped her up, flushed her mouth out with water, brushed her teeth, prepared her a bottle of formula and had her gulp it down. My mind was racing: Where did she find it? How did she catch it? Why hadn't I seen it? How could I have stopped her? Is she gonna be ok? Is that thing really dead on my kitchen floor? Did she break it into pieces? (No. That answer was obvious: it was still whole.) *shudder* I thought geckos were fast. I thought she would never have picked up a moving creature. What if she'd swallowed it? What if she choked on it?

I flushed my own mouth out with water, and downed a lot more liquid than I had had in a while! Then I tried to call Jobi, who wasn't answering because his phone died (stupid phone). And when I couldn't reach him, Ame and I went to my neighbor Rachel to vent to her.
Almonds, on the other hand, didn't seem affected by it at all. Apparently, something about the "food" was distasteful to her, hence her spitting it out and wanting a drink. But other than that, she was (and still is) alright. I've been monitoring her every minute since then, and she's fine. I think it's just me who isn't fine. I put the news on my Facebook status, and evidently everyone has something to say about it. The ones that hit me the hardest, though, were from my siblings --
"WHAT the HECK?! Can you watch my neice so she doesn't pick up freakin animals and eat them?! HOLY COW, GROSS!! and you were standing by watching, what in the world!"

"...i leave for 3 months and this $£¡¥ is going on, lol. wat the heck? give her a camera not a gecko."
After a long day of dealing with it and other not-so-happy things, and then enduring another consecutive day of unfortunate events, I can't help but take these personally. Eek! I'm only human, people! (Breathe, Dassa. Breathe..........)

Ok, I'm done venting. And that's the end of the story.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Her Own Strength

So about the PS3...

The short of it is that Almonds broke it.

The long story isn't that long, either. We hadn't gotten any new toys for her to play with, and so a lot of times she just converts whatever she can get her hands on into her own toy. So far she's used pens as witch wands, jar lids as cymbals, ID cards as chew toys, and a whole bunch of other things.

The PS3 became her new drum.

Boy, is she strong. When I go to work and Jobi watches her, oftentimes he'll just leave her to play on her own while he plays a videogame (or two). So apparently when he plays with the PS3, so does she! (hahahahaha!!!) She hit it so hard that at first the CD inside couldn't come out. Now, not only is the CD stuck, but the whole thing won't play. One day I came home from work to Siope's shrieks (more like grunts) of nos and look-what-you-dids and I-can't-believe-it's-brokens.

So now... the PS3 is broken. Jobi is upset. I am thrilled. And Almonds now has toys her own age!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We Interrupt This Program

... to wish my sister, Sapi, a happy BLEATED 36th birthday! I cried when I didn't remember until 10:00 that night, because right at the time I remembered, we were dancing "Aloha 'Oe" for rehearsal.

Thanks, Vick, for making this video of her...

"I'm missing you like crazy" sis, "And it shows." I love you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Mother's Lullaby

Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. in the BYU-Hawaii Stake Center, there will be a memorial service for Amanda Gunter. All are invited. We have been told to wear bright, happy colors, as that is what she would've wanted.

Some music will be sung. Some of us friends had gathered together tonight to practice some music for the service tomorrow, and some of the songs we are singing are lullabies. These lullabies are Timothy Max's project/gift for Levin and Ansley, and the texts have been written by some members of the Concert Choir.

I think about 10 lullabies are ready to give to Levin's family for tomorrow, and two of them will be sung by our little choir. Both of them are absolutely beautiful, but one in particular keeps stopping me in my tracks. It's called, "This Song I Sing for You: A Mother's Lullaby," lyrics written by our dear friend, April (Fisher) Alexander. The words are so simple and so basic, but I can't help but feel sad knowing that this is a love song from mother to daughter, and Amanda will never be able to sing this song for Ansley on this Earth. As a mother, that pains me. I can't imagine not being able to sing for Meliame again. Just knowing that the opportunity to physically share my love for my children with them has been taken... I know it wouldn't hurt my children nearly as much as it would me, but it's a sad thing. And I only pray that Levin as a father will be strong through this tough time, and that they will always remember Amanda's love for them.

Ugh, I can't stop crying, even as I'm writing this! Anyway, here are the lyrics to this lullaby (thanks, April):

1. A day like this, I'll give to you,
Of golden sun and morning dew,
Of passing clouds and sunsets too,
A day like this, I'll give to you.

2. A night like this I'll give to you,
Of silver moon and stars so true,
Of quiet winds and stillness thru,
A night like this I'll give to you.

3. A song like this I'll sing to you,
When golden sun and stars so true
Sing my heart and love to you,
A song like this I'll sing to you.

Death is never an easy thing for the living to cope with. No matter how often it passes in our lives, it will always affect us. Shake us. Remind us of who we really are. And what our lives are really about. Death teaches us lessons, and each life taken from us is a new lesson learned. I learned to cherish the moments I have with Siope and Meliame, to always show people how much I love them, and to enjoy life, every minute of it.

If anyone who knew Amanda and Levin are reading this, please come to the memorial tomorrow (or today, depending on when you read this). If you can't make it, please keep the Gunter Family (and Amanda's family, though I don't know her maiden name) in your prayers.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Quote of the Day

JOBI: What are we eating for dinner, Hon?
DASSA: I thought you ordered pizza!
JOBI: Didn't you hear me say 'let's go home and eat?'
DASSA: I thought that IS where you eat pizza... at HOME!!!

Sent from iPod Touch

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pride, in Its Glory

Right after mister went for a run, he decided to watch some TV. MI:3 was on; he was elated. Laundry had to be done -- my turn. Baby wanted someone to play with. Then he changed the channel to play CoD4... and he was hungry for breakfast.

That was just to set the scene for this "Dang Langis!" story.

DASSA: [holding basket of laundry] I'm having a dilemma.
JOBI: [playing CoD4] Mmmm.
DASSA: These clothes need to be hung out on the line, and your breakfast isn't ready yet... Would you be willing to help me get your breakfast ready by putting these clothes on the line for me?
JOBI: (to the TV) Oh, crap. Stupid move.
DASSA: Well then, how about this: I'll hang up the clothes, and you make your own breakfast?
JOBI: Why don't you just put them in the dryer?

DASSA, enraged, ignores his remark and walks out to the line. Clouds roll in. She hangs the clothes on the line.

It rains.

She walks back in the house, ignoring the rain. She then proceeds to make her own breakfast and hopes that her husband will be hungry enough to pine over the scent.

The eggs burn and the rice dries out.

She sulkily eats her crispy breakfast as JOBI's soldier walks into an abandoned classroom with an MK-17.

Is there even such a thing as MK-17? I just made that up.

Anyway, moral of the story: Don't be prideful. It'll backfire.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dear Mama,

Before I came into the world, you were already a seasoned professional at birthing, nurturing, and raising daughters. In fact, you were already a pro at life...

You were a graceful dancer, a lovely singer, a consistent athlete, a magnificent cook and baker, a proficient linguist in at least 7 different languages (including pidgin), a shrewd businesswoman, an incredible leader in the world as well as the Church, a team player, an analyst, a mathematician, an editor, a writer, a teacher, an artist, a politician, a computer expert, a distribution center, a grievance counselor, a caretaker..... The list can go on and on, and on, and on...

The point I'm trying to make is that I have a true Superwoman for a mother, and I am so proud to be your daughter.

Today is just short of the 6-month mark for me being a mother, and I have so far become the following: an awkward cook, a messy organizer, a court jester, a how-to bookworm, a wannabe interior designer, and a horrible 3-point shot. I realized that you, Mama, made motherhood look like a piece of cake, and I need a lot of practice.

But aside from the new roles I play, I have also learned some new skills: cooking (I'm still awkward, but at least I cook!), organizing, making a bottle with one hand, motivational tips, event planning ideas, relaxation techniques, crying on demand, storybook reading, and the art of distraction. I also have realized some new things. For example, it is totally possible to love somebody so much it makes you cry. (Shout out to Brandi!) You think you've given all your love to your significant other and you don't have any more to give -- just wait until you become a mother. (Fathers get it too, don't worry.) Suddenly, it's as if your body has a reservoir of love that magically bursts open from out of nowhere. It flows out of you without your permission, and you then become a fountain, which showers all your love on one single individual.

I've also realized that the joy of motherhood comes in the little moments, not necessarily the big accomplishments. For example, Baby still can't crawl yet; she can barely sit up and only roll over when rolling off pillows and the couch. I think she's behind, and sometimes it worries and even irritates me. But when she smiles at me, when she puts her tiny arms around my neck, when she holds out her arms for me to hold her, when she makes silly faces or sounds like, "up" and "ohm," and when she sleeps peacefully in her daddy's arms... those little moments make the big feats insignificant. I can't explain them, but I love them.

I know that being a superhero is a learned thing. Everyone is born with the potential to be a superhero, but only those who fuel that potential with the right desire will actually live to become one. I know that you, Mama, are a superhero, but I didn't know that I can be one, too. I, too, can be a multitasker, an analyst, an entertainer, a diplomat, an event planner, a businesswoman, a financial advisor, a real estate agent, and so on and so forth. I can multitask caring for a baby, tutoring my husband, and going to work. I can analyze what meals I can make with the ingredients we have at home, or analyze what needs to change in my schedule if Baby gets sick. I can still sing and make music, even if it's just singing Baby to sleep or playing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." I can plan birthday parties and prom nights, and resolve conflict between 2+ children. I can maintain order and discipline in our home, establish good work ethic, give allowance (or not, hahahaha), look for places for our family to stay, etc. If that isn't a superhero, I don't know what is.

So, Mama, I want to say thank you. Thank you for all the times you made me play the piano, for now I can fill my own home with music. Thank you for all the times you made me make rice, because I know you never gave up on me developing cooking skills. Thank you for all the times you made me fill out my own emergency cards and permission slips, because I am never afraid of paperwork. Thank you for all the times you told me to "look it up in the dictionary," because I know how to find answers to questions I have. Thank you for telling me to "water the plants," because I know the little things are just as important as the big things. Thank you for telling me to change my attitude, because I now know its value and importance. Thank you for telling me, "don't ever say you can't do it;" I've done more things than I ever imagined I would do because I took your advice. And most importantly, thank you for telling me you love me, because for a superwoman to love me that much...

I am the luckiest girl in the world. I only hope that my own daughters feel the same.

Happy Mothers' Day,

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Langi Quote of the Month

I was going to try and write this experience in the "Quote of the Week" area, but it's the entire conversation that needs mentioning.

Jobi and Dassa drive to the airport. Jobi begins to get sleepy behind the wheel and has Dassa massage his hand to stay awake. Dassa secretly wishes she had a massage herself.
JOBI: Are you fully focused on massaging my hand?
DASSA: What do you mean?
JOBI: Are you putting all your focus on massaging my hand?
DASSA: [confused] Of course not.
JOBI: What else could you possibly be focusing on besides giving my hand a massage?
DASSA: Oh, come on. Don't tell me you've never split your focus when you give massages.
JOBI: Of course I don't. That's why my massages are so good.
DASSA: Oh are they?
JOBI: Yes.
DASSA: (Letting go of JOBI's hand) Show me.
Jobi takes Dassa's hand and proceeds to massage it. He then realizes what Dassa has just done. Dassa laughs.

Friday, February 27, 2009


My friend Jen always puts her random dreams on her blog, so I thought maybe I'd try and do that with mine. Most of my dreams I forget when I wake up, but the ones I do remember... still don't make sense, honestly. Some of my family have deep and poignant dreams, where the dreams will tell them something incredibly important, or their dreams will be this amazingly elaborate story. I'm not so lucky. But every once in a while I'll get lucky and score a decent dream. :-)

This was the last dream I remember.....

I was in some kind of cocktail shack at a beach I had never been to before, waiting for Siope and Baby to finish whatever they were doing and come pick me up. I remember sitting on a stool, looking out at the ocean, and thinking that Siope and Baby should be here in about half and hour to forty-five minutes. I also had an image of Siope and Baby in my mind, and Baby was about 3 or 4, and she was gorgeous. And Siope was her best friend. Tourists were walking by; some were on bikes. But none of them were alone. I turn to the bar to order a drink (seeing if they have lemonade or something), and Kent Salisbury was wiping off tables. (Kent is an old coworker from the Reading/Writing Center on campus; he has a borderline-snobby personality with an extensive vocabulary, but we had tons of fun together. He dated a mother of 2 teenage boys from Mexico; they married quickly and left, and I never saw or heard from him again.) He seemed to be the owner, because he was happy wiping down tables, like the shack was his baby. We got to talking as if we were never away, and he was telling me about the people that pass by and come in to the shack. He also told me how good the waves were. He asked me what I was doing there, and I told him I was waiting for Siope and my daughter. I asked him how his wife and family were doing, and he fell silent. I saw him for about 3 seconds looking at me without speaking, then he disappeared. Literally. He just vanished into thin air, and I was alone in the shack with a lemonade in my hand. I looked back to the beach and thought, "Siope and Baby should be here soon. My poor Kent." Then I woke up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Why Do People Say "Aloha From Hawaii?"

Does it mean that they're in Hawaii and they're saying "Aloha?" Or are they remarking that "Aloha" is a Hawaiian word? It seems redundant that one would say that.

A lady spoke in a sacrament meeting yesterday. I don't remember what it was about, but she told a story that caught my attention. She sells quilts and jewelry and things at the PCC mission home, and their earnings goes toward students' education. One day they weren't selling enough quilts, and she and the other sister in the home prayed for the sale of quilts so they could make their earnings goal for the day to help the students. Toward the end of the day, a couple came by and bought three quilts, which satisfied their goal for the day.

That's it. That was her experience she shared. She shared that as a testimony of the Lord's hand in our lives.

Of all the testimony-bearing stories I've heard throughout my life, this one is probably one of the least effective to me. But I watched this lady's face, and she was teary-eyed; this little experience moved her. From seeing how it affected her, I've gained an even stronger realization of miracles and how the Lord is present in every aspect of our lives. I was very appreciative of it, so I decided to recognize the "little" miracles in my everyday life.

- Some nights I get so tired that I just can't wake up for Baby; if she cries, I can't even hear it. But those nights are when my mister comes to the rescue and cares for her.

- I gave Baby a bath one night and my phone fell in her bathwater, but the phone didn't short circuit, so Baby was completely unharmed. The phone was fine, too.

- The carrier came in, and the wife of the seller said that her 4-month-old didn't like it at all. Luckily, our 2-month-old does.

- My parents now have a better internet connection, so they can make more calls and write more emails than they had before. Even though that has almost nothing to do with me, I know that they were praying for that, and now I'm glad they have it.

And, of course, every day of life is a miracle in itself. I'm deeply grateful for that.