Slight Turbulence

Bring it on, bring it on, bring it on. From here to the eyes and the ears of the 'verse, that's my motto. Or at least it would be, if I start having a motto.


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My Deciding Jar

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My Deciding Jar

My last blog post was about a Happiness Jar. Tonight I’m sharing my Deciding Jar. It was a gift from my girls (KidI and KidA). It contains about 100 slips of paper with QR Codes on each slip. The way it works is that I will scan the code to determine how much I will pay for their foot massages.

Two years ago, KidA thought it would be a neat idea to start a “loyalty card” for her services. She would punch my card every time I got and paid for a foot massage. Let me establish her skills at foot massages — she is incredible. Not only does she firmly massage all parts of the foot, she also will massage for a long time. At a certain point, I figured she should be rewarded for her skill and she set her price at $4 for a 30-minute massage. It is a great deal. Sometimes, it ends up being only 10 minutes per foot because she’ll get carried away in conversation or she’ll focus more on what is on television. She also insists on starting on a fifteen minute interval so that she ends “properly.” So I’ll have to sit and wait until it is 8:15 or let her stay past her bedtime to end at 9:15.

So I was happily getting my feet massages and paying her pretty regularly about once a week when she came up with the loyalty card. I was not very diligent about getting it punched. I had no idea what I would get if it was completely punched. Then last January KidA announced that all the punches were done, revealing my prize — half off massages for the rest of the year! Winner!

She admitted that she thought I’d finish the card back in October or maybe November. That would leave only a month or two of the half off price. None the less, all last year, I got my massages for only $2!

This year, she was a little more savvy and my discount ended at the stroke of midnight on the last day of 2014. No matter, I now have this ingenious “Deciding Jar” to give me the possibility of deal. Plus, KidI is in on the massages so really, I would have to say, a pretty great Christmas gift for mommy!

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Never Too Early

IMG_4336We went to a College Fair tonight. Yes, KidC is only a freshman and KidA is in seventh grade, it’s never too early to get them thinking about where they want to attend college.

Both have already determined they’d like to attend colleges away from home and possibly participate in student exchange programs for a few semesters. I’m excited for their goals. I’m more excited about how and who will finance these aspirations. Neither are athletically minded, so we need top grades and test scores to impress the purse strings of scholarship committees.

Tonight’s foray into the higher education experience was positive. KidC stepped up and chatted with a few school representatives. He saw the variety of majors and looked at admissions requirements. I was very proud of him. It is a huge decision and I know it will not be an easy one to make, but at least he has started thinking about things.

KidA on the other hand, well, I knew I was losing her interest early on when she asked if the snack bar would be open. Fortunately, I hooked her on the idea of collecting pens from  school representatives.

Hey, if I’m going to give a school a whole bucket full of money, I might as well get something in return!

 

I’m posting a blog every day this month for NaBloPoMo!

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Neighborhood Friends & Childhood Memories

LihikaiGrowing up I commuted thirty minutes to my elementary school. I lived in upcountry Maui and I attended Lihikai Elementary School down in Kahului where my mother taught seventh grade. I loved school. I am pleased to say that we Lihikai Surfers still keep connected through social media. I have very fond memories of my school days in what was originally a Kindergarten through eighth grade campus.

Since my mother was a teacher, I had to hang around campus after school until she finished work. School got out at 2:05 PM and she would work until 3:15 PM before we headed off to do grocery shopping, do errands, or sit at the library while my mom had more meetings. We sometimes wouldn’t get home until 7 PM.

I’d usually sit in her class and do homework. When I was older I also had “work” after school. I was involved as Junior Police Officer and the Student Council. We had drama club practice and cheerleading practice. I kept myself busy. It was nice to have friends there on campus after school. Those were great childhood memories — and then I would watch them walk home.

I’d say all my friends lived within walking distance of the school. I was envious. They left campus together and played into the evening in each other’s yards. They have stories of the manapua truck or cruising Kaahumanu Mall together or going to the skating rink on weekends. It was a life that I only could hear about because I lived in a different, far, far away neighborhood. By the time I got home, there were chores and then dinner and that was all. Weekends were filled with hula, gymnastics, piano, dance, swimming, or whatever other lessons my mom wanted me to attend and church. All filled with friends, but isolated within the activity and location.

So when KidA calls me at work to say she wants to just ride the school bus to FriendK’s house to finish homework and then stay for dinner, I’m probably living vicariously through her when I approve. It means her chores won’t get done until the next day. She won’t be around the family table at dinner time. She’ll even be a little more flighty and obnoxious than usual because she was with a gaggle of seventh graders for more hours than needed. I still approve.

That is why they attend our local school and not the school where I work. So they have neighborhood friends. Friends who you play with until the sun goes down. Friends whose parents say, “Wanna stay for dinner?” and you do the same when there are more children than you own when dinner rolls around. Friends with who you build childhood memories. Those memories are wonderful!

I’m posting a blog every day this month for NaBloPoMo!

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3 Miles Through the Snow

IMG_4332Remember the good ‘ole days when parents used to tell their kids about how easy they have it because in “their day” children had to walk 3 miles (or 5 or 10 or 15, depending on how much you kids are whining), through the snow, just to get to school!?!

I heard a similar story growing up. My dad’s school bus stop was miles from his house and not even because of rain or snow (he grew up in Colorado), did his mother or father even lift an eyebrow to indicate that there could remotely be a warm car ride to the bus stop. Nope, they had to trudge all those miles themselves. There was no hope of being coddled either, I’m fairly certain that school bus was not heated and probably everyone was forced to sit as still as they could, facing forward without so much as a “I left my snow gloves at home” was allowed.

I thought about this today as I drove from dropping KidI at gymnastics to KidC at the high school who would soon be finished with Speech & Debate practice. I had sent a text to let him know I was on my way. He responded by letting me know he would be at the flag pole circle, and added “text me when you get here.”

I thought back to my own childhood. How we surprisingly were able to manage being picked up at the correct time, at an agreed upon location, without the luxury of cellular phones. Goodness. How did we not get lost in shopping malls when separated from our parents and unable to call and just expect the person at the other end to simply say, “Bath and Body Works.”

We did the Great Aloha Run once back in the late 80’s and just all planned to meet at the Stadium section L once we made it across the finish line. We were all good. No one worried where the other was or when they would get there, we just all coordinated — without cell phone service at all!

It makes me wonder how much will change for my own children. What with future generations do that deserves the lecture beginning with — “In my day, we had to Instagram pics and use this search engine called Google…” Ahh, the good ‘ole days!

 

I’m posting a blog every day this month for NaBloPoMo!

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Speech & Debate

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In case you are wondering, it costs about $400 to sent a high school freshman to the Big Island from Oahu in January. I know this because KidC needed our non-refundable deposit of $200 to turn in tomorrow. Yup, he pretty much thinks there’s a money tree growing in our back yard.

One of the extra-curricular activities KidC participates is Speech and Debate. He has become quite devoted to this endeavor. He stays after school 4 days a week for up to 3 hours a day. He gives up entire Saturdays to research and practice and build files. The team is rebuilding after a 6 or 7 year absence on the competitive circuit, but KidC tells me his high school was quite the powerhouse in their heyday.

I’m all for supporting my children. I guess I didn’t expect the cost of my support to be due so quickly. I mean it was just last month that we made 30 lunches for the team at their University Lab tournament and I’m constantly donating cases of water bottles that they seem to go through like, well, like water. Of course, the trip is optional. And yes, of course, I’ll make him do hard labor of the balance due. It’s just that I miss the days when it was just $2 at the Children’s Discovery Center so he could participate in the Art in Park Wednesdays.

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I wonder how many other parents face the dilemma of how much to “out-of-pocket” support their children’s activities versus insisting on earning their way or fundraising. I wonder how much more I need to include in our monthly budget for these types of activities? I wonder if I should go to the Big Island with him! I wonder if he could look more handsome in the suits I bought for him to compete. Goodness this is one expensive activity!

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