Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Xyla came!!!!

Angela again!

we are all super happy now that Xyla is finally here and with our family again! It was no fun to be separated for two whole months. The reunion with us was awesome but she seemed really scared and traumatized after being on a plane and her her kennel for 13 hours. also she stunk really bad. But as soon as we got her washed and then went to a park with her she seems really happy too!

Lydia's fifth birthday!

This is Angela posting....just by the way. We haven't updated the blog much so I decided to.

Happy 5th birrhday Lydia!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Like drinking through a fire hose...

Image result for kamehameha schools

So, I started my new job on Friday, September 16th.

My title: Employer Engagement Coordinator.

I'm working for Kamehameha Schools, the school I went to from 7th grade to completion of high school (see here for a little background on why this school is so special to me and other alumni).

I'm working in a department at the school called Strategy and Innovation. So far my understanding is that this is the department that is thinking of, developing, and piloting new ways of providing educational services that are culturally appropriate and building capacities for Native Hawaiians to be successful now and in the next few decades.  Something like that, don't quote me on it.

My main focus is going to be a tool that, best way for me to describe it is this: LinkedIn + a learning management system specifically for beneficiaries of Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate. Which, if you know what I was working on before we moved to Hawaii, is kinda neat because I feel like there's tons of parallels to what I've studied over the past few years; heck, it's an area in which I tried to start a consulting business!  Basically I'm developing work-based learning opportunities for students, and this tool is the...well, tool, for getting the work done. From connecting with prospective employers to providing training modules to students on stuff like interviewing or cover letters and lots of other stuff in between and beyond.  Really cool stuff. At least, the way I feel about it so far.

Here's the coolest thing about my experiences at work so far though: I'm surrounded by intelligent people who are passionate about the school's mission and vision and who, at least so far as I've experienced, are genuinely giving their best effort to make a positive difference in the lives of Native Hawaiian kids.

Here's the close second coolest thing about my work: I am kinda geeking out from the few meetings I've been asked to join since I started. Why? Because the mana'o, the information, the ideas being shared and dissected and evaluated etc. etc. in these meetings is so exciting. At least for me it is.

And it's seriously like drinking through a fire hose. I feel like I'm back in graduate school again.

Someone mentioned to me today that at least the water's been clean for me so far. Which I get, you know? I know it's not going to be all fun and games, but so far I'm very excited to be joining the team at this point in the game and I'm humbled by and grateful for the chance to participate and contribute what I can. I honestly feel very lucky.

The lady who hired me is pretty dang amazing, too, I hope and pray I can be the help she needs to get this project up and running and successful.

And lots of my KS '91 classmates work for Kamehameha and/or are very involved in Native Hawaiian, er, stuffs? Which means there's a possibility of a min-class reunion nearly every day. Well, almost.  Hope I can represent well.

It's an amazing opportunity for me to work for an organization with a higher purpose that reaches backwards to my history and ancestry at the same time it's reaching forward to the future, which impacts my own family.

I'm rambling, sorry. Just know I'm very excited to be working in this organization, in this particular role, at this particular time. Humbled and grateful.

Something about the 2nd Amendment...

Saturday the 17th the Chock family participated in a church/ward youth activity at the Koko Head shooting range. Some fun moments there, some increased awareness of firearms. We're not really a gun kind of family. Nothing against them, I've even thought about purchasing a gun for protection in the home. I guess we just haven't felt the need for it yet.

I guess that's why it's important to expose my kids to firearms? Smarter folks than me have well thought out arguments for and against it.

Honestly, this was for fun, and I think the we all enjoyed ourselves.

Lydia gets to shoot a revolver.

I got in on the fun too. Why didn't anyone tell me I had major bed-head? Sheesh.

James, of course, enjoyed himself. He's not a bad shot actually.

Then there was Rebecca shooting a big ol' gun. I already posted this on Facebook, but I think it's funny enough that it needs to be posted here again.

There was also archery, this was fun to watch too.

It was a fun activity for us to do together as a family. The folks there were very nice and super helpful to the kids. I think it was good, at the very least, to have a real-world experience with firearms to enlighten the "video game" experience of firearms.

A Couple Days with Grandma

Last week we spent two consecutive days with my mom. On Thursday the 15th, we went to the Hyatt Hotel in Waikiki. My mom is a Hawaiian culture resource there for the guests. She teaches classes like hula, ukulele, and lei making. The day/time we went, she was making lei.

[Quick Hawaiian language lesson: to pluralize a Hawaiian word, you COULD add an "s" like in English. People would understand. But in Hawaiian, there's different articles that you would put before the noun to indicate singular or plural. The chief = Ke Alii. The chiefs = Na Alii. The single lei = ka lei, multiple lei = na lei.]

Anyhow, here's a picture of Angela with her lei. It's the picture we texted to Maile as a joke. Because in Utah, we usually had to help people with Maile's name pronunciation. "It's like saying 'my lei.'" So Angela is saying to Maile, "Hey, look at my lei, Maile." 


BTW, Maile's not in the pictures from Thursday because she lives in Wahiawa with my cousin during the week. It's closer to Mililani High School. Then she comes home on the weekends to be with us.

Here's Lydia with her completed lei:

Here's a pic of Grandma Chock and the fam making lei.

After finishing up at the Hyatt, we went to grab some dinner together. We went to Rainbow Drive-In since it's close to Waikiki. After dinner, we said goodbye to grandma and the Rebecca decided to treat the kids to some shave ice. Actually, the shave ice place only takes cash, so now we owe Angela, a.k.a. Moneybags, some moola. 

As we were standing there looking at the shave ice, I turned and looked at the other menu right next to the shave ice place. They serve KC Drive In's famous ONO ONO SHAKES! So, I got myself one of those instead:
And there was much joy and rejoicing.

The next day, Friday the 16th, we went to Germaine's Luau, where my mom works one, maybe two days a week as a bus escort. 

Not the greatest picture, but it's fun to see all of us together with my mom. Not a lot of pictures exist with all 7 of us with my mom. This might even be the first?

Angela at the Germaine's Luau beach. Wearing same lei she made the day prior.  Actually everyone, except me (because I was a friendly local and gave my lei away to a pleasant tourist) wore the lei they made the day prior.

Isaac checking out the imu ceremony from the balcony. 

As you can see, Maile's with us at Germaine's, thank goodness.

At most luau shows, people are invited up on stage to dance something or other. Here's a picture of Lydia being (GASP) bashful on stage! Rebecca is there behind her. Honestly this was a kind of "humor grandma" moment. Maile and Angela are up there too.

Maile maintains that she "doesn't dance." Such a cop out.

James got to wear his new aloha shirt to the luau. Practicing his "shaka" sign. James and Lydia are also wearing the lei they made the day prior. Not sure if you can tell, but Lydia's lei is a little...loved. But that's ok, she did make it herself, with grandma's help of course.

Finally, perhaps the most important news of all:

Lydia lost some teeth! Grandma asked if she could have the teeth because she needs money, but Lydia was firm and decided she needed the money more...

It was a fun two days in a row, and I think (hope?) my mom even had fun being around her grandkids. It's been a little difficult to find ways for us to get together, not really any excuse for that but just like anyone, we feel like we're doing the best we can.  I do believe my mom is part of the reason we're supposed to be here in Hawaii, hopefully we can continue to build a strong relationship with her and give her and the kids opportunities for positive connection.

Finding the view…

Screen covered in mud. Hung ziplocks with dried bug carcasses hiding in the folds. Lovely.
Some plumbing work was done years ago and the wall panel was never replaced. But what a great place to store 20 boxes of Britta filters wrapped in grocery bags! Not.

Hard to tell in these pictures what a huge difference this meant to me. I found a way to take off the screen and scrubbed it with soap and sprayed it out with the hose. Then I used a hard brush to scrub all the flaking paint on the inside and around edges of the window, then made a paste of vinegar and baking soda for the hard water layers of grime on the outside window surfaces. Then…drum roll…I opened the windows so the breeze could come through. Yay!!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Chopstick faces

So I guess our good friends the Powells posted a video or pictures of a similar nature recently.

This, apparently, is our response. Challenge? Whatever.

Oh, and while I would love to blame the mess in the background entirely on the fact that the house hasn't been cleaned in decades...truth is a lot of the mess in the background is now attributable to us.


Sheesh we're goofy...