Monday, March 22, 2010

Gladys Knight and the SUV Choir!

YES! I was able to see this DIVA perform last night!

She brought her amazing Saints Unified Voices aka SUV choir with her!

This is Loni and I with two of the choir members, our dear sweet niece Rosie and handsome Tupua! They are 1st cousins and talent runs deep in their family! They treated us like VIP!!! We sure did appreciate the LOVE you showed us!

I wish my whole family was there to feel the sweet Spirit and to hear the beautiful singing that the choir and Gladys Knight did! The most impressive part of the whole program were the testimonies borne by her and her husband. They have a deep understanding of the true gospel of Jesus Christ and they are spreading His word all over the world!

I would encourage anyone to go to one of their free fireside performances but, I will have to warn you to get their early because the line was wrapped around the building and it is like that every performance!

My favorite songs sung last night were, "I am a Child of God", a stirring solo sung by the queen of the night, and she put so much love and feeling into it that my emotions got the very best of me and the tears flowed freely from that moment on! The Christian favorite "Tomorrow" and "Kanaka Wai Wai"!

A big thanks to Rosie for making this happen! I love you girl!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Home Going for Jalen...

What would you do if you lost your 3 year old son in a car accident? Now, fast forward about 3 1/2 years and you have a beautiful 20 month old son who dies of a virus. Sounds like a nightmare but, it really happened to my sweet friend Shon and her wonderful husband. They have an 11 year old daughter who has had to endure these tragedies as well!

If this happened to me I probably wouldn't be typing this blog because I believe I would be 6 feet under too! I attended the funeral of their oldest son James over 3 years ago and last Wednesday I went to cute Jalens funeral services or as stated in his program, his home going.

The funerals (both of them) were unlike anything I have ever experienced. They were more of a joyful celebration of life. Their was alot of singing and praising God. The thing that struck me most was the fact that Shon and James Sr. are two of the strongest and most faithful people I have ever met. They seem to have a deeper understanding then I could even dream of having or just an amazing amount of faith.

One of the preachers said that with every tragedy comes a greater blessing...what greater blessing could there be? I mean think about it, they have lost 2 sons while just toddlers so tragically and unexpectedly! I cannot imagine what could be the blessing behind this nor, do I ever want to! I NEVER WANT TO BE IN THEIR POSITION...NEVER! DID YOU HEAR ME? NEVER!

I imagine that when we were standing in line in the pre-existence to receive our gifts and talents, that I was off gorging at the chocolate fountain when it came time for me to get my dose of courage, strength and endurance. In fact, I probably missed that line on purpose and maybe even slipped a note to Heavenly Father begging Him to please never test me in that way!

The other thing I did take away from the home going service for Jalen was that, even though these people and I did not really worship the same way, we did share a common LOVE for our Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe as they do that God lives that He is very aware of us and our needs!

I felt very grateful after the funeral to be a mother to my children. I held onto John John so tightly as the family came in and as I looked at the tiny casket with Jalen inside wearing a baseball cap, I ran my fingers through John John's hair and felt his warm skin and kissed him gently, wiping my tears I offered up a silent prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father, for giving me yet another day with my baby.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Forgive Me Please!

I watched the movie Blindside last night with my sister Wynnie, and although this was her umpteenth time watching it she still cried right along with me. I must say, I ENJOYED it immensely! To even blog about it should tell you that.

Anyways, there is a line in the movie that just was very poignant and thought provoking. In a scene where the parents who took Michael Oher in, Sandra Bullock plays the wife and she is worried about his past family life. She conveys those concerns to her husband played by Tim McGraw he replies, "Michael's greatest gift, is his ability to forget".

That made me think of when you correct a child, you may scold him or may even have to pop his hand if he is going to do something to hurt himself. Then immediately after you do that, the child goes back into your arms and cries for comfort. Children are so quick to forgive and forget.

I reflected on how many times the "ball has been in my corner" to forgive and FORGET. I was ashamed at how many times I haven't but, on the other hand I am amazed at how many times I have. Have you ever been able to forget about a time when someone has really wronged you? Have you ever turned the other cheek and NEVER turned it back again?

There was a time when a good friend of mine was offended by something(s) I said. They were always in jest and never meant to hurt her, if I even remotely knew they were I would have stopped immediately and apologized right away. I thought we were tight like that...know what I mean? Anyways, I was stopped one Sunday by the executive secretary at church and he told me my bishop wanted to see me the following tuesday. I wondered what new church calling I may have and to tell you the truth I was a bit excited and anxious to meet with him. Tuesday evening came and I went in completely unaware of what was going to happen. He proceeded to tell me that my friend went to see him to have him talk to me about my comments made to her. I was blown away! Literally blown away! I sat in there listening to things I said teasingly, even lovingly be turned into rude and mean comments. I couldn't believe she had totally misunderstood me and my jokes. I was mad, I was offended, I was OVER IT!

Now, she has forgiven me (or so she says) and I have kind of forgiven her. I just can't seem to get past the going to the bishop to complain to him about my jokes thing! So, I want this gift of forgetting like Michael Oher has. I want to get past this...but, I can't. I am very careful and guarded when I am around her, I am so not comfortable anymore with her. I feel like she is okay with me but that she has totally disregarded my feelings. I think now that she gotten "her way" she's fine and thinks I should be to. But. I. Am. Not.

How do I forget about this all and let our friendship be what it once was? I really don't know.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"There's no place like home"

I saw my grand babies last night and as usual they made me laugh and covered me with kisses, as I did them! It was so good to hug, feel and breathe them in! I asked Donnie if he wanted to sleep over my house, he says with a bit of hesitation, "Ummm I got no pajamas at your house Nana". I knew full well he had no interest in sleeping over and that he just wanted to be home with his family.

This made me think of a time waaayyy back when I cried hard to my mom to go to Florida with my cousins after Annie and Dave's wedding. After much pleading from my cousin Ginger and I she finally agreed. I literally had no time to pack so I left with just my clothes on my back and 1 other outfit in a bag. My aunt told mom she'd take care of my needs.

As I climbed into the back of my uncles truck with a huge cab on it with Ginger, we were giggling with excitement. Before we were even out of town (and I mean literally just about 3 miles down the road), I felt the lump in my throat and pangs in my heart for my mommy! However, I knew after all that begging and crying I would be so embarrassed to ask my Uncle along with the 25 other people and 4 other cars to stop and turn around just to drop me off! But, now in hindsight OHHHHH how I wish I did!

This was absolutely the worst summer of my life! Little did I know that my cousin Ginger was only sticking around with me for a few days! Yup, all that crying to play with her for just a few days! This was the reason I even wanted to go to Florida! But, my sweet Ginger left...and I was there with Loni and we stayed at another uncles house. He had 6 kids (I think) at the time, they were so beautiful and fun but, you add 2 more to that mix and it can be chaos. My aunt just wasn't "UP" to watching 2 more kids! I guess I can't blame her now but at the time she was just not very nice to us...especially me! We did go to Disney World and I got to sell fruits and veggies w/ my uncle one day.

This isn't why I'm blogging about this though, I'm not here to bash my aunt. I just couldn't help but, remember the many times I have called my mom from a friends house around midnight crying to go home. I always thought it would be more fun at someones house with their cool toys, tv's and other things but, after all the fun was over and it was time for bed, I didn't want to stay! I was ready for home and mom, period! Nothing could make me stay.

I love that my home was that precious and sweet to me as a child. I love that it is to Donnie today (his home that is)! I love that cool things don't make the house. I love that the cool people in it do! I love that no matter how far away I am from my mommy, I can still call her and receive that measure of comfort that only moms can offer. I love that my kids have done the same thing with me! I love my home and I love going there everyday!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lose-Lose Situation

When I am not being a "gone postal" mail carrier, I either moonlight on stage emceeing our shows or, I substitute teach for our local county schools. I have only subbed for middle and high school classes and I must say its been say the VERY least!

I have taught language arts, music, Spanish, English and EC. For those who have been out of the loop for awhile EC stands for Exceptional Children. I always envisioned these classes to be filled with sweet children who are handicapped, or sweet kids who just needed extra help. Well it does have its share of those sweet kids. Then there are the...oh how do I say this and sound civil...THUGS, PUNKS, kids who the regular class teachers have somehow "deemed EC" to get out of their class. You know what I mean, the 18 year olds in 10th grade type of student. The one that doesn't want to work or contribute to society in any way! Yes, yes, yes these kids are in these classes by the dozens! These kids are here to avoid being home or going to work. They are here taking up space, corrupting the good kids, interrupting classwork time, stressing teachers out, and most importantly (especially w/ the economic situation we are in now) wasting precious tax dollars!

Why are they still in school? I am trying hard to figure this out. They eat free lunch, they destroy school property, their lazy and make a teacher want to break a law! I sure wish paddling was still in force. These kids need a good ol' fashioned Tongan beating! Not by me of course but, by their parents or whoever is raising them (Bless their hearts)!

Don't get me wrong, their all not thuggish punks...some are so sweet and ARE here to try hard and succeed in life. I just find it comical that they are paying me to babysit a bunch of kids who get nothing out of school and the school gets nothing out of them...its just seems like a lose-lose situation!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What comes to!

So many things have crossed my mind on what I would like to blog about today. First off was my dads birthday was yesterday. If he were still alive he would have turned 88 yrs old. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Saula John Finau! I did name John John after him. It hit us (my sisters and I) that not one of us named a child after him. How sad is that?! So, when I became pregnant with John I knew I wanted to name my child after him. I am so grateful I did as I cannot see my boy as anyone BUT JOHN who is handsome, charming and smart like dad was!

Next on my mind is, why do I constantly sweat the small stuff? I really had hoped that with age this trait would somehow dissipate into thin air...umm no such luck! I wish I could get past things like...

bad service
high light bills
kids on the bus who make Johns life hell
dirty public restrooms
bad managers at work
muddy driveway and backyards
crappy tax returns

You get my point. In reading one of my all time favorite blogs right now, the blog author who is a widow in her 30's with 6 beautiful daughters all under the age of 10. Her last post was abut having a really rough "mourning" day. She writes all that she did that day and then says after finally losing it trying to assemble training wheels on one of her daughters bikes...

"This is my plug to you all to not sweat the small stuff. Talk yourself down from the ledge you want to jump off of and take a step back..or two, or three, to see what you've actually done. Training Wheels will not do me in today".

I hope you all get the point. I know that sometimes very stupid, mundane things create a big reaction from me, which is so unnecessary! So, I pledge to myself and myself only that I will try to do better. To not overreact and to try to sit and assess the situation before flipping out!

Another thing I have realized lately is, how very blessed I am to have a great husband. He is my one sure and true person in my life, who loves me irregardless of all of my imperfections! I don't want to turn this to an ode to Dan post however, I have found myself thinking about him throughout the day more and more. Not the, what am I going to cook Dan for dinner today kind of thoughts, more like, the way he said something to me today or how he made me feel when he held my hand in the car. His kindness, patience and love for me is something I could never REALLY blog about. Only because I don't think I could ever really put into words just how much I love him and how grateful I am to have him in my life...can you feel the sap oozing through your computer screen yet? Sorry just another thought I want to put out there!

Last thought of the day...who are your real friends? Do you really know? Not that I am questioning who mine are just a random thought. I look at the way others influence other people for the good and for the bad and, it blows my mind how someone can think that someone who is slowly dragging them down to hell is their true friend. What are they thinking? I know you can think of someone this has happened to. I think of my cousins son who is serving life in prison for murder, he tells me in one of his letters, how he wishes so badly he could have known the gang he associated with were NO GOOD for him. He didn't heed the advice of his loved ones to steer clear of the people. Instead, he insisted that he knew what he was doing and that they all needed to stay out of his business and his life. He regrets that so much as he sits in a prison cell everyday for the next 30 years. I would have to say choose wisely your friends and go to the right people that can point you ALWAYS in the right direction.