Monday, October 11, 2010

Native American Day

It may be Columbus Day where you are, but here in South Dakota it is Native American Day. Hey, I think I blogged about this before - isn't a blog cool!

When we lived here in Rapid City the last time, I knew there were Reservations around, but we never ever went to one. I wasn't even sure if you were allowed to drive to a Reservation. Did you need a special ID card or something?

We also never went to a Pow Wow or ate Indian Fry Bread. That's not true. I have eaten Fry Bread. Yum!

When we were in Hawaii, we really loved having the opportunity to learn about different cultures and get to know people from all over the place. It was strange to come back to the mainland and go to church with all white people, and see just older white guys sitting up in front of the chapel (The Bishopric)

We felt bad that we hadn't taken advantage of the opportunity in SD to learn more about the Lakota/Oglala Sioux people.

All this to say that our family has a really great assignment for our church. We had been asked to attend church in the tiny little town of Kyle, SD once a month. Kyle, SD is on the Pine Ridge Reservation, about an hour and a half from here.

Last month, our first time going out, we totally got lost. We found the address for the Kyle Branch Building on, but our GPS led us to a little neighborhood, not to a church. We drove around the neighborhood about 3 times, seeing the same dogs and waving at the same grandpa... Then we asked a police man where the Mormon church was. He directed us to a Catholic Church.

At that point we were late. And feeling a little stressed.

We found a gas station and got directions to the tiny little Mormon Church.

It is the smallest Mormon Church I have ever seen.

There were people waiting for us, and we had a really nice service.

Yesterday was our second trip to Kyle for church. We knew where we were going and arrived early, and waited. No one came. Until right at 10am, when everyone arrived. Lots of people. There were almost 30 of us!

Hannah played the piano, we had the Sacrament, we learned about Temples, Testimonies were shared, and I really felt the Spirit. It is a blessing for our family to have this opportunity.

Then we had a pot luck! Sister Chang's Stew was a hit, and someone brought the most amazing cinnamon rolls. The drive home was beautiful - the fall colors across the prairie and the Badlands were perfect. It was a great day. I'm looking forward to our next special ID needed!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

on why a blog is cool

It has been about 8 months since I last updated my poor blog. I'm going to blame it on the move and the home improvement show happening in our house. Moving makes me a little depressed. House projects are dangerous.

I SHOULD blog about the amazing fall weather in Rapid City

I SHOULD change my blog name back to Rapid Life - did we really live in Hawaii for 3 whole years? Waimea Bay? are you just a dream?

I SHOULD post photos of all the cool stuff Nathan has done to our 1970's dream house. Emily say's Nathan needs his own tv show. She's right, he is totally amazing.

I SHOULD sign up for a facebook account since I promised Kelley I would...for christmas...

sorry Kelley...

I AM going to write about how my blog saved my bacon. (or rump roast?)

I need to make stew for tomorrow. It is very important that I have a huge pot of stew ready by 8 o'clock tomorrow morning.

I started searching for a good stew recipe, but I couldn't find exactly want I needed. I wanted Sister Chang's Beef Stew recipe.

Sister Chang is an amazing cook. And when the Wahiawa YW needed stew for anything, we asked Sister Chang. She could whip up the best beef stew you ever had. You cannot beat Sister Chang's beef stew, eaten in a parking lot in downtown Honolulu, after walking around the City Lights at Christmas. Ono!

I googled beef stew, best beef stew, tomato beef stew, hawaiian beef stew, pioneer woman beef stew.... you get the picture.

I printed off a couple of recipes, but I none of them were quite what I wanted.

Then I remembered that one time I actually made Sister Chang's beef stew. She gave me the recipe after Sacrament Meeting one week so I could make stew for something with the young women.

I ran upstairs and searched through my pile of recipe cards and scrap papers. No beef stew recipe.

Then I started jotting down notes from memory - tomato sauce, cabbage, oyster sauce, etc. But I'm not the kind of cook who can just throw stuff together and have it turn into a hearty stew.

THEN I thought I should maybe search my blog.

And I did.

and I found it!

Thank you Sister Chang! Your stew is going to be perfect. I hope... I wonder if you can get oyster sauce in Rapid City, SD?

That's why a blog is cool. You can find stuff you forgot you had.

but only if you write about it in the first place....

Goal number 1. Just write. nothing fancy.

see you soon!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Come on in!

Internet. At home. Awwww!

Here are some things I know about the house after living in it for one week:

I am not scared to sleep here.

In fact, sleeping in my own bed is wonderful!

The person who lived here before may have been scared, though. There are double and triple locks on all doors, including the door between the basement and the upstairs. Even the double windows have double locks.

The mice seem to be gone!! No new droppings since before we closed on the house. Keep your fingers crossed.

An oven not cleaned for several years is beyond disgusting.

Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner (2 cans) + 6 SOS pads + 1 razor blade = mostly clean oven.

The supersized basement is awesome!

The supersized box fort in the supersized basement is super awesome, but enter at your own risk - it may cause clausterphobia in adult sized people...

The cool blue carpet that covers the entire upstairs is in really good shape and is extra cushy. Too bad it is the same blue color as the task bar at the top on my computer screen.

Living without a dishwasher is possible. I've never lived in a house without a dishwasher. Hannah and Sydney are muy excellente dish washers! It may help that until yesterday I was not willing to cook in the beyond gross oven.

Rocks are cool. The previous owner (the one and only previous owner of this house, actually) was apparently a renowned rock person. The kids have been finding evidence of this under the snow in the backyard. Lots of little (and bigger ) interesting rock bits.

If you keep snacks around, teenage boys from church are willing to help with all sorts of moving chores, like carrying boxes downstairs, carrying boxes upstairs, carrying boxes out to the other garage, setting up the tv/vcr/dvd/hd converter thingy/antanea, minor light fixture repair, etc. Bonus points if a cordless drill is involved!

The wheelchair ramp that takes up 5/6ths of the garage really needs to go. soon. and I mean it. I'm willing to live with the mostly clean oven for a while, but we need to be able to use the garage. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to scrape ice off your windows each morning?

The wheelchair ramp that takes up 5/6ths of the garage is great for riding your bike down. And probably it should stay in place until after we re-do floors and use the ramp to roll the extra heavy piano that is resting in the garage at it's peril until the new floors are done up into the house. But right after that, the ramp needs to go to a good home.

It is always wierd to fit everything from one certain house into a totally different house.

Uh, can't thing of anything else right now. Off to find photos...

Established 1980

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We closed on our first house on Wednesday. Hip Hip Hooray!

We shoveled snow and cleaned the house Wednesday afternoon, and on Thursday our household goods were delivered.

Since our new house is an awesome 1970's shag-carpet-popcorn-ceiling dream house, we have a little work to do. So we had the movers put most of our stuff in the basement. The basement is enormous. I wish I had pictures for you, but we won't have internet until Tuesday. Sorry! Like I was saying, the basement is huge. It is "finished" in that the walls are real walls with drywall and texture and the floor is tiled and the ceiling is popcorned, but it is a huge empty space the size of the house with no walls dividing it up. Or is was empty before we lined the walls with boxes and set up the couches and TV in the "family room".

Emily, John and Sydney set up a large box fort in the basement today. They also played soccer down there. If I could find the roller skates they could really have some fun! John is disappointed that there's not actually a bowling alley in the basement. We must have told him at some point that we "could have a bowling alley down there" and he thought we really meant it.... A plastic bowling set is on my shopping list.....

I'm slowly working my way through the boxes. All the kitchen things are out and put away. The bathrooms are set up. And the beds are made. But there's still a lot to do. And a lot that I'm not going to do for a while until we scrape the ceilings and redo the floors and move things in up stairs.

It is really fun to actually be in our house and not transitioning any more. We have been "moving" since the middle of December. It is the middle of February!!! And even though the house is a little quirky, it is kinda cool!

Anyone want to come clean out my oven?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The importance of warm socks

It is cold here.

We have had lots of snow and cold temperatures! Earlier this week we had a rare day with temperatures in the 40's and it almost felt warm. But not really. I washed my car that day at one of those drive in and spray down your car places and thought my fingers might fall off.

I wanted to drive through a car wash but I couldn't find one. Since then I have seen two, so I know where to go next time the temperatures get above freezing. There is something about driving on melted snowy roads that makes your car just filthy.

I have been trying to exercise daily and it is a challenge. Did I mention it's cold. Yesterday I wore 3 shirts and a coat with a fleece lining. My arms were not cold but my toes were.

I have been wearing two pairs of socks everyday. And everyday my toes just about freeze off while I am waiting for Emily and John to go into their classes.

I think I need to find some kind of heavy duty wool socks. Except wool makes me itchy.

Also, I am prone to blisters on my feet when jogging, so I have invested in a few pairs of super nice running socks that never give me blisters. Unfortunately they are all ankle socks. I don't want my ankles to freeze so I am running in my usual two pairs of tea length socks. I'm pretty sure that's not the official name for the length of my socks. They are not knee socks, they are not ankle socks, they are halfway in between - tea length!..

They keep my ankles warmer, but the seam has a tendancy to roll under my toes and irritate me. Grrrr. Frozen, irritated toes are not happy toes.

On a brighter note, there is a sweet little path through Rapid City that I just love. I used to jog on it occasionally when we last lived here. This time we are living even closer to the path, so I have been jogging or walking on it almost every day. The city keeps it nicely cleared, and it is just the place for a bit of exercise.

Yesterday morning we woke to a couple inches of snow. After I drove the kids to school, I decided to see if I could walk on the path and I was happy to find that someone had plowed it. It was in better shape than the roads! I saw several others out walking as well. One older gentleman was out feeding ducks. Fun!

Monday, February 01, 2010

8 minutes 14 seconds

I'm at the library again, and this time I'm using a computer with a 30 minute limit. I have only 7:44 left. eeek.

I was thinking last night about our move. Again. It's all I think about, really. And though I hate moving, there is one good thing about it:

When you are new somewhere, and bored, and have no friends or commitments or plans, you really get close to your family. It has been so sweet to see the kids growing closer together.

Last night the kids were all playing a game and laughing and talking together. It made me smile.


ps - not that they didn't like each other before...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Library Blogging

I'm back at the library and have a minute online, just enough time for a quick blog.

I forgot how fun it is to post up a blog and get comments from friends.

Hi guys! How are you? Thanks for all the friendly comments!

I wish I had some pictures to share, but we won't have the computer for a couple more weeks.

The kids all started school on Tuesday. It was the start of the second semester here in South Dakota. In Hawaii the kids started school at the end of July, so they were able to finish the first semester before Christmas. In moving here, I knew we had a few weeks before we HAD to be in school, so we took advantage of my parents' hospitality and stayed there as long as we possibly could, arriving here in Rapid City just in time to register for the Spring Semester.

Second Semester started Tuesday. And so did the kids. 4 kids. 3 different schools. All really close to each other. The high school and the elementary school are within walking distance of our new home, though the middle school is a little bit farther. Not that we are walking, it's too cold and we aren't actually in our new house yet.

In Hawaii the little kids were in a huge school of about 900 students with kids coming and going all the time. Several a week. My good friend Kelley works at the school welcoming families and helping with the transitioning kids every single day of the school year. The school that Emily and John are now enrolled in has less than 200 students, and new kids are a BIG deal.

Our first morning there, I walked John over to where his class lines up and the kids all started pointing and giggling "there's the new boy!" "what's his name?" "John! his name is John..." John got shy, so we left and walked Emily to class first, where some helpful girls asked "are you Emily? Come line up over here!" They are both really loving their new teachers and classes. They have lunch and recess at the same time, and sometimes they even play together on the swings.

SWINGS! Did you know that swings are illegal in Hawaii? City parks are not allowed to have swings. No beach in SD, but we do have Swings!

On the second day of school, Hannah's band teacher asked her if she had a brother in first grade. He told her that his son is in John's class. Then a girl in band said, "I'm assuming you also have a sister in 3rd grade... my little sister is in her class..." Small town!

Sydney is doing great, too, though her schedule keeps changing. Next week will be easier.

With everyone back in school, I suddenly have lots of time. What to do?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Aloha from South Dakota!

Time for an Update!

What a wild winter.

Remember when I thought we were staying in Hawaii until the Spring? I wonder why I thought that was a bad thing? Brrr! It is cold here at 44 degrees North Latitude. Here's my to do lists for the last couple of months.

Nathan suddenly got orders to go to training in Texas and left the kids and I to finish up the semester and pack up our household goods and leave paradise. Just in time for Christmas.

Pack household goods... Check!
Check out of housing... Check!
Say Aloha 'Oe to good friends. Check! (and boo hooo)
Go watch giant waves... Check!
Pack 8 bags and 6 backpacks... Check!
Send the Suburban off across the ocean.. check!
Go to the beach one last time... Check!
Catch a taxi and fill it with 8 bags, 6 backpacks, and 5 people... check!
Check in 11 pieces of baggage... Check!
Ask a stranger to switch seats so he didn't have to sit between Emily and John... Check!
Fly across the Pacific Ocean... Check!
Rent a car in LA and drive to Modesto... Check!
Visit California Cousins... Check!
Brrr. California was cold at 44 degrees F.
Buy coats and socks... Check!
Drive to Utah through the snow... Check!
Kiss Nathan under the mistletoe... Check!
Share Cocoa with cousins and sisters and uncles and grandma and grandpa... check!
Go sledding! check!
Go to South Dakota and find a house... Check!

Send Nathan back to Texas to hurry up and finish your training already.. check!
Say goodbye to cousins and aunties and uncles... check!
(John said - it seems like I have lots of moms!)
Go Ice Skating! Check!
Hang out with Grammy and Grampy a couple more weeks... Check!
Welcome a new baby cousin! check!
Drive over to Denver to meet Nathan and switch cars... check!
Have an adventure along the way... uh oh... check...
Drive up to South Dakota! Check!
Brrrr! Check!
Start school... Check!

coming soon...

Stay warm
Close on new house
Scrape popcorn ceiling
Welcome home Nathan
and.....more adventures ...