Monday, December 14, 2009

I made gingerbread- I MADE GINGERBREAD!!!

just look at me! another post!!
i worked harder this weekend then i ever do in a 40 hour week- my feet even ached after all of this. but it was worth it! we made gingerbread houses with 8 of our friends and we made the gingerbread ourselves (janelle, amanda and i)!!! the recipes that we looked up on the internet all gave a level of difficulty and guess what it was for making gingerbread?- DIFFICULT- and that it was to be sure. but we tackled it. isn't it grand??
look at that!! we made it!!
we actually ended up making more gingerbread than we needed and used up all the molasses in it. i would have to say that the batch we made with a little bit of honey was far better than the one with a full cup of molasses- note to self. we mixed up the dough on saturday and then let it set in the fridge overnight (you really only need to leave it in for 2 hours). then on sunday we pulled it out and rolled it out on the back of a cookie sheet. we had to make a lot of houses so it was tricky cutting them all out and making sure they were the right size but thanks to amanda we got the pattern just perfect. this is definitely a task that cannot be done solo- we worked as a team. then all of our husbands got to do the fun part of making the houses with all of the colorful candy. but i am jumping the gun... ----matching game- which wife belongs to which husband???----...before we made the gingerbread houses we had a nice potluck dinner. i made the infamous pomegranate salad and we had enchiladas and baked chicken (amanda i still need that recipe- yogurt and ritz- who'd a thunk?), and potato salad- i love aissa because she doesn't put yucky onions in her salad, and rolls and....other stuff. so we ate all the good food and then had a great time putting these lovely houses together. I can't believe that it worked! and our house is still standing two days later!! the candy canes are melting because of the humidity but my goodness! it worked. look at that masterpiece!! can you see where we have picked off of it?
i taught juano how to do this... so so so much fun!! i love these guys!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Forget about the rest of our trip way back in SEPTEMBER!!

...its nearly it is time to move on!!
recent haps....
Hallowing came and went like ichabod crane on a horse. laura sent us those classic scary stories to listen to while admiring our masterpiece of a pumpkin. we got so scared listening to 'em that we had to cut them short. it took too long to get to sleep- we had to hold each other and just when we were about to dose off one random light turned on in the house. we felt like a ghost was roaming around and didn't want the lights out. SCARY!! we prayed and were able to get to sleep.
My birthday followed halloween and juano planned a surprise party with a bunch of our friends. he got me good. we went to play volleyball and he skipped out early telling me that he had to do some homework...i should have known but i didn't have a clue. he had already invited a bunch of our peeps over and they waited patiently for me to finish playing. i didn't want to leave so i made them wait. it was fun to come home and find a bunch of people celebrating my day. it was fun- i love our ward.
the day after my birthday i found out that we had a miscarriage (oh yeah- we were pregnant for a little while). i had a D+C a few days after and have recovered well. to make things a little easier on my emotions we put a cute little christmas tree up and lights in our living room. i have had the tree up for about a month already and i love it. isn't it cute?
we are going to utah for christmas!! we leave in 15 days!! i can't wait to go home- i don't know what i would do if i couldn't be with my family for the holidays!! it will juano's and my first christmas together married!! this picture was taken last year around this time right after we were engaged.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 2 of our Big Island trip

after pealing ourselves off of the church sidewalk we dressed quickly in the car and walked the few steps to the temple. no one noticed us walk away from the church with our sleeping gear so we acted like everything was normal. we enjoyed another session and also doing a bunch of sealings afterward in the tiny temple.
as soon as we got out of the temple we all felt ready to start our next adventure. we stormed the pantry at safeway and hit the road. juano drove as i stuffed turkey and peperjack cheese sandwiches and flaming cheetos down his throat. it was kind of a lengthy drive but well worth it- we were headed for the south point and THE GREEN SAND BEACH!!
this was one of the highlights of our trip- we walked the windy walk to the fabulous green bay and swam our little hearts out in the beautiful water. this is juano's favorite picture of him catching a wave. it was really hard to leave but we were betting to bum a ride back so we ran to the top of the hill before some of the other swimmers hoping they would see us walking and have pity on us. a cute couple with a load of southern hospitality stopped for us. we all piled in the back of their rented jeep. what a ride. we thought we might roll over or worse a couple of times. we did it DAVE style.
after we brushed ourselves off and got comfortable in the car. we jetted over to the lava flow to see if we could get there before sunset. we didn't make it but got to see the glow of the lava flow for our last little adventure of the day. afterwards we went to the Hanza's-our big island friends for a warm bed on the rainy side of the island.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 1 of our Kona trip

its about time i tell you about our trip to Kona. The temple has been closed here in Laie for about 8 months now so we haven't been to the temple since we got married. so time was way over due and the opportunity arose to fly to big island for a temple trip. tickets were 25 bucks each way! you can't get any better than that!! So we flew into Kona early friday morning and went straight to the temple. We did baptisms and confirmations which was pretty sweet because we were able to do the work for Juano's Grandma.
After that we went snorkeling. we asked a guy how the snorkeling was in that area and he said it was excellent. What he didn't tell us was that its a rough and rocky entrance and exit from the water. We chose the boat dock route of entry and just after a few minutes Juano cut his foot. I was pretty determined to check out the reef there and being the stubborn person that i am i practically forced him to keep swimming. we swam around for a while chased a turtle and got a few good underwater pictures. then it was time to get out. the waves were crashing pretty hard against the rocks and there were a lot of sea urchin in the rocks. for those of you who don't know- sea urchin are poisonous and have quite a sting. one of our friends pointed out a 'good spot' for him to climb up out of the crashing waves. inevitably juano was pushed and pulled by the waves which caused him to grab on tight right in a sea urchins nest. so now not only did he have a chunk out of his toe but also about 20 sea urchin spines in his palm.
while juano did minor surgery on himself- plucking out the spines, i paced around trying to figure out what to do with myself and felt completely responsible....
the torture didn't end there....
we found a beach park after searching for 45 minutes and showered and got ready to go back to the temple. we went to a session and after we got out we had to figure out where we were going to sleep. hotels in Kona are ridiculous so we ruled that out. we had already check online to see if there were any camp grounds. nada. we had heard that the beach parks were dangerous. we told the temple president after our session that we didn't have a place to stay...that didn't click.
so... our only option was the chapel next to the temple. we slept on the grass.....until the sprinklers came on at 2 in the morning. then we moved to the sidewalk. at least we had an air mattress. the Chisms had only a single sleeping bag. it was a night to remember.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sayonara Ruka chan!!

yesterday, we said goodbye to our little 10-day-daughter from japan. It was great fun to have her come and stay with us. we went ice skating and to the waterpark and of course the beach. She is from Aichi-ken somewhere near nagoya and she is only 11 years old. we could believe that a girl her age could leave her parents and come to live with perfect strangers in hawaii. she came with her classmates and english teacher. i taught three english lessons to the little group (3 boys and 2 girls) and it made me fall in love with teaching again. i love to teach japanese kids english because i know exactly what they are saying but still speak to them in english -har har har! (that is supposed to be the sound of an evil laugh). Yumeno was another girl that came with the group and the two of them became really good friends. they hung out a lot together which was fine because we are friends with yumeno's host couple- Arturo and Kirsten.
It was fun to play the mama and papa with her. she obeyed our every command just like a good little girl. and she loved my cooking!! that made me feel good. the only thing that juano really knows how to say in japanese is 'kokoro' which means heart so whenever he said it the girls giggled. they also told me that they prefer darker skinned boys over white kids. i stake my claim on juano. they were so much fun. a lot better at smiling for the camera under the water than me. HEY! i have to protect my contacts and i can't hold my breath!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


by a portuguese man of war.
which one of these do you think it was?
well if you used deductive reasoning and knowing that i am in hawaii and not i
n portugal you would guess the blue bubble above. i have lived in hawaii for about 3 years now and have always wondered what it felt like to be stung by one of this seemingly insignificant little guys- well my experience yesterday ended all my wondering.juano and i come to this beach often to go boogie boarding. we had just gotten tired of playing in the waves with the boards and started to play in the sand when the attack of the portuguese man of war occured. we thought we were really clever to make a little pool out of sand in which the water would spill into when the waves climbed up the beach. our little pool turned into a blue bubble trap. after one of the waves had subsided i felt something on the side of my leg between the two of us and thinking it was a stick or piece of ocean i started to grab for it. that is when i felt the sting. on my leg and my fingers. juano luckily didn't get stung because his shorts were protecting him. i wasn't so lucky. it hurt so bad!! a guy walking by noticed me writhing in pain and by the look on his face i could tell he had some experience with the little buggers. he said that it would be really painful for 20 minutes. well in my case it was over an hour. but i recovered. the sting didn't completely wear off for about 6 hours. i was surprised that such a little thing could could do that. reading up on it we discovered that you could even die from them...probably 1 in 100 million though- but still!!
just a day at the beach... (mountains anyone?)

Thursday, June 4, 2009


we got our pictures from brynn this week and i just want to show you my favorites....there are many many more than this....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

my new job

I started work a few weeks ago at Kualoa Ranch just a 20 minute drive from home in laie. check out this picture of the 4,000 acres of the working cattle ranch and tourist attraction. the thing I love about this place is the owners won't sell any of the land to developers, even though they have been offered millions for small pieces of it. they want to preserve the land and have actually found some plant species on the land that were considered extinct. It is an amazing part of the island in which many hollywood blockbusters have been filmed as well as the notorious TV series Lost.
anyway, so I work at the information desk in the visitors center. I just answer questions about tours and the surrounding area and check in guests and keep a big smile on my face everyday. I love my job so far! I get to use my japanese and play little tricks on the unassuming Japanese tourists. today a family came in and one of them spoke really good English so he was asking me questions and then translating for his family. they would ask him questions in japanese and then he asked me in english. When we finished up and they decided which tour to take the sister asked him where the restrooms were and I quickly replied in perfect japanese, "toire wa achira ni arimasu yo!" she just glanced at me with an incredulous look and turned to the direction of the toilet. nobody expects japanese to come out of a haole girl...hahaha!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Honeymoon time...oh yeah!!

we arrived early saturday morning on the green island and headed north, destination NA PALI. we were in no rush- it was our honeymoon after all- so we stopped in hanalei at a fun little farmers market for some fresh, locally grown papaya and bananas. then we grabbed lunch and took it to this sweet secluded beach and pile of rocks. while we were eating we discovered that there was a blow hole right next to us (a blow hole is formed by waves slaming against the rocks and creating a cave like formation allowing the water to enter and blow out of a hole in the top).

the view was breathtaking in every direction from the time we jumped in our car until we got to ke'e beach and the end of the road. we strapped on our shoes and headed up the mountain right next to the beach. it was such a fun hike and a breathtaking view nearly every step of the way to hanakapi'ai beach. we enjoyed every minute of it.
the coast is basically straight cliffs and ocean. the waves crash against the rocks below where you hike and the views are spectacular of the blue blue ocean and majestic mountains. it was a perfect day to do the na pali coast and we were grateful that we did it our first day because the rest of the time that we were there it was voggy (volcanic fog=vog).
this sign kind of scared us of swimming in the ocean at the beach so we played it safe and kept our upper bodies out of the water. it was a strong current. after our first day of adventure exploring we checked into our hotel that we had booked on it was the cheapest on we found and for good reason. we went to the front desk and felt like we were going back in time a few decades- retro carpet and dusty flower centerpieces. they checked us into our room overlooking the pool instead of the parking lot- they got us really excited for that. we were so tired we just wanted to crash so we grabbed our bags and found our room. we couldn't believe when we entered our room they had put us in a room with two twin beds. ha ha ha ha ha!! we laughed so hard...didn't we tell them this was our honeymoon? needless to say we got a different room not much nicer than the first and decided to check out and find something else- maybe splurge a little. the next day we went to a waterfall that had a rope swing above the falls. it was a blast swinging from it (check out the video).

we also checked out some other waterfalls and beaches but we knew we needed to find a different hotel so we spent a lot of time calling places for rates. we gave up on calling after a few answering machines- no one answers the phone on kauai. we asked our waitress for some tips on a good hotel to stay at. she told us not to go to po'ipu because that is a really expensive, touristy spot. so we went against her advice and headed to po'ipu. we went to the most expensive looking hotel we saw first and went in to try to negotiate a deal. they had kama'aina rates (for locals) and luckily because i have a hawaiian ID they gave us a sweet deal. i went online today to see what our room usually goes for (299.99 before taxes) and we only paid 156.76 total!! it was well worth it too. we had a beach front room with a balcony and the beach and jacuzzi were awesome! this is a picture of jauno (scared to get in the cold water-oooh) and our room is up on the left. it felt so much more like a honeymoon, there on the beach. we went to a local diner and got dinner and the most amazing cheesecake. i'll never forget that cheesecake...that we ate with a coffee straw. we also got free virgin drinks cuz we told them we were on our honeymoon. oh, snap.
okay, wow... this is long. the next day we went to waiamea and my camera died. i got water in it was voggy anyway but beautiful. i am relying on jordans picts that he will take in june when he and dad go to kauai.
so we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our honeymoon...even the hotel kerfuffle.

Friday, May 1, 2009

gracias, domo arigato, thank you, obrigado, merci, danke schön

i am in the process of writing thank you cards to everyone and i am overwhelmed by the thought of the generosity of all of you...our loved ones. i am sure i don't even know everything that you did to help make our wedding amazing. i am so grateful. wow! we are so spoiled. I don't know how i can ever thank everyone. ah, card at a time...

Monday, April 27, 2009


the last few weeks seemed like a 20 second dream. it all went by so fast but is such a great memory...i need to write about all of it so i don't forget.
brynn, my cousin took some pictures on my wedding day and i am so glad because we not only had a great time doing it but the pictures were awesome...
the sealing was incredible. we had a packed room full of all the people that love us and that is what made it so special. i was so happy just to look around and see all of their faces especially my sisters whose sealings i missed. i was so excited i got out of my dressing room before juano! doesn't a bride usually take hours to make her hair and make-up perfect? not me i wanted to get on with the show. this is going to sound lame but the fact that my hair turned out so well was a huge blessing. i didn't practice doing it at all. i just woke up at 5:30 in the morning and started to curl and it worked out just fine- it stayed the whole day. i was proud of myself. even though i vow to never spend 3 hours on my hair again...
aren't my baby girls adorable. they had so much fun chasing me around and tugging on my dress. i can't wait to see all the other pictures. brynn, nate, lance, lindsay, juano and i all went up to the dixie rock for more pictures that i think turned out awesome. the sky was so blue and their wasn't a cloud in the sky. it had been raining all week so we were so grateful to be sweating on our wedding day. everything was perfect at the temple that saturday morning april 18th.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

home in 21- married in 29

i've neglected to write in my blog for far too long. planning a wedding and doing my student teaching, and taking 15 credits, and working is no excuse!!
so- here we are. 3 weeks and i will be back in utah and counting down on my fingers to the day of my wedding.
the plans are coming along. you should get your invitation soon. there will be plenty of good eats at the reception.
juano and i are excited to be moving into TVA- that's temple view apartments. right by the temple and minutes from campus- it will become our first one-bedroom-apartment-home.
i graduate in june and juano will have at least 3 more semesters here at BYUH after that. we both love it here so it will be a great place to start out.
without being totally cheesy can i just say that i am super happy and i am marrying the most amazing guy in the world. i never thought things would get this good for me!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Its about time...

I write in this jewel. It has been nearly 3 months since I last wrote. Sorry ya'll!!
well lets hear it for the updates....YAAAAAAY!
Christmas was here about 2 months ago...did ya'll hear about it? Yeah, it came and went like- WHOA! I spent about a month at home and Juano came to 'meet the parents'...and stitch. Here we are talking a walk with the dog and dad...of course he is behind the camera. It was good times with the fam and I think everyone pretty much adores Uncle Wall-e, TioJuano, Tiajuana, etc.
While I was home I also had a Bridal Shower with family and friends. Thanks Brynley, Laura and Mom for organizing it and making it so fun. I was glad I got to see everyone. I missed a few of you tho :( sorry.
So now I am looking forward to April 18th. Mom has been working like a dog to get things ready for the reception and what not. I say who needs a wedding when you can just get married? ....
I guess we gotta all party like its 1969 or something.
I feel bad that I haven't been posting especially in this exciting time of my life. I will look through my recent pictures and try to post more. Hope you still love me!