Saturday, December 31, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
This is our second Christmas as a married couple! Last year we were able to spend Christmas in Georgia, but this year it was too expensive to fly home ($1000 per ticket!).
On Christmas Eve we went to Matt's Auntie Annie's house and had a little lunch with this Hawai'i family. It was nice to spend a little more time with his Hawaii cousins and to be with the Ho's and the Grahams. Then we headed over to my family's house- the Johnson's. These are the nicest people ever! I love going over there because it helps Hawaii feel a little more at home. Whenever I am homesick, being with the Johnson's helps cure it fast. So they had a huge Christmas Eve dinner and Santa came by- it was great fun! Matt and I even got drafted into helping set up the decorations. We stayed way too late, but it was worth it! When we got back to Laie, Matt and I exchanged pjs and watched A Christmas Story (our little tradition!).
In the morning, Matt and I opened our stockings from Santa. Then we cooked breakfast. We decided we wanted to start making Christmas morning breakfast. This year we invited our friends- David, Nana and their son Josiah to eat breakfast with us. I didn't take any pictures, but we had a lot of fun. I figured I didn't like to spend Christmas without family so I made sure another family-less couple was able to have a little company!
(Santa gave Matt the Star Wars Cookbook for Christmas! Please notice these one of a kind stockings my mother-in-law made! We love them!)
We went to church- we only had sacrament and it was a really good one. It was great to just focus on the Lord and what this day is really about. After sacrament- our friends Zach and Julie stopped by to grab some of the hygiene kits to take to India. They are going to be going for three weeks and working with orphanages and other humanitarian programs (this is a program we hope to go with in the summer)! Anyway, I can't wait to see pictures of the kits in India.
We opened our gifts and had a blast rocking out to Justin Beiber's Christmas album (well, I enjoyed the music- Matt just suffered through)
Matt and I did pretty well this Christmas- I think we went a little over board, but we didn't get to go home so I felt okay with spending a little money on each other! Our loot included all of the Harry Potter movies on blue ray, a kindle fire, a Xoom tablet, Toms shoes, and a few other trinkets! Plus, our families were very nice to us!
After presents, I made sweet potatoes. This is a dish my Abuela and Papa always make for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I love it!!!! I have only made once- a couple of years ago- so I was a little nervous. And this year, I grabbed the purple sweet potatoes so I got a little nervous- but they turned out great! I am so happy I can make them close to how my Abuela and Papa make them!
Then we headed back up to the Johnson's house and had dinner with them and hung out. It was a great Christmas. I wish I was able to have flown home, but this was a great experience!
After graduation my mom, Matt, and I headed over to the Big Island for a mini vacation. This was pretty exciting- I have never been to one of the outer islands since living here and this was a great trip and little graduation present! It was great to have my mom there and to spend a little more time with her before she left for Georgia.
Hawai'i is where the active volcanoes are and the black sand beaches. We left Monday morning and got back Wednesday evening. It was short but sweet!
Our first stop was at the black sand beach. While we were there we were able to see the turtles!
The Kona Temple was also on the island and it was nice to stop by and see it!
On our first day we drove up to Hilo and saw the volcano- usually tourists can drive a little further and see some lava- but the lava flow had shifted and we could not drive that far.
This national park is called the island of Refuge. In the old system, if someone had broken one of the laws and were about to be killed- they could try to make it to this place and be pardoned. It was really neat to see and I would recommend stopping by if you go to Hawai'i- but please be respectful! This is sacred ground.
Donkey Balls is a candy company- they make all sorts of chocolate sweets!
On the last day Matt and mom got henna tattoos!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Last Saturday, I finally graduated from BYU Hawaii!!!! Yay! I am done- well student teaching then done done done. Matt still has about another year left and hopefully I will be able to get a job for that year. After Matt finishes we are off to the Peace Corp!
Anyway, I was lucky enough to have some of my family come out for graduation. My mom, Grandpa Henson, his girlfriend Rena, my Fahey grandparents, my dad, and his girlfriend Cathleen were all able to come in from out of town. Plus, my cousins Mike and Kathy and Matt's Obachan and Aunt Claudia were able to come. It was great to have everyone around even though I missed my siblings and my other grandparents!
The night before graduation there was a graduation banquet that we went to- here all the graduates went up and they sang Aloha Oe- a song written by Queen Lili'uokalani the last monarch of Hawaii during the Overthrow. It is beautiful and if you want to listen to a version click here!
Anyway, the next morning was graduation and it all went great. Elder Holland spoke and it such a great speech. I am glad he was there. I graduated with Summa Cum Laude, with honors and in Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Alpha Theta!
After graduation, my family carried on the Hawaiian tradition and gave me leis. This was something I was looking forward to ever since coming to Hawaii. I told my family I wanted my head to be covered in leis... and they came through! I even received a Dr. Pepper lei from my friend Lacey! People get so creative here- I saw a potato chip lei, candy leis, and so many more funny ones!
Here are some pictures- be prepared for a whole bunch- I want to make sure my Abuela and Papa see plenty!
(Grandpa Henson and me)
(Auntie Claudia, Me, Matt, and Obachan)
(I ended up with 22 leis! Thanks everyone!)
(My friend Lacey - she made the Dr. Pepper lei!)
(Mike and Kathy)
(Dr. Murdock- one of my history professors)
(My friend and co-worker Christy)
(My friend Julie- Abuela this is the friend who invited us to dinner- so don't be worried we have friends!)
(Our friends from our ward- David also graduated and was a history major as well!)
(Dr. Chowen- one of my education professors)
I told there were a lot of pictures- but I am not done! After the ceremony and pictures we all went to eat at Breakers in Haleiwa. It all turned out okay.... not too stressful!
(Abuela the red, yellow, and green lei is the one you and papa bought for me!)