Friday, May 30, 2008

Thank You

This is almost unforgivably late, but I want to thank everyone who contributed, donated, bought tickets, helped out and showed up to Beijing or Bust at Porky's. We still have a ways to go until all the kids, including Tony Jr. are paid up, so if you want to give to a good cause, please contact Saipan Southern High School and speak with Mr. Will Dewitt.

Thanks to the family for their support. Glenn and I sat at the ticket table the entire night!
What would I do without Wayne? I'd have to drive around dropping off tickets by myself, lug cases of drinks alone, give myself pep talks when it got crazy, tell myself it can be done...
Wayne and the kids were great with the whole thing, especially Hope and Peyton who were more than ready to leave after the band got done playing. Thank guys, what a team!

I don't have a picture of Bruce and Olive, but they are the sweetest folks and put out a delicious Chinese spread for us. Thanks for making Porky's available for an awesome cause.
Saipan Southern High, Mr. Dewitt, The Manta Band and everyone who came to listen to the great jazz they played. Plenty more people bought tickets but couldn't make it on Saturday. Don't fret, you'll see these guys on National TV in China come August!! Thank you so much.
I need to thank Donna, my angel, for the prayers I know she says on our behalf each night and her support. Her picture isn't here, but it's in my heart:) If you didn't make it don't worry, we forgive you. If you're feeling truly horrible about it, you can always donate some money to the kids. They've got a few more weeks to go before getting on the plane to Guam for a grueling summer of practice.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Party's at Porky's Y'all!

$15.00 gets you a Chinese Dinner and two free drinks
plus a sampling of the talent that will represent the Marianas and the Public School System in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. You may even get a chance to play Rock Band!
Bloggers: please help spread the word.
Tickets available soon from Boni, Tony Jr., Saipan Southern High School, Porky's or shoot me an email!

Mother's Day Retreat

The view from my balcony during my mother's day retreat.

I was banned from my computer, restricted from doing any work and basically left to either lay in bed all day or lounge on the sofa singing bad karaoke and eating Hot Cheetos.
Don't hate.

The girls had an awesome time.

Sometimes life's so beautiful you just have to smile!

Getting Stung

If David is a selfish son-of-a-bitch, I'm a toad. In the fable, a scorpion asks a toad to assist him in crossing a river. The frog refuses because he knows that the scorpion will sting him. The scorpion promises not to sting the frog, saying that if he stung the frog then the scorpion would drown. The frog agrees and takes the scorpion on his back. The frog swims halfway across the river when the scorpion stings the frog. As the two begin to sink, the frog asks, "Why did you sting me? Now we will both die." The scorpion replies, "I can't help it, it's in my nature."

Someone I knew once told me this story. I know why now. Even the scorpion knows he can't keep a promise, but that never stops him from trying. The toad though, has no excuse. I wish I could elaborate, but that will take time while I keep watch for the scorpion.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

From pups to sticks

Peyton and Chico. Chico is the smallest of our two new pups.
Wayne thought it would be nice to get the girls a puppy.

Then he thought it would be better to get another puppy so the first one wouldn't be lonely. These are Bernard (white) and Dufus (black). Dufus was the first puppy home, then Chico and Bernard. Bernard is not staying, he is just hanging out for a while. Chico is the baby of the three and Peyton and Sommer are very protective of him. They keep him away from all the rough play.

I love Bromeliads. I don't remember planting these, but all of a sudden they popped out and blessed the little driveway garden. Aren't they pretty?

Dad enjoying some Blue and Eddie Arnold. We had to endure the downloading process and in the end he had hundreds of "oldies but goodies", enough to play at home, in the car, at the office, on the course..oh my. The only reason I posted this picture is because he warned everyone to be careful of me. "Everything she takes goes on that blog." Dad's never wrong.

Okay, just for the record, I taught Tonton how to drive. Granted I only took him a handful of times and it was with the automatic, I am still his auto-mentor. Wayne decided he needed to learn how to drive a stick, so he took over the task. After his first standard lesson he came in and announced to me that automatic was "candy". Chuckle. Tonton's been practicing diligently, with supervision of course, for a couple of weeks now. Where does the time go?

There they go. On their way to Saipan Southern High. I don't even want to think about the day he gets on that plane for music college.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


There's a party at Oceans for all things under the sea. Fish are friends but I wonder if there'll be sashimi. There will be free food and I hear, a beer garden. Come help support the National Park or at least pick people's brains who know more about it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember.

There are two groups of people in a child's life that have the greatest influence on them. The first are parents. Children are fiercely loyal to their parents no matter what kind of people they happen to be. This is good for the parent who realizes and understands the impact of that unconditional love. It is not so good for the child, as I know full well being a child of divorce myself, when that faith is shaken and tested unrelentingly. With all my experience growing up in a broken, blended, extended, mended and re-mended home, I am still wholly unprepared for single parenthood and the challenges that come with. Truth be told, I'm a little embarrassed to write this post. I'm sure some of you may think it's a little too much self exposure, like displaying an open sore for the world to see. I myself don't know why I am writing this today, only that I feel I must and for the first time there is no one to stop me from baring my soul. No one to say people will judge, people will talk, it isn't proper or dignified or even right.

There is an undeniable fact of divorce that not many people are willing to admit, especially those working hard at convincing themselves of the opposite. It is that time does not heal. Time soothes the sting and sometimes it mysteriously obliterates parts of trauma from the memory, but it never completely heals. I steady myself for the journey ahead knowing full well that no amount of proper planning, counseling or parenting on my part will shield my children from the wreckage of what we have done to them. Do all dads leave? Why couldn't you fight less? Do you really believe he doesn't love you anymore? Questions I am compelled to answer because I know that if I don't, they will be imprinted in their minds. My own questions still remain, decades after my self-proclaimed/deceived healing.

My STBX and I were ordered to go to separation class this week. It was intended, among other things, to remind us that kids are not divorce-able. Would I have gone if I wasn't ordered to do so? Probably not, but I'm glad I did. It reminded me that I hadn't healed and that is big. It is big because as painful as it is to relive the emotions, they are the same emotions my children are feeling right now. I am doing to them, we are doing to them, what we stayed awake at night crying over as children.

I learned that children will always fantasize about reconciliation, that most feel they are responsible or did something to contribute to the break up, that they have to grieve and that they need to learn how to accept the permanence of divorce.

What happens now? I embrace the resiliency they have and harness that power to help them understand. I walk with them through this storm and I weather with them, the little ones that arise over time. I let them ask questions, make their own judgments, cry and be sad. I'll also let them venture into new territory, learn to take a chance on love again, open their hearts to new people and celebrate. I'll remember that they love their dad and that he loves them. I'll remind them every day that I love them.

"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you.” - Winnie the Pooh


The second most influential people in childrens' lives are teachers. When asked who they admire most, children will either answer that it is a parent or a teacher. Teachers take this to heart when they walk into their classrooms, at least the ones who can recognize that they do indeed touch the future.

May 5 - 9 is National Teacher Week. It is easy to take for granted everything a teacher does because we do not see the preparation, consideration and time they put into each day with our children. Teaching is not a career, it is a lifestyle. It is a commitment to serve children, all children. I salute the teachers who give of themselves every day so that our children get what they are entitled to, a solid foundation of learning and a safe environment to grow in. Please join me in thanking the many teachers out there who have touched our lives. I want to extend my own thanks to my favorite teacher and the staff of Garapan Elementary School for their dedication to the task of raising competent and competitive learners. Kudos to you Mallards, you make it easy to love my job!!

If you want to, I'm posting a copy of the parent letter that went out this week. It has suggestions on how you can show your appreciation to that special teacher in your child's life.