All You Need Is Love

Sand Heart
Over the past 7 years, I have been blessed to be a part of many weddings.  I have probably officiated close to a hundred weddings and wedding vow renewals.  From experience, I can tell you that being a part of someone’s special day never gets old.  I love to hear how couples met or when they fell in love because those are the moments that define our lives.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet and marry an incredible couple.  Having previously worked in Waikiki for many years, I have a few friends that will call me sometime when a guest calls the hotel and is looking to get married in Hawaii.  This particular couple wanted to get married on the beach and of course, I was happy to comply.

We met at the beach and at first glance, I could tell that they were in love.  They had a certain joy, a certain bounce in their step as they exited their car.  It also surprised me that they were a little older than I had expected.

As we walked to the beach I found out that this wasn’t their first marriage.  They confessed to me that both of them had previously been married for 25 years…to each other.  Six years ago, this couple got a divorce, slowly started hanging out again, going to weekly family dinners, began talking, fell in love and decided to get married again.  Apparently six years of separation proved to be too long and they decided to recommit their lives to one another again.

So here’s this couple, married for 25 years, divorced for six, standing in front of me on a beautiful beach in Hawaii.  Who could ask for anything more?

I’m reminded of a Bible verse from 1 Corinthians that says, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (13:13).

Congratulations Dave and Cheryl!

Having worked in Waikiki for many years and having gone to many luaus, the one food we tell every tourist to try is poi.  For those of you not familiar with poi, it’s the mashed up root of the taro plant.  It kind of has the consistency of wallpaper paste, and some will even tell you that it tastes like it too.

Personally, I like poi, but I don’t love it.  I’m the guy that sneaks in a little sugar when my wife isn’t looking just to make it a little more palatable.  But it is nutritious and hearty and many island moms feed it to their infants because it is easy to swallow and it is readily available.

A few weeks ago, we were at a graduation party and they were serving up Hawaiian food.  We took the opportunity to introduce Sunny to her very first sampling of poi.  How did she like it?  See for yourself.


Tastes Like Chicken

You always think that chickens are such mild-mannered, docile birds, but left to their own devices, they are cold-blooded killers.  Yesterday, I came outside to see my sweet, peace-loving chickens tearing apart a small bird they killed.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s a short video as proof.

Friday Night Fireworks

Even though I have lived in Hawaiʻi my whole life, like so many locals, there are many things that are published in the tourist books that I have never done. I have never been to Mānoa Falls, I hiked Diamond Head only once in my life in elementary school and I didn’t visit the Arizona Memorial until college.

Last night, I crossed off Friday night fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village off my list.

Keao and I had a rare Friday night off so we headed to Waikīkī with the girls to see the festivities.

When we got there two things surprised me. One, it was really crowded with both locals and tourists and two, we were really close to the fireworks.

For the price (free), it was a great show. I read online that some people thought it was too short but really for a free show what do you expect? Truthfully I didn’t think it was short at all but then again Slugger got scared by the big booms so I know it was definitely long enough for her.

20130713-123938.jpgAround the lagoon waiting for the show to start

20130713-123958.jpgSlugger would not stand still for a picture

A 20 second sampling of the fireworks

All in all, it was a very nice evening. There was plenty of seating at the lagoon and except for the two dollars I paid for parking, the price was great! It was a perfect way to spend a Friday evening.

Wow, has it really been over a year and a half since I’ve blogged anything? It’s not for a lack of content I tell ya, it has been sheer laziness on my part. In future posts I’ll try to get you caught up but for now I will tell you about my day.

Today, for the first time, I got to attend a Marine retirement ceremony. I always knew it was a big deal but I definitely didn’t realize what a big deal it was.

My good friend Vic retired after 22 years of service and when they have a ceremony, they do it right. There were a whole bunch of people on the grounds including a marching band. You read that right, a marching band! It felt like I was at Disneyland…well if Disneyland were located on a Marine base.  When I retire I hope there is a parade in my honor too.

It was a short but nice ceremony. They even brought up Vic’s wife, AnnMarie, to present her with a small token of appreciation. As a very classy touch, they even presented Vic’s daughter with a bouquet of flowers as well.

20130711-235326.jpgAnnMarie being presented with a small certificate

20130712-161145.jpgThe marching band

20130712-161207.jpgThe color guard

20130712-161225.jpgVic addressing everyone one last time

Thank you Vic for your dedication and service to our country.  I know that God has big plans for you and we’re praying for you and wish you well!

Happy New Year! Whew, I can’t believe how quickly 2011 passed. It seems like it went by in such a hurry. Well, here we are in 2012 and I know I missed a whole bunch of blogging in 2011 so here’s a quick year in review.

2011 was a year of many firsts for us. We got to see many new things and experience many new experiences individually and as a family. Here are a few of my favorites.

One of the big changes had to do with a change in the way I think about what I eat. In addition to trying to eat healthier (which i often fail at) I also started trying to grow my own food. Here is my attempt at doing aquaponics and growing some lettuce, eggplant and tomatoes. I have since gone on to grow broccoli, green onions and kale and I’m thinking about expanding to more systems in 2012.


A few weeks into growing


Manoa lettuce

For the first time since my wedding in 2007, the Hasselhoffs reunited and played a few gigs. Two to be exact. That may not sound like a lot, but it was more than we played for the last four years!


We’re getting the band back together (not pictured is our drummer, Clinton)

Slugger also got to celebrate her first Easter! We had her all dressed up nicely for church but by the time we took an Easter picture, we had already changed her into something more comfortable.


Happy Easter!

Then in May I revisited the Lone Star State again for a short conference. The trip wasn’t too memorable, but I did get to visit the new Cowboy Stadium. That sucker is impressively massive!


Sitting in the owners box


On the famous star at midfield

After I got back we got to go to the Big Island! We were very excited because it was Slugger’s first time on an airplane and the first time she would be able to meet her Aunty Genesis and Uncle Jordan, Keao’s sister and brother. It was also her first time meeting her cousin who was born just three weeks before her.


Slugger was absolutely glued to the window


Aunty Genesis meets Slugger for the very first time at the rodeo


The cousins weren’t too interested in each other at first


Uncle Jordan and Slugger


Zylin and Aunty Keao


Keao also tried stand-up paddling for the first time too

Rather than make this a super long post, I’ll stop here at six months and bring you up to speed with some highlights from the second half of the new year later. Stay tuned part 2 of 2011 coming at you soon!


For the past couple of days Slugger has been taking a hesitant step or two. Usually she’s near the couch or near an adult and she’ll slowly venture out and take a few steps. Sometimes she makes it and sometimes she drops to her butt and sits down. But either way, it has just been one or two steps.

That all changed Tuesday night. For the longest time, we were both eagerly awaiting the day when Slugger would walk and not just take a few steps, but we were also somewhat reluctant to know that our little girl would be walking. In fact, we knew that once she started walking the game would change forever. I don’t understand how someone learns to walk as it has been a while since I’ve been anything but bipedal, but I assumed that she would take a few steps, followed by three or four steps and then she would gradually build up. I totally did not expect her to go from two hesitant steps to confident walking overnight! Now, that’s not to say that Slugger only uses walking to loco-mote but she is a lot more surefooted than I would have expected. In other words, watch out! Things are going to get a lot more hectic in our home.

Our friend Gina was on hand the other night to capture her walking on her phone. Click here to check out her video.

Hawaiian Concert Tonight!


Prepping the food for our Hawaiian pupu party. On the menu tonight: Spam musubi, fried rice, macaroni salad, pork sandwiches and chicken long rice. It will truly be an authentic Hawaiian experience.


Baseball: the great American pastime. Living in Hawaii, it’s rare that I get to go to any professional games, but last night, I found myself in the Sapporo Dome cheering on the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters with a bunch of crazy Japanese fans. I believe that the season is about ready to end and I’m not sure where the Fighters are in the standings but the stands were about half-full and that could have been because it was a Wednesday night or because the team may be out of the playoff race (or maybe it was another reason altogether). But we didn’t let that dampen our spirits as we cheered our hearts out.

On the mound for the Fighters was their star pitcher Yu Darvish. From what I hear, he may be the next pitcher to break into the Majors in the next couple of years. He pitched a great game but he didn’t get much run support and if he caught a few bounces here or there, he may have been the winning pitcher instead of losing a 3-1 pitcher’s duel.

On a side note, we were having a hard time figuring out how hard the pitchers were throwing because they display the velocity in kilometers/hour. Luckily Kristin figured out a conversion formula for us and Darvish was throwing in the low 90s.


Banners everywhere walking into the Sapporo Dome


The sign welcomed us

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the stadium was how seriously they take cheering. I mean we cheer on our team, but these guys were organized and they waved huge flags and had trumpeters and it seemed like everyone in our section had Fighters jerseys and noisemakers.


The flag wavers stand on the concourse


Those plastic bats provide the noise


The guy in the orange leads the cheers


Not to be confused with the actual cheerleaders

If you want to get a good idea of what I mean by organized cheers watch the video below. There are about 10 cheers or so that we yelled over the course of the game. It is interesting because when your team is up to bat, everyone in the section stands throughout the entire half inning and cheers. When your team is in the field the section becomes quiet and the opposing team’s section takes over the cheering. Of course the visiting team has a smaller cheering section, but they were loud nonetheless.


I don’t think anyone mistook me for the real Darvish


Dural and I were matchy-matchy


Despite the loss we had fun anyway

Airline Food

Living on a small island like Oahu has many benefits. For one, nothing is really more than half an hour away. Of course, when you have to sit in a car for more than an hour, it can seem like an eternity. One drawback to living on an island is travel. In order to go anywhere significant you have to get on a plane (or boat I suppose) and that means going to the airport, making your way through security and renting a car and booking a hotel (unless you’re lucky enough to know someone at your destination willing to put you up). All this means to me is that I don’t travel very often because it’s such an ordeal. Of course, when I do travel, it’s such a special occasion.

I am currently in Japan, where I usually go once a year, with my church. This year, for the first time, we flew on China Airlines because we couldn’t find a good price on Japan Airlines. Up until now, I had always flew on JAL so I kind of knew exactly what to expect on the trans-Pacific flight. When we fly on JAL, I always get the Japanese meal because I figure I can always get an American meal on any other flight. Plus, I like Japanese food and I’m rarely disappointed. Following that mindset, when it came time to order on China Airlines, we had a choice of the eggs breakfast or the Chinese one. I’m pretty sure the flight attendant told me exactly what the Chinese breakfast had in it, but either she told me it in Chinese or she just had a thick accent. Either way I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting. I love Chinese food, but when I opened the tray this is what I saw.


So that’s what Chinese people eat for breakfast!

So what is it? Your guess is as good as mine. The only things I recognized right off the bat were the bread and the juice. The left dish held some sort of rice dish that reminded me of jook and the one of the right was small pieces of the stuff that is the cone of a cone sushi. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t that.

Our next meal came four or five hours later. This time, I knew exactly what the flight attendant told me. She gave me the choice of chicken with pasta or beef on rice. Not really being a pasta guy, I opted for the rice. It turned out to be almost like a beef stew dish except there was just one thing slightly amiss.


Can you spot it?

It’s not that there wasn’t enough beef, rice or vegetables. No, that part was fine. My biggest issue was the amount of fat on the beef. I guess they haven’t heard about the hazards of eating straight fat in China, because it seemed like that was all I got. Here’s a close up.


Mmm, oh so yummy!

Now don’t get me wrong, I like a good piece of fatty meat every now and then, but that was a little too much even for me. At least they did have a good Diet Coke for me. That helped me to wash down my lunch.


I think that says Diet Coke (or at least Coca-Cola Light)