Bryn's 8th Birthday!  

Today I took Bryn to lunch for her birthday (it was actually on Friday). We went to T.G.I.Friday's to eat (Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard and fries), then on to Cold Stone for ice cream! She got Italian Lemon Ice Sorbet with marshmallows!


Outrigger Races  

Yesterday I made it down to Tumon Bay in time to catch the last few heats of the Outrigger Canoe Tournament. On the way back to my car I stopped to watch a few people windsurfing. That looks like fun & I'd like to try it sometime!


Extreme Makeover Home Edition - Oct 29  

I can't wait to watch this next week! (Monday at 8pm here on Guam, though!) This house was built for the Kibe family and is in a town not too far from where my parents live. I went to school K-5th grade with Shawn Kibe and know at least one person who got to help with the house!


What I've been up to since I've been back on island  

Work keeps me busy! I'm back mostly working in Computers again. I've had a couple big projects to work on since coming back. Lots of thinking "outside the box", research, orders and other things. Thursday the power was down for 5 hours. No big deal, we have generators. Oh wait, our internet service provider doesn't have backup power. No internet for 5 hours! Aaaack!!! A lot of the work I needed to do that day required internet. Oh well...I just shifted and did everything I could without internet connection then when it came back up, did all my online research.

I helped Luke and Chad get their blogs started a couple weeks ago. They both picked it up quickly and set photo albums up as well.

I'm having Aayla withdrawls. :-(

Monday I went for a walk on the beach. Due to some storms out in the ocean, the water was high and a little rougher than usual. No big deal. So I thought. Heading back to my car, I was walking along a narrow strip between the ocean and a wall. A wave came from nowhere and was up to my knees. Still no big deal. For about 1 second! Then the water hit the wall and came up over me. My whole left side was soaked and my hair even got a little wet!

Tuesday we had a ladies' meeting. We had snacks, sang songs, heard a testimony and had a prayer time.

Wednesday night I had nursery at church. We had 5 babies and they were all quiet! Two of them even slept. It was an easy night!

Thursday night I watched Jeremy & Luke. Mostly to help Jeremy study for a test. I hope he did well! I even learned a few new things along the way.

I tried a new food - Nutella. I had seen it in grocery stores for years, but never tried it. A friend I eat lunch with kept bringing a Nutella and peanut butter sandwich in her lunch. I was intrigued and took the plunge. It is delicious! It's a hazelnut/chocolate combination. It reminds me of a Hazelnut Snickers bar. (I've only seen those in Japan.)

Today was Saturday, so I slept in! Hooray! I was a bum most of the day, then decided I needed to tackle my "to do" list. I've gotten quite a bit of it accomplished. That's a good feeling! Still more to do, but updating my blog is something I wanted to get done, so here I am...

Next week we are having a church summit with Jerry Sivnksty. He'll be doing meetings Sunday through Thursday, so it's going to be another busy week! But it will be good!

Oh, we had a couple days of sunshine this week! It's rainy season, so it's been quite cloudy/rainy since I've been back. I read today that Guam averages 80 inches of rainfall per year. Iowa average rainfall is 35". Guam average temperature is 81 degrees. Iowa average temperature is 48.5 degrees. (brrrr.....!)

Well...I need to get back to my "to do" list, so I'm signing off for now.


World Business Class  

When I booked my ticket using frequent flyer miles, the only seat I could get from Japan to Guam was a World Business Class seat. It was NICE! Larger seat, footrest, real blanket, my own video monitor with choices of what to watch, food on real plates with real silverware...this is the life! Oh yeah, I booked upper deck too, so there were only 12 seats in my section!

My seat was in the red section of this plane. First window above the last "T" in Northwest, but on the other side of the plane. See my photo album for more pictures.

Because I was on an international World Business Class ticket, I got to go in the World Business Club in Narita. That was nice too! US power outlets, so I could use my laptop. Cappuccino machine, pop machine, snacks, etc! All free! I only had about 20 minutes there. My plane was delayed, so I could have stayed longer, but I didn't know until I got to the gate. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted!


Lost in Translation  

I stayed at the Holiday Inn again in Narita. The hotel I had planned on staying at was $600/night when I went to book it! (If someone wants to donate to the cause, I'll stay there next time. Email me!)

This warning sticker was on the tub. It was so funny, I had to take a picture of it! I think most of the English meaning was lost in translation!


Minneapolis to Japan  

To readjust myself back to Guam time, I tried to stay awake most of the flight to Japan. I napped for only a couple hours of the 12 hour flight. I read a book, listened to my ipod, watched a dumb movie. So dumb I don't remember the title was or what it was about! As we neared Japan, we hit some good turbulence! I had my seatbelt on, but came up out of my seat a little. It happened twice in a row and people started screaming. One of the stewardesses later said she had gone up about 3 feet! That was the extent of our turbulence other than just a little bumpiness here and there.

Oops! This somehow got stuck as a draft & didn't actually get posted!



Early Friday morning we headed to Johnson's Bakery for doughnuts on our way out of town to Chicago. Heather & I slept part of the way. (I think my trip can be summed up by these three words: Eating, Sleeping & Shopping! If you want to alliterate it - Supping, Sleeping & Shopping!)

We really didn't go into downtown Chicago, but stayed in the Schaumburg/Wheaton area. Again, we shopped & ate! We went to Wheaton to visit Steve, Yoko & Aya. That was fun! My aunt and uncle stayed at their house, so we all went out to breakfast one morning. Ask mom about the bunny! ;-) We did more shopping at Woodfield Mall (and had to go to the basement at Macy's for awhile because of a tornado warning!), IKEA, Streets of Woodfield, Lands' End, the Container Store... Before we left, we ate at Macaroni Grill. Heather & I split a Tuscan Chicken Pizza. They accidentally made a different kind, so we got our pizza free! :-)

On the trip back, we wanted to eat at Fuddrucker's in Davenport, but it was closed by the time we got there. We ate at Red Robin.

Monday, Heather and I shopped more! Then we had to pack. :-(

Tuesday, my family all came to say goodbye to both of us at the airport. It was hard, as usual! Heather and I got on the plane and headed to Minneapolis again. We parted ways with tears in Minneapolis.


Back to Iowa  

I think Heather & I slept and talked on the trip back to Minneapolis. It was mostly uneventful until we got to MSP. I ran into a guy I knew at our gate. We caught up on life & what his family and some other mutual friends were up to. (BTW, his wife got to work on the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition house I wanted to go see!)

As we were waiting for our plane, they announced the flight was overbooked asked for 2 volunteers to wait for the next plane. Heather & I jumped at the chance! That is kind of a long, comical story, but they couldn't count and we were able to get on. As we get on, the stewardess said she miscounted again. Only one of us could get on. We opted to both stay, but one take the free ticket. So we got off. Again, they had miscounted and we both ended up with free tickets! Hooray! (BTW, they let 2 guys on that wanted to fly standby & gave us free tickets! We didn't care, but it did make us go "hmmm....") I had my laptop with me, so we rented a movie and headed to a gate that was closed for construction. (The construction was outside, so we could go sit in the empty gate.)

We made it home safe and sound a few hours later!


Greenville, SC  

Early Monday morning I headed out to Greenville, SC to stay with Heather and get some shopping done for Harvest while she was at work. I got on the plane & they told us we were overweight and 7 people had to get off. (Was that a FAT joke?) ;-) Turned out to be a paperwork error and we could all stay on. (I was hoping for a voucher for another flight!)

I arrived at the Minneapolis airport safe and sound. Just as we were about to pull up to the jetway, the plane stopped. We had a malfunction and had to be towed to the jetway. Better on the ground than in the air! (As one of my pilot friends says, "If you walked away from it, it was a good landing") I had some time to kill, so I wandered around the airport, then headed to my gate & took a nap!

I got on the plane to Memphis and slept most of the way. I'm pretty sure they pump sleeping gas into the cabin. I slept on just about every flight! I had an hour layover in Memphis. I checked the board to see if there was an earlier flight I could get standby to Greenville. There was one leaving in just a few minutes, so I headed to the gate. It was at the other end of the terminal, of course! I had an hour to kill, so I started walking anyway. As I got closer, I heard "Last call for Greenville!" I figured I'd never make it, but I kept going anyway. The next announcement, they were paging ME for the flight! That was my original flight. I never did figure out what happened. I guess my plane from Minneapolis got in late, but they didn't announce it when we got off. And when I checked the board & added up the time to Greenville, it was earlier. I forgot about the time change. But it still doesn't explain the hour layover that turned into just a few minutes! ;-)

The flight from Memphis to Greenville was uneventful. I slept again!

It was SO good to see Heather again. We're such good friends that we haven't seen each other in almost a year and half, but that doesn't matter...we just pick up and keep going as if we were never apart! We went to dinner that night with the Woods and Aunt Shirley. It was good to see them again and meet Aunt Shirley. I had talked to her on the phone several times, but never met her in person before.

While Heather was at work, I did some shopping for Harvest. Things we need, but _________ (can't get, don't have selection, too expensive...fill in the blank) At my first stop at Target, I filled 3 carts to overflowing! I also went to Wal-Mart and two other Targets! It was great fun! After Heather got off work, we did some more running and a quick sightseeing trip.

On Wednesday, I went to BJU to have lunch with Heather. She gave me a tour of the Dining Common where she works. It's huge! It's the 2nd largest in the United States. We had lunch & I ran into a few people that I knew. Later that day I went and saw Dan Wooster. He teaches computer classes at BJU. I met him & his family when we came to Guam at the same time for a missions trip.

Wednesday night we went to the brand new Red Robin. Long story short, it was training night, but they let us in anyway! We got $30 worth of food for free! I think dessert was included too, however, we were too stuffed to eat it, so we left! The only thing better than going to one of your favorite restaurants, is getting your meal free too!

We left early Thursday morning to head back to Iowa. The trip to Greenville was too short! I'll have to stay longer next time.


Trip to the States update  

Well, I've been back on island almost a week and a half. It's been busy & I haven't had a chance to update with much about my trip. So here's the start!

Thursday Mom, Dad, Mike, Kris, Aayla & I went to the local fair. I haven't done that in YEARS! Mom had entered a couple things she made for Aayla. She won a blue ribbon and a red ribbon! Go Mom! We went to the rodeo that night. Aayla slept through most of it.

It was a great trip! On Saturday we got together with both sides of the family at Doughy Joey's Peetza Joynt. (At least the ones that live in town or close enough to make the drive!) Then everyone came over to Mom & Dad's for dessert. We had some good laughs and it was nice to catch up with everyone, see how the kids have grown and meet some of them for the first time even!

Sunday we went to church, then went to Aunt Louise & Uncle Gary's for lunch. It was nice to relax and hang with the cousins.

Early Monday morning I headed out to Greenville, SC. Check the next post for that trip!


The word for the day is "torrential"  

It has been raining since I got back. (Actually Kelly told me it started awhile before that.) I've seen the sun shine for a short time one day, I think. Friday morning I was getting ready for work & realized it was pouring down rain and blowing sideways! I had left my umbrella at work, so I got out the poncho. At least part of me stayed dry!

Today Kelly & I ran to the grocery store. It was raining when we left, but not too hard. By the time we were leaving the store, it was a torrential downpour! We tried to wait it out, but it didn't look like it was going to stop anytime soon. We made a mad dash for the car. After the short run, the bottom of my pants were soaked about six inches up from all the puddles!

We met Chad & the boys for dinner at KFC and we all froze because we were so wet and the air con was running. We turned the heat on in the car for the trip home! :-)

After dinner, Kelly, Jeremy & I ran a few errands & got even wetter. As we drove home, we saw a police car blocking off the middle lane of our side of the road. We couldn't figure out why until we got closer. A manhole cover had come off and water was gushing out of it! The next one we passed was still intact, but water was gushing out of it as well. I guess it's been raining a lot!