Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Birthdays and Kwaanza

I took a lil' blog break but never fear, I am back. I am pretty sure I have yet to write about our Kwaanza fun. On December 26th, all of us on base went across the island to Kihei to a touristy beach. It was pretty crowded with people trying to get as much sun as possible before returning to whatever frigid wasteland they came from. We had a lot of fun bodyboarding and I saw one of the biggest mullet owners ever. A great day!

I saw a flier in town that advertised a Kwaanza celebration. For those of you unfamiliar with Kwaanza, it is an African American holiday between Christmas and New Year's. There are many traditions that I don't fully understand but when I saw the words, "soul food potluck" I knew I had to be there. Soul food may very well be my favorite genre of food. We went to a local elementary school and found possibly the largest concentration I had ever seen on the island. There just are not very many black people here. I miss them. We hung out, ate and played Kwaanza bingo. We were going to get our faces painted like African animals but the line was too long.

The 28th was Amy's birthday. I am very intent on making people's birthdays as good as I can. Since Amy is my closest friend here, I had to make her birthday special. I did not let her know what the plans were. We started the day by going to IHOP for breakfast. Then we went to the Maui Ocean Center. It is this aquarium that Amy really likes. I had never been there and my previous unsatisfactory aquarium experience made me skeptical. It ended up being cool. They have some really amazing fish and it is cool to think that they are all located in the ocean around Hawaii. The sharks and the jellyfish were my favorites.

After the aquarium, we went to play mini-golf. Amy and I both got hole-in-ones. Seth did not, haha. Then we came back home and watched more episodes of Lost. We are pretty into it. We have been getting the discs from Netflix so we can't watch them exactly when we want them but we didn't have to pay for the whole thing. I made Amy a rice krispie cake since she can't eat white flour. I think she had fun. If not, at least I did.

Now we are back to work. I have a lot to do after a weeklong vacation. I am most excited about exploring my new job. Hopefully I will still be able to put my heart into housing as well.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Getting the giggles in church

Last night the 11 of us left on base went to Paia Hawaiian Protestant Church for their candlelight service. None of us had ever attended the church but it is only a short walk from our house. The church was mostly full when we shuffled in. We ended up sitting in the very front. Our group tried unsuccessfully to all squeeze into one pew but we had to overflow into the next.

I was sitting between Gena and Kristy. The service was pretty formal and involved a lot of alternating between sitting and standing. The sermon was hilarious. The pastor was not a native English speaker. I presume that he was from the Philippines. He mispronounced words in ways that had us shaking to control our laughter. He kept talking about retinas (he said Ra-Teen-as). He said we were supposed to love our enemies but he pronounced it (Enemas). There were tons of other flubs. I was trying valiantly to keep from laughing out loud. Sitting next to Gena did not help one bit. It reminded me of High School when I sat next to Neha Patel. One time I was struggling to supress a giggle when Neha whispers that she "has the giggles." This does not help me one bit.

Last night Gena kept poking me and looking at me at inopurtune moments. I was silently laughing so hard that I twice starting crying. It felt like when you feel like you are going to throw up and try to hold it in. It seemed like most of my companions were having similar difficulties. I lost the not laughing game when the pastor for some reason said a word that sounded like "Poos." I actually laughed out loud. I could not believe it. After that I kept thinking about the fact that I had actually made a sound and almost busting out again. I was so excited when the sermon finally ended. The congregation held no grudge despite my loud guffaws. They invited us to have Portuguese soup with them afterwards. They also gave us little good bags with fruit and strange edible Asian treats. A good time was had by all.

After church, we decided to open the gift we bought for YWAM. We bought Catch Phrase. We had fun playing it last night before bed.

In the morning we all gathered around to open presents. We had received permission to let the three boys on base spend the night in an empty bedroom at our house. That way we could all wake up like a family. After we opened our gifts, we had a good breakfast with bacon, eggs, toast and cinnamon rolls made from scratch. After that we laid around watching the Law and Order SVU box set that Amy got for Christmas.

Then our group separated to have lunch/dinner with two different families from our base. I went to Tam and Libby's. There was some good food. We had mashed potatoes, ham, rolls, green bean casserole and dessert. It was great. I heard that the other group only got pupus (that's what they call appetizers here). Haha Suckers! I ate until I thought I would explode. Amy and I have resolved to start eating healthy and workout again starting tomorrow so I had to get in a final act of gluttony.

After gorging myself, I took a nap. It started out as a short nap but it just kept going. It was so nice. Everyone came over and we played more catch phrase and another fun game. It was good times. Not to sound prideful, but I have an uncanny ability to play many board games. It always surprises people. I am also strangely good at Jeopardy. I have yet to find a way to capitalize on this talent of mine. Too bad I cannot play board games for money. For example, when given the clue, "She's a slut and she's married to..." I correctly answered, "Carmen Electra." I don't know how I do this and it unfortunately did not help me much in school. It is only an amusing party trick. If anyone has an idea on how to capitalize on this, let me know.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Joe Montana and Me

Wow! I cannot believe that tommorrow is Christmas Eve! That is so crazy. It really does not feel like it. I think the main reason is that the weather here is still sunny and warm. I went to Wal-Mart today and it was crazy. People still buy lots of stuff at Christmas even if it doesn't feel like Christmas. Amy and I went grocery shopping to pick up some more food for those of us still on base. I could not believe the prices. I don't shop for food much here other than picking up the occasional item like spray butter. A loaf of bread costs $5! So does a box of cereal and a jar of pickles. It is insane! I got so frustrted by the prices.

I have kept my eyes peeled, looking for Paris. I was unsuccessful. I did, on the other hand, see my first celebrity since being back on the island. (During my DTS I saw Laird Hamilton, Willie Nelson and Gabrielle Reese but they all live here so that's not too special.) Today I saw Joe Montana waiting to cross the street at our town's only stoplight. I was not sure at first but I have seen him on tv enough to be pretty sure. He was wearing a Notre Dame tee-shirt and I found out on the internet that that was where he went to school. So, it was him for sure. Yay! I like spotting famous people about as much as I like spotting mullets. There are a lot of tourists on island right now so I am hoping to see more famous people.

Getting the mail has been very exciting. THere are lots of letters and packages for people. I have heard rumors about people sending me packages but so far I have only received one and that was from Sarah Sto-Gregor. She's always so on top of things. I figure that between now and my birthday, (January 17th) I will probably have a package 'o' rama. I will get late Christmas packages and birthday packages. How exciting! I love mail!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Where's Paris?

I got a call from Gena today. She was working at Anthony's, the local coffee shop where all the cool people hang out. She called our house as is the protocol I established with her, to inform me that Paris Hilton was in the shop. I was about to go to the beach anyway so I hurried down the street. I found out when I got there that I just missed her. I scanned the street and looked into some shops trying to find her. It was a very funny concept: Me playing Hide and Go Seek with Paris Hilton. I don't know if the fact that she did not know she was playing counts. Unfortunately Paris eluded me. I had predicted she would come to Maui for Christmas since she is currently dating a professional windsurfer whose family lives in our town. I am hoping to see her sometime during her visit. I don't even really like her but I just want to see a celebrity.

I once read an article about Amy Poehler, the chick on Saturday Night Live who does weekend update with Tina Fey. She was asked to describe herself growing up and the two words she used to describe her child self were bossy and a tomboy. This is probably what I would say about myself as a kid as well. I thought this was interesting.

Lately I have been doing a lot of nothing. I am off work for the week so I have been vegging. I finished reading THE POISONWOOD BIBLE. It was good but sad. Now I have moved on to INTO THIN AIR about a big Everest expedition. It is pretty captivating. It feels so good to just relax. It is making my ankle better. It is still not perfect and I can't run yet but it is improving.

I haven't hung out with my best buddy here, Amy, very much lately. Her boyfriend has been in town this week. I have hung out with them some but I also try to stay away and give them their alone time. I definitely remember what it was like to be in a long-distance relationship. At least in our case, we were only 7 hours away by car. They are more than 7 hours away by plane and in different countries.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A baby extravaganza

Ankle Update- It is slowly getting better. I am trying to stay off it more. Yesterday I spent most of the day laying on my couch, reading a book while elevating this pesky ankle. I do notice a difference today. It is hard to do nothing like that all day. I think we all have this inner voice that nags us to not be lazy and not rest too much. Sometimes that voice is simply wrong. I know I need to stay off my feet but sometimes I just can't take so much sloth sometimes.

So many people here are having babies. Three of the wives on base are curently pregnant and the other two have had babies within the last year. Apparently being in YWAM contributes to fertility. I think I am soon to be entering the season of my life where lots of my friends are having babies. Erin and Zach are having one in May. I am hoping they have it on May 5th- Cinco de Mayo and my dad's birthday. Then I just found out that Sarah Musselman is pregnant and due in June. I think I am probably about a year off before a deluge of babies for my friends. I have always planned to be married at least a year or two before trying to procreate but as I am about to have my quarter-life birthday, I realize that I am no longer a spring chicken. What does that saying mean anyway? I'll just have to see what God's plan is. I often wish God would just tell me who and when I am going to get married but he doesn't operate the way I'd like. Luckily I am able to remember most of the time that his timing is best.

Christmas is fun mail time. I have not received any X-mas packages but almost everyday I have received several fun Christmas cards. I like the ones with updates. It is always cool to see how friends are doing.

Today we had a basketball team from California come and help out on base. Gena and I put them to work doing yard work and cleaning our vans. It was so needed. They totally blessed us. This little old neighbor guy had them clean up his yard as well. Smart guy.

I have decided to make a calendar called "Wayne in your bed." Wayne is a guy on staff and I am taking pictures of him in the beds of girls on staff who have gone home for Christmas. I plan on leaving each girl a copy of a pic of "Wayne in their bed" on top of their bed when they get home. it should be really funny. I am really excited about the calendar. I will post pics pretty soon.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Firefighters and Policemen Galore!

Last night was quite the adventure. The plan was to let my housemates watch some Felicity episodes and then for a bunch of us to watch LOST. None of us have seen it so I ordered the first disc from Net Flix. We are ready to join the craze and have another connection to the outside world.

Our hot water was out so the boys went outside to switch the propane tanks. One of the tanks was defective and started spewing propane gas. It made this really loud whooshing noise. The guys told us to get out of the house. It seemed like an overprecaution but I departed, nonetheless. I was very unprepared for the evacuation as I was not wearing shoes and had only the clothes on my back and my cell phone. Then the neighbors called the fire department and they pulled up in their big truck. They were followed by four police cars. We were told we would not be allowed in our house for an undetermined amount of time. We headed over to the other girls' staff house. It was pretty scary not knowing whether our house would be okay and not knowing when we could return. I kept wishing I had had the foresight to grap valuables like my laptop or even my purse. We tried to watch a movie at the other house but we were all on edge. Then we all got together and prayed. That made things feel less out of control.

It turns out that the firefighters went in and turned off our electricity. In the process, they found numerous fire hazards, which they thankfully did not fine us for. One of which was the ghetto decorating job Amy and I had done by covering the broken maintenance van next to our house with Christmas lights. At one point they closed off a bunch of the street and then hosed it down. I don't really know why. Anyway, three hours later we were back in our house safe and sound and watching poor Felicity try to return from the past to the present day.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Urine and Blood

My foot stil hurts and I still walk like a gimp. If I was wearing pants, I could probably say my limp was a result of having one wooden leg. I guess I could paint wood grain on my bare leg but that seems extreme. Every day my ankle has felt significantly better except today. Today it felt the same. This was probably due to the fact that I have not been icing it much or elevating it or staying off it. I need to go easy but going easy is not my strong suit.

Today I had to get a physical because my parents are getting me life insurance. Actually I guess they are getting themselves life insurance because I will be dead and get nothing out of it. I had to answer a long questionaire on the phone prior to the physical. The guy who asked me the questions was not particularly smart. He asked if I had ever smoked. I said I smoked about five cigarettes in my life. He asked when the last time so I said maybe a year ago. So, the genius writes down that I quit smoking a year ago. Then my uncle who is my insurance agent called and asked if I was a smoker. Word got back to my mom who called concerned about my nicotine addiction.

The physical was not as bad as I had feared. My roommates got me scared the night before about how thorough the exam would be. Apparently in Canada, the word, physical means a gynecological exam. Uh, no thank you. I did have to contribute a blood sample and a urine sample. She weighed me and measured me and that was it. Not too bad and no taking off my clothes and wearing those terrible paper gowns that leave nothing to the imagination.

Tonight a local church made us food. It was so nice. The church members were really cute and even performed a hula for us. Good times.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I have a cankle.

My ankle is recovering. It is still swollen and funny-looking. It looks like I have a dinosaur foot or a cankle. I feel bad for the people who have cankles that will not go away with ice and elevation. I am able to walk. Hooray for no crutches! I walk stilted and funny. It looks like Frankenstein or like I have a stick up my butt. I am slow and steady but it sure beats armpit assualting crutches. The ankle is still sore and tight but it has already improved so much so I know it will get better. It seems to be healing pretty quickly since it was only Sunday that I did it.

I officially agreed to staff the Summer DTS school. There are a couple of other people who are interested but I don't think they will be able to since they have not been asked. I feel like maybe I am supposed to go to Bangladesh but I am not sure yet. If so, there is a chance that this Summer's Bangladesh team will go on a 40 day prayer hike across Bangladesh. That sounds intense. We'll see what God wants.

Amy- my current YWAM best friend, has her boyfriend, Luke coming in town today. She is more than excited. I am interested in meeting him since she talks about him so much and I have talked to him on the phone a bit myself. I hope they have a really good time together.

I hate it when I am looking forward to something so much and then it turns out to be a big letdown.
I remember one Christmas where I got it into my head that I was getting a trampoline for Christmas. My suspicion was seemingly confirmed by the fact that Jocelyn knew what my gift was. I asked her if she would want to play with my gift and she said she already had one. Since she had a trampoline, I knew I had figured it out. It turns out that I was wrong and my big gift ended up being a desk. Not quite the fun and exciting present I had hoped for.

The latest time this has happened to me I was so excited and then it turned out to be painful, hurtful and disappointing. So instead of being uplifting, it was draining. Yesterday I was really upset but my housemates were very supportive and I feel much better today. There is definitely a sense of sadness when I think about it though.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The sea was angry

On Sunday, I had an altercation with the ocean and the ocean won. It was even stronger than Sarah Morgan. I was suntanning and went out into the ocean to cool off a bit. The waves were stronger than usual but since I live in Hawaii, I knew I could handle them. I was mistaken. I was only about ten feet away from the shore when I began to get pummeled. I fell down once and ended up with a bathing suit full of sand. This was funny and I laughed along with some little kids on the shore at my slight misfortune. Then another wave took me up in the air and slammed me into the ocean floor. The sheer force was amazing (in a bad way). It felt as if the full force of my upheaval came down on my left leg/foot. My left foot felt as if it shifted to the right while my left leg continued its downward course. For those of you unaware of such things, this is an awful feeling. I expected to see my bone poking out when I finally escaped the ocean's clutches.

Luckily reality was kinder than my imagination. There were no bones poking out but my foot definitely felt wrong. I hobbled with the help of Thama to the outdoor beach shower to attempt to rid myself of the sandbox that had developed in my bathing suit during my gnarly adventure at sea. I knew I could not walk the mile back to my house so I called one of my housemates to come and pick me up with her car. Since then I have been unable to put pressure on my foot and therefore unable to walk. Luckily the base had a set of crutches lying around or I would be completely immobilized.

My ankle/foot has swollen up and is a slightly abnormal color. Yesterday I went to the doctor and after x-rays was assured that it was merely a sprain with no broken bones involved. I think this may be my first sprain ever. I have seen many other people with them but not me. It is not much fun. I remember thinking that crutches were fun when I was a kid. That is a lie. They are annoying and even painful. Yesterday I spent all day on them and today the thought of getting back on them makes me want to cry. Luckily my foot looks and feels better today and though I cannot manage without the foul crutches yet, I can imagine a time in the near future when I will be able to. The foot still hurts but not nearly as bad. I hate having to depend on other people for things. This is my downfall much of the time. God keeps trying to teach me these lessons on healthy interdependence but I do not listen so He has the ocean teach me a lesson. I need to learn the lesson the easy way and not the hard painful way. That's what I get for being so stubborn I guess.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Scandalous shower gifts

Time here moves by at a lightening fast pace. I feel like there are so many things I want to do here that I don't have time to do. I don't even feel terribly busy so I do not know where the time goes.

Yesterday I helped throw a shower for my good friend, Sherry. She is getting married at the end of January. The shower went well. It was held at this former-YWAM girl's house. Her house is super nice but it was a bit cramped with 25 people in it.

I, as usual, gave the most scandalous gift. It wasn't even my best showing. I gave a candy necklace man thong-thing called a posing pouch. It was exquisite and definitely provided the shock value I crave. I think everyone had fun.

I think Thama is having fun though I have not been the world's best tour guide. It is more like I am letting her see how me and my friends hang out. Last night my whole house minus Sara plus Thama went to Lahaina, the tourist town on island. We saw a celebrity. Keala Kennely is a famous female surfer. She was on Blue Crush on the part where the main girl is competing and nervous. Keala tells her to go for it. She was signing autographs at a store. We thought we were too cool to get one. We saw the Banyan tree all lit up. The banyan tree is this giant tree that looks like 20 trees because all the roots have grown up like separate trees. They light it up for Christmas. It looks cool. It is not as cool as the lights on the riverwalk in San Antonio at Christmas but cool nevertheless.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thama is here!

Thama is here! My first guest! Well, actually she is the third McGregor to come visit me. Yay McGregors! I should probably entertain her since she flew out here. But yay she's here!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

So much to say

This morning I wanted to sleep in to try to make up for the amazing lack of sleep from this past weekend. I had no such luck because the neighborhood dogs began barking at 7am and continued to bark every few minutes after that. So annoying. I hate waking up early against my will.

I don't want this to become the world's longest blog entry so I will try to stick to the important highlights. This weekend I went home for the wedding of Emily Ray and Van Hardin. I arrived Friday morning, which turned out to be a very stupid idea. I should have scheduled myself to arrive earlier. I barely got to spend any time with Emily, half of the reason I was in town. I felt like the recurring theme of the weekend was not enough time. I got to see some of my most favorite people in the whole world but for painfully short periods of time. It was like I had forgotten how much I love all these people until I saw them in person. It made me remember all the incredibly fun times we had had in the past. Knowing that many of those times cannot be repeated was quite painful. Maybe this is why I teared up every time Fred sang a single note. It so reminded me of the amazing times at camp.

I cried so much this weekend. I don't know why I was so emotional. I think it may have been a combo of lack of sleep, jet lag and more. At the reception I was also on a sugar high since the only food left to eat when I got there was fruit and chocolate fondue. It was so good to see so many people I love together at once. I spent much of my time at the reception talking to Zach and Erin, who I miss so much. I almost cried when I heard they were in town. I told you I was emotional. I got to see lots of fun Cho-Yeh friends including those who play for the other team. We seem to have quite a few of those these days.

I have decided that in order to retain my sanity, I must return home for a longer period of time in the Spring. As of now, my plans are to say yes to leading the summer DTS. This would mean I start training in May, the students have lecture June through August and then we go on outreach to a foreign country from September through November. That would mean I could not go home at all during that span of time. So, I think I will come home for 2-3 weeks in the Spring. Then after I get back from outreach I will probably come home for X-mas. After that I won't come home until I am leaving YWAM. Thinking about coming home in the Spring makes me happy. I just need more time with the people on the mainland I love.

So, despite the tears and excessive emotional times, the wedding was really good. It was standing room only in the church. Emily and Van are very beloved people. During the reception, there was a line to talk to them at all times. They made these little cards that said instead of giving out parting gifts, they made a contribution to their missionary friends: me and this guy named Jeff. That blessed me so much and of course when I found out, I started to cry. The tears should come as no surprise.

I got to spend some quality post-wedding time with Jocelyn, Jason, David Morgan, Sarah Mo'Bryan, Devin and Lee. It was good to get some chillin' time since pre-wedding and during wedding time was pretty rushed and hectic. During the hang-out time, Jason Fowler fixed my N key. This is huge since I was becoming angry every time I used my computer because of that pesky N key.

On Sunday I had Christmas with my family. It went really well, despite my fears about being crunched for time. I got a bunch of TV box sets. Yay! My grandma made my favorite meal and good times were had by all.

I stayed with my DTS friend, Misti on my overnight layover in L.A. It is weird how it was not weird to see her even though it had been more than a year. I love friendships like that. I am now back in Maui. This is good but I am glad to have a tentative date to return to the mainland.
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