Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Lady bag

August 20th, 2014

My husband is hilarious. He was packing for a trip - last minute, as usual: and by that I mean the day of the trip - and was searching for a small carry-on bag.


He came across one that was the right size, but it was mine, and it's very feminine. It's a LaSportsac bag, if that means anything to you. Nothing LeSportsac makes could mildly be construed as unisex.

Since I'm fairly girly, I bought a bag patterned with tiaras, crystal bling, stars, flowers, and lips. I said, "Are you really going to borrow MY bag? You can, but - as a carry on? Really?"

This is what happens when you pack an hour before you have to leave the house, so he took a second, rushed look at it and said, "Yeah. It'll be fine." I think he was hoping that because it's on a background of navy blue, the dark color would mitigate the feminine.


I shrugged. "OK, then."

I drove him to the airport. When he got out and piled the carry on bag atop the suitcase, he looked again and said, "Oh. I guess this is rather ladylike." Then chuckled and left. Yup, too late now.

At least I know he's secure in his masculinity.

Valley of the Temples hosts second annual Obon Festival

August 13th, 2014

Valley of the Temples Memorial Park will celebrate the second annual Obon Festival on Saturday, Aug. 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Similar to America’s Thanksgiving, Obon marks a time when families reunite to celebrate their heritage with loved ones and ancestors who have passed away.


Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

Held since the seventh century, Obon is a tradition that preserves Japanese heritage and passes the country’s culture to younger generations. In addition, two round-trip tickets to Japan will be given away during the event, courtesy of Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.

Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

This year’s daylong festivities will begin with a traditional opening ceremony that calls upon the spirits of ancestors through incense burning and the offering of a prayer. Performers, including Wa-Taiko, Aikido and Naginata, are among those providing the day’s entertainment. The event will conclude when spirits will be symbolically guided back to the world of the deceased with illuminated lotus water lanterns lighting their way.

This family-friendly event will provide entertainment, fun events, activities and prizes for kids. Food and shaved ice will be available for purchase.

Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

Courtesy: Valley of the Temples

WHERE: Valley of the Temples Memorial Park

Byodo-In Temple

47-200 Kahekili Highway

Kaneohe, HI 96744


WHEN: Saturday, August 16, 2014

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.


WHO: Entertainment includes:

·        Traditional Bon Dance

·        Floating Lantern Ceremony with free lotus water lanterns

·        Dharma Talk & opera

·        Aikido

·        Minyo & drawing

·        Gagaku

·        Okinawan Dance, music & drawing

Visit or call (808) 236-4078 for more information.

Flying poshen

August 11th, 2014

Olivia had a playdate with Meya. They were in the kitchen asking for weird ingredients and little bowls and measuring devices.

When I say weird, I mean weird. She asked if I had dragonfly breath. I was like, "Dragon breath? You mean bad breath?"

"No, Mommy. *eye roll* DragonFLY breath," said the sassy girl. "Where can we buy some?"

Oh, right, I just saw that on special in the weekly Long's ad.

They wouldn't tell us what they were trying to make but I figured out it wasn't brownies. Anyway, as long as they weren't burning the house down I didn't care as long as they were occupied and not fighting.

Then, Claus picked up his iPad to use (we are always grateful it hasn't melted from being Netflix'ed to death for hours upon hours) and saw this:

photo 1

photo 2

Potions for how to fly and become a vampire. Poshens, I should say.

Upshot: it didn't work. I still have Earth-bound, non-blood sucking little girls running around the house.

But if it does kick in after a delayed reaction, I'll have to try some myself. If I were a vampire I wouldn't be so sleep deprived on the morning shift, plus I could fly to and from work and avoid the afternoon congestion on the roads.


Educator helps children understand what Alzheimer’s means for families

August 8th, 2014

Alzheimer’s disease is a scary situation for adults. Imagine being a child and trying to understand how the diagnosis affects the entire family.

chang cover

Why Can’t Papa Remember My Name? is a resource for children on Alzheimer’s disease. The book teaches about the disease, that others are experiencing the same situation, and that mixed emotions are common and valid, all in language appropriate for children.

“The main point of the story is the changing behaviors of one who has Alzheimer’s explained in terms a child can understand,” Dr. Chang said.

Jeve prof pix

As primary caregiver for her husband, who had Alzheimer’s, Dr. Chang lived through the disease’s impact on young family members.

“Through my family’s experience, I observed the impact of this debilitating disease on family relationships, especially that of my grandson and his papa,” Dr. Chang said. “There were many resources on Alzheimer’s written for, about, and by adults, but books on the disease from a child’s perspective were limited.”

Why Can’t Papa Remember My Name? covers the confusion brought about by Alzheimer’s from a child’s point of view so young readers can understand what is happening and what they can do to help.

For more information, visit

Parents Break the Bank and Make Sacrifices to Help Fund Their Child’s Education

August 4th, 2014

Gone are the days when parents thought pencils and Trapper Keepers were enough to start the school year. Now school-related expenses include hefty costs on extracurricular activities and the latest trendy clothing! According to a recent survey conducted by digital offers destination RetailMeNot and The Omnibus Company, parents spend, on average, $659 on school-related costs throughout the year per family.

“It’s important to factor in the costs of extracurricular activities in order to stay within budget for the school year,” says Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor for The Real Deal by RetailMeNot. “Surprises usually do come up during the year. Whether it’s a birthday party for the classroom or a fundraiser for art class, there are plenty of ways to save and stretch your budget by shopping early and always looking for discounts.”

According to the survey, 67% of parents (including me!) start their back-to-school shopping by the end of July, which is down slightly from last year (71%).

Extracurricular expenditures
Nearly 9 in 10 parents (88%) surveyed report that their child participates in extracurricular activities during the school year. These activities add significant costs onto parents’ education expenditures—on average, they add up to $396 throughout the school year. Moreover, working parents are spending even more than non-working parents to keep their kids involved ($428 vs. $301).
Whether kids are participating in sports teams (53%), class day-trips (53%), music or theater clubs (32%) or fundraising (32%), costs associated with these activities mount up. Almost all parents (90%) acknowledge contributing monetarily to extracurricular student activities or school-related fundraising.

School sacrifices
Research suggests that school-related costs impact the spending habits of parents. In fact, 3 in 4 parents have spent less on something for themselves specifically because of their child’s education costs. And more working parents than non-working parents (78% vs. 68%) have spent less on items for themselves due to school fees. The top items parents have cut back on for themselves include clothing or shoes (56%), dining out (55%) and vacations (49%).

The ways people are back-to-school shopping may be shifting as well, as online shopping is increasingly playing a larger role in the season. Only 60% of parents plan to shop mostly or completely in a physical store this year, compared to more than 7 in 10 (72%) who did so last year.

Parents dress to impress
School volunteering means more than just helping the kids. Research found that over half of parents (56%) would take an action specifically to impress others, and volunteering for school events tops the list (40%). What’s more, 34% of these parents admit they would dress up for school events, donate to or attend fundraising events to see and be seen. Additional activities that these parents admit to doing specifically just to impress others:

Buying their child name-brand, popular or expensive clothing (30%)
Donating money to the school (24%)
Purchasing their child the latest gadgets (24%)
Hosting impressive parties for their child (16%)
Taking their child on lavish vacations (16%)
Giving their child a high allowance (14%)
Hiring a tutor (14%)
Although making a good impression seems to be at the top of most parents’ lists, donating time and money aren’t far behind.

Selfish time for parents
Apart from the costs, school is actually something parents look forward to. Nearly all parents (91%) surveyed admit to looking forward to at least one thing when their child goes back to school in the fall. Reasons for the anticipation include a more regular schedule (51%), extra time to themselves (34%), a quieter home during the day (28%) and not having to keep their child occupied during the day (27%).

How much have you spent on back-to-school supplies and activities? Are you looking forward to having the kids back in school? (I know I am!)