Saturday, September 27, 2008

"bunny sitting", play date, rocking reader and Hananh Soots

After school on Friday was the day Amanda had volunteered to bring on the 2nd grade bunny to watch over the weekend. His name is Whiskers. It has been really funny watching them with the bunny over the weekend not to mentioned Amanda cleaning up after the bunny.
Today was the day when Amanda invited a couple of friends over for a play date and some crafts. When her best friend from school arrived she had a little brother (Anthony) who was 4, needless to say Anthony & Jake were best buds and Anthony convinced his mom he needed to stay and play with Jake. It was a blast! Here are some of the custom cards the girls made
Amanda with her best friend from class, Madison
Jake with his new best friend (Madison's little brother) Anthony
Friday was the day Lynn and I volunteered for "Rocking reader". This is where parents take turns coming to class and reading a book to the class. We also did a quick little project (making a discover book) and gave out little treat bags with popcorn and raisins. The kids loved the story, craft and of course the treat bag. It was really fun reading to over 20- 2nd graders and seeing how enthused they were to read

Of course Jake made some new friends and all the boys wanted to set on the couch with him after class
Amanda and her friend Madison enjoying their treat bags

When Lynn returned from PA, she brought Amanda the coolest wig (for Halloween). We have our on little Hananh Soots now

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The second most important thing in life that really matters

This is for the happiest little boy in the world. Thanks for all the laughs, hugs and kisses.
I will always love you, Dad!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Waikiki dinner, sunset, ice cream, fireworks and lunch with big Sis

I made a deal with the kids if we had a good week with Lynn being gone we would spend Friday evening in Waikiki, so here's our story. I took the kids to one of our favorite restaurants the Yard house and the kids loved it. We really had a good time and the food as always was fantastic. We then headed over to the beach to catch the sunset. As always it was fantastic. Then we headed over to Hilton Hawaiian Village to the best ice cream parlor on island Lappert's and it was fantastic. We topped the night off with fire works on the beach and they were fantastic as well. All in all a wonderful evening with the kids in Waikiki.
Fireworks over Waikiki beach
Kids posing for a picture at Fort DeRussy Park
Restaurant in Waikiki
Ice cream parlor in Waikiki
In front of the Yard house restaurant

Jake and I also had lunch with Amanda today at her school. He was so excited to have lunch with his big sister. It was a good lunch and the food was good as well.

Jake carrying the blanket for the picnic lunch.

One of the Truly important things in life that really matter

This is dedicated to Amanda. She makes sure everyone around her smiles and enjoys life. She is always looking to help anyone she can that is less fortunate. Amanda you are a true blessing.
Picture below (Amanda on the left and dad on the right)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hickam Art night

Tonight was art night at Amanda's school. So after dinner we headed back to school to check out the activities. In front of the school is a statue where the kids wanted to get a picture.
Aren't these guys cute?
They had 3 different types of art (water paint, Hawaiian theme and Pastels). Here is Amanda's completed project made from pastels. She made this all on her own without any ones help. Due to over 200 kids RSVP'ing for this event we were only allowed to pick one event. This is Jake's new look when he doesn't get the answer he wants. Not sure where he learned this from.
Amanda and Jake going busy at art table. We were surprisingly treated to their favorite babysitter (Victoria) and family who joined us for the art night.

Jake carefully drawing his crab. It had to be all black according to Jake.
I think he just wanted to see how much he could get on himself.
This is Amanda's 1st grade school teacher (Mrs. Oyadama). She was awesome last year as a teacher and helping Amanda make the transition from a different school.
Amanda is very artistic and creative. Once she sat down it was all business and she just wanted to work on her project with no distractions.
What a good time we had. Now it's bath time!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lynn arrives to PA, new shoes and homemade cookies

With Lynn making it safely back to PA, today was our first full day without her. Everyone was up bright and early and we were off to school and to get Jake some new shoes. He's growing out of them faster than he can wear them out. We arrived to the NEX a little early and so we decided to do a couple of rides. 1st the submarine
Then the jet-ski

Then the Mac truck
After we picked out a nice pair of Vans size 10 1/2 we decided to get a smoothie at Jamba juice

Once we got home with Amanda, Jake had enough and crashed out for an early cat-nap before dinner.
Since both of the kids were such a big help today and I decided to treat them to some healthy homemade oatmeal cookies. It shouldn't be too long before they can do this on their own
Jake is a self proclaimed "best mixer in the world"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Leadership Challenge Program

Last week I had an incredible opportunity to attend a 3 day Leadership Challenge Program on Hickam offered to 26 SMSgt's. This was the very first class that was about ME! (and each of the other 25 students) They didn't teach you how to be a leader they taught you about yourself (strengths and weaknesses). It was taught by Barry Berglund and Pete Ellum from the Center of Creative Leadership out of N.C. These guys have been teaching Senior leaders from all branches of the Military and CEO's from around the world. This was by far the most comprehensive look into how I'm wired to think / react and predict how I will handle daily life and critical decisions. Below is the complete summary of my leadership abilities-style, my behavior, personality preferences and my behavior in conflict situations.
No need to continue reading unless you are just curious or bored!

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) offers an exclusive focus on leadership education and research and unparalleled expertise in solving the leadership challenges of individuals and organizations everywhere. What is creative leadership? It's the capacity to think and act beyond the boundaries that limit our effectiveness. They believe leaders are made, not born, and that they can adapt and change. They believe that strong interpersonal skills, grounded in personal reflection and self-awareness, are the key to effective leadership.
My report was a comprehensive survey from my supervisor, peers and subordinates. I had an overall rating in the very high range with the following qualities; experienced and well-informed (ability to offer long-term, big picture views), an enterprising person, dealing skillfully with complex issues and unexpected challenges. I'm seen as a leader with savvy, one who can identify new business ventures and turn them into reality. I demonstrate trust in others, which enables me to give them latitude and opportunities to learn and grow.
The purpose of the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation report (FIRO-B) is to provide a three dimensional view of expressed and wanted behavior, which define how much a person expresses to others, and how much he wants from others.
My report basically states the following; Control is my lowest priority, I won't be much concerned about order and structure until my needs for inclusion and affection are satisfied. I don't want to be closely supervised, I'm self-sufficient, I prefer to work on projects that aren't politicized, I avoid being the focus of attention in meetings, I find recognition less important than accomplishment of the task, I tend to be task oriented and businesslike, I neither seek reassurance from others nor provide it.
The Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment is an instrument used to measure opposite ways of gaining energy (extraversion or intorversion), gathering or becoming aware of information (sensing or intuition), deciding or coming to a conclusion about that information (thinking or feeling) and dealing with the world around us (judging or perceiving).

My report states I'm the following Extraversion (E), sensing (S), thinking (T), judging (J) or ESTJ. Only about 9% of the population are considered ESTJ's however some successful individuals are Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani and Sandra Day O'Connor.

As an ESTJ, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you deal with things rationally and logically. Your secondary mode is internal, where you take things in via your five senses in a literal, concrete fashion.
ESTJs live in a world of facts and concrete needs. They honor traditions and laws, and have a clear set of standards and beliefs. They expect the same of others, and have no patience or understanding of individuals who do not value these systems. They value competence and efficiency, and like to see quick results for their efforts.
ESTJs are take-charge people. They have such a clear vision of the way that things should be, that they naturally step into leadership roles. They are self-confident and aggressive. They are extremely talented at devising systems and plans for action, and at being able to see what steps need to be taken to complete a specific task. They can sometimes be very demanding and critical, because they have such strongly held beliefs, and are likely to express themselves without reserve if they feel someone isn't meeting their standards. But at least their expressions can be taken at face-value, because the ESTJ is extremely straight-forward and honest.
The ESTJ is usually a model citizen, and pillar of the community. He or she takes their commitments seriously, and follows their own standards of "good citizenship" to the letter. ESTJ enjoys interacting with people, and likes to have fun. ESTJs can be very boisterous and fun at social events, especially activities which are focused on the family, community, or work.
The ESTJ needs to watch out for the tendency to be too rigid, and to become overly detail-oriented. Since they put a lot of weight in their own beliefs, it's important that they remember to value other people's input and opinions. If they neglect their Feeling side, they may have a problem with fulfilling other's needs for intimacy, and may unknowingly hurt people's feelings by applying logic and reason to situations which demand more emotional sensitivity.
The ESTJ puts forth a lot of effort in almost everything that they do. They will do everything that they think should be done in their job, marriage, and community with a good amount of energy. He or she is conscientious, practical, realistic, and dependable.
The Thomas-Kilmann Instrument is designed to measure a person's behavior in conflict situations. "Conflict situations" are those in which the concerns of two people appear to be incompatible. In such situations, we can describe an individuals behavior along two basic dimensions: (1) assertiveness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy his own concerns, and (2) cooperativeness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy the other person's concerns.
These two basic dimensions of behavior define five different modes for responding to conflict situations: Competing, Collaborating, Compromising, Avoiding and Accommodating.
My report basically states I tend to compromise the most during conflict situations and accommodate the least amount during conflict.
Compromisers provide a practical, pragmatic force for moderation, a compromising style is helpful in finding fair, workable settlements. It puts less strain on goodwill than does a competitive style and takes less time than does a collaborative style

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hawaiian Water Adventure Park

Today we took to the kids to their all time favorite spot. Hawaiian Waters Park

They have a new ride called the Tornado. It is 145 feet tall, cost more than $2M to build and was a real blast to ride
Up to four people can ride the inter tube at a time (like below) but we only rode it with two at a time. It was a real adrenaline rush and a nice quick ride. The lines weren't long at all and Lynn and Amanda rode it twice.
Amanda in her new bathing suit
This is our favorite spot to make as our staging area with all our clothes and towels. This is a very nice wave pool that Jake and Amanda can both have lots of fun. The 6 foot waves last about 20 mins and then they shut them down for about 10 mins to let everyone take a break

This ride is called the Volcano. It's an all out drag race to the bottom. On today's race it was just Amanda and I until the attendant called for 2 more people to join. During this time she had Amanda move up on her mat as the attendant held the mat with her foot to keep it from sliding. When she took her foot off and said go Amanda was long gone and had already gained a complete body length on me and I was unable to catch her before the end.

This is the very nice River walk. You can swim, float or do just about anything you desire. Jake likes floating and swimming. We did 2 consecutive laps today since there wasn't many people at the park.

This is the kids play area and today Jake went down the pink slide all by himself like all the other much bigger boys were doing.
This is the wave rider (for experienced surfer's only). We sit and watched today but Jake's wants to learn how to do this soo bad.

All in all a wonderful day in Hawaii and a wonderful day with the family at the water park