Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

Okay most people want to be around others on their birthday, but this year I opted for rest!
I got phone calls from the girls and mom, dad, and viena early in the morning. All singing their rendition of Happy Birthday. Then one from Lisi at noon and then one from her at one, and then again at two. Yup, we just kept talking. Larie called about 5ish, and then Enoka came home with flowers (dozen red roses), chocolate (a king size hershy bar with almonds) and a card (the best homemade card one can make with hi-lighters. ..I'll try to get a picture on here - I also got a card from Robbie and emails from the co-workers.

With all the time I had, I could have been as productive as Iwa, but it was my birthday so I didn't clean the house. I did pay a few bills, and re-take the census test. . .I got a 27 out of 28. . .it really killed me! I couldn't believe it. it was one of the easiest questions. . .what is the definition of controversial?
a.) debatable
b.) ?
c.) political
I knew the answer was letter a, so why did i select b? one wrong, most people would Cheer, I felt defeated!

I went to look for a birthday cake, couldn't find one I wanted so I went home and baked one myself. Yellow with mini chocolate chips inside. it was yummy especially with all the ice cream Noka brought home. Dinner was cooked by Noka, his potato salad and steak, we were going to have lobster tails too(on sale foodland 10.99 a tail) but they were all out :{ but the steak was perfect. Besides who would want to spend 10.99 on something like that!

So Birthday Wisdom: I can't really be 37, I just saw Stephanie from the Bachelor and if she is 34 then I am only twenty something. . .is that mean? I swear she must be 50 something!
This year is going to be different. Not only were my prayers answered about primary (I've been praying for a change- hoping it was me but am grateful for a new presidency). I am no longer going to be spending money on just anything~not that I have it to spend, but from now on, I will be in control of my finances. I will cook more and eat out less- we seem to be happier eating in. . .and most of all I will make today the last time I forget to put on my bra before I go to work!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feb 2009 VT Message

Dear Sister:

As I mentioned last month, my goal this year is to increase my Faith in the Savior. No sooner had I committed to this did my challenges start. Have I ever shared anything from my professional life with you? Well if not, this month I will.

I work for a private company who is contracted by the State to provide personal assistance to those with Developmental Disabilities and/or Mental Retardation. I would say that about 91% of our income comes from the State. We have a little over 100 employees and about 60 participants.

My job in the company is to run the Fiscal/Accounting office. Make sure all the bills go out and all the payments come in. Well, in mid January I started getting concerned about our payments coming in. Only one had come in and it was a very small amount. My boss (also a member of this church) did not see any real concerns, after all the state always pays up. . .right? Not this time. They had some problems within their DAGS (department of accounting and general services) office. Our payments would be delayed by at least 10 business days. (Remember this was mid January). We paid our employees on January 23, not knowing this would be the last time we would see a paycheck for another month. The boss never got worried; after all we were owed the money. Well the money never came.

As the person who answers most of the incoming calls, I can attest to the hardship many families had to face. I could go on and on about employees whose water, electric, and/or gas got turned off. Of families whose pantries were bare. I heard stories of employees whose landlord was not so kind and kicked them out. People being told their cars would be repossessed. It has not been a great month. My family had to turn to our food storage and we prayed a lot. Morning, noon, and night.

Throughout the month we would call the State several times a day because our workers needed the money so badly. They would sound so promising. . .telling us they see payments in the system and we should get them in the next 2-3 days. We would continue to call each day and be told the same thing. Each time we heard of a possible payment the morale of the employees would go up. When they didn’t keep their word, it would go back down, just because most of us were in desperate need to get some money, any money just so our creditors would stop the calls, and we could put real food on the table. I had some worries too. I had taken inventory of the home and knew we only had enough toilet paper for one week. Dishwashing liquid was nearly gone, and there was no fresh vegetables in the house. No pay check meant no gas money – only ½ a tank in the car, we would still have my husbands check but it was so much smaller than mine that it barely covered the bills. Well we decided we would pay the bills and live off of the food in the cupboard. I knew we could eat pancakes for 2 weeks if we had too. We prayed and put our plan into action.

This is what I know now. . . Heavenly Father allows us modern day miracles. The employees called every day. Many whose situation was getting gravely worse. Only 2 of them ever actually threatened us. The rest continued to pray and be hopeful. After 3 weeks of no pay, most were at their wits end. I went into our pantry and actually started making little gift baskets for those who were literally down to their last cup of rice or last can of Vienna sausage. We knew the more we shared the sooner we too would be out of food. But we gave anyway. Finally nearly 5 weeks later, we’ve received a payment from the State, large enough to pay our employees.

So what is the miracle? What blessing might I have received from all this? How has my faith increased? Some how we have enough toilet paper for 2 more weeks, we still have canned food in our pantry even with all the food we gave away. The gas never ran out of our car. Every single bill I had was paid and nothing got cut off. Our creditors that we called to see if we could pay them late – every single one of them said yes and none of them charged us late fees or penalties.

With all the problems we could have had and should have had, we made it to all our church meetings, we didn’t have to borrow money from family to get through, we relied on our Savior, we put everything in his hands, we leaned on him during times of trials and hardship and he did not forget us.

A few days ago I got to call every employee to let them know the State was able to locate the problem and find the money. Although none of them are members of this church, every single one of them gave praise to our Savior Jesus Christ. Every one of them had the right to be angry, every one of them had the right to walk out on our company and leave us hanging. But instead every single individual praised our Savior Jesus Christ. I think this is the greatest miracle of all. Knowing that in our time of hardship and need, instead of playing the blame game, instead of acting out in anger, every person in our company turned to a higher power to get them through, and when it was all over and done with they turned back to that power to give him all the credit. It has truly been my honor to see this unfold from beginning to end.

My testimony of our Heavenly Fathers’ love for us, and His knowledge of our individual needs has increased. I hope I never forget the miracles He brought into my life and how personal they are. He knows who you are and he hasn’t forgotten you. I am grateful to know I am his daughter.

Friday, February 13, 2009

What Lesson Should I Be Learning?

We all know the State of Hawaii is in dire straights but I am trying to learn the lesson presented before me so I can pass this "test" and receive my blessings, rewards, just anything that will help me.

As you might remember my goal this year is to increase my faith. . .well, no sooner did I make this goal, the chance to exercise faith came into play.

The Story:
Our company is contracted by the State. 89.5% of our income comes directly from them. Back in January we got note that the funds going to our company and others similar to ours [120 companies who provide services and support for those in the MR/DD division (Mental Retardation / Developmental Disabilities)] were transferred to the wrong account. Because, of the shortage in employees in DAGS they would probably take up to 10 days to find the mistake and fix it. At the same time I remember seeing a small article in the newspaper stating that Linda Lingle is freezing all payments to their vendors (again us being one of them) I couldn't imagine them delaying payment - well now it is 60 days later and we just got word that may be in another week we will see some sort of relief. Our company had enough funds to cover 3 pay periods but not enough to cover the last one a week ago.

So for the last week we have been getting calls on a daily basis. Employees' who's electric, water, gas have been turned off, people who need to pay their mortgages/ rent, people who are the only wage earners in their homes and have gotten to the point that they have nothing left. Enoka and I have actually done okay. . .when I found out we wouldn't have any income for a while we sat down and made a menu with the things we had left in our pantry. We feasted on Saturday with the gift card we got from our secret santa, we got the free milk from foodland (thanks Iwa). We did splurge and buy some eggs and have had pancakes more often than I'd like to admit. Well the 10 days came and went. We received a call from the State yesterday. . .rumor has it that we might get paid next Wednesday. Enoka and I? We don't have anything except marshmallows in the freezer, we have shared our canned foods from our pantry with another co-worker who was down to her last 2 cups of rice and 4 cans of vienna sausage to feed her family of 8 a few days ago. We have enough to keep going a ways more. And every time we open the cupboards to create another meal...the food is there. I really think it is a miracle of sorts. At the same time I thought to myself, I've fasted and I've prayed, not just for myself but for others who are in need. We haven't needed to ask family for help. We have been able to pay all our bills. Our health is good. Our chance to serve others has increased. Our trust in the lord has been strengthened, and my prayers have been answered but not my specific request. Does that make sense? Heavenly Father has literally blessed me with everything I need and more. I have paid all my bills, I have money for gas and the things I need. Per my inventory I should have run out of toilet paper a week ago and when I checked the storage last night I have enough for minimum of 3 weeks more. The little things like laundry soap and toothpaste and shampoo and just the odds and ends that can add up once a month. . . I have enough for several more months - I am not a hoarder, we shouldn't have as much as we do, but we do! Even quarters for laundry - I have enough for at least 2 more months worth! How? Why? Where did this all come from? My calculations say I should have run out a week ago. My supply closet tells a completely different story.

I just know I'm grateful. I'm humbled and amazed. I am blessed that I can share these things with others and my cup. . . literally runneth over. . . now that I look back, perhaps the blessings and rewards have already been given and I didn't realize it. hmmm. . . .

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Are you the gifter or the giftee?
So I got this from Iwa. I am wondering if I respond to hers and she responds to me does that cancel us out or do we both get unexpected gifts?

The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a hand made gift from me during this year. When and what will be a surprise, you won't know.

There's a small catch.....You knew there had to be one be didn't you? So here it goes.........Post this on your blog then come back and leave a comment, telling me your in. Fun, huh?

Good Luck

Monday, February 2, 2009

So close!

Okay you Cardinals fans . . .

I know I heard we lost. Thank goodness my real team didn't make it to the superbowl or else I'd be really upset.

Enoka talked me into skipping the last hour of church so we could make it home to the game. . .of course we missed the first quarter and "our team" AZ Cardinals were behind. . . they came back in the 2nd half and if Francisco (yup from Kahuku) didn't slip, they could have won. . .there was yelling and cheering and screaming coming out of my hubby until the final 2 minutes when Eagles had the ball and marched it back to win the game. . .and then complete silence. . for the rest of the night.

I think the "Big E" might be in mourning but I have to admit, I am smiling on the inside. . .I finally get my hubby back for the next few months and just in time too, my to do list was getting really long!

So if you see Noka, rub it in that he lost and Fale won. . .then lecture him on what happens when you don't put the Lord first. . .nah I think he may have learned his lesson!