School started sleekly

As I mentioned, Camp Denise is over and school has begun! Emily is a senior and Tara is a sophomore. I had some heart palpitations yesterday as I drove them to school, but I made it safely there. I can’t believe it’s time already to go to bed early, wake up early, make lunches, do homework and lay out uniforms nightly.

The girlz like their classes, teachers and free blocks. They are both on teams: Emily is running cross-country and Tara is  playing tennis. They both have settled in nicely with homework and reading time. But most of all, they are both happy to see me in the late afternoon when I pick them up. Yippee!!

This is going to be a fabulous, prosperous, enlightening year.

How are YOU doing?



Summer Finale

Well, Summer 2011 has ended. Camp Denise is over for this year. Our guest campers returned to California and are welcome back anytime. Over the past months we went scuba diving, stand-up-paddling, banana boat riding, horseback riding, go-kart racing, para-sailing, singing, driving, swimming and enjoyed lots of shave ice.  We toured BYU, Queen Emma’s Summer Palace, the Iolani Palace and Pearl Harbor. We watched many movies and dined in countless restaurants.

We are really happy, ready for our new school year to begin (today) and optimistic that this year will be another exceptional one.

How was your summer?

Much love, success and aloha,



I wish my father-in-law a very happy, healthy and super-fun birthday!!

HaPpY BiRtHdAy to you! ♪♪♫  ~ ♪♫ Hau`oli Lā Hānau ♪♫ ~ Feliz cumpleaños. ~ Felice compleanno. ~יום הולדת שמח ~ Tanti Agurui. ~ Grattis på födelsedagen! ~ สุขสันต์วันเกิด ~ feliz aniversário. ~ maligayang kaarawan! ~ joyeux anniversaire! ~ χαρούμενα γενέθλια. ~ buon compleanno ! تولدت مبارک! ~ sinh nhật vui vẻ! Wishing you the best day EVER!

I love you, Dad!




Are you laughing enough?

HAPPY ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!! The girlz and I moved here one year ago. What a wonderful adventure this is. CONGRATULATIONS Schnitzer girlz. Congratulations, Mark!!

OK, here’s an apartment full of teenage girls who laugh…. a lot! They don’t go to sleep until after midnight…they make bagels at 11:30pm; they watch movies until 1:00am; they read and laugh until 2:00am. Tonight we’ll have another teenager here…Camp Denise’s enrollment is growing! I’m sure there will be more laughing, snacking and enjoying.

I laugh at night too ~ watching Home  Improvement on You Tube. I love that show. Mark watches Star Trek on his computer and he laughs intermittently.

It feels so good to laugh. I know I’ve  said that before, but it really makes me feel good and happy.

But I wonder, can you ever laugh enough?



Are you in balance?


Noun: An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
Verb: Keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.
Noun:  We all stayed balanced on the Stand-up Paddle Boards today. The only time we fell off is when someone pushed, pulled, tumped or tripped the other person off.
Verb: I am trying very hard to keep my head and heart balanced. My dads are fighting illnesses, my moms are worried and holding down their forts, my siblings are all far away and doing as much as they can and I’m running Camp Denise, keeping busy and happy and strong for my family.
I know there are good and bad days….I’m working on keeping the balance and making sure there are more good days.
“The sun will come out tomorrow.” Remember to take good care of YOU so you can take good care of those you love.
So, are you in balance?


Are you expressing gratitude at the table?

Express Gratitude at Mealtime. We enjoy saying what we loved about our day at the dinner table (even when we’re at a restaurant.)  Sometimes I’ll start and say, “What was your favorite part of today?” and we go around the table.

Transform your next meal from a pit stop to an opportunity for expressing appreciation for all that went into bringing this food to you and you to this table together.

How are you doing with this?



It’s August, already!?

Happy August! The eighth month of the year. We have been Hawaiian locals for one year!! Whew, that went fast.

Happy Birthdays to Matthew, David, Ben and Judy!

New school year starts! Emily is a senior, Whoo hoo….she will begin her college applications, essays and portfolio. She will learn her part in the graduation ceremony. She will finalize her projects. Tara is a sophomore, Yay….she will  take her place in high school as one who knows the ropes. She will continue to charm & wow us. Since her life is planned out, she will guide us!

Finally, since only God knows the course of our lives, I  trust that He will guide my dads’ journeys to health, comfort, healing, strength and prosperity.

Happy August!