Sunday, November 30, 2008


Home sweet home! We are back from our one week trip from Maryland. We made good time there and good time back. We made a record number of stops...actually 'stop', since for the first time in our drive to MD, we only stopped once during our ten hour trip.

The week flew by quick, but at the same time it feels likes it was DAYS ago that we arrived at Grandipop and Grandimary's. This was the first time for me to be in Maryland for as long as a week. And because we hardly get to 'see' Maryland/DC we squeezed in as much as we can.

Monday: We went to the National Mall.
Behind us is the Capital.
We went to the National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History and the National Gallery of Arts with Grandipop and Grandimary. Note to self: when you go with Grandipop pack snacks. We toured from 10 to 4 with no breaks.

On Tuesday Grandipop showed us around the Smith Center.
Grandipop started the Smith Center, an Outdoor Ed program for all of Montgomery County's Public School.

The plack reads:
"Joseph T. Howard
Whit Oak Hall
Dedicated to Joseph T. Howard
First Supervisor of Outdoor Education
His vision provides opportunity for all Montogomery County Public School Students to experience, appreciate and share the wonders of nature."

This is Grandimary's tree for being the most consecutive volunteer for a 'clean - up day'. They have a special name for that day, but I forget what it is.
On the way home from the Smith Center, Grandipop showed us this crazy, amazing tree! It was a cool way to end our trip to the Center. I had been wanting to go for awhile because I've heard so much about it. I was impressed and am really proud of Grandipop for starting this project. I'm so glad I got to go.

Wednesday, we were down at the shore (a two hour drive away from the grandparents) visiting the rest of the family and picking up Vincent's dad. Sadly, I can't locate the pictures of me beating Ben and Vincent in Scrabble or of the huge mound of shrimp that 'dad' bought us for dinner. Talking of Scrabble - we played with Grandimary (who is the skills of no other) till 1am in the morning on Monday and Thursday!!! One of my highlights!
And offcourse, Thursday. Turkey day.

Friday: The last day in MD.

That morning, we drove back across the bay (two hours) to join Aunt Kate's side of the family for their Thanksgiving gathering! I got to meet Aunt Kate's sweet mother and sisters (and offcourse the whole other 50 family members.) I had my doubts in crashing another family's Thanksgiving, but I'm glad to have been there. It's always so fun to see Aunt Kate.

From there we went to partake in our Christmas Gift form the Grandiparents: Peter Pan (the musical). There we got to see Emily (my sister-in-law) and Uncle Micheal's crew. We pretty much took up the whole balcony. I enjoyed it thorougly.

So, you think that's the end of our trip? No. Afterwards, grandipop and grandimary decided to grocery shop for us. (The already filled our trunk with Trader Joes by this point.) This sounds very small compared to everything else we had done up to this point...but the thing is, it was the bestest Christmas gift ever! We didn't really have to grocery shop for almost a month! I know, it's not that exciting, but I thought I'll mention it becuase it meant so much.

Ok. so there it is. Our trip to MD. Saturday we drove home. Sunday we crashed. Monday, it was back to work. Like I said, the week flew by.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

INHABIT Chattanooga 2008

AKA Coptix Christmas Party. You can't read the invite? Click Here.

It's for a great cause. You doubt me? Click Here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My parents sent me these photos of me on my birthday yesterday. I told them I'll post them on my blog. I can't believe I'm 30, but I'm sure my parents are in more disbelief. :) Actually, I asked my mom if she felt old and she said, "no". Very matter of fact. I don't know why I questioned that. My parents are still going strong - traveling every other week to different countries and helping run the largest mission organization ever. I hope that Vincent and I are full of energy as they are at their age and after raising a child to be 30. Thanks Mommy and Daddy, for taking care of me for the last 30 years!!

Riding a Shinkansen (bullet train) for the first time.

My doll for Hinamaturi.
(I think.)

The day I was born.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Looking back into my 20's: The Bethany-Kiko Era and Outkast

I'm turning 30 tomorrow.

A lot has happened in the last ten years.

When I was 20yrs old, I was at Covenant College.

21yrs old: Lived back home in Japan

22yrs old: Back to Covenant

23 yrs old: Moved in with Bethany Franks Weaver - Graduated from Covenant

24 yrs old: Almost kicked out of the Country

25 yrs old: Grad School

26 yrs old: Graduated from Grad School with a MS in Criminal Justice, Started working with Mercy’s Chosen Children

27yrs old: Married Vincent T. Howard (and therefore stopped living with Bethany)

28 yrs old: Got my Green Card (my hubby takes care of me!)

29 yrs old: Started working at Tandus

So, there it is. My eventful 20’s. I didn’t feel old until I compiled this list. Man, to put it into perspective, Sienna, Michael, Jonlyn and Kyrie are a decade behind me – I’m really old when you look at it that way. Seesh.

Anyhow. I enjoyed my 20’s. God has been good. I grew a lot and it hurt a lot but it was all worth it.

Last Saturday at Bethany's birthday dinner, she and I were reminiscing of our old times dancing to OutKast in our living room. I would say Outkast was an appropriate sound track to my 20’s…

Ah ha, hush that fuss
Everybody move to the back of the bus
Do you wanna bump and slump with us
We the type of people make the club get crunk…”

…and yes, Bethany and I were “the type of people make the club get crunk”. *sigh*

Like I said, I grew a lot. I do not claim that I was “So fresh and so clean” during my 20’s. Not one bit. Probably the only thing that made sense in my early 20’s was the YKK’s on my zippers.

God was good and had many lessons in store for me. He taught me that I, like Ms. Jackson, can plan a pretty picnic but can’t predict the weather. God instilled in me that "you need to git up, git out and git something. Don't let the days of your life pass by…"

I have a hunch that my thirties will be known as "The Return of the Gangsta."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mr. Weaver and Mr. Howard and Birthday Wishes to Mrs. Weaver

For Mr. Howard and Mr. Weaver the month of November is the most important month of the year. Their wives were born this month. It can be very stressful for the men, as Mrs. Kiko Howard and Mrs. Bethany Weaver love to celebrate their birthdays to it's fullest. The men also have a lot to live up to. Previous to their marriages, Mrs. Weaver and Mrs. Howard partied together for a week straight and treated their birthday month extravagantly. (There are high standards to be met here.) Furthermore this month does not come cheap. Mrs. Howard and Mrs. Weaver LOVES fine dining, fine clothes, fine jewelry, fine shoes, etc. etc.

Most men I know may not be able to handle all the above - but our husbands take it with stride. And moreover, they blow any expectation we have way out of the water. They treat us well. Very well.

Ben Weaver kicked off the annual Birthday celebrations by honoring his wife's birthday (which is TODAY, Nov. 10th) at Easy Seafood.

Happy Birthday B! I love you!

I L-O-V-E sharing November with you!

More pictures to come on Flickr.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Migraines cut breast cancer risk 30 percent

This article goes out to all the Howards...
...I've never met so many people that get Migraines as often as they do.
Halloween 2008 -

I discovered that though Halloween has many photo opts, they are hard to capture because the lighting is awful. Not only is the lighting too dark at most parties but most costumes and make-up are not flash friendly. What a bummer. Anyways, here are two that I like from the Halloween shenanigans.

Michael Jackson and Joe the plumber

Madonna and Alf

Here is a picture that I'm not much of a fan of, but here it is, to show the costumes we slaved over.

Vincent and I didn't know who we would be until the day of.
Therefore the costumes were made three hours prior to the party - and that is probably why my costume started falling apart after an hour of dancing.

Oh the joys of poor planning :).