Steve Stephens

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Steve Stephens (Facebook)

I have been following the story on Steve Stephens, 37,  since Easter Sunday.  It has been so confusing as to why this man decided to turn his life into one of chaos and murder.  On Sunday, he shot and killed 74 year old Robert Godwin, Sr. while videoing the entire act.  He posted the video to his Facebook account and then did a live stream confessing to and discussing the murder.  It was a seemingly random murder and Stephens blamed his actions on a woman named Joy Lane.  Cleveland police issued a $50,000 reward for information leading to his capture and arrest and the FBI added him to the ‘Most Wanted’ list.  Pennsylvania State Police spotted Stephen’s car this morning in Erie as he left a McDonald’s.  After a short pursuit and trying to get him to pull over, Stephens stopped his car across from an elementary school and shot and killed himself.

I’m guessing all the facts and little unknown secrets about this man will come to light within the week, but it is still so unnerving!  In one of the live streams he did on Monday, he confessed to killing 13 people.  He gave locations and street names as well.  Now, I’m not saying he did or didn’t commit any other murders but I find it very possible.  He didn’t seem to hesitate when shooting Mr. Godwin on Sunday.  This seemed to be an act he had committed before.  He was calm, collected and didn’t seem to mind taking another individual’s life.  I’ve read reports that say his sexuality played a key role in him deciding to go on this rampage.  Others say it’s from the breakup with his girlfriend.  Perhaps they are tied together.  What are your thoughts???

Regardless of the ‘why’… crimes connected to social media seem to be on the rise these days.  People are committing terrible crimes and going live on Facebook or uploading the terrible videos they’ve made.  I just don’t understand.  Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this particular incident as well as others that have ended up on social media.  Thanks for reading!

Toddler Times!

Having a toddler is an adventure!  I say adventure because you kinda never know what the day will hold.  It could be a good day, bad day, exciting day, terrifying day etc.  You just never know with a little one.  They learn fast and they soak everything up like a sponge.  My little one is no exception.  She knows how to play the game!  I’ll give a few examples on how “adventurous” my days are!  Here are a few of her ideas and actions that we encounter.

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Clean, fresh pull up/diaper=POOP immediately!

Quiet house=for no reason at all….LOSE THY SHIT!  SCREAM FOR NO ACTUAL REASON!

Brand new outfit=massive blowout time!

Daddy tossing toddler around and playing=regurgitate/projectile vomit EVERYWHERE!

Not hungry and refuses food=eat that Lego over there!

Pretty cat or puppy=pull tail as hard as possible!

Daddy hugging Mommy=NEGATIVE!  SHE’S MY MOMMY!

Mommy took the time to fix her hair=pull her hair really hard and/or puke!

Fresh bath and tucked into bed=shit everywhere and then giggle about it!

Almost asleep= ROUND 2!  FIGHT!  (only some will get the reference)

Wet diaper change=take a crap mid diaper change!

Given a spoon to feed oneself=throw across the room with food on it!

Given to Daddy for minute=scream like a banshee cause Mom left the room!

Given favorite red sippy cup=throw immediately and demand the blue one!

Want that snack after being told no=grab snack, say “pweese” and “tank you”… cuteness always wins!

There you have it!  An average day in our house is full of adventure and lots of giggles!  And that’s just from the baby…

 

 

Byodo-In Temple

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The Byodo-In Temple is located in Kaneohe, Hawaii at the base of the Ko’olau Mountains.  This replica was established on June 7, 1968 for the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii.  This Buddhist temple welcomes everyone to come visit, marvel at its beauty and/or meditate.  There are even peacocks running around and lots of Japanese koi carp!

The day we went was pretty crowded, despite the rain.  Everyone was very respectful and a few took the time to meditate.  It was very serene.  Walking among the temple, gardens, waterfall and pond was very tranquil.  Even our little one was calm for the most part!  The gift shop is very small but it’s still worth a visit.

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Waimea Falls Trail

 

 

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Waimea Falls is located in Haleiwa and 2 miles to the waterfall and back.  This hike is very easy and relaxing.  You will first come to a gift shop and small concession area.  The trail is paved and leads you through a lush tropical jungle and beautiful botanical garden.  Take your time getting to the waterfall.  The plants are all unique and labeled.

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Eucalyptus tree

There are several historical structures as well.  Each structure has an informational plaque that tells the history and what each was used for.  Walking through should only take 20-30 minutes.  There is another concession area and bathroom before you reach the falls.  Take all the time you want when you reach the end.  There are lifeguards on duty and life jackets for those who want to venture to the falls.

 

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President Trump vs. Chicago crime


According to President Trump’s tweet (such a weird word, to me!), he is fed up with the rising crime rate of Chicago.  He wrote, “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I’ll send in the Feds!”

I have read comment after comment on social media and people are divided on this statement.  Some are for the help and some against it.  In my opinion, Chicago has been getting worse every year for while now.  I’m not saying other cities aren’t bad, but they don’t call Chicago “CHIRAQ” for nothing!  We are only 26 days into this year and already have over 40 killings there.  That’s a damn shame!

As of today, according to heyjackass.com, 45 have been shot and killed, 219 shot and wounded, 264 total shot and 46 total homicides.  Seriously?!?  If Chicago cannot get its crime under control, why not have assistance?  I know most are bringing up martial law and saying help would create a bigger mess.  Chicago is already a huge mess.  How about the National Guard?  I’m not trying to promote violence on violence, believe me.  But can you imagine what the citizens of Chicago must go through on a daily basis?  I’m guessing many live in fear and wish life could be less threatening.  And yes, you can bring up the fact that Chicago needs more jobs and such.  You can bring up the fact of low- income.  But I don’t see new jobs being able to become available until the killings stop.  Business owners are already struggling and have been struggling for years.  No one wants to be out and about in all that mess.  It’s hard to build up a city that is constantly tearing itself down.  What else should be done?  Should Chicago be left alone to continue their war on each other?  Should innocent children continue to be caught in the crossfire?  I’m interested to read what you think on this matter.

Here is a video I came across of the lovely sounds of Chicago when the sun goes down.

Foster Botanical Garden

 

 

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Foster Botanical Garden is located in Honolulu and covers about 14 acres.  This place is absolutely beautiful!  There are tons of tropical plants and amazing trees.  It’s also a wonderful place for kids.  There is a huge open area for the kids to run and play, have picnics, take a stroll or just bask in the sunshine.

As you walk through the garden, you will see an orchid conservatory, a butterfly garden, herb garden, cannonball trees, sculptures and the corpse flower!

The corpse flower smells atrocious!!!  Most people claim it smells of rotting meat or decaying flesh!  The smell and color of the plant attract flesh-eating insects.  The plant also heats up, which I assume aids in its attractiveness.  The bugs think the flower is food, which leads to them flying off with the pollen.  Once the flower has bloomed, it collapses and starts all over.  They can take up to 7 years to bloom and are usually 8-10 feet tall.  Once the flower blooms it only remains open for 12-48 hours!  That may seem like such a short time frame, but I can assure you that that’s long enough!  It really does smell like a 90 day old mixture of roadkill, gross feet and stanky (not stinky, STANKY) butt!

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The corpse plant!

The cannonball trees are pretty cool too.  The fruit resembles, you guessed it, cannonballs!  The fruit takes up to a year to mature and the flowers are gorgeous.  The fruit is usually fed to chickens and pigs.  Not very many people eat the fruit due to its smell.  The fruit can weigh several pounds and can definitely been heard when it hits the ground.  Don’t stand directly under it!

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The things we take for granted

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There are so many things in life that we all take for granted.  The past few months have been exhausting for me due to my husband being deployed again.  I have felt, at times, that I’m failing… failing at being a good mom and wife, failing at housework, failing at keeping up a workout routine…. the list goes on and on.

Today I thought about all of it.  I thought about all the blunders that came with 2016 and believe me, there were quite a few!  After making a mental list of all the crap that happened, I started to wonder why I was focusing on all that stuff.  Why hold on to the bad and not acknowledge the good?  There’s so many things that I cherish and I’ve neglected to even give them a second thought.  So, here’s a few things that get me through the day!

  • Coffee-  Coffee is my elixir!  It keeps me slightly sane and gets me through a whole day of dealing with a teenager and toddler!
  • Nature and Hiking-  Living in Hawaii has its advantages!  It is absolutely beautiful here and the adventures are endless!  Just taking my little one out in the stroller for a walk through the neighborhood is relaxing and gorgeous.  The hikes we’ve been on really help with stress and worry too.
  • Playtime with the kiddos-  Playtime isn’t always the easiest thing to do when you’re so tired and have a million things left on your daily list.  But I will say that it’s worth every second.  The memories we make last a lifetime.  The bond you make with your children will be one of the most important things ever.
  • Small gestures and gifts from your kids-  I don’t care if it’s a rock!  One day you will look back on that moment and smile!  I have saved rocks, small flowers, little poems and clay pots.
  • My health-  My health may be a work in progress, but I still have it!  I don’t just sit around all day.  I move, go outside, have a garden, take walks, go on picnics… make use of your body!  Your family depends on you.  You may not feel important all the time, but you are.
  • Hearing “mommy” 60 million times a day-  I don’t care what anyone says.  Being a mom is tough at times.  Some days are so exhausting.  But at the end of the day, after hearing “mommy” ALL DAY LONG, I’m so thankful for my kids.  They make my world go round!
  • Husband’s boots in the floor and uniforms to wash-  I’m serious!  Every time he has deployed it hits me that I miss that.  It reminds me how lucky I am to have him, how proud I am of him, how hard-working he is and how empty it feels when he’s gone.
  • Friends-  I have a few close friends and a wonderful sister-in-law that I keep in constant contact with.  Whether it’s just a phone call to chit-chat or vent, they are always right there.  It’s nice to have friends that hold you up when you’re feeling knocked down.

The last one….I’m breathing!  I’m still here!  I’m lucky to get to spend another day with my family and live this beautiful chaotic life!  My husband always says, “It’s not that serious.”  For the longest time I’ve battled being stressed and full of worry. I worry about everything.  I stress over the smallest blunders.  I have, however, gotten better about letting things go.  I’ve tried really hard to think things through and demand a less stressful life.  Sometimes all it takes is putting your foot down and not allowing events or people to pull you down.  So, remember this one small piece of advice.  If something is bothering you, ask yourself if it will matter in 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years.  If the answer is no, then let it go.