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Friday, February 24, 2012

Aloha, Valentine!

I know, I know - it’s a tad bit late to be talking about Valentine’s Day.  But, there is method to the madness – keep reading.  Did you know that Aloha is a word in the Hawaiian language that has NUMEROUS meanings?  Aloha can be used as a greeting, a salutation and even to signify love.  Soooo…Aloha can mean hello, goodbye AND “I love ya,” so I thought I was safe in keeping the feelings alive well past Valentine’s Day!  (hee hee)

For my son’s school Valentine party, we thought it would be a fun twist to have a Valentine Luau.  The kids had just learned about the Hawaiian Islands and even what their Hawaiian name was (so, you can just call me “Hekele” for the rest of this article).  And, for all of you now wondering what YOUR Hawaiian name is, you can check it out here:

To really set the party mood, we had each of the students wear a lei and a name tag to sport their Hawaiian name during the party.  I didn’t think the boys would go for grass skirts, so we just skipped that part.  Anyway, we also had tabletop tiki torches to help set the scene (uhem, unlit tikis, that is).  To make the name tags more exciting, we had the students guess which name tag belonged to which student before we handed them out.

Some ancient luaus lasted for days, but we only had a hour or two to make it happen.  Whew!  Finding Hawaiian food that second graders would eat posed its own set of challenges.  Instead of a roasted pig wrapped in banana leaves, we just had Chick-fil-A nuggets and assorted fruit…ON a skewer!  That made all the difference, I assure you! 

The kids made some adorably cute “Paradise Cheeseburgers” after they feasted.  All you need is a box of Vanilla Wafers (bun), a box of chocolate mint cookies (patty), some orange icing (the cheese to glue it all together) and green-dyed sweetened coconut (lettuce).  Layer it and viola!  The kids LOVED it!  My son even said, “You know what would go GREAT with this cookie?”  (I’m thinking coconut milk or something….)  “Another cookie!” he exclaims.  Perfect.

We also had the students do a Hawaiian word search ( and the first two students to find ten words won a prize (so learning CAN be fun and rewarding…Mom was right!).  However, the game that got the most cheers was Hot Coconut (similar to Hot Potato, but with a real coconut).  The kiddos got in a circle and passed the coconut to the tunes of Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole  

I was definitely ready to head to Hawaii after the party.  And, speaking of Hawaii, there is a story I’d like to share:

A man walking along a California beach was deep in prayer.  Suddenly, the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, the Lord said, “Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.”

The man said, “Build a bridge to Hawaii, so I can drive over anytime I want.”

The Lord said, “Your request is very materialistic.  Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking.  The supports required to reach the bottom of the Pacific; the concrete and steel it would take; it would nearly exhaust several natural resources!  I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things.  Take a little more time and think of something that would honor and glorify me.”

The man thought about it for a long time.  Finally, he said, “Lord, I wish that I could understand my wife.  For example, I want to know how she feels inside, what she’s thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says ‘nothing’s wrong,’ and how I can make a woman like her truly happy.”

The Lord replied, “You want two or four lanes on that bridge?”

I just love that story.  Sometimes, figuring out our significant other is like chasing that last sliver of egg shell in the bowl of cracked eggs…it seems nearly impossible.  Or some days it feels completely impossible - like we’re trying to find a sunrise in the west.  And then, of course, on other days, we just don’t want to figure them out, as if we’re Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head and we’ve taken off our eyes, ears and mouth for the day.

If only we could store up enough unconditional “aloha” from Valentine’s Day to last the entire year - there should be enough affection, peace, compassion and mercy to make it through the other 364 days, right?  It sounds good, anyway.

Here are a few tools to help remind us to keep the “aloha” alive all year long:
  1. A mirror – when we look in the mirror, we see flaws, but it’s important that we truly love ourselves before we can love another.
  2. A romantic greeting card – keeping the romance alive on a random Monday in June is just as important as on Feb. 14th.
  3. Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head – it’s important to use our eyes, ears and mouth to keep the lines of communication open.
  4. A watch – we should choose the time of those tough discussions carefully.
  5. A phone charger – we can ignore the fact that our relationship needs charging, but it can cause problems down the road, if we do ignore it.
  6. Dish towel – sharing chores and household responsibilities helps to ease the daily burden and breathes new life into a relationship.  Yes, doing the dishes or laundry for someone can scream, “I love you!”
  7. Two coffee cups – making time to talk and reach decisions together helps us find outcomes we both can be happy with.
  8. Calculator – keeping an “open book (um, checkbook)” approach to our finances helps us calculate our future together. 
  9. Braided rope – when one strand is the man, one is the woman and one is God, the rope is much stronger than just two pieces of twisted rope.
  10. A picture of the Holy Family – what better model is there for our family to look up to?
  11. First aid kit – forgiveness is healing just like ointments and Band-Aids are.
  12. Blueprint – we could build a house without one, but would it be the kind of “house” that we’d want?  We need to make time for each other to build our relationship and not become strangers just passing in the night.
  13. Crucifix – Christ laid down His life for us.  True love also involves sacrifice.
  14. Bible – we should turn to the word of God for wisdom, direction and comfort in our marriage and remember to pray together.
Are there “14” tools of love for a reason?  Maybe it was just a February coincidence…or maybe not.  Well, until next time - Aloha, readers!


  1. Heather, love the Hawaiian party!! such fun for the kids!! And love your article!! You are so inspiring!!!

  2. I've enjoyed this new little venture! Thank you so much, Claudia!