Friday, March 29, 2013

2013/02/06 Wednesday: Wrapping Things Up

Today was our final day in Hawaii.  We crossed things off our to-do list, including going to the Polynesian Cultural Center to do some souvenir shopping.  Both the kids got new sunglasses, even though we won't need them in Chicago for a while. 
We are frantically packing, cleaning up and playing.
Remember how Nick lost his snorkeling mask in the ocean?  I did the exact same thing!  I was sure it would be okay because the water was calmer and I didn't have the snorkel on (so it would have less drag).  But a rogue wave came and slammed me to the ground and stole the mask off my face.  As I was being pounded into the sand, the thoughts that ran through my mind were, "My mask! My mask! I might drown. But my mask! My mask!"  At least I lost it on the last day of the trip.  It was prescription and really made all the diving much more enjoyable.
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2013/02/05 Tuesday: Another Day in Paradise

This is how Jo Ellen spent much of her Hawaiian vacation.  She's been working on annotating the Journal of her grandmother's cousin.  His life was amazing, and the journal has been on ongoing project for a couple of years.

Liz continues to be awesome.

Here's what happens to my hair in humidity.  Then it continues to get larger.

And we still agree that the hammock was a brilliant idea.
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Monday, March 25, 2013

2013/02/04 Monday: Japanese Tourists Love My Kids

Once again, my kids are a big hit with Japanese tourists.  These students were in Hawaii for a short-term English program and asked to take a picture with the kids. We were going to get Angel shave ice, but it was too busy (with Japanese tourist, coincidentally.)
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2013/02/03 Sunday: A Lesson of Gratitude

Members of the Hauula Primary and my sister Liz.

There is something magical about my parents.  They get to know people wherever they go, and I think they make people love them.  We spent one month as part of the Hauula Fifth, but they gave us a send-off as if we had been there for years.  After sacrament meeting, they sang "Aloha Oi" and placed lei after lei around all of our necks.  There were shell leis, candy leis, silk leis, nut leis, and more.  I have never been so over-thanked in my life.  And there is no way I could repay such kindness.  But I can pay it forward.  Using Hauula as a lesson in gratitude, I can be more grateful for those around me and show it more readily.  They were so generous too, and I can try to be more like them in that way also.

Toots and my mom in their Tongan dresses, a gift from a woman in the ward.  Jo Ellen had inquired where they might buy some like the one she was wearing, and the answer was you have to have them made in Tonga, but then she gave them two of her own dresses out of her closet.  See what I mean be generous?

2013/02/02 Saturday: The Bedtime Show

The children were giddy as Jo Ellen performed a bedtime variety show, starring pupcake the seal.  Pupcake is the only stuffed animal Henry has ever named, and he loves it.  Only it wasn't ours.  It was in the house when we got there.  We talked to the management company, and they said we could keep it.  Heartbreak averted.
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013/02/01 Friday: Doing February Right

My parents and my mom's cousin enjoyed a fabulous day at the Polynesian Cultural Center.  It was perfect weather, because it was Hawaii. 
In the morning we went to the "Farmer's Market" at the college.  It's more like they buy produce in bulk, then let students buy it with their meal plans.  I did not meet any farmers there.  We did find out what saimin was.  It's a noodle soup with dumplings and vegetables.  If I had known that before, I would have tried it earlier.

In the afternoon, I had a rare bad headache, so Toots and Liz watched the kids for me.
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2013/01/31 Thursday: Dallas's Great Idea

Dallas sent us a hammock from  He was right, we should have ordered it on the first day.  My dad attached it to the tree with cam-straps.  My kids have missed all the other children since they left on the weekend, but continue to have fun.  My mom's cousin and wife, Steve and Evelyn arrived last night.

Steve and my dad did a little souvenir shopping.  Fortunately it was window shopping.  The horses kept harassing them trying to get treats.
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2013/01/30 Wednesday: The Charmed Life

Henry gets a ride on grandpa's shoulders as we explore an historic Laie cemetery.

Sometimes waking up is hard, even in paradise.
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2013/01/29 Tuesday: More Digging in the Back Yard

They love digging around in the back yard, and I love reading a book on the lanai (porch) watching them.  We miss Nick, but the weather here almost makes up for it.
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2013/01/28 Monday: Do We Blend in with the Students?

We have made several trips to the BYU Hawaii campus.  We've used their copy center to prepare for our Sunday primary lessons and activities.  Jo Ellen prints letters to mail to people.  I loved using their die cut machine, if only for the novelty.  We also found the bookstore to be an excellent place to buy postcards and fridge magnets.
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2013/01/27 Sunday: Lots of Rain

Lots of rain, but that's OK.  The kids liked it almost as much as the beach.
We went to the Haulu 5th ward again and volunteered in the primary.  They really are so friendly.  They gave my mom and I gifts, including a seed lei, and it was surprisingly touching to have this 11-year-old "tough kid" cheerfully put the lei around our necks and give us a big hug.  There really is something to the Aloha Spirit.
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2013/01/26 Saturday: Her Favorite Toy

She figured out how to turn the hose on.  You have to watch her like a hawk.
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2013/01/25 Friday: Nick Goes Home

We had a lovely last day with Nick.  He made everyone dinner from the Skipjack tuna they caught on their deep sea fishing adventure.  We played on the beach and went to Kualoa Ranch.  
He decided he wanted to take the bus to the airport (because he hates to bother people and lives in fear of it.)  The bus stop was right across the street.

Monday, March 18, 2013

2013/01/24 Thursday: Sam at the Beach

More beach fun today.  We ate dinner at Fiji Curry.
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2013/01/23 Wednesday: Treasure Island

They had so much fun digging in the sand just outside the back door.
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2013/01/22 Tuesday: Glad They Lived

Despite the fact they have dependent children, Dallas and Nick thought it would be a good idea to take a sea kayak out on the water behind the house.  We had been warned to take it to smooth water to use it.  And they didn't have any life jackets.  They went far away from the shore.  The fell out over and over again.  I was about to have a heart attack and wondered if I should run call the coast guard or something.

Falling out of the boat in the middle of the ocean.

As they returned to shore, triumphant because they came back alive, and Nick managed to keep his lucky hat.

Bonuse picture of Gigi.

We visited our favorite shrimp truck, and sent a picture to Nick's Hawaiin workmate to gloat.  Gigi gives it two thumbs up.  Gigi and J chased the chickens all over, and were really trying to catch one.  Gigi grabbed a tail before Nick intervened.
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

2013/01/21 Monday: Turtle Bay

We have a friend staying in our house back home, taking care of our dog.  He posted his zoo experience on facebook, which made me really nostalgic for Chicago.

We went to Turtle Bay.  Henry has made huge strides in dealing with his fear of water.  It almost seems like a miracle.  He loved his ride on the paddle board with Brett.
I'm pretty certain I prefer snorkeling to Scuba diving.  It's easy, relaxing, and essentially free, and Turtle Bay is a great beginners experience.
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

2013/01/20 Sunday: Family Fun Day

We enjoyed another visit to the Haula Samoan ward.  My mom taught both junior and senior primary.  I led the music.  We have felt so welcomed by the congregation. 

Sam dug a little pond with a shovel, and it was a huge hit.
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2013/01/19 Saturday: Scuba Again

Our second scuba excursion.  It was much easier knowing our equipment and having the correct weights.  We saw a turtle today, so my trip is complete.

We stopped at the stadium where Elvis performed the first ever satellite broadcast concert.
Then we went to a strange (to us) restaurant that was well-rated on TripAdvisor.  Zippy's.  I wouldn't recommend it, because it turns out, I think Hawaii food is not great.
Me: What's the Chicken Saimin?
Clerk: It's just a regular Saimin, with chicken.