Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014/01/23 Thursday: Polynesian Cultural Center

We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, the top paid attraction in Hawaii.  Sam, Megan and J were going to join us after J's nap, but they never made it.  There was an accident on the highway between the house and the PCC, and because it involved a fatality the highway was closed nearly all day.  They called and rebooked their tickets for another day.
My kids loved the activities, even if they weren't thrilled about sitting through the cultural presentations.

Gigi jumped onstage, uninvited, during a hula demonstration to a Japanese group.  They seemed to love her.
We went to Ha: Breath of Life, the spectacular evening show.  My kids were not enjoying it, and the highway was reopened, so my mom and Katie came and got the kids so I could enjoy the second half.

2014/01/22 Wednesday: North Shore and Dole

We did a North Shore & Dole Pineapple Plantation excursion.  The waves were record high, and apparently everyone on the island came to see them to and traffic was terrible.  Really terrible.

But the waves were impressive.

At Dole, my mom and Jo Ellen took the kids on the Pineapple Express, which Henry thinks is the greatest part of Hawaii.

2014/01/21 Tuesday: Barrel of Monkeys

Goodbye to the Dallas crew.  My kids love playing with their cousins.

2014/01/20 Monday: Zoo Day

Jo Ellen wanted to take all the grandchildren to the zoo the one day they were all here.  It was also MLK, so parking was harder than usual due to the parade and holiday crowds.  The zoo was nice.  My kids enjoyed seeing elephants for a change (our zoo doesn't have them.)  Gigi left the zoo in just her diaper because she drank so much frozen lemonade her diaper and pants couldn't keep up.

2014/01/19 Sunday: An Hour with my Siblings

For just a couple hours, all of my siblings were here.  Of course, I'm not pictured because I am behind the camera.

2014/01/18 Saturday: Just Don't Splash Him

Henry loves to pour water onto his playmates, but gets so upset if anyone puts water on him.

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014/01/17 Friday: Farewell to Nick

We took Nick to the airport so he could catch the red-eye back to Chicago.  He last two stops before he left town were the Korean barber to get a surprisingly short haircut, and Angel's for an acai bowl.  A few minutes after we dropped him off at the airport, I got a call from an unknown number.  Nick had realized he'd left his phone in the van, borrowed a strangers phone to let us know, and then met us at the curb to say goodbye again and get his phone back.

2014/01/16 Thursday: Pool Party

The kids are getting a lot of playtime in this inflatable pool.  The ocean is nearby, but the water is a little too rough for them to do much more than get their feet wet.

And when they're not outside, they are trying to get people to give them electronics.

There was an incident today, and Nick lost his glasses in the ocean.  They were about 8 years old, and he has another pair here so it's not a catastrophe.  I'm going to order him some new ones online.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

2014/01/15 Wednesday: Nice Day for a Wedding

The much fancier house next door was rented for a wedding.  We weren't invited, but that didn't keep us away.  (The perspective of the telephoto lens makes my mom appear much closer to the bride than she was, and she was mostly hidden by a large hedge.)

We had dinner at the Kahuku grill.  Henry tried to eat all my fish- the kid loves fish.

2014/01/14 Tuesday: Turtle Bay

2014/01/13 Monday: Lighthouse and Whales

Dallas lead us all on a hike up to a lookout above a lighthouse.  What we didn't understand is the weather is much hotter and drier on this part of the island, so we weren't exactly prepared for the heat.  The cactus were taunting us that we should have know.  The coolest part of the excursion was watching a whale repeatedly smack the water with his tail about a mile off the shore.

2014/01/12 Sunday: Happy Birthday Toots

See the Birthday Cake

I'm teaching Henry's primary class while we are here.  Seeing him next to much wilder boys makes me appreciate his calm nature all the more.  Dallas's Group got here yesterday, so now the party can really start.

2014/01/11 Saturday: Traditional Hawaiian Games

We went to a festival for Hawaiian family fun, that had a Hawaiian name I can't remember.  Katie is so impatient, she wanted to just drive by slowly and have us look out the van window, then go home, despite the fact we had driven 10 miles to come to the festival.  Once she was forced to park the car, we got out, watched people sled down a rocky hill on a narrow rail, and Henry tried his archery skills.  He was good enough to get a prize.

2014/01/10 Friday: Happy Birthday Nettie!

Happy Birthday to my mom!  The kids thought she needed help opening her present.  Henry is wearing his BYU Hawaii Seasiders shirt he got from attending the men's basketball game tonight with my dad and Nick.  The ladies went to the musical theater class's annual show.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2014/01/09 Thursday: Island Style

We are getting set up for our stay, including sending Kate and Doug on some major shopping expeditions to Sam's Club and Costco, and of course picking up eggs at Cackle Fresh.

2014/01/08 Wednesday: Off to the Islands

Liz deplanes our small jet in SFO
We left for Hawaii today.  Liz, my kids, and I made up one travel group.  My parents, Toots, Kate and Nick made up the other.  (Nick's itinerary was different than ours so he could fly back to Chicago for work.)  But things never quite work out they way you plan.  Our flight into San Francisco was delayed, but we made our connecting flight with just enough time to run onto the plane.  The other group tried to fly into Los Angeles, but their flight was diverted to a nearby airport due to fog.  They sat on the plane for 3 hours, continually being told they would be able to fly to the correct airport soon.  Of course they missed their connecting flight, and were told the next available flight would be three days from now.  Fortunately, my parents got on the next flight as standby passengers, and the rest of the group got on a fight a few hours later.

A side effect of the delays was that my group spend several hours waiting in the Honolulu airport at baggage claim. It's definitely a "first world problem."  There weren't any restaurants and you couldn't buy anything besides flowers there.  The kids were pretty awesome though.  By 10 o'clock Hawaii time, we were in the house with my parents, and then Nick joined us somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 AM.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2014/01/07 Tuesday: Great Grandpa Johnson

We finally got together with Nick's dad's family.  Now that Buddy is living in Utah, we will see him much more often.  We missed seeing them earlier because they were under the weather.

2014/01/06 Monday: Smith Cousins Museum Fun

Of course they had the baby drive.  The kids all had a great time at the museum.  We had to drag them away at the end of the day, because they'd never leave on their own accord.

2014/01/05 Sunday: Nephew B

After spending the night with Nick's mom, we were able to spend a little time with his sister and her adorable little boy B before heading over to church.  It was nice to meet Deborah's congregation, which is almost aggressive in their friendliness.  I don't think you could show up there and not make friends.

2014/01/04 Saturday: Get to the Toys

We met Nick's mom and sister at BYU for the Sacred Gifts fine art exhibit.  Henry's favorite part was the iPad app, which among other things let you take a picture of a painting, then it brought up information and activities related to the painting.  As soon as we got back to the house, the first thing the kids do is ask where her toys are and start scattering them around.

2014/01/03 Friday: Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago, Nick and I were married at 2:00 PM, on a day that snowed with a high of 20 degrees.  It's still the best decision I ever made.

Today started off with a lunch gathering at my mom's with our life-long friends, the Waits.  Super fun, even if it was made possible by the fortuitous timing of Liz Rose's grandpa's funeral.

To celebrate our anniversary, Nick made a reservation at the restaurant where we had our first date (and also our "rehearsal dinner,") Bucca di Beppo.  And we spent the night in Salt Lake without our kids, which is what makes a trip a vacation. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

2014/01/02 Thursday: Dangerous Undecorating

There's a rush to get my mom's Christmas decorations down, but Katie still had time to pause for a phone call.

2014/01/01 Wednesday: Flying to Grandma's House

We made it over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house.  The only problem was it seemed like Midway airport was shocked that people would be traveling on New Years Day.  It took over and hour to check our bags, and security was long.  I was super worried we were going to miss our flight.  We ran onto the plane in the Nick of time.  We were all very tired from our early morning, and really just spent the rest of the day recovering.

2013/12/31 Tuesday: Getting Ready to Go

We are getting ready to go to Utah.  Nick has truly surprised me maybe twice while we've been married.  I was shocked on Christmas day when I opened my gift.  I knew I was getting a new computer monitor, because he ordered it from our shared amazon account.  But when I opened the box, he had weighed it down with books and there was a travel itinerary inside.  The surprise was we were leaving for vacation several days early.  He had worked out the details with my sister Kate, who makes an excellent accomplice.

2013/12/30 Monday: Phone Surgery

Nick cracked his screen when he leaned over to cut an herb for Christmas dinner.  He ordered a replacement glass front, watched some YouTube tutorials, and put it back together.  It worked.

2013/12/29 Sunday: Chanel for Babies

Dress and coat from a garage sale a year-and-a-half ago, shoes from aunt Katie.

Gigi doing some auto maintenance on Henry's firetruck bed.

2013/12/28 Saturday: December Madness

Warm enough to go outside, even if just for a few minutes.

Caught snorting sprinkles off the floor with straws.

2013/12/27 Friday: Her Favorite New Toy

Gigi and her Ariel, which is exactly what she asked Santa for.

2013/12/26 Thursday: Worn Out From Christmas

2013/12/25 Wednesday: Christmas Day

We had to stay up just past midnight to get everything ready.  It would have been much, much later except Amy wrapped most the presents before she went back to Utah.  I think you can tell from the number of boxes that we're all pretty spoiled.

Nick didn't have to go into work (hurray) and we had the day together to celebrate as a family.

Gigi picked out this guitar at a thrift store last week.  I told her it was ridiculous, and if she insisted we get it I would make her wait until Christmas.  She has asked for it several times a day, every day.  She's wearing the earmuffs that Nick bought for Christmas, it came in a two-pack and he and I each get one.  Henry is putting on his Little Ninja Tiger uniform he got for Christmas.

I took the kids shopping to get Nick a present.  I asked Henry where he wanted to go, he said he thought the goodwill would have something Nick would like.  The Goodwill had a toy helicopter and a "Hulk" mechanical claw that Nick just loves.  Nick took the kids to Five Below, where they picked out another toy helicopter and an Angry Birds Star Wars Princess Lea back pack clip for me.  

2013/12/24 Tuesday: Christmas Eve

I guess he's in costume to celebrate.
We had fondue for dinner, with a seasoned broth as the cooking medium.  Nick was home early from work and did almost all the cooking.

I ran out of scotch tape and we had to pull out the "big guns" of tape to finish up after the kids went to bed.

2013/12/23 Monday: MSI with Friends

We visited MSI with our friend Ann and her little boy D.  We ran into our next door neighbors, which I think is funny because in this city of millions, I only know about 100 people.  So when I happen upon someone I know it seems like an amazing coincidence.