Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Morning

It was so nice to have family here for Christmas this year. We didn't go all out for presents but kept it pretty simple. (As I write this and look at the pictures, it looks like a lot. Keep in mind though, this is for 11 adults and 3 children.) Usually Santa will bring the kids one big present each. Santa had wanted to get them something pretty spectacular, but since he waited too long, this item was sold out around the island. Corynn and Dallin were pretty happy with the Legos that he brought instead.My mom had given the kids a book about the birth of Christ, which I thought was the perfect way to start the morning. Grateful kids are the BEST!Santa also brought everyone who was visiting Hawaii a flip-flop stocking filled with some island souvenirs. Masen didn't really get into Christmas that much. He had more fun eating the wrapping paper and crawling in the boxes than he did with his new little toys. The real gift this season was having our loved ones here with us. When we first moved here to Hawaii, people used to ask me what it was like living in Paradise. I admit, there are a lot of good things about living in Hawaii, but without family, it can never be MY Paradise. With everyone here for Christmas, it was as close to Heaven as you can get. Now we just need Chris' whole side of the family here. Hint, hint!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holidays '09

This year my WHOLE family decided to have a Hawaiian holiday. The week before Christmas they started rolling in. The first wave was Kris, Serena, and Jeff. We drove them straight from the airport to Ko'Olina to catch the sunset. They got in 3 days before anyone else, so they had a head start on all the fun.Their first day here they decided to go on an 8 mile hike. I dropped them off on one side of the mountain, then they called me when they reached the other side. They said it was fun. I'll take their word for it :)
The next day we all went to Waimea Bay. I was sure to check the surf report, because this is the same spot they had the Eddie just a few weeks before with 50 ft. waves. They were only 5-10, but still, a 10 ft. wave will knock you flat. The life guards wouldn't let the kids go very far out. They decided to make their own snowman out of sand. I thought it was cute!On day three, Chris took them to Hanauma Bay to do some snorkeling. They had such a blast, they all went back again when the rest of the family arrived a few days later. They especially had fun looking for the state fish humuhumunukunukuapua'a. I just love to say the name :)Before going to the PCC some of us visited BYU Hawaii, the Hawaii Laie Temple, and Visitor's Center. The temple is currently closed and under renovation, but the grounds are beautiful, and the visitor's center was nice.This is called Laie Point. It's a beautiful natural arch formed by waves just a little off the coast. I had heard of it before, but didn't know where it was. I wandered around Laie until I found it. It was worth the wandering.Here are just a few pictures of the Luau at the PCC. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of the whole gang. Once EVERYONE got here they all had their cameras out. I didn't bring my camera since I had enough to worry about with a diaper bag and baby, and figured I would get copies of all the pictures from everyone. I'm still waiting...uhum. Can you tell I only had copies of Kris and Serena's pictures? That might explain why they are in almost every picture! The rest of our adventures include the Dole Plantation, swimming with turtles at Paradise Cove, professional family pictures taken, the International Marketplace, shopping, dining and swimming at Waikiki, and much, much more.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Now THIS is Paradise

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Whoa dude...check out the gnarly waves!

Please excuse the surf slang. I couldn't resist. Yesterday after the kids got home from school, I decided to take them up to the North Shore to see the huge waves that we have been hearing about on the news. They were having the Eddie Aikau Surf Competition at Waimea Bay, and although I knew we would miss the action, we still wanted to see the 30-50 foot waves that had been predicted. The largest in 40 years! We stopped at Chris' work on the way up to see if he wanted to join us. He was a little worried about the traffic, and yes it was horrible. We finally got out and walked about a half mile away from the beach when we figured we could beat the snail's pace of traffic on foot. We were not disappointed. These pictures don't do justice to the size of these massive waves. It was incredible, not only to see the waves, but to hear them crash, and see all the mist in the air they created. There was so much foam, Corynn said that the ocean looked like milk.
Although the competition was over (congratulations to Greg Long) surfers were still out there enjoying the swells. Every once in a while one would ride in to the applause of hundreds (or maybe thousands) of people cheering for them.
I am amazed at nature's beauty. I am in awe of those surfers who can harness the power of these waves, and look so elegant doing it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gobble, Gobble

This year for Thanksgiving we had Elder Shemph and Elder Gerrard over for dinner. I think we were all a little homesick :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oooh Maaaan!

Why, WHY does stuff like this ALWAYS happen when Chris leaves?! Last week Chris had a conference in St. Louis. I drop him off at the airport Thurs. night, and the next morning, this is what I woke up to. When the police arrived I filed a report, and they dusted for fingerprints. Nothing. Drats. Since nothing was stolen he figures they were going to steal the car. The tint acted like tape and held the window together somewhat, so he figured they gave up when they couldn't get in fast enough. He informed me it only takes 20 seconds for a theif to hotwire a car. If I had a gun it wouldn't take me 20 seconds to shoot hit them maybe.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Furlough Fridays

With the flailing economy, and Hawaii's budget crisis, the state has implemented Furlough Fridays. So, between regular holidays and Furlough Fridays, my kids now have a 4 day school week virtually every week. This is on top of getting out early EVERY Wednesday. When are my kids supposed to learn?
So what do we do on all these days off? We get a season pass to the coolest water park ever, which happens to be down the hill from our house.Corynn, her best friend Mya, and Dallin at Wet n Wild, Hawaii. Masen and I love to chill for a few hours while waiting for the older kids to wear themselves out. I'm a little concerned about how my kids will fare once we get back to the mainland. I SHOULD be doing educational stuff with them on all this time off, but cummon....we live in Hawaii! I have a feeling we will be looking into the Sylvan Learning Centers once we move. Until then, bring on the fun!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Aloha Kellers

Last month the American Dental Association Conference was held here in Honolulu. We were so excited, because this meant we would get to see some dear friends whom we hadn't seen for many years. The Kellers were our BFFs in North Carolina. We had all just gotten out of dental school, Chris and Dave were in the same residency, our kids were the same age (and attended the same pre-school), we went to the same was like looking in a mirror. After residency they moved to Germany, Virginia, and have now settled in Washington. We were so happy for the chance to see them, meet the younger two kids, and show them a little of this beautiful island. They stayed at Ko'Olina for the first half of their vacation, then came to stay at our house for the last part. We had fun swimming at their condo pool, swimming at a couple of beaches, going out to dinner, visiting the Dole Plantation, and listening to General Conference :) I hadn't taken any pictures of their stay, so as they were getting ready to head to the airport, I hurried and snapped some pictures in our back yard. Above is Rachel, Dave, then David, Bella, Savannah, with Ben on the ground (silly boy). Below is all the kids. They had such a blast playing together. Hey Kellers, next time the party is at your house!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Although the weather says it's July, it actually is Halloween. The past week has been so hot and muggy, it was hard to get into the Halloween spirit. In spite of the hot weather, the kids were excited to get dressed up and beg for candy. Dallin was supposed to be Darth Maul last year, but the costume was too big. One year later, thanks to a massive growth spurt, it fit him.Corynn wanted to be a vampire this year. She was very particular about her hair and make-up (hey, she might have some girly in her after all). She HAD to have sparkles on her face, because everyone knows that vampires sparkle (thank-you Stephenie Meyer). I tried to convince her to loose the fake teeth, because everyone knows that vampires don't have fangs. She didn't buy it.
Trunk-or-Treat has become a yearly tradition for our family. Corynn tried to ditch us in favor of going out with friends, but the mean mother I am made her spend SOME time with our family. I'm not ready to have a teenager yet.Here I am as Little Red Riding Hood, getting ready to put Masen in his turtle costume. Heaven knows I wanted to do a family theme for costumes, but really, Halloween snuck up on me too fast.As usual, the kids got way more candy than they can ever possible consume. We just threw out a storage baggie of last years candy! Sunday morning they were WAY more interested in candy than getting to church. Really, can you blame them?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

7 Months and Growing

I have a fabulous friend in my ward who was nice enough to take Masen's photos for me. She is one of those people who is naturally good at everything she does, including photography. I think the pictures turned out adorable. Thanks so much Molly! Some of the pictures look a little grainy because I Photoshopped them, then had to lower the resolution so blogger would upload them.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Miss Fall

These past couple of weeks have just felt a little "off." It was something I couldn't quite put my finger on. One day I finally realized what it is: I am missing fall. When this time of year rolls around I have a natural instinct to put on some jeans and sweaters, cook hearty, warm meals, and go to bed a little earlier. I put my fall decorations up to alleviate the longing a little, but it's hard to get into the mood with 85 degree sunny weather. Hawaii is mostly summer year round, but during the winter months it feels like spring with all the rain. Winter is a season I can definitely live completely without, but I am really missing fall.
Corynn, me, and Dallin at the Pumpkin Patch in Marble Falls, TX in Fall of '05Corynn, Grandma Carol, and Dallin at a lake in North Carolina in the fall of '04. Here we are raking our front lawn in North Carolina in the fall of '03. The falls were so beautiful there!
After browsing for some fall pictures, and noticing how few I have, I've come to realize that I have taken seasons for granted. When we move back to the mainland I will be sure to stop and appreciate ALL the seasons a bit more. Have a happy fall y'all - because I sure won't!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Maui Sunsets

Chris has picked up a new hobby since moving here to Hawaii; he loves to photograph sunsets. While in Maui he had plenty of opportunity to capture some truly breath taking sunsets. The funny thing is, this is just a few of his pictures. I think we could make our millions if he decided to give up dentistry, and start his own post-card company. I'm glad he has such a beautiful hobby.