Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sand In The Tub

After a day at the beach, I always make everyone step into the tub to take their swimsuits off so that sand falls in the tub instead of on the floor.

This is why.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Riding In The Car

The dogs love to ride in the car. I don't know why. The only places they ever go are to the vet to get shots, or to the groomer to get bathed, both of which they hate with every fiber of their beings. Regardless, every time the door is open on a vehicle, they shoot in and plop down.

Ringo does seem to need a little lap time though.

Rigger never seems to be fully aware of the world around him, so it's hard to tell what he's thinking.

Katie likes to ride in the car with the dogs too.

Although she has to occasionally wipe Rigger's slobber off her head.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Didn't Feel A Thing!

People around the island reported feeling the shaking from 3.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Thursday afternoon.

KITV4 received reports from Maui, Oahu and Molokai of people feeling the rumbling.

The quake was centered about 28 miles south of Lanai City about 80 miles southeast of Honolulu and about 4.2 miles deep.

There was no tsunami generated by the quake, the Department of Emergency Management said.


This is the island of Mokoliki'i, more commonly known as Chinaman's Hat. On low-tide days, you can actually walk/swim out to it. Our local friends had planned this venture and, of course, told us that this was a very easy hike.

I really have to look up the definition of the word "easy" in Hawaiian, because it clearly doesn't mean the same thing on the mainland as it does here.

I did ask before we went out, "How deep will the water be on the way out?"

"Oh, about waist high," I was told.

I had planned to take my camera out there with us. I figured if the water was only waist high, I could hold it over my head if need be. Then I realized the memory card wasn't in the camera, so I wouldn't be able to use it any way. I was quite aggravated over that, but it turns out God knew and was just protecting my camera for me.

We brought a boogie board for Katie in case she got tired. Kerry brought a second boogie board "just in case". I told him he should just leave it on the beach since we weren't going to need it and would just be dragging it around with us but for some bizarre reason he decided to drag it along with us.

Again.....Thank You God for knowing what we need ahead of time!

Luckily, another family had brought along a bunch of floaty noodles and someone handed one to me at some point. I couldn't even touch the bottom a large portion of the time. If I had taken my camera, it would have been ruined.

We were walking across dead coral and lava rock most of the way out there (all of the time we weren't paddling, that is). This is not a stroll across a sandy bottom. Tennis shoes or reef walkers are a MUST. The coral and rock have sharp jagged edges that will easily cut you. The surface is very uneven and there are sudden drop offs. Imagine trying to walk across a field of loose Legos. Although the ground doesn't shift around like Legos would, the water distorts everything, making it impossible to tell where you should place your foot on your next step. I stubbed my toes dozens of times because I couldn't see that the rock was suddenly higher. I stepped into a hidden hole and cut my ankle on both sides. And I stepped off an unexpected two foot drop and did a face-plant right into the water. I came up sputtering and warned Kerry and Katie, "Watch out! It drops off right there!"

"Thanks for finding that for us, honey!" Kerry gleefully replied.

It is possible to climb to the top of Mokioliki'i but it is not a clear-cut, easy trail. Plants and bushes nearly obscure the trail in many places.

Billy Goat Ben.

There are places where you have to use hand-holds and toe-holds to climb up the rocks.

This was about the point where I said, "I'm good. I don't need to go any higher."

Kerry, Katie, and Ben made it all the way to the top.

In addition to the cuts on my ankle, Katie fell and cut her knee, and Ben put quite a nice gash in his foot.

The swim back was even deeper because the tide was starting to come in. It was actually easier that way because we weren't damaging ourselves on the rocks.

This is the group at the top although Kerry and Katie had already started for the bottom. There really is a great view from the top!

Or so I'm told.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

After The Prom

Ben had a good time at the prom. He liked getting to ride in a limo and they had a nice dinner. Each attendee was given a souvenir photo frame. And Ben didn't lose any portion of his tuxedo which was my main concern of the evening as I had to sign a contract saying I would pay five times what it was worth if he lost anything.

Side note: When Ben was little he called a tuxedo a "torpedo" and he always wanted to wear one. My mother bought him a little black suit and a black bow tie and he was thrilled.

Back to the prom - It was when the music and dancing started that things got a little squirrely. They played popular teen music which was all about sex, drugs, rebellion, and cheating. The dancing was basically teens grinding against each other and a mosh pit of sorts in the center of the dance floor. Ben and his partner (who both take ballroom dance classes) elected to sit and talk rather than join in.

It was a good eye-opening experience for Ben. He got a good dose of what "average" teen behavior is like and what "popular" music is today. He's around enough other teens at scouts, youth group and just hanging around the neighborhood to have experienced this in doses but a full evening of it was something else all together. He came home saying, "Wow. I can't believe people say Christians are offensive!"

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Ben got invited to a prom!

So, to all of you who told me I shouldn't homeschool my kids because they would miss out on going to a prom: Nyah-nyah!

He cleans up nice, doesn't he?

GQ pose.

Ben's was invited by the sister of one of his good friends. They live just a few blocks away from us and go to the same youth group.

She wanted to go to her prom, but isn't dating anyone so she asked Ben if he would like to go as friends.

After dressing Ben up like my own life sized Ken doll, we walked Ben to her house, and then her family joined us and we walked over to meet three other couples who were all going to the prom. As we walked, we picked up more and more neighbors until we had quite a little entourage following along. Ben turned around and looked at all of us and yelled, "Who are you people?? Leave us alone!"

All the prom attendees from our neighborhood had chipped in and gotten a limo to take them to the prom. I've never ridden in a limo. Katie has always wanted to, but we've never been able to work it into the budget. There were many brothers and sisters of those who were actually going to be using the limo standing around goggling at it. The limo driver very kindly offered to take them all for a spin around the block.

Katie seemed to like it.

Then all the young party-goers posed and posed and posed and posed for pictures.

I don't think they've had this many photos made since the day they were born.

Ben was the best looking boy of the bunch.

I'm not biased or anything.

Facts are facts.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Because Then It's Not Work, You See

Kerry has the day off for President's Day but the kids and I have co-op.

I asked him, "So what are you going to do with your day off?"

"I'm going to go in and work for a while."

"On your day OFF?"

"Well, I'm going to wear civilian clothes instead of my uniform."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lieutenant Dan Band!!!!

Remember last year when The Lieutenant Dan Band came to Hawaii and gave a free concert for our military? I wrote about it here.

Well, apparently they liked it last time, because they came back! One more free concert because they are just awesome like that. It was supposed to be an outdoor concert like last year, but because of the chance of rain, they moved it indoors to a gym. I almost didn't go. I knew that being inside would make it really crowded and we might have to fight for seats or be shoulder to shoulder with other people the entire time. I talked to several other families who had intended to go but then changed their minds also when it was moved to the gym.

But then Ben announced he and his friends were going and I decided what the heck, we'll at least give it a try. And, boy, am I glad we did!

Apparently a lot of people were worried it would be jam packed because it seemed like the gym was half empty for quite a while. We got a spot right in front of the stage and spread out a blanket to sit on. It never crowded up around us, in fact no one even stepped on our blanket!

And Gary Sinise was awesome as always.
Sorry about the demon baby in the photo. He didn't bite anyone.

Their whole band is fabulous. The singers have such different voices, they can sing a wide variety of songs. There was country, pop, rap, oldies, and some stuff I don't even know how to categorize. Early on in the show they were singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and my friends Becky, Kara, and I were dancing like the Andrews Sisters and pretending to blow bugles. I looked over at Emily and her friend, Serene and they were both standing stock still with their arms crossed, stolidly chewing gum. They didn't recognize a good bit of the music to start with.

They started recognizing more of the songs as the night went on and by the time "Don't Stop Believing" came on, they were jumping up and down in tandem. Emily shrieked, "Can we go down to the front???" They ran to the stage where Emily promptly fell in love with one of the guys in the band.

"He made eye contact with me!" She's still swooning.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stick Shift

Ben is learning to drive a stick shift.

I may possibly have whiplash.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Don't Go!

The downside of having friends pop up and surprise us with a two day visit is that no one wants them to leave again.

And we all were secretly hoping they would miss their flight.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Diamond Head Lighthouse

This is one place that most people never get to tour. But because I'm special, I got to go.

Actually this is a case of just knowing the right people. Our friends who popped up to surprise us know the people who live by this lighthouse. It's in a gated area and in the yard of their house. You can see it from the road and the beach, but you can't get close to it or go in it unless you know the folks who live there.

Or know someone who knows the folks who live there.

We went with three of our favorite families. The Diamond Head Lighthouse is on the southern side of the island. You can read about it here if you are so inclined.

Before we even walked in to the lighthouse, we stood on the retainer wall to watch the whales. I have never seen them so active! They were leaping out of the water over and over. One lay on his side and whapped his flipper onto the water again and again. Another one kept slapping his tail down. It was an amazing display and now ranks up there in one of the top best days of my life.

We got to go inside the caretakers cottage which is now used as a guest house.

It is the cutest little house inside with a kitchen and bathroom. I'd love to stay there but will most likely never have the opportunity.

Then we headed inside the actual lighthouse. At the base there is a guest book for everyone to sign as they go in. We all signed it in case we are ever famous and they want to frame it and put it on the wall to show that we were once there. This particular framed page from the guest book shows the month of December in 1941. On the 7th someone wrote, "Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor". No one signed the guest book again until the 21st.

We climbed all the way to the top, up a spiral staircase. I was a nervous wreck while we were out on the ledge. That rail looked pretty flimsy. I stayed near the wall.

We even got to see the lens which was really cool. The view in both directions was amazing!


Makapu'u Lighthouse

The last time we went to Makapu'u Point, my van window was smashed and my GPS was stolen. Fortunately, we didn't have that sort of excitement this year.

This is a fairly easy hike. The path is paved and wide. There are many areas on the way to the top where you can sit and rest if you get tired.

Most of the places where you can sit also have spectacular views of the ocean so you can whale watch while you catch your breath. We saw over a dozen whales breach out of the water and WHAP back down on the surface.

We had a great group of friends with us which always makes it so much more fun. Behind us you can see Koko Head Crater which is an extinct volcano.

When you reach the top, there are fenced in "pill boxes" from which you can best view the ocean and the lighthouse. Taking Ben is like taking a toddler along. He climbs over the safety rails and rambles along like a mountain goat among the rocks. I always fuss and tell him I know he's safe, and I'm not worried about him falling, but the younger kids always copy him, and they might not be safe and could get hurt.

But really, I'm worried about him falling.

From the top you can see not only Makapu'u Lighthouse and Koko Head Crater but also part of the Koolau Mountain Range and Rabbit Island.

And if you look closely, you might spot the Karate Kid holding a can of Arizona Tea.

A Cool Surprise

One of the worst things about being a military family is having your friends move away.

One of the best things about being a military family................ having your friends who moved away pop back up and surprise you.

We had a great surprise this week when some great friends managed to catch a mac flight to Hawaii from Florida. The flight was only here for two days, so it wasn't nearly a long enough visit, but it was great to see them again!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Girl Talk

The other day, we were riding along in the car - Emily was in the front seat next to me, Ben and Katie were in the backseat.

Emily began a conversation about "feminine products".

Ben started whistling.

I answered Emily's question, conversation ensued.

Ben whistled louder.

Katie piped up and mentioned that she just read a book about a girl who thought she was dying when she had her first period.

Ben started gargling his drink.

Then he choked on it and started coughing.

"What on earth are you doing?" I asked him.

"I'm trying to drown myself so I can get away from this conversation!" he snapped.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Joys of Jiffy Pop

I have a hot air popcorn popper and I LOVE it!

Even Katie can make popcorn all by herself, without all those icky additives that are in the microwave popcorn. And we don't have scorched popcorn smell lingering in the kitchen anymore.

BUT.......I was in the store last week, and I saw a pan of Jiffy Pop. I swear I turned into a little kid right there in the snack food aisle.

There's is just something incredibly entertaining about watching that tinfoil grow and grow and grow. You can't take your eyes off of it!

I don't know why we love Jiffy Pop. It tastes the same as other popcorn.

It's just got that fascination factor built in.