Thursday, December 31, 2009

on the cusp

We are on the cusp of a brand new year, decade and life, if it so be. I was reflecting on the last decade this morning and thought about where our lives were 10 years ago. We were living in Orem UT. Getting ready to have our first born, Mariah. Will was in school at BYU and working for PowerQuest (a computer software company). I had just finished my 2nd stint at Bon Losee Academy (which I hear is no longer) and preparing for the new chapter of motherhood.
In the year 2000, we had a very full and exciting year. After Mariah was born, it worked out that in some way, we got to see my parents every other month. We took a trip with them and all my siblings (except Paula) to the UK to see Amy Mayall marry Malcolm Young when Mariah was 4 months old. That was such a fantastic time!
As we start this new decade and I think about the next 10 years, it is scary to think I'll have 2 daughters go away to college and possibly get.... *whispers*... married. EEEK!
In the year 2010, the only resolution I have made so far is to be a better visiting teacher. That is something I have been lacking in since we moved back to the mainland and I want to strive to do better.
So far, the decade is starting off great because we are in one of our favorite places with some of our most favorite people!! I couldn't ask for a better jumping point!
We are headed to the beach again today! Should be some exciting pics to post tomorrow! Got a long and busy holiday ahead today.

Swap Meet

We braved Aloha Stadium Swap Meet today with all 10 girls (Kauwe had to work, so Will was all alone...poor guy). I went armed with my list that I'd been secretly keeping for the last couple months, so as to not give away the travel plans. I was able to get everything on my list except the Christmas tree ornaments I was hoping to add to my collection for next year.

Mariah bought this Hello Kitty
necklace at the swap meet

After we left the stadium, we hit the H3 freeway and went over to La'ie to go to BYU-H bookstore and see the temple. I thought that I'd seen a Dave's ice cream over there before, but it turns out there isn't, so we stopped at Angel's ice cream for a cup with ice cream and shave ice. It was pretty good, but Dave's is still my favorite (even over Matsumoto's).

I missed these Ko'Olau Mtns. So majestic!

We went to the temple to see the grounds. The temple is currently closed for some major renovations until next summer, but the grounds are still as beautiful as ever. They even still had their life size marble nativity still set up and the visitor's center is still open. The girls were in awe of everything there.

Outside the La'ie Distribution Center


Visitor's Center

Gorgeous La'ie Temple

The Nativity next to the VC ("Nice Doggie"...LOL!!)

Then we went up the road to the BYU-H bookstore and let the girls wander around the bookstore. They love looking around stores like that. It kind of cracks me up how excited they get about such little stuff.

We decided to take the "long way" home and drive over the North Shore. We made a stop at the Dole Plantation to get Pineapple Whip. YuuuMM!!! And it's dairy free, so even Roxelle got to have some. She totally dug it!

Front Entrance

Look at the Brinlee and Tatum in the back ground. LOL!

Penny Flatener. Mariah has sort of made this a tradition to do when we go places that have it.

Poor baby is EXHAUSTED!

Ko'Olina again

First thing this morning, I went for a run and then a walk with the girls on bikes. We went past our old house and Keoneula Elementary School. The sun was shining through the clouds in the most beautiful way.

Our place on Kai'Oli St. and the girls school just to the right of the front gate.

Taylin picked this ENORMOUS hibiscus flower just outside our old house. I remember admiring them. There are usually pink ones too. SO pretty!

I thought the sun looked cool.
(These were all taken with my phone..sorry for the poor quality)

Then the girls were given the go ahead to eat the gingerbread houses. They dug right in!

LOL! Tatum thought this was hilarious!

We went to Ko'Olina again today. It was cloudy today and a little bit of a cool breeze was blowing. The girls didn't care, though. They threw themselves into the water like it was 90 degrees out. They came out an hour later with slightly blue lips, but they didn't seem to care at all.

I'd have to say that Roxelle gets the brownie award for the day. The poor baby didn't get her 9am or 1pm naps and we didn't hear hardly a peep out of her all day. She toddled around on the "straw" mat and munched on snacks and cooed at the the birds. She was just happy as can be!
On the way home we stopped at the new Costco/Target complex in Kapolei. I so missed Target when we lived here and, of course, only about 6 months after we left, they finished building it.
We are going to call it a night earlier tonight than last night. I am closing my eyes as I type. I am exhausted!
Tomorrow: Aloha Stadium Swap Meet

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Out to Dinner

Kauwe's brave dad, Gordon, agreed to keep all 10 girls home, while we parents went out to dinner. I put Roxelle and Tatum to bed and then we left. We couldn't decided where to eat, so we ended up at the Ho Ho "Chin" Buffet in Kapolei (supposed to be Chinese, but the 'ese' lights were burnt out so it looked like 'Chin').
Totally ghetto place to eat, but the food was actually pretty good. We chatted and enjoyed each other for the evening. We don't have many more days with Kauwe, as he is getting set to leave on Mon. t0 AZ for 4 months on a military training thing-y.
We love the Kai's so much! It's like looking at a very tan mirror image of ourselves. They totally get the dynamic of 5 girls under age 10. We joke that we must be building our mansions in heaven very close to one another to house all these girls and all our posterity to come!

Monday, December 28, 2009


We are finally here after an eventful night! We got to the airport in plenty of time to take it easy getting through security with 7 people and 11 pieces of luggage. We boarded the plane on time and taxi'd out to the runway in decent time. Then we sat there for a while. The girls kept asking if we were already flying (cuz it was dark outside and they couldnt' see that the ground was right there). Then the pilot came on and said that one of the flap indicator lights had come on and that we were turning around to go back to the gate to have the mechanics take a look. They said if there really is something wrong with the flap, that we will have to change planes, but if it's just a false indicator, that we'd take off because they don't need the indicators to work once we are in the air.

After we had sat at the gate for over an hour, it was announced that it was just the indicator light.

Once in the air, the kids slept most of the time and were, over all, pretty good.

The kids and I wore masks for a good part of the time to try and avoid the sickies.

Baby's 1st plane ride!!! (AWWW)

We arrived 2 hours late at 11:40. When we exited the airplane and walked out of the terminal into the open air, Tatum pointed to the palm trees and shouted "LOOK! It's Hawaii!!" They were so excited to just be here.

We grabbed our one checked suitcase and headed out to the car rental bus waiting area. We waited for over an hour and watched a bunch of the other company buses come and go 2 and 3 times. We used the courtesy phone (4 or 5 times) that direct connects to Thrifty and it kept telling us that someone would be there shortly to get us.

Us waiting...and WAITING! (1 am-ish)

Finally at around 1:10 am, the guy at the taxi stand next to us came and asked us if we needed help and we told him we were waiting for the Thrifty bus and he said they'd closed at 11:30. WHAT?!

So we called Kauwe, whom we'd been keeping updating since we landed, and he came to get us. We finally arrived in Ewa around 2:15.

I'd say the thing that has changed the most is that they finished the 3rd lane on Fort Weaver Rd and there is NO more traffic in Ewa!!! That is totally unfathomable to me. I can't comprehend there being no traffic on Ft. Weaver Rd.

We spent this morning getting our rental car figured out and then we all went to Ko'Olina to hang on the beach. The girls are playing so well together. I thought my girls would enter the ocean with some trepidation at first, but they hopped right back in like we'd never been gone.

Will and I agree that we feel like we're in some kind of weird time warp. It's almost as though we never left, or that we haven't been gone that long.

Tomorrow: We beach it again!!!

The first glimpse of the beach!!

Baby's 1st toes in the sand experience!!

Not all together sure of this, yet.

Don't really like the grass, either.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Called to Repentance

This morning while I was dressing Roxelle, Tatum came into her room with a concerned look and said;

T: Jesus doesn't like that one.
Me: Which one?
T: That one, it makes Him and Daddy sad.
Me: I'm not sure what you're talking about. What doesn't Jesus like?
T: That one you say. Jesus and Daddy very angry.
Then I realized she was referring to me saying "freakin'" a little while earlier because she was holding a flashlight over the toilet and I told her to "Close the freakin' lid" before she drops it in the toilet.
I know that isn't a curse word to most, but I don't like it and try really hard not to use it. I didn't use to care, but the first time I heard one of my kids say it, I didn't like that very much, so I told them that it's not a "curse" word, but that it's not a very nice thing to say.
Tatum was so concerned that I had said a swear word and that Jesus and Daddy were going to be very mad at me. I hugged her tight and sincerely apologized to her and told her that I promised to try really hard to never say it again. Funny girl!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

An act of kindness

Last night, I decided to just bite the bullet and go shopping today for the girls "Christmas dresses". I decided to hit Clackamas Town Center because it's in OR, so no sales tax, and it has the best selection of stores that is closest to me.

I decided to go to Target, which is across the street, first. I actually found a couple of cute dresses there and decided that since they were such a great price that I would just go for it. So I paid and left.

When I got in the car, I was organizing my bag. When I pulled out of my spot, I realized that someone had been waiting for it and I felt bad that I'd taken so long, so I waved an apology and she smiled and waved back, which I thought was a nice gesture. As I was driving away, I realized that my Target receipt, which I had put into my wallet after paying, was on the edge of my driver's seat. I went to slip it back into my wallet and realized that my check book (with all my credit cards) was missing. I frantically searched the sides of my seat and the back while stopped at the stoplight, but could not find it. So I flipped a U and hurried back to where I was parked. I knew that since it wasn't in the car, and I know I put it back into my wallet after I paid, with my receipt, that I had to have dropped it in the parking lot.

I didn't see it in the spot where I'd parked (I recognized the car still in it that had parked there after me). I went into Target and no one had turned it in. I was FRANTIC! I kept thinking that I wouldn't be able to make the 30 minute drive home fast enough to cancel my cards and checks before someone might start doing their Christmas shopping on my dime!

On the drive home, I kept going over it in my head and kicking myself for even going shopping in the first place. I knew this was my "punishment" for spending unnecessary money. I was praying that it would be found by someone honest, that wouldn't use my identity or spend our money, and I promised that I would return the dresses and they could go without this year. They don't need them anyway.

After I cancelled my debit card, checks, and credit cards, I was sulking on the couch when my phone rang and an angel was on the other end. The gal asked for me by name and told me her name and said she found my wallet in the Target parking lot. I thanked her vehemently and asked her if she by chance had turned it in to Target. She said "No. Honestly, I used to work for Target and I've seen what those 'girls' behind the counter do to lost wallets. So I thought I'd take my chances and try to find you myself. I was the one who pulled into the parking spot you were in and when I got out of the car, I saw it on the ground. I hope you don't mind, but I had to go through your checks to find your number." Of course I didn't mind. I told her that the funny thing is that just a couple of weeks ago I had gotten new checks and my old checks had my HI number on them. She said "Well, when I was looking, I noticed that you made a check out to a ward. Are you LDS?" I laughed and said "YES! Are you?!" and she said "Yes!" We both laughed. I told her she was a direct answer to prayer. I thanked her a million times over and we agreed to meet back up by Clackamas Town Center, which is where she lives.

I had made these little baskets with a candle for my visiting teach-ees for Christmas and I had an extra, so I put a thank you note inside and took it to her.

I have such a strong testimony of the power of prayer already, and after today it is strengthened 10 fold. I know that He hears and answers all of our prayers. Sometimes those answers don't come as immediately as we like, but if you live righteously and listen to those simple promptings, you will hear your answers.