Sunday, January 31, 2010

I can't believe I'm saying this...

but I really miss this fuzzy, spoiled, mass of black curly hair.

I just had to blog about this so that the next time he chews up one of my flip flops or drools all over my clean pants, I will remember that he is the one who listens to me when I'm talking to myself and doesn't ever talk back. He gives good snuggles at the right times. And he sleeps all night long, in his own bed without slipping his cold toes next to mine and keeping me awake all night.

He's so funny when he sees one of us get out one of those rawhides for him to chew on. He sits, shakes, rolls over, and goes through every trick he's ever learned about 5 times without ever being told because he thinks he has to do all of his tricks to get his reward. It's so funny.

Volcanoes National Park

A few more pictures from Volcanoes:
this was the inside of a lava tube. there is one section where it is lighted.
then you can exit or you can continue on if you have a flashlight. You can go for several hundred yards and then turn off your light and be in COMPLETE darkness.

Here we are in complete darkness:
We had no idea where we were looking until Rick snapped the picture. It took him a few tries to know which direction to point the camera since it was so dark. The first few tries weren't the best. Cole is still trying to find out how to turn on his flashlight.

We didn't really want to stay in the lava tube for very long because all around us we could see with our flashlights where big chunks of rock had fallen out of the ceiling and landed on the path.


The first day that we were at the National park, the visitors center was closed because the fumes from the volcano were up in the dangerous levels. So, we headed a little closer to the volcano where the winds were blowing a different direction and it was safe to get out and look around.
Unfortunately, there is currently no visible lava flow, you know where the hot lava is snaking down the mountain, destroying everything is its path and dropping into the ocean in a big dramatic display of fire and steam. darn.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Volcano Inn

This is where we stayed in Volcano Village just outside of Volcanoes National Park. It's a three story building with a bunch of little entrances to rooms for rent. Our room was called "Crater". In included a little kitchen table area with a mini fridge and a microwave oven. A wide hallway area with a bunkbed. Across from the bed was the bathroom. Then an entrance into a larger bedroom with a queen (?) bed, another bunkbed, and a TV. Home Sweet Home away from home away from home. I didn't ever meet "Deb", but I met her hippy husband when he brought the fresh bouquet of flowers to our cabin for our kitchen table. Every table had a bouquet of tropical flowers, even in the common area. Deb was nice enough to throw Cole's blanket in with the daily wash since he had gotten a little car sick on the ride to the National Park. There was a little sign in each room asking us to conserve the water since it was all gathered from the rooftops and held in huge water tanks. They had a couple of green houses where they grew a lot of their food. They had a common area on the second floor where they provided coffee and muffins. The inner area of this floor was the kitchen and office. All the way around was an open area that was enclosed with glass where you could sit at these little tables, sipping your reclaimed water, and view the tropical rainforest all around the building. It was beautiful.
On the drive there we drove down to Kona, around the bottom of the island (South Point) ad through an area called the HOVE. That stands for Hawaiian Ocean View Estates. The guidebook that we have says that this area does not have running water, power, tv, internet, or any other luxury that I cannot live without. The guidebook says that it is very easy to just blend into the scenery in this area and that there is a disproportionately high number of people named Dave. They are convinced that this is a favorite relocation place for citizens in the witness protection program. I would agree. I have decided that if it were to become necessary to be part of the witness protection program that I would really like to be relocated to the big island--not in the HOVE, but in Volcano Village, where we stayed. Rick and I could recycle rainwater off the roof and grow our own food in our greenhouse. We could run our own little B&B. I think we will call it Kileua Cottages. But I suppose that since I have divulged that information and it were to become necessary to go into hiding, the government would NOT grant my wish and send me to Hawaii. I would probably end up in Saginaw, Michigan where it is winter for about 9 months out of the year.
Clearly, I am on vacation and have way too much time on my hands on this lovely sunny Saturday to bother myself with the seriousness of life and I have let my mind wander just a little too much for one day. But, If I do wind up missing one day and there is no trace of me to be found...please cross your fingers that the Witness Protection Program has assigned me to be a macadamia nut tester in Volcano, Hawaii.

Friday, January 29, 2010

shave ice

Publish Post
The best shaved ice on the far.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


can someone please explain this to me?

I thought I was in Colorado City for a second.

We did find out that they are Quakers not polygamists. They sell fresh eggs for $5 a dozen

photo of the day

love you Rick
thanks for working hard so that we can play hard
thanks for fixing dinner. thanks for rubbing my feet tonight.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Geography and Linguistics

This is a transcript of a typical conversation that I seemed to have over and over again over the last couple of months:

Them: "So, do you have any vacations coming up?"
Me: "yeah, we're going to Hawaii."
Them: "Oh really? Which island?"
Me: "Hawaii."
Them: (blank stare)
Me: "Hawaii. The Big Island."
Them: "Oh, you mean Oahu."
Me: "No, the Big Island of Hawaii."
Them: "oh, like Maui."
Me: "No, like the big island named Hawaii."
Them: " the polynesian cultural center."
Me: "Yes, that is exactly (not) what I'm talking about."

So, the moral of this story is that we all need to learn a little more geography and linguistics. There are six islands: Kauai (the oldest), Oahu (home to the state capitol and the majority of Hawaii's the population. Pearl Harbor. Polynesian Cultural center), Molokai (half of the population is of Native Hawaiian ancestry), Lanai (not a single traffic light on this island!), Maui (second largest island and most popular beaches in the world), Hawaii (the Big Island. Bigger than all the other islands combined. Vast enough to hold 11 of the world's 13 climactic zones--sandy beaches to snow capped mountains to rain forests).
Liohi is the new island that is building on the seafloor southeast of Kilauea, however, it will not break the surface for another 10,000 years. I do not think I will allow Rick to sign up for a time share on this island.

That's enough on geography now for the linguistics lesson. Summer taught me that when you say you are staying in Hawaii, you are referring to the state and it is appropriate for someone to ask which island. However, when you stay you are staying on Hawaii, then it is assumed by those who know their geography that you mean the big island of Hawaii, and therefore you will look like a fool when you continue to ask which island.

And one last thing that I didn't know...there is a Mormon temple on the Big Island. It's the Kona Hawaii Temple and was dedicated exactly 10 years ago this week.

PS. All of this information was new to me in the last week, so I just thought I would pass on my new found knowledge to my mom who will probably be the only person who reads this...

Volcanoes National Park

photo of the day

This was taken at South Point (the southern most point of the Hawaiian Islands)

Monday, January 25, 2010

This kid loves the sand

boogie boarding

This one is for you, amara.

photo of the day

This one has a story and a picture...
Today we decided to go to Hapuna Beach. It was one that we had been to once before and we liked it, so we went back today. Rick dropped us off and went to park the car since there were so many people at the beach and we had to park a ways away. I had unpacked our load and settled in when Rick arrived. He had just gotten comfortable when I noticed a crowd of people coming out of the water. The thing that caught my eye was that there was a young mom with a baby on her hip who had a hold of the arm of a man that they were dragging out of the water. Within just a few seconds the life guards were out there on their 4-wheeler. They didn't even have the man all the way out of the water when they dropped him and started chest compressions. He didn't have a pulse. Rick jumped up and started helping. The man was wearing a wet suit so they cut his shirt off and continued trying to get him to breath. A small crowd gathered around as the life guards tried to find out if anyone knew this man. There were 3 life guards and they were working like crazy. They got a pulse and got him breathing. They got him on a back board. Then they carried him to the ambulance. It appeared as though he had had a seizure.
This is what I found out after Rick returned: the man had a history of seizures. They found his wife. There were 3 ER doctors and a neurosurgeon who were helping the life guards.

This is what I found to be the most bizarre about this whole event:
As I was watching what was going on I noticed the 3 lifeguards were at the man's head and shoulder area. Then Rick was on his right side down by his hip area. Another man was opposite Rick. He looked familiar. I had met him before. In Hawaii. Last year when we were in Maui we met a family at the pool. They were from Canada. (I could tell by the way he said "about"). My mom asked him how he could take two weeks off work at a time. He said he was an ER physician and he and Rick were both registered for an Emergency Medicine conference in Wailea. It was him on the beach today. I looked at Summer and I asked her if he looked familiar to her. She said yes, and immediately pointed out his wife and kids that we had met last year. On a different island.
After the collapsed man was taken care of, Warren was walking back to the beach with Rick. I asked him if he was "vacation stalking" us. We laughed about what a coincidence it was that we would meet up with them again. The beach we were at was about 20 minutes from our condo. As we talked, we found out that they were staying less than a mile from us. Rick and I had gone on a run this morning and had passed their complex. Funny thing is, He and his wife had gone on a run this morning past our condo, too.
(in the photo, the two shirtless guys and the one in the yellow shorts were the lifeguards. Rick is wearing a black t-shirt with a white hat. Warren is the short guy in the gray and red swimshirt.)
Rick pointed out that if one were to have an "incident" like this, then this was a great place to have it. 3 ER doctors and a neurosurgeon on hand in less than a minute. You can't beat that anywhere. Plus, this guy happened to be on a beach that actually had lifeguards. Good ones. They probably have to be that good if you think about it...lots of older people doing things they don't normally do every day. Trying to act like a kid again. Hawaii statistically has one of the highest rates of drownings as any vacation beaches anywhere.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photo of the day

Today we went to church in Waimea. We were a little bit early, at least according to Mormon Standard Time. We sat near the front. After we were settled in to our seats, I looked to the front and noticed a young man playing the piano. He was playing Praise to the Man and a few other well known hymns. At first I thought that it was similar to my own ward where they have called some of the Youth in the ward to play the piano/organ. Then, I realized that he didn't have any music in front of him and I pointed this out to Rick and Summer. As the bishopric member got up to conduct, the piano stopped playing and the pianist got up to take his seat. Someone stepped up to help him and I noticed that he was blind. Tears came to my eyes and the music that he had been playing seemed even more beautiful to me than it had before.
And if that weren't enough, when it was time for the Sacrament, this young man stood up with the other deacons to pass the sacrament. He reached for the arm of another young man and together they passed the sacrament.
With as many kids as were in that chapel, the Sacrament part of the program was amazingly quiet and spiritual. I could even hear the ceiling fans spinning high above the congregation. All 20 of them. I think we need to have a ward fund raiser at home and install ceiling fans. It was amazing.
And the last thing that I noticed was the love that filled that room. It is hard to describe, but I could definitely feel it. People were there early, shaking hands, checking on each other, hugging and laughing. It was neat to observe people that you don't know who are looking out for each other. Lots of people said hi to us, shook our hands, and asked us if we were visiting or staying. I replied, "Visiting." Rick replied, "Staying!"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

photo of the day

I could sit on the beach and take pictures of my kids in the sand and sea all day long.

13,796 feet

Yesterday we went to the observatories on the top of Mauna Kea. The summit is 13,796 feet above sea level. We had to do it early in the vacation so that we didn't suffer so much from altitude sickness. It's a very steep climb and for people who aren't used to a higher climate, altitude sickness can be quite a problem.
This is a picture of Mauna Loa, looking at the top peaking above the clouds.
These are the Keck Telescopes. We got to go inside and observe the telescope of the one of the right. They were rotating it at the time. It was so big. Cole was even impressed by the mechanics of it all. It weighs 300 tons, but can be moved by one hand because of the precise balance which is recalculated several times per second.
We tried to hike to the lake (one of the highest in the United States) that is fed by permafrost. We didn't quite make it because Cole is not a hiker and Sierra and I were starting to get headaches from the altitude. This was our second hike of the day. The first one was at sea level and was easy. This hike was much shorter but left all of us out of breath. Amazing what happens when there is less oxygen.
This is what I would imagine it looks like on the moon. Volcanic dust and rock everywhere you look. Not a sign of life as far as you can see. When you get out to one of the edges and you can look down, all you see are clouds. And the tops of other volcanoes.
Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world, if you consider it's base in the bottom of the ocean. It reaches nearly 30,000 feet from base to top. And from the weight of the mountain, it is sinking every day. It will eventually sink back into the ocean. But, hopefully not until after our vacation!!

I haven't done thing since college...

I started and finished a book in one day. As a matter of fact, I didn't even move out of my seat until I was finished. Not even to use the bathroom. It helped that I was on a 7 hour flight from Phoenix to Hawaii. But, still...I have not done that since I read For Whom the Bell Tolls.
This is the book I read:

I get so into these books and then I sit back and think, how can I be so captured by such a gruesome concept. Oh well. I hope I can wait until the next one comes out.
Do you think I should let Summer read these books? I am asking since I think I am the last person in the world to read them.

Monday, January 11, 2010

million dollar smile

September 2008

Sierra's first day with braces

January 2010

Sierra got her braces off today. She can't stop smiling

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm a little bit slow...

This was my first time at JCW's. We went there with my mom and my sister's cute family on New Years Day. Nothing like starting out the new year with good healthy meal. I don't know why I had my camera with me, but here are some cute pic's from our happy day...

Don't you just love how Cole has a hunk of chicken in his hand?
The girls
Cole, Grandma Nan, Rick

BTW, Rick and I shared a burger since we're eating so healthy and all...
I still don't think Tony would be happy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another Book:

The Hunger Games:
I just finished this book last night. It was recommended by a bunch of different people whose opinion on books I highly trust. If it had not been for so many strong recommendations, I am certain that I would not have continued reading this book after the first couple of chapters. It was at that point, however, that I was hooked and could not put the book down.
Does anyone have a copy of the second book that I can borrow?
Also looking for a copy of Wicked Lovely.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Book Review: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I just finished this book last night. I LOVED it.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett: Book Cover
This is the Summary from the Barnes and Noble Website:

"Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town.."

It was great. The thing I loved about it was that it takes place in MS and you know I love MS. The book is over 400 pages which is great because I love getting into a LONG book, but it took me a little bit longer to read than usual because of the language and spelling. The author is very good at writing out the words and language as it is spoken. I would be in bed reading and I would LAUGH out loud and Rick would give me the elbow to keep it quiet.

It's thought provoking. Having lived in MS, it was so interesting to compare what race relations were like when I lived there compared to the 1960's when the story takes place.

The author grew up in Jackson, MS. She is a great writer--this is her first novel. I loved reading about all of the street names, town names, and stores that I recognize from living there. (she mentioned Flowood, which is where Cole was born.) for some reason I get a kick out of reading about specific places that I have been to. Although, I think anyone could read this book and still get just as much from the story without having lived there.

Good, Good Book.