Thursday, March 31, 2011


So, one day while we were in hawaii, Summer noticed that some landscape guys were gathering palm fronds after a storm and stacking them in the back of a truck.  She wondered what they were going to do with them.  She contemplated the situation, searched the internet, and found a solution...
The next evening, Summer noticed that the wind had blown more palm fronds from the trees.
Once the sun had started to go down, she tiptoed around the complex and gathered up the branches that she knew the landscapers would haul off in the morning.  She neatly trimmed them and stacked them in a pile in the kitchen.
The next day when it was break time between pool and beach ( I know, poor us...)
Summer found an internet tutorial and started making animals out of palm fronds.
Next time we go to the Big Island, we are going to gather a bunch of palm fronds and drop Summer off early in the morning in front of Akaka Falls.  
Hopefully see will be able to impress the tourists with her fish, birds, bowls, and hats.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The 2 am post

Yes, folks, it's 2 am.
I am going crazy with this 2 am thing.
Every day since we got back from Hawaii, I have been awake at 2 am.
Either I do not fall asleep until 2 am (which is 10 pm in Hawaii--perfect bedtime)
Or, I have no trouble falling asleep.  But I wake up at 2 am.  And I lay there, wide awake, until, oh about 6 am.
Either way, the nice, relaxed, well-rested look is going to give way soon to dark circles under my eyes if I don't start sleeping more than 3-4 hours a night.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

more of the same

This was taken in Hawi, a town on the northeast tip of the island.
The words around the edge say, "Broken cups, damaged plates, and discarded satelite dish~~~Tsunami's and earthquakes by Carol & Karen Rosen 2009."
Sierra and Nan are in the bottom right corner if you can spot them.

 One day while Rick and the girls were diving, Cole and I stayed at the Condo and played airplanes.
Can you spot the airplanes on the lava rocks?  We had fun.  Then we had a nap in the shade...

 Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

The photos below were taken at Volcanoes National Park.
This little hike was called "Sulphur Banks"
We weren't able to do it last time because the air quality dropped to unsafe levels and we were forced to take cover in the Visitor's Center where the air is filtered.  It was a fun little hike and reminded me somewhat of Yellowstone National Park.

And this photo is for you, Mom.  It's the Kilauea Caldera.  I'm pretty sure this is where Skye was pushed off into the Volcano.

 This was the Thurston lava tube.  It starts out light and then as you go around the corners and bends, it gets darker and darker until there is no light at all.  We each had a flash light to help us see where to step.  This time we hiked all the way to the very end of the cave.  Water was dripping on us and you could see the big cracks in the lava rock floor.

This picture makes me laugh.  We all turned off our flashlights and Rick took a picture of us.  It took a few tries because we didn't know which directions to look until we saw the flash.  So, this is after about the third try.  Cole never really got the concept of "look towards the camera".
This was not Sierra's favorite part of the day.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Warning...amara, do not, I repeat, do not read this post.

This was taken the last day we were in HI.
We decided to go to the beach in the morning.  
It was low tide so we walked over to the spot where the turtles like to climbs up on the rocks and warm up in the sun.

Nice shot (I wish someone had warned me that this shot was being taken--SUMMER!)

So, we were just sitting there on the wall, observing the turtles.
And I remembered that my dad had a pair of Sea Turtle Skin boots.
I know.
I did a little research.  Sea Turtles were part of the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  
In 1977, the list became more specific.  
Different species were labeled "critically", "endangered", "threatened" or "protected".

Hopefully my dad purchased his boots before the turtles were endangered.
I dropped the bomb while we were sitting on the wall watching these amazing, prehistoric creatures.
I casually mentioned that my dad owned a pair of sea turtle boots.
The girls started to cry and Rick started to laugh.
I called my mom right then and there to confirm the sad truth.
Sure enough.
Those boots are still down in the basement somewhere at her house.
Rick still does not believe me.  I'll have to show them to him one day.
(But, maybe not the kids, too much scarring)
My dad had ostrich skin, gator skin, crocodile skin, elephant skin, snake skin boots (and who knows what else!!)

And, it is illegal to "ride" on the back of a sea turtle.  
It puts undo stress on an animal that already faces the threat of extinction.  
It is punishable in Hawaii by up to $100,000.00 and possible prison time. 
And for the record, in a previous post, Sumer never did "touch" the sea turtle.  
She was just trying to get as close as possible without actually "touching".
(kinda like the phrase...I never inhaled, you know)

Turtles take anywhere from 10 to 50 years to reach sexual maturity.
This is why it takes so long for the turtles to regain their population once they become endangered.
A female sea turtle will lay up to 100 eggs at a time.  Roughly 1% will survive to maturity.

The diver that we talked to said that these turtles weigh over 100 pounds.
Yet, they are so graceful in how they maneuver in the water.
But, they do look rather awkward on land.
And, even though Amara is not reading this, I really do hope that you get to "ride" with the sea turtles in the millenium.

Happy Birthday Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday.  
This is a photo taken in 1945 of my dad and his dad, Norman Adelbert Robison.

One thing that you may or may not know about my dad is that he always, Always, ALWAYS wore cowboy boots (well, except for that stretch when he took tennis lessons).
He was even known to wear his boots when he rode his bike.
He wore them to work.  He wore them to Church.  He wore them to bed...well, not in bed, but all the way TO bed when he would sit down on the bed, take off his boots, and slide into bed.
The boots were right there waiting for him when we got up the next morning.
A quick shower and then the boots went right back on.

I remember as a child when my mom and dad would travel (usually to places like Reno or Sun Valley for Arctic Circle Conventions) my Dad would come home with a new pair of Tony Llamas (boots, for those of you who don't know your brands).
He would usually only get a new pair of boots every 1 to 2 years.  And I don't ever remember him throwing away a pair of boots.  Ever.

(I have a story coming about some boots that my dad purchased...maybe later today.)

Another story that I think about when I think about my dad woking on the farm with his dad or when I am doing yard work and the kids want to help me,  I think of this story...
My dad told me that one time he was helping his dad haul some hay to feed the animals.
They were in the back of a pickup truck, using pitchforks to toss hay out to the animals.
When they were done, my Grandpa dropped his pitchfork down to the ground so that it stuck into the ground and then used it to hang onto as he jumped to the ground. (all in one quick motion)
Well, as all little boys do, my dad wanted to do it just like his dad.
So, (as I imagine it)...this little boy, helping, and wanting to be just like his dad, tossed the sharp end of his pitchfork over the side and hoisted himself out of the truck and landed on the ground.
Only when he got to the ground and reached to pull out his pitchfork, did my Dad realize that as he tossed his pitchfork out, it had not made it into the ground, but into the back of my Grandpa's leg.
So, every time I see a pitch fork, or my kids want to help with the garden tools, I tell them to be careful and remind them what happened to my dad and the pitchfork.

And it's snowing today.  There is a photo of my dad shoveling snow on his birthday.  So, we always remind ourselves when the weather is bad in March, that it can snow a foot as late as March 25 in Utah because it always snows on my dad's birthday.  Except in 1995 when the weather was perfect.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Here are a few highlights...
Can you tell what this is...?
Hint:  8 legs
Sierra found something to play with...only 5 legs

This is the only photo of Rick diving...
since he always has the camera.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A big, big tree

We took these photos when we stopped at Rainbow Falls.  The kids are standing on a ledge far, far away from the tree...
 This is what the base of the tree looks like when they got close to it.
It's just a giant weave of branches, or are they roots...?

 There were a bunch of these trees around and then you look up into the sky, it's just a giant canopy of tree and branches.  It was pretty dark in there, but with the flash most of the pictures appear much lighter in the photos.  I was stepping very carefully because I am prone to tripping/ankle twisting.  Took me forever to get outta there.

love on the Big Island

We're always on the lookout for attractive, rich men for my mom.  We look for a wedding ring.  Mom says that when she sees a ring on the left hand "it's probably just a friendship ring."
This cute man was walking along the beach and he stopped to help Cole with his boogie board.  
 I told my mom that I thought he was "the one".  And wouldn't you know it...I picked the only man on the entire island who would be wearing cutoff 501's on the beach.  I looked around to see where he left his cowboy boots.
Nice guy, but he kept walking.
 I guess it was more than a "friendship ring". 

check out the hot chick that Cole found to help him build a sand castle...
Nice choice, Romeo

Tiki Torch

Cole got a bunch of those silly homemade valentines this year where the child is in a photo where they put their arm out, slightly forward, and a picture is taken.  Then a sucker is inserted in a slit in the photo so it looks like the child is holding the sucker. 
Well, Cole thinks that is the cats meow.  He wants all of his photos to look like he is holding something.  
The set up for this photo was entirely his creation.  He is so pleased with the outcome.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sea Turtles

We went for a walk along the beach to look for shells while Kris was here.  
There is a little tiny boat launching area along where we walked.  
(apparently the diving is spectacular right out from where we are staying)
One of the dive guys hollered at us as we were walking and pointed out these sea turtles that were just coming out of the water to soak up some sun.  
They do it every day in the same spot at low tide.

We were able to walk out on this wall and the turtles were just below us. 
Except that it is illegal to touch them--Summer!!

 Aren't the colors amazing?
Rick preferred to walk out on the lava and check for turtles that were still swimming.

Sea Glass

I took this picture when we very first got here.
I am posting it now, because we just discovered that the cool "hut" in the background didn't survive the tsunami.  It appears as though 2 of the trees behind it were washed over in the storm and landed on the hut.  Some workers have been out there cutting up the tree and cleaning up the debris.

At the beach

We went to this beach while my mom was still here last week.  
It requires a bit of walking in the soft sand which is not awesome.
But, you end up in these areas with trees and it sort of feels like you have your own private beach area,
Well, this (Obviously European) man made his way down to our section of beach.
And would you believe it...he tried to get close enough to pinch my behind.
(not really, but it sure looks like it in this picture Rick took of me)

 I seriously didn't even know he was walking along the beach.  
I didn't see him until he passed me.
But, it made me laugh.  Little did I know what he was up to until I saw the pictures.

Pine Tree Cafe, Big Island Hawaii

When we were on our flight to the Big Island (which, by the way, people are always in a good mood on a flight to Hawaii.  Much more so, than say, on a flight to Atlanta or Houston) we were chatting with the folks sitting around us.  you know, because you get to know people that you sit next to for like 5 hours+.

There was a couple sitting on the row in front of us who are "locals" (people who are lucky enough to live here).  They recommended this place, Pine Tree Cafe.  And you have to trust the locals on matters such as this.  It's located just up the road from the Kona Airport.  In the middle of nowhere.  like the airport.

It always looks busy, with a good mix of locals and those just off the plane.
This is the front counter, where you order.  There is a breakfast menu with items like omelets.  
The lunch menu has sandwiches, burgers, salads and combination plates.
And kids meals,
This is a shot of the drink area.  
Coke & Pepsi if that matters, along with tea and water.
By the time I remembered that I wanted pictures of the food, it was almost gone.
I had a burger.  It was huge.  And delicious.  
I couldn't eat it all and I shouldn't have.
Sierra: french dip
Summer:  grilled Ahi sandwich (highly recommended)
Rick:  Luau pork plate (this was an option that varies each day)
Cole:  chicken strips
We all shared the sides.
Lots of food.  
It was $45 (the same price as the shoes that I wanted to buy, but opted to let my family eat instead)
My only real problem with the entire meal was the amount of disposable plastic, styrofoam and paper that was served with this meal.  Not a green meal, that's for sure.
And the service was fast and friendly.
Rick couldn't leave without a sample of Hawaiian Bread Pudding.
Good.  a hint of coconut (shavings on top and possibly coconut milk)
It was quite heavy, a bite or two was enough.  
NOBODY should eat the entire serving, especially in one sitting.  It was big.