Saturday, December 27, 2008

He's on Sarah's team!

Sarah wishes this guy was in her stocking this year. At the very least she got to watch him pose like an underwear model!

Sisters, snowflakes, sun and sand!

Scott's sister Sarah came out for Christmas vacation. She flew in on December 23rd and we hit the ground running. We didn't even let her take a breath before letting her squidge her toes in the sand. Though you can't really see them very well, there are probably 20 kite surfers in this picture.

Yea! Sarah's here. We are about to have some fun . . .

Right after the beach and grabbing a bite to eat we headed into the Iao Valley. It was overcast but we could see the "needle" (that's the pointy thing behind our heads).

Then we were off to the Plantation to feed the ducks . . .

and the cheeky monkeys!

On Christmas Eve day we went to Lahaina to eat at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. YUMMMM! It was oh so delectable. On our way home we saw these wonderful swings beckoning us to come and play. What fun!

Camille's artistic eye . . . I really like this photo she took.

Before going home we stopped on the other side of the island to see if there were some big waves. It was blustery for sure but the wind has been really 'killing' the waves. It's just very choppy. After all it is Christmas Eve, rough weather should be expected!

Doesn't the 'belle noir' look happy?

I just realized this is slightly out of order. But since it is such a long process to reload pictures I'll just leave it. Anyways, being inspired by one of my new favorite blogs 'a fanciful twist', I decided to cut some snowflakes. I was thinking I was pretty hot stuff. After all I'm not a novice with being crafty. The first one was pretty nice, then trying to make a 6-pointed-star instead of 8-pointed, I ended up with the 4-pointed one. Then I figured it out and got my six pointer. The last one is a 3-dimensional one.

Of course, Camille jumped in and I'm pretty sure that she's the champion. Her's were so beautiful and lacey, curly and swirly . . . my snowflakes bow to her snowflakes (making bowing motion with arms raised)

But of course she didn't stop there. Oh no, she started cutting out paper dalls. The two dancers below she says she cut at the same time, just a sheet of paper folded in half. First cutting out the girl in the dress, then opening it up and cutting away the excess for the man. Beautiful!
Of course Sarah jumped in and made these amazing Hybiscus flowers. They look simple but don't be fooled. You just try to make a 5-POINTED STAR! You'll soon realize that she's a genius. I'm amazed! They turned out beautifully.

Ah, Christmas morning! All the anticipation leading up to this day. We search for the perfect gifts. Hoping they will think you were genius to find something so perfect for them. I usually fall way short!

Then it happens . . . the Christmas explosion! All the anticipation coming to a head and exploding all over the room. Don't you just love the 'Christmas mess'?

My apologies here. I had a picture of the wrapping paper tossed aside but accidentally deleted it. But alas . . . it's not that important.
Here's Sarah on Christmas day, sitting on the beach, not quite sure what to do with herself. She's in paradise.
Another picture accidentally deleted was the picture of the man Sarah claims is "on her team". I'll post his picture anyways. He was all posed and looking studly. That's a must see.

These were in Sarah's stocking this morning. Santa knows what a girl needs!

Here's a Christmas star for you. Happy Christmas! See you next year.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tasty little side dish!

Here's a recipe you might want to try. It's a little spicy with black pepper. But hey, maybe you'd like it that way. First you boil your carrots (I used baby carrots) until they are soft. Then drain out the water and return to pan. I chopped up half an onion and added it to the carrots. Saute in 2 Tbsp. butter, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Then when adding the black pepper, shake the shaker so hard that the top comes off and pours A TON of black pepper in the mix. Then carefully try to scoop out the major piles of pepper and try to save the rest. If this is a little on the peppery side as it was for me, dump the whole thing and start again avoiding the pepper shaker altogether! Enjoy!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Silly ramblings!

I've been reading alot more blogs lately. I've found a few more friends that have blogs. And I remembered one of my favorite authors, Shannon Hale, also blogs. So I've added links to their blogs. If you have some time I think you'll really enjoy their humor and wit (is that being redundant?)

Anyways, as I read other people's blogs, people who really have a knack for writing I find myself getting jealous of their talent and gift. I've often thought that being a writer would be pretty cool. I would envision myself in a beautiful study filled with books floor to ceiling, sitting at my desk typing away. And then making millions of dollars from one great novel. I never thought this during high school, mind you, when I could have pushed myself to get better grades. And in college I vividly remember taking the required English class from Mr. Lanquist (anyone that went to EAC while he taught is probably shuddering right now). He was an odd person to say the least. And a little creepy. But I digress . . . I vividly remember writing in his class. Most of the times I got C's. I was always told to add detail. For whatever reason when I write the details don't go from my mind to the paper. I see a complete vision or thought in my head. But in black and white - the words themselves without the thoughts that completed the picture fall flat. Therefore, I got C's in English and I am not a gifted writer. There is hope however, my author friend told me it's like anything else. You have to practice. So write alot and you'll get better over time. Unfortunately, I don't see much improvement. But I haven't practiced that much either.

Even my daughter has the writing bug. She's pretty good at it too. I must say that I'm very proud of her writings (though they still need work and if you'd just let me edit for you . . .) She won't let me read her latest book. The first book that I had been reading and got hooked on remains unfinished and abandoned. Oh the torture!! Will they ever find each other again? I probably won't ever know. Camille, why do you torture your mother like this?

Back to blogging. I'm starting to go crazy or something. In my head throughout the day I think that maybe I should blog about whatever it is I'm doing. Just this morning I was taking a shower and the thought process went something like this:

"I think that we should be able to count shaving our legs as part of our daily exercise. Just trying to balance my leg on the micro edge at the end of the tub and then bend over and shave while balancing most of my weight on the other leg is like doing some of the yoga balance poses. Not to mention the cramp that starts to form in the weight baring gluteous maximus! I wish we could count the calories that it burns - maybe I'm done with exercise today . . ."

Then I was distracted by how dirty my tub was and how badly I need to clean it. But then the draw of the computer with the promise of new blog posts pulls me away from my duties. And then I check all my neices blogs with anticipation, hoping for more pictures and posts of how my adorable 'great'-nephews have done something so funny and silly and charming that I laugh right out loud. . . . No new posts!! AAAUUUGGGHHH. That's ok, I'll check it 3 or 4 more times today hoping that maybe now their posts are up.

Maybe now . . .

Now . . .

now? . . .

The realization that maybe I don't post as often as they'd like me to gets me to post this!!! I apologize to all my faithful blog readers. I couldn't help myself. I didn't have any new and excited photos to post. Besides, aren't you tired of pictures of the beach anyways?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Once there was a Sandman, Sandman, Sandman . . .

But first there was Sigmond the Sea Monster! Well, something that looks a little like Sigmond. Or maybe inspired by Sigmond? (Sigmond the sea monster and Johnny and Scott are friends . . .)

This is Camille's "monster"

Then there was a prototype miniature sandman! Isn't he cute? And those would be 'sandball buttons' waiting for the big sandman to be completed. (not my sandball buttons)

Making a sandman isn't as easy as you might think. Trying to make a sand ball like a snow ball doesn't work. You can't just roll it around in the sand hoping it will get bigger! The sand won't stick together. And trying to build a ball of sand on another ball of sand didn't work either. I know, I tried . . . and then it fell apart. :(

But after several failed attempts and a few HOURS! I finally did it. Isn't he cute?
Once there was a sandman, sandman, sandman
once there was a sandman, tall, and strong.
In the sun he stood there, stood there, stood there,
in the sun he stood there, all day long!

Merry Christmas!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Did you know . . .

that Hawaii is the most secluded population on the planet? It's true! We're thousands of miles away from all other populated places. It's baffling really, to think that we are sitting on tiny little volcano peaks smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Keep that in mind the next time you think of us . . . then hop on a plane and come visit us so we don't feel so cut off from the rest of the world! Thank goodness for the internet - I might go stir crazy without it. Aloha!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Red Flag Day!

The other day it was a red flag day at the beach. That means that it's dangerous to swim when the flag is out due to wicked under tow and huge waves. We just wanted to check out the surf when the swells are higher than normal. I guess these waves are about 10-15 ft high. The picture really doesn't do it any justice. It's very impressive to watch. I've tried to upload a video for your viewing pleasure. But it would load, kept having errors and it still doesn't do it any justice. Pic was taken high up on a cliff.

Just for Miss Kate!

We saw this sculpture on one of our drives and thought of you Miss Kate. Enjoy!

Don't judge a book by it's cover . . .

Or a statue by it's appearance for that matter. On one of our drives through the country side (or is it "volcano side"?) we happened upon this little park on the side of the road. It seemed pretty random where it was located. It was put there in honor of some chinese doctor escaping china as a political asylum. Anyways, inside the park are these statues. You might think to yourself they look impressive enough! Made of solid concrete or granite?
Camille put her hand on one and realized they weren't stone at all! THEY'RE MADE OF PLASTIC!!! Or plastic resin. Well, what do you expect when the label says 'made in China'!

Can you name this plant?

Anyone . . . ? It's somewhat recognizable, especially at Christmas. I'm sure most of you guessed correctly. This is the Poinsettia! This is what it looks like in it's natural habitat. They get quite big. In my opinion, they are much prettier when in small pots with sparkly stuff sprayed on them. But all the same, it's kinda cool to see it all big like that.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Give thanks!

This Thanksgiving we were once again far, far away from family and friends. It wouldn't be the first time we'd had a Thanksgiving dinner with just the 3 of us. The foods always great, but the conversation wouldn't be any different than any other day without anyone else there to mix it up. Well, wouldn't you know it, the day before Thanksgiving, some diode inside our gas oven went out. No oven for Thanksgiving! NOOOOO!

Then I got the dreaded call from the Bishopric to give a talk in church this Sunday. Not the rest of the family, just ME! Yea! But out of that phone call Bro. Birch (a podiatrist) invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner. Goodie! It's always fun to have new people to chat with and get to know over good food.

My assignment was to make a pie or two. She knew the oven was out so she asked for cream pies. Anything without baking involved. So I made a chocolate cream pie with the oreo cookie crust. And then, since my bananas were beyond the enjoyable eating stage (you know, too sweet, a little too mushy, but great for a cream pie), I decided to make a banana cream pie. Luckily Scott bought one of those electric broiler oven things. Because you still have to bake your pie crust for a cream pie like that. Boy, did it turn out delicious! YUMMY!

The dinner itselft was good. The turkey they had cooked in an imu wrapped in ti leaves. It was a little dry, but that wasn't our host's fault. It was cooked at the high school with many other turkeys. We also had ham. And this family liked to have cherry pie filling with their ham (it was on the side, you didn't have to eat it that way). They also had a dish of ground beef with raisins and something else in it. That was something new. The rolls were wonderful! There was corn, green bean cassarole (a staple for any Thanksgiving dinner), some jello salad that I thought was a the cranberry sauce, some other long green bean dish with bacon that was pretty tough to chew, and stuffing that didn't even make it out of the oven so I didn't get any because I was done eating by then. (I snuck one bite of it.) All in all, it was a wonderful dinner and it was nice to get to know some people in our ward a little better than just passing in the halls on Sunday.

After dinner we watched a video of Cirque du Soleil (sp?). It was quite entertaining to say the least. Then we whipped out the pies! There was coconut cream, banana cream, chocolate cream, apple and pumpkin. I had a piece of the banana and coconut, with just a bite of the chocolate!

Luckily we baked our turkey so we can still have our turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas, turkey tacos . . . and any other turkey dish I can think of. And I will definitely be cooking some stuffing to get that part I missed out on. And of course we'll be baking the green bean cassarole again, can't get enough of that.

We're thankful for friends inviting us over and making our day a little more enjoyable. We're thankful for family even though we miss them terribly and can't be with them this holiday season. We're thankful for such a beautiful world to enjoy. We're thankful for our health. And most of all, we're thankful for our Savior!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Ok, miss Kate, who can't get enough of this tag stuff. I guess I'll answer these questions (since I don't have anything else to blog about, unless you want to hear how Scott ruined a really good pot!)

1. What is something you really want to learn right now?

Well, let's see . . . there are so many things. My continuing desire is to be fluent in Spanish. But I guess more pressing would be how to get a charred pot back to pristine, shiny usefulness!

2. One random question I have:

Will we ever be able to travel to other worlds that are inhabited by people? Or just be able to travel by thought would be nice!

3. What craving do you have right now?

This french vanilla yogart I'm eating is blocking any other cravings . . . I'll get back to you on that.

4. One famous person I like.

Just one? I'm not sure I can limit myself like that. Um . . . Kristen Chenoweth, and Sandra Bullock, Ralph Lauren, oh and well . . . does it count if you like their tastes but not them? If so, Martha Stewart. I can't help myself!

5. What is one thing you got lately that is pretty cool to you?

A white, cotton wrap shirt! I've always wanted one but none of them would cover "the girls". I finally found one that fit just right at Sears for $3!! Wahoo!!!

6. What's one thing you really want to do right now?

Hop on a plane and visit my family! :( (miss you guys)

7. What's one thing you probably need to do?

Geneology?!?! I'll settle for make my bed!

8. What's one thing you'd love right now?

I would absolutely love to be living in my dream home (that has a huge kitchen and family room combo that's perfect for entertaining, and plenty of rooms for guests, crafting, exercise and food storage, with a huge yard for gardening and playtime.) back east but with my family nearby. So get packed up - you're all moving back east! Trust me, you'll love it there.

9. What's one thing you hate having to do everyday?

See myself in the mirror - Yikes!

10. One reason you blog every day.

So family will remember I'm still alive and won't forget about me.

11. One reason you'll send this to 5 people. . .Uh, I won't - Katie already tags all the people on my list.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thanksgiving Tag

So Miss Kate tagged us for Thanksgiving.

10 things I'm thankful for:

1. the Gospel (of course, I hate to give the "sunday school answer" but I can't imagine life without it.)

2. my hubby (a.k.a. McGiver - give him a dime and he'll fix a broken accelorator cable!)

3. my sweet daughter (a.k.a. Millie the elf, what's your favorite color?)

4. my health (though I ignore it so much, I could be better)

5. technology and all that encompasses

6. my wonderful friends all over the place

7. Haupia ice cream

8. deep sleep

9. my extended family (don't let my distance make you think I'm running away from you)

10. HGTV

6 places I've eaten Thanksgiving dinner:

1. At the Irby's in Virginia

2. At the Magre's in Essex, VT

3. At the Neerings in Mesa, AZ (Scott's parents' house)

4. At home alone (the 3 of us) in Milton, VT

5. At Patty Edwards in Stowe, VT

6. At home in Daybreak joined by Jill, Michael, Degory, Chris, Megan, am I missing anyone?

5 favorite Thanksgiving foods:

1. Green bean cassarole

2. Pecan Pie with whipped cream

3. A bite of turkey/stuffing/cranberry all at once

4. Pumpkin pie with lots of whipped cream

5. A turkey/stuffing/cranberry sandwich followed by more pecan pie and whipped cream

My tummy aches just thinking about the food . . . I'm doomed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The big injury!

Here's my big GASH! And yes, that's a chunk of my flesh sitting there. I had this in the post about snorkeling but accidentally deleted it and then I couldn't get it back to the right location. So it gets a post of it's own. It's nothing that a hello kitty bandaid couldn't fix.

Snorkel anyone?

On Veteran's Day, Scott and Camille were off so we decided to go snorkeling. The only other snorkeling we've done was in Castaway Cay on our Disney Cruise. That was a little more of a controlled environment than this. I think they call this place "the fish bowl". As you can see, the beach is all rocks. It was a little unnerving thinking about putting on your gear, getting knocked around by waves. You couldn't really go out past the waves to gear up because it's all reef and you're not supposed to stand on the reef. There was, however, a section of rock that jutted into the water that was level and had a nice carpeting of moss (it really did feel like carpeting, it wasn't all slimy like I thought it would be) and the edge of it dropped off past the waves. This made a nice launching location. We still had to time it just right with the waves. Sometimes the waves weren't bad at all, then they would pick up a bit and you'd get tossed all over. Anyways, we sat on the edge of this reef and got geared up and slipped into the water. My heart was racing because I do have a fear of things in the water. And wouldn't you know it, the first thing that happened . . . I slice my hand on a piece of shell or something on that ledge. So now I'm paranoid that my blood is going to attract sharks! Go figure. I kept my fingers clamped down on the cut as much as possible to keep that from happening.

This is Camille before going out. She has the same apprehension I do about the ocean. But she was a trooper and made it in.

After Camille and I figured out how to get our masks from fogging up we saw lots of fish. We were hoping to see some turtles and octopus, but no such luck. Scott and I saw some really big blue fish (really big being about 2 ft. long and fat). We saw a lot of smaller fish like the bright yellow ones and some striped ones, lots of see urchins and coral. It was kind of windy so I think it was stirring it up a bit. It wasn't as clear as I thought it would be. But still clear enough to see the bottom. I wish I had a waterproof camera to show you what we saw but no such luck. Maybe Santa will get me the "Little Tykes" camera that is able to go under water! I better write him a letter and tell him before it's too late!
Here's Camille after snorkeling in her triumphant stance!

A step back in time!

I absolutely love Sunday afternoons. We always like to take Sunday drives when we're in new locations that has a lot to be explored. Scott said that the first LDS chapel in the Hawaiian islands was here on the slopes of Haleakela. So he googled it and found that it wasn't too far from our house. It turns out to be only 5 miles up the road. This first picture is taken way back in the day (the chapel was built in 1850).
Then this is the building today! The little cottage in the back is where the missionaries live. How cool is that? We have a friend in Daybreak that lived here on his mission. He said he used to study in the chapel in the mornings.

This is inside the chapel. It's very simple, and that's all there is too it. Just an entryway and the chapel.
There's a guestbook in the entryway that people sign. Of course we glanced thru it and someone had said "we rang the bell", so of course Scott immediately searches for the bell pull and rings the bell.
It is a very peaceful place. You can really feel that it's truly special. They've made it very green and lush since the beginnings. It's really beautiful now.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday's Outing!

As usual, our Saturday consisted of a trip to the beach to our favorite little spot. Since it's the only day that Scott can go to the beach, you can bet your buttons that we'll go, rain or shine. It's usually cloudy just to make Scott complain that it's always cloudy on Saturdays. Every other day will be sun, sun, sun. But come Saturday, clouds stick around. He's trying to get a tan. But thankfully, this Saturday was beautiful and sunny.

When we got there, the surf was really perfect for boogie boarding. So we headed right out. I had 3, yes 3 perfect waves in a row that I rode all the way in. Then I was tumbled like a little rag doll by a big wave that I didn't catch just right. It gave me a thorough nasal flushing. Not to mention a hefty serving of sand in the swimsuit. But all in all, it was fun to catch some great waves. Right after I decided I wanted to try and tan these white legs that seem to be totally resistant to tanning, Scott and Camille were hit by a wave. I have to preface this by stating that Camille, maybe I've mentioned before, does not like the beach. None of it! She doesn't like the sun, the sand, or the water because it's so salty. We keep trying to get her to try boogie boarding, of course, her first wave (a couple weeks ago) she went over the board and totally tumbled in it for a while which scared her to death. That was the same day that I said I'd gotten slammed to the ground. So immediately I sympathized with what she went through. It can be rough rolling in a wave like that. Ok, so back to yesterday, I had just gotten out and Scott and Camille got hit by a wave - they were just standing in the water past where the waves normally break. But this one broke on them. And of course Camille didn't like that at all - not to mention, she lost her sunglasses in it. So I ask myself - why is it that she, who doesn't really like the ocean, seem to keep having these bad experiences? Poor girl, my heart really goes out to her. So she sat it out for a while. But then she found something that she enjoyed:

Writing messages in the sand and watching them get washed away!

This is the ravishing Camille with her writing implement.

This would be a little less than glamorous picture of me and Scott - Camille being the photographer. There are so few pictures of me. Actually we have video of me riding a wave in, but it looked to much like a whale getting washed up on shore that it will not be posted!

This is Scott actually Body surfing. (without the board) He actually rode that wave all the way in. Pretty cool, I'll have to try it sometime.
Scott went out with the snorkel gear and swam around for quite a while. Camille and I were just relaxing trying to catch some rays. Our favorite spot for boogie boarding is just sand - I've looked around with the snorkel before and there's really nothing to look at, (I had to do that for my own peace of mind) hardly even a fish. So anyways, Scott comes out of the water (I really wish I had the camera) triumphant. He had found Camille's sunglasses that got knocked off her head. How cool is that? He's so awesome!
After that we headed to Costco! We did a major shopping. I was going to take a picture of my pantry but the battery was dead. That will come later.
I couldn't wait to get in the shower. I could feel the sand everywhere. But I never realized how much sand was in my swimsuit until I lifted up my top and sand POURED out! Oh the sweetness of a shower after the beach!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Camille!!!

October 21st was Camille's 17th birthday (my where does the time go?). So I thought it would be fun to check out this shopping area we had seen over in Wailea, just past Kihei. Now, for those of you who don't know Maui all that well, Wailea is like the Scottsdale area of Phoenix. It is where the snobs are apparently. This shopping center was all high end stores like Tiffany's and Versace. A t-shirt was around $100! So we weren't too excited about it. But we did find this store that Camille just loved. It was called The Enchantress Boutique. Camille really liked these masks.
You look mah-valous dahling!

Then we took her over to Lahaina for dinner to the Hard Rock Cafe!

The Long Over-due Update!

OK, OK - I know this is long over-due. So here it is, a new update with lots of pics. I didn't want to update before I was able to have something good to tell you about. I was in "da puka". (that's "the hole" in Hawaiian). And this (pic below) is the hole I was in:

and this would be the view of the back yard thru my bedroom window:
But we're in a much better place now. We all feel totally at home and comfortable here. From the pics you'll see why. It's way better. This is a picture of the front of the house. It has a wrap-around porch that's very spacious on the front:

This koi pond is in the back of the house:

This pic shows the enclosed lanai:

This is on the front side of the house on the more spacious deck. The gleaming grill is Scott's birthday present!

Another pic of the front of the house:

The back deck:

Vegetation in the backyard:

This picture is taken from our front deck. The ocean down there is where Kihei is. We can also see the other side of the island where Kahului is. On a clear day we have a beautiful view of the Iao Valley and mountains. And then Haleakela is behind us.