Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jumping in a Pile of Leaves

A few artificial leaves, some pillows, and a blanket make for a great leaf pile!

100B3970 100B4001 100B4011






Our fun ended as most things do around here…with a wrestling match!

Happy Autumn!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Activities in Arizona

I have pretty much only lived in Hawaii and Arizona my entire life, so in my mind, I’ve trumped up fall to be the most beautiful time of the year, knowing full well that if I had to rake a yard full of leaves every other day, I might not be so enthused!

So this week, we are adding a bit of artificial fall to our home.  To start, we needed at least one piece of fall decor.  I’m pretty cheap, so I went to Dollar Tree last week to see what I could find.

100_3846[1] A fake pumpkin and two pathetic little flower arrangements are about to become $3 well-spent.

First, carve out the top of the pumpkin.  Remove the flowers from the ugly plastic pots, and use the styrofoam to stuff the pumpkin.

100_3848[1] Arrange the flowers and…voila!

100_3853[1] A pretty new accent piece for my piano!


Tomorrow, we’re going to jump in our own little pile of leaves!  Stay tuned…

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Aloha ‘Oe

I've been back from Hawaii for almost a week, and I've been chomping at the bit to put up some pictures, but, hey!, it takes a few days to recover the house from being gone for a week!  Just today, I've finally caught up on just about everything so I now feel like we're back to normal, and my vacation feels like it happened a month ago!!

Okay, first we flew into Kauai. 

Isn't that gorgeous?  I read that you can only see 20% of the island by car.  As you can imagine, the airport was very small, and I could feel the humidity as soon as we left the airplane.  Since we were unable to leave the airport, I was glad that our layover was short.

Here we are in Oahu!  Melissa greeted us with leis, as is customary.


We stopped at the Dole Plantation (I’ve been there on a quite a few field trips, and I still don’t like pineapple!), and as you can imagine, they had pineapple-flavored everything…but my dad couldn’t find fresh pineapple juice anywhere!  Doesn’t sound so awful to me, but…

100_3596 Forgive me if this is common knowledge, but I didn’t know that pineapples grew out of the top of the plants; I thought they were underground.

100_3609 We stopped at lots of different beaches and lookout points, but I’m not going to name them all.  Here are just a few pretty views:

100_3617100_3757 100_3777100_3781DSC01622 The above picture is at Shark’s Cove, a great snorkeling place.  We went back the next day with dad’s underwater camera.  We saw tons of fish and other sea life, and we even saw a sea turtle!  We got so close but were just out of reach!

PICT0016PICT0008 PICT0010PICT0015When we went to Bellows to swim and do some boogie-boarding, we saw a rather large, dark creature not too far from us.  When we saw a fin, we thought it would be wise to get out of the water!  Everyone on the beach was somewhat nervous (no hysteria, but a healthy dose of concern!), and when the lifeguard said it was a manta ray and had moved on, we all went back in.  Dad and I thought we saw it again later, but my mom and Melissa were on the shore and said it was a turtle.  All those years we lived in Hawaii, we never saw anything in the ocean, so that day was quite the adventure!

We spent a day at Pearl Harbor.  I was surprised that there was so much there.  Dad and I went on the Bowfin (a submarine), and we all took a ferry out to the Arizona Memorial.  We also saw the Utah and Oklahoma Memorials, and we drove onto Ford Island to tour the Missouri- the last battle ship made and where the end of WWII occurred when Japan signed the papers.  I took a ton of pictures there, but I’m not going to put them up here.  Sorry.

Other pictures I’m not going to post, but still enjoyed taking, are: my old house, the school I went to from 4th-6th grade, the church, my K5 classroom at the church where my sis-in-law now teaches (they even have the same table at which I sat!), the sidewalk where I broke my tooth, the street where my brother ran over my sister with his bicycle, etc.  You get the idea…nostalgic pictures

Let’s see…oh, we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, which was a great experience.  You visit the different ‘islands,’ and they each have their own activities: spear-throwing, hula, coconut leaf-weaving, etc.  They put on a luau at night, and then we watched a live show that was pretty neat.

Tuesday was my parents anniversary (my birthday was 4 days later), and my brother, by proxy (Melissa), treated us to a nice dinner at the Top of Waikiki.  It’s a revolving restaurant, and you get some beautiful views of Waikiki.  DSC01650

 Here are a few fun facts (say that five times fast) about Hawaii, just in case you ever make it out there:  hula dancers never wore grass skirts (those are from Tahiti and Fiji), Waikiki is not a city (just a part of Honolulu- like the Bronx in New York City), and if you’re in the mood for a good burger, find Pizza Bob’s.

100_3619 Wednesday was spent packing, cleaning, mailing a couple packages (cheaper than checking a suitcase!), last-minute shopping, mailing another package (hee hee), and one last dinner with the four of us.  A nice red-eye flight, a dead car battery in Phoenix, and a nap in the car on the way to Tucson brought us home! 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday Sillies- My (New) Favorite Things

I received an email from my mom (Love you, Mom!) earlier this week about the actors and actresses that played the seven Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music. Don't get me started or I may sing all the songs- fun for me, annoying for you! At the end of the email were the new lyrics to My Favorite Things, which Julie Andrews (Maria) recently sang at an AARP event. I thought they were funny so here are my Saturday Sillies!!

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillac's and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things..

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short, shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm going to Hawaii!!!!!

I am leaving for Hawaii in 2 days!! Actually, 1 1/2- even better! I am going with my parents to visit my sister-in-law while my brother is deployed in Iraq. He is in a relatively safe area this time around, and he has been known to complain of boredom- a complaint for which we are very thankful! Still, we pray for his safety, and, well, if we have to go all the way to Hawaii to support his dear wife...that's a sacrifice we're willing to make! Hee hee!!

As I grew up in a military home, I call Hawaii 'home' as much as any other place. My dad was stationed there when I was ages 3-6 and again when I was 9-12. Of course, as a child, I LOVED it there! We lived 1/4 mile from the beach (it was practically across the street from our school) and it was sunny all year 'round! One of our favorite beaches was Bellows and we loved taking a drive to the North Shore. I'm excited to go back to the International Market Place- basically an outdoor swap meet. My memories are spending a torch-lit evening walking around with the family, the smell of sea-salt and smoke in the air!

My brother and sister-in-law attend the same church we went to when we lived there, and I'm curious as to who may still be there that I will remember. And there's the key to this trip...

How will things be the same or different from the way I remember things???? After all, I was a kid, and I saw things from a child's eye!

I'm sooo looking forward to this trip, but...I really hate leaving my family for so long!! (One whole week) But, my husband wants me to go, and even told me to when I expressed my doubts about it!

Everyone is making jokes about how he'll survive the week with all the kids, but I know better than that! He's a great dad, and even though he's incredibly busy as a pastor to a growing church, he knows his children! I'm not even a little worried about the kids' welfare (although my mother's heart is breaking at the thought of being away from them)- what I feel bad about is taking up all his time this week!

But I've been working my tail off to get everything ready that I could to make things a bit easier for him. Meals are in the freezer, church clothes are already laid out, all laundry and housework is done so that there's not too much for him to do in those areas, etc. I've got a couple of ladies that my children know very well who will come over a couple days so that my man can go in to the church to check up on things there. And, of course, he has the van so they're not housebound all week! The kids are looking forward to having him around all week to play and wrestle (I'm not much for wrestling!), and so far they don't seem overly sad that I'm leaving- they just want to go with me! Too bad they can't have it both ways!

Well, I doubt I'll be around for the next week or so, so...

Aloha 'oe!