Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

Anna has now completed a year of tap and ballet classes. Shes till adores it and loves being on the stage. They did a tap dance to "We are Siamese" for their end of the year show.

And no performance is complete without flowers for the star. Asher couldn't wait to give her the flowers when she was done.

A few days later was Asher's kindergarten graduation. His school did a great job marking this accomplishment. Here the principal is giving Asher his "diploma".

Can't believe he is going into the 1st grade now!!!

Anna was so happy to present him with a lei at his graduation...we are going to miss this Hawaii tradition..think we can find leis in Ohio?

The same day Anna graduated from preschool. In Hawaii, she would be moving on to Kindergarten but misses the age cut off by a few weeks in Ohio. Thus she will be going into "pre-kindergarten" there 5 days a week. We worked hard at getting her excited about this. What will I do with all my time with 2 kids in school full time!!??!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday Asher!

Asher had a birthday party that I believe every little boy dreams of - playing with legos at the Lego store! We gathered 7 of his buddies for a Lego extravaganza.

The kids had an area all to themselves...a table full of legos for a "guided build" or free build time.

Asher and his friend Ethan built medals.

Then the kids got to fill a happy meal sized box up with legos of their choice to take home.

and of course no party is complete without a group picture and a chorus of "Happy Birthday"!

with the added bonus of lego cupcakes (carrot cake cupcakes-Asher's favorite)

and the opening of presents.

Joel and I gave him our gift when we got home (after a dinner or orange chicken and rice-his favorite food). He was the happiest little boy! A day full of favorites...what can anybody else really wish for on their birthday!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm now a triathlete!

Today I completed the Honolulu Sprint Triathlon: .5 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike, 5K run. I met my goal and finished in 1 hour and 32 minutes, and think I might be hooked. Maybe there will be an Olympic distance triathlon in my future! It was awful, great, and inspiring all at the same time and an amazing experience. I hope these pictures can somewhat tell the story.

What dorks in those swim caps! Yes, this is me with some of the neighborhood gals. We signed up together, trained together, and encouraged each other to the finish. However at the start line as it started to rain and nerves got the better of us we wondered "Whose idea was this and why are we here?!". I always get super jittery at the beginning of a race-it is a terrible feeling. And this one held so many unknowns...swimming in the open ocean in a crowd, transition areas with people going every which way, switching shoes and hats, but I must say my family was the best cheering crowd out there!!

The gun went off and there we go!

In this picture, Joel tried to capture all the sea of white swim caps. It was mass craziness. We had to swim out to a certain buoy on one side, go around, and swim back on the other side. On my way back, someone going out crossed over and ran in to me head on! It got me all discombobulated. Not to mention getting squished between 2 swimmers and kicked a few times.

But I finally finished the swim and am here running out of the water to switch into my biking gear.

...and then off I go. This was actually the part I was dreading the most and ended up enjoying it the most. Thank you Natalie for the use of your professional bike! The first time I "clipped" into this bike, I fell right over on a trash can, but in the end believe using this baby cut 5 to 10 minutes off of my time.

...and on to the run. The part I thought I would be the strongest in but it seemed SOOOOO long and I struggled.

But I finished!!! I am not posting the picture of me lying on the ground dying after this triumphant finish.

Celebrating with some of the gals. My "permanent" number somehow washed off in the swim but I still have a faint number on my leg even after scrubbing. It really was a great experience. I love a challenge and am blessed to have the support of my wonderful husband. Joel, Thank you for chasing the kids and corralling them to every photo point for 2 hours, and for all your support during training-you ARE MY HERO!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Auntie Mara for Mother's Day

Auntie Mara arrived last week to spend some quality time with us before heading back to do mission work overseas for another 4 years. The kids were ecstatic to see her and pretty much tackled her with a lei at the airport. Of course the first question they ask anyone arriving with a suitcase "Do you have presents for me?". It is terrible but they were not disappointed! But truly her presence was the best gift of all.

Unfortunately her visit was mostly spent house bound since Asher became very ill and this picture is how I rang in Mother's Day at midnight in the ER. Asher had a fever of 104. All is well now but seriously I have had enough of the ER!! Despite being sick and house bound, I had a WONDERFUL mother's day full of lots of snuggles.

Finally with Asher on the mend we were able to get in some sailing...

...shave ice...

...snorkeling and beach time. Do you see the shark in this picture?

This video was one of Jesse's favorite things to do with Auntie Mara. Mara, thank you so much for investing time and money in to coming to see us. We love you!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I went on a day trip yesterday with some girlfriends to visit the island of Molokai. Before we moved to Hawaii I never knew or understood what existed on Molokai-a leper colony where 8,000 people (mostly Polynesian) were exiled and forgotten by society. Here we are ready to board the plane to begin our adventure.

The Kalaupapa Peninsula, surrounded by ocean and cut off by the rest of Molokai by 1,600 foot cliffs, is the location of the leper colony. You can see why it was considered a "prison" to them. There is no vehicle access. There is a 3 mile trail that zigzags down the cliffs. In the days of the leper colony, the trail was patrolled topside by dogs and guards to prevent patients from escaping.

The Kalaupapa settlement, location of the leper colony where 19 patients still live today. Exile of patients ceased in 1969 after a cure was discovered, but these patients still wish to live out the rest of their lives here in peace. For most, this island was all they ever knew, forgotten by family and ostracized by society when they tried to reintegrate.

The Kalauapapa airport...seriously, this is the whole thing.

The graveyard on Kalaupapa. It went on and on. Most graves are unmarked, markers washed away by a tsunami or families were too poor.

Ruins are all that are left of the Leprosy Investigation station, erected by the government to experiment on patients who volunteered. However, most patients left due to the even stricter isolation and cruel treatment sociably by doctores. The station only lasted 5 years.

The small island to the far left is where ships anchored to deliver exiles. They were sent aboard by small row boats with 1 set of clothes and 1 week of food. Once ashore, they were given nothing, not even homes. They had to completely fend for themselves...some even residing in caves. This is where Father Damien came into the picture. He arrived and built a settlement for the exiles, providing shelter, protection for the younger children (there was much lawlessness and slavery of young and weak with no justice system), first aid care, fresh water, hope and encouragement.

Father Damien's church (with his grave right next to it)

It was an amazing day. The island is filled with so much serenity and beauty, but held so much sorrow and pain. I will never forget this experience. For those more interested, I highly recommend the book "Molokai" which we all read before our trip. It is a beautiful story, historical fiction, so well written, and really captures the tale of this place.