Visiting the Big Island

March 16th, 2014

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Our long overdue family vacation finally took place, and it was worth the wait.

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As we anticipated, the girls adapted easily to island life, and would have been happy to stay there indefinitely.

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They enjoy playing in cold water, so of course they took to the warm water.  Every day.  Seven days in a row!

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Miah immediately figured out boogie boarding.  She barely stopped long enough to eat lunch before she was at it again.

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Ami had a grand time, too.  But she needed frequent breaks to warm up.

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 I was happy to stay cool under the umbrella.

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It was actually very pleasant.  Not as hot as Guam.

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Our hosts treated us well. Their home is lovely, and the landscaping beautiful.  It was a treat to have so much fresh fruit each day.  A perfect setting to commemorate Miah’s referral anniversary!  Seven years ago… Wow!

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We stopped to view a lava tunnel along the road while heading to the beach.

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We walked through one later when we were near Kilauea Volcano.

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We even saw some Nenes off the side of the road after viewing this sign.

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The volcano wasn’t as exciting as the girls anticipated, but the depictions of the goddess Pele intrigued them.

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I guess I didn’t get a picture of them plugging their noses from the sulfur smell.  Ami didn’t want me taking her picture.

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On the other hand, Miah had fun sticking her face in front of the camera.

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We saw several turtles (honu) at the black sand beach, and we also saw them while snorkeling.

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It was so nice to snorkel again after so many years.

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I’m glad the girls had the opportunity to try it.

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They should have lots of good memories from this trip.

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It was also a treat to watch the dolphins playing, and see whales breaching and spouting.

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Ami’s favorite treat was most likely the shaved ice.

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We all thought the sunsets were pretty spectacular.

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A great way to start and end our vacation.

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Joyful Holidays

December 12th, 2013

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Was it only a month ago that Miah had her piano recital?  I guess it’s been a busy month!  We are so proud of this girl.  She’s been playing piano for less than a year, and is just flying through the levels.  It is a pleasure to listen to her practice each morning, and now Ami is showing an interest as well.

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Two recitals in two days!  We are thankful for an awesome teacher.  Next week they’ll be playing for some Retirement Centers.  Yesterday their small choir sang at a Retirement Home also.  I’m so glad they love music, and are willing to share it with others.

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School has been fun, too.  Here Ami is writing with a homemade quill pen dipped in homemade berry ink, just like the Patriots once did!

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Ami had her annual visit with the cleft team at Children’s Hospital.  The mountain passes were clear this trip, but you can see it was still a long drive!  Her surgeon continues to be happy with her progress, speech, etc.  She will need a surgery in the spring to patch her perforated eardrum, though.  Thankfully her left eardrum healed, and she is hearing well with that ear.

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The girls look forward each week to art class and choir practice with some good friends.  The turkeys they worked on so diligently did not survive till Thanksgiving.

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I see a couple very proud cousins!

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Wish we could see you more often, Benson!

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Somebody made another contribution to L*cks of Love!  And she is SO happy to be rid of all the tangles!

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We had to go Christmas Tree hunting to find some snow.  Good thing Ami reminded Dad to throw in the sled!

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This was before our single digit temperatures, but the campfire still felt good!

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The Christmas Tree skirt is getting shorter…

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And shorter!

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We finally got some snow at our elevation.

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It wasn’t much, but it still brings joy!

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Speaking of joy, Ry’elle certainly brings joy to Miah and Ami when they see her each week.  I think they bring her joy, too.

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It must be Christmas time!  Cooks in the kitchen!

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Saying Hi to Lily the Camel.

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And visiting our local village of Bethlehem.  We are enjoying the Season!

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Where Did You Go, July?

August 3rd, 2013

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It’s been Hot!

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So we’ve stayed cool, in the pool,

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In the sprinklers,

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At the lake,

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Or in the mountains.

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We’ve been busy as bees,

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In the garden,

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(I have to confess I have Great Helpers!)

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And canning/freezing fruit (cherries),

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And more fruit (peaches),

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And more fruit (apricots)!

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We’ve enjoyed family time,

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Both near and far.

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But Ami shared with me tonight that, “Driving in the car is long, but when we get there it’s fun to be with everybody and play with them.”

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I think we all second that!

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The girls love their cousins!

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And their nana and papa.

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Camping and playing in the river,

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Are added bonuses.

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We’ve had some celebrations!  A new baby cousin,

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A Big Anniversary,

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A smaller anniversary,

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 Happy Gotcha Day, Ami!  Three years home!!!

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 And Happy Birthday, Miah!  How can you be Seven already?

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They say time flies when you’re having fun.  Well, it’s flying!

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Flower Girls

May 30th, 2013

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We had the wonderful Celebration of adding a new member to our extended family this past weekend.

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Despite all the rainy weather both before and after, God saw fit to grant our requests for pleasant weather the afternoon of the wedding.  Thank You!!

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What a lovely group of young people!  Seven of which I taught in 4th/5th grade…Where does time go?!

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The bride was beautiful.

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Their vows were original and sweet.

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They even shared vows for their daughter-to-be!

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But my favorite part was watching the little flower girls.

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I’ve decided that flower girls don’t make any mistakes.

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Even when they don’t know where to go.  (Hey, the photographer wasn’t on the path during practice!)

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Or they forget to drop the rose petals.

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Even when they refuse to ride in the wagon.  (Miah’s first flower girl experience.)

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And Daddy has to escort them down the aisle.

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Even when they hold their plaque sideways.

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Or walk down the aisle painfully slowly… (Katie, in our wedding.)

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 Or practice ballet pliés during the ceremony while standing up front.  (Rijl in Nancy & Alex’s wedding.)

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Flower girls can’t be blamed if they appear bored.

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Or fidgety.

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Or if they practice their winking during the ceremony.

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Because the audience doesn’t doesn’t mind one bit!

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All they see is the cuteness!

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They probably even enjoy the distraction.

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I know I do.

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Let’s Swing in the Sunshine

March 9th, 2013

On a day like today, ↑ who’d have thought that only three days ago, we had this! ↓

And six days ago, this! ↓  (Okay, so it’s probably still like this up on the ridge…)

But it’s been nice to get a taste of spring.

And hear the laughter of three little girls,

As their daddies push them UP in the air!

Or as they scoot around,

In one manner or another.

Let’s make that the laughter of four little girls.

Big, and little, and in-between!

It’s such a joy to have cousins come visit!

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