Friday, December 30, 2011

Hawaii saga #10: Christmas chaos and Christmas joy!!

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!! Our Christmas morning was fantastic....little A said it was "the best Christmas ever!!!", which is the way every year should be like!
I'm a little surprised they enjoyed it so much this year...as it was really laid back, with only very small toys that would fit back in our luggage. The boys both loved ALL of their presents...even though we spent so little on them, and I'm thinking next year we should down-size too, since they were just as happy with what we got them this year.
We had big plans for Christmas traditions on Christmas eve. We thought it'd be great to go skating in the afternoon, then come back to the apartment and sing songs, act out the nativity, eat some Christmas baking etc.....well.....NONE of that happened.
Our Christmas Eve was quite the crazy day....we spent 2 hours on a bus to the aquarium, which we luckily got into for free because Roo got squished in the automatic doors, and they felt sorry for us. A loved that place, and listened intently to all the little stories there were, and watched the seals, fish and octopus....he loved it!!
We hadn't realized that going to the airport to try and pick up our rental car would be such an ordeal...it looked so close on the map, but took an entire 1 hour and 45 minutes to get too, or to not get too, as you'll see.
 We passed an enterprise rental car, really close to the airport and thought that it was our stop, so we stopped there and walked back several blocks, only to find out it was closed...and the bus was long gone. The sign said that the airport was only a few miles....so I figured we could make it to the next enterprise just by walking.
That was not the greatest idea....we had a few bags, one being really heavy, and were lugging around our car-seat as well, 2 boys and a little umbrella stroller. We walked for about 20 minutes to Alamo, and convinced them to drive us to enterprise on their next shuttle.
Bedraggled and tired we finally made it to enterprise after 2 hours and 15 minutes of total travel time from the aquarium....I was so relieved to finally be there....only for them to tell us that 0our reservation was in fact at alamo....seriously?? Like where we had just came from....so another shuttle back to alamo, and we finally made it to our rental car.
We hadn't realized the day would take us as long as it did...so we were completely exhausted by then (I think it was around 5:30 pm), and the kids, and both of us, hadn't eaten since breakfast...so the kids were completely crazy!!!
We drove downtown, and found the Hardrock Cafe, which we figured would be a nice dinner....after paying for parking, and walking there, we realized there was a wait for dinner....which we did, because we didn't see a better option.
So, finally, at about 7:30, we got our dinner....with kids screaming and crying with sore feet and tummies...we decided to skip the ice-skating, and well pretty much everything we planned for that night...we we were all exhausted and grumpy.
We drove the 1 hr home, and put the already-sleeping babies in their beds, with no Christmas songs, stories, or the nativity....so much for that idea! Oh, and no baking, because our oven was still broken.
I was super tired, but managed to stay up and wrap the presents, and get things ready for the morning....and immediately went to bed.
The kids didn't wake up super early, so that was great...and they were just SO happy! They each got a "lazer gun" that lit up and made super-loud noises...so that was a great idea, ha ha.
They really loved all the little toys, candy and pez we got them....and played for an hour or so before we went to church.
After church we spent several hours packing and cleaning to leave our little apartment, to go to a hotel in Maui.
Our landlord was supposed to meet us at 2, as we were leaving to the airport, so we woul get our damage deposit back. Unfortunately, he must have forgot, and we spent 15 minutes calling him, to no avail.
We got in the car to drive off, and he called...of course. It was great, because we got our deposit back, but we also had to wait for him to drive over...and by the time we got out of the parking lot, it was after 2:30. We drove as quickly as we could to the rental car place, and had to stop for gas...we barely made the shuttle from the rental-car place.
As we were going through security, we heard them call our name to say that the plane was already boarded....I left my shoes and bags and ran to the gate with the kids to tell them we were here. They waited a few minutes for us to get our things....and we all made it with about 2 minutes to spare.
Maui is awesome!!!! I'll have to do a separate post about it, as it seems to different from the first island we were on, Oahu.
Overall we had a great Christmas Day, and a super great time on Oahu...we loved every minute of the warm weather. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hawaii #9... Christmas trees and skating rinks...

I SO wish it was easier for us to put up pictures..because our Christmas tree is awesome-tastic! It may or may not be green garland looped around a lampshade...but it lights up! We Ben added ornaments...it's pretty fantastic.
We let A pick out the wrapping paper, so all our presents are wrapped in Iron Man 2 paper...it's pretty much awesome.
We're trying to plan a trip to Maui, so we may end up at an airport on Christmas day. We will probably open our present on Friday or Saturday instead. We also got a groupon thing to go skating on an outdoor synthetic rink....super cool! :)
Luckily, the hubby has some work this week, which is awesome!
It's just temporary, but it gives him something to do...he gets super bored(and cranky) just hanging out all day...he needs to work.
In other news, I'm super excited that he's going to try to get into school in the fall, fingers crossed. He still has to write the GMAT, so we'll see how that goes.
Hope everyone is having a great pre-Christmas week!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hawaii saga #8...no vacation's complete without a little horror

I love my boys! So much....
I was reminded just how much I love my little A the other night. Usually he is great with street-safety, and reminding us to hold hands as we cross roads or parking lots. For some reason last night, that llama went out the window.
We live directly on a very busy highway, the only be that runs all he way a long the north shore, so needless to say, it s endlessly busy. A minute never goes by, day or night, where there are not a ton of vehicles speeding by.
Whenever we get dropped off at the bus stop, on the opposite sued of the highway to our complex, we always wait until the bs has driven away, and then cross. It usually takes several cars crossing, before one stops for us, even though there is a crosswalk, because it's just o busy and dark.
I was attempting to carry a water jug, 3 pizza boxes and our stroller, as my hubby and little roo were behind me. A was the first be of the bus....
For some reason, against everything he's taught us, or seen us do, he ran in front if he bus...and across the busy highway, without even bothering to glance up.
Of course, I screamed, the bus driver yelled...but it was all in vain, as he we safely on the other side already..but my heart basically stopped.
As we walked inside, I had such a mixture of emotions...extremely happy for his safety, angry at his disobedience and neglect, but mostly so distraught at the real thought of losing him.
I bawled my face off in the "bedroom"( more like just bed in the corner).
I had at talked to A right away, but I ont think he really realized how muh danger he had put himself in, or what he had even done wrong.
Daddy asked him, "did you know that mommys really upset? Do you know why?"....at this point he was already over it, and distracted by the imminent pizza.
The sweetest thing was that little roo piped up and answered, "mommys sad because A crossed the lad by himself, and that's dangerous. So mommys sad."
At least one of them learned fom it:)
In much happier news....
We were able attend a traditional Hawaiian wedding reception last night! It was amazing....so extravagant...with SO much food. The buns were purple, apparently from taro root.
There were live hula dancers, and the whole thing was a really neat experience.
Unfortunately, Daddy and I both quickly realized hat neither of us like Hawaiian food at all, not even the desserts, ha ha....thus the pizza afterwards.
In even better news....we were about to go get a rental car for the weekend, when. Friend in here called us and offered us his vehicle for the holidays!
We were so surprised! And so very grateful...especially after all of our bus-cepades.
We spent to Walmart and bought A some snorkel gear, nd then spent the day snorkeling at Hanauma bay. It was amazing!
We saw huge fish, small fish, neon fish, sea urchen and sone really crazy looking fish! Daddy saw a couple if sea turtles gnawing on coral, and a huge big fish up close. My be sighting was an octopus...so gross! That ended my snorkeling fun, a little too much excitement for me;)
We ended the day with some awesome food at the Outback Steakhouse, and then a quick shopping trip to Costco.
We have a lot planned for tomorrow too...and hopefully we can get our laptop some wifi oon so I can upload the great pictures from this weekend:)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hawaii saga #7....some good stuff

I really should be blogging daily, to use this as a personal journal of our little journey, so this post will kind of be a lump of a whole bunch of thoughts.
I'm so glad that we've been able to stay on the north shore, it has really given us a taste of true Polynesian culture. The people here are so laid back, relaxed and really kind. For example, as we're waiting for the bus, someone offered us a ride, and drive us 15 minutes to the grocery store. Just a few days after that, we were walking a long the busy highway to church, and a family stopped to pick us up. As they pulled over, and we got in, 2 other cars pulled over as well, both had turned around to pick us up.
Just yesterday we were at a huge busy mall in which there was a big train the you could drive on to take a tour if the mall. We hopped on, then realized we didn't have enough cash, so we thought we'd hop off and catch one later. The lady told s to stay on, and that we could just come back and pay here later. I thought it was crazy, I mean, we could have so easily never one back?! It just goes to show the nature of things down here, its really nice.
We've met some great people riding the bus too. A kind family from Australia who basically offered to sponsor our visas if we ever moved there; an old lady who sung songs to a grumpy roo; a lady last night who gave almost an entire pack of gum to my boys who kept spitting it out or swallowing them, and then asking for more....it's been so great.
Several awesome things have happened to s in meeting nice people. We met a guy from Alaska, who a be helpful in finding us work further down the road. Also, we met a family from North Dakota yesterday, who amazingly, offered us all of there food, as they we're heading back home.
We thought thy just meant a few things, but we ended up using an entire grocery cart, stuffed to the brim, with food....it was crazy! Just as we were running out of food too....and had to wait a few more days until we got a rental car for the weekend, so it really was perfect timing.
We've just been so blessed down here, in so many ways. One of the ladies in our ward is working on getting us free tickets to "Christmas in Polynesia" at the PCC. Everywhere we go, we meet amazing people.
Yesterday we went to the Windward Mall, which was only about 1/2hr bus ride. That mall was by far the best mall I have ever been too, for sure. We hadn't looked into it before, but there was an indoor farmers maket going on, on the 1st and 2nd floor, and it was huge! Tons if vendors, all lined up in the hallways. There were fresh fruits and veggies, macadamia/peanut butter, lilikoi jelly, sweet bread.,..so any great things!
There was a school choir singing in the center if the mall, for an hour or so....which seems to be a common occurrence in malls down here. They sang some really nice modern songs, and some Christmas songs too.
There was a huge, 2-story Christmas tree that was shooting out fake-snow, the kids loved hat. The snow was just little spurts of bubbles. Then we went on a cute little choo-choo train tour around the 1st floor of the mall. We also sat on Santas lap, and got reindeer antlers and coloring books from him. We hung out at all the kids stores, playing with toys, looking at animals in the pet stores and buying the kids some nice hats and flip-flops.
We got invited to the wedding reception of a really nice ladies son here, and are going to enjoy one authentic Hawaiian food dor dinner!
We've really been loving it here, but it's also given us a greater appreciation for everything we have back home....a comfy bed (ours is like sleeping on the floor), our own room in a big nice house ( the studio apt. is pretty tiny), and all our great friends and family!
We really haven't gotten to know anyone down here, so I really do miss and appreciate everyone back home, although the view of the mountains and beach everyday almost make up for it! He he...almost:)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hawaii saga #6: tourists and buscepades

For some reason, every time we travel, we always get stopped by tourists who want to admire our boys. Usually these tourists are some other race, I would say mostly Asian, but not always.
So far in the last week we had one man stop us at the mall to admire little Roo, and tell us all about his Hebrew name meaning; then a group of Japanese girls stop A and I, and a tally asked to take our picture, and then all 6 or so of them had us pose with them, well someone took our picture, on 6 different cameras....ha ha...random?!
Anyways...tourists are funny...I guess we're tourists too, and the locals probably think we're funny too.
We missed the bs yet again today...and we're sitting at the bus stop or Zbout 29 minutes until thus really nice man from our apartment complex, who has seen us a few times, offered to drive us. He wasn't even headed anywhere, yet he drive us 15 minutes to the grocery store! There are wonderful people in this world.
On our bus rude home, the bus was JAM packed....like people in every seat, and the isles full of people hanging onto the bars...it was chaos. I was holding Roo, 2 big jugs of water and a folded stroller....desperately trying to get Roo not to scream and squirm so much...he was overtired and over hungry. This little old lady sitting close to us started singing to him and telling him stories and nursery rhymes. It was really sweet, and calmed him down pretty well too.
Riding the bus is actually quite interesting....the boys live it, and we get to meet neat people. I'm sure we'll have a lot more fun bus stories next week!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hawaii saga continued...

Hey guys! We're still here, and still pretty much Internet-less...apparently our area can't get service from most Internet providers, so that's a bummer.
We spent the day yesterday in the city of Honolulu. We had to drop off our rental car, so we figured we'd make a day of it and lend the day at the Ala Moana mall. we did forget the we'd be stick with a huge clunky cars eat whilst walking around the mall all day, we may have got a few strange looks, ha ha.
The mall was huge, and has regular Christmas concerts, so we got to see a sweet little elementary school group sing and hula dance.
We ate lunch in the biggest food court I've ever seen, it was really crazy. We literally ran to catch the bus, luckily it was a few minutes late, so it was fine.
We ended up on the wrong bus, thanks to the bus info line, so it ook us 2 hours and 45 minutes to get home, instead of an hour...lame.
One cool thing about bus-ing it, besides that my boys love every minute of it, is the interesting people you meet. We had a great conversation with a family from Australia, which made the bus ride a lot more enjoyable.
We spent the morning swimming and walking alng he beach. It was really cold and windy today, Way too cold or me or Roo to swim, so we just chilled on the sand...A seems to have no cold bones in his body...he would swim outside evn if it was like zero degrees out...he's crazy.
We made it to the Laie temple tonight, and it was SO beautiful! I'm really grateful for our wonderful friend Paige who watched he boys on campus while we were gone.
We had a great day today. We've been applying to a few jobs here and there, and we're really looking forward to going to the farmers market a BYU tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hawaii saga #5

Well...we're alive, but still with relatively junky wi-fi, so I'm typing this up on my iPad.
We're finally settled in this place on the beach, with ll of our stuff unpacked, and the fridge full of food.
Im so glad we won't be moving again, not for at least a month, that is...which is awesome. Now we can relax ad just enjoy the beach. We haven't done nearly enough swimming yet.
But, we gave done some awesome things!
We spent Sunday st church, then napping, then scrummaging the up cupboards for food...we ate nerds, oatmeal and goldfish or funny dinner it was awesome! Ha ha. We went to the Laie temple and visitors center again, and took a lot of pictures, which I was able to upload to FB before the wi-fi went away again.
Yesterday we got up really early to go find breakfast, at Mcdonalds, oh so healthy, I know.
We found a place called "Valley of the Temples" that was a cemetery type thingy, with a bunch of cool mausoleums, and statues and lots of cool headstones and beautiful vegetation. One interesting thing is that in the catholic section of the cemetery, there were bottles of water, pop, smoothies and food at almost all the graves. If anyone knows th belief behind this, I'd love to know.
There was also a really cool Buddhist temple, that we got to walk through. The grounds were amazing, with huge bamboo forests, tons of koi ponds, water fountains etc....it reminded me of Japanese gardens...so serene and peaceful. The boys loved ringing the huge gong, no surprise there. We were so glad we found this cool little place!
We walked around a neat blow-hole/humpback whale site, and the legendary Hanauma bay, which is famous for its amazing snorkeling.
We ended up being able to make it on our under water scooter ride and turtle watching tour that afternoon, and brought the bod with us. A was brave enough I put on goggles nd jump in the ocean! There was really beautiful fish, and awesome turtles, but we left our camera in the car, which I was super bummed about.
After a full day of touring, we went shopping at Safeway and Costco. We had a in dinner at Costco. By the time we go settled back in our apartment, it was lose to 9 pm, and the kids and both of us, we're exhausted.
I'm hoping I get some wi-fi again soon, so I can add the pictures of the Buddhist temple.
We're off to swim in the ocean! :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

hawaii saga #4...pictures soon I promise

There is SO much to talk about...but it seems as if I never have any time....or wi-fi..as we speak, I am tapped in on someones unsecured network....so I have wi-fi for at least a few minutes! ha ha
We switched condos....back to the same area we were at for the first few days, just steps from the ocean....it's a bit small, a studio...but a good size for us, and a GREAT location....we are on a month-to-month lease, if we decide to stay,  but so far have it paid up until January 3rd....hoo-rah! Even if we don't stay any  longer...that's a lot of hawaii!
We were able to go to the PCC, which was awesome....and the visitors center at the Laie Temple....which was also cool. They had it all decorated up for Christmas, with TONS of trees, all really beautiful. The PCC was amazing...we even snagged a stroller from someone in town, so we could tow the kidlets around. Unfortunately  because of our major hotel fiasco, we missed the luau, which I REALLY wanted to do...so hopefully we get the chance to go again.
We went to an Polynesian Christmas parade in Kailua....and it was awesome! Marching bands mixed with hula dancing....and super hot out too! The perfect combo. The parades here are WAY different than back home....they are mostly made up of schools, like even elementary schools....and obviously the hula-dancers were different too...and there was a lot of them. And pretty much NO horses...only one small one on a private float for a church. They also have a ton of beauty-pageant winners, just waving and looking pretty....really young ones too....probably from age 5-25ish.
After the parade and some lunch, we headed over to the Aloha Stadium for a football game between University of Hawaii and BYU....which was SO good!! Really long, but fun. The kids got too hot, too wet, then too cold, then it was too loud, or too boring...so ya, they aren't major football fans yet.
A kept saying things like: "It wouldn't be boring if I was playing, I would just keep getting touchdowns...hundreds of them; It would only take me one minute to run across that whole field, well, maybe 2 minutes; I would win every game if I played. If I was playing the score would be 159-0". ha ha...yup.
I have so much more to say,  but I am super wiped from such a long day...I really need to add pictures too, oh, and un-pack ALL of our stuff....AGAIN!! ha ha....but it's worth it...cuz we're in hawaii baby!!
Aloha:)

Friday, December 2, 2011

hawaii saga #3...

This won't be a very well-edited post, and n pictures today either, because we are stuck without wifi!!
We had picked a condo (for the next 2 weeks) and had made certain there was to be wifi. We need it for job applications and emails about jobs and what not...but apparently we were mis-informed.
So, unfortunately we have to walk a block or so and sit outside at the only wifi hot-spot here....not fun.
Good news is that they are going to let us out of here with a full refund (minus the 2 nights we've slept here)....and even BETTER news is we found a condo that will let us stay for a whole month!!!!
It's not nearly as nice as this place, and only a studio...a little run-down and what not, but it's cheaper for one month than this place was for 2 weeks...so score for us!!
That'll give us a full month to figure out our life, and jobs, and whether or not we're going to stay etc....so we're pretty excited.
Also, it's at the same apartment complex that our first place was, which means it's just steps to the ocean...which makes up for the junk-iness of the apartment.
When we get better internet, I'll post some more pictures!!
peace out:)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the hawaii saga #2...with pics!

Well, I finally got around to taking some pictures...I felt like such a tourist, just sticking my head out the window of our car every 5 seconds to take yet another pictures of those beautiful mountains....but I can't get over them...they are crazy gorgeous.
Anyways....here are a few from today! I'll have to add the videos to FB, because I don't have a youtube account...and I'm pretty sure that's all I can add on here....
enjoy!!



















Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The hawaii saga #1...

Well, we MADE IT!!! Woo hoo!!
But before all of that there was some waiting, more waiting, impatient kids...tears, freaking out....the whole nine yards. 
Speaking of the whole nine yards, I guess I should mention there was a HUGE windstorm and several fires around the city, that we drove past on our way to the airport. Our house was on evacuation watch, but never got evacuated. I am SO thankful for awesome neighbors and friends, who always are on the watch out for us. 
We made it to the airport, through security and customs (who did NOT ask if and when we were returning...what?! we heard from every source that this would be a huge issue, and had made measures to keep ourselves safe in that regard,which we did, and it was all for naught) VERY quickly.... despite the long lines.
The first issue came up when we heard my hubby's name over the intercom (well, jason hatsma's at least, ha ha)...he was called back to checked baggage because of a problem with our luggage. It turns out you can't take camping stoves with you, who knew?! On a side note, we were able to fit one sleeping bag, a queen-size air mattress and pump, the camp stove AND a 10-men tent with 9-ft gazebo IN our luggage....yup, we're geniuses. 
Shortly after that we were called to the counter AGAIN....only for them to tell us that we were going to be delayed into SFO because of weather there, and that we may not male our connection...but we still should. After getting on the plane, de-icing for 45 minutes, then being delayed yet again due to SFO weather, we taxi-ed for a total of 1 hr 20 minutes...then took off for a 3 hour flight.
We an as quickly as we could when we got off the plane, and straight to our gate...and got there about 6 minutes before our scheduled departure time. They had closed the plane literally minutes before, and would NOT let us on, even though the plane was RIGHT there. The worst part was, another couple on our plane was on the same connection, and they made it!! They were at the front of the plane (us on THE last row, with no reclining seats may I add....not fun at all)...oh, and no kids with oodles of carry-on's to tote around either. I can't believe they let the their couple on, and didn't even wait an extra few minutes for us....so annoying.
Well, we then waited at the airport for 6 hours....yup, tell me how fun that was (especially after waking up at 4:30 that morning, with no naps thus far, due to non-reclining chairs and cranky little boys to console).
After boarding the second time...we finally made it....onto THE biggest plane I've ever been on....it was sweet! It made the 5 hour journey a little more manageable...and I was even able to recline my chair!!! woot!!
Despite it all, the boys did really well on the plane...yes, they were cranky and impatient, and may have had a few melt-downs....but really good considering.
It took around 1/2 hour for all of our luggage to make it to the carousel, but we did get it all...and then carried ALL of our luggage onto the shuttle to the rental car place. The carrying of luggage is my LEAST fave part....we had in total 2 huge bags (both which weighed slightly over 50 lbs, but the lady liked us, so we had no extra charge), a third one weighing 42 lbs...2 big car seats for the boys, 3 big carry-ons, 3 backpacks and a purse.
We got a REALLY nice rental, which I'm super happy....cuz face it, you spend a LOT of time in your car on vacation....we ended up with this nice spacious Laredo, that easily fit all of our luggage.
We began the drive to our little condo, and got there in about an hour....with both kids sleeping. They'd missed dinner that night, so I'm surprised they stayed asleep. We rolled in at somewhere around 1 or 2 L-town time, and 10 or 11 hawaii time....making a total of 21 hours of travel-time....SUPER cool....not.
One other major bummer was that we were really looking forward ot the drive to our condo, with all the ncie views...but it was pitch black as we drove, and we literally couldn't see past the one constant row of houses next to us, or see the ocean at all.
Our condo is super nice!! I'll try ad post some photos or videos soon. The condo itself is a little old, and pretty small (it's a studio)....but it has a really big lanai (Hawaiian for patio, look how much I know already! ha ha).  It also has a TON of windows...which I love...and is surrounded by the ocean.
If you open all the windows, all you would see is palm trees and ocean all the way around you....and we sleep in the area with the most windows too....it's really nice.
We did find a little lizard on our kitchen counter, which kinda freaked me out....but it's better than a tarantula, so I'll take it!
Today was a little windy still, not warm enough for me to want to swim in the ocean....but the boys had a great time swimming.
We're drove around the PCC, BYUH and the Laie Temple today...and we'll visit them more tomorrow. We took a long scenic drive all the way up the coast to the very north shore and went to some cute little stores.
the biggest shocker so far was the local super-market. It looked so normal on the outside, like a sobey's, then when you walk in it's crazy!! I can only compare it to the Bishop's storehouse (comparable to a food bank but run by our LDS church)....although, I think that it may have been a little more rundown than that even. The food has been good so far, not too pricy either comparatively. Cheese and grapes were pretty pricy, but beef, hotdogs, juice, chips etc....were all the same. Oh, and so is gas...or maybe a teensie bit cheaper.
Well, that's it for today....I'll try and take more photos tomorrow, so I can upload a whole bunch at once:)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

T-6 days to hawaii!!

Everyone that we meet, in every situation, little A comments to them: "we're moving to hawaii!!" (although both him and Roo pronounce it haw-I).
They are both REALLY excited....hopefully all of that excitement carries over to them being very well-behaved and happy on the airplane!! ha ha...doubtful.

Things are finally coming into place....a little more disorganized, and maybe a LOT more pricy than we were hoping to do it for. 
Apparently Dec-March in the high season in Hawaii....so we're hitting it right at THE most expensive time. Also, there is some crazy surfing championship, which makes it even MORE busy....yay us...what great plan-ahead-ers we are. 
So...THE PLAN thus far is to have a place booked for about 2 1/2 weeks...all around the north shore area. We are hoping to know by the end of that time whether or not we will stay for longer. We should have a good idea about jobs down there, and houses and what not....so either we'll be signing a lease, and starting a job....or planning our trip back home. 
If it's the latter, we have decided to pack a WHOLE bunch of our camping gear in our luggage...and we're going to rent a car, and camp out all over the island...maybe even island hop for a while. There are always really cheap flights in and out of hawaii, no matter what the day, if you are going to seattle...so that'll be our back-up plan. We'll just hang out there and maybe Victoria...and slowly make our way back home, sometime in January. 
Even the best-made plans have been known to fall through...and this isn't even a best-made plan...ha ha...so we'll see. We have quite a few back-up plans though, so I think we'll be okay!! Although camping for a month or more wasn't really what I'd hoped for, I still think it'll be awesome. 
The weirdest thing is saying good-bye to everyone...just because we have NO idea how long we'll be gone for! I mean....we could wimp out, and come back in 3 weeks....or we could LOVE it and find a fantastic DREAM job, and never come home?! ha ha....who knows. 
This is BY FAR the craziest thing we've ever done. We are SUPER grateful for my in-laws who are staying at our house and taking care of everything here for us...so that we have a place to some home to whenever we decide to. It really is amazing...
Well folks...I'll hopefully keep my blog updates regularily...we've made sure that ALL of the places we are staying at have wi-fi...that IS a must...and if we end up camping, my posts may be a little sparse...but I'll try to make it work. 
I love you all! Keep reading about ALL our crazy future adventures:)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

sorry for all my MIA-ness

I haven't been posting in what seems like forever...so sorry!! Sorry for my MIA-ness...
Apparently planning a 6 month stay-cation in another country, whilst trying to pack and clean most of our house and dealing with just being a mommy, and also a sister to someone who needs a LOT of help right now...is time-consuming or something? ha ha...I guess. 
So ya..here is a little note to tell you that I AM indeed alive and kicking...and our hawaii plans are sssllloooowwwlllyyy coming together. 
I wish they would come together a LOT quicker than they are right now...since how we leave in T-11 days....but we DO have a rental car as of today....and a place to sleep for the first 3 nights...and some appointments to see some other houses once we land....oh and MOST importantly....we bought tickets for a submersible scooter and sea-turtle watching tour....COOL!!!
Well, peace out...I'm going to apply for some more jobs for my hubby:)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

blessed with understanding...

Yes, I had a difficult day yesterday....dealing with everything I talked about in my last post...and even more that evening....and even more this morning as we were told from the adoption agency that we would have to be taken off the list while we are in Hawaii (which I am super sad about...). 
I was probably just going to end up being bummed out in my whole post....again....then I read a beautiful post by a friend this morning entitled "beautiful heartbreak"...all about an especially difficult trial that she was going through this last week. I would link to it, but it is a personal story of hers, so I'll just use the beautiful song that she named her post after. If you haven't listened to it, you should...it's perfect.

     It made me feel silly for these tiny little trials that I am so disconcerted by. 
    There are so many trials that I could have, that other do have, and that I probably will have one day...that will be much more heat-breaking than the ones I have now.
     I am also reminded of the Canadian soldier who lost his life a week ago, and left behind a young wife, close to my age, with 2 young children...one being only a few weeks old. This soldier was from my home town, and went to high-school with my brother, my husband and I. 
      I watched a little video clip of the memorial, and watched this young mother holding her tiny little baby, with her toddler walking behind...what a heartbreak. 


      It really made me count my blessings...I have a family whom I adore, a great church family here in our neighborhood, and so many wonderful friends. I have a wonderful husband, who is here for me, who gets to spend a lot of time with our family, and who I always look up to and lean on for strength. 


In the song that went with my friends post, beautiful heartbreak, there was shown a myriad of women, who showed the trials that they have been through....really tough and difficult trials...much more difficult than anything I'm ever seen. It also reminded me of the need to be caring, loving, and especially understanding. 
As that car drives you by and cuts you off, or someone loses their temper at you, or forgets to come to an appointment you had set up (like my day yesterday)....we can think of all of the things going on in their lives....we have no idea what a difficult day, or year, or life that they have...and we can all try and be a little more understanding of others trials and decisions in life. 
I will definitely be trying.


     I have already begun to see blessings and solutions to problems that I have been contemplating, specifically my difficulty with enabling vs. loving with a specific person is my life...I think I have found a way to do both so far...and I hope it works. 
      I'm truly grateful for these answers to prayers, and grateful that for the trials I have...for they do serve a purpose....
to increase my faith...
                                          ....and they have. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

....want a little cheese with all that whhhiiiinnnneeee???

Okay...so sometimes I am a whiner....especially today!! 
I want all of my worry stress and time to be going into planning our move to hawaii...since how that's kind of a big deal, ya know? BUT, alas...I seem to have absolutely NO time or mind-space for any of that lately.
Apparently other people just aren't reliable...especially in the goods and services industry. We have been trying to get this house fixed that we are managing...and it seems like anything that could ever go wrong, has. Today, for instance, we were supposed to meet someone at 9 to look at fixing something...my hubby went over there....no one showed after 1/2 hour of waiting. Then I go over at 11:30 to meet with someone else to fix something else, and NOPE, no show again....seriously?! We've spent most of the morning just trying to meet with these people, phone calls etc...just for them not to show. LAME!! I hate having to rely on other to be responsible, it would be SO much easier if I could just fix everything myself...wouldn't that be awesome?? ha ha...if only I was Chuck Norris. 
The other major stress in my life is in finding the fine line between enabling and loving....I would love to just love and support ALL of the time...but will they ever learn? On the other hand, I'm not even sure if this person has the capability of learning....it may never happen. All of the rest of my mind-space and time this morning has gone to researching homeless shelters, mental health programs, rehabilitation centers etc....so at least I can be some help in giving this person information, if not help beyond that. 
It's hard to figure out how far to go when you want to show help and love to someone, when you want to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless...especially when it's someone you care about...but not give them so much that they will then take advantage of your help. 
I'm not sure if any of that made sense...but yup, I AM a whiner today, that's for sure. Hopefully in time, preferably in the next few days, some of these stressors will dissipate so I can focus on my own forthcoming dilemmas. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

HAWAII!! :)

Well, I thought after my last post that life would get a little less crazy? a little? Especially because my hubby has been home quite a but this week. 
BUT, nope.
It's still crazy...but whatev, that's what life's about right?
Some of you may have seen via crackbook, that we are headed to HAWAII!!! UM, yes...we ARE! :)
It's exciting for sure...and I would be more happy-go-lucky excited about it if I wasn't so anxious, and busy planning, and just buy with life in general...oh, and if my life wasn't so much like THIS ladies here.  (which btw is an AWESOME article about the language of CHILD..yup, both mu kids speak it...and I sure don't...I think they may be partially lingual in adult, depending on the situation...but rarely).
We are heading out on the 28th...to a CrAzY and hopefully awesome adventure with our kids, before they get all grown-up and have to go to real-school and what not. 
Although, who am I kidding, I would totally pull them out of real school and travel the world via hot-air balloon whilst homeschooling them, if I ever had the chance....
Fortunately for us, we have awesome family members, in particular my hubby's parents, who will be staying at our place while we are gone. That little fact is what is making this whole thing possible. 
While they are here enjoying all this town has to offer in cold, windy snow-iness we will be headed out in hopes of finding a job and a house down in Hawaii. 
So far, all we have is a few days booked at a little cottage, and we're hoping after that we'll find a monthly rental type situation, and some sort of employment for my hubby. 
If so...we'll be staying for a while. I, unfortunately, am NOT american like my super-cool stud of a hubby, so I can only stay in the country for up to 6 months....AND our adoption renewal thingy comes up too...so 6 months will be our cut-off (unless some adorable Hawaiian baby washes up on shore and we stay there forever...yup, it could happen...Moses, right?)
Anyways...that's OUR news...we are cray adventurers....does that make us hippies? I've always wanted to be a hippy....
peace out! (that was very hippy-ish in case you didn't know)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our halloween!!

We had THE greatest halloween this year...I can't decide if it was the best year ever...but I think it probably was. 
I had all of these ideas of going out for hours, and getting just a HUGE hoard of candy...but after such a cray weekend, I wasn't sure if I'd make it....I was SO drained. 
I'll give you a quick run-down of my SUPER crazy weekend. 
It started thursday afternoon while I had to spend HOURS, literally, on the phone with hotel people, flights places etc.....trying to plan this CRAY adventure that we are about to embark on. 
BUT...more on that later, that's a whole post in and of itself. 
After that, we woke up early friday morning and drove straight to the passport office in clagry (while not quite straight, since how I had written down the address for some random govn't office...so we had to backtrack about 25 minutes). We got our passports renewals figured out pretty quickly, and had a wuick lunch with Uncle Scotty....then headed back home. 
As soon as we got home, we headed over to a family birthday party for one of A's little friends. We had a blast there, and A learned the awesome-ness of a whoopie cushion...thanks guys!! ha ha
We left there to pick up our babyistter, and get ready SUPER fast for an adult halloween party, which was a SUPER great time....great snacks and fun games. It ended in the LOSERS pf the game (aka, us, the women) having to either eat a teaspoon of cinnamon (which we learned after the first loser wasn't THE greatest pick in the world) or eating a donut off of a string whilst your spouse spraying you down with water....awesome times! ha ha
The next morning we had a primary party, followed by another friends of A's birthday party, followed by our OWN halloween party....whew....it was a long day. 
Our party was a blast! I wish I had taken more pictures....but the games turned out awesome! We were laughing so hard by the end of the night that we were tearing up....a lot. Good times!
That didn't end till close to 2 am....yup. Craziness, I know. 
Sunday was full of church, including our annual primary presentation, which I conducted. 
That evening was a church fireside, and I sang an a capella quartet of a beautiful song HERE....it was awesome. It couldn't have turned out better. In fact, afterwards, a lady came up and asked one of the girls that sang with me: "so, that song was off of the CD right? Is it you guys on the CD then? You sounded JUST like them!" ha ha....nope, not us on the CD, we only wish!
Well....that was my cray weekend. We woke up monday for a little playgroup we go to, that we dressed up for....then went to lunch for "octopus hot dogs" at a friends...then home for a short relaxation before our night of craziness. 
At THIS point I was all for only trick-or-treating around the neighborhood...or not at all...because I was SO tired. BUT, somehow I got a second wind....I think it was all of the kids excitement and joy at getting candy....it was SO fun and cute to watch. 
We started at 3:00....yup 3:00...we went to the main mall here in town, and then to a smaller mall of the north side....both which have trick-or-treating to all the stores. The first mall was complete chaos!! It was SO packed....it was cray. Luckily we went with a friend, and she came up wit ha strategic way to get to ALL of the stores with out ANY back-tracking...and we did it, in 48 minutes!! I'm so proud of us...ha ha.
After the 2 malls, we headed home to pick up daddy, and then went to 2 trunk-or-treats in church parking lots. We just pulled up, and daddy took the 2 little ninja's around, while I handed out the goods...the 2nd church was super packed...and we got 3 full-size chocolate bars there! Score!

We then headed to Burger King for some much-needed dinner and playing at the play-place. At around 7pm we headed out to a subdivision on the very south-end with massive houses....it was awesome. Everyone there was SO nice...and the houses were awesome to walk around, because they were SO beautiful....it was great. We scored several full-sized chocolate bars...and the boys even got $5 gift cards to toys'r'us!! Awesome!!
We headed back home and stopped at a few freinds on the way...we dropped off the loot and then went around our little cul-de-sac. We actually got a TON of candy there, because apparently we were some of the first trick-or-treaters that night in that area. 
At close to 9:00pm we finally went home....a mere 6 hours after we had started!! ha ha...it may sound cray, but it was SO much fun....the kids never died down until the end...they just kept wanting to do more. 
I'm not sure who had more fun, us adults, or them! It was really nice too, because our good friends, who have boys the same age as ours, did it ALL with us! 
We let the kids eat a TON of candy when we got home, then they picked out a few little candies to put in a zip-loc bag...and that's all they are keeping. After they went to bed, we picked ut what we wanted...including the 9 full-sie bars we ended up with, and ll of the potato chips (around 25-30 bags). 
We put the rest in a bag and weighed it....11.4 lbs!! We are bringing all of that to the dentist in town who buys them for $1/lb. They are sent to troops overseas, which is great!! 
So, after tomorrow...we will be almost all theway candy-less...and the kids will go to toys'r'us and get to pick out a toy! 
What a great weekend, and especially, a GREAT halloween day!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Crafts!

These are our cool-io pumpkins...A painted the little ghost one


I learned how to make this at a class over 2 nights...it was hard, but super cute!



I love the little ruffle bum, even though it was super tricky to make, it is my fave part!


This is just scrapbooking paper, with printed letters glued on

This isn't really halloween-y, but something I've been working on for quite a while. I collected a whole bunch of frames and mirrors, and spray-painted them all white...then printed off some new family photos by kelsey!



Love these little window monsters..they are so easy too! You just draw whatever you want your monster to look like onto some black poster-board, make sure to leave room for cut-out pieces. One you cut out some pieces, like the mouth or eyes, you just add tissue paper, then tape it onto your windows! the boys love them:)

This is a halloween printable online I found....don't mind the mess

halloween wreath made out of cupcake liners, also found the how-to for this online

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Post-church after-thoughts

Today was a great day. I always love Sunday's...but today we got to practice the primary presentation with all of the kids (ages 3-11), and they just sung SO well! 
Each sunday, week after week, month after month I teach these little kids how to sing, and hope that they are actually getting it, and somehow remembering the words, the tune etc. All so that in the end, for one sunday (the primary presentation) they can sing their little heart outs. 
Well, that's next sunday. As I sat and listened to them today, I realized how well they had learned these songs...and I was amazed! Most of the time they are chatting, or falling off of their chairs, making jokes, looking around the room....everything, but paying attention to learning the songs...at least that's what it feels like some weeks. 
But alas, somehow I was actually able to teach them something...which is pretty amazing to me. I'm sure I'll be nervous the whole hour-long presentation next sunday....but I know they'll do great, and everyone will love it. This is what my calling is all about...the one day a year I get to show off the sweet little kids and all that they've learnt through the year with me. 
On a side note, I really dislike having to stand up in front of everyone....I always feel like people are watching me, even though I'm certain they are watching all of the cute little kids....but it sure doesn't feel that way during the middle of the song when my butt is is right front and center for 200 plus people to view, lol...good times. 
On another note, although FB friends may already know this....we did NOT get the duplex that we have been trying to by since....august, maybe? I think that;'s when we first saw it...man oh man has this been a long time coming. 
Although it is somewhat disappointing to think all of those what if's? Because let me tell you, it would have been a FANTASTIC deal for us....at the same time, I feel so calm about it. 
Over the last few weeks, as I have knelt in prayer and asked the Lord what we should be doing with our lives, specific things...this was one of them. I always prayed that if we weren't supposed to do this, that it wouldn't turn out. As time progressed I felt more and more like it wasn't going to work out...and so when the call came, it was relieving to know that the answer that I had been feeling was indeed the right answer. So, I am grateful...and on life goes...
Who knows what we'll be doing next...but I do know that the more that I seek and pray to see the Heavenly Father's hand in our lives, the easier it becomes to see it. So I know that no matter what happens, as long as keep praying and stay on the right track, that the Lord will open up those doors that need to be opened, and we will find out what and where we need to be. 
I'm EVER so grateful for the gospel...so blessed to have such a great family....such wonderful boys, and especially for my amazing husband, because he truly is amazing. 
What a great day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

the cutest boys ever... :)

Some funny things the boys have said this week:
-I was in the car with the boys the other day, and one of their friends, Mac. We were talking about all of the different restaurants that we were passing, as they were trying to guess where we were headed for lunch. As we passed one, that I mentioned that daddy and I frequent while on date-night, A was sad that he didn't get to go to that one. After a few moments of thought, this s the conversation that I heard between him and his friend:
A: "the first thing that I'm going to do when I grow up is go on a DATE!"
mac: "with a girl right?"
A: "YA! With a girl..."
A: "Did ya know, I already have an adult camera? it's an adult one!"
Mac: "That's cool, I do too!"


-Little roo put on some cool sunglasses this evening and came up to the rest of us and said: "I'm a decepticon! I'm a decepticon!"...it's amazing the things he catches on to by having an older brother.


-We were putting the boys to bed tonight, and roo wanted to climb up on A's bunk, so we figured we'd let him for a minute or two. He crawled right under the blankies and A and roo started giving each other cuddles....cutest thing ever. Then roo turns to us and says "Good night mommy. Daddy can yo go? Good bye!! Can you guys just go?" ha ha...so we did, only to go back in less than a minute later to them annoying each other. Roo was actually annoying A, who just really wanted to sleep...as I was chastising roo, he said, "can I go in my own bed?". I put him down, he snuggled his blankies and smiled..."I love my bed, it's so comfy. Wanna sleep with me?" ha ha....I guess A's bed just wasn't comfy enough for him. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some gospel thoughts...


I have been blessed to be able to listen to this song a lot lately, as I am learning it for a stake musical number. It's beautiful...and inspiring...and full of the spirit. I love it. I love the temple, and the inspiration that we can receive there. 

Lately I have been experimenting, and working on listening to promptings of the spirit, to try and hone my ability to detect when something is a prompting from the Lord, versus my own thoughts. 
It has been a great experience...to listen to those small and quiet little promptings, follow them, and then feel the peaceful and encourage feelings that come when you realize that you have followed them correctly. I am still learning, still growing..and have a lot to learn and grow at...but it's coming. 

I love our church, I love the way that it centers on families, and on Christ. Family is THE most important thing in life...and will bring us the most joy. there is nothing more important than raising children, and I strive daily to spend more quality time with my kids...and to show them this principle. 

I love listening to A answer questions about the gospel...he is so intelligent, and has a strong testimony already. Little roo is just so sensitive, emotional and loving. His love is just so sweet and encompassing...it reminds me of what the saviors love for us feels like. They are 2 amazing children...and I love that I have been able to have this little break between having kids, and going to school, and have been able to have my hubby home a lot too. We have been able to spend a lot of quality time together, and really strengthen our family relationship...and for that I am ever grateful 

I have no idea where we are going to go from here...but I am just so grateful for the time now, and what a fantastic little family I have to live with and bring me joy daily. 

(side note great vid HERE about technology and youth, but I think it counts for us too, any one in this "techno age"...it's a great one :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Impatiently praying for patience...

Why oh why am I SO impatient? I'm not sure...but I am, it's deeply embedded in my bones. 
I have to try SO hard to get rid of it, on a continual basis...and it's not really working. 
I started yoga a few weeks ago...and don't get me wrong, I LOVE it...but it's so slow and relaxing...I'm just not much of a relaxing person...high-strung much? ha ha
For instance, I can't stand getting massages, because I just think of ALL of the work that I could be doing, things I could be getting done etc...and I just can NOT relax...at all...so I usually opt for either no massage, or a short 1/2 hour one....even at that I feel impatience.
Yoga is the same way....while we are relaxing and cooling down at the end, I find it IMPOSSIBLE to completely relax and/or clear my mind of all thought...that NEVER happens....I'm always thinking!
Usually when I work out, I only make it through MAYBE 20 minutes or a work-out class, then switch to the next thing...and never work out for too long, because I'm always thinking of what comes NEXT!!


That's my issue...I have a hard time living IN the moment...enjoying the MOMENTS...I just keep thinking of how things will/won't turn out, and what I need to be doing next, and all of the things I could possibly be forgetting about....it's a disease I tell ya. 
Well, lately I've been impatiently waiting...surprise, surpirse...for SO many things it seems. Every single trial or tribulation right now revolves around patience. 
Waiting for jobs, or maybe school instead...waiting for this house we're trying to buy...waiting for a baby...EVERYTHING in my life is on HOLD...and it's just not how I like to roll!! ha ha
So....I impatiently pray for patience....with my kids, my hubby, my family, my life in general....everything pretty much...and I hope it comes. 
As you may know, President Monson (the prophet of our church and one pretty smart dude) said this:

"Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family."

That's where I'm trying to get. I constantly am stopping and reminding myself to relish the small moments, enjoy my kids at this age, enjoy only having two kids, enjoy not having to worry about a house, or baby, work or school...just ENJOY this "middle phase" of our lives. 
Some more bits of precious knowledge from Pres. Monson:

"My brothers and sisters, there is no tomorrow to remember if we don’t do something today."
"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly."

Is this not so true? We need to stop and look at our children, get down on the ground and play with them...enjoy them, love them...and tell them we love them.

We will all have trials and tribulations...some great, some small...but we need to treasure these times... treasure the beautiful moments spent with our kids and treasure the testimony-strengthening trials that we have been BLESSED and TRUSTED to go through.

"Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they mustknow how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, “They do not love that do not show their love.”

I'll end on this little note of treasure, from our beloved prophet:

"Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows."