Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kaua'i ~~ A Great Place for a Fall Break

Kaua'i is an amazing Island in the Hawaiian Chain. We arrived just after a storm had blown through and the first few days were amazing calm seas and beautiful skies. It did rain a little on the third day but we didn't mind because it was still warm. We've been to Kaua'i a few times so this trip was really relaxing without a list of things we just had to do.....we've done the helicopter trip....we've done the napli coast trip (twice).....we've done the Waiema Falls tour and seen the Grand Canyon of Hawaii. We highly recommend all of those things but this trip we've been able to spend more time on the beach and more time exploring on foot.

Yesterday we took the hike from Shipwreck Beach over to Manaulepu Beach. It is a beautiful 45 minute hike up over the cliffs of Keonlia Bay, right up onto the golf course and past a ranch and then down right on to the beach. It was very fun and a nice easy hike. Brad met us with the car and had drinks and snacks handy for us. We spent a few hours snorkling and swimming on the beach.

Later that night we enjoyed a local Hula Show and got to see some great dancing and music.....Hawaiian style.

We also took the train ride on the Kolohanna Plantation and got a little taste of the old Hawaii...plantation style. We always make time to drive out to Waimea and go for some shaved ice at JO Jo' shaved ice on the our humble opinion. Apparently others agree as it was stacked out the door when we arrived.

We also had time to drive to Hanalei on the north side of the island and spend some time shopping and eating...of course.

On Sunday we attended the Lihue Ward in the Kauai Hawaii Stake. We have been there before and we love it because at the end of the meeting they all go to the front and sing to all the visitors and pass out cute hand knitted leis. It is very touching and it makes me cry everytime they sing Aloha to us.

Kountry Kitchen is our favorite breakfast place and so we hit it after church. See the pictures for is delicious!

We went to a beach where the kids could use the boogie board. They had soooo much fun and I'm sorry to report everyone got fried because they didn't want to leave. But why not get fried on your last day in Hawaii!

It's been a good trip. The girls head home tonight (Sunday) and we will miss them...I suspect especially Mackay will....he loves to tease them but sure hates it when they are gone. The rest of us will spend a few more days and then head home on Wednesday. Aloha! We will see you soon!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Feeling Right Before You Dive In!

This morning it was my first day on the beach in Kaua'i. As I wade out into the cool beautiful water, it always takes a moment to get used to that feeling of the water on your legs. As you step in you feel it cool around your ankles, then your thighs and all the way up to your belly. You stand there, anticipating the moment when your whole body goes under and the ocean welcomes you in once more. The hesitation comes in that moment, knowing that what you are heading into is going to feel so good and yet you can't quite make yourself dive in.

It occured to me that this moment is a mirror of my life. I have had many moments in my life when I know exactly what I want, I can see it just up ahead in the distance.  It's just that taking that leap the one you know that will feel so cold and the water will hit your face and you will go under.  Yes you will go under, it's that moment that is hard to face.

As I rise up from my first dive in I realize how refreshing this feels.  I feel invigorated and alive.  I know how to swim so I know how to make my way back to the surface.  I know how to survive.

It's just that moment.......right before you dive in.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Break 2009 It begins......

It all started when Brad found a sweet deal to fly out of LAX to Hawaii! We knew we we wanted to go back to Hawaii and in fact we already had a week at the Marriott Kaua'i already paid for. So we planned the trip for Fall Break and hoped the girl's colleges might have a few days off around that time. Because the rate was so good from LAX we decided we would leave a few days early and spend some time with our friends Heather & Ralph. Actually Heather is more than just a friend she is Brad's birth mother and we have known her since Brad was 21. We all love Heather & Ralph and they always make us feel so welcome when we come to their house in Dana Point, CA. They picked us up from the airport and treated us to our favorite In & Out Burgers and then took us home to a nice comfey bed! The next day we decided to go to Disneyland....why not....since we were practically right next door! The day was a little over cast and we got sprinkled on from time to time but all and all it was a super fun day as we revisited one of our favorite, magical places on earth!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cooking with My Daughters....

I was cooking with Amanda last summer and it inspired me to write a poem. A few days later I was cooking with Elizabeth and I let her read the poem and she said, "Mom, why don't you write a poem about cooking with me?", so I did. Here are the resulting poems and I loved how they both had such different feelings, just like my daughters. They are each so different.....and I love them each so much!

Cooking with Amanda

Cooking with my daughter
Now grown
Is very different than it once was.

Tiny hands eager
for the scooping
of each ingredient.

A step stool
to boost her up
to counter height.

With her wide wooden spoon circles,
stirring as the flour makes a
lava flow over the sides of the bowl.

I watch now as her practiced hands,
measure precisely.
And her stirring creates not even a
drip off the bowl.
Turning out the perfect loaf.

I hear the echo of her little voice,
exclaiming over her warm creation.

Cooking with Liz

Is this how you do it?
How much do I put in?
Is it ready yet?

We mix & stir and
form the perfect batter.

The oven takes it high,
almost over the sides of the pan.
Spreading the topping almost causes overflow.
The rising stops just in time.

Jiggle, jiggle is it ready?
Is it too jiggley Mom?
Is this the right amount of jiggle?

Questioning until she sees
How to do it,
As we work it out together.
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