Monthly Archives: June 2015

Lincoln City Kite Festival

I  don’t know if we have been going to the kite festival for 11 years or 7 years but, every year since Hannah’s first birthday and maybe a few before she was born we have spent the last weekend of June at the kite festival.  (Last year I was in New Mexico but the rest of the family still went with out me.)  It just so happens to be always Hannah’s birthday weekend, Suzanne’s too with only two days between them, so we have made it a family tradition to celebrate at the kite festival.  Most of this post will be pictures.  We had great weather and a beautiful fun weekend.

    There was too much of a breeze to get the candles to stay lit so eventually we just had Hannah pretend to blow out the candles.


  There was not enough wind to get the kites up until around 2:00pm but it was so beautiful ,and the temperature and sun were just right!

                Myra is having her Starbucks (water).   

        We headed back to camp around 4:15-4:30 just in time to enjoy roasting up some hot dogs for dinner.  Eve took a pre-dinner nap.  The guys played a board game, and the rest of the kids ran and ran and ran until nearly dark playing in the central field in our campground loop.

          My mommy must love me…we have some good chocolate to go with our marshmallows.      Elijah was showing off his muscles playing with this ball that was bigger than him.

                   We shared a fun camping dessert we learned with Michael and Kristen Sherman last fall when we visited Indiana, cresant roll wrapped around your marshmallow then roasted.  We even added some chocolate to the inside and it was a hit.  We are thinking it needs just the tiniest pinch of kosher salt and it would be perfect.

 For two nights in a row I got to snuggle this little bug.  It did this aunties heart good since I have missed so much of his life so far, experiencing it through FaceBook and facetime isn’t quite the same.

 A thunderstorm and sprinkles ushered in the day.  It was transient and light for the most part allowing us to get everything packed up with out getting too soaked.

                    Elijah playing kickball with Caleb.   We headed out south toward Newport to take a first glimps of our new hospital…its tiny.

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The Hannah Banana Turned 8!!!

I don’t know that I truly realize how fast this faze of having small children is going to pass, but on birthdays the realization is front and center.  Hannah is growing up, eight years old is pretty much half grown in my book.  Our primary reason for coming home when we did from Hawaii was because the girls asked if they could be home for their birthdays (Eve has since changed her mind back to Hawaii but has been told she is out of luck).  We slept our first night at home on the 25th then woke up to this birthday girl.

 Aunt Stephanie, Grandpa and Jayson went to pick blue berries early, so to make the day special and because we just can’t do a lot of stuff, we headed to creative nails for Mani/pedis because neither one of us had ever done that before and it was a fun girly thing to do.  If you know Hannah she loves all things girly.   We headed out of the house at 0900 and found out it didn’t open until the 1000 so we tried Learning Palace and Hancock Fabrocs which were not yet open as well.  We decided Oregonians are sleepy heads….everything is open so much earlier in Hawaii.

I didn’t get very many pictures because my hands were in use.  Hannah was so serious the whole time, watching not saying a word.  There was another little girl there for her seventh birthday too.   It was hard to understand the Vietnamese accent of the ladies there, though you would think we would be used to that.  We got out of there a little later than we expected for our 11:00am lunch date at Red Robin.

        Hannah was so looking forward to being sung to. She had never done that before.  After lunch Hannah, Caleb and Eve headed out to camping with Grandma and Grandpa Owens and the rest of us headed to Rest Lawn for another baby funeral…seriously there has been too many of these in the last five years.  I don’t know if any of you can imagine the hole the loss of 5 babies and a miscarriage would leave in a mother and fathers heart.

We then went home and packed up for camping at the kite festival.

Galuchies for dinner!


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First day of rest in about a month

We didn’t want Grandma and Grandpa Owens to have to watch the kids this morning while we slept as we knew they were running on little sleep too.  Despite going to bed at 0130 they were up at 7:00am (4 am Hilo time 😬) Chad and I got up and ran out for lab tests and a chest x-ray don’t worry we aren’t sick it is a work requirement.  Then we got starbucks  for ourselves and Donna and headed back to enjoy them in the sun at grandma’s house.  When our coffee was done the kids cleaned up a bit and Chad took the bags out to the car as I madly typed our blog post for yesterday.  We then made our way home to our own house.  We were excited to see Cyrus, chase him down and tickle him and hug his mommy, daddy and Grandpa Sherman it has been too long.  Most of the rest of the day we tested as the kids played in the front yard with all the neighbor kids that they have missed so much.  

   Myra was very happy to see us as we were to see her.  She is such a big teddy bear I think she missed us but we hear report she did pretty well at Grandma and Grandpa Sherman’s house.  Chad ran out to print off some papers I needed for my next assignment and Caleb went with him to get a birthday present for Hannah as tomorrow is her birthday.  He came back with a green coconut!  It was a good thing our machete   made it to Oregon we have already put it to good use.  

  Stephanie is drinking out the water which was pretty good seeing as we are a few miles from the nearest coconut tree.  The meat was softish, not like jello but not hard like a mature coconut.  Not many people were as big of fans of it as I was so I ate most of it myself, oh well.  At least everyone got to taste it.  After the kids were in bed Steph and I headed out to get coffee and look for a birthday present for Hannah, nothing like last minute shopping!  After we buckled into the car and turned down the road we decided first to make a stop at Louanne’s house!  We visited for a while until it was getting far then thought we better head to coffee before everything was closed.  Walmart was still open to birthday shop, it was a different feel, there was no souvenir section, and you didn’t have to pay for the bags when they bagged your groceries.  It was not nearly as clean and nice as the Walmart in Hilo either.  Now it is almost midnight here, I’m sure the kids will be up early and I feel no need to sleep anytime soon.  Hmmmm tomorrow will be a long day I had better try!  Goodnight.

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Mahalo and Aloha for now Hawaii

0500…pretty much my normal wake up call these days but today it seemed especially early.  I stayed in bed an extra ten minutes listening to the rain, the coqui frogs and the birds.  We will all miss these sounds and as we have been counting down the days until we will be at home with family, we have been trying to savor each morning’s musical offerings.  This being our last with really no time to enjoy it.  The shower was good too.  The catchment water and off the grid propane water heater…pretty much everything except a scant bit of electricity is off the grid.  We have loved that too.  It maybe why the people who live around here tend to be the independent out side of the box kind.   Our bags were all packed two roll bags, two car seats, and 5 back packs!  My mom’s check bag was just the right size to fit Chad’s coconut opening machete that we had feared we would have to leave behind.  That baby has opened at least 20 coconuts since we have been here maybe more.  I am guessing a job change is in its future, but with so many good memories with it we wanted to take it with us.   We made it out of the house a whole hour and a half before we were supposed to meet our car guy and it would take at the most a half hour to get down to the airport.  The perfect amount of time to get breakfast and not feel like we needed to rush.  The kids were beaming and so happy for 0600.  We called to wish Aunt Suzanne a Happy Birthday, with three hours of time difference it being later there than in Hilo I’m pretty sure we were up before them.  But Hadassah and Elijah’s bed head and sleepy morning faces were as adorable as ever!!! We just can’t wait to get our hands on them.  Last time we were home long enough to spend more than a day with them Elijah was 4 months old and now at 18 months he looks like a little man not a baby anymore.  

We still got to the airport a little early.  No worries the baggage check is outside, most of the airport is, so we checked our bags and waited for Dado to come get the car.   

    Once past the security check point we took a foot/ITO carpet picture.  Honestly I’m surprised Hilo airport even has carpet.  I would guess that it would be hard to keep it from molding in the humidity here.  The first flight was an island hopper so it was short.  We had a long layover as long as we could get.  It wasn’t enough time to do Pearl Harbor, but we couldn’t do an assignment in Hawaii and not see the capitol building.  

The taxi ride there was uneventful and not too long costing about $30 one way, we never did see a visitor information center so we didn’t do an official tour.  The chambers were basement level with the public parking where we were dropped off.  Ground level was mostly open to air, instead of a dome there was a huge open skylight.  

  In the pictures on line it had looked like it was two stories but it is six. One below ground, five above. The mosaic in the middle was fun too.  

There is definitely an Asian influence in the design.  Including pools and koi.  


 We found the liberty bell and walked the beautiful grounds.  



















 We only walked around maybe 15 min. Because we were a little nervous about making our mainland flight.  It was a good thing we were so cautious.  We called the same cab company we used to get to the capitol building and we went to exactly where they dropped me off, then called for them to come and pick us up.  They said 8-13 minutes, about 8 minutes later a driver with a thick Indian accent called to say he was there (no sign of him). I explained where we were, the public parking lot under the Capitol and the turnaround where we had been dropped off.  Even mentioned the street name that drives down to it.  He said ok and hat he was on his way.  We waited about 10 more minutes with no sign of him so I called the cab company again.  I told them exactly where I was and they said ok, we will turn our guy back around (like what!!! He left! Seriously we are telling you exactly where we are!) soon he called me again saying that he can’t get into the underground parking because he doesn’t have the right permit. He must have been going to the employee lot I guess…. But he wasn’t understanding me still.  I ran above ground there was no sign of him so I called the taxi company again.  Do we wait above ground or underground where we said we would be.  Since he couldn’t figure out how to get to the public parking we stayed above ground.  They said he was two minutes out soon a gray minivan pulled up in front of the main entrance (no parking and barely a turn off) it is illegal to jay walk and no crosswalk close.  We grabbed eachothers hands and ran.  It was our guy.  I guess what made his so frustrating is they just dropped us off there.  I wasn’t as nice as I could have been on the phone as we were nearing an hour of trying to get a taxi there that was supposed to take 13 minutes at most with making it to our connecting flight in the balance.  I apologized for getting short and we made it back with plenty of time.  Mom hadn’t really been up to the adventure so she had stayed at the airport with our carry ons to expedite our return through the security check point (can be a challenge with three little kids).  We all got to our gate with time to eat lunch before loading.  Tieryn, Uncle Jayson’s sister, and her husband were on the same flight as us.  They had been vacationing in Kona and we had noticed via FaceBook that they were headed back to PDX today too.  The kids recognized them right away.  They told them how excited they were to see Cyrus and were told that he was helping to take care of their yard while they were on vaccation.  This lead to a good 20 min. Conversation about Cyrus and hoses and Cyrus and horses.  You can’t tell these kiddos have been counting down the days until they get to play wih their horse obsessed cousin.  The next flight was sixish hours so we settled in.  

  We packed our last four Musubi for the road/flight.         Hannah took a 5 min. nap and Eve slept the last hour no rest for us grow ups but I am realizing more and more that rest will happen some day maybe when I die until then there is stuff to be done.   

The kids were so antsy the last thirty min. I’m glad that the lady next to Caleb was a grandmotherly type because anyone else would have been annoyed by his inability to sit still purely due to excitement.  We recognized Grandpa’s face right away and are so glad to have made it home!  I’m sure the reality will set in soon.  As for right now I feel a bit disoriented.  205 doesn’t feel familier and it being after midnight is pitch black outside, but for as much light as is in the Portland area we can see the stars out (Hilo is usually so cloudy you can’t see them).  It was an adventure finding food that late for dinner.  It is good to be home.        

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Last Day Potluck!

Audrey Bento must have a heart of gold!  Thank you so much for the warm goodbye.  I love trying new foods and most all the foods were wheat free, so I enjoyed every bite!!  Thank you Audrey for coordinating it and for everyone who brought food you have all blessed me so much!  The goodbyes are one of the very hardest things about travel nursing, as much as we would love to stay we are on a mission to travel around the United States as part of the kids education and we have only just got started, so far I have wished that going back to each of the hospitals we have already been to was on this year’s itinerary.  It is hard to know what the future holds.  Thank you HIlo Medical Center for your open arms and hearts we will truly miss you, our Kurtistown Assembly family as well!  There are so many of you we didn’t get to say goodbye to in person.  Take care and know we love you all. Aloha for now ❤️

    As I crossed the last day off on our calendar it is serreal that our departure date is upon us. 

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My last day off work in Hilo Hawaii

I have been thinking about how we can make this last day off in Hilo what ever it needed to be to say goodbye to our friends and this beautiful place!  With a one on one off one on one off three on schedule of day shifts that have been very busy do we rest and just enjoy the moment or try to fit in one more our our “list” items (the things on there are whole day excursions.).  As bad as we wanted to do one more of our list items, the kids have been fussy and tired, and I knew we needed to save a little energy for this last kick to the finish line, so we decided to rest and just be together.  Mom and I headed to the warm pools in the morning, getting some one on one time.  Hannah must be coming down with the cold Eve had last week.  She slept most of the morning away.  Caleb cleaned the car out for us, and Chad and I headed out for a much needed date time.  We had talked about a double date with Jesse and Isabel.  Isabel was working on making leis for the Father’s Day service tomorrow so I helped her with that.  We talked a bit, but mostly enjoyed watching our husbands being boys.  In the first hour we were there they started a fire (to burn up a brush pile), examined Jesse’s knife collection, and set up targets and took turns practicing their aim with the shot gun.  I think they were enjoying each other’s company.  We finished the leis and made plans for dinner as a late celebration of Chad’s birthday.  Yes we were a week late, but I worked the whole weekend and it hasn’t slowed down since.  Ponds was recommended and reservations were made.  

    With the window right behind us it is a dark picture.   We loved watching the huge koi fish below and the red eared slider turtles who were dwarfs in comparison.   After dinner we drove to where you can walk out on the wave break wall that protects the bay front of down town Hilo.  So fun!!! I would have loved to walk to the end, but I don’t know that slippers (flip flops) are the best foot wear for that kind of venture. 

  I was loving the sunset clouds!       So glad this birthday boy loves me.  I am blessed to be his wife!  Happy late birthday Chad ❤️.       I asked Chad if he is ready to go home…it was a hesitant yes.  We are so ready to be with our family, but are so sad to be leaving our friends.  Thank you Jesse and Isabel for a fun day of relaxing and just enjoying your company, and thank you so much for dinner. 

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Getting mom out to snorkel

For a person who loves the water and swimming this 50 something year old adult has never really had a good oportunity to try out snorkeling.  The best place to snorkel is at the captain cook memorial but with a two hour drive each way and difficult hike down and back to boot neither of us were feeling up to it.  It was misting/raining but warm so we took the kids down to coconut island (it took us two trips as we are one seat short for the number of people we have these days.)  I went back for Chad.  We had a green coconut we found washed up on the beach, a pineapple and cheese balls for lunch, so nutritious.  












  Tiffany a fellow travel nurse met up with is there.  When the kids were mostly done swimming we car pooled over to Richardsons to try out the snorkeling.  It is hard to tell your body to breath underwater after telling it your whole life not to breath underwater.  But after getting some find on all was well and we got to see quite a few fish.  

No pictures of the snorkeling, but the kids had a pet sea cucumber. Poor thing was getting a lot of personal touch…I hope that is its love language.😬  

We then checked out Liko Lehua for dinner, both Tiffany and Shannon joined us.  I got a coke to go with my laulau and it had my name on it, kind of.  

Tiffany graciously gave me a ride home so we wouldn’t have to go illegal with two in one seatbelt. And the kids took the oportunity to tattoo her with all their favorite drawings.  So fun.  

  Tiffany, you have poop on your foot. 😋 

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What’s Your Story

I really can’t believe it is that time already…we are looking at 5 more days until we leave the Island. 😟  Four more are work days and one day off.  We had talked previously about how we have done so much here that we feel like we could leave feeling like we have experienced life on the Big Island of Hawaii, but as we have a plenty big list of things we would like to still do or do again I am sad that our time is ending.  We have met so many amazing people many of which I wish I could do a dedicated post telling the stories of their lives (many encredible and inspiring).  I think the biggest thing we have learned here is everyone has a story…why are we so busy on the main land that we think we are the only ones dealing with life.  I think I will find myself asking that question more.  What’s your story?

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Driving Around the Island with Grandma

We were all up around six and cycled through the shower.   I’m sure mom was tired it had been a long day of travel on Sunday.  We stopped at Starbucks for Haupia lattes and turned up the Hamakua coast toward Waimea.  We took the scenic route and drove down to Laupahoehoe point where we took time to read the news postings about the Laupahoehoe elementary school that was taken out 4/1/1946 by a tsunami with loss of many children and teachers lives, the heroic rescues of children and teachers who floated out at sea for up to 27 hours before being rescued, and the parents refusal to out the kids back I school until it was relocated to a higher elevation.  Our next stop was the Waipi’o valley overlook, we are kind of disappointed that we never made it down there on a hike, but at least we have seen it from above twice now.  It is so fun to see all the farms back in there and try to picture it in the times of Hawaiian kings as it’s original name is “Valley of the Kings”.


Our next stop was Tex Drive in for hot Malasadas which were a “melt in your mouth” hit.  As the kids talk about next time we go to the beach, or Tex’ or the volcano, I don’t think they truly (nor I) relize there probably won’t be a next time.  We only have a week left, a week! 

  We stopped at the Burger and Taco place we have been trying to get to but have always managed to miss their business hours.  They were crowded and we could hardly get in the door that is always a good sign.  We got our food to go and while we waited we snacked on this pineapple whip and that is frozen pineapple blended up like icecream and the below watermelon whip that was less solid and more like a drink. 



  We ate at the nearby Spencer Beach park and took our oportunity to swim in the warm gentle surf.



  We showed grandma our favorite lava tube, but due to rain it wasn’t overly warm and so Caleb is the only one who got in.  

  Across the path the sea turtles were feeding and playing in the water near the rocky shore.  We sat and watched them a short while and then walked back to the car. 

  We grabbed dinner at the Golden Arches drive through….seriously mostly we were just thirsty and around here it is the same charge for water as soda and ice tea.  There was a car accident ahead ofus and the traffic came to a stop.  The darkness closed in and night had claimed the sky….there would be no stopping at South Point or Punalu’u, but that is exactly what we need for our final stop.  We could see the Orange glow from the highway, I had never noticed that before.  Kilauea’s crator was like a giant fire pit with it’s soft warm glow.  The air was cool, but warm than it has been the other times we have been up there.  The was not wind.  We wrapped up in blankets and sat in the dark on the stone wall and just watched.  The sky was full of stars, if only it hadn’t been so late and such a long day we could have sat in the therapeutic silence longer, maybe a lot longer.  Yes, we haven’t even left and I am already starting to miss this place.


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Captain James Cook Monument

Now we have been warned about this hike, that it is steep, has loose rocks and no shade.  We have also been told to bring lots of water and go early, but that the monument and bay are totally worth it!  We left the house just after 0600, but by the time we got gas and coffee and made it over the volcanoes it was almost 9:00 AM (already hot).  The walk down the hill was great almost the entire way!  There was mango trees at the top and we found a ripe mango for each of the kids that they fully enjoyed.     Above is a mango tree. Below we started making our way down the top portion of the trail.  The grass is tall and covers over the trail hitting you in the face as you walk down it.  It was an adventure.         We found a little praying mantis and a whole host of pill bugs.     The view was great and there was a cool breeze coming up off of the water.      All in all the hike down was great!  I think t is only like a mile but it is steep.      There appears to be ruins of some kind all around the monument area.  See all the yellow fish so beautiful.     

      There were a ton of kayaks and tour boats in the bay.              Here is the actual monument! So awesome!   Is there one leg per segment or two legs per segment I want to see a poisonous centipede I just don’t want to be bit by one before I see it (or after) just want to adore it from afar.  We swam and jumped off this low wall for quite a while and Eve talked to the tourists and their guides while they tried to lunch in peace.  Actually I think they were enjoying the conversation.  Around 12:30 we started our hike back up!   It was hot, we were all sweating pretty good and we had to stop frequently to rest and drink water.    There were tears, at a few points I even felt like crying, the picture below doesn’t even do it justice we were so relieved to make it to the top in just about two hours with no more water left.  It being 2:30 PM we were we were ready for lunch and a big glass of water.     We met up with Tiffany, a coworker and friend, and headed to the lava tube swimming hole to cool off.  After a good swim we headed up the beach and found some coconuts.  


  Chad husked the coconut for us using a stump of drift wood, and then Tiffany opened it up for us with a rock. Such a fun day. Now for the drive back to Hilo side for work tomorrow.



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