Family Time

Independence Day and Eve’s Birthday

Our 4th of July began with this PVC pipe brigade humming a long and hamming it up!  Elijah’s smile cracks me up!  We took the morning slowly, Chad and I made breakfast burritos from the random things we found in the fridge for the whole group as the kids were all awake and Suzanne was no where to be found.  (She had snuck out before 6 😳 to help tear down a shed we just didn’t know it until she showed back up around 8:00 or 9:00.)  The Pendleton Independence Day parade was to start at 10:00.  It was HOT already, but we were able to procure a spot in the shade out in front of Suzanne’s office.  There was a couple other cute old couples there.  It was definitely not crowded.
 The kids got so much candy that they filled a backpack and supplied the other couples near us with handfuls of candy as well.  It was very fun.

 After the parade we walked to the park that is next to the Roundup grounds where there was a small community garage sale and street fair.  Not being in the market for anything I enjoyed people watching in the shade.  These cousins are pretty fond of eachother.

  Then it was back to Aunt Suzanne’s house for more slip and slide….hours and hours more slipping and sliding!
 Mid afternoon we brought out Eve’s birthday cake (her birthday is the 5th but we wanted to celebrate when everyone was together since we would be driving home on the 5th).  She was not impressed with the suprise cake making it’s appearance a day early.  She warmed up to it though.  She would only show me four fingers because technically she was not yet.  I hope she is always this bent on being honest and holding to her convictions!

    At bedtime grandma and grandpa headed home with the four older grandkids Caleb, Hannah, Eve, and Hadassah for a movie and sleepover while is grownups headed to the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) event for a date night!
 The sunset was amazing!  It was one of those moments when you have to stop and take a reality check.  Yes, this is life right now!  For sure we are blessed way beyond what we deserve.  May we never get used to things as easy, may we never forget the giver of all good things, may we praise God in the storm, but also when everything is going right, when we are in the promised land and are stomachs are full with it’s bounty.

First thing this morning Chad and I got up and headed to grandma and grandpa’s house about 45 min. away to help them get their four little charges ready for church and their in time for Sunday School.  Chad headed back to get Suzanne who couldn’t come until after church but whose car was at mom and dad’s. When we got there they were partying it up with waffles and Eve gladly showed me all five fingers when asked because I like these age pictures for later when I am trying to remember back which birthday pictures we are looking at.

 After church we raided grandpa’s garden for corn, beans, and onions.  This guy has the most beautiful delicious onions ever!

    Guess what was for lunch…fresh picked corn on the cob that’s what!
 The kids played in the sprinklers to cool off and then back to grandpa’s pile of dirt.  The kids had to be hosed off when it was time to leave.

 An age progression picture from birth to five years!  I’m not ready to not have any little ones at home, all three kids are school aged now and there isn’t anything I can do about it besides enjoying every minute of their school aged lives now.  Kids are such a blessing!

 I hope these cousins are always close!  Thank you mom and dad, Suzanne and Jeremy fort he fun Fourth of July weekend. We love you guys!

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“The Best 3rd Of July Ever!” (2015)

Since our 4th of July really started on the 3rd, we must be making a habit of early celebrations.  The 4th of July was always a big family day growing up and one of the few holidays we make a point of celebrating with my family on the right day (ish) not a week later or early as is the case with Thanksgiving or Christmas.  So, we headed not quite directly from the Kite Festival last weekend to Hermiston then Pendleton area this weekend to be all together for Independence Day.  The 2nd after Caleb’s fifth grade state testing we headed to Irrigon, just out side of Hermiston on the Columbia River.  Getting in around dinner time, plenty early enough to enjoy mom and dad’s 106 degree heat.  It really wasn’t that bad on the back porch with the sprinklers going to water the yard, and by 10:30 it had cooled down enough to alow for sleep given a fan and light sheet were available.  The third started early for the kids and grandma and grandpa.  I’m not even sure how early they woke up, but they were already elbow deep in a brick cutting project for the front yard when Chad and I woke up at 8:00AM.  Showers, oatmeal, and packing up the car came next followed by the last leg of the drive into Pendleton.  We had popcorn and blackberry smoothie drinks for lunch at Suzanne’s and then headed to the Pendleton Reservation.  For the free first Fridays at the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute.  They had a traveling exhibit on Alcatraz (I didn’t know of the connection between Alcatraz and the Native American people until now) as well and many more exhibits on the local tribes.
 We were not allowed to take pictures in the museum.

   I love this new magnet we got for the fridge.  It is hard to battle the attitude of entitlement that is so pervasive in our society right now, so it sets our children up for unhappy, unsatisfied lives.
Next we stopped off at the Pendleton Woolen Mill, they were having a sale for the holidays and had a ton of really beautiful blankets.  Hard to resist the temptation until you think, seriously, we don’t have room for stuff.  The bare minimum, and nothing else….there is something freeing about that.

 After the woolen mill we decided DQ for dinner would have to work, it was kind of hot for cooking anything and the BBQ food was for Saturday besides that Grandpa Sherman had been given a gift card for DQ and was eager to treat all the little ones to ice cream.  As it was we ended up eating our dinner and getting two boxes of dilly bars, gifted by grandpa, to go and eat while testing our Aunt Suzanne’s ginormous slip and slide!!!

 We closed down the slip and slide and got dressed in our PJs in time for the Pendleton Fire Works.  I love love love fireworks and for me the closer the better.  You should feel the vibration and hear the crackles.  I was kind of disappointed when we found ourselves up on the side of the hill not all that close to the action.  Especially since I worked the last Fourth of July and completely missed the fireworks.  But all that was alleviated when the fireworks started. Pendleton is shaped like a bowl with the fire works being let off at the bottom.  We could still hear them just fine.

As Chris, Uncle Jeremy’s brother said to the kids as we were watching the fireworks, “This is the best 3rd of July ever!”

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Feeling the Pressure

It is so good to be home in our own house and in the last couple of days we have visited with couples from our Sunday school class and family’s from our homeschool group.  My agency has been sending me things that have to be done for the next assignment and I feel the pressure of all that mounting.  As glad as we are to take a few weeks off it doesn’t feel like it will be enough.

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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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On call!!! Pohoiki for the afternoon!

It was such a pleasant surprise to be put on call this morning.   Everyone still got up early though and we chilled for an hour or so then made a batch of musubi for lunches.  Our landlord came by just as we were getting ready to head to the soup kitchen and let us know that they would be showing the house in two hours so we madly rushed around and straitened everything up before we left.  We got to the soup kitchen a little late, then worked on a few things that needed to be done for set up and soon it was lunch.  Isabel was going to meet us at the church after lunch.  We then drove home and got our swimming suits just hanging out at the house until two.       With my on call shift ending at 3pm and it taking me an hour to get there we with the phone still turned on headed towards the beach to Isaac Hale and Pohoiki warm springs.   The kids played for several hours then we tried out the hot pool before heading home.                 Caleb jumping in.    And Hannah jumping in!     The dog below would find floating coconuts and would husk it with its teeth like a play toy, such a perfect dog to have here in Hawaii!  Husking the coconut is the hardest job, breaking it open after that is easy.         A little path through the trees to the warm pool!    Caleb was braking into this coconut for us, he gave up after a short while.     On the way home from the soup kitchen Chad asked the kids if they had fun with Isabel and it was a unanimous yell, “YES,” from the back seat followed by, “we have to go there again!” Thanks for the fun day Isabel.  

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Starting Our Big Island Goodbyes

 Unless I get put on call, today was my last Sunday getting to attend Kurtistown Assembly of God.  Chad and the kids have two more weeks, but I will be loving on mommas and babies at the hospital.  There was an impromptu baptism after church at Coconut Island.  We were glad that we had grabbed our swimsuits before church and put them in the car just incase we might need them.    There ended up being three or four adults and several children being baptized.  Throughout the afternoon.  The kids, a whole host of them, played in the water and on the beach.  The ones who were good swimmers congregated at the towers to jump in.  Caleb’s friends went several times before he decided he wanted to try it too.  The photo below is the best one I got of him jumping.  He is the one with the orange shirt on that is mid air.     The adults all socialized, joked, talked, really they just enjoyed being together.  Several of the families with small children had stopped at home and picked up lunch food and together they formed this whole potluck buffet of fixings for sandwiches including fruit, chips and dessert.  We had previously asked Pastor and his family out to lunch so we went easy on the food provided which wasn’t easy because everyone is so friendly, welcoming, and generous.  I often wonder how we possibly could give back to this church a gift equal to what they have given us in our time here.  

Wanting to take us somewhere we had not yet been Pastor recommended Kuhio Grille, local cuisine.   

We finally got to try Laulau which has been on our gotta try list since early on! It is a fatty fish wrapped in layer after layer of taro leaves and I’m guessing it is boiled.  I thought it would be way greasy and proportionately more meat and only a little veggie.  I was pleasantly surprised when I descovered it is quite a few layers and the large portion of leaf to fish made the fattyness of the fish not a detraction at all.       The kids played well together and were wiped out after our late lunch/early dinner.     Eve’s hair in her face and mouth wide open were cracking me up.  We then headed up to see the place where one of my co-travel nurses is living on a peacock reserve.  The peacocks were everywhere and are quite loud.  I loved their calls but may not if I heard it all the time.    

We also checked out the pigs who were sleeping.    This curious fellow was keeping an eye on us.    The kids loved the swing and kept taking turns  on it.       Isn’t this house just breath taking Tiffany’s apartment is on the bottom and is so cute!        Bird cages on the side of the house.  The below picture is of her awesome Lani.  I would be spending all of my time in here if I was her.         Tiffany was so good with the kids.  They were in heaven with her pushing the swing and feeding them string cheese.  It rained off and on while we were there and so we were blessed with the sight of this beautiful rainbow.       I was adoring this house too on our way up so I grabbed a pic on the way back down.  They have an amazing view of the ocean out of all of those windows. This park is where Tiffany goes to get her water we could hear the water rushing up stream a ways.  We took a muddy trail upriver but only saw rapids, no waterfalls.         

It was pretty impressive to see Tiffany maneuvering around mudpits and under this tree across the trail in flip flops with Eve on her back.  Eve was eating it up!  Yay they made it!

 Thank you Pastor Damien and Andrea, and Tiffany for a very fun day!  

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Detour Ahead!

We were headed to a beach up by Waikaloa u till we saw a beautiful lagoon north of Kona and just had to try to figure out how to get there!

We always have to stop at the rest stop going over saddle  mountain between the two biggest volcanoes on the island Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, this time we found this cute bird’s nest on the ground!   

  This above GPS screen shot shows where we were on 19 when we saw the Lagoon and stopped! We backed tracked a short ways and found  Kīholo State Park, we parked our car and then headed down the peach toward the lagoon. 





We hadn’t made it too far down the beach when we discovered a fresh spring of cold water filling this lava tube!   I ran back to the car to get the suits we had forgotten in the car and we dashed to find a good tree to change behind!  A man there had a water proof flash light and after receiving permission we followed them into the cave a ways.  We didn’t take the camera with us (phone).  It’s not so water proof.  













  After we were thoroughly cooked off we hiked back up the beach toward the lagoon.  We found this little guy taking a nap.  He blinked at us a few times but otherwise didn’t seem too bothered. 





  The lagoon.  Like a big shallow warm lake with tons of sea turtles and one big blow fish. We didn’t bring our snorkle gear but this would have been a good place for it.  

  This awesome beach house would be a dream come true every single one of those Palm trees was loaded with coconuts, it was not too big, and right on the lagoon.

  But we would settle for this place, just the skeleton of a previous small beach house. 



  We didn’t stay too long because we were on the other side of the island and it was getting late.  With an early work morning coming for the next day. 



  Chad managed to completely just a coconut he found. 




 We had to take another dip in the cool water on our way back, this time we had it to ourselves.  So so fun! 


 Chad broke open his coconut on a rock and we each took a drink, it was the best coconut we have had in a while!



  We found an awesome burger place in Waimea called Village Burger, they had GF buns and Wasabi mayo dipping sauce for the fries that was fabulous! 



   Ok, this better not be the last time we have this, we will have to learn how to make this sauce at home.   
Such a fun day! One of our bests! Now for a good night sleep and some cute Hawaiian babies in the morning. 

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Akaka Falls and Waipi’o Valley

Again with no plan and not wanting to waste my last day off this week we headed out to explore more of the Hamakua Coast.  Well we took a detour and checked out a few more beaches in Hilo.  It was raining and not really a good hang at the beach day.  Then we headed up to Akaka Falls.   

              Kahuna Falls was faint and very hard to see through the rainforest mist.  

 Akaka Falls is a bit mightier so you can see it but still not very well.  Good thing the lucious green walk was so beautiful.   

      We used our umbrella from Great Grandma Lawhead for the first time not that it was raining any more than any other time.  It just sounded like a good idea.  







 We revisited the location of the Laupahoehoe school that was taken out by a tsunami during   School hours.  

          We visited several other beach parks along the coast.  When we had stopped for malasadas  at Tex Drive-in last week Chad had noticed the burgers, we headed back to do a taste test this time.   

  The kids opted to buy malasadas for dessert with their own money.  They must be good.  Then on to the Waipi’o Valley… We have been so close several times and some how missed it, not this time.  

                 Waipi’o is the valley of the Kings once filled with people now only about 100 people live there. You have to have 4 wheel drive to get down there. We didn’t hike it today but now we have at least seen it.  

  Then we checked out the shops in Honokaa.  We should be home before sun down.  Now the work week can start.   

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Visiting with Ricki

I had the pleasure of working with Ricki at my last assignment in Southern California.  Since that time we have been planing to visit with her when she was here on the big island for her grandsons graduation this last week.  It has been a pretty busy week for both of us and I was beginning to wonder if we would miss each other in the busyness.  It just so happened that she was in our neck of the woods today and headed to one of our favorite beaches.  We made tenitive plans for a picnic at noon. We got there a little before their group did so Chad hung the hammock we enjoyed the tide pools and quite pond just off the beach.  








 Eve found some girl friends, she is such a social butterfly we have to watch her pretty close.   

  It was good to see Ricki’s beautiful smiling face and meet her family.  It took the kids a little while to warm up and start playing together. By the time it was time to go they were playing really well together.   

      There were sea turtles everywhere and as many times as we have been to Punalu’u beach I have never seen them out like they were today! Five of them were resting on the beach.   

      The kids are now crashed out in the car!  


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