Skyline Drive

The 150 mile Skyline Drive atop the Blue Ridge Mountains through Shenandoah National Park was a beautiful way to spend our day today.  At 35 mph it was a whole day drive.  We also enjoyed the view in the valley as we made our way back to Charlotteville.   If we didn’t have so much family keeping our hearts in Oregon.  Virginia’d beauty would be giving Oregon a run for it’s money.    









  C un. I yyyyyubj j j    

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A Week Without Cell Service

We are so dependant on our mobile devices that it was a welcome change of pace to not be able to get into FaceBook or answer text messages.  We did head out of camp and into town three different times throughout the week long enough for me to upload some pictures and check FaceBook while we enjoyed an Italian soda in Chester.  Now we will see if I can get a few photos up to share over this next week.

Categories: California, Family Time, Fulltime, Road Trip | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

John Day Fossil Beds National Monent

We are headed to family camp!  Maybe we should be more organized and have our meals planned but we like to celebrate small victories and not stress about the rest so we are celebrating getting on the road!  The first leg of our journey is a coming together. Chad, me and the kids with Stephanie and Cyrus and Suzanne, Jeremy and their kids.  We had decided on a meeting place of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument with a plan to head south from there.  The GPS said 4 hours 20 minutes.  We were up at 6:30AM taking showers, getting dressed and loading the car took a little while and some motivating YouTube Tetris music.  Finally deciding we would have to leave the kayaks behind seeing no way to fit everything.  Stephanie and I had seen a few blow up “kayak”s that hold two people and were on sale at Fred Meyers so she went and got two of them as well as a quick breakfast that the kids could eat at the shop while we hooked up the trailer.  We left the house at 8:30 thinking that was pretty good time.  We had a few hiccups hooking up the trailer and were still feeling like we were making good time leaving Salem at 9:30.  I put in our destination to google maps giving us a 2:30 ETA.  With lunch and traffic we were not making the kind of time we wanted to.  Heading first after following a sign to the painted hills section of the park we backtracked and were relieved to finally make it to the paleontology center at 4:00PM.  Stephanie and Jayson met us in the parking lot as Jayson headed back home to hold down the fort.   We also got to see a few faces from our past! George and Jerry Lunsford (high school teacher and youth pastor from our past lives in Cambridge Idaho) now they may regret making a special stop at the national monument, but we sure did enjoy catching up with them.

 John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is know for its vast range of fossils of both plants and animals as well as number of fossils that are still being found there.  All this is fun and interesting making me eager to learn the real truth behind the Grand Canyon,  the continental drift, and now 15,000 feet of fossil layers in the middle of eastern Oregon.  I am guessing that the answer to many of my questions will have to wait until the other side of the pearly gates as I do not buy into evolution and millions of years.  After the main visitor center we enjoyed the farm house for a little while before heading to John Day.

  We took up three whole booths at dinner.
 I was blown away how breath takingingly gorgeous the drive was!  We made it about half way to family camp whoo hoo!! California here we come!

Categories: Family Time, Fulltime, Homeschool, National Park, Oregon, Road Trip | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

First Night Shift, Bay Front and Dinner at Mundos! 

It has been a while since I have had to stay up all night.  No big deal right!? Not so I was having to fight pretty hard to keep my eyes open between 5 and 6 AM.  All in all my second shift at Samaritan Pacific Comunity Hospital went well it may take me a few nights to get the whole night shift routine down pat.  The thing about the nurse that I worked with last night even though it was slow (we did have patients) she used the time she worked, the whole time, on things that bettered the unit and the hospital.  After our routine checks and restocking we ran over test scenarios of how to admit the patients and paperwork/ epic/obix admissions. Then we scrubbed the couches and she worked on continuing education.  I have worked quite a few places now and often when you are on a unit who has a lot of down time there is a lot of FaceBook and YouTube going on.  I love how she continued to find ways to use the time she was getting paid for to do good for her employer.

Chad took the kids to Yaquina Bay lighthouse while I took a three hour nap this morning.  They loved it and came away with the history lesson of: in 1870s kids were not to talk at all during meals and to eat everything on their plate.  This light house was in use a very short time since it ended up being a poorly visible area.  The Yaquina Head lighthouse replaced it in a better location and is still in use today. The kids checked that out earlier this week when we were here.  After a bologna sandwich and the first watermelon from my dad’s garden for lunch (So delicious by the way! Thanks dad!) we headed out to walk the bay front shops.


There was a family with kids ages 8-13ish who had crab pots in the bay just off of the pier.  Hannah and Eve were quite curious the kid explained the whole process and showed them their catch so far.  We stayed and watched for a while.  We loved watching them pull up the pots and throw the crabs that were too little back.  Eve acted as if she was just part of their family getting in and helping touching the crab ropes and pot. It was great!The thermostat said that it was 77 degrees but it felt hotter than that the sun beat down and Myra panted away.  After the bay front we met Grandma and Grandpa Owens at a park and walked to the beach to cool off in the breeze coming off of the water.  I was still tired and enjoyed a beach nap in the soft cool sand with the cool beach wind.  Caleb made his own kite and Hannah tried for a bit to fly a kite we had just bought from one of the bay front shops it was just too windy for kites today. 

   At dinner time we packed up and walked along some of the shops near the beach until we found a unique little restaurant that looked like a good place to eat dinner.
 Dinner was great! Myra and I took a walk out on the bay bridge and now it is time to get a little rest before these next three days of day shift.

   Good night!

Categories: Family Time, Fulltime, Homeschool, Oregon, Road Trip, Travel Nursing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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. 

Categories: Family Time, Fulltime, Hawaii local attractions, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Countdowns and Updates

2 weeks (only 14 days I can’t even believe it) until my mom comes to visit!!!!!!!!!!!

24 days left in Hawaii….mixed feelings on that! 

13 shifts left at work, yes, more than half of the days we have left will be spent at work.  Good thing I love the work and my co-workers.

3 Sundays and Soup Kitchens and I think I work most of them :0( that sure makes it hard to say goodbyes.   

The kids did their Memory Verse-a-thon this week and loved getting to call Pastor Erika and tell her all their verses for the purpose of raising money for kids camp this summer.  Together they memorized 68 verses new to them (50 for Caleb, 18 for Hannah) which went a long ways towards First Kidz collective goal of 150 verses…the prize you ask?!? Pastor Erika will dye her hair pink.  We haven’t heard the final tally yet but are watching FaceBook for pictures!  Go Salem First Kidz! 

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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.   

Categories: Family Time, Fulltime, Hawaii local attractions, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sunday Funday

Up bright and early, I have been trying to make a habit of waking up and 5 AM everyday not just the days that I work.  Got some reading done and everyone showered way early for the 10 AM service.  It is so nice not to be rushed!  The message on righteousness was encouraging and of course we enjoyed the fellowship.  Our planned picnic turned into lunch at Lucy’s Taqueria then hanging out at the beach.   






 Hannah and Isabel explored all the islands at the Onekahakaha park while Eve and I checked out the more northern pool.  The main pool is way better I’m guessing that is why most of the time that is where all of the people are at.  The boys dried some spear fishing but there really wasn’t many fish at all.  It was windy and kind of cold so we changed and headed early to Walmart to pick up snacks for the couples game night.  We were responsible for bringing “Ore” (York peppermint patties).  Jesse and Isabel had lumber and wheat (broccoli and wheat thins). We punched in the address and headed out, I love GPS!  I mostly like to support Chad in his love of Settlers of Catan, but game night with a bunch of young couples is an opportunity I could not pass up. 

       The full on Cities and Knights ended up being a long but good game, we got home at 10:30pm good thing it is a holiday weekend.  I tuned off my 5:00 AM alarm…the ambitious getting up at 5 every morning was going to have to take a day off.   


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Kae’au Transfer Station (dump)

When I was a kid we did not have garbage services no big fancy truck came by the house and emptied our cans and carried away the waste.  We had burn barrels for some of the trash, yard debris was composted and or fed to the animals, and occasionally some of the bigger things had to be taken to the dump.  It cost money to take things to the dump and is kids would occasionally come home with new treasures we had found there.  As an adult I have become accustomed to garbage services.  It is quite nice to have our refuse picked up curb side weekly and our recycle too.  Here in Hawaii (on the big island in our neighborhood at least) there is no garbage services.  When our landlord first told us that we would have to take our own garbage to the dump I was thinking that it sure could add up quick but was pleasantly surprised when we descovered that it was free.  (Still I am not a fan of putting full trash bags in the trunk of the car to drive the distance to the dump…..stinky….and if a bag should rip or break 🙊)  Once a week or so we have a couple of bags that need to be taken to the dump.  They have paper bins, glass bins, newspaper, plastic, and any items that may be useful to another person are sorted and often times free or for a small price are available to be reused.  


      Last Tuesday Hannah got this leather purse for $1 and has since washed it well and takes it everywhere it has replaced the one she got for Christmas that has already had its strap broken off.  Caleb got a nice name brand one strap backpack for $2 (the only pic I have of it below) everything else they have found has been free (wallets and books).   



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Cleaning and Errands 

I am the deep cleaner usually, so when I’m not home for a lot of days in a row it is desperately needed.  Also, Chad’s contact subscription had expired and we are nowhere near his primary eye physician so he wanted to try his hand at getting in at Walmarts optometry clinic as a walk-in.  Chad headed to town and the kids and I put on some music and pulled up our sleeves with the goal of conquring the whole house in one morning.  We made a lot of progress while Chad was gone knocking out the dining room, most of the lanai (Caleb’s room), and the entire living room (girls’ room).  So the bathroom, our room and the remainder of the kitchen was all that was left.  Chad was unable to get in but was able to schedule a later in the day appointment (12:30).  He cleaned the bathroom for us (which is his usual job-thank you Chad) and I got the kitchen in order.  We rushed around in order to complete those two rooms in time for the whole family to accompany Chaf back to town.  We made it with enough time for me to sneak a quick shower and drive by the Kae’au Transfer Station (dump) to dump our garbage (there are no garbage trucks here you have to buss your own trash) on the way.  After Chad’s appointment we played at the park and I was able to talk to my mom a bit.  We stayed there until dinner time.  

    The kids requested burgers and Chad was able to find Hilo Burger Joint.  It was pretty much a bar with some family tables.  They had games that you could play while you waited for your food so us girls teamed up against the boys in Connect Four. My phone was dying (5%) so I pulled it out for a few quick pictures at the end and didn’t get any of some of the good matches.  The wins were pretty evenly dispersed.  

   The food was good too, so we will for sure be going back there again before we leave.

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