Onekahakaha AKA Hermit Crab Central

We found a washed up coconut and Chad managed to break into it with his knife.  It was perfect, the agua de coco was clear and refreshing, the meat was soft and disappeared quickly as everyone dug in and devoured it.

 The kids descovered a handful of hermit crabs that kept their attention until it was time to go.

There was at least one humpback whale breaching and blowing half the distance from the rock barrior to the penensula beyond we loved just sitting there watching him as the kids played.  Had it not been getting dark we could have stayed a few more hours just watching.  It was dark when we got home so we had to catch some frogs before heading to bed.

Hannah hasn’t decided if kissing one of these guys would be worth finding Prince Charming.

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Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

This national park is a short drive from our house and seemed like a good way to start off our school week and celebrate our anniversary as I work tomorrow on the actual day. We got a late start because we had to fuss with the instant hot water heater because the pilot light will not stay lit.  No success was had with that so we quickly took our cold showers, dressed, ate breakfast, and then spent an hour or so trying to download pictures off of my phone to clear up memory for the new ones that would be put on there today.  The kids got their school work done for the day before we left the house.  We weren’t stressing about time. We wanted to be there until dark to see the glow of the lava in the distant crater that is invisible during daylight so later was actually better.  The sign at the entrance warned that the air quality was poor today.  We checked out the first visitors center, bought our patches and had a last minute pit stop before heading out on our first hike, the sulfer basin trail.

We then hiked a segment of the crater rim trail and checked out the lava house before heading back to the car for our Musubi lunch.

 We tried a few other different not marketed in the main land products with lunch as well today.  All were a hit.

We learned a lot about the Hawaiian goddess  Pele of the volcano.  There is a picture of her in our house that I thought was a little bazaar now I know what it is.

We then drove the scenic 40 mile drive where the lava had been flowing into the ocean.

Being a farther distance and a larger roped off path the kids were able to climb in the rocks more and that made for some good fun.  We saw 6-7 whale spouts a few of those breeched the surface of the water as we watched.  I just love whale watching and could do that alone all day.  We then did another section of the rim trial.

The Thirston Lava tubes which were quite sad when  compared  to Ape Caves  in Washington, but still they were fun to walk through. 

Our last hike was two miles down and across a crater that besides vents is not currently oozing its lava and must be safe enough to walk out on or they wouldn’t let us right?

This hike took us a while as the kids were getting tired.

Chad and I took turns carrying Eve back up to the top.  As the darkness settled in on us the bright orange glow of the lava was visible.

We didn’t stay until it was completely dark.  It was starting to rain and the kids were tired and cold.  We may come back again though if we get a clear night just to watch the glow in the clear night sky.

Categories: Hawaii local attractions, Homeschool, National Park, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


We slept in this morning until about 6:30AM.  No alarm set, but the beautiful sound of hundreds of chirping birds coupled with a now established early routine had me and the kids bright eyed and bushy tailed earlier than planned.  Pancakes, peaches and coffee to fuel us for the road then we were off.  Instead of taking the Saddle road that goes around the island we went strait up over the mountains between Maunta Loa and Maunta Kea who both had snow on their peaks. 

We were headed over to the Kona side of the island where hopefully it would be warm and condusive to a fun first snorkeling experience for the kids.  Kahalu’u Beach Park was touted in our guidebook as the best place to snorkle with a big reef where beginners and intermediate snorklers alike would have fun. 

As much as I would love to claim that it was love at first sight of a beautiful bright colored fish. That would not be telling the whole story. The kids have not really done any swimming where their heads have gone under in salt water before.  And this whole allowing yourself to breath with your face in the water doesn’t come too naturally either, with some practice, and mask adjusting, and some tears we got it all worked out.  Hannah is not too strong of a swimmer so she panicked a few times and tried to drowned me.  It’s a good thing the water really isn’t that deep.  By the end of the day the big kids had the snorkeling down and were excitedly discussing all the fish they had seen.  Eve got so far as putting her face in the water with the mask and snorkle on and making friends with everyone on our side of the beach.  All in all it was a good and successful day.  We had a late lunch at Costco and headed back over the mountains towards home. 

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TIA or Seizure?

I am ok with never ever again seeing expressive emphasia in a childbearing age women especially coupled with her indicating that there is something majorly wrong with her right arm.  A few scary moments today resulted in a healthy mom and baby after a visit from the Rapid Response team, CT, and a C/S.

Other news, the kids dug into math before breakfast and were completely done with their school work by lunch.  Potty training with Eve was only so so (this is all second hand), and Eve fell off the stairs onto the concrete floor of the basement and has a goose egg that I haven’t yet seen.  As the kids were all in bed already by the time I made it home from work.

Now with full rolling headache I’m going to crash.  Good night all.

Categories: Family Time, Fun, Homeschool, new mexico | 2 Comments

Another day

No big updates, I got home from work early, made it out on a run, walked Myra and still was back before there was any stirring in the house, although within 10 minutes everyone was coming downstairs and getting ready for breakfast. The kids are already pretty good at their week one songs, and Chad found the cycle three music on the computer from last week. I stayed up probably too late Hanging out with them. After a shower and some zzzzzzzs it’s hi ho, hi ho off to work I go.

Categories: Fulltime, Homeschool, Travel Nursing, wisconsin, working | Leave a comment

New School Orientation

Today has gone well, as I have managed to remember the songs from CC cycle three. The last time we did it was three years ago (at least the ones from the first week). The kids seemed to enjoy their work and boy I am glad that we have been doing some math for the last month so there was absolutely no walls put up about that. Eve participated and it was so cute to hear her sing the infinitive song. Some of my friends, one in particular (you know who you are ;0) ) has been encouraging me to share a few more details about what our homeschool day looks like, for those of you who are also road schoolers/homeschoolers or just curious. Maybe a run down of what works for us and how we cover the different subjects. I am not going to cover that today but you can watch for it in the next couple of weeks I will describe what we have done for the past five years and what has and hasn’t changed as we transition to school on the road.







With daddy doing the homeschooling, school lunches rock!


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Theda Clark Birth Center

Wow, I’m not sure I slept a wink all night. I don’t think I was nervous, I just didn’t sleep. I checked the clock on my phone at least 5 times between midnight and 4:15am when the alarm went off. It actually didn’t feel all that early and I felt quite awake and quite ready for the day after a quick shower, banana and cup of tea. It took less time than I anticipated to get to the hospital, and less time than I anticipated to find the unit and be ready for report (05:03 for report at 05:30) it will take me a few days to get the timing all down so I don’t have to get up extra early but am getting to work in enough time that I don’t have to stress about getting there on time. I oriented with a fun energetic nurse and we had a very busy day. A little too busy to be conducive to learning the charting system well, but I think I got a good introduction and am hoping that I will feel pretty good about the flow of things by the end of the shift tomorrow. I was home a half hour late but a lot of ground was covered, and Chad had dinner ready when I pulled up with reports of a lot of math getting done today. They kids were all playing in the back yard with the neighbor kids and ran to greet me. After dinner they went back out. So far they like Wisconsin and think it reminds them of Oregon. We will see how they do with the cold weather as I hear that will start to hit by Halloween. I’m turning in early tonight and Eve and I are going to cuddle as we both really need some sleep.
Good night, thank you for your continued prayers and support.

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Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

A lot of people have recommended the Durango to Silverton Historic Narrow Gauge Train ride.  Chad first suggested it only a few days after we arrived here at Four Corners.  It sounded fun but I didn’t think it would be fun enough to justify the price so I didn’t really want to do it.  Then people at church and work started asking if we had done the train ride out of Durango yet.  They all strongly suggested it so we looked again.  Chad found a coupon on line that was up to two kids free and three and under are free so we only had to pay for the two adult tickets and that made it doable.  Since it was a big, exciting, all day outing we planned it to celebrate Chad’s birthday.
To get to the train station we were up at six and out of the house.  Grabbing a few jackets just in case we ate breakfast on the way and got there just in time to board.



We chose an open air gondola where we were facing out as we had heard it would be a very scenic trip.







The train takes you through a canyon that is shared with the Animas river which looks like one huge rapid some of which are class 5.

The little town of Rockwood is famous for being the location of a Butch Cassidy film.




At times the cliff walls are only inches away from the windows of the gondola, and on the other side of the train there are only inches between the edge of the car and the drop off way down to the river below.  This is my favorite picture of our birthday boy.


























We had cooled embers and soot all over us.
















There were a ton of little waterfalls.  Both Hannah and Eve took short naps towards the end of the 3.75 hrs it took to get to Silverton.








The snow tipped mountains were beautiful.  One we had passed was Mt. Garfield (I saw no orange or black stripes on it but it may have looked a little presidential).  Silverton Colorado is an old mining town it now is mostly supported by tourism. They have a population of 2000 residence in the summer and 600 in the winter. Even in the winter it is more populated than the town I grew up in. It was quaint and we enjoyed the historic buildings.





Check out the elevation!

Eve enjoyed picking dandelions and then giving them to everyone she met one at a time.  aTFRggggThe recipients loved it.





We had two hours in Silverton one was spent getting and eating lunch and the other hour was not nearly enough to see the rest of the town but we sure did enjoy what we did see.
We got back in the train at 1:35 and it didn’t take too long until Caleb was out.

We saw the sites on the other side of the train on the way home and it was very scenic. But 7.5 hrs on an open air gondola may have been a touch too much as we were feeling a little sick from the fumes by the time we made it back into Durango. I still feel like it was better than the closed cars as they didn’t have very much air movement and were a little too stuffy for me.







After the ride was over we stopped in at the Durango Train Museum.





Sushi from City Market for dinner and the hour + drive home and we are all already tucked into bed we are worn out from a loooong day of fun and excitement.

Categories: Family Time, Homeschool, new mexico | 1 Comment

Construction Paper Day

The kids made a re “construction” paper picture of their favorite places we have visited so far,
Hannah’s favorite place being White Sands National Monument.
The spiky plants with the white flowers are Yucca the state flower, the green trees are cotton wood.


Caleb has done Lake Vallecito in Colorado, where we went camping.


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Home Alone

Today Sarah is leaving for Honduras.  She will be gone for 10 days on a medical work and witness trip. I will be home alone with the kids continuing my job as the homeschool dad.  We will greatly miss mom (Sarah) while she is gone and our prayers will be with her.

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