Friday, June 29, 2007


It's Aloha Friday!


Ainokea (pronounced I no Kay uh) is pidgin for I No Care, or I don't care.

As in:
1: You gonna be in big trouble, brah.
2: Ainokea, I do what I like.

Here are some ways to add Ainokea to your life:

It seems a little chilly to go to the pool today, doncha think? Ainokea, we're going anyway.

I don't want to clean my room! Ainokea, get up there and clean it up!

I don't like Taco Bell, I want chicken nuggets. Ainokea, I need a bean burrito no onions.

I wanna go play with my friends. Ainokea - no playing until you get that room cleaned up.

Mom, those are mom jeans, ew! Ainokea, they are comfy.

Can I have a bowl of cereal? Ainokea, I gotta work here on my blog, get whatever you need.

Interested in an Ainokea sticker for your truck?
or your own pair of Ainokea flipflops?
or my favorite, an Ainokea bikini?
Click here, or don't,

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Tonight I met with the Bishop to get an idea of what kind of gear is available for us to use at Girls Camp. He has all kinds of great stuff we can use. Tents, stoves, water jugs, lanters, fire pit, etc.

Camp seems to be swooping in on me, and I have so much to think about -

- how many girls in a tent? 4 or 6?
- how to divide the girls? by age or more random?
- how do you figure out just how much food you need to feed 21 people? Is there some kind of worksheet you can use to see how many pounds of hamburger for spagetti? or how many eggs and slices of bread for french toast?
- what is the best way to keep critters out of the food for 4 days on the beach?
- how do I condense 28 pages of Hawaiian songs and info into a little booklet for each girl?
- I may not be able to dance a hula, but I can hula-hoop!

The most eye opening part of the meeting was when the Bishop asked: What are you going to do about the rice? and I said: Huh? What rice? We have pasta for spagetti, and chips for nachos, do we need rice?

And it turns out we do need rice. For breakfast AND for dinner. The girls will expect it. It makes me feel a little giggly and lucky to get this peak into a bit of Hawaiian culture. Rice!


Next up - after I got home from that, I sat down with Hannah to watch a movie with Will Farrel - Stranger than Fiction. Fun movie. Have you seen it?

My only real comment about the movie is that I love a movie with a watch as a main character.

I do love my watch. I've written about my watch before. Twice. When my favorite watch died last summer I was a little lost without it. So I bought myself a new one - same model, different color.

It's a sports watch, but it's kind of cute. A feminine blue.

My watch wakes me up in the morning. It times me when I run. It encourages me to see just how quickly I can empty the dishwasher (in under 3 minutes this morning.) My watch remembers the sprinklers, and tells me to move the water before I flood the neighborhood. It reminds me to go pick up the kids from school, and won't let me forget that the girls get out early on Wednesdays. I race my watch when I'm shopping, and it keeps me from getting sucked into a Walmart coma. When Nathan is away it keeps track of his time and mine.

Today I took off my favorite watch and I put on my silver watch. I wanted to look a little glam at my first Army Change of Command (fascinating and motiviating - I should have taken pictures - all those marching feet...) My silver watch makes me feel grown up and dressy. But I missed my trusty blue watch. I forgot to switch back, and I was almost late for my appointment with the Bishop...

ps the more I type watch the more I start to think it looks odd. Is that how you spell it?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I'll Trade Ya

My friend, Deanne, over at Fragile Flower invited me to barter with her. She makes lovely handmade cards, I make hooded towels - a perfect trade.

I sent off her Shark Towel today, but it will take it a couple of days to swim across the ocean, and I thought she might enjoy seeing her shark-in-progress, so I (me this time, really, not Nathan - I'm so proud!) took some pictures:

The Ingredients:
One whole blue towel
Another blue towel cut into a hood, a tail and a fin*
White, black, and blue thread
Scissors - bonus points if you can find the sewing scissors
Sewing machine
Shark teeth.
*I always buy three full size towels and make 2 hooded towels out of them - the towel that gets cut apart is just big enough to make two sets of hoods, fins and tails.

First I stitch on the eyes with a nice wide zigzag stitch - almost, but not quite, a satin stitch.

Next up - the teeth. Sew the teeth to the front of the hood - right sides together. Here's a little jump-roping rhyme I sing to myself while I sew, so I don't forget to put 'em right sides together: Right sides together, girls, first by the weather, girls, when I call your birthday you must jump in....

Body parts come next - stitch together, then turn right sides out.

Don't forget to trim the seams, clip your strings, and cut in at the corners.

Now, go get that whole towel, and find the center. Measure out from the center and cut a slit for the hood to attach.

Put the hood inside the towel (right sides together, again) and sew around the opening 3 times - first straight, second zigzag (this is where a serger would come in handy,) and third topstich. When the hood is attached, it's nearly done! All that's left is attaching the tail and clipping any loose threads.

And there you have it! One shark towel - perfect for the beach, the pool, and bathtime! I hope Caleb likes it as much as John likes his!

I make these towels in a variety of styles and sizes and creatures - For Sale or Trade!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Brave Sydney

Summer is here and we are spending a lot of it at the pool. The post pool is HUGE. There is a kiddy area, play area, lap swimming, a cool waterslide, two regular diving boards, two high dives, and one super-high platform.

Sydney has been pestering me to let her go down to the deep-end and try out the diving boards, but I haven't wanted to. That requires getting out. Getting a little chilly. And walking past the guys swimming laps for PT. Blech.

While I was gone, though, Nathan took the kids to the pool and spent a lot of time down in the deep end while Sydney tried out all the diving boards and the platform. What a fun dad!

Sydney's favorite is the platform:

On the platform

Stepping Off

Off the platform

Down Down Down

It was a long way down


Swimming back

Ready to go again!


As I was watching Sydney jumping off again and again, I heard some soldier guys trying to talk themselves into trying the platform "look, that kid's not scared, why are you?" and "she's like seven years old, dude!" They only went off the high dive...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Birthday

Today is Heather's birthday!

Heather is 3 years older than me, and I've been trying to keep up with her all my life.

Heather always let me tag along with her and her best friend, Heather (how awesome to have a best friend with your same name, don't ya think?) She let me listen in on grown up conversations, and even let me join in on her totally cool sleepovers.

I remember every summer following along behind her bike on our way to swimming lessons at Downey High School. And on the way home we would stop for a treat at 7-11.

When I was a freshmen in high school, Heather was a senior. She drove me to school everyday, and she invited me to join the crosscountry track team with her.

Once, on our way to school from seminary, our car stalled in the middle of the huge El Vista intersection. Scary!

Heather also drove my friends around town, and sometimes even bought us a snack at Taco Bell. How cool was that?

I think Heather and I look the most alike of the McSisters. And a couple times in High School I was mistaken as her or her twin. Fun!

Heather lives far away from me, now, but she's still such a great example to me. I hope you have a Happy Birthday, Heather!


The best thing about Heather's Birthday, is that it is exactly 2 weeks before mine. Just enough time for you to find me the perfect birthday gift...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Glorious Sleep

It is Thursday, and so far this week, all I've been doing is sleeping. Sleeping in. Napping. Going to bed early.

I am Little Boy Blue - under the haystack fast asleep. Luckily my little sheep have stayed out of the meadow.

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb

Winken and Blinken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoes that sailed the skies
Is the wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fisherman three:



And Nod.

That's all I've been doing. But today I need to s-t-r-e-t-c-h and get a move on. Maybe go to the grocery store to re-stock the pantry. And go get my glasses fixed. And...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog

Trip to Utah Top Ten

10 - Peaceful flights

9 - Getting to know all the neices and nephews again, and still feeling a certain distance from the tears! Katie's walking! Rand's almost 1! Lindsey is a climber (I once saw her climb halfway up the door just holding onto the knob!) Iris looks just like her mom! Abby is so good at keeping the little ones entertained! Peter couldn't get enough of the trains! Michelle is so cute in her pigtails and dimples! Christine is adorable!

8 - Watching Mary so calmly decorate that cake. She was amazing, and the cake was just like the picture!

7 - Jumprope Contest with Abby (she won)

6 - Meeting Erin's new inlaws - they seem very nice and only a little odd - just right for inlaws!

5 - Staying up until atleast 2am every night talking to Mary, Sarah, Laurie, and Heather!

4 - Painting all the porch columns with Sarah and Mary in about an hour.

3 - Cousin Lisa arriving and taking over the kitchen: dipping strawberries, arranging all the food on trays, preparing the punch, and cleaning up - it was a life saver!

2 - Seeing all the people who travelled far and near to celebrate Erin and Bridger on their wedding day!

1 - Lighting the sparklers as the newlyweds ran down the path and away....


The wedding was beautiful. Just beautiful. But even more fun was running around with my mom and my sisters. I wish I had been able to stay a couple more days, but I'm so glad to be back home with my own little ones.

Nathan met me at the airport with not one, but two leis! I think he missed me!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

June Bride

Oh they say when you marry in June...

You will always be a bride.

Best Wishes Erin and Bridger!

Anna - here are some more pictures - these are just some snapshots - I can't wait to see the photos done by the photographer. We missed you!

All the McSisters but Anna - Erin looks fab in this, but the rest of us...


Beautiful cake, Mary!

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Field!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Nathan and company, are you out there?

Look over here, I'm waving at you! Can you see me?

If you do, please call mom and dad's house - I can't get through on the phone. I hope all is well.


Aloha from Utah.

I feel like such a grown up - I rented a car all by myself, found my way to my Aunt Sue's house, then back to the airport to pick up Sarah and Iris Moon, and on to Mom and Dad's.

Mom and Dad's house looks fabulous. The grass is soft and the flowerbeds are in bloom.

3 McSisters are here now, and more are on the way -

Let the wild rumpus begin!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Solo Flight

In about 24 hours I will be boarding a flight to the mainland. All alone.


My little sister is getting married, so I'm heading to Utah to be there. And to help fix cute little sandwiches and boss my sisters around and throw away paper plates.

This is my first every solo trip. I have travelled all over the Continental United States without Nathan, but I took the kids along for company. This will be my first ever trip without any of them.

I'm really excited. And a little nervous.

We've had some scheduling difficulties (thanks a lot US Army) but it looks like everything is going to work out just fine.

Here's my list of things to do tomorrow to get ready for my flight:

Figure out how to rent a car - do I need to activate a credit card for this? or will my mastercard/debit card work?

Download a few podcasts and maybe a book.

Return dress to the Exchange - I found a better one at a little boutique in Hale'iwa.

Print out online check-in stuff.

Sweep out the Tiki Hut.

Go to the Commissary and buy corn dogs and pizza pockets and bananas.

Wrap a treat for the kids to open while I'm gone.

Buy some chocolate covered Macadamia nuts for Dad.

Do laundry.

Pack my grass skirt.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ms. Cranky Pants

Each afternoon it's the same. The kids start to get hungry again, and I get cranky.

I feel like I am moving in slow motion - everything is so hard to do - like swimming in molasses. Regular easy things seem hard: Like opening the door for John when he gets locked out again; Like listening to the jabber of the kids; Like starting dinner.

What does it mean?


What do you do when you get the grouchies?

Here's a little more information

- I'm not getting the nap that I have held near and dear to my heart for the last, oh, 10 years or so. It's just not happening. Even when I do have time to lie (lay?) down, I'm not able to go to sleep.

- My grouchy mood seems to last through dinner and clean up, but round about the kids' bedtime I get the bounce back in my step.

- It gets very warm in the afternoons, and the kitchen, where I spend the better part of the afternoon, gets the most direct sunlight. I'm not happy when I start sweating.

- I like a tidy house. As the afternoon wears on, the little ones start to get more and more creative...and messy...

- Today's afternoon cranky-pants episode was minimal - I'm not sure if that was because I got to talk to a couple of my sisters, or because I fixed an easy dinner, or because I gathered the kids and we all went outside for a little Sunday afternoon walk.

- Yesterday's episode, on the other hand, was never ending. So I went to bed early. I felt great when I got up this morning.

I say, Doctor, ain't there nothin' I can take,
I say, Doctor, to relieve this belly ache?"
"Now let me get this straight ",
Put the lime in the coconut, you drank them both up
Put the lime in the coconut, you drank them both up

What say you? Do I need an afternoon chocolate fix? A Protein Shake? Hire a housekeeper? Get my nails done? Go relax on the beach?

You say yah yah, ain't there nothin' I can take, I say
Waah waah, to relieve this belly ache,
I say doctor!, ain't there nothin' I can take,
Put the lime in the coconut, drink them both together,
Put the lime in the coconut, then you feel better,
Put the lime in the coconut, drink them both up,
Put the lime in the coconut, and call me in the moooooorning

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Hannah is 13 years old!
Can you believe it?
Isn't she beautiful!

Here is a Question/Answer session with our newest teenager:

Q - Hannah, What is the best thing about being 13 years old?
A - Being a teenager!

Q - What do you want to be when you grow up?
A - A doctor, because I want to save people's lives.

Q - What is your favorite food?
A - German Chocolate Cake

Q - Have you read any good books recently?
A - I just finished Goose Girl. It is a really really really good book! It is a variation of a fairy tale and it is well written.

Q - What are your summer plans?
A - My best friend from South Dakota, Emily, is coming to visit next week. After that I am planning to exercise every day with my friend Alecia.

Q - Do you have any projects that you are working on?
A - For personal progress I am growing a garden. It is cool to see the plants growing!

Q - What is the best thing about Hawaii?
A - The beaches and the weather and the culture. (Ask me what the worst thing is...)

Q - Okay, what is the worst thing about Hawaii?
A - The price$!$ !$

Q - Are you looking forward to anything now that you are 13?
A - I 'm excited to be in 8th Grade! and I'm looking forward to sleeping in!

Do you have any questions for Hannah? I'm sure she would enjoy answering them in the comments!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Say Cheese


Okay, Look over here, and....

Now this time, give John a kiss....

Good! One more...

That's all!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

How to be Poor and Happy

In honor of my little sis' who is getting hitched this summer, I thought I'd post my best "how to be poor and happy" tips for her. There are many ways to be cheap and still have fun - here are the ones that work for me:

* No need for cable TV. Buy a set of rabbit ears for the TV if you must. ($35 saved each month) Public television has some fascinating shows that you would miss if you were watching TLC.

* "Rent" movies from the library. Your local library is a rich source of cheap fun. They have free internet. Free books. Free audio books. and Free movies. ($15 netflix savings each month, and endless free books!) It's also one of my favorite cheap dates - all of the fun of shopping with none of the expense!

* Cell phones are money suckers. No matter what plan you have you will be wasting money. If you feel you must have one, consider limiting yourself to just one phone, or limited minutes or even a Trac Phone plan. (monthly savings of $50-$100)

* Stay away from the mall. There is something about walking into the mall (or Target or Walmart) that makes me spend money. And it turns out there is rarely, if ever, a time that I really NEED something from the mall. I can buy lotion and t-shirts cheaper somewhere else.

* Share a car. You will save in parking. You will save in gas. You will save in insurance. Poor Nathan rode his bike to work and school for a couple of years. And I don't even remember really feeling sorry for him. He even had this rather attractive green rainsuit - a jacket and pants - to wear in the winter. (Sorry Nathan) AND we didn't even live that close to school! We are back to one car in Hawaii, and though sometimes it's tricky, it can work (to be totally honest, Nathan did recently buy a motorcycle)

* Hand me downs can be fun! Goodwill, garage sales, and friendly neighbors are a great source for furniture and other interesting items. I am typing this from my neighbor's old desk. It's not the one I would have picked out, but I loved the price!

* Do laundry at Mom and Dad's. Try to go one day a week and get it all washed and folded at the same time. A bonus to washing clothes at mom and dad's house is getting to use their laundry soap and eat their snacks. But be nice while you are there and thank them by vacuuming or weeding or doing the dishes!

* Take advantage of all the free/cheap fun at BYU

* Have Sunday Dinner at mom and dad's. They are going to miss you, and you are going to enjoy that roast! Just offer to set the table, make the juice, and do the dishes, 'kay? And maybe you'll be really lucky and you'll get to take home some fudge with you.

* Don't join a gym. You live in a beautiful place with a lot of great paths and trails. Start walking. Go hiking together. Ride bikes in Provo Canyon. (Monthly savings $35-$65)

* Pack a lunch. I know it's not as fun as a taco bell bean burrito with no onions, but it will save you about $5 a day for each of you. Here's what Nathan takes: 2 turkey sandwiches (on whole wheat with mayo (blech), mustard, and pickles) a baggie of chips or pretzels, an apple, a refillable water bottle of water or juice, and sometimes a treat.

* Don't buy water. Get a nice refillable waterbottle and take it with you. Do you know how much a waterbottle costs? Anywhere from 50 cents to 2 dollars! Bring your own, and think about how good you are to the environment by not adding plastic to the dump. Also, keep a pitcher of water in the fridge along with a few of those refillable water bottles. Mmm. Cold water...

* Don't move to Hawaii. Even the $1 menu at Wendy's is $1.29 over here. Ouch!

I want to hear your best money saving tip? Do you rinse out and reuse plastic baggies? Do you save the rubberbands off of the newspaper for your hair? Do you sew all of your own clothes? Do you only vacation if you can stay with relatives (come, stay with us)? Do you keep the heater set at 55 degrees in the winter? Do you pump the water from your kitchen disposal directly to your garden?

Give me your best, I'd could use more of these myself!