Friday, August 31, 2007

It's Aloha Friday

Are you for SCUBA?

Here is the long awaited Shark video. Nathan shot the videos of shark and turtle down in the Haleiwa Trench. He was diving with his brother, Terry, and neice, Larissa.

Happy Aloha Friday!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Oh, that's why....

We don't have a cell phone. Mostly because we are cheap. We have had one in the past, but have found that it's mostly just a money waster. I feel a certain amount of satisfaction in not NEEDING a cell phone.

But today I can see why everyone else (as hannah would say) has one.

Nathan has been out of town for two weeks. In the last week I have missed all but 1 of his phone calls. There are 6 messages from him on our answering machine. And there is not a way for me to call him back.

And I don't know what time his plane comes in tomorrow...

And I'll be gone all morning.

Sorry Nathan!

A friend whose husband is deployed told me that she carries her cell phone with her at all times. She says she needs it, just in case he calls...She is so smart.

With Nathan deploying later this year, I need one. Maybe two.

But don't tell Hannah, she'll think she needs one...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Why a Blog?

I've been trying to talk my friend (I'll call her "Sarah") into starting a blog. It is something I love, and I think she would like it, too. (come on Sarah, just do it. Everyone else is...)

In discussing blogs with her, it has made me think about why I blog.

Why do I blog?

To be famous? (hold on while I check my site meter. yep. just like last week. 7 hits....) not so much.

Because I'm totally self centered and want to write about me! me! me? (maybe)

To make a political statement? no, though I do want to write more military-wife themed entries, I just get stuck and they end up in my draft file.

I don't really know what the blogging-draw is, but it fun. It is one thing I do just for me, and if it makes you laugh, then that's even better!

I started blogging in 2004, when Nathan was heading off on his first deployment (of a measely 3 months, Sarah. Sorry, I know that doesn't really count) as a way to keep in touch with him. I thought it might be easier for him to see photos on a blog than in an email.

I was pleasantly suprised to find that blogging can create real (imaginary) friendships.

I have been reading about Muse's life in Isreal for 3 years. I feel like I would recognize her on the bus if I ever got the chance to go to Jerusalem, where she would invite me to lunch and maybe a game of basketball. I love reading about her many hitch-hiking adventures, and have tried several of her recipes.

I would love to meet up with Miz Booshay at a Sheep Dog trial, then get her advice on what yarn to use in a sweater. Her daughter Katie and my daughter Sydney would have a great time doing cartwheels together and their freckles would match.

It has been especially nice to spy on our last hometown in Rapid City through my real life friend, Amanda's blog... I feel like I could pop in on one of her bookclub meetings and pick right up where I left off!

I love that my sisters are (mostly) all blogging. A hundred and fifty years ago we would all have lived in the same neighborhood and shared babysitting and recipes, but today we are scattered all over the USA. Laughing at silly things my nephews and neices have done, and watching them grow up on the blog has been a real blessing to me. I love that the blog gets me past the Sears Portrait wallet-sized-photo and into real life, you know?

I also like this record of my boring old life. I write about Things I wouldn't have gotten around to writing in my journal....How quickly the time goes!

So that's why I blog. To keep in touch with family and friends. To make friends. To have fun. To write about ME! ME! ME!

Why do you blog?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Shoot the Moon

wish i had that tripod...
the clouds parted for a while, but now it is mist-ing. I'm still hoping to catch a view of the total eclipse...rain rain go away...

I guess my little song worked. The clouds slowly moved away from the moon, and I woke Sydney up to see the Lunar Eclipse.

The moon was dark.

Dark red.

But I could not hold the camera still for the count of 15-one-thousand, so this is the best I've got:

Total eclipse or total mess?
(or the very hungry caterpillar)


Anyone else staying up to see the Lunar Eclipse tonight?

A Lunar Eclipse occurs at a full moon, when the Earth is between the sun and the moon. The shadow of the Earth covers the moon, making the moon appear RED. (thanks wikipedia)

Here in Hawaii, the eclipse will happen between 10:51pm and 2:24am with the total eclipse happening from 11:52pm-1:22am. We are very close to the optimum viewing area of French Polyneasia.

The moon should be right about over head for the big show.

If the trees near our home get in the way, I may go over to a nearby field to watch.

Any special tips for taking photos of the moon? Oh shoot. The tripod is still at my mom and dad's house. I may have to make a Walmart run for this....and I'm also going to have to quick find out how to set up the little delay thing on the camera...and change the exposure...and...

PS - a lunar eclipse is a leasurly event. So I should have time to play with the camera settings.

PPS - I just read here, that the minimum focal length (zoom) for a good moon shot is 300mm. Our biggest lens does just 200mm, which would give us a 1.8 mm sized image of the moon. Waa.

PPS - I could try to make a star trail photo like this, but I don't know how to lock open the shutter, and I still don't have that tripod.

ppps - Oh well, the eclipse should be interesting even if I can't get a photo.

PPPPS - curses, foiled again. I forgot that we live in a tropical rain forest. the moon is hiding behind cloud cover. big suprise. But I could see some stars, so maybe the moon will peek out a little later.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mess Maker, Mess Maker, Make me a Mess

Some people are neat freaks. Some people are messies.

I am a messy. I wish I was a neat freak. Actually, I wish I could have a live-in neat freak to clean up after me.

If I thought no one would ever come by our house, I would never pick up around here, and our home would be covered in cinnamon toast crumbs, scratch paper, and dirty socks. Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

After a whirlwind of a day that included 3 birthday parties (one at the beach and one at the ice skating place) one trip to the grocery store, one hot home-made dinner for another family, one last minute towel to sew (I'm also a closet procrastinator) and two videos at family movie night, our house was a mess from top to bottom.

I was too tired to clean up and went to bed without so much as rinsing a dish. I even left my dirty clothes in a pile in the bathroom. Waking up to dishes in the sink, brownie crumbs on the floor and blankets piled all over the family room made me want to run back to bed, bury my head under my pillow and suck my thumb.

Why do I always have to be the mom?

We cleaned up and things are looking better, but I have a feeling that this house is just one busy day away from complete melt down.


It might be time to dust off my flylady notebook....

Thursday, August 23, 2007


This has been a busy week for Tiki Hut Towels.

Two towels were mailed off to the mainland. A Ladybug towel for Deanne's daughter. And a Ducky towel for Suzanne.

And I sold 5 towels to a little children's boutique in Hale'iwa!

I approached the shop in July with my towels and she kept a shark to see if it would sell. She didn't seem to love them as much as I did, and suggested that I add something to make them say "Hawaii." She called a couple weeks ago to tell me that my blue shark towel sold quickly, and she wanted me to make a "girl" shark to go with it, maybe with some flowers.

I found a good pink towel, played around with some flowered fabric, and came up with this:

Note the appliqued flower on the fin:

What do you think?

I took it to school to ask a couple mom's if it had enough "Hawaii" and it was a hit at school, too. I am working on a couple of orders, now, from them...

I delivered a stack of blue and pink shark towels to The Growing Keiki, and now I'll wait and see if they want more.

Next up is a trade with Liam's Mom. She is making me a couple of coolio t-shirts, and I am sending her a Shark for her son's birthday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I just heard on the news that a Black Hawk helicopter, stationed here at Schofield, crashed today in Iraq, killing all 14 on board.

I am so sad.

And a little scared for my neighbors and friends whose husband's fly those helicopers, and are finishing up a 15 month Iraq tour.

I will keep the families of those soldiers in my prayers.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Polynesian Cultural Center

Tiki Hut Tours enjoyed a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center with our Cousins!

This woman is from Aotearoa or New Zealand. We've been practicing making that face. What do you think:

Emily loved the tree climbing in Samoa

John had fun twirling the Poi Balls

The Ali'i Luau was a traditional feast!

The night show was fantastic!

I think Nathan liked the Tahitians. I'm not sure, but there were more photos of these ladies than any other group! Here's another view - a little closer up:

My favorites were the drums, the Maori stick game, and the fire knife guy.

How did those guys sit on the fire without catching their grass skirts on fire?

All in all a great day. Highly recommended!


Some thoughts, just in case you decide to go:

You need to make reservations a couple days in advance- it might be sold out if you just decide to show up.

Stay for the night show. Wow!

It's expensive, and I'm cheap. It's taken us 8 months to finally go. Luckily our totally awesome cousins paid for us. I wish we had gone sooner! Very educational. And clean. And friendly. And fun!

Take your own water bottles. It's hot.

There is no alcohol. Sorry.

Our favorite shows to watch in the day:
Samoa: tree climbing, fire starting, etc
Tonga: drums - hilarious! Stick around to throw a spear and see how they make Tapa cloth.
Tahiti: learn how to move your hips. Or at least try.
Aotearoa: I don't think there's actually a show but this is our favorite spot to try activities like - poi balls, tattoos, and the stick game

You can go back for 3 more day's after your first day. One day was enough for us, but we have a season pass and plan to go back in a few weeks.

Find some shade for the boat parade.

That Samoan fire knife guy is kind of interesting. And odd. But he has strong muscles, and he's cousins with a guy in our ward.

Fun for young kids. Middle Schoolers. High Schoolers. And adults. Seriously. We had a group with all ages, and even the most "cool" had a great time.

The park doesn't open until noon. We think eating at the McDonalds in Laie is a fun part of the day. It has a waterfall and serves haupia pie (coconut) in a Tiki Hut styled building. If you hate McDonalds, you could eat breakfast at the Hukilau Cafe (of 50 First Dates fame.)

Laie is a teeny tiny town in the North West corner of Oahu. Within a few blocks you can find the PCC, BYU Hawaii, and the Temple.

Call me, we'll meet you at the Luau!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hurricanes, Earthquakes, and Fires! Oh, My!

We heard there was a hurricane on the way, so we went to the beach!

We saw helicoptors dropping water on a wild fire near our home, so we stopped for some Shave Ice on the way.

Nathan and his brother, Terry, went scuba diving in "The Trench" while we snorkeled and played in the sand at Ali'i beach. They saw turtles:


(insert Jaws theme song)



A white tipped reef shark. About 7 feet long. Scary! (Nathan took some totally cool video of both the shark and turtle with his fancy new underwater camera - happy birthday to Nate - so if you know how to upload video to blogger, let me know.)

It was a beautiful day! And a great way to wrap up our visit with our fun California cousins!

I didn't feel the earthquake, and though we had a little bit of wind and rain, we didn't see much of Flossie.

I think there was a Tsunami warning along with an earthquake today in Peru? but that's been lifted. Let's see: Hurricane, tsunami, earthquake, drought, fire...Are there any natural disasters we're missing out on today?


ps - In the interest of honesty, that first beach picture is actually from a few days ago at a totally different beach, but it's a cute picture, isn't it? We really did go to the beach during the hurricane warning!

Monday, August 13, 2007

First you were all like "whoa", and we were like "whoa", and you were like "whoa...”

On Turtle Beach

Jennah's ready to snorkel

Uncle Terry and Aunt Lori Snorkeling

Brook and the Turtles
You've got serious thrill issues, dude.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

School's In

Keeping us safe on the way to school

At School

And all the way home

I think the big military man crossing guards are odd in a futuristic war movie kind of way, but I do appreciate them. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but one day last year they saved John's life.

John was riding in the jogging stroller, while Emily and Sydney were riding their bikes. As we crossed the intersection in the above picture, Emily had some trouble getting her bike up onto the curb. I let go of the stroller and turned to give Emily's bike a boost up. While my back was turned, John's stroller rolled backwards off the sidewalk, bumped down the curb, and kept on rolling into the street.

I didn't notice, but the crossing guard did! He ran across the street, swooped up the stroller from middle of the road out of the direct path of a zooming white van, and held onto it for me until my hands were free. (bad mom award) When I thanked him, he said (you won't believe me, but he really did say this:) "Just doing my job, ma'am."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Healthy Eating

If someone tells you they "eat healthy" what does that actually mean?

Does it mean they eat Wheat Thins rather than Doritos?

Does it mean they eat the Reduced Fat Wheat Thins?

Does it mean they eat Uncle Bob's Organic Whole Grain Wheat Crackers?

Does it mean they eat no processed food and would prefer an apple, thank you very much?

What does it mean?


When I am "being good" that means I am eating oatmeal for breakfast. A sandwich and a salad at lunch. Or maybe a Bean Burrito no onions for lunch. And a good dinner without too much bread or second servings. No snacks. or maybe some popcorn at about 3pm. Lots of water.

But I'm pretty sure that's not really healthy eating. So, if your friend, who "eats healthy" is coming over, what do you just have around the house to serve?