Friday, December 30, 2011

Hawaii saga #10: Christmas chaos and Christmas joy!!

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas!! Our Christmas morning was fantastic....little A said it was "the best Christmas ever!!!", which is the way every year should be like!
I'm a little surprised they enjoyed it so much this it was really laid back, with only very small toys that would fit back in our luggage. The boys both loved ALL of their presents...even though we spent so little on them, and I'm thinking next year we should down-size too, since they were just as happy with what we got them this year.
We had big plans for Christmas traditions on Christmas eve. We thought it'd be great to go skating in the afternoon, then come back to the apartment and sing songs, act out the nativity, eat some Christmas baking etc.....well.....NONE of that happened.
Our Christmas Eve was quite the crazy day....we spent 2 hours on a bus to the aquarium, which we luckily got into for free because Roo got squished in the automatic doors, and they felt sorry for us. A loved that place, and listened intently to all the little stories there were, and watched the seals, fish and octopus....he loved it!!
We hadn't realized that going to the airport to try and pick up our rental car would be such an looked so close on the map, but took an entire 1 hour and 45 minutes to get too, or to not get too, as you'll see.
 We passed an enterprise rental car, really close to the airport and thought that it was our stop, so we stopped there and walked back several blocks, only to find out it was closed...and the bus was long gone. The sign said that the airport was only a few I figured we could make it to the next enterprise just by walking.
That was not the greatest idea....we had a few bags, one being really heavy, and were lugging around our car-seat as well, 2 boys and a little umbrella stroller. We walked for about 20 minutes to Alamo, and convinced them to drive us to enterprise on their next shuttle.
Bedraggled and tired we finally made it to enterprise after 2 hours and 15 minutes of total travel time from the aquarium....I was so relieved to finally be there....only for them to tell us that 0our reservation was in fact at alamo....seriously?? Like where we had just came another shuttle back to alamo, and we finally made it to our rental car.
We hadn't realized the day would take us as long as it we were completely exhausted by then (I think it was around 5:30 pm), and the kids, and both of us, hadn't eaten since the kids were completely crazy!!!
We drove downtown, and found the Hardrock Cafe, which we figured would be a nice dinner....after paying for parking, and walking there, we realized there was a wait for dinner....which we did, because we didn't see a better option.
So, finally, at about 7:30, we got our dinner....with kids screaming and crying with sore feet and tummies...we decided to skip the ice-skating, and well pretty much everything we planned for that night...we we were all exhausted and grumpy.
We drove the 1 hr home, and put the already-sleeping babies in their beds, with no Christmas songs, stories, or the much for that idea! Oh, and no baking, because our oven was still broken.
I was super tired, but managed to stay up and wrap the presents, and get things ready for the morning....and immediately went to bed.
The kids didn't wake up super early, so that was great...and they were just SO happy! They each got a "lazer gun" that lit up and made super-loud that was a great idea, ha ha.
They really loved all the little toys, candy and pez we got them....and played for an hour or so before we went to church.
After church we spent several hours packing and cleaning to leave our little apartment, to go to a hotel in Maui.
Our landlord was supposed to meet us at 2, as we were leaving to the airport, so we woul get our damage deposit back. Unfortunately, he must have forgot, and we spent 15 minutes calling him, to no avail.
We got in the car to drive off, and he called...of course. It was great, because we got our deposit back, but we also had to wait for him to drive over...and by the time we got out of the parking lot, it was after 2:30. We drove as quickly as we could to the rental car place, and had to stop for gas...we barely made the shuttle from the rental-car place.
As we were going through security, we heard them call our name to say that the plane was already boarded....I left my shoes and bags and ran to the gate with the kids to tell them we were here. They waited a few minutes for us to get our things....and we all made it with about 2 minutes to spare.
Maui is awesome!!!! I'll have to do a separate post about it, as it seems to different from the first island we were on, Oahu.
Overall we had a great Christmas Day, and a super great time on Oahu...we loved every minute of the warm weather. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hawaii #9... Christmas trees and skating rinks...

I SO wish it was easier for us to put up pictures..because our Christmas tree is awesome-tastic! It may or may not be green garland looped around a lampshade...but it lights up! We Ben added's pretty fantastic.
We let A pick out the wrapping paper, so all our presents are wrapped in Iron Man 2's pretty much awesome.
We're trying to plan a trip to Maui, so we may end up at an airport on Christmas day. We will probably open our present on Friday or Saturday instead. We also got a groupon thing to go skating on an outdoor synthetic rink....super cool! :)
Luckily, the hubby has some work this week, which is awesome!
It's just temporary, but it gives him something to do...he gets super bored(and cranky) just hanging out all day...he needs to work.
In other news, I'm super excited that he's going to try to get into school in the fall, fingers crossed. He still has to write the GMAT, so we'll see how that goes.
Hope everyone is having a great pre-Christmas week!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hawaii saga vacation's complete without a little horror

I love my boys! So much....
I was reminded just how much I love my little A the other night. Usually he is great with street-safety, and reminding us to hold hands as we cross roads or parking lots. For some reason last night, that llama went out the window.
We live directly on a very busy highway, the only be that runs all he way a long the north shore, so needless to say, it s endlessly busy. A minute never goes by, day or night, where there are not a ton of vehicles speeding by.
Whenever we get dropped off at the bus stop, on the opposite sued of the highway to our complex, we always wait until the bs has driven away, and then cross. It usually takes several cars crossing, before one stops for us, even though there is a crosswalk, because it's just o busy and dark.
I was attempting to carry a water jug, 3 pizza boxes and our stroller, as my hubby and little roo were behind me. A was the first be of the bus....
For some reason, against everything he's taught us, or seen us do, he ran in front if he bus...and across the busy highway, without even bothering to glance up.
Of course, I screamed, the bus driver yelled...but it was all in vain, as he we safely on the other side already..but my heart basically stopped.
As we walked inside, I had such a mixture of emotions...extremely happy for his safety, angry at his disobedience and neglect, but mostly so distraught at the real thought of losing him.
I bawled my face off in the "bedroom"( more like just bed in the corner).
I had at talked to A right away, but I ont think he really realized how muh danger he had put himself in, or what he had even done wrong.
Daddy asked him, "did you know that mommys really upset? Do you know why?" this point he was already over it, and distracted by the imminent pizza.
The sweetest thing was that little roo piped up and answered, "mommys sad because A crossed the lad by himself, and that's dangerous. So mommys sad."
At least one of them learned fom it:)
In much happier news....
We were able attend a traditional Hawaiian wedding reception last night! It was extravagant...with SO much food. The buns were purple, apparently from taro root.
There were live hula dancers, and the whole thing was a really neat experience.
Unfortunately, Daddy and I both quickly realized hat neither of us like Hawaiian food at all, not even the desserts, ha ha....thus the pizza afterwards.
In even better news....we were about to go get a rental car for the weekend, when. Friend in here called us and offered us his vehicle for the holidays!
We were so surprised! And so very grateful...especially after all of our bus-cepades.
We spent to Walmart and bought A some snorkel gear, nd then spent the day snorkeling at Hanauma bay. It was amazing!
We saw huge fish, small fish, neon fish, sea urchen and sone really crazy looking fish! Daddy saw a couple if sea turtles gnawing on coral, and a huge big fish up close. My be sighting was an gross! That ended my snorkeling fun, a little too much excitement for me;)
We ended the day with some awesome food at the Outback Steakhouse, and then a quick shopping trip to Costco.
We have a lot planned for tomorrow too...and hopefully we can get our laptop some wifi oon so I can upload the great pictures from this weekend:)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hawaii saga #7....some good stuff

I really should be blogging daily, to use this as a personal journal of our little journey, so this post will kind of be a lump of a whole bunch of thoughts.
I'm so glad that we've been able to stay on the north shore, it has really given us a taste of true Polynesian culture. The people here are so laid back, relaxed and really kind. For example, as we're waiting for the bus, someone offered us a ride, and drive us 15 minutes to the grocery store. Just a few days after that, we were walking a long the busy highway to church, and a family stopped to pick us up. As they pulled over, and we got in, 2 other cars pulled over as well, both had turned around to pick us up.
Just yesterday we were at a huge busy mall in which there was a big train the you could drive on to take a tour if the mall. We hopped on, then realized we didn't have enough cash, so we thought we'd hop off and catch one later. The lady told s to stay on, and that we could just come back and pay here later. I thought it was crazy, I mean, we could have so easily never one back?! It just goes to show the nature of things down here, its really nice.
We've met some great people riding the bus too. A kind family from Australia who basically offered to sponsor our visas if we ever moved there; an old lady who sung songs to a grumpy roo; a lady last night who gave almost an entire pack of gum to my boys who kept spitting it out or swallowing them, and then asking for's been so great.
Several awesome things have happened to s in meeting nice people. We met a guy from Alaska, who a be helpful in finding us work further down the road. Also, we met a family from North Dakota yesterday, who amazingly, offered us all of there food, as they we're heading back home.
We thought thy just meant a few things, but we ended up using an entire grocery cart, stuffed to the brim, with was crazy! Just as we were running out of food too....and had to wait a few more days until we got a rental car for the weekend, so it really was perfect timing.
We've just been so blessed down here, in so many ways. One of the ladies in our ward is working on getting us free tickets to "Christmas in Polynesia" at the PCC. Everywhere we go, we meet amazing people.
Yesterday we went to the Windward Mall, which was only about 1/2hr bus ride. That mall was by far the best mall I have ever been too, for sure. We hadn't looked into it before, but there was an indoor farmers maket going on, on the 1st and 2nd floor, and it was huge! Tons if vendors, all lined up in the hallways. There were fresh fruits and veggies, macadamia/peanut butter, lilikoi jelly, sweet bread., any great things!
There was a school choir singing in the center if the mall, for an hour or so....which seems to be a common occurrence in malls down here. They sang some really nice modern songs, and some Christmas songs too.
There was a huge, 2-story Christmas tree that was shooting out fake-snow, the kids loved hat. The snow was just little spurts of bubbles. Then we went on a cute little choo-choo train tour around the 1st floor of the mall. We also sat on Santas lap, and got reindeer antlers and coloring books from him. We hung out at all the kids stores, playing with toys, looking at animals in the pet stores and buying the kids some nice hats and flip-flops.
We got invited to the wedding reception of a really nice ladies son here, and are going to enjoy one authentic Hawaiian food dor dinner!
We've really been loving it here, but it's also given us a greater appreciation for everything we have back home....a comfy bed (ours is like sleeping on the floor), our own room in a big nice house ( the studio apt. is pretty tiny), and all our great friends and family!
We really haven't gotten to know anyone down here, so I really do miss and appreciate everyone back home, although the view of the mountains and beach everyday almost make up for it! He he...almost:)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hawaii saga #6: tourists and buscepades

For some reason, every time we travel, we always get stopped by tourists who want to admire our boys. Usually these tourists are some other race, I would say mostly Asian, but not always.
So far in the last week we had one man stop us at the mall to admire little Roo, and tell us all about his Hebrew name meaning; then a group of Japanese girls stop A and I, and a tally asked to take our picture, and then all 6 or so of them had us pose with them, well someone took our picture, on 6 different cameras....ha ha...random?!
Anyways...tourists are funny...I guess we're tourists too, and the locals probably think we're funny too.
We missed the bs yet again today...and we're sitting at the bus stop or Zbout 29 minutes until thus really nice man from our apartment complex, who has seen us a few times, offered to drive us. He wasn't even headed anywhere, yet he drive us 15 minutes to the grocery store! There are wonderful people in this world.
On our bus rude home, the bus was JAM people in every seat, and the isles full of people hanging onto the was chaos. I was holding Roo, 2 big jugs of water and a folded stroller....desperately trying to get Roo not to scream and squirm so much...he was overtired and over hungry. This little old lady sitting close to us started singing to him and telling him stories and nursery rhymes. It was really sweet, and calmed him down pretty well too.
Riding the bus is actually quite interesting....the boys live it, and we get to meet neat people. I'm sure we'll have a lot more fun bus stories next week!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hawaii saga continued...

Hey guys! We're still here, and still pretty much Internet-less...apparently our area can't get service from most Internet providers, so that's a bummer.
We spent the day yesterday in the city of Honolulu. We had to drop off our rental car, so we figured we'd make a day of it and lend the day at the Ala Moana mall. we did forget the we'd be stick with a huge clunky cars eat whilst walking around the mall all day, we may have got a few strange looks, ha ha.
The mall was huge, and has regular Christmas concerts, so we got to see a sweet little elementary school group sing and hula dance.
We ate lunch in the biggest food court I've ever seen, it was really crazy. We literally ran to catch the bus, luckily it was a few minutes late, so it was fine.
We ended up on the wrong bus, thanks to the bus info line, so it ook us 2 hours and 45 minutes to get home, instead of an hour...lame.
One cool thing about bus-ing it, besides that my boys love every minute of it, is the interesting people you meet. We had a great conversation with a family from Australia, which made the bus ride a lot more enjoyable.
We spent the morning swimming and walking alng he beach. It was really cold and windy today, Way too cold or me or Roo to swim, so we just chilled on the sand...A seems to have no cold bones in his body...he would swim outside evn if it was like zero degrees out...he's crazy.
We made it to the Laie temple tonight, and it was SO beautiful! I'm really grateful for our wonderful friend Paige who watched he boys on campus while we were gone.
We had a great day today. We've been applying to a few jobs here and there, and we're really looking forward to going to the farmers market a BYU tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hawaii saga #5

Well...we're alive, but still with relatively junky wi-fi, so I'm typing this up on my iPad.
We're finally settled in this place on the beach, with ll of our stuff unpacked, and the fridge full of food.
Im so glad we won't be moving again, not for at least a month, that is...which is awesome. Now we can relax ad just enjoy the beach. We haven't done nearly enough swimming yet.
But, we gave done some awesome things!
We spent Sunday st church, then napping, then scrummaging the up cupboards for food...we ate nerds, oatmeal and goldfish or funny dinner it was awesome! Ha ha. We went to the Laie temple and visitors center again, and took a lot of pictures, which I was able to upload to FB before the wi-fi went away again.
Yesterday we got up really early to go find breakfast, at Mcdonalds, oh so healthy, I know.
We found a place called "Valley of the Temples" that was a cemetery type thingy, with a bunch of cool mausoleums, and statues and lots of cool headstones and beautiful vegetation. One interesting thing is that in the catholic section of the cemetery, there were bottles of water, pop, smoothies and food at almost all the graves. If anyone knows th belief behind this, I'd love to know.
There was also a really cool Buddhist temple, that we got to walk through. The grounds were amazing, with huge bamboo forests, tons of koi ponds, water fountains reminded me of Japanese serene and peaceful. The boys loved ringing the huge gong, no surprise there. We were so glad we found this cool little place!
We walked around a neat blow-hole/humpback whale site, and the legendary Hanauma bay, which is famous for its amazing snorkeling.
We ended up being able to make it on our under water scooter ride and turtle watching tour that afternoon, and brought the bod with us. A was brave enough I put on goggles nd jump in the ocean! There was really beautiful fish, and awesome turtles, but we left our camera in the car, which I was super bummed about.
After a full day of touring, we went shopping at Safeway and Costco. We had a in dinner at Costco. By the time we go settled back in our apartment, it was lose to 9 pm, and the kids and both of us, we're exhausted.
I'm hoping I get some wi-fi again soon, so I can add the pictures of the Buddhist temple.
We're off to swim in the ocean! :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

hawaii saga soon I promise

There is SO much to talk about...but it seems as if I never have any time....or we speak, I am tapped in on someones unsecured I have wi-fi for at least a few minutes! ha ha
We switched condos....back to the same area we were at for the first few days, just steps from the's a bit small, a studio...but a good size for us, and a GREAT location....we are on a month-to-month lease, if we decide to stay,  but so far have it paid up until January 3rd....hoo-rah! Even if we don't stay any  longer...that's a lot of hawaii!
We were able to go to the PCC, which was awesome....and the visitors center at the Laie Temple....which was also cool. They had it all decorated up for Christmas, with TONS of trees, all really beautiful. The PCC was amazing...we even snagged a stroller from someone in town, so we could tow the kidlets around. Unfortunately  because of our major hotel fiasco, we missed the luau, which I REALLY wanted to hopefully we get the chance to go again.
We went to an Polynesian Christmas parade in Kailua....and it was awesome! Marching bands mixed with hula dancing....and super hot out too! The perfect combo. The parades here are WAY different than back home....they are mostly made up of schools, like even elementary schools....and obviously the hula-dancers were different too...and there was a lot of them. And pretty much NO horses...only one small one on a private float for a church. They also have a ton of beauty-pageant winners, just waving and looking pretty....really young ones too....probably from age 5-25ish.
After the parade and some lunch, we headed over to the Aloha Stadium for a football game between University of Hawaii and BYU....which was SO good!! Really long, but fun. The kids got too hot, too wet, then too cold, then it was too loud, or too ya, they aren't major football fans yet.
A kept saying things like: "It wouldn't be boring if I was playing, I would just keep getting touchdowns...hundreds of them; It would only take me one minute to run across that whole field, well, maybe 2 minutes; I would win every game if I played. If I was playing the score would be 159-0". ha ha...yup.
I have so much more to say,  but I am super wiped from such a long day...I really need to add pictures too, oh, and un-pack ALL of our stuff....AGAIN!! ha ha....but it's worth it...cuz we're in hawaii baby!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

hawaii saga #3...

This won't be a very well-edited post, and n pictures today either, because we are stuck without wifi!!
We had picked a condo (for the next 2 weeks) and had made certain there was to be wifi. We need it for job applications and emails about jobs and what not...but apparently we were mis-informed.
So, unfortunately we have to walk a block or so and sit outside at the only wifi hot-spot here....not fun.
Good news is that they are going to let us out of here with a full refund (minus the 2 nights we've slept here)....and even BETTER news is we found a condo that will let us stay for a whole month!!!!
It's not nearly as nice as this place, and only a studio...a little run-down and what not, but it's cheaper for one month than this place was for 2 score for us!!
That'll give us a full month to figure out our life, and jobs, and whether or not we're going to stay we're pretty excited.
Also, it's at the same apartment complex that our first place was, which means it's just steps to the ocean...which makes up for the junk-iness of the apartment.
When we get better internet, I'll post some more pictures!!
peace out:)