Sunday, January 31, 2010

Muffin at Kalapawai

Alli ran, Sam biked, Ben "strolled" in the stroller, Dino the birthday balloon hitched a ride on the stroller handle, and Davey sacrificed and drove the truck in case rain forced them all into the car for the return trip.  He's a really good guy!  I mean that . . . REALLY!  :)
Here's Davey, Richard, Ben and Alli
Paula, who works at Kalapawai, had brought some real shark's teeth to work, knowing we'd be there (we go there a LOT), and gave them to Sam, our resident "archaeologist".  What a gift!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Koko Crater Botannical Garden

Plumeria.  Groves of them.  Sweet fragrance.

We were given a "gray" day today -- perfect for the 2-mile walk through this rustic botannical garden, home for plants from Africa, Hawai'i, Madagascar, and other exotic places.  It includes a large grove of Plumeria, dryland palms, and old bougainvilla that have become trees 50' tall!
How small we are, yet God takes notice of us . . .
. . . and how much we need to be rooted in His scriptures . . .

It's name:  Fever Tree
Dryland palm (I tried to be "artsy-fartsy"!)
Pachycereus Pecten-Arboriginum.  Long name just for a Mexican cactus.
Hello in there!!
Needs a treehouse
The sounds of humanity were so far away they couldn't be heard.  We were the only visitors at the garden today, except for a passing security guard at the gate.  The crimes here?  Stealing a plant.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

BumperBoat Blastings B'cause B-day Boy is REALLY 5!

Photos are all clickable to a larger size.
Here's the family celeb . . . Sam . . . a wonderful young man of FIVE!  He started blasting as soon as he sat down.  See that stream of water from his boat's "gun"?

Sam brought along a hovering dinosaur, along with his mom, brother Ben, and in boats outside the photo, gramma (that's me) and Richard.  Daddy was sad to be missing this great fun, but he was "on duty."
Sam's shooting at . . . maybe a tree, this time? 
Here's the mom (my fantastic daughter) and Ben team.
This guy, Richard, plans to take no prisoners!  Would you just look at the grin on that man's face?    :)  What fun we all had!

I love this picture.  Here's the guy who said he wasn't planning to get in one of "'those boats' because it's too late in the day, too cold, I don't want to get wet" or something like that.  But he's willing to change his mind . . . I mean, really change his mind -- enough to bring a whole lot of fun to the party!  Thanks, Richard!  Ummmm, did you get wet?

From the boats, we walked to dinner on base, overlooking the golf course where Obama plays when he's here for his Christmas vaca, and Dino came along for some nibbles, too.
What?  A dino cake???  What a concept!  Great job you decorators:  Alli for the design, Sam for filling him in with green, and gramma Oli for, uh, for, hmmm, holding the frosting bag with tip?
Happy Birthday, Sam.  We love you so very much!!
Psssst, how did your hair get so wet? 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pu'u Pia Trail in the Manoa Valley

All pictures on the BLOG are clickable.

Sam's favorite hike.  Here we are at our destination, 1.2 mile hike with about a 400' elevation gain.  Perfect for gramma's first hike this season, because whooping cough idled me for almost 3 months!  In this picture, you're looking at Honolulu/Waikiki while Sam munches on dried papaya treats.

Ben and Alli -- you can't help but think how handy it would be to wear a Ben-harness and have somebody real big hoist you up and over the ditches, big rocks and roots!

A handy rope!  Sam usually swings from the aerial banyan tree roots.

Most of the trail looked like this, with some slightly steeper places. Fortunately, we've had no recent rain (until tonight), because rain + Hawaii soil = slip-n-slide-to-da-max! 

Fancy 'shrooms!

Manoa Valley -- all the pictures on the blog are clickable to a larger image, by the way.

Clever Ben, heisted his mommy's GPS out of a pocket and began punching buttons.  Alli was wondering where the little beeps were coming from.  For him, this is a multi-purpose GPS -- if you put it on your ear, it magically becomes a cell phone!

We were prepared for the geocache, thanks to Alli, and brought  gifts to stash in return for gifts we found in the container.  All you need is the coordinates and a GPS to locate the geocache.

Another look at Honolulu . . .

. . . and a look at the peaceful and lush Manoa Valley with its carpet of MonkeyPod trees.

Alli - Thanks for your preparation for each of us, for your happy face and buoyant encouragement all along this trail, and the many others you've taken us on.  May God continue to give you your good nature throughout the trails of life.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm F-I-V-E, FIVE!!!

Almost! My real birthday's on January 27th, but today is my camping trip and party!

Making a "beetle cake" with gramma, out of Brownie mix.  I'm very good at catching beetles, and this cake will be a big one!  We'll decorate it at the campsite at Bellows Air Force Station.

Gettin' into it now.  Pretty messy job, but it has to be done!

A special beetle with lots of colors and some dinosaur theme thrown in as candles!

A dinosaur showed up!!  (Richard's "find"!!)

Dad's assistant looks pretty happy!

Showing dino the woods with all the kids in tow.  That's little brother Ben in the foreground.
At about this point, I left the party to run an errand, and that's when the planned family bug races broke out.  Check Alli's blog for great details:

Blow those candles out so we can dig in.

An all-out Tug-O-War.  Several guys on the right didn't make it into the picture.  Sorry.  Missing are Sam and Jon who is one of the daddys.

Here's little brother Ben, a happy party-goer who, at 20 months, keeps up surprisingly well with the big kids!

All the kids were begging to be "body-tossed" by Dennis, a daddy of 3.

And Daddy of 2, Jon at far left, is a "gifted" fish netter who showed the kids how to catch those silvery wigglers.
Sam enlisted Richard's help, since he could stay a little bit longer.

Dinner was a typically wonderful Davey creation, followed by a relaxing time around the campfire.  RELAXING?  Yeow!  By flashlight, every few minutes we were finding the "Hawaii-huge" centipedes wandering around our feet.  The guys had all manner of weapons at the ready, and were hacking up 6 and 7-inchers!  And they don't just die when they're hacked -- every one of their pieces is wiggling and flopping like a fish out of water, and no one knows which wiggling section has the "biter" on it.  It was a perfect set-up for Kathy to surreptitiously tickle Davey's leg and watch him launch himself!!

Now for some dino tattoo transfers!

The next morning, Dave was up early to prepare that smell of all smells -- camping coffee!  After breakfast, we broke camp and headed for the Bellows beach before leaving.  We're only about 5 miles from home, so we're lucky we can get back here often.  In this picture, we're doing what Sam calls "tree jumping" and all the kids really got in to it.

Our moms had a leap, too!

Some body surfing wrapped up this great, two-day camping trip/birthday party.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Polynesian Cultural Center in La'ie

Richard's first time here; my 4th.  Would I recommend it at $45 for the least expensive ticket?  That's a tough one for me because  I don't like to make recommendations of where to go, and my description of "what's it like" may be far from what would prompt you to go or not. 

Me?  Most things are a "go"!!!  Call it "adventure" if it needs a name, okay?  Just go because "why not"?  Expect to learn something, and you will.  Pretty much that's reason enough to try new things and new places.

Remember though, we live here and aren't trying to ration our time across too many things to do.

There's a 30-minute show "on the water", and the rest is well-produced surveys of several Pacific Islands, their history, music, dance, games and beliefs.  I like it, and learn something each time I go.

You should see how fast the Samoans get to the top of an 80 ft coconut palm!  No spurs, either!  The coconut palms here in Kailua, HI get climbed annually to get those coconuts out before they konk someone on the head, and many of the climbers are Samoan.

Something else the Samoans do is rub two sticks together to start a fire.  They teach it to their 8-year olds!  I've seen this demonstration here and at the Mac Nut farm several times, and I still can't do it!  Alli sets it up every year at Hogmanay, and a couple of us get puffs of smoke, but can't get the coconut "hair" to ignite.

Here's a collection of four men giving it a go, but NO SMOKE!  The wood that's used is wild hibiscus, called Hou.

Seein' as how nobody got smoke, and you can't do any worse than that, I inveigled Richard to try, and guess what?!!!!  SMOKE!!!  Good goin', Richard!  A little more practice and you'll be the star of Hogmanay next year.  The Hou wood is over at Alli's!!