Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Here are a few pictures we took after church on Father's Day.  The kids were very excited to have Daddy open their gifts.  You can see they all helped wrap and decorate the presents.

Family Picture
Another Family Picture (plus penguin)
  David made his Daddy a picture of the solar system.

And Chris got the new ties he asked for.  Each of his children selected the one they wanted for him and anxiously waited for him to wear "their" tie to work each day.  David picked the red tie because it is his favorite color.  Lia really wanted to get her Daddy a pink tie but had to settle for a silver tie as I tried to explain to her that pink is a beautiful color but that Daddy has to be "conservative at work..."  Emily found the yellow tie Chris had requested and was also able to accomplish her 'conservative but fun' goal as "her" yellow tie had tiny blue crabs on it!

Happy Father's Day!

Thankyou Notes

Chris and I thought the kids wrote wonderful thankyou notes to their grandparents so we scanned them for posterity.

Time to go home...

Here we are at Duke's celebrating a great vacation before we head to the airport to go home.  The kids were able to order fancy hawaiian drinks and had some time to run around before heading home.  Here is my son being silly again and notice that all three wanted to wear their hawaiian outfits on the plane.

Silly, silly boy.

Happy girls.


Kalalau Trail History

Chris and Emily have made it a Daddy/Daughter tradition to hike the Kalalau trail together each time we visit Kauai.  Here is Emily at the same "famous" lookout from our last 3 trips.

May 2012

May 2011

December 2009

Albatross Wing Practice, Link to Kauai Albatross Blog

Bob and Joyce Waid have put together a beautiful website and blog called Albatross Kauai.  I connected with them via email because my kids loved their online book, Baby Winston.  They were kind enough to send up their Albatross book and DVD to preview.  What a generous gift.  We enjoyed both very much and are now life-long albatross fans and supporters.

Monday, July 30, 2012


I think the highlight of this trip for me was getting to see the albatross babies nesting in people's yards in Princeville and learning about their unique story.  What amazing birds!  The endangered albatross is very much loved and protected here on Kauai.  Do not disturb signs are placed around their nests so that they can go about their business of mating and raising their young.  And the story is really interesting!  Albatross pairs mate for life and lay a single egg in early December.  The parents take turns sitting on the egg and searching for food.  When one parent goes searching for food, they may fly over 1000 miles and be gone for several days to find the food that they like!  The babies hatch in February and are taken care of by their parents till late June or early July.  When it is time for the baby to fly for the first time, they make their way to the cliff and take off over the ocean.  Then the babies do not return to land for about 4 years.  They spend 4 years feeding and sleeping on the ocean.  Then when the time is right, they return to Kauai to find a mate and lay their single egg and repeat the process all over again!

Here is a baby with its Mommy.  The baby is almost as big as the parent but its feathers are still coming in and it still depends on its parents for food.  This one is having a snack here.  My parents told us we were very, very lucky to see the babies out and so active this day as they spend quite a bit of time tucked away in their nests.

These babies, below, are testing out their wings and trying to figure out how they work.  They still have about a month till they fly for the first time and head out to sea.


Hanalei Bay Waves

 Lia fought waves too.  She just preferred to do it at Hanalei Bay where they aren't so scary.  If you zoom in on her face though, you'll see she looks a little concerned here as she runs away!

But this picture is all smiles!

Fighting the Waves!

When we asked the kids what their favorite parts of our vacation were, fighting the waves was always in the top 3.  You can see their favorite wave fighting pose here.  It was a little too rough for Lia so she stuck to making drip castles in the sand nearby.

Aloha Gear

There is always a free hula show at Coconut Grove Market Place on Wednesdays to attract shoppers.  Well it worked.  We did some shopping and bought the kids some Aloha gear.  The girls got matching dresses and David picked out an Aloha shirt.  David *LOVES* this shirt and is so proud to wear it and show everyone that the volcano on his shirt is Diamond dHead and that the flowers are plumerias and orchids.  It is a little big on it but that is awesome... because I think he will love to wear this shirt for the next few years!

And again, my story on this vacation was trying to get all three of my children to simply smile together for the camera.  David absolutely refused to cooperate.  If the camera came out, he stuck out his tounge and struck some very silly pose.  I think I will have to use the photos to blackmail him in the future.

See... my girls can smile pretty for the camera.

Here they are checking out the souvenirs they "HAD" to have.  They each got a small glass miniature as a keepsake.  I think they were a turtle, a whale, and a gecko.  What a mistake this was!!!  Do not buy your children something that they dearly love that is made out of glass.  They will drop it and it will break and then they will be heartbroken and tears will fall and you will have shattered glass pieces on the floor.  Learn from my mistake, please!  Yes, these souvenirs lasted about 3 hours.

We really enjoyed the free hula show though.  Lia loves to show us how to hula.  I got a video of it too!

And dinner that night was a special treat.  Nana and Grandpa treated to pizza at our favorite pizzeria.  The kids are happily playing with their not yet broken glass miniatures at the table.  Ahhh... this was the life.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jigsaw Puzzles

We love puzzles!  It is only on vacation that we find time to do them.  Chris could not walk by the puzzle without stopping to work on it and I had to send him to bed so that he would get enough sleep each night!  The Koala Bear puzzle actually glowed in the dark!  So I think we started with 550 pieces here for a warm up.

This beautiful puzzle was probably 750 pieces.  Again, a family effort.

And this bad-boy 1000+ piece puzzle could have been the end of our marriage... (just kidding).  It was quite the competition... er, "team effort".

Kamokila - Ancient Hawaiian Village

This year we were excited to visit Kamokila, an ancient Hawaiian village, for the first time.  Our tour guide, Ilima, told us that this villiage dates back to the 1600's.  While the grass huts have been recreated in the traditional style, the stone structures have not been altered or moved.  Here is Emily by a tiki statue.

This was the medicine-man's hut.

The dining room where the men and women ate separately.

This stone didn't appear to be anything special until a hurricane rolled it over and exposed carvings of  a whale and what appears to be a seat.  It is believed the princesses may have sat here to have their hair brushed.  Here is the article about it.  Our tour guide Ilima, is the one who made the discovery after the storm.

A broken heart?  Ilima told us these stones marked the boundaries of the village.

Hawaiian hierogliphics...  A messenger man.

The birthing stone.  Hawaiian women would squat between these two stones while in labor.  The ti leaves would cushion and bless the baby.

And apparently one of the hawaiian princesses loved peacocks and had them brought over for pets.  This one was showing off for us.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Okolehao Trail

Another trail...?  So far, we've got the guava and fruit-fly trail, the raspberry trail, the endless black rock and ocean trail... so what is this trail all about?  Okolehao trail is the one where Emily finds wild orchids, David likes to drop sticks over the bridge and watch them flow down the river (Pooh Sticks anyone?) and best of all, we always have chocolate chip muffins at the end while we enjoy the lookout under the huge Cook pinetrees.

Heading into the jungle...  It's a little "scary".

At the top of the mountain with a bag of muffins!  Isn't it annoying that I make them smile for the camera before they can eat?

And the view from the top!

And the girls with their flower collection.  Good job!