Monday, June 29, 2009

Basket Weaving

On Thursday Elizabeth, Shari, Malia, Aunt Jan and I went to a basket making class. We learned how to make baskets out of coconut tree palm fronds. So much fun! I love this picture of Shari showing off all five of our baskets.Shari concentrating hard on what she is doing!Elizabeth showing off her handiwork.Lots of concentration.
This is Eugene, the one who taught us how to make the baskets. Malia hard at work doing her basket.Elizabeth showing off what she has done so far!We took the basket weaving class at the Sheerwater Resort, a sister resort to the Bali Hai where we are staying. It is located on the cliffs right above the ocean - gorgeous views, as you can see from this photo.Shari balancing all five of our bowls. Aunt Jan is standing next to her.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Swimming With Turtles

Today has been an amazing day! No pictures though.... gasp! I did drag my camera around with me all day, but didn't shoot any pictures!

We spent this afternoon at yet another of Kauai's wonderful beaches. I was a bit concerned as to how well we would like the beach because it had a rocky shore with a quick drop off, and high waves... not a great beach for kids to swim at.

BUT.... just as we arrived my sister yelled out to me that there were sea turtles in the water. We looked and saw turtles in the waves. Amazing! We sat in beach chairs and watched as they popped their heads up through the waves.

Later I was able to go out snorkeling.... once I got past my fear of making it though the waves and rocks to get off shore a bit. I saw all kinds of amazing fish and then, had a sea turtle swim up right next to me. Magical! I followed it around for a bit marveling at it's beauty.

I had a great time snorkeling until the end.... I'm not so good at getting back to shore. Apparently everyone was wishing they had a video camera to document my "landing" back on shore.... definitely not the most graceful event!

The perfect end to the day - dinner out with Papa Bear at the Blue Dolphin - a very nice restaurant in Hanelei. We had gotten a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant for sitting though a time share talk when we first arrived on the Island. My aunt and sister watched our kids for us so we could have a "date".

I've been editing LOTS of pictures and have a ton more to share when I get around to it. I'm still just editing with Picasa... but have my photo shop book with me and hope to practice a bit with that. We'll see... I'm on vacation after all!

Blessings to you!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another Bird Story

What's up with birds and Hawaii?! They have some gorgeous birds here... and we've enjoyed watching them, especially Alex. But we've also had a few bird adventures (see "resident alarm clock" post).

Tonight we went to a luau. I'll post about that later... wonderful time... train ride around the plantation, great food, lots of laughter, fantastic entertainment. When we returned home we parked the car in front of our condo and sent the older kids up to get on their PJ's and get into bed while we got Nathan and collected all of our belongings.

No sooner than we had sent them upstairs, we heard Elizabeth yelling. When we got upstairs we found Elizabeth locked in our bathroom muttering something about a bird flying around our condo. I tried to coax Elizabeth out of the bathroom while Papa Bear went on a hunt for the bird. He opened our bedroom door and a bird flew at him. He slammed the door shut! We spent a good 1o minutes trying to shoo the bird out of our room. Papa Bear managed to get the bird to move toward the sliding glass door, only to have it fall behind the dresser. He moved the dresser and the bird finally flew out the door - Success! Poor bird was really frightened. We had accidentally left the door to the lanai open and the bird must have flown in earlier in the day.

Problem solved.... bird out of room, many young children in bed.... Mama Bear went into our bedroom to get Nathan's bed set up and realized that bird locked up in bedroom for several hours equals LOTS OF BIRD POOP..... EVERYWHERE! Bird poop on the floors, chair, bureau, and even on the pillow and bedspread. Not. Fun.

What to do, what to do.... Housekeeping is open from 8 AM to 8 PM.... It was 10:30 PM. Nothing to do except strip the beds and scrub the floors.... and call Aunt Jan who came to the rescue with extra blankets and pillows.

Thus ended a not so perfect evening.... though for sure one with long lasting memories!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Resident Alarm Clock

When I thought about visiting Hawaii, I thought about a lot of things...... beautiful beaches, waterfalls, mountains, lots of sun, rainbows.... colorful fish... all kinds of things... but... NOT roosters. There are roosters and chickens all over the island. They roam free on the streets, in the markets, and around the resort. We see them several times a day. Nathan loves them and exclaims, "Bird" whenever he sees one... and then gives chase. The roosters over here are different than any I've ever seen. Do you know that roosters roost in the tops of trees? That rooster that makes noise at 5 AM that sounds like it is right outside our window, is LITERALLY right outside our window... and we are on the second floor! I kid you not.
We were sitting on the lanei last night and Andrew was telling us about his super fun helicopter adventure when he suddenly exclaimed, "Mommy, I think I see a rooster in the top of the tree right there". We looked at him incredulously, and turned toward the tree. There was our resident alarm clock staring right back at us through the tree branches.
You can see how high the little guy is above the parking lot below. It would have been fun to see the rooster fly up to the top of the tree.
When the rooster woke us up this morning, Hutch went out to check if it were the one in the tree. Sure enough, it was. Maybe he'd like to find a different tree to sleep in tonight... .or maybe the bull frogs would like to move to a different pond!

Beach Bums

We've been busy checking out several of the different beaches here on Kauai. This is Anini Beach (I'm sure I'm not spelling it correctly)
It was a perfect beach for the kids. The water is very shallow (under 3 feet deep) for quite a ways out into the ocean. We rented snorkel equipment for the week and the twins tried snorkling for the first time. Elizabeth got the hang of it right away and headed out with Uncle Robert and Malia to the coral. She was so excited by what she saw! Andrew was a little slower going, but did get the hang of it. Mommy forgot how to snorkel and was surprised by how long it took her to regain her confidence! Mommy and Daddy are going for a snorkel trip/boat ride up the Napoli Coast on Monday for the day. They can't wait!!!!
Andrew and Christian found some small fish at the inlet and spent hours trying to catch them with their bare hands! Alex was timid at first, but then also joined in the fun.
Elizabeth, less than thrilled that Daddy told her she had to wear a shirt over her swimmingsuit (she got sunburned on her shoulders)
Daddy helping Alex across the "deep channel"! :)
Alex exploring. Poor Alex is feeling like he doesn't have a buddy this trip. He told Daddy today that Andrew has Christian and Elizabeth has Malia and he has nobody. Poor kiddo. Unbeknownst to the others, Daddy did take him on a special trip for icecream this morning.We also rented beach chairs along with the snorkel equipment. Mama and Papa Bear haven't had much of a chance to sit in them, but maybe sometime this trip! :)Aunt Jan enjoying her book in the shade of the tree. Malia building her tree fort to get a "shade tan" (her words).

Rainbows and Sunsets

Rainbows abound here in Kauai. It rains a lot... though the rain is warm and it doesn't last long. Alex commented that it was raining and also sunny outside. The kids all said in unison, "Rainbow" and ran to the lanei to look.... This is what they saw. We've seen several rainbows on this trip. Andrew even saw a circular rainbow on his helicopter ride. I had no idea such a thing even existed... a 360 degree rainbow! We've also seen a ton of beautiful sunsets as well! I'm still waiting to walk down by the beach at sunset and see the view from there.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hours and Hours of Swimming

A picture of the resort swimming pool - complete with volleyball court, pool, water falls, and hot tub.Robert enjoying the falls.Christian and Alex using some pool noodles that someone gave to them.Giving Nathan rides on their backs...The girls have spent hours playing with the diving sticks. They can stay under water quite a long time now!

Andrew's Dream Come True

Ever since learning that we were going to Hawaii, Andrew has been dreaming about going on a helicopter ride.... today he realized that dream! He and Hutch took a helicopter tour of the island. They flew up over the mountains, near waterfalls, and over a volcano. They saw the Napali Coast and flew up several different canyons.

I wasn't on the trip, so don't have any photos to share... but we did have a coupon to get the video that they make of everyone on the trip.... so, if you want to watch that let me know!

Father's Day Celebration

You can't beat celebrating Father's Day in Hawaii... at least I don't think that you can. We enjoyed a barbecue with my aunt and my sister and her husband and children. Robert grilled the steak and did corn on the cob on the grill.
Elizabeth chopped up the carrots for the salad. Malia and Elizabeth made the fruit salad. Happy Father's Day to all of you fathers! Hope you also enjoyed your day with your family.