Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sea and Sky of Hawaii!

We have had the most amazing experiences these last two days. We kicked off the big island by going on a nightimte snorkel with Manta rays. They are lovely and huge and breath taking- we bought the dvd so I will put some footage on when I get home. THey were within two inches of us twirling and looping and just being amazing. then yesterday it was off to the skies on an unforgettable tour of Mauna Kea the largest mountain in the world where the foremost telescopes point to the skies. we got to see sunset from this vantage point, look through a "regular" telescope and ask tons of questions and learn about hawaii's heritage, history, mysteries and so much more. our tour guide was a planetary geologist so Derick and I were in GEEK heaven just talking about everything that came to mind.

Today we are off to more earth wonders- the volcanoes and we are stopping at a green and black sand beach while we are at it! these islands are truly here to remind us how much God loves us and wants us to be happy in the things He has made for us! Natural Hawaii has truly taken my breath away several times (but of course I am still talking!)

We will be in late Sunday night. We really miss everybody!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kauaii and Aloha bags

So today we took a helicopter ride!! We have never done it before and jumped at the chance when our travel agent (AKA BFF JILL) suggested it! From about 15 seconds after take off, I knew we were in trouble because derick turned a lovely shade of seafoam.

When we had our pre-flight briefing they held up the barf bag and said that it was an "Aloha" bag and please keep your Aloha to yourself! Derick didn't need it for its full use, but was very thankful to have it there for comfort, but did keep as still as possible during the flight! The scenery was absolutely stunning!! there are tons of waterfalls and lush green and interesting cliffs, formations and beaches here that were just amazing to see from that vantage point! I took over 60 pictures and still have yet to find a decent way to upload!!

We have til Tuesday afternoon here and then off to Big Island (Hawaii). I think we are doing some waterfall and hike tours tomorrow!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Oahu a.

Well, it is our last day in Oahu and I loved nearly every minute! YEsterday was probably our best day here- relaxing and exciting! After a luxiourious breakfast (I just GORGE myself on those tropical fruits!), we hit the beach to take advantage of our hour free snorkel. The beach is entirely covered in live coral reef- so we got to see some coral critters- the occasional fish, a couple spiny urchins and anemones, but when we got out, we saw some people looking as somthing from the rocks. WE went over to investigate and guess what??

SEA TURTLES!!! we saw about FIVE of them ranging from about a foot and a half to over three feet! I of course took THOUSANDS of pictures but still can't get them onto the computer! I was so excited when we saw them I immediately got on the phone and called Gibson. He was as impressed as I thought and we gushed about them for a while.

From there we went to the temple. We were the only ones in our session and it was really amazing. THe Lai'ie temple has alot of unique Marble carvings around the top of murals of each book of scripture. There is also a big fountain flowing from it down to the visitor's center (about 100 Yards ) away. The entire thing is lined by palm trees. It is absolutely stunning and I was so wonderful to get a chance to go to the temple with Derick!

We topped it off by having an amazing dinner with absolutely sinful desserts! WE packed up and got ready to leave, and we just chilling for the morning and then we are off to Kauai.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Running around the globe

SO for those just tuning in, the last week has been FULL of excitement. Ali came in last Wednesday and that was great,but TSA sure did a number on her! Friday we left for the race and, well, after the Expo (which had some great vendors) everything went pretty bad including me being stuff on a two way road in the wrong lane with a HUGE semi coming at me from the front and a Public transportation train coming at my rear. It was great to see my parents and have them here for support, although the more people you add to the equation, the more people you need to please!

But the race was exhilorating! I finished slightly after my mental goal of 2 and a half hours at 2:34:45. ALi and Wendy did great too- ALi at 2:45:43 and Wendy at 2:10:58. It was BEDLAM at the finish line, but after an hour we found out where Ali was, loaded up the junk and headed home.

At home, Derick and I tried to get ready for our next adventure- Hawaii!!! We flew out SUnday morning and landed in Oahu at 3pm local time- which is 9pm Philly time! We were soooooo Spoiled by our 1st class flight from Minneapolis to Honalulu! wow! We unpacked, ate and crashed by 8pm local time.

Monday we explored the beach around our hotel (the Turtle bay resort on the North SHore_ AWESOME!) Then hit the polynesian culture center for the res tof the day.

Today was Pearl Harbor ALL DAY. It was truly amazing, solemn and sobering. Of course I think the most impact of the day came from seeeing the oil bubbling from the sunkent hull of the Arizona. We took a scenic drive home and ate a fabulous dinner (ok, ever had vanilla macadamia nut ice cream???) and took a walk along the beach in the dark with the MOST amazing Stars with NO light pollution. and here I am. Trying to catch everyone up so you won't think I have fallen off the planet- just halfway around the other side of it! Pictures as soon as I figure out the hotel computer's ability!!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

HOrsey


While frantically cleaning up (didn't pull it off now, did I Taji?) for the Bagley's, I had to take a minute to capture these cuties! Delaney and GIbson were both taking turns riding on Daddy's back when Gibson determined that he was big enough to be the horse- Delaney's laugh is so infectious! they are so cute- when they get along!!! (see if you can hear the moment where I trip going backwards!!!)

video

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Conference.

So we had a pretty nice weekend. We started by going to the little pumpkin thing and playing in the park with the Bagley's and then watched COnference- now for those who don't know- We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (they call us Mormons most of the time) and every six months we have General COnference where our Prophet and his counselors can speak to us about things we need to know to be better Christians and better members of the Church.



This particular conference was kind of special because one of the counselors had died. He was an amazing man and it is obvious that he is missed. When one dies, another must be appointed in his place, and leadership gets shuffled around. As part of that, there was a press conference in between sessions of conference with all major press out lets- it was kind of interesting becasue our faith is always being put to the limelight and negative criticism justcomes out of nowhere. Just in the last three months, there was a slanderous movie released, Mitt Romney was Newsweek's poster child for his Mormonism (my personal favorite was the criticism that he is using evangelical phrases like "Jesus Christ as a personal Savior" Had these people ever MET a Mormon before? PLEASE!!)(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21049285/site/newsweek/) and Warren Jeffs- who was NEVER a member of our church-was linked to us several times! With everyone's preconceived bilk with us, we often just leave it alone- but here was the new General Authorities holding a press conference!



The themes of General Conference were also amazing. Some of the ones that stuck out were ones that dealt with how to answer questions people do have about us- and I was most impressed with the answer of "by their fruits, you shall know them" and really, isn't that what being a Christian is all about? I was also comforted by a talk by Julie Beck about WOmen and Motherhood and how it is STILL not out of style, nor unimportant. I need reaffirmation of that sometimes.

Here's a link to that talk and some of the others if you are interested-

http://lds.org/conference/sessions/display/0,5239,23-1-775,00.html



On the homefront, we got a new camcorder to get ready for HAWAII!! this week is HUGE for US- 10th anniversary and ALi coming home on Wednesday, my Parents, and LAM coming in on Friday, THE RACE on Saturday- if you want updates sent to your phone on my race progress go here-http://www.thebaltimoremarathon.com/Runner_Tracking.htm and then fly to the islands on SUNDAY!!! I can't beleive it! I have so much to do! any advice here would be helpful!



Bagley "kids" in the hammock
TOday was fantastic because the Bagley's came over (they live close, our kids have a ball together and I promised they could watch conference on our big tv!) and Taji DID IT- she brought biscuits and sausage gravy!!! In many ways I am SUPPOSED to be southern and I deny it as MUCH as I can (although I am total Jersey girl-we don't pump our own gas) but when it comes to the food, I am southern as they come! and it was fantastic!! we had fruit salad, blueberry muffins and MONKEY BREAD (Myrt Fortner you are still in my heart! She was the mom/cook/whistler that I will never be!) and we literally were lolling on the floor, watching conference with over full bellies while the kids ran amuck in the background! Life was pretty good- then a nap after everybody left to top it all off!



SOOO- on some weird and scary pre-race news- a person died at the Chicago marathon today and 200 people were taken to the hospital because of record heat! PLEASE, OH PLEASE don't let next weekend be like that!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hey, punk-kin!


We went to a pumpkin festival at a local nursery for a little while this morning with some good friends of ours. there was face painting, tatoos and apparently an array of spray hair colors too! My children are top left (in red shirt) and bottom right (white shirt).

God Bless YOU!!

video

I just wanted to give you all a little giggle for the day- I promise the above is like 20 seconds long, and the more often you watch it, the funnier it gets- I am simple- so I guess it just struck the right cord- so sweet and innocent and reactionary!