Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A few weeks ago, Mahele (a really good friend) and I took the kids and headed to Pearlridge Mall to check out the big bug display they were showing there. The kids loved it. They had 5 different bugs displayed, a few fact stations, and a safari train ride. We skipped the train ride, but checked out all the bugs and rode the monorail. It was a lot of fun just hanging out, and then we stopped at borders and read for a while before heading home. Here are a few pics from our outing.
L to R: Kason, Karter, Kiara, Kiera, Maka in front of the leaf bug
Maka, Kiara, Kason in front of the praying mantis!
Looking at this one, I could understand why some kids might be a little frightened!
The Locust Cricket
L to R: Kaylen, Kyla, Kiera, Maka, Kiara in front of the Atlas beetle display. The beetles were actually moving a little and battling each other.

All the bugs moved which made the display even better for the kids. The only bug I didn't get a picture of was the paterpillar, which was supposedly the coolest one because it stretched to be about 20 feet long. It happened to be broken that day:( Oh well, it was still a blast! Thanks for Mahele for inviting us to tag along!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Family Camping Trip- Malaekahana Park

Last week, Wednesday to Friday we went on a family camping trip to Malaekahana State Park up on the North Shore. It's one of our favorite beaches, also known as Castles. It was Maka and Alana's first time camping, and it was so much fun! Some of the highlights were:
  • Setting up camp while Kiara and Maka chased the wild chickens
  • Collecting dead wood for the campfire, and Kaelene stepping in an ant hill and getting bit up a bit
  • Forgetting a lighter and something to warm water in! (Live and learn) Luckily there was a store near by.
  • Kiara asking if she could start the fire. No WAY! We might have a pyromaniac on our hands:)
  • Being right next to the beach and enjoying as much time there as we wanted!
  • Being woken by the wild roosters
  • Kaelene being chased down by a hen protecting her chicks that she had accidentally gotten to close to
  • Roasting hot dogs and marshmallows
  • Making SMORES!!!! Kiara loved the smores, and Maka loved the marshmallows. Maka tried roasting them once, but decided that he didn't like that too much. So from then on, he put them on the stick and ate them off like that.
  • Going on a treasure hunt with Grandma Harrison, who came and spent the night Thursday with us!
  • Playing in the dirt as much as the kids wanted
  • Having a slumber party all together in our new tent
  • Kaelene getting stung by a blue bubble jellyfish:(
  • Taking a trip down memory lane, driving through BYU-Hawaii and remembering some great times (while the kids napped)
  • Checking out the temple visitors center together
  • Staying up late playing card games with Sanoe and just talking, without any interruptions!
  • Yummy foil dinners:)
  • Watching Kiara body surf on Sanoe's back and play in the water, watching Sanoe surf, and making sand balls with Maka and throwing them at the waves. Maka is still a little afraid of the waves, so he is very content to play in the sand. The kids made a sand birthday cake and sang "happy birthday" to everyone. Kiara is our water baby! And Alana ate so much sand I thought she might have some bowel problems, but no problems. She loves the beach as well.
  • Kiara's friend Nia spent Friday morning with us at the beach, which made Kiara so happy.
  • Watching Alana and Maka wrestle and roll all over the tent playing with each other. They were giggling like crazy!
  • Trying to deal with Alana's frustration that Mommy wouldn't let her get down and crawl all over the place like she's used to at home. She got so mad at me!
  • But the best part was just being together as a family, away from the stresses of school and everyday activities!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Adios 3rd Year!

Well, it's official. Sanoe is finished with his third year of medical school. Only one more year left! I am so proud of him and all the hard work, longs hours, early mornings, and study time he has put into this year. I think he is pretty darn amazing! He has a three week break and guess what he has planned? More studying:( Actually he has to take the clinical knowledge part of his Step 2 exam for medical school. For all those who have no idea what I'm talking about let me fill you in. There are two major, national exams that medical students have to take throughout there 4 years in school. Step 1, or exam 1 they take at the end of their 2nd year. Step 2 has two parts, clinical knowledge and clinical skills, both taken sometime during beginning of 4th year usually. He'll be taking his clinical knowledge part in a couple weeks on June 30th. So, until then he has put himself on a rigorous study schedule that will hopefully have him ready come test day. He's got a lot of discipline. Immediately following the exam, the kids have decided that daddy belongs to them, and no buts about that. We are heading to the North Shore for some family time. We're going camping at the beach, and I am so excited! It will be the first time for Maka and Alana. I'll let you know how it goes:)

Also on the home front, Alana is a crawling machine! Her latest achievement though, is her discovery of how to stand herself up next to anything that she can grab on to. She is walking along the furniture now, which is a little scary to me because that means that walking by herself is not too far around the corner. I was actually pretty relieved that she didn't crawl as early as Kiara and Maka did, but she gets around just great now. I think her favorite thing to do is pull herself up next to mommy though. She loves to grab onto my pants, shorts, skin, what ever she can and pull herself up. All you moms out there know what I am talking about. Yesterday, she was so adorable. I was standing in the kitchen cutting open a big, fat, juicy watermelon and she comes scampering into the kitchen needing a little attention from the huge crowd that was descended upon me and this beautiful fruit. She pulled herself up by my legs, which were slightly spread apart, and then sticks her head through my legs and just looks up at me with the sweetest face and smile. I just had to give her a taste! We all got a taste. Just wanted to share that sweet moment with all of you. Now go out and get a watermelon!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Hawaii's 50th State Fair
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A few weeks ago we went to the state fair with our friends the Hatch's. We had so much fun and they helped us watch the kids, especially Maka and Alana when they couldn't go on the rides. We only did a few rides, but we all loved it, and the kids were tuckered out by the end of the night.


So I just spent several hours yesterday and this morning trying to update our blog. I worked on this cool slideshow to post, and then found out at the end of it that I could only email it to people, not post it. Oh, what a fool I am!) Anyways, I will be emailing that cute slide show, so keep an eye out for it. Our family has been hit by a flu bug pretty hard this week, at least most of us. Alana and I got it the hardest, but Maka is suffering from a ton of congestion now. Kiara just has a little runny nose, so hopefully she won't get any worse and it will pass her by. Hope you all have a great week!

Alana's Arrival and up to date!

Alana arrived 8 months ago on October 2nd. She came just a couple days after my due date and surprised us all when I went into labor all on my own. Aside from the pain, it was all so exciting, dropping the kids off at a friends house, grabbing my hospital bag and rushing to the hospital. She arrived not even two hours later at 11:30pm. She was 8lbs. 6oz., 21in long, and had plenty to say as soon as she came out!
The Barlow's, wonderful friends in our ward, watched the kids Thursday night and Friday. Kiara and Hannah had a wonderful time during their "sleepover" and loved playing together. My mother-in-law, Sallee was able to come and stay with the kids Friday night, and Saturday until we came home. Kiara and Maka came to visit us Friday evening. Kiara was so excited and thrilled to have a new baby sister, but Maka was pretty upset and didn't know what to think about the whole affair. For the first little while he didn't want anything to do with her, he wouldn't touch her, or even come near her. By the end of the evening he finally came to his own understanding that Alana was part of the family and fell in love with her from that moment on.
We headed home from the hospital Saturday afternoon and were greeted by Kiara, Maka, Sallee, and Keola and Adam, Sanoe's younger brother and sister. We all had so much fun passing Alana around and taking pictures. Kiara and Maka were so excited to have us home, but not as happy as I was. It's so nice to sleep in your own bed and in your own home after a stay in the hospital. We had celebratory ice cream to welcome Alana to the family, unfortunately for Alana she'll have to wait to have ice cream later. Sallee was able to stay and help me for several days and it was so wonderful to have her help. The kids adore her and love having her attention.
Alana is a sweet, mellow baby with a beautiful spirit that adds a very special feeling to our home. I've always felt that new baby's are so special because they are still so close to heaven. We are truly blessed to have such amazing children, each has their own unique personalities that make are family even more complete.
Alana is growing so fast and loves to smile all the time at anyone, and even when she is staring off into space she just smiles. I always wonder what she is thinking! Already, she has experienced so many things: Halloween, Thanksgiving, the beach and swimming pool, Christmas, vaccinations, a new year, a couple colds, and constant hugs and kisses from her brother, sister, mom and dad. Her chubby cheeks and soft hair are so kissable and cuddleable (is that a word?).

The kids got all dressed up for Halloween, and I had so much fun getting their costumes ready. Kiara went as a purple fairy, and all of you who know Kiara could probably have guessed that she would go as something purple. She loved picking out all the parts to her costume, and we even bought special fairy dust (sprinkles) to put on her face and in her hair. She loved that! Maka went as a cowboy with his chaps, hat, and eyeliner mustache. I'm definitely not as good at the makeup as my mom is. I remember growing up she always did our makeup for Halloween and did a great job. I guess I will have many years of practice ahead of me. Alana went as a ladybug. I made her costume out of a red onesie and some black material. Her headband took some creativity, using some black ribbon, thin wire, a hot glue gun, and an old headband of Kiara's. I had so much fun that I even took them to Sears to get their pictures taken. I'll probably never do that again, but it was fun this time. Sanoe and I even dressed up. Sanoe dressed as a mosquito, and me a hiker trying to protect myself from the mosquito! We went to our ward Halloween party the Saturday before, and then to Sallee's stake trunk-or-treat out in Makakilo. Unfortunately, the pictures took longer than expected, and then the traffic was horrendous. In the end we got their so late that there were only a couple cars left, so Sanoe and Sallee took them trick-or-treating to those while I fed Alana, who had been crying for more than half the ride there. The kids were so hungry by the end of the night that we headed straight from there to Wendy's for dinner. That was probably the best part of the day for the kids. They had fun hanging out with Grandma and eating their french fries!

Alana was blessed in November. Sanoe's family was able to be there and share that special experience. It was such a special blessing. One part of the blessing that touched me especially was when she was blessed to know that she was a daughter of God. I hope that all my children will know and remember that all their lives, and know how much our Father in Heaven loves each of us, individually.
We spent Thanksgiving with Sallee and Adam at her house. Sanoe actually had to work that morning, but we headed out to Sallee's as soon as he got home. The dinner was amazing and Sallee definitely out did herself. She made enough to send us all home with leftovers that lasted quite a while. It was a wonderful, relaxing day and I was able to contemplate how truly blessed I am with so many things. I am part of a wonderful family, an eternal family, I have a wonderful husband, three adorable children, supportive friends and extended family, parents that loved me unconditionally and taught me, a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ that helps me grow closer to my Savior each day, and a great life that is constantly molding me into the person the Lord wants me to be. ( I sure do have a long way to go!) I am so grateful for my life!

We spent Christmas with Sanoe's family this year at our house. His sister Noelani, and her husband Sam and their two children flew over from California, and Sanoe's dad came over from the Big Island. Our neighbor was going to be out of town so he was kind enough to let us use his apartment for people to sleep in since there definitely wouldn't be enough room in our place for everyone. Chris (Sanoe's dad) and his wife Theresa have an apartment just down the road from us so they were in close proximity for the festivities. It was wonderful to be together as family, and so much fun watching all the grandkids spend time together.
It seems like the time has just flown by and doesn't seem to slow down, but just get faster. All the kids grow, discover, and get more independent each day. 2009 is almost half over. Alana is already crawling and she tries her hardest to pull herself up next to things, but isn't quite strong enough yet. She gets pretty frustrated, but she's learning. She is also a wiggle worm, and doesn't like to sit still. Maka turned two in January, and just continues to be all boy, with a sweet sensitive side. He loves to tell mommy how much he loves her and everyone else. Everytime someone comes over or he plays with someone, when it's time to leave, he turns to me and says, "Mommy, I love ....(so and so). For example, we went to our friends, the Abelman's pool for their sons birthday party, and when we were getting into the car to drive home, Maka turned to me and said, "Mom, I love Ashlyn." (A little girl that's in nursery with him. Look out ladies, here comes Maka! Kiara turned 4 in April! I can't believe it. She is so grown up, and loves to be the second mom in the house. It has its advantages, and disadvantages:) I do preschool with her and some other kids twice a week. She enjoys it, but I worry that she needs more than that sometimes. We spend the rest of our week at playgroups, working on the garden, running errands,playing at the beach or pool, and hanging out at home. Her favorite game right now is playing "doggy or kitty", which is a game of pretend, where Kiara acts like the kitten or dog, and anyone who is around is the owner (most of the time it's me). Sanoe continues to stay busy with school. This is his 3rd year in medical school, and it's had it's good and rough times. We've definitely grown as a family. He finishes his last rotation, Pediatrics, this week. Then has a three week break, but has to take the first half of the 4th year national exam near the end of those three weeks. So he'll be studying pretty hard, but we'll definitely make time for fun. As for me, I stay busy with three adorable children. In any free time I do have, I sleep, read, or work on my garden, which had become my latest hobby. I love it, but it takes a lot more time than I have to devote to it, so it definitely isn't as nice or productive as the garden in my dreams is:) It's sort of like this blog. I try my best, but it's definitely not that good. Oh, well. But I've come to accept that the best I can do sometimes just isn't as perfect as I want it, but it's enough and I just keep trying. Life is good and we are definitely enjoying our wonderful journey!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back to the Blog Living!

I know that it's been an obscene amount of time since I've posted anything, but after a friend of ours at church gave me the hardest time about my out of date blog (Jason, you know who you are) I am finally sitting down and working on it even though it is 11:00pm, and my bed is calling my name. It's not that I haven't wanted to post. I have actually sat down several times and started drafts to post, but I am always inconveniently interrupted by my wonderful adorable children. But now, after the teasing I received last Sunday I am determined to keep my goal of blogging more often. Since I last posted, quite a few things have happened to our family. I've decided to share them from the past to most recent in hopes of getting you up to date, so here goes!

In April Kiara turned three years old! My little girl is not a little girl anymore. She is such a joy in my life, I can't imagine life without her. Some of the things I love most about Kiara is her compassion for others, the way she shows her love in so many ways, her amazing imagination that allows her to create wonderful things around her, the fact that she doesn't mind just listening and observing things around her sometimes, and her determination to figure out things around her. I was in actually in Chicago on her birthday, but we celebrated when Maka and I returned. She had a great party with all her friends, Lizzy, Elise, Kate, Andrew, Maka, and all of her adult friends as well. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful friends. We ate pizza, macaroni salad, cupcakes, and Gregg Walker made great balloon animals for all the kids!

Guess who forgot to take the tags off the glasses in the goodie bags? It did make for a hilarious picture though.

Another thing that happened in April was the passing of my Grandma Wilson. Thanks to my parents Maka and I were able to travel to Chicago and be with my Dad's side of the family during that time. It was a very special and emotional experience for me. I was able to share my testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and the blessings that we can recieve from his resurrection. I know that I will see my Grandmother again someday, and that it will be a joyful reunion. She was an amazing, spiritual, and strong woman, and I really miss her. It is comforting for me to know that she is in heaven now right, looking down at my family and I, and watching over us.

Lauren and Maka after the funeral service. He adores her!

Riley (my cousin Meredith's dog) putting up with Maka's love and attention.

Uncle Bill and Maka chilling on the couch together after a long plane ride for Maka.
Around this time we received a HUGE surprise! We found out we were expecting our third bundle of joy! I'm not going to lie, but when we first found out, I was scared to death. There is something about the number three that just seems so ominous. Afterall, I only have two hands! After some very special words of comfort from my husband, a talk in sacrament meeting, and lots of prayers, I was comforted, lifted up, and my mind was put at ease. The worry and fear was replaced with a lot of faith and hope, and the knowledge that Heavenly Father has got to know what he's doing, right? We were so excited though, and couldn't wait to see what this new choice spirit would add to our family.

In May we celebrated Mother's Day. The kids and Sanoe were so sweet and got me something I had wanted for a long time, a recipe box. Call me a sentimental fool, but it was the best thing they could have got me, and it made me feel so special. I sure do love my family, and it's great to know that they love me and need me too!

Unfortunately in May, we also ended our amazing experience in Bethesda. Sanoe's year in the HHMI program came to a close, and we headed back to Hawaii. It was definitely a bitter-sweet experience, and at times I had to admit, it was more bitter than sweet. We really loved our year there, and we had made so many amazing friends that it was so hard to say goodbye. Luckily we live in this great digital world, and it is so much easier to keep in touch. But before we headed back to Hawaii we stopped over (in a round-about way) in Alaska for some time with my family! The kids and I left Maryland first and Sanoe finished up his last week of work and then followed. We had so much fun in Alaska, and it was so special to see my kids getting to know their Grandparents and Uncles and Aunt. While visiting Kiara caught her first flounder and bullheads, while fishing off the dock. We played with all the old toys my Mom has saved from my childhood, we blew gigantic bubbles, played at the park, went hiking to Rainbow falls, played tons of family games, and my kids got completely spoiled and fell in love with their grandparents, uncles, and aunt Amber all over again. It was so hard to leave, and many tears were shed on both sides.

After an overnight stay in Seattle and a long flight, we arrived in Hawaii and were met by Sanoe's parents who helped us get back to the house. After a few minutes of break we started hauling stuff up from the storage room. The first thing was Kiara's bike. She was so excited to ride it, and was actually able to do it right off. We were all so proud, especially Kiara. Sanoe started school a couple days later, and I unpacked and got the house situated at least a little bit. I think I have decided I dislike unpacking more than packing. Finding places for everything is so daunting, and discovering yet again, that you have too much stuff is so frustrating.

After our fun vacation, we had to get back into the groove fast! Sanoe started his third year with his psychiatry rotation first (which he has decided is definitely not for him!), then surgery (which he enjoyed), then internal medicine outpatient, and internal medicine inpatient. That is what he is finishing up now. The rest of the summer flew by fast. I celebrated my 25th birthday! I can't believe it. For a birthday gift, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Noelani, bought me some pot, plants, and seeds to start my own little garden on our lanai (porch). Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the wonderful garden I had at one point, and then just before Alana arrived my plants got hit with some kind of fungus/mold and never recovered. But just last month we finally got the community garden plot we had applied for in August. So I've started getting that ready to plant, and I'm sure this time my experience will be much better:) The summer and even fall were so hot and humid here. I couldn't wait for Alana to arrive so I could get that little extra heater out of my stomach:) Since it was so hot we spent a lot of time at our friend Becky's pool, or the beach. My kids and I love the water, and both Maka and Kiara are becoming much more comfortable in the water and getting so much better at practicing their "swimming". We spent the 4th of July with Sallee (Sanoe's mom) and her boyfriends family at the beach. Noelani and her two adorable children were visiting during July so all the kids had a wonderful time playing in the waves and sand, and there was tons of food to munch on throughout the day. Thanks Sallee and Stuart for a wonderful time!

In August, Sanoe and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. Sanoe was on call on our actual anniversary day, so we went out to eat with the kids a couple nights before at one of our favorite restaurants. It was so much fun. We loved it and the kids loved it too! August was also full of lots of growing and changing for all of us. I just got bigger and bigger! Kiara learned to write her name, and now writes it all the time, whenever she can. I am so proud of her, and all the things that she has learned over the last year. She has gone from a little girl to a grownup little girl. She asks such insightful questions, and sometimes they make me chuckle. Like when Sanoe had his first overnite call at the hospital, and I was telling Kiara and Maka that Daddy had to spend the night at the hospital, Kiara asked, "So is Daddy going to a slumber party at the hospital?" I just love her, and the way that she makes life so interesting. Maka started talking, and loves to tell stories and jabber all the time. It's so hilarious when he gets all excited about something and just starts jabbering and talking away like there is no tomorrow. It is so special because you can just tell from his tone and expression that at that moment that story or event is the most important thing in the world to him. As a mother it is so hard to explain to others just how much you see your kids bloom and grow day in and day out, but it sure does happen, and sometimes too fast. It's so exciting to see their smiling faces each time they conquer a fear, create something new, or accomplish something they couldn't do before. It's times like that, that I feel even closer to my Heavenly Father because that must be similar to what he feels when he looks down at us from heaven. I am so grateful for my wonderful children and loving husband.
In September the kids and I went to the Aloha Parade with some great friends of our the Nitahara's. Mahele let me know about it and we met up down at Ala Moana. It was so much fun seeing all the beautiful hula dancers, marching bands, and floats. The kids loved it! They talked about it for days after, and can't wait for the next parade.
Above: My kids sporting their cool sunglasses! Below: Mahele, Karter, and Keira, very special friends of ours. Mahele is a great friend and always calls to include me in the fun things she does with her 5 amazing children. She is such an amazing mom. I hope that I can be that cool when I have five kids! Keira and Maka are only a couple weeks apart in age, and Karter is Kiara's age. They love to play together.
We also celebrated Sanoe's 28th birthday and the whole family went out to eat at his favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory. It was a great dinner, and fun just hanging out, and catching up with each other.

Above: How Sanoe feels about turning 28! Below: Kiara & Maka sure love Uncle Adam!
We also got a new twin bed for Kiara and twin mattress for Maka. I couldn't find a trundle bed, like I really wanted, because their bedroom is so small, but this arrangement works great for now. But Maka still moves all over the place when he sleeps. This is one of his favorite sleeping positions!