7 Decorating the house for Christmas - mom wears her celebratory mu'umu'u for the festivities!
8 Funny picture sent to Daddy during a run/bike on base. Waiting for the signal...
9 Ben having snacks before some Christmas shopping after the run.
10 Mom and Sam having a good time being super silly! This is one of about 6 shots...didn't keep them all, you can thank me for being good about not torturing you with all of them!
11 This is for my friend, Christine, in WA who misses northeast snow. She was wondering what a Hawaii Christmas is like...
12 Lots of decorations up. Big-time decor efforts make it seem festive without snow. The snow globes, for instance, are MAMMOTH compared to the postage-stamp yards.
13 The view from my truck :) We're on our way home. This is about a block from us.
14 Sam doing some computer school while Ben naps and I work.
15 A visit to The Bubble Shack where they make soap. This was an adventure. The little warehouse operation has no signs, and I helped vector Kathy in via some unusual directions..."if you see a woman in purple having a smoke on her cell phone, you're on the right track...just past the purple sprinklers, take a right and look for our truck!"
16 We got a tour from the owner, then were able to purchase soaps at wholesale price. Very nice!
17 Candles in monkeypod bowls. We see monkeypod trees all the time while out hiking.
18 Putting snow on the windows!
19 "High, Dad, real high!"
20 And on the trees outside, too!
21 Nice :)
22 And on the shoulder!
23 Out for a beach walk, collecting trash (and some treasures) along the way. Ben liked this mini tide pool for splashing.
24 Sam is building a school out of coral - like the one in Listen to the Wind (kids in Korphe, Pakistan). "Shady during the day, and sheltered at night," he says.
25 A huge find! The biggest shell I think I've ever seen! Sam found it all by himself.
26 Hauling back a huge bamboo pole. Sam fit it into the truck all by himself. I'm thinking, as I watch him haul, that there's no bamboo on this beach, or anywhere near here. So, methinks, this must have floated in from a ship. Most of the trash on this beach comes from as far as China or Japan. Wonder if someone wrote their name on the pole? Must investigate further.
27 Talking to PopPop on the phone! Poor PopPop - we have to rescue people from Ben when he gets his clutches on the phone. He just won't let go. He wanders around uttering Benglish and clings to the phone.
28 Sam is talking to Nana now. Did you have a good chat with Sam, Nana? That was pretty long! You did a great job talking to him about everything he's interested in, I could tell! Way to go!
29 Setting up Sam's new twin bed with headboard and bookshelves (Craigslist find!). Love the drawers underneath. He's styling his hair with the vacuum and offering the same to Ben in this photo. Like the horn?
30 More hair styling and another view of the room. It fits really well. We're thankful to finally find something that will work. And it matches everything else - added bonus! It's all secondhand.
31 Dave took this video of Ben singing. He really loves to rock out with Sam and is such a performer.
32 Peeking into our home. Ben is busy at the entertainment center.
33 From the kitchen. Thanks for the shots, Dave!
34 Out on a jog, looking for big waves. Surfers are watching the breaks and talking story. We might have had to do a little off-trailing to get here but we won't disclose exactly how. Suffice to say a road was closed and mommy doesn't like backtracking very much ;)
35 Wow - those are some waves out there!
36 The playground we stopped at on the way back from the run (Sam bikes alongside). See the rings in the background? Sam did them all - seven of them!
38 Kelly Slater coming in...Greg Long won (from San Clemente CA).
40 On our way up to the Eddie Aikou surf competition. This is an incredible event. They run it at Waimea Bay when the swells are 20' or more (that's backside measurement, the Hawaiian way - what that really means is 40' faces!). Eddie was the first lifeguard at Waimea and a legendary surfer. The mantra here is "Eddie would go." So this is traffic and parking about 3 miles from Waimea. The entire island is here. Bonkers. Wait til you see more...
41 In order to snake our way down 2 1/2 miles to the bay, we did a double decker and I jogged. The double stroller wouldn't have fit, and the bike alongside would have been too dangerous. I can't believe the stroller managed. Those BOBs are tough!
42 Here we are - people stacked literally everywhere.
43 Across the street people are hanging from the trees. This group of guys was singing all kinds of reggae songs. Very fun atmosphere!
44 This is what traffic looked like. Totally insane! This picture was snipped from a video posted on the Honolulu Advertiser's website.
45 We used the other side of the road - where all the people are. It was a bit wide, and a little safer. Cars going so slowly that you walked faster than they drove. So glad we just ditched the truck and chose to jog the 2.5 miles or it would have taken us an hour to get to Waimea.
46 This appears to be shot from the side of the road we were on. Wonder if we're in here!
47 A nice lady took a picture of us :) See Ben's leg? We got our swine flu shots today, too. Big day.
48 Look at all the people. And down the road, if you recall the cute church by the side of the road, people were stacked up against the guardrail!
49 Ben calling his peeps :)
50 On our way back to the truck.
51 Out on a jog after picking up our race stuff for the marathon on Sunday. Found these limos and buses out and about to ferry the 13,000 Japanese folk who flew in for the marathon.
52 Boys enjoyed looking around inside. Like Ben's hair?
53 "High up!"
55 Looking for a sand crab during a bike/run on base. We discussed how the crab eats and this one had a particularly grabby right claw - it was really huge. We laughed that it looks like how Daddy eats, right claw out pawing at food and raking it in.
56 Sam lying flat down on the trail. Can you see him?
57 "Mom, that crab was...about...THIS big!" (Blisters from ukulele I think...indentations in palm from lying down on coral to study the crab and wait for it to reappear.)
58 And look who else came to visit! There are several LARGE puffer fish in these ponds! This one gracefully glided around, unafraid of us. Nice to see her. Sam says it's a her. And that Ben called it on his "cell" phone (an old one that doesn't work) from the truck to tell her to meet us here. "Mom, do you know what? Puffer fish have very very good ears that can hear small sounds ALLLL the way from the truck."
59 This is how we've been bike/running this month. Like my hat? Ben is thinking - "What freaks I have to live with!"
60 At the "winno" in the morning saying "Daddy! Daddy!" - Daddy is at work again. It's groundhog day here! No days off in 3 + weeks and counting. But hey, he's not deployed! He doesn't even have duty nights...darn! ha ha...Kidding! We are blessed.
61 Writing a note for Santa before we go to Santa's Village on base. The note says "Star Wars Legos" and "Dumptruck" (one that you can ride on). He has never seen Star Wars so I'm not sure what the attraction is other than he thinks one of his friends talks about Star Wars stuff, but I don't even think he's seen it yet. Anyway...great that he could write his note by himself. Even did all the spelling on his own.
62 Love this coral candle holder. Finally took a picture of it after using since we got here in 2006. There's a candle-size hole in the coral!
63 Off to Santa's Village...see the "hurry hurry"? That's firetruck in Benglish! Very excited to ride the antique fire truck, siren, bells and all. Also see fake snow flying? By the snowman...
65 Little kids loved it. And look what a day. A warm one...but clear skies. Those mountains are what I keep struggling to create with paints. The personality seems to vary by the day.
66 Off we go after probably 30 min of waiting our turn!
67 Woo hoo!
68 Loved ringing that bell!
69 Now we're in line for malasadas, shave ice, and to see Santa. Sam is excited, note is in the pocket ready for Santa. Ben is NOT thrilled about this snowman and is cowering in my arms. Not much scares this guy but large "fuzzy bear" did not make a good impression!
70 Here's Sam! Yay! ("Mom, why didn't Santa's reindeer and elves come?" Mom says - probably too warm for them.)
71 All done with that, jumped right down before the photog could get shot (the previous one I grabbed). Santa gave the list back so I have it saved.
72 Oh boy...Ben was quiet and studying Santa for a minute so I thought I'd try to do the picture. See the reaction? Poor Benji! He recovered quickly and started saying "Santa" tentatively. He is huge - as tall as the 3 yr olds we ran into there. Makes you think he's older than he is - but sometimes I'm reminded he's still a little guy.
73 Holding hands!
74 At the Bishop Museum to see the dinos - Ben was frightened this time but finally warmed up to them a little. Not much deters this little guy, but he sure clung to mommy!
75 Now sticking his fingers in the "baby's" mouth.
76 Sam likes to haul Ben around.
77 Big dino, huh?
78 Gramma and Richard bought the boys cute little dinos after the exhibit! Ben LOVED the blue one.
80 Cell phone picture sent to daddy :)
81 At the beach two days after the marathon. Feels good to get the legs in the water.
82 Sam really enjoys the water after so much time away from the beach this year. Ben is not so sure about the floaty turtle...
83 Love these little biscuits!
85 Gramma finally feeling a bit better and joined us on the beach.
86 Thumb kisses :)
87 This is how I'm walking (2 days post marathon) - my quads are pretty much out of commission so getting up is super hard!
91 The classroom of a virtual hybrid homeschool - a charter school - that I am looking into for Sam. It's an amazing place...
92 Creating snow in "Christmastown" - can you guess what it is?
93 Even makes nice tracks!
94 Mom and Richard were Christmas elves helping powerwash the concrete! They got really muddy in the process!
95 See how much it cleaned up? Things get so mildewy here in the "winter" months.
96 Out on a hike. This is "cricket lane" - they were jumping ALL over us!
97 "There's one mom!"
100 Mr. Millipede caused a stir.
101 Holding hands every now and then. Nice, huh?
102 Look at the grass on the rooftop here! I never noticed that before (this is on base).