1 An impromptu stop into the fire station - Kyle the firefighter let the boys play in the big rigs and on the jet ski. They are so nice about it. They said that actually a lot of tourists stop in to pick up t-shirts - they collect them from their travels! I guess we should send one to cousin Jen's boyfriend, a NYC firefighter.
2 Look at Sam in all that gear! Thanks, Kyle!!! Ben just loved sitting up in the big driver seat. Ben LOVES to drive..."Ben drive! Ben drive! Ben drive TRUCK!"
3 Just a reminder of a morning conversation...Sam told me about a movie he was going to make, about "Givey Giants." "Mom, I have to tell you something. It's about Givey Giants. They are giants that jump from rooftop to rooftop and give you things. They are good giants. They have 10 eyes, 5 on each side. And they look like a centipede." He told me this is how their name is spelled. I have no idea where he got this idea. We also talked about radius and diameter, and "bed" is to help Sam remember what b vs d looks like. Smoked salmon is in the fridge...that's what's left of the meal plan for the week :)
4 The boys watching themselves in the big movie they made - the Sam and Ben Show.
5 At North Beach in the late afternoon on a Saturday...the sun popped out so away we went for a fantastic time! It was low tide but the surf was up. The boys had such fun splashing in the little tide pools and I really enjoyed testing out my new camera. Somehow I have managed to wreck yet another shockproof/waterproof/crushproof/freezeproof camera, but within the warranty period this time. So it's away getting fixed (hopefully) and this new one is a different breed - Pentax Optio W80. LOVE IT. Wait 'til you see...all of these are snapshots with autofocus only, no special settings.
6 Don't you love these little pools for the boys to play in with 8' surf breaking just offshore?
7 Tasting the water!
8 Love how he steps carefully. This guy has really good balance. He is more coordinated than Mr. Pants was at this age I think.
10 Exploring during a quick snorkel (it was a tiny bit chilly for me!)...but nice to see my underwater "friends"!
11 Awwww! love this one!
12 Reminder of the coughing we're all still suffering, 6 weeks later. Get your Tdap if you haven't already.
13 Shooting into the light is tough on any camera.
14 This pool looks like a Croc-print, doesn't it?!
15 I need some bathing suit help - top is from the swap meet or an Old Navy sale, hence the mis-matched bottom picked up elsewhere on sale. There is brown in the top at least. And orange in my hairs...that's a little trash bracelet in my hand. I picked it up while snorkeling (rim of a can or something I think).
16 Need to look these guys up...auto macro is really good!
17 Can even see bubbly drool on chinny-chin-chin-chin! Sam and Dave are checking out a pool way out there.
18 Look at that cute face! He seems so sweet, but if you watched the movie "Sam and Ben Show" posted the other day, you will know he is LOUD and screeches.
19 Dave's new FB profile picture...
20 Found a little hermit crab!
21 Closing up shop...one guy broke a board out there today. There is reef right under where that barrel is closing in. yikes...
22 A day at the beach...Ben loves to ride in "Daddy's boat!"
23 Our moorish idol friends. Sam and I are snorkeling...testing the new camera.
24 Look at this crazy snorkeler! Using a "hiking" stick for our underwater hike :)
25 Dave and Sam took a trip out to Turtle Rock as well.
26 Ben helping get the boat in.
27 Heading out on a brief date, thanks to Gramma! (We don't seem to have more than 90 minutes of stuff to say to each other!)
29 There's a couple crabs, putting on a show!
30 And puffer came by, too!
32 The muddin'!
33 A hike with Gramma to the Friendship Garden. We love this hike. Ben can do it all by himself now, a real treat for everyone!
34 Chomping on snacks with a view.
35 Nice snack spot, eh?
36 And a bamboo forest to enjoy on the way down.
37 So dense - it's very dark and almost forboding when you're in a bamboo forest. If you managed to lose the trail, you'd lose your mind trying to find your way because they all look the same...exactly.
38 Smile, Ben!
39 Neat banyan tree roots.
40 Nice little statues throughout the trails.
42 And some boulders for Sam to enjoy. So nice to really not have to worry about his safety at all since Ben likes to just fling himself around.
43 Resin from a lemon eucalyptus tree. Very hard - not sticky. I think when this becomes fossilized it's what amber is made from - resin. Not necessarily this tree, but a resin nonetheless. Had to study up on xylem and phloem to explain the difference between sap (mostly water and carbs for the plant) and resin (sticky substance).
44 At the amphitheater afterwards, cracking open mac nuts.
45 "Gwamma, do dis!"
46 Sam has been intent on giving Ben preschool lessons lately. "You will learn first, your letters, F and K and V. Then we will do math in the afternoon. Then you will learn to read. Today." Whoa!
47 At the Bishop Museum for a fun day of meeting with the malacologist (shell) technician and roaming around the exhibits.
48 Sam is all dressed up in nice school clothes. Got these shoes for $3 on clearance at the Exchange some months ago. They fit now!
49 Biiiiig statue! This was a talking point at bedtime as well...
50 Ben was nervous until Sam showed him it was ok. Here is Ben tentatively feeding the statue.
51 Sam is...ah hem...picking its nose. Not his idea...
52 Both thought it was funny, though!
53 More statues - this one was from Kailua. Looks like the funny face Sam makes Ben do - squeezed cheeks together is called "Covinney face". Who knows where that came from.
54 In the malacologist's domain...this is fossil lithified sand.
56 And here's Regie with her collection!
57 Showing places on base which were scoured for shells way back in 1962.
58 Preserved specimens.
59 Such a cool tunnel - would love to do this for the boys' room. I always take a picture of this every time we're here!
60 Just a little beach walk with my boys.
61 Cute menfolk! Sticks for both.
62 On our way to a friend's restaurant opening (Sake Street on Kapahulu and Kaimuki) - the rainbow foreshadowed a great meal and hopefully lots of success for Wes!
63 Very wide rainbow! All the way across the sky.
64 A random drawing to see what we would eat meant I got to try some fabulous items which I might not have ventured out to try! Loved the oxtail soup, and the ribs were fantastic! Great job, Wes!
65 Here's the inside of the restaurant. You're sitting outside, listening to the water feature in a very relaxed but upscale setting. The new camera's panorama feature stitches the images together as you take them! Wow.
66 Ummm...mommy being a little naughty. The boys beg me to "Drive puddle Mommy! Drive puddle!" We might have sprayed water up and over the truck in this one. This puddle actually has a current it's so deep!
67 We also popped into the quarry to show Ben real hauler trucks. He is soooo into driving trucks right now and throws a tantrum when he isn't allowed to "drive" our truck. See him pointing? And Sam peering carefully?
68 This is a grader. Also big! Ben has a little one at home.
69 This awesome hauler driver tipped his whole truck bed at us on his way down (empty, of course)! How nice! We gave huge smiles and shakas. Of note - the quarry doesn't really like you to do this unless you're escorted, so a nice guy sat in his truck next to us while he ate his lunch to "escort" us.
70 "Biiiiiiig hauler!" says Ben!
71 And digger on top of a huge pile of rocks.
72 Now we're on a run and he's sitting on top of a bulldozer, which he was afraid to do just a few days prior.
73 But he's getting braver :) And full of himself, swinging his little legs! Daddy and Sam are out at Sam's uke lesson, but we're meeting up at a playground afterwards.
74 Sunday morning, "worshipping" at the beach. We shoudl be in church...but our friends weren't able to get a sitter for dinner so we decided (twist our arms!) to help them celebrate Dennis' birthday at the beach. We brought the gear...and they brought something that rhymes with gear. Good cheer ;)
75 Dave got some good pictures of our fish friends!
76 Nice job, new camera.
77 Threadfin butterfly fish.
78 Ben doesn't eat his snacks right away. He holds onto them for quite some time. Who knows why.
79 Gorgeous day for a jog/bike - Sam jogged a mile, then biked 5 with me while I ran. We goofed off in the beach park, then Ben insisted on jogging, too. Good exercise for everyone on a gorgeous day!
80 At the Banana Slug String Band (Kainalu Elementary) - this is where Sam will go to school in a few months. They did a great job getting grant money from the Kokua Foundation to bring this eco-band to the school. We were invited to come watch by one of the staff whom I'd offered to help with planning Earth Day this year.
81 Silly silly boys playing with their "found" toys!
82 Ben and Sam each found these yellow balls while out on a run with me - on separate days! One is a little bigger than the other, perfect for two boys to call their own!
83 Off on another random ridge climb...found this gorgeous leaf (neat colors, huh?) and wondered what it was so held onto it. Figured out later why it was so beautiful...
84 Little friend in the pack :) He pats me sometimes saying "Go mommy!" or "Faster, mommy!"
85 Having a snack atop the ridge, looking down on a water tower. Have you figured out why the leaf was so pretty yet?
86 View of fish ponds on base that we run around.
87 Hmmm...odd juxtaposition.
88 But colorful!
89 Nice color gradient, too.
90 BIIIIIG water tower, says Ben.
91 A bit of a scramble on this trail...Sam did all the wayfinding and navigated us just perfectly.
92 Love you guys! Thanks for adventuring!
93 Later that day, a vacuum sales person came to demo a $3000 machine. Wish I'd known how much it was when I agreed to the demo...
94 But it sure did suck up a lot of stuff!
95 Look how much cleaner our carpet is!
96 Here's how to finance one. We really enjoyed getting to know the Hawaiian man who was working so hard trying to sell these vacuums. What a difficult job. We talked for about 30 minutes on the deck about his life, his relationship with his son, and more. We were blessed to share this time with him. His whole soliloquy was in pigeon. Fascinating.
97 After a workout at the Y, the boys jumped in some puddles and had a fabulous time. Ben's pants are SO wet you can see he's losing them. Look at Sam's face! Funny boys :)
98 Out on an adventure with Gramma and Richard to Chinaman's Hat. Lots of prep work but Dave is a pro at hauling kayaks and gearing us up. Thank you, hubby! He even brought me a latte from Morning Brew as I emerged from sleep! What a guy!
99 Out at the little island with the men :)
100 Sam is such a ham :)
101 "Shell! Shell!" Ben yells everything. He is not a quiet dude.
102 Mom and I are never in photographs, so today we posed and asked. Mom was a great kayak partner. Ben was in my lap in back.
103 Out on an unauthorized expedition to check out a trail to the back side of the island.
104 Look who came to find us!
105 Love this picture of Dave.
106 Mom would know what these are called. I forget! Sorry flower!
107 Crafting a plan for the rest of the adventure - to return or not to return just yet? There are others on the beach awaiting a craft to come and collect them for the trip out.
108 Love this mounain range. This is at Kualoa Ranch. The range is said to look like the back of a dragon.
109 The gang. Look who evicted a grown-up from a beach chair :)
110 Yep. "Gramma up! Gramma up!"
111 Little rascals playing at Gramma and Richard's cottage.
112 I was literally just rocking and chillaxing when all of a sudden I almost went over! Mom just HAPPENED to snap the picture at the right time! This toy was on the side of the road, so we picked it up and put it on the "roof rack" of the stroller (just on top of Ben's shade) and jogged it over two miles to mom's cottage. We were kind-of a sight to behold that day :)
113 Ha ha - relaxing for a few minutes - right! Maybe 32 seconds?
114 But now a chase is on! It's a lizard in there! Sam had his head so far in there that if he'd opened his mouth, Mr. Lizard ("wizard" for Ben) would crawl right in!
115 Sam is showing Ben the LIZARD he caught!
116 Little cutie - Sam makes him bite to hold onto his finger. No teeth.
117 See how delicately he holds the lizard?
118 And the lips!
119 Hanging out at Honey's, waiting to play with Eddie.
120 Mom feeding and shooting video!
121 This is a long video, but well worth watching. Sam is actually playing "Twinkle Twinkle" with Eddie Kamae! We have video from about a year ago when he first grew to love the ukulele, just jamming and jamming on it with the band. Now he's been taking lessons for 6 weeks and is still loving the instrument and music in general. It's a fine balance encouraging a love of music first, then transitioning to formal training so he can grow into the next phase of creating music of his own, and playing confidently to music we all know. We are so proud of Sam!
122 Ben enjoying some rowing time - like his workout outfit!?
123 Here we are at Sea Life Park, waiting to meet the "bird lady" who helps the rescued seabirds grow healthy again. We're looking for a stilt that Sam helped rescue two weeks ago. We've gotten a lead that he may be here.
124 A red-footed booby! Cool beak!
125 Sam thinks he sees "his" stilt...
126 There's Sandra, with Maka, a juvenile red-footed booby who is blind in one eye and has a hurt wing. He will live here for the rest of his days in safety and with a nice food supply. Sandra explained lots of interesting things to us, like why they shake their necks vigorously sometimes (to help digest their food - I think that's in lieu of teeth, helping to break the food apart and move it along the digestive tract).
127 And the boys both loved PUFFER! This one just sat in one place for several hours, gulping water. It was fascinating to watch the little valve in the mouth pulse as water flowed in and out.
128 Ben wants to "See! see! see!"
129 My big boy - lots of fun with you today, buddy!
130 Silly boys!
131 Hi lizard! Do you like neck rubs?
132 "Ben want to see! see! see!"
133 Truck shopping - yep, this is about the right size!
134 And a caterpillar houseguest!
135 All three "kids" checking out our new friends!
136 This neat present is from the McGee family - it counts coins! We now have $13 in Sam's bank for the kids in Korphe. We're aiming for $365 by the end of the year - enough to pay for one teacher for a year.
137 On our way up to the North Shore to go holoholo, looking for a new beach our friend Kathy told us about.
138 The Laie arch I've been wanting to see for some time.
139 We're at the tide pools at an unnamed beach...
140 And Sam is studying all the little shells with his snorkel on. I glanced over at one point and it looked like he was eating something! But I'm sure he wasn't - it just looked so funny. He's at the "turtle salad bar" checking out the limu...
141 Little island offshore...
142 Picking up trash as we pick our way along the shore, checking out nooks and crannies for interesting things. Can you spy the trash? It's kind-of a fun game :)
143 Lots of puddles to stomp in!
144 And study while splashing...
145 Old lava shelf to explore.
146 And back in the truck, playing some Eddie Kamae...
147 This is a loli - light spotted sea cucumber - according to my new friend Ron Hirschi (author of Swimming with Humuhumu). He looked around at us and poked out his spiny things!
148 On a "dry snorkel" at very low tide. This is usually a place we swim, and water laps up against this shelf pretty fiercely. The water is very very low compared to normal - like two feet lower. Incredible.
149 Sam wanted to climb up on this rock :)
150 Such a cute expression - sorry it's blurry. But you can see the usual waterline. We're learning about tides - spring tide, neap tide, the pull of the moon...It's surprisingly complicated. I have to restudy it every now and then to get it straight.
151 Working our way back to shore and dinner.
152 I love this one. We had a great time.
153 Ben is saying "Night night moon!!!"
154 Dave took this panorama of the beach. It is so interesting to see how our beaches look at various tide levels. Changes the character completely.