1 An impromptu hike up to Koko Crater. Would you believe these strong-willed boys went all the way up to the little hump you can see halfway from the telephone pole to the top? They went up 800 stairs (Ben on his own!). They got a bit loopy so we turned around and went down. Sam has hiked the whole thing on his own but this was Ben's first attempt...decided to take it easy on him since it was hot and we had not intended to do this one, we just ended up there.
2 Here we are at the bottom.
3 Coming back down - we were really close to the top!
4 These stairs are really steep. My quads were sore for days hauling Ben's bulk down, plus water and supplies.
5 Everyone in one shot, amazing!
6 Sam at the eye doctor for a checkup before school starts. They were very thorough! Here they're checking depth perception.
7 Out at one of our favorite beaches. On this morning I saw the biggest parrotfish I have EVER seen! It was literally four feet long! That is longer than they are believed to grow. I am sure that's what it was - I was really amazed.
8 The boys love studio time with Dad.
9 They all play and sing, Sam calling out chords, or following Dad's lead.
11 Ben singing loudly!
13 Snorkel time up at Shark's Cove!
14 Cute box fish!
15 And a large surgeon fish.
16 Another cute box fish!
17 Learning the Hawaiian way to harvest coconuts!
18 I'm told this huge, mysterious shipment which totally blocked traffic on the narrow streets of the North Shore was part of the set for Pirates of the Caribbean. There were two such trucks.
19 First day of school!
20 Oh man! It's so intense! A double rainbow!!! All the way across the sky! What does it MEAN? (Have you seen the video of double-rainbow-guy? Google it - it's hysterical and this is what greeted us on our way out the door to school!)
21 Whoa! Sam was the one who noticed it and said "Mom - it's a double rainbow! Faaar out!"
22 We have an ask-me list so we don't forget to tell Daddy the good stories of the day. (Stories posted on the day this shot was taken.)
23 Out on a hike with our buddy from school - Claudia and her son Andrew.
24 Andrew is another big guy who reads! He is a very cool guy, a good friend for Sam.
25 And his mom is super cool, too!
26 Here's Andrew!
27 Hanging out at Friendship Garden, with a nice view of Kbay.
28 Ben's gotta peek, too.
29 And Sam is a ham!
30 Driving to Sam's uke lesson...playing ukes to Eddie Kamae, on the uke Eddie gave Sam! It's his new favorite - it's a concert uke, so we take very special care of it, but he loves to play it so much now that he's grown into it that it's hard to get him to play on his practice uke.
31 the guys playing their ukes on the way to Sam's lesson!
32 Towers pool - learning to bounce then jump and grab knees. Ben actually went off the diving board, too! He went twice, then decided it was too spooky!
33 There goes big brother!
34 Just landed off the high dive!
35 Daddy has great form...watch this series.
37 He hasn't lost any form, has he? He is truly amazing. Very athletic.
40 I love this one of Sam! He's going off the high dive again!
41 Mom helping Ben get over his scaries.
42 A recent painting of Ulupa'u Crater on the Marine Corps base where we have spent so much time running, going to the commissary, church, etc. The sand is green due to olivine, a mineral spewed out during the eruption. I'm glad inspiration struck and I'll have a keepsake which reminds me of so many memories there.
43 On our way to school! We bike over every morning, and Sam is learning to unlock his own bike and walk it to the front of the school in the afternoon where Ben and I pick him up in the truck or on our bike.
44 Out on a hike after school. We went to the Judd trail and played in the stream. Sam found this huge stick which he insisted on carrying around the whole hike. It was like hiking with a third, clumsy, very tall bamboo child.
45 "Mom, the twees are going wike dis!"
46 Such a great time with the boys. Again - was tired, not sure I wanted to battle traffic to do this, etc. But it was worth it to get outdoors again after a long, hot day inside for Sam.
47 Here's Tall Tom. Sam did some incredible math to convert inches to yards - only missing the conversion of 102" to yards by 6". I actually thought he had done it until we told Dad at dinner. Amazing.
48 There goes Tall Tom! Please, don't stab us, Tom! (Tom tended to lurch backwards from time to time.)
49 Finding a small small bug in the stream. It's like hiking with a BBC documentary film maker :)
50 Jackass Ginger Pool in the 4 o'clock light.
51 Sure, fine - go ahead and get in!
52 That's what washing machines are for. Unexpected mud romps or swims.
53 Banyan tree time, of course...but into a road? Really, do we have to do this? Ok, I'll stand guard. Just once more, though, ok?
54 This is why we have to do this...see the smile?
55 Gorgeous little roadside flower.
56 "Ben, stop!" Sam looks very nice heading into school!
57 We don't always get him to wear collared shirts (they're not his preference) but he sure looks great, doesn't he? This is a little post where we lock his bike. They do not have a bike spot for kindergarteners or first graders. The bike locking area is way across campus, so we break a few rules (biking across campus and locking it here) but that's just the way it is.
58 The post where we meet Sam - so his bike is not tripping kids up while they stream into cars for pickup. I bring him a can of cold sparkling water for after school. Here Ben and I are on our bike to get Sam.
59 Bento-style lunch...really like this concept. The Japanese eat Bento lunches in a 4:3:2:1 ratio (carb (rice usually:meat/fish:veggie (picked usually):dessert). The school is trying to avoid nut products coming in the lunches due to a severe allergy, so we have gone Pac-Rim and adopted this method to allow for more creativity. This is honey/butter on whole grain omega-3 fortified bread, hummus, veggies, grapes and Hershey's kisses (not shown).
60 At the aquarium with the boys. These are some very large fish!
61 Ben was really entranced by it all - saying "They're IN there!!!"
62 Look at all the little faces :)
63 Thanks to a peanut ban on campus, I have discovered the art of a bento box lunch. 4:3:2:1 carb/protein/veggie/dessert ratio. Opens up a lot of nutrition doors, I must say! Gone are the pb and j days! This particular day dessert is a sugar-free Jello snack pack. That was the envy of the other kids eating school food!
64 Out on an after-school hike. Great time to unwind.
65 Ben and mommy chatting while Sam climbs around in a hau bush tangle.
66 Real monkey bars!!!
67 Opportunities abound to learn shapes.
68 Doing a waterslide while a photo shoot is going on in the background. A bit odd, but not entirely uncommon here. I found the juxtaposition very funny. No - that is NOT me in the background.
69 Hiking back out together.
70 A big water tower!
71 More antics!
72 Huge crabbies! You can find these in the sand if you look for large holes and dig in to find them sleeping during the day, trying to stay out of the heat. This man grew up on the Big Island, so he kindly taught us what he knew about how to catch these guys.
73 Sam is pretty brave!
74 These guys scared the bjeebers out of me - I thought I was being tailed by a shark or something and high-tailed it back to shore. Turns out it was them!
75 This is a trigger fish - can you believe the teeth on this???? I was shocked! Wish the macro had focused on the right thing here but you get the idea. Looks like a horse!