Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Meet Tate...

My newest nephew! I got to be there when he was born! He is such a chunk but such a cutie! This is Allisun and Beau's new little boy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Home again, home again...

Sigh...why am I grouchy when I come home from vacation? Maybe the fact that it's freezing and supposed to snow tonight? We got off the plane, and then were completely out of control busy every second for the next 3 days. I guess spring break and Easter will do that to you. Life is back to normal...I realized that as my alarm was going off at 5:20 this morning. Ughhh...well, like I said, our weekend was crazy. We had a new niece born and I got to take photos of the birth. It was amazing. We had a birthday party for Kinlee (niece) at a pool, where Kyle discovered poo in pool by stepping in it. We did Easter Egg hunts, Easter dinner's, church, Rio! at the movies, my hair done, and 2 sleepovers. PHEW! I didn't have time to buy the girls Easter dresses, but I had picked up some dresses for them in Hawaii and they did just fine! Troy dyed eggs with the kids while I recuperated from the crazy few days. They were so excited for the face stickers for their eggs - well, the girls were. The boys were just too excited to eat their eggs.

Hawaii - Day Eight

Today was our last full day on vacation. We planned on enjoying every single second. We spent our morning on Hapuna Beach. We got an umbrella and some floating rafts that we used as boogie boards. We spent 4 wonderful hours, laughing, reading, and just enjoying the island. We spent our morning at the beach, got a smoothie for the ride home, and ate lunch. We relaxed and then got ready to go to the temple. The temple was small and completely gorgeous. The grounds, the people, the experience. The Kona Temple is such a blessing to the people of the Big Island. We met so many people that worked so hard for a temple. One of the men - Brother Alip - had his story featured here. Talked to Troy for about 30 minutes, and was very welcoming. He has such a great testimony and I am grateful I had the opportunity to be able to meet him and speak with him. We finished the night off at one of our favorite restaurants - Outback. Sigh...our last night was bittersweet. Anxious to get home to our kids, sad to leave and have life get back to normal.

Hawaii - Day Nine

Today is our last day. We had to check out at 10:00am but our flight didn't leave until 8:40pm. We had one final day. We drove to the other side of the island again to visit our favorite spots, and to view a few more things we hadn't seen yet. We took our time and enjoyed the ride. I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with Troy. Not as a mom and dad, but just as sweethearts. Relaxing and enjoying the time we had to spend together just chilling out. I am so grateful for family that did a great job watching the kids - with the only problem is Kyle getting 5 staples in his head.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hawaii - Day Seven

I was really excited for today. We had signed up earlier in the week to do a 9:00 am zipline tour. I won't lie - it was pretty pricey, but totally worth every dime! We had local Hawaiian guys, Javid and Tim, as our guides and instructors and they made the whole experience incredible. We rode a 6 wheeled vehicle about 30 minutes up to the top of the mountain, under the canopy of trees, to get started. On the way up, we saw a fire department helicopter (we had noticed it parked at the firehouse earlier that week), and ambulance, and I was getting worried. I was thinking - I have 4 kids at home, what am I doing? Well, it turned out the 8:00 tour driver tipped his vehicle. A lady hurt her wrist - and because of the location, they called in the helicopter. They said it was the first time this had ever happened, and that the driver was a rookie. Well, we kept on, and got to the top of the hill. It was absolutely gorgeous. Ziplining was incredible. I loved every single second. We had fun filming ourselves, doing tricks, and graduating from using the starter/stopper blocks to running and jumping off a cliff. I am so grateful for the chance we had to do this. I would do it again in a heartbeat! Here are some photos and video.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hawaii - Day Six

Today we woke up and decided to go to a local church for Sacrament Meeting. Everytime somebody stood for a talk, they shouted "Aloha" and the congregation shouted back. It was awesome. We decided to take a drive afterwards along the northern coast while listening to conference. We missed Saturday sessions...It was gorgeous, and it got us anxious for our ziplining tour scheduled there for the next day. The views we had were amazing. This photo is looking south towards Kona. We got lunch and then made our way back to our condo to change. We decided to try a new beach - Spencer Park - which we were VERY disappointed with after visiting Hapuna. The weather turned bad and started raining. We decided to make dinner at home and get ready to watch our favorite show - The Amazing Race!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hawaii - Day Five

Today, we decided to hang out again - this time at the beach, instead of the pool. We decided to go to Hapuna Beach. Apparently this beach was ranked #1 in the Nation for the best beach. We kind of giggled, and thought - yeah right. Then we got there. This beach, seriously, was amazing. The water was crystal clear. The sand was fine, and soft on your feet - above and below the water. The surf wasn't rough, but fun enough to go boogie boarding. Our only gripe was that we went on a Saturday, and we didn't bring an umbrella. I am against getting burned. We stayed and played for a bit - and read - and then decided to come back during the week - after buying chairs and an umbrella.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hawaii - Day Four

Today was the best day ever! We just chilled by one of the three pools here at our resort and played some tennis. We read lots of books, and enjoyed the sun and relaxation! I looked up from my chair - and this is what I saw...heaven...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hawaii - Day Three

Once again, we woke up early. We were anxious to get to Volcano National Park, and decided to head over for the day. It is a 1.5 hour drive from our hotel across the saddle road again. It was a gorgeous day, no clouds, so I was okay with it. We got to Volcano Park, and decided to go on a hike. We came prepared with shoes, backpacks, and water. The hike we went on, went along the top of a crater, and then down walking on the now cooled, lava lake in the bottom, and back up. The hike was over a 4 mile hike, and took us a little over 2 hours. This hike was on the crater that erupted in 1959 and 1960. It was kind of crazy. The first part of the hike was through gorgeous rain forests. It went down and then we walked - about a mile - across the cooled lava. It was crazy. We wondered how long they let it cool before making a hike safe for the public? We made our way back up onto the crater, and took another detour to a lava tube. We walked through it. It was amazing. Volcanoes truly are an amazing phenomenon. While at Volcano National Park, we learned that due to the eruption that happened last month (in March) there was no longer any flowing lava on the island. That determined our decision NOT to do a helicopter tour. If we couldn't see lava - it couldn't beat the helicopter tour we took on Kauai a few years ago. The weather turned rainy and really foggy, so we decided to head home, this time to the south of the island. We found an awesome black sand beach complete with sunbathing turtles! I loved every second of it. We then made it to the Southern Most Point of the United States for sunset. It was so crazy how the trees were totally blown to the side making them grow that way. It was incredible to see! We were so tired after traveling so much for 2 days, that we couldn't WAIT for a relaxing vacation day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hawaii - Day Two

We woke up bright and early...5:30 early. With the 4 hour time difference, it was inevitable. We decided to go out and explore the island. We had our fabulous - would totally recommend - this book. We used it on Kauai as well as the Big Island. I have them if anyone would like to borrow them. Troy and I are staying on the Kona side - where most of the resorts are. It is VERY ugly. Well, it is. It is covered with lava fields. I looked up the Ironman triathlon route - and it's horrible! It's ugly, hot, and boring! They should have planned it on the other side of the island - the Hilo side. Anyways, off we went exploring. We decided to go to other side of the island, and drive down the highway - stopping at the spots our book recommends. We drove up and over volcanoes, and it was farmland. We laughed how if anyone asked us where we were and the only thing we had to go off of was what we saw out the window, we would guess Idaho. As we got to the East Coast of Hawaii - we sighed a big breath of relief. THIS was the Hawaii we remembered in Kauai. It was gorgeous. We stopped at waterfalls along the way, yummy smoothie stands - where they ONLY use fruit - no ice or water, beaches with gorgeous views and crazy waves. It was wonderful! We drove home that night on the Saddle road - which goes between the 2 big volcanoes here. It was foggy, and like a roller coaster. I didn't like it so much. After driving on it the next day in the sun, it was great. Here are some of my photos. I went a little crazy taking photos at a Botanical Garden...gorgeous, unique flowers - EVERYWHERE! Oh yeah - I got a pillow from our condo, and have used it to sit on. I can see out the windows now! WAHOO! I also stuck in a few photos of what happens when I ask other people to take our picture...my camera is just too intimidating! Good thing I know how to use the timer!