Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall Break

Shirley flew out for fall break and rented us a cabin at Barbar's point. We did this in the spring also, and we had so much fun that we thought we would try again. It was just as fun the second time, and think we are going to try for a third....
Gavin, Shirley and Kinley got us checked in and then Mya, Taylin and I came after their gym class. We spent Tuesday morning watching the sunrise, and surfing. 
Here comes the sun...
 
There she is! and we headed out to surf, then we ate lunch at the cabin and I took Mya and Kinley to music lessons and then returned to the cabin. Wednesday we did a similar routine. We went out early and took advantage of the morning lighting to snap a few pictures with Grandma. 

 Then we went surfing, Shirley even got in the water! She doesn't love the sand or the water, but Mya sold her on trying boogie boarding. She is so brave. Only a few minutes into her adventure she turned her back on the beast (ocean), and it took her out. Picture a mysterious force knocking you out from the behind both knees. She retreated to the shade and sand and read her book. We finished surfing and headed back to the cabin. I took all three girls back to Kailua for gymnastics, young women's, and band practice. Band practice was a huge success because we had 5 kids there. We finally got the 9 year old girl bass player to come and she brought her cousins who sing and play ukulele. It was pretty rocking.
I can't remember which night, but we decided to make a giant cookie for dinner, then top it with ice cream, whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles. It was a solid idea. (Also, gavin made a steak in this very same cast iron skillet....so there's that.)

Grandma always buys all the berries for our ladies, here Kinley has given a turtle toy she found on the beach a raspberry hat.


Saturday Mya and Taylin had a practice gymnastic meet, they were excited because this is the first time they wore their team uniforms. They were nervous, but it was an empty gym, with only their coach and team, which is 5 girls...them and 3 others. No parents either. Their first real meet is the end of this month. Gavin coached a soccer game, that Taylin didn't play in due to the gym meet. They lost 1-4 but Gavin said they had a lot of shots on the goal. Then we went to Brinlyn's baptism, which was lovely, and got us excited for Taylin's coming up soon. We had Charlotte over for a cartwheel clinic, and Gavin and Mya spent time making a generator for her science project. 
Love these three ladies.

I finished reading a fun Halloween murder mystery called "Still Life" by Louis Penny. I am now reading a book similar to the one Derek recommended about father time, but this one is written narrated by "music" instead of time, and it's been pretty fun it written by Mitch Albom author of Tuesday's with Morrie and others. It's called "the magic strings of frankie presto".

We are still praying for Darina's results to return favorable. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

When you are showing a picture of you and your siblings to your children and one of them asks, "Which one is you?"    -We all look the same, even as adults...

 This was the picture.
Taylin said Darina looked like me, I said, "No...I look like me". Oops.


This is just a good one, that should be shared. We don't look like our spouses.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Darina's call

Friday I got the call from Darina that her health is not doing well. She was diagnosed with a lung disease, we are hoping it's not cancer. At the end of the call I was crying and I think she was too. I tried to not ask to many questions, and just listen, but it was hard.
Like Derek after I hung up, I offered up a prayer right then in my office asking for love and support for both her and Chad.
It's hard not to get scared.
The "what if's" are big and real.
Living intentionally and in the present is a good thing to do, and helps not to feel overwhelmed. We are praying and fasting today. Our love for her and her family is real and that's what we can offer at this time.

We came home to six kids.

We flew in Sunday night, and then Monday at 5:30am I picked up the Speeds three kids. We watched them for the week while John and Jenni went to Israel. We had to get the oldest to Seminary and then off to the high school, and then Mya to the Intermediate School and the younger 4 to the Elementary school, thank goodness I work there too.
Having six kids is fun, and a lot of driving around. It really is a lot of driving. I felt like I spent two hours just running kids around. This week we had 9 gymnastics practices, 1 doctor appointment, 4 dental appointments, 4 tennis practices, 1 piano lesson, and 1 drum lesson. This what the lunch line up looked like in the mornings....
 The oldest one bought school lunch, just getting through the morning felt like a major accomplishment. Thursday night we took the kids home to their nana who flew in to help. They brought over some cookies as a thank you! It was fun having them.
 At school my students, studied air pressure and we tried to figure out how many balloons would be needed to hold mass amounts of weight. The 5th graders used 16 balloons to hold 1,180 lbs...roughly, probably a little more. It was a fun project.
We are glad to be back and so happy to have Shirley visiting she flew in Friday night and spent all yesterday with us. We went to Taylin's soccer game, they won. So, now they have 3 losses and 3 wins. The score was 4-3, all 4 of our team points were scored by Alika. Taylin almost had one. Then Shirley let the kids open her Christmas present, because she was here. It was ROCK CLIMBING gear for the family. So, we went rock climbing, and had a blast. Then we all went to Kinley's music school and celebrated the owners birthday with a giant cookie she made and then decorated with a beaver face in frosting. We got to listen to the music school bands and eat food. We also tried to recruit a bass player and a singer for Kinley's band....fingers crossed that on Wednesday they show up to practice. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Trip to the East Coast

On Monday we flew to DC. Just Gavin and I, we left the girls with the Speed family and the Fitzgerald family. We left Monday and got in Tuesday morning. We took the metro straight to Gavin's conference meeting building. I dropped off my bag, and he went to freshen up for the meeting. While he was in meeting I hit the mall on a rented bike. The weather was perfect. Also, perfect was the book I read on the plane which was written by Charles Lindbergh's wife. The book was titled Gift from the Sea. It was a short read which praises having alone time and making the most of it, it can be a gift. I kept this in mind as I enjoyed touring around alone. It was an absolutely perfect day. I stopped and hopped off my bike when ever I saw anything of interest, I did some shopping, eating, and a lot of looking and feeling the warm breeze.

“Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves.” 
― Anne Morrow LindberghGift from the Sea

 This sculpture is off a kid on a horse, and imagine the freedom being felt by the child. It is sort of how i felt on my bike this day. Although riding a horse is much more fun. Actually, as Gavin and I were going through security on the way here the man working asked me rather randomly if I rode horses? I responded that I had when I was young, he said he could tell....So, I guess I can look rather bow-legged...That was a first.

“I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.” 
― Anne Morrow LindberghGift from the Sea
The sky was so warm and perfect.
I returned in the evening to Gavin's conference and grabbed my bag, and hugged him goodbye. Then I took the metro to Union Station and caught the train to Charlottesville, VA. The country side was radiant. Megan picked me up and we headed out to her 200 year old house in the country. Her house is in the middle of peach and apple orchards.

The first order of business after hugging, was to fix the shower. We needed to replace the handles for the hot and cold water. We searched for the water shut off valves very diligently but came up empty. We even looked outside with a flashlight in the dark. Since we could not figure out how to shut off the water, we proceed with the only option left. Changing out the handles with the water on. It was a beautiful and humorous sight. We per-applied the plumbers tape and I held out the new handle pieces as Megan removed the old, and water came shooting out of the wall, then we shoved the new pieces in and tightened them down with water spraying everywhere and laughter bouncing off the walls. It worked. Perfectly. Then neither of showered. We sat down and talked, and read until we both felt sleepy and then went to bed. When I woke in the mornings I would head out exploring.

“I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.” 
― Anne Morrow LindberghGift from the Sea


 I found a turkey farm close by.
 I found this quartz in the drive, I brought it home for Taylin.
There was this one flower standing in her yard alone.

One day we spent just sitting outside in our underwear. The shade and the warm breeze made for the perfect reading temperature. We together me reading, and Megan studying for an exam. Watching butterflies and hummingbirds, and listening to the leaves. 

“One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can only collect a few. One moon shell is more impressive than three. There is only one moon in the sky.” 
― Anne Morrow LindberghGift from the Sea


Another time we went apple picking, and also we cut a few flowers for a bouquet.

For dinner one night we made a s'more pie. 
 Megan's house is made of wood with chinking in between the logs. Chinking is stuffing cement and sometimes some sort of wire in the cracks to seal them up from the outside. It is such a neat old home. 2 stories from the front, and 3 levels in the back.
 Plus, how lucky was I to see the beginning of the fall change happening! 


It was surprisingly messy to eat. 

Together we gathered up some brush and loaded it into her truck, then we drove it to the brush pile on the farm. It was about a 1/2 mile away. We then began unloading it.  When I had what Megan deemed my "private Highland Olympics". I was tossing the sticks onto the pile. I selected a very long branch (longer than car) and decided it would be fun to fling it onto the pile by twirling with the stick in circles and then releasing it and watching in spin. Only, I was holding the long stick in the center, so that when I released it and it began to fly, the end of the stick while spinning, smacked me in the back of the head and almost knocked my unconscious. I grabbed my head and spiraled to the ground landing in cow dung and saying, "I am okay, just give me a minute". Megan to her credit with held laughter (temporarily) and rushed to my aid. She assessed the damage. Goose egg with cut on head, 4 inch abrasion on shoulder, plus a little dirty with dung....Then we laughed. I think we both laughed about it for 24 hours. Grateful I wasn't seriously hurt, grateful I have unique ideas that make chores fun, embarrassed that I didn't realize the actual physics of what I saw in my mind wouldn't work in reality. Sigh. Lesson learned. 

After 3 days with Megan and the beautiful Virginia countryside we headed to Richmond town, to a butterfly museum and to meet up with Will who drove up to visit Gavin and I. On the way we stopped for gas at Sheetz, the gas station. I offered to by gas, and Megan said instead I should pay for cotton candy shakes! Which they sell, and I did! While checking out a 20 year old register worker called my sugar, doll, and sweetie. How, fun. And those shakes were more like smoothies, but were amazingly tasty. Mom would have loved them. They tasted like Cotton Candy, and they were blue, with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.....my world is a better place, and my health compromised...I'd do it again.
 YUM
The butterflies we saw, they were all just flying around. One of their names was "The great Mormon". Google it, it's a beautiful butterfly.

Megan and I said our goodbyes in the parking lot, and then Will and I headed north in his MINIVAN! Because most almost 40 year old attorney's who do death penalty work dream of owning a minivan...his dream recently came true. He even got the stow-and-go edition. We made a fast stop at Sonic for some beverages and tots, and then drove to the hotel and parked his baby. Then we took the Metro to meet up with Gavin. Gavin had just seen the spy museum and was ready to adventure with us.
We walked the bridge to the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial costs $300,000 to build.
Then we walked to the mall.
 This was some sort of war monument...with the all the states I think world war II. It was neat, we took a picture by Hawaii.
 We saw all the national treasures, the hope diamond and we though of the girls!
 What handsome men!
 The Library of Congress was so impressive inside! Gavin wanted to check out some John Grisham books... 



 We had perfect weather, here we are talking a break from our 8 miles of walking, and Gavin is letting his food truck cheese steak take over his stomach.
 The boys were so excited about eating at the food truck.
 Our open mouth selfie that says look out, we are are terrifying 
 This whole trip was almost like a dream with so many memorable moments, I will always remember these 6 days. (If you want to see famous Will Durham, google him and death penalty cases of North Carolina he just saved a man from the death penalty).

Monday, September 25, 2017

This week was Gavin's annual Artist's for Appleseed event, just pretend that's me and Gavin instead of Jenni! Gavin was super popular and busy, he barely sat down, and missed the meal, which did have some pretty good desserts. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Let's see another week has flown by.  We are all doing well. I took zero photo's of us this week. I did actually take some video of Kinley drumming at her band practice, but we already shared some of that earlier, and the new video isn't that much different.
Gavin was in DC until Thursday night. So, I was hustling to do all the parenting things. The kids helped by making two loaves of sandwiches ahead of time and putting them in the freezer, and we all chopped veggies to go into the lunches during the week. We chopped bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and broccoli. Having lunch prep done helps so much in the morning, then we just need to assemble their lunches.

Thursday after school we took Kinley over to the dermatologist, she has been working hard at getting rid of some warts. She tried the yeast injection, and the freezing, and has started taking some broccoli extract pill, but what really has made a difference is a topical liquid they call "beetle" juice. It actually comes from a beetle. It makes your skill blister up, lifting the wart with it. Poor Kinley is covered in blisters, but I think the warts are dying. I wish for Kinley's sake that this would pass quickly.
Thursday was the kids open house at school, where you go see their work in the classroom and can chat with the teachers, but I need to coach soccer practice which was at the park at school, but happened to be the exact same time so I missed going. Also, it rained during soccer, and we had a pretty poor turnout. But, we had fun with the girls who came, and it was warm enough that the rain felt pretty good.
Saturday Gavin and I ran a 5 miles, we are getting geared up for our self-sponsored free people's triathlon in December. I think we might have a few more participates than we did last time. We are using the same course. After the run, we helped our friends move some furniture. They found a free Murphy bed and some other stuff from a realtor who's seller didn't want the furniture and neither did the buyer. So, we swooped in and swiped all the good stuff! Plants, sewing pins, sofa, beds etc. The Murphy bed was pretty heavy. Then we got the stuff over to the Morse's home and helped load and rearrange furniture (Kalani got a new mountain bike for his birthday a couple weeks ago, and crashed separating several ribs, so he can't do heavy lifting for awhile). We moved tables and beds and sofa's. We even brought home one of their old sofa's. Then Kalani took our old one to the dump. We got it in the back of the truck so he could just shove it off, over the edge...I hope when he wakes up this morning he isn't too sore. We are using the foam from an old IKEA trundle bed to help make the new sofa cushions. So exciting. I'll post a picture when it's done.
Then we went to Taylin's soccer game, she had a great shot on the goal, it just swung wide hitting the post. Next time...They lost 1-0. Taylin is learning a lot this season and held her position well.
After the game we hit Ross, and picked up some pillow's for our new sofa and some "orange sticks" in memory of Sandy. (Gavin calls them bone sticks).
Mya had a babysitting job. Yep, she does those now.
Kinley and Taylin walked to the neighbors for a fire pit.
Gavin and I went to a greek restaurant for a group date, it was .5 miles away! Then we went to the Speeds for dessert and hot tubing. A successful date.
Looking forward today's primary program, both Kinley and Taylin are performing and both are singing a duo, but not together. Also, looking forward to Gavin's company's annual fundraising event this coming Friday, and lastly looking forward to our trip to DC together coming up on Sept. 25th.
Okay, that's it for today. Over and out.