Sunday, May 21, 2017

End of May

Let's see this week we had Mya's friend Alana stay with us while her mom, who teaches fourth grade at our school went on the 4th grade Big Island trip. She was a delight to have and her presence helped to diffuse several fights between my own girls. The week was full of extra curricular activities, such as gymnastics, track, voice lessons, violin, and drum, plus theater rehearsal.

The play is coming up, the kids are working really hard to get it ready. The adults that are involved are happy to know that in two more weeks it will be over with, and like every year it will have been worth it, and the children will have pulled off another amazing production...but, for now we are singing and dancing our hearts out.

Kinley started track this week, she had two practices and followed by her first meet on Saturday. It was a practice meet. She did great. She has picked for herself the 800 meter race. Which is two laps around the track, or a half mile. I don't know why she picked this race. Yesterday she ran it in about 3 minutes and 20 seconds (no official timer and we didn't start our phone timer on time). After the track meet we went and cashed in Taylin's free shave ice coupon she won at school at the Jog-A-Thon drawing. Then we huddled on the bed and watched "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them"

Yesterday we went surfing and Mya and Kinley both got out there and had a few great rides each, it was fun seeing them ride the waves.

Last weekend we watched the movie "Hidden Figures" with the girls, this the best movie I have seen in a while, you should go see it! It's not a waste of time.  We also went out to dinner at California

Pizza Kitchen because we had a $50 dollar gift card, then after dinner Gavin paid for the meal with his regular card, not the gift card! Lucky, us we get to eat there again another time. Because we still have the gift card. It was so funny, really. The whole reason we ate there was because of the gift card, they we then forgot to use....

Mothers Day weekend

This year we spent mother's day with Mother Earth, while backpacking. 
 Gavin and the girls and I hiked up a ridge with the Jimmy and his two girls. We had a blast.
 The 5 girls were all amazing hikers. The first day, Saturday, we hiked 5 miles. The terrain was pretty steep in some areas.
 They created beautiful art while we hiked, this is bird nest, wild orchid, and red ohia flower combination.
 Carley, Mya, Jimmy, Taylor, Kinley, and TD
 The beginning point. We parked near a park in Laie.
 The start of the hike, nice, wide, smooth and flat, it didn't stay that way for long.

Happy Hikers

 Aseroe rubra, commonly known as the anemone stinkhornsea anemone fungus and starfish fungus, is a common and widespread basidiomycete fungus recognizable for its foul odour of carrion and its sea anemone shape when mature. Found in gardens on mulch and in grassy areas, it resembles a red star-shaped structure covered in brownish slime on a white stalk. It attracts flies, which spread its spores.[
 Hiking up the ridge!
 Mother Nature's gifts
 Camp all set up, we were right off the trail, but I didn't see anybody else the whole time. Although, Gavin and Taylin say some folks on their way back to the site from the water fall. We had two tents, and two hammocks set up.
 Taylin getting dressed in the morning. Only in Hawaii do you get to sleep in a hammock in your birthday suit while camping...She was my sleeping partner, and she said her bum got a little cold.

 After we dropped our packs at our camp site, we scrambled down the ridge to a water fall to refill our water supply. It was incredible steep and wet and muddy. We sang as we walked something the girls made up that last the rest of the trip...they would say, "marker" to point out when ever we passed a trail marker, letting us know we were on still on the path. Honestly without those it would have been hard to know if we were on the path or not. So after several "marker" call out's they started responding with "polo" which turned into "polar" followed by "bear express"....the phrase that in their delirium kept them moving was, "Marko- polar- bear express"

The mosquitoes at the water fall were pretty intense, but none at the campsite. We ate macaroni and cheese for dinner with carrots, and for breakfast hot cocoa and oatmeal. Carley got bite by a centipede on the ear during the night. She was such a trooper and didn't freak out. They searched their tent and couldn't find anything and decided it was a fire ant, until in the morning when we were breaking down camp and they found a baby centipede in their tent. We hiked out in the morning and headed back to Kailua.  It was so fun to take the girls backpacking. We are happy they enjoyed it. We all want to go again.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

May Day performances!

Taylin's class dressed and ready! Mayah, Brynn, Paula, Jocelynn, Brittin, and Taylin
Mrs. Kira's 1st grade class
Kinley ready to go!
Kinley , Eoni, and Luke getting ready

Mya and Oren had speaking parts, welcoming the families and guests and introducing the 2017 theme "Hau'oi Ma'a Nei" (I am happy in this place) and welcoming the principal.

Mrs. Kira, her daughter, Mauya, Evelynn and Taylin waiting to perform.
The beginning of Taylin's dance, "Tiki Tiki Room:
Kinley and her class mate Hunter, getting ready to do a Maori stick dance.
Mya and her sixth grade class getting ready to perform "Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai" which is a hula song about picking different kinds of seaweed from the ocean shore.
There were about 80 sixth graders who learned this dance and they practiced really hard.
(side note, Mya thinks the boy behind her to the left is cute! His name is Nalukai)

Way to go girls! Dad had to run off, right after their performance, but he worked hard rearranging work meetings so he could attend!

Keali'i, Taylor, Taylin, Kinley, and Carley

Saturday, May 6, 2017


Wowza! May is already running away the year. Let's see we are busy staring down the last three weeks of school/work for the girls and TD! The end is near and we can't wait to go on our family vacation to see FAMILY!
We are getting really busy with CTO the first show is this month, and a lot still needs to happen during our rehearsals to make this show turn to magic, but it's Cinderella so I am pretty sure the magic thing will happen.

Mya's violin lesson got moved to 3pm which is great because that's the same time as Kinley's drum lesson and so I only make one trip to the local music school on Tuesday's. Love streamlining anything we can. Mya returned on Friday from three days at the Oahu YMCA Camp Erdman. She loved it and had a great time, her favorite free time activity was playing a game she called "gaga ball" that is played in hexagon arena that is maybe three feet high...

Diving is available starting Monday, but I am not sure how motivated I am to try and throw another activity into our already over booked lives. It's just that I love diving and it's free...and the kids enjoy it. We will see, and let you know what happens.

We have scouted out  a few places for possible orthodontic work for Mya, but I tell ya, they are pricey! We are going to put the money into a flex-saver account and start next year, so we can save on the taxes. First, estimate was $6,500. Second, was $5,000. What???

We have been trying to collect estimates for a new bathroom, and a repair job on our current bathroom...that is process and a trial of patience.

Last night we saw Guardian of the Galaxy 2, with some friends and I thought it was very funny, funnier than the first one. It was pure entertainment.

Kinley lost a tooth while biting a chip.

We bought an electric drum set off craigslist for Kinley, so she can practice at home. We need to return our friends set that we were borrowing while they were out of town.

Oh! On Monday we replaced the one bad module in our prius battery. There are 28 inside and we used a volt meter to test each one individually when we found the weak link we replaced it with the one Gavin ordered off  ebay for $60. Then, put the car back together, we drove it all week and it is holding strong. For how long? Yes, that is the question. We are trying to be optimistic and really praying that it lasts for little while, because accessing that battery is a lot of work. But, getting over 40 mile per gallon is amazing!

 Inside of car!
 Taylin's teacher is the coolest, she brought in her fisherman brother who lead the class in squid dissection.

This is evidence of Kinley's May Day performance practice...need to sunblock her for school.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wrapping up April

We had several nice cool days this, with plenty of rain, making the island bright green. Also, my cucumber plants are doing very well. I planted three and one disappeared, so I am done to two, plus my pineapple plant that was gifted to us when some friends moved away. I love spring when everything is growing.
My kids are growing too! We had some terribly good laughs last night as we attempted some self-taught acroyoga! Also, yesterday we biked around town running some errands while Gavin was at a work conference for homelessness! We totally lucked out and didn't get rained on. On the way home up the hill Kinley bought a $2 sprinkler from a garage sale, they came home and immediately put it to use, in the rain....
I read a book. It was wonderful.
Gavin hit up Costco for us and brought home pastries for teacher appreciation this coming week.
Funny story, I took a sub job on Thursday night for Friday, when I arrived at the classroom, the teacher was there! I came on the wrong day...I left and took care of some loose ends and enjoyed not working. Normally, every sub job I take is last minute, the teacher is sick or something, so  I didn't listen to the date that she was requesting a sub for, I assumed it was for the next day. But, it was more than a week in advance. So, I am subbing for sure next Monday, the 8th! But, Friday I had so many plans fall through. The girls were going to take their first voice lesson from a new ward member right after school, but she had to cancel due to a sick kid, then I had a dr. appointment that I rearranged at so I could meet up with friends, but that got cancelled. I took the girls to gymnastics and then remembered someone was coming over to give a quote on adding a bathroom to our house, so I hurried home only to get a call from the gym saying Kinley was feeling sick, her stomach hurt. So, went back to the gym, leaving the remodel guy at the house and asking him to close the door when he left.
Also, the biggest news of the week is I dropped our Prius off on Monday to a new mechanic! The red warning triangle came on. We also had our A/C needing some attention and our low tire pressure light was on. The mechanic pulled the codes and texted them to me. It looks bad...

C1241-Low Battery Voltage or Abnormally high battery positive energy
C1259-HV system regenerative malfunction
C1310-HV system malfunction
P0A80-Replace Hybrid Battery Pack
P3014-Battery Block 4 becomes weak
P3000-Battery control system

Here is why this is frustrating. We bought the 2008 prius, three years ago. About one and a half years later it ran the P0A80 code saying the hybrid battery needed to be replaced. I spent a month fighting with Toyota to help pay for it because we were just outside of the miles on the warranty. They asked $4,500 to do it. I got them down to $3,200. But, that was still more than I could stomach paying, seeing as I had bought the car for $8000 only 18 months earlier. So, I payed $1,500 and me and youtube did it ourselves, putting in a refurbished hybrid battery I had shipped from the mainland. Fast forward to this week, were we are one month past the warranty on the second Hybrid battery and now it is saying it's bad. I called Green Auto Tech, in Texas and explained they said they would knock off $350 dollars and ship another refurbished battery. It will cost $2,500 BUT I get a $1,000 back when I return the core, so what to do.......I am hating on my prius, but I love it too....
We spent $300 dollars to have the mechanic who pulled the coded top off the freon, and replace the front brakes, they needed and I didn't want to do it. Actually, it was brakes and rotors. Then I replaced the 12v battery in the back of the car for $200 dollars on Wednesday hoping that would help, it was the original and I learned a cool trick for checking if it's weak or not, by turning the car to ready position (but not starting it) and then flashing the headlights on and off three times, while holding the display button down and secret screen appears, and shows how many volts the 12v is pulling. Pretty cool, huh? Maybe not $200 cool, but still I  focusing on the positive here, I learned something.

We will remain a committed one car family, Gavin has ordered a new cell to put in next week. We have been blessed with a mini van while some friends are out of town. So, we still have wheels. I told Gavin I am to angry to deal with it and he needs to make the next decision. So, he spent $60 on a new cell and we plan on trying to install that this week.

This week Mya is going with her 6th grade class to Camp Erdman, a YMCA camp on North Shore for three days, they sleep in bunks. She is excited. She also secured a speaking part in the schools upcoming May Day performance, which is a pretty big deal over here. Peer voted.

Taylin has one of her two missing front teeth making an appearance! Also, she learned how to do a muscle up, making Gavin green with envy.

Kinley is starting track soon, and won an award for her painted sculpture of the Olomana Mountain range.

Gavin and I have been using the new bench set we got daily, doing squats, bench and dead lifts! Boy, I tell you the dead lifts, make me sore in the back, right between the shoulder blades! Gavin had a bill pass this legislative session, so that's a big deal. He is a little heart broken that it didn't pass in it's entirety, but it's still a win. He had a radio interview, and spoke with a reporter this week and it was front page, above the fold, news in the local paper! What a star.

He and I had a long conversation this week, on how I might actually been changing the world more effectively with my one on one connection with kids and adults, that felt good to hear. I think that it might be true, but we surely need the Gavin's out there being a voice for reason, and helping insure folks are trying to make decisions for the right reasons.

Pretty long winded this morning, sorry! Hope everybody is gearing up for May!

  We biked to Safeway for baking supplies and donuts, then biked to a few friends houses, and garage sales, it was a good Saturday activity. They all have the same leg stance???
Kinley, Mya, Sofia, Camila, Taylin and Tia! Friends, classmates, neighbors, and fellow CTOers!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Lots of Art exhibit pictures

 Mya went on a field trip this week and came home saying, "It was pure amazement"
So I looked into where she went and it seemed pretty cool, I got tickets for Gavin and I and the kids were free! First thing we see after parking the car, on our way in was this great big pink flying pig! We know Sandy would have loved this!

 Gavin and I biked several miles together on Saturday for the first time in a while. It was fun to be out biking again.
 The coolest art exhibit was a dark room where there were projectors hanging from the ceiling. When you entered they gave you a picture to color, either a flower, bird, lizard, or frog. Then after you colored your picture, they scanned it in the dark corner of the room, and your picture came alive. It would hop, fly, jump, or bloom all around the floor of the room, if you stepped on it it would splat and disappear. We spent a good long time in this room. It was super dark and so no pictures.

 This was a breathing lotus, it inhaled and exhaled, it was really neat too.
 We stopped and got dessert at big city diner, Mya brought her friend Paige along.

This week I only worked 4 days, taking Friday off. I worked Monday substituting for a teacher at our kids school. I love when it works out that way! Gavin and I had fun running together each day this week, and doing some strength training with his new craigslist find of a bench and bar with weights.
 One fun find, was coming across this self portrait that Megan drew of and left in our paper drawer. I love that she is the kind of thoughtful person that would do something like leave a self drawn picture for me to find months later.
 The primary ran a kids activity of creating cardboard cars out of large boxes, paper, straws, glue, stickers, tape....and then watching a few Mormon messages. While we were in the building the young men were prepping 450 pounds of pork to sell. Serious amounts of work.
 We hit up a cool art museum on Saturday after the primary activity. It was the Honolulu Biennial Art Show. They had about 20 artists and their work is spread around Honolulu. We had so much fun seeing the work.  The chandeliers strange green color comes from chemical waste. They had four different glowing chandeliers in the room each one represented a different country and each bead represented a nuclear power plant in that country. The US chandelier was one of the larger ones.
Our group also loved "Crossings: Project another country" The artists made boats and loaded them with person belongings as if they were families make a new home.
The breathing lotus flower was another favorite.