Saturday, March 31, 2012

Castle Beach, Beautiful and Bloody

Wow, we have been here for five weeks. I can't believe it. The days are long but the weeks are short. I have lost track of what day of the week it is. I only know when its Sunday because its church and Wednesdays because Sam has fire knife dance class. But ever since we came we have heard of Castle beach. We heard its the best friendly surfing and boogie boarding near by, even better than Pounders Beach. So we found it on Wednesday,  it is really close to where we live, and on Thursday went to see what the locals were raving about. It was fantastic.

Sam decided he wanted to try out his surfing. The waves are bigger here and less consistent than Kahana beach where we have been taking lessons. So he went out and tried his best and even caught a wave. Then he was heading back and a wave took him down and his surf board met his face, right in the nose. He came in gushing blood. My cousin was teasing me on Facebook that I am the kind of mom that takes a picture first before I help my kid, and I guess its true. But he wasn't even crying, just seriously bleeding. Uncle Micah commented that he didn't know that a bloody nose picture could be an action shot, but check out those drops of blood.

He ran back in the water to wash off the blood again and then we sacrificed a towel for his face. Again I was proud of him for taking care of it and then going out on the board again. Wow. Impressive. Both the bloody nose and Sam. 

 Later Sam buried Ellie deep in the heart shaped sand. She barely escaped it masterful work.
One of the funnest things of the day, and I am sad that I didn't get a picture, was Jayne learning to boogie board. She has been getting use to the ocean and then she learned to catch a wave. She learn to have timing and because she's so little it doesn't take much to give her a ride. I took her out first holding onto the leash and pulling her in and out of waves. Then I started letting her ride in by herself. The rest is history. She probably boogie boarded for two hours. No wonder she was hungry. It was great to fun, both to boogie board with her and watching her. This morning she woke up and asked again to go back to Castles. We are all looking forward to going back.

Still Normal

Today as I was folding the my tenth zillion load of laundry, I thought, we are still normal. We still have laundry and do the dishes, and clean bathrooms. Sand fills the house everyday, so there is still sweeping and not enough of it. Beach towels fill the laundry. We have to buy food and feed children (more that usual because they are starving).  Tantrums, whinning, melt downs, and diaper changes. Bandaides are still needed and more than usual with Ellie driving her skateboard. She calls it "the magic school bus." Its her long board and she doesn't weigh enough to turn it by herself, so she recruits whoever is willing- Sam, Jayne, Jake, or any of the neighbor kids. She puts them on the front of the board and off they go. All have been bandaged at this point. We still get tired and sometimes even grumpy. The normal things in life don't go away, even in an extraordinary circumstances. We still love eating oreos on the front porch. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Papahana Kuaola- The Taro Patch

We have been able to connect with a homeschool group here on the North Shore. This week we were able to join them at Papahana Kuaola- an educational taro farm. Taro is a edible plant that they use to make poi. Papahana Kuaola was organized farm used to teach people about traditional taro farming. To many Hawaiians, Taro represents the staff of life. (This is what I learned as the class). We showed up and had a 45 minute interactive lecture and lesson on Hawaii. Jake jumped into this Canoe Hut and so the teacher, Mahi, took the opportunity teach about it, and even had the kids get water and pour into onto the hut to see how water proof it was. Here are the two pictures below.

The water experiment. This hut wasn't weaved very tight, so Ellie got the brunt of the water tossed. She didn't mind and they all came out laughing. Mahi said that in really rainy areas they would make two layers of the grass roofs.

Then we went outside where Mahi cut down several branches and the kids were to take the leaves off the trees and put them in the buckets. These leaves were going to be use for fertilizer for the bogs that were used to plant the taro in. It was also here that Mahi gave us the lecture on going into the mud with the risk of getting leptospirosis(Spelling?). Awe, I am sure my Dad is dying and more so when he see the rest of the pictures of us dancing in the lepto mud! I admit it wasn't lecture I was wanting to hear, but we decided to take the risk knowing there is medication to cure it if we got it. (FYI, the next morning Sam got up and said he was going to throw up, and my mind instantly went to the taro mud. But I think he ate something wrong and he got up and felt better quickly. But I thought to we go.)

As you can see they threw the leaves into the mud. 

The girls-not sure they want to get in.

Sam and Ellie pushing the leaves into the mud with their feet.

Still working.

Jayne joined in, so then Jake had to join in. He didn't last long, but it says something about the fourth child- they are not be out done.

Jayne with her mud socks on. 

I took this picture to show how amazing these taro fields were. It was right up against the steep mountains. You can see the kids following the leader. 

 Now it was time to learn to plant the taro. 

Here's Ellie at work planting. Jayne didn't want to get back into the mud so he handed out the taro roots.

They were working hard. After getting all the plants in, they then got the mud and water and to wet the taro mounts.


Jake and Sam after they got out. Lookin' good.

It was then time to wash off in the spring. They took a long time since the instructor said if they didn't get the mud off it will stain their skin. My kids could probably used a bit of darkening, but oh well. Then the kids were given fishing nets and let loose to fish in the stream. They caught little catfish and some shrimp. Since the flooding in February the river had been washed out, so the fishing wasn't as good. They had set a trap with a coconut but caught very little. Below is the kids pulling the fishing trap.

After lunch we hiked up the stream to a little waterfall where the kids could swim. They swam both above and below it. I am pretty sure they thought they were in paradise. Below is Ellie sliding down a little waterfall slide into the deep side of the pool. It was really fun but I didn't have time to take some great pictures because I was trying to keep Jake alive. He wanted to stand at the top of the falls and throw rocks. It was pretty slippery so I had to keep a close watch. We were all worn out by the time we got to the car. We had to hurry home for Sam's fire stick class. Jake was out instantly when I put him in his car seat. Great adventures.

(PS Sorry that my watermark is on all these pictures. I had done a photo shoot and worked on the pictures and then forgot to turn off the watermark. Opps.)

Surf Three

Surf three stands for "Three Kids Surfing."Yes Jayne got brave. Kahia, our surf teacher, told her that he has a six year old sister that surfs. But she wasn't convinced that it was a good idea. She kept telling me she would surf when Hailey, her cousin comes to visit in April. But yesterday we offered her again the chance to surf and she said yes. Kahia took her out and to have her practice, caught a wave with her with him on back of the board. She stood up and rode the wave all the way in. It was awesome. She was pumped and said she would go out again. She she took another ride, not as long, but she did great. My camera died, so all I had was my phone. So here's some crappy pictures, but it documents the occasion. Its great to be brave. Its great to have opportunities to be brave. Seth and I keep reminding ourselves this as we face different situations with the project. Sometimes we hop on a wave and even though it does take us very far, we're glad we were brave enough to try and ride it. 
Jayne on the front of the board paddling out. He took her a little father out than I thought he would, and I wondered if she was scared, but she never said anything after the adrenaline of surfing. 
 Catching the wave.
 Her getting up.
 Jayne surfing the wave.


I loved these pictures of the kids running out to congratulate her. You can tell she is telling them something. Way to go Jayne.

 She and Kahia running in after the second wave. Love this picture of her little body running in.
I zoomed in on this picture and it show her holding her arms to balance. Go Jayne!!!

Waimea Bay

 So on Tuesday, our family field trip day, we decided to go to Waimea Falls. It is up a little canyon across from Waimea Bay. It is cost money to walk through the gardens and to hike to and swim in the falls. When we got there they said that the falls were closed for swimming that day, so we decided to go another day. We had seen how nice the bay was as we drove in, so we crossed the street and went to the bay. Here are a couple pictures from the day.

Jayne always in modeling mode in her new Hello Kitty Swimsuit. She is become quite brave. She had a swim noodle and would go out with me in the big swells. It was really fun. Then she would lay in the shallows and let the waves pull her in and out. 


The beach break is very steep at Waimea. So Sam and Ellie played a game where they would jump of the top of the break just at the same time a wave would come. If they were able to jump into the wave they got a point. I don't know who won, but I was impressed with their energy to run and jump down again. They had us time them to see how many times they could hit the water in 3 minutes. They were panting at the end of the three minutes but got better at timing their jumps. Seth has always said that our kids don't need toys. They just need some rocks and sharp sticks. (This conversation reappears every year at the Christmas time.) But I think all they need is a beach. We spent 5 hours there and had to drag them away. 
 Here's the little man lovin' the beach. Because the waves only break right at the shore, he hopped on my back and we took out the boogie board and bobbed around the bay. He and I swam 3 different times together for quite a long time. He's a fun kid and the beach allows him to use all the little boy energy that he contains.
Dad- the beach chair.

I just had to include this picture. These college students pulled up with a cooler and some towels. Jake thought they looked like his kind of people. So as you can see he pulled up some sand right next to them. They kept cracking up, but I am not sure what he was telling them. They brought a football and he is so obsessed with footballs right now, so they let him toss it a round and show off for them. He's got charm, what can we say. By they time we left he gave them all high fives and blew them a kiss. Not sure what we're going to do with this kid. Seth blames it all on me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Trip to Haleiwa

On Mondays and Wednesday is substitute teaching at BYU Hawaii. He is finishing the end of the semester teaching a Book Of Mormon class for a teacher who just found out his cancer is back. :( He was relieved to have Seth take over and Seth is grateful for the opportunity. Although he was so nervous teaching the first day I was afraid he was going to pass out or drowned the students in a pool of sweat. Both unpleasant. But he survived and has taught again with a little less nerves. 

So on Mondays and Wednesdays we stay here in Laie. Get more school done and slow down. But on Tuesdays and Thursday we have decided to field trip and explore as a family. This last Tuesday we were heading to Laniakea Beach (Turtle Beach), Matsumotos, and snorkeling. We got a bit distracted with some of Seth medical records we were needing to get a hold of, so on our way (or out of our way) we found the Haleiwa Library, post office, bank with a notary, and the only fax machine on the North Shore in Wailea (not really, it just felt like it). So our field trip got a bit distracted and Jake ended up asleep (below). But the kids were very patient, thanks to the "Chronicles of Narna" on CD that Seth bought at Value Village. The kids love to listen to them as we are weaning them off of our car with a DVD player. They were in withdrawls until  they started listening to the CDs. They are actually very good. I highly recommend them. I haven't read all the books so I love listening to them as well. But four hours later we hadn't made it to the beach or Matsumotos. But we did find an awesome bakery with donuts!

 Notice how well he was buckled in. This is another sign of a fourth child. Unfortunately I didn't notice until now when I saw the picture. Ha! Slacker mom.
 Here's the bakery. It was rockin'. There were no holes in the donuts but a huge glob of chocolate frosting on top. They sold coconut turnovers that were to die for, as well as coconut peanut butter that I sampled. I didn't buy any because would have eaten it all with a spoon on the return trip. Nothing better that peanut butter and coconut!
 Jayne actually ate the whole donut, which is unusual because she usually just eat the parts where the frosting is attached.

Jake on the other hand, only at the frosting. He's car seat got a taste as well. 

But then we arrived! To the world famous........

Shave Ice! It was well worth the wait. You can see it on their faces.

Refreshed from the shave ice, we went to Laniakea Beach. For some reason unknown to me, the turtles love to come to this beach. There are volunteers that come to the beach every day to protect the turtle when they are on the beach. They put a rope on the sand around the turtle so that no one will bother the turtle. Jake didn't understand that but we grabbed him fast. He thought the turtle was a rock. You can see the pink rope in the sand by the kids. You can also see the size of the turtle. Pretty impressive.
 This turtle even had a name(that I can't remember) and she was in thirties. I am not sure how they tell them apart, but they tell us they do. They said that had 4 turtles on the beach that day, but she was the last to jump in the water. We also saw three other turtles in the water. The kids loved it and climb the rocks to spot more turtles.
 By then it was early evening and we hadn't been in the water. Jayne has announced that morning that she wanted to learn to snorkel, so that was one of our goals. So we stopped at Turtle Bay Resort's beach to teach her to snorkel. Just as we were walking to the beach, the heavens opened and it started to rain. But we have learned something here on the North Shore. The rain doesn't last too long. Usually it rains and then the sun is out again in 5 minutes or so. So we waited it out and had the evening beach to ourselves. It was high tide, so it wasn't good snorkeling, meaning Jayne will have to wait another day. But we all got in and swam.
 Here's Jake with a suspicious look on his face. I think he had just put fishy crackers in his mouth along with a handful of sand. It makes the humid crackers extra crunchy. Old Hawaiian secret- if lost crunch from humidity, just add sand. :)
 These are Jake's tools. A must for a boy a beach.
 Here is Ellie carrying Jayne into the water. They were laughing so hard I was worried they would drowned. But again they survived- the water and the laughter. 
We are working with Jake on his boogie boarding. He has been tossed a couple times from the ocean so he is still a bit nervous. But he was getting a hang of it and especially likes riding on my back. I love it too.