Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sunday Sunset at Pipeline Beach

Here's what we come to see. Rose will laugh because I say its my favorite part of Sunday.

 This last Sunday our friends, the Hughes, asked if we could have dessert with them. We agreed but only if they would join us at Pipeline beach to watch the sunset. They were totally on board and said they would bring dessert. Then the Uluave's texted to see if we were heading to beach for sunset. We had invited them the week before and they couldn't come. So they joined us and brought their relatives too. Then our neighbor's, the Galeais, were walking by and of coarse we invited them. So when we showed up to meet the Hughes our party was a bit bigger than they were expecting. We ate all of their desserts and the Hughes were so gracious. I guess we've never been very good at keeping things small.

 Here is the majority of rug rats that we brought along. They enjoyed the view from the lifeguard station.

Here's Seth and the brothers. Jason, David, and Tommy. Great guys, every single one of them.

I know what you are thinking, why would you be at Pipeline when you should be at Sunset Beach. Well, they are only a mile apart and Pipeline is a big flat beach with plenty of room to run, its off of the highway, and great waves to watch. And its the same sunset!

Our neighbor, David, brought his drum, and there was an audience, so guess who started performing. Yeap, Jayne Elizabeth, entertainer extraordinaire! Fortunately, the Hughes' daughter, Ava, is just like Jayne, so the two performed all their Tahitian moves. Even Jaker's joined in. I wish my blog would take video's because I got the greatest video of Jake and Jayne dancing. Umm, actually it was pretty incredible and I think Jayne will remember it for the rest of her life. I know I will. 
 Jake's sudo "Haka" that is really Tahitian.                                    Jayne sporting her moves.

Then Ellie and Isa Hughes took the stage. Ellie somehow has turned part Polynesian. It's the most awesome thing. She is learning to dance Tahitian and is actually quite good at it. 

But then it is time to go. The darkness over takes us and we have to wait a 7 more days to do it again. But on Sunday evenings, you'll know where to find us. 

And it really comes down to this. Sure bliss.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time Moving Slowly

Today Sam said,"I can't wait for this weekend for two reason. One, because I can't wait for time to stop passing so slowly to get my fire knives. And two, because I get my fire knives." Yes, Seth said that Sam could get fire knives. They are $300. (Whoa there.) And Seth is such a softy that he told Sam we would pay half if he would earn the other half. He's been working like a dog- babysitting for us, doing extra chores, cleaning out cars, and joining the girls in their bake sale (you'll hear about that later). Today's date he is $16 short. But Seth let him order them last weekend with understanding he would earn the rest this week. Get ready ER!!!
Even though I laughed at his impatience for time to pass, I understand what he is saying. I am ready to know what is in store for us. Where we are going. How things are going to work out. I feel like the last two months of really putting an effort forth to figure this out has moved very slowly. It can be difficult because everyone who calls (out of complete love and concern) asks what's next? I have no answer for them except- its gonna all work out. Sometime is feels more like- its gonna all work out? And I am sure that when we look back we will see how the pieces to this puzzle all fit together.
The interesting thing about time is that the last five months have flashed by us. To think its the end of June and then we only have July is unbelievable. Didn't we just get here? And it feels like we are just getting comfortable. We are finally getting it. I will not deny it will be very hard for us to leave this place.
So when it all feels a little heavy-we go to the beach. Atleast that's how I deal with it, and I drag the rest with me. We had been told from locals about a beautiful little bay just other side of Turtle Bay called Kawela Bay or the locals call it- Secret Bay. You have to take a short hike into it, but it was well worth it. 

As we are walking in Jake said,"In the Jungle." With these big trees and vines it looked like we were in a jungle especially to a 2 year old whose only reference is the cartoon Diego that he watches diligently every day. He can sing you the theme song. So here they are in the JUNGLE!

These trees are pretty impressive.

He didn't want me to post this picture but here he is. Pre shower, a bit of licked kitty under that hat. He is sporting our trusty backpack beach chairs. Highly recommend them. We take them everywhere and stuff them with all our beach junk. 

Here's the view from the jungle. A beautiful, very calm bay and all to ourselves. (Actually there were 4 other people there, but we didn't pay attention to them.)

Two of the other people had this giant floaty out and while they were eating lunch on the shore they let the kids go out and play on it. It was great fun. As they were out there a big sea turtle swam up right beside them. We saw about 8 turtles in the bay. The water was a bit murky because of the rain storm, but we are told that on a clear day you can swim and snorkel right up to the turtles. We're going back on a clear day. 

I fell in love with this picture of these two. These two are bestest friends. They love to talk with each other and go places together. I think that this adventure will effect their relationship for the rest of their lives. I became really close to my younger brother and sister just we hit college, and I love them dearly,and have great memories of our time together running rivers, hanging out, and even leaving on missions to Brazil together(even though we left our baby sister behind, alone, with full attention of Mom and Dad). But these guys have a head start.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hike to Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau

We had spent a little too much time at home with Sam being so sick and I was getting a bit claustrophobic of our 1400 square feet. So the kids and I went on a drive to play at the park at Sunset beach and check out some locations for photo shoot. I talked to a local at the park and he told me to check out the overlook to Waimae Bay. We drove up the mountain, and took a back road to Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau. It is an ancient sacrificial burial ground in a fantastic location. Of coarse my kids had no shoes on, but that didn't stop us. We took a short hike to the overlook. I am sorry I didn't take picture of the burial grounds, but here are some pictures of the look out and hike to it.

This is over looking Waimae Bay. I am not sure I will take clients here since they could fall to their death off the ledge. But its a great look out. 

Here's my boys.

And here's my girls.

Who wouldn't want to hike here? Who needs shoes?

Looking for another location for photo shoots I took these pictures in front of the Bone Carving Truck. I really liked it and I really love these people. 

Happy Father's Day

Every Father's Day I take a picture of the kids giving Seth his Father's breakfast from the kids. Here is this year's addition. I need to put all of them next to each other to see how our family has grown. Seth has the same messy hair in each one. Thanks for being the best Dad EVER.
The greatest part of this story is that the night before the power went out for a couple hours, so without the fans, our home heated up. Our neighbors in the house had little ventilation so they went out to their car and spent a couple of hours out there. Needles to say, they were a bit tired in the morning, but their three and one year old weren't. So the parents were asleep and they let themselves out and came over to our place and hung out with us while we made breakfast. They even hopped into our picture but I didn't have a card in my camera and they hopped down to fast, otherwise you would have seen our whole family! :)
To Seth: We love you so  much. Thanks and loves to our wonderful father's, DeVon and Allen, who we love dearly. 

Samoan Boy

Seth gave me two days off while I went to Women's Conference. It was awesome. So while I was away, he held down the fort. Jake went over to the neighbors and came back looking like this. 

This was the picture on I got over my phone. Our Samoan son. Our neighbor, David, dressed up Jake and his son, Vincent. Jake is the whitest Samoan ever. You can't help but love this boy.

Ward Camp

Disclaimer: Super long post. Sorry, but I needed to put it all in for journalling purposes.

Ward Camp. Where do I start. I would say we've done some amazing things in the last four months, but  ward camp was by far the best thing we have done. Oh, we loved it. When they said ward camp was going to be 5 days long, on a beach only a mile away,I thought they were crazy. FIVE DAYS. I just didn't get it. But now I get it. Five days was too short. I laughed because our ward (aka congregation) is made up of only 5 streets. I thought,"Don't we already live close enough?" But ward camp was so incredible. All the families in the ward came out with their extended family as well to camp. They set up their easy corners side by side at the edges of this giant field. On the other side is the beach. So we were literally circled the wagons. In the middle of the tents was a big tent were we gathered for events. They brought in picnic tables in for the pot luck dinners. I stopped cooking after day 2 because every tent you entered you were fed. These people are the greatest. Under their Easy Corners they would set up their tents, their outdoor kitchens, bring their tables, and sometimes even their couches. They would throw down mats where their kids would sleep on at night. So after seeing the event of put their tents up, I understand why they stay for 5 days.
Here is the view our camp. Below-The third easy corner tent in with the orange, purple, and blue chairs in front of it is our camp. We begged, borrowed, and stole (well not really) everything from our two tents, mats, a cot, a picnic table and sleeping bags- which we didn't use because it was warm at night. We all slept under a sheet or light blanket. 

The theme of our camp was "The Ward Olympics." Each family was suppose to bring a family flag. We don't have many supplies to go all out, but we were given some cloth and some paint and the kids made this. It is a Christensen crest (it may not actually be our crest, but Sam found it on the Internet and made it). Then on the bottom is has one of our family motto's,"Christensen's Never Give Up." This is actually last years motto, this years is,"Christensen's We Don't Care What You Think." But we thought that we might be a bit "misunderstood" using this years motto, so we put last years. Here's the clan below in there camping/beach attire, they are one in the same. 

Here is our ward camp shirts. In each of the Olympic rings is one of the names of the streets in our ward boundaries. We competed against each other. Mostly for bragging rights.

On the back of our shirts was our theme- FASTER, HIGHER, STRONGER, IN BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT. We all have matching shirts for all of us. I am thinking family pictures? Just kidding. But I do love what they represent. 

To give you an idea to what really happened at this event, I copied and pasted our agenda. I need not explain how incredible it was. As you can see, we got up early and we went to bed late. The kids ran free and we spent time at the beach every day. There is a reason I haven't been keeping my blog up- because I was so tired. So tired. In fact, I have never slept so well camping. But it was because I was happy and tired every night. Check this out.

Friday, June 8th
Set up
Ward photo, opening activities and pot luck
Saturday, June 9th
Scouts Flag Raising Ceremony
Primary Activity
Relief Society Activity
Rootbeer Floats
Relay Races/Field Activities
Scouts Closing Flag Ceremony
Game Night
Sunday, June 10th
Musical Fireside
Church movie
Monday, June 11th
Morning Devotional (Bishopric)
Primary Activity
Family Home Evening
Tuesday, June 12th
Morning Devotional (Bishopric)
Penny Carnival for Primary
Closing Ceremonies/Potluck
Closing Remarks by Bishop
Wednesday, June 13th
Break camp

Yes, every night a dance and movie. Every morning, Power Aerobics (it was like aerobics on steroids). Most of the camp showed up to participate. The whole field would be full of all ages. On Sunday, they left a few men at camp to keep guard, while the rest of us went home, showered, went to the chapel for church, came home, changed, and went back. So awesome.

Below is Jayne and her twin, Malia. The two were inseparable. We camped right next to her family so it was literally 24-7. She is a sweetie and we love her family. 

     This is Seth getting settled into camp.          This is our bishop getting ready for opening ceremonies.  

Below is the line for the opening pot luck dinner. Pretty amazing to feed that many people.

Here's Ellie getting some food.

I just had to put this picture up to give you an idea of who showed up for the pot luck dinner.

Seth in front of the big tent.

Opening Ceremonies-we decorated the big tent. Our street, Kulanui, was yellow.

We had two tents to sleep in. We put Ellie, Sam, and Jake with the port-a-crib in one tent, and then Seth and I with Jayne at our feet in the other. But at about 3 a.m. the first night, I heard the door zip open and saw Seth crawl out. I was too hot for him. He grabbed a blanket and slept on the ground between the two tents. He said it was quite peaceful and especially cool. This is the picture I took of him when I woke up. Our neighbors passed by in the morning and saw him sleeping with his blanket on the ground between the tents, and they then brought over a cot for him. He slept there the rest of the nights and loved it. 

Jayne passed out after three days of 14 hours days full of beach, sun, slippin' slides, zumba and friends. I found her here asleep on the mat. Her face had awesome bamboo marks across it when she woke up, but it gave her just enough energy to go for 2 more days. 

Ellie and her posse made water balloon babies. They took care of their babies day and night. 

Here's Sam on the cot catching up on some reading.

I will be honest in saying, I have no idea who these children are or what family they belonged to. I am pretty sure Jayne didn't know them either. But that didn't matter. She found them on the slippin' slide and they played for hours. That's the beautiful of ward camp. 

We found Jake here on the cooler. He stopped for two seconds. But only two seconds.

Here's Jake telling Ellie about all his little 2 year old worries in life. 

This was one of the Primary (childrens) activities. One of the ladies teaches Zumba, so all the kids got to go and dance with her. It was pretty fun. I need not remind you that these people can groove- and there are no exceptions when it comes to their children. 

See if you can spy Ellie and Jayne in crowd of beautiful brown faces.

Here is Jayne and her posse. Hopefully you can tell which one is Jayne. For talent night, they were going to represent our group by dancing the Tongan dance they had learned at school. Jayne didn't know the dance, but was happy to follow along because that's Jayne. They practiced several times and after they would finish, they would put their hands together and shout,"Tongan Girls," and then break. It was awesome. They got too nervous when they were up in front of everyone, so there performance wasn't the best, but they sure had fun practicing. 

"Tongan Girls" Gang

The last day the primary activity was a Penny Carnival. Each age of youth group made a booth for the kids to participate in. They all won candy. It was a hit. They even got their faces painted. The pictures say it best. 

Below is Ellie, Savannah, and Mckenna. They had a lot of fun together and were sad to break camp and separate. Except for the fact that they all live in the same house made it a bit easier.

Here we are heading to the beach.

Jake found the cot too. Unfortunately this was at 5 p.m. So he was up and ready to watch the movie at 10 p.m. But it was ward camp, so whatever. 

Here's my darling surfer boy. I posted on Facebook- What will I do when they are all in love with this surfer boy? Seriously. He is such a cute boy. Unfortunately for him he got sick on Monday of camp. He ran a fever for 6 days. There was a nasty flu bug going around and he got it. It was a respiratory flu and he coughed and coughed suffered from too many days of high fever. On day 4 of fever he woke up at about 10 p.m. delusional from fever. He had watched like 8 hours of Jackie Chan fighting cartoons that day and he was yelling at me to get the masks. Needless to say we cut off the cartoon watching, but really he just had too high of a fever and could not wake up from his dream state. He is such a good kid and we missed all of his help that he gives us when he was sick. He really contributes to our family. We  actually packed up most of camp at 11 p.m. the last night because he was too sick and we felt like we need to be home. But I haven't had much sleep since because I have been up with him a couple times through the night. He is finally feeling better and I keep crossing our fingers that the rest of our crew stays clear of it.

This is Seth and his brother, Tommy Uluava. Tommy got us the easy corner, gave Seth his cot, fed us most days, and made camp for us so much fun. 

This is Tommy and his wife. They were the greatest Ward camp neighbors ever. In fact, when we couldn't find Jake, all we had to do is look to the right and there he was invading their tent!

Its hard to explain this experience. We met some many incredible people that we never would have the chance to meet. I told Seth I wished we would have had Ward Camp four months ago when we moved in. Seth and I participated in the Newly Wed game, and made fools of our selves, so they got to know us as well. We got to see first hand how important family is to the Polynesian culture. Each of their families gathering in their tent. The cousins slept all together in tents and on mats. You couldn't tell which one belonged to which parent. They were all one big family. The most overwhelming emotion to us was how they welcomed us, making us feel like one of their family. We gained 5 pounds from the food they feed us, but even that was an expression of love. At one of the morning devotionals, the Bishop shared a short verse from the Book Of Mormon. It was,"And my father dwelt in a tent," referring to Lehi and his family as they journeyed in the wilderness. The Bishop reminded us that many revelations from God came while in a tent. It was a great reminded that all we need is each other and God. We can leave the rest behind and find such rich happiness together. Seth said he was sad to come home, five days was too short. It was because we loved being enveloped  by this great experience. We teased with everyone that we will be flying in next year for ward camp. Thanks to all who adopted us and made it such a incredible experience.