Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

That's the way this week has felt. Such a To-Do list, and I didn't even bother to write one until yesterday. Granted, not everything on the list is of life-changing importance, but there were some deadlines (and still are) that need to be met. Through all of the errands, forms to fill out, checks to be written, snacks to be made, volunteer time to be given at the school, meals to be prepared, lawns to be mowed, etc., etc., the house has just not cleaned itself! Generally, that's a good barometer for where my attitude/stress level is at. Another words, as the level of chaos increases in the house, so it also increases in my head. I'll get a tiny handle on it right before John gets home, then find myself wrapped up in a project and before I know it, I'm waking up to dinner dishes and preparation that never got taken care of, not to mention the kids' crafts, snacks and whatever that somehow happened the night before while I was preoccupied.

Some weeks are just like this - I recall distinctly being ahead of the game during the slower days of February - and I'll get back to that again. But, this week, I'm just trying to stay above the water.....

Monday, April 28, 2008

Target Therapy

I just returned from Target with the kids. Doing any sort of shopping with the kids is not what I would usually consider relaxing or in anyway therapy (particularly both of them together) however, when we stumbled upon the seasonal summer aisles, I felt my "giddy" level increase dramatically. There's something about all of the ideas of what could be for the summer: luau parties, bar-b-q's, afternoons with bubbles, evenings making s'mores - and lots of activities involving sunscreen and makes for lots of happy endorphines. Any summer activities you find yourself particularly daydreaming about?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

From the Bookshelf: Chill Out, Josey!

TITLE: Chill Out, Josey!
AUTHOR: Susan May Warren
GENRE: Christian Chick-Lit
HERE'S MY THOUGHTS: I loved, loved, loved this book. I have spent all day consuming it as I just can't leave Josey without knowing how everything turned out. And, yes, there were a few tears as I finished it. This is the sequel to EVERYTHING'S COMING UP JOSEY which was one of the first chick-lit books I've read. I'm not usually a fan of first-person writing style, but this is a major exception. I'm a huge fan of this kind of chick-lit - particularly if the character is as lovable, relate-able and real as Josey is. I have a feeling Susan May Warren would be someone I would want as my best friend! Certainly read the first one, before this one - and good news for the rest of us, in August a third Josey book will be released!
INSIGHTS I'VE GAINED: God will often lead us into uncomfortable places so we'll depend solely on Him and not on our power, and marriage, particularly early on, can be very difficult!

I couldn't help putting up this book review as it was such a fun read. If you are looking for something light, encouraging, and laughable, check this one out!

Nothin' But Blue Skies

This morning I woke up, looked up and saw blue skies. Yes, thanks to our 1979 architecture, complete with two living room skylights - and the fact that I was the den-mother to the cousins' living room camp-out, I did literally wake up looking at the sky. It was a BEAUTIFUL thing. I can't even tell you how awesome. The older I get, the more I value gorgeous weather. Just perfect.

The cousins were camping out because this morning Michael and Michele left to giddy-up along the Oregon coast in their own re-enactment of our experience last year horse-back riding and staying at the Overleaf Lodge. They were "giddy" this morning =) as they gathered their layers of jackets to stay warm in the coastal winds. We all had melt-in-your-mouth pancakes, bacon - and then they took off. Leaving in their wake a family of happy children engrossed in Nintendo DS, Wii, and the Barbie Horse-Stable Set. I'm so happy for M&M - they continuously get hit with obstacle after obstacle in life, many that have never been chronicled in this blog, and yet they keep hurdling them. Hopefully, this weekend, they can just rest in the blessings of each other and life in general.

Last night we all gathered at Olive Garden with the Whites as well, and cashed in accumulated gift cards. We had a clever waiter that enjoyed our large group. It was still a warm-enough day to feel like a spring-summer-on-its-way evening, and its one of those memories that, at the time, didn't seem like much, but will imprint into my mind as a "all-is-well" experience. I love our little family (yes, Whites included).

So, enjoy the beautiful weather, wherever you are - summer is not too far away!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Our Journey to OZ

OZ is the new "cool" advertising gimmick used by the Oregon Zoo......

I gotta say, this morning my enthusiasm for this field trip was pretty darn low. I had left things to be done in the morning (always a recipe for feeling stressed) and walked out of the door knowing I'd forgotten at least one thing. As it turned out, it was three things - gloves, my Russian Tea, and warmer clothing.

With that in mind, we did make it to the school on time and I was assigned a very pleasant group of kids to keep track of. In addition, one of the boys' mom came along, so pretty much it was Brayden, one of his birthday-party buddies, and a sweet little girl. I could totally handle that.

The bus ride up was tolerable - a little chilly, but I did manage to start a fun chick-lit book and nod off for a while. However, at the Salem rest stop I was acutely aware of how very cold it was outside and how under-dressed I was (despite two Northface jackets). My only saving grace, one of those Thermacare patches I threw in.

By the time we had toured the primates, elephants and African Safari, it was seriously raining (or should I say hailing), and I, without even a hood, was losing feeling in my fingers. We had lunch next to the bathrooms, apart from the rest of the group because 1) we didn't want to travel in the rain and 2) we weren't even sure the Elephant Pavilion had covered space or tables to sit at. On my trip to the restroom, I discovered it actually had very hot water and I nearly ditched my group to spend the rest of the day under the faucet.

We then hightailed it to the Gift Shop as it was a mandatory stop for some point in the day - and it was heated. What do you know, but for $9.99 they sell a fleece hat/gloves/scarf set. And, despite the fact that it didn't match my attire it was one of the best $10 purchases I've made in a long time. The rest of the day improved dramatically from there.

Perhaps my favorite part of the day isn't even included in these pictures. On the way home, Brayden and I worked through a workbook with wordsearches, mystery riddles, and word scrambles with Brayden's teacher sitting across the aisle, helping out and chatting. How rare for me to spend 2 plus hours totally consumed with positive Brayden time (not to mention the time spent at the zoo). Just goes to show that those experiences we find ourselves dreading, can turn out to be absolute blessings.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From the Bookshelf: Betrayed

TITLE: Betrayed
AUTHOR: Jeanette Windle
GENRE: Christian Fiction-Political/Suspense
HERE'S MY THOUGHTS: This is the second book I've read from this author. The first one was very gripping and involved the drug trade and being in a trapped marriage within the "drug royalty" of South America (CROSSFIRE). This book centers in Guatemala - addressing the people that live in the trash dumps as well as the cloud biosphere found in few other places in the world. Within these settings, the political tension of "tree-huggers" vs. "people huggers" is everpresent- as well as those that would want to reform Guatemala into a true democracy vs. allowing the Guerrilla warfare continue that had people fearing that the Mayan peoples would eventually take over.
INSIGHTS I'VE GAINED: Needless to say, the book has had my wheels turning regarding the terrible injustices of these poor countries, why America has made the choices it has in the past in our involvement with them, and how hindsight would now tell us they weren't necessarily the right choices. As in so many third world countries, you can urge democracy, but if people aren't educated to the extent that they understand the political system and can make an educated decision on the candidates, you may end up with leaders just as corrupt and destructive as you started out with. Also, the environmental issues - particularly in regards to the rain forest regions, it's just not so easy to say, "stay out and leave it be". Throw in the drug trade and its complications and oh boy, there's a whole mess of problems.

I appreciate that Jeanette has done a good job in both books in not painting the picture in black and white. There are a lot of shades of gray when it comes to trying to determine the right course of action. She speaks from an abundance of experience as she was a missionary there for 16 years and has traveled extensively. In fact, the US Government has approached her as to who her sources are as her books apparently speak to such truthful scenarios that it would appear she's had access to classified information.

I can't say you won't see the twists in the storyline coming, or find some of the circumstances unbelievable, but if for no other reason than educating yourself on the some of the plights of those living in Central and South America - this is a great read.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I'm feeling much more stabilized today. Yesterday, I was borderline delirious - I am VERY influenced by how much sleep I get, so when things are messed up, so am I. As it turned out, Brayden came back in the morning and slept for 4 and a half hours before I finally woke him up to go to school for the short time remaining. I felt like it was good for him to back in the groove regarding school vs. just skipping all of Monday.

Funny how there is a timelessness of home. No matter how long you're gone, it will seem like no time at all as soon as you are back. Jodi wrote a very sweet post on another meaning of home - check it out at

I also find it interesting how fast progress can be reversed. How fast the spotless house (that took hours to get it there) can be trashed by laundry, toys, and spilled sugar all over the floors. How fast I can gain 8 pounds when it took 3 months to lose them! How fast months of fingernail and toenail progress can be erased with the anxiety of wondering when we'll get home. Even my face is not nearly as clear as it was before I left (lack of Pro-active consistency and use of suncare products). The only thing that is better - some color I gained from the sun, will soon fade - and causes wrinkles and potential skin cancer! Of course, I'm okay with it all. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again - food is an integral part of my vacation/celebration/life experience, so if it requires being really good for a long time so I can have a week of being really bad, I really can handle that. Same for the rest of it too. I just, once again, find it crazy how fast things can spiral downward when it takes so long to go uphill.

I think perhaps I'll put up a book review tomorrow of a different genre than my usual sci-fi. And, then, hold on to your seats..... Thursday should bring some real excitement as I set off to help chaperon (I'd swear that word has an "e" at the end, but spellcheck says "no") Brayden's class trip to the Portland zoo. Which includes (I can hardly wait!) riding the school bus with the kiddos there and back..... Hopefully, it will choose not to snow that day.......

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Doozy of a Monday

This will be a post that I'll add to later, but for now, just wanted to let you know that we made it home - and apparently with Mikayla's eardrums intact. She didn't complain about the flight, so I'm guessing we're okay.

However, when we got to the airport in Maui, we found out there was a three hour delay - so we didn't arrive in Portland until 2:15am, and the clock said about 5:30am, before I laid down in bed. Unfortunately, it was my turn to carpool to school, so we all loaded into the car, but I ended up bringing Brayden back home with me. He kept falling back asleep - which I totally relate to.

So, we are all going to go back to bed until we all wake up on our own. I'll post later......

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wake-Up Call

I was in the middle of riding Sydney as if she was a horse on some unknown campus, trying to figure out where the science building was for the final I never prepared for when all of a sudden - strobe lights and woop-woo-woop. What?! Oh, some sort of emegency - yes, that's the fire alarm. Blessedly, it was around 7:45, so not too early, but John was having everyone get dressed so we could, what? - evacuate to the ocean? In the back of my mind, I even wondered it if it was a tsunami warning. With our vacation luck (strokes, step throats, Angora Fires) nothing would surprise me.

Just as we got to our pool chair location, it all stopped. It was a false alarm, sure enough. At least it yanked me out of the annoying dream sequence - last several nights have been rather stressful for my sub-conscious.

As "alarming as that was" - this is what the Schillings woke up to..... BRRRRRR!

Here's some final shots of special moments here that I haven't otherwise posted about.....
This is a "re-enactment" of exactly where John and Brayden had "the talk". Yes, birds and bees sort of thing. John said it was just awesome- Brayden was ready and handled it super well.
This is Mikayla in her tent the day she got diagnosed with strep and was told she shouldn't be submerging underwater. She drew pictures and played with her webkinz under there.

Mr. Lizard - trying to attract the ladies by puffing his throat out-

This would be Brayden's first big efforts at photography. If you note the cord at his side, he used the remote to snap the picture just as he threw a spiral to John. And, btw, John did catch it....

And, here is the Riley Pharmacy that we had going on to try to fix all of our maladies....

Pretty self-explanatory - the girls in the pool--

We miss you Whites!

One of the pics of just John and I-

A very appropriate final parting shot.....

Friday, April 18, 2008

Stuck in Paradise

So, here's a dilemma for us. We just returned from the check-up at the Doctor on Call clinic. No more fever for Mikayla, ears look "better", but, uh - "When were you going to fly out?" "Uh, today...." "Well, I don't think that's going to work....."

Sure enough, he did a little eardrum vibration check, brought out the printout results and said, "What you want to see is some spikes to show that the eardrum is responding to vibration - you don't want to see this - where there's absolutely no movement". (My understanding is this would mean that the change in pressure from flying could potentially burst both of her eardrums). He proceeded to tell me that he can't even be sure when she'll be better - "let's be optimistic and have you visit in 24 hours again". (He says they see this sort of thing all the time....)

Well, now. This is not the situation we anticipated. The funny thing is, where yesterday was an icky day weather-wise - lots of humidity, "vog" (the volcanic haze), and very bright - today is the deepest blue skies we've seen all week. I found myself trying to absorb every last minute of it on the walk to the doc's knowing that I'd soon be returning to a high temp of 47 degrees in Oregon. Well, there you go.

Now, we are just waiting for John to return to break the news to him and figure out what we'll be doing- little things like a new flight, perhaps a place to stay... little details like that. We'll keep you posted!


Well, it's about an hour later. You should have seen the look on John's face when he saw the "Doctor's Restriction Sheet". Kind of a "deer in the headlights" look....

He's currently on the phone with the airlines. We've already secured a room in another part of the resort - for an exorbitant amount of money, and we're holding our breath to see what fees we'll be accruing by changing the flight reservations. This is one expensive ear infection.

The Whites are going home today. This makes me very sad. We're kind of a package deal these days - our only special little family. (On a funny note, Mikayla, Stephie and I were walking hand in hand - Mikayla in the middle - to the luau. Mikayla got several comments on how pretty she looked and I asked afterwards to Steph - "So, do you have your wedding ring, on Steph? The one that DOES NOT match mine?" Travis and John have dealt with the same issues as they've done activities together with Brayden). But, it makes no sense for them to stay and deal with the extra costs as well, especially when we have no guarantees that we can for sure leave tomorrow. Throw in a huge work day Steph is anticipating on Monday (for a board meeting), and it's a big deal that she gets settled in at home and prepared this weekend. Sigh..... While it seems like a fun idea to "keep vacationing", it's turning out to be a bit of a let-down. But, of course, don't feel sorry for us, we'll do what we can to make the best of it......

It looks like, now, we'll be staying through Sunday. The price per person to change the tickets is not pretty - and the risk of having to pay it again tomorrow is not worth it. Sigh..... Alright, time to check out - more posting to come, later.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Drums of the Pacific

To keep you updated on dear Mikayla's condition - she was diagnosed with Strep Throat this morning by the handy-dandy "Doctors on Call" clinic at the Hyatt next door. The doc was wonderful and it doesn't get much easier than walking along the beach about a block to visit a doctor and get prescriptions to fix her up. I did feel bad, though, that we didn't visit earlier. Even with Advil in her system she was still running a temperature, I have a feeling it got pretty high while we've been here. Poor thing. I can certainly relate - it was during our trip with the Whites to Aruba that I experienced my worst ordeal ever with Strep - I'm amazed Mikayla's held us as well as she has.

The good news, though, is that within a couple of hours of getting the meds in her system, she perked right up. It's great to have our lively little girl back. We do need to make a return trip to the doctor on Friday prior to leaving. Apparently, it's really bad news to make a long flight when you have some major issues going on with your ears (which she has in addition to the Strep Throat). While I'm feeling confident that the problem will resolve itself by then, wouldn't that be just awful to have to extend our vacation a little longer.......

The special event of today, outside of trips to the doctor and pharmacy, was the Drums of the Pacific Luau - also at the Hyatt next door. In the past, John and I went to the Old Lahaina Luau - which was great, but we thought we'd mix it up, and the fire dancing was recommended to entertain the kiddos. Here's my reviews-

Location - gotta hand that one to the Hyatt's - nice to walk and not drive into Lahaina

Food - also gotta hand that one to the Hyatt. Given that the kids and I are pretty picky eaters, I liked a lot of what was served, and so did they.

Everything else - hands down, the Old Lahaina Luau. The Hyatt's entertainment was really kind of cheesy. While we weren't bored stiff, it did seem to stretch on too long. The fire bit at the end was cool, but we found ourselves quite distracted throughout the performance by one of the four male dancers. We nicknamed him "Joe" - he was the obvious "whiter" guy in the mix - the one that has tattoos down his torso. It was clear he was either new to the act, or really bad because the entire show had him stiffly going through all the moves, usually a beat off, and constantly watching the other guys to see what to do next. If he was cute, you might be able to forgive him, but honestly, the expression on his face and the way he moved were just downright creepy. Too bad, because the other three were pretty entertaining, but somehow, you just couldn't help watching this dude. It was, I suppose, kind of entertaining in its own right.

I think we're officially done with the luau thing for the foreseeable future. Been there, done that - it's nice and all, but I just don't think it will be worth our money and time the next opportunity we ever have to return. Too many other awesome things to do.....

The whole gang, semi-coincedentally matching in attire color-

What a good-looking couple.....

The traditional roasted pig-

Props to Mikayla for volunteering on her own accord to get up on stage and learn to hula. Yes, certainly feeling better to be willing to do that!

"Joe" is the one on the right-

And, finally, the most entertaining part of the evening-

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What Was That?

FYI - I just posted a truckload of pictures for the last two posts. Can't be thankful enough for John's camera and his desire for photography on a trip like this....

Yesterday, on the boat, the noise was a little loud so we all weren't able to hear as well as we normally would. Mikayla's hearing is TERRIBLE right now as well due to whatever is going on with her ear (promptly at 8am, we're trekking to the hotel next door to see the "On Call Doctors Clinic" and hopefully get this taken care of - without pain meds in her, she is just miserable). Anyway, here's a few things the kids said that were worth recording.....

As we were approaching Lanai, Steph and I were getting a little antsy in our desires to see wildlife so we were mistaking the whitecaps with possible whales. We dismissed our claims by saying, "Oh, those are just whitecaps". When John wanted to know what was going on, Mikayla replied to him, "Oh Daddy, those are just white-cows". Now, that would be something to spot in the middle of the ocean!

The guide on the trip, Patti, was very informative with island history and facts. She was telling us about Molokai and how it started out as a place to send lepers - the disease was devastating to the Hawaiian population so they had to figure out a way to isolate those who were affected. Currently, 28 people with the condition still live there. While there is now treatment for the affliction, these people are probable disfigured, have lived there all their life, and are just living out the rest of it in a place of comfort. A modern day leper colony.

When Brayden heard this, he said "that island has leprechauns?" No, honey, "leper colonies"......

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh Yeah, It Was Worth It....

I'm currently sitting at the computer on the lanai, after having unsuccessfully tried to take a nap. At least the migraine and nausea are gone, and I'm not too sleepy.

We woke up this morning at 5:30, so we could meet the Captain of "Ocean Riders" at the wharf at 6:30. It was a TERRIBLE night's sleep for me as Mikayla moaned through much of the night, and I was constantly feeling her forehead to gauge her fever. Our only saving grace is that she's learned how to swallow an Advil which has done wonders for the temperature and pain - Praise God for that.

We knew that today's adventure wasn't a super idea with the kids feeling the way they were, but as we were already locked into paying for it, I felt like the kids could cope and perhaps do well with the constant distraction versus another lazy day at the pool in the sun.

As you'll note by the pictures, the boat ride actually did good for them - it ended up lulling them both to sleep. The most expensive nap-inducer we've ever purchased, that's for sure. But, as it was an all-day experience, the nap didn't have them missing much.

John was not at all a fan from the start. In fact, my friendship with Stephie was also put in jeopardy as well due to very high swells and resulting motion sickness that caused. This particular trip is the only one of its kind to completely circle the island of Lanai which seemed like a great idea at the time of booking, but once we were in the ocean had us really wondering if we could endure that long. Fortunately, both of the staff that ran the operation were just awesome and super accomodating - and the other 2 couples with us were super cool too.

The first stop had us swimming to shore from the boat and taking a break on a sandy shore. Mikayla was terrified of being in the open ocean and cried the entire time. Nice way to start things. Since Mommy had to pee something fierce - and everyone else bailed out of the boat as well, she didn't really have an option. From there, the kids slept while we rode out the waves to the first snorkeling stop in which we decided to pass on.

The next snorkeling stop once again had me jumping in due to "nature's call". I'm glad I did - it was the best fit as far as snorkel gear - and just amazing to see all of the fish in their natural environment. Neither the kids or John wanted anything to do with it, but lucky for them, the fish weren't shy, and all it took was a little bread tossed overboard to have the fish visit them instead. The last snorkel stop was more of the same - Brayden did make a try at it, but quickly decided it was too cold and returned to the boat.

Then came the really rough waters - I'm telling you, it was "hold on or else". While John suffered in the back, I have to admit that I was having a blast, feeling like I was on a ride at Disneyland. Seeing Brayden pronounce, "this rocks" made me feel a bit better too.

With just an hour left, the only wildlife we'd seen was a sea turtle upon departure and the tropical fish. While I felt like the experience was worth it, I was still a little bummed there was nothing more spectacular to claim we'd experienced. That all changed when we got a glimpse of some fins - and then more - yes, we'd landed in the middle of a pod of approx. 150 spinner dolphins. I cannot even describe my delight. I was jumping to every angle of the boat, pointing, gasping, grabbing the underwater camera and leaning over to try to shoot pics of them as they swam by. It was one of the most phenomenal glimpses of nature I've ever been a part of. In the distance, we saw the breach of a whale, and the magnificent show of its tail as it submerged. The kids were as enamored as me, and bless his heart, John was going to town with the camera - catching the dolphins as the leapt and spun above water. (Trivial fact - they usually do this to dislodge a sucker fish which commonly attach themselves to the dolphins).

The rest of the trip was certainly anticlimactic. More choppy water as we returned the distance to Maui, a very sad looking husband which ended up throwing up over the boat (but, he felt much better afterwards) and myself getting to the point in which I wanted to do the same as a result of holding my neck in an awkward position riding on the side ridge of the boat and all of the turbulence. We did spot another mommy whale and her baby, but I have to admit at that point, I just wanted back to solid ground. Yes, I had gained my empathy for Steph and John.

But, was it worth it, oh yes, a thousand times, yes.

Pure Magic!

This is one of those posts where I don't even know where to start - so I guess I'll go all the way back to when I first heard about this show.

When Mom and Dad returned from their last trip to Hawaii, they raved about the "Warren and Annabelle's Magic Show". Having never been that "big" on illusion or magic, it sounded nice, but I was a bit skeptical that it could truly be that great. However, Dad told stories that sounded impressive, and then they went ahead and gave us tickets to the show for John's birthday - insuring that we would make the show a priority
while we were here.

Travis and Stephanie then took it a step further by "stepping up" our ticket to the full package which included dinner, drinks and dessert (in honor of John's birthday). The only thing left to make the evening perfect was to find childcare for the kiddos (because of the alcohol served, kids can't be in attendance, even though the content of the show is quite family friendly), and somehow, find a way for the group of us to
be front row on the action of the performance.

The childcare was taken care of by using the "Nanny Connection". It cost us an arm and a leg, but it is very recommended and "professional" - when we met the 62 year old ocean swimmer who also teaches 3rd grade, we felt very comfortable knowing that our kids would survive without us for five hours.

As for the "front row" issue, well, we were told to "work it" by being very entertaining and "adorable" - when we were in the presence of the manager during the dining part of the show (you come in and eat first then go into a theater for a show). Let's just say we all were "game-on". I am proud to say I figured out the trick that was necessary to get us into the dining room (it's a little riddle thing) - and we were rewarded with front row seating in the dining room - and then we totally worked the waiter to see what we could make happen. As I've mentioned before, if you get Travis and John together in a situation where personality is the key to success, those two will make things happen. And, they did. John and I were picked, along with 3 other couples to sit in the 8 seats right in front of the illusionist, to basically be the ones picked on throughout the show. Travis and Stephanie were seated directly behind us. Oh yes, magic was already happening before the show even started.

As I'm typing this I have a permanent marker pen scribbled on the back of each hand. On the left hand is a big "L" and on the right hand there is a big "R". Yes, they would be reminders as to which one is which. These letters were written there by "Warren" the illusionist. You guessed it, he asked me to help him do something - with my left hand, and I lifted my right hand. To my defense, he was facing me and demonstrated with his left hand, so I automatically used the same facing hand - and there you go, I got "zinged" again.

John was nicknamed "Gomer" from the start - (think Gomer Pyle). He was Warren's #1 fall guy. I kid you not, the corners of my mouth hurt from laughing and smiling for 2 hours straight. Not only was the experience SO MUCH FUN, but being able to share it with Travis and Stephanie - roaring right next to us, it was, yes, magical. Also, knowing there could be few things in the world "more fun" for John that this evening and his big part in it was just awesome. On top of that, the tricks that were done are nothing short of astounding. I have no idea how it could have been done - I won't spoil anything because I don't want any of the fun lost on any of my readers, but suffice it to say, I'm so impressed.

Perhaps the best part of the show, though, was the likability of this guy. He never cut anybody down in a cruel way, used no profanity, - and even admitted how close to closing the show down he was in his early days. Now he sells out every night, but values his audience so much, not taking them for granted at all. He practically teared up in his appreciation of those folks in the audience who've attended numerous times and continue to bring friends and pass his name on.

So, here I am, passing his name on. Seriously, I could not recommend it more, it's an absolute DON"T MISS if you ever get a chance to vacation in Maui. Pictures to come, and with them a few captions as to some of the hilarity (and occasional embarrassment) that John and I were a part of tonite. Thank you Mom and Dad for making this happen, and and of course, thanks to Travis and Stephanie for making it so extra-special!

This gal's name was Lauren - she was the number one picked on girl of the group (you can see why) - a newlywed, such a sweetie....

Uh oh, I should I have seen it coming, but oh no, I fell for giving him the sympathy kiss, and he gave me the classic shift the face move so I landed on his lips. The one and only time John will ever laugh, smile, and shoot pictures of me liplocking another man.....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hitting the Surf

Despite the shark sightings, we really did feel like it was safe to "step into the water". So, the second half of Sunday was spent traveling to "Sugar Beach" where the sand is "as fine as sugar" and playing in the waves on the boogey boards we rented. Interesting, when Mikayla got a little salt water in her mouth she complained saying, "It tastes like salt, Mommy said it would taste like sugar!" Too funny!

The first half of the day was spent laying out at the pool. The weather here is so kooky, in the morning, we had frequent showers which feels like you are standing under those misting jets at the produce department. By around 11, we got the direct sun rays and felt like we'd "finally arrived"!

On the way home, after eating at Moose McGillicuddy's in Kihe, John stopped and took some pictures of the view while Stephie taught the kids about a little war history from the sign at the beach. It was good we took frequent pitstops because John's digestive track was a little off, which had us all suffering in the car on the way home. Quote of the day from Brayden, "Daddy, for all that is good in the world would you stop tooting!" Amen to that one, buddy.