Sunday, January 31, 2010


One month into the new year and time for a check-up on my goals.

Lose weight - Doing great on this one. I've been eating much healthier and much less and I am losing weight.

Earn YW Medallion - Progressing here. Accomplished a few achievements this past month and spent 2-3 hours on a project.

Write my grandma's life history - Haven't done a darn thing!

Do major projects early
CPE - I did 8 hours this month.
Christmas cards - I haven't given them a thought
nieces and nephews birthday presents - FINISHED!
Christmas gifts - I haven't given them a thought

Write a book - Haven't done a darn thing!

Get 7 hours of sleep per night - FAILURE! I have managed 7-8 hours on Friday and Saturday nights (I am such a party animal - lol) but weeknights are still about 6 hours.

Conclusion: It seems as though I'm either doing really well on the goals or I'm doing nothing. Maybe I can only focus on so many things at a time.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

piano recital

Chandler and McKayla had a piano recital last Monday evening. They both did great.

My intrepid son actually volunteered to be first on the program. He was upset with himself because he messed up the first time through but he got it right the second time through. I was proud of him!

How could I not be proud? They both play better than I do!

Actually, Shanley takes lessons too and also plays better than me. She takes from a different teacher (long story) so she was not in this recital.

Friday, January 29, 2010


I've been feeling a bit creative lately. I made all these photo holder blocks for my nieces and nephews for their birthdays in 2010. The hope is that they match the decor of their rooms.

The creative "bug" is catching! McKayla and her teammate, Makena (who stayed with us last weekend) caught it and made Utah Glory photo holders.

I also helped them make bottle cap necklaces with their Utah Glory team name and logo.

My creativity has even spread to breakfast. Copying my friend Jill, I made the kids pancakes this morning in the shape of their initials. They loved it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

proper protocol?

What is the appropriate response when your 14-year-old daughter stays after school for some help, asks the teacher if she can use the classroom phone, the teacher tells her "No, I'm in a hurry and need to leave right now", so your daughter must walk home?

No, there are no pay phones in the school.

Yes, I am one of those "mean moms" who doesn't believe every child over the age of 5 deserves a cell phone of their own.

And yes, it was 30 degree weather.

Is the appropriate response:
a) telling your daughter the walk was good for her,
b) calling the teacher and berating her, or
c) calling the main office so the vice-principal can listen to your rant?

Nearly 17 hours later and I am still FUMING!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book Awards

A few book awards:

Best Romance: Pride and Prejudice

Best Fantasy: the Harry Potter series

Best Adventure: Dead Lucky: Life After Death on Mount Everest

Biggest Impact on My Teen Life: To Kill a Mockingbird

Most Influential: The Book of Mormon

Best Young Adult Fiction: The Hunger Games

These are MY awards - not based on any scientific research. Just my own humble opinion for whatever that is worth.

It might be interesting to note that I have read 63 of the 100 books which were voted the 100 Best Books on My favorites of those I have read many times each. Several more of the 100 books are on my to-read list. Some of the books, I must admit, I have absolutely NO interest in reading!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

best son EVER

Those of you who know me or who follow my blog know that I love my oldest son, my missionary son, Brakston.

Let me just brag for a minute more. He is never forgetful. He tells us everything. He loves to surprise us.

Okay. Okay. I really only believe the last one is true.

For example, imagine the surprise Kevin and I felt yesterday when mail from an Arizona hospital came. We opened it to find an emergency room bill for a visit on January 14th.

Huh? Who? What? Huh?

Oh, yeah. It must be our missionary son. Really? Is he back in the hospital? What now? How come we find out from a bill?

You might have laughed if you had seen Kevin and I poring over each line item on the bill trying to decipher what it meant? (i.e. "It says hydration pack. Do you think that's standard or was he dehydrated?" "Morphine. Do you think he was in a lot of pain or did they need to give it to him in order to stick tubes down him or something?)

I think "someone's son" is getting a bit of a lecture in tomorrow's email.

--scrappinsoccermama wonders if he was trying to be an adult (and not have mom worry) or whether he just forgot (I mean, it was six WHOLE days between the ER visit and his next chance to email and Brakston is NOT known for his memory).

Monday, January 25, 2010


I am NOT cool! But at least I recognize it and don't try to act like I am -- at least most of the time I don't.

Last Friday one of my students asked me to call him "Nate-dog". Here's how it went.

Me: I can't pull off "dog". It's just not my personality.

Nate: Sure you can!

Me: No, really, I can't. I'm not a "dog" type person.

Nate: I think you can. You seem cool. Give it a try.

Me: No, I'm not cool. I'm not sure I was ever cool but I definitely haven't been for years.

Nate: C'mon. One time.

Me: (stupid me) Okay, Nate-dog.

Nate: (laughing) You're right. You can't pull it off.

Great. Now I'm not only uncool but I'm also embarrassed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

life keeps going

Our internet has been out since Friday night. Aargh!

I had an absolutely CRAZY day on Friday so the first chance I had to post anything would have been Friday night about 9:15 pm. First, though, I needed to check my email because it contained the address for my daughter's 7 am soccer game.

Guess what?

No internet!

I wish the world had stopped right then and there because I found out how much I RELY on internet access.

I just thought I'd try again in the morning before leaving.

Nope! Still no access.

Now it's 6 am and I am leaving for an unspecified location in Murray. Luckily, I had a vague idea of where it might be and after a few wrong turns we did manage to stumble across the indoor soccer field.

Whew! One crisis avoided!

Later that day I needed a recipe.

Oops! Only on the internet. Figure something else out.

Then, needed the internet to find the story I wanted to use for my Sunday School lesson.

No joy!

Seriously began to wonder how I ever functioned before the internet.

Thank goodness that access is now restored! I can function once more.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Itty Bitty SouthTowne City

I love to copy and I love things that are creative and a little bit different! Combine those two and you get last night's YM/YW Combined Activity.

The Deseret News newspaper runs a contest every year called Itty Bitty Salt Lake City. They print 20-25 pictures from items/elements found in a 20-square block area downtown. They object is to try to find/identify them all. My friend, Jill, and I have done it with our children and had fun.

Hence the copy part.

Jill and I took pictures of signs, trees, chair upholstery, vending machines, etc at SouthTowne mall. Then I cropped 20 of the photos and put them on one sheet and color copied it (enough copies for every group to have one).
I also gave each group a half-sheet number 1-20 so they could record either what the item was or the spot they found it (i.e. PacSun sign or part of the carousel horse or chair outside Dillard's).

Each group was given 1 hour to find and identify as many as possible. Two groups found 16 each! Other groups only found 8 or 9. The youth seemed to have a really good time and one YW even wants me to help her do one for the couples' day activity for the Sweethearts' school dance.

The creative part factors in because none of the youth had done anything like that before (excepting my own daughter). I love doing new things!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Who am I?????

Who am I today?

I guess that depends on who you ask.

To my fellow 5:30 a.m. peeps, I am a dedicated Jazzerciser.
To the 3rd graders at my son's school, I am the animal-selling lady (it was marketplace today - an exercise in money management).
To the missionaries, I am the Sister who is feeding them dinner tonight.
To the YM/YW, I am the leader in charge of tonight's activity and the one that will provide them the homemade peanut butter cookies. (I really must admit I make the very BESt peanut butter cookies ever! I know I shouldn't brag, but they are big and soft and practically melt in your mouth. Since I'm on a health-food, lose-weight kick, I couldn't even allow myself a single bite. I knew I wouldn't be able to stop.)
To my mom, I am the concerned daughter who has been calling all day to get the medical test results.
To my nieces, I am the nice aunt who let them have a sleepover last night and took them swimming.
To my neighbors (at least this morning), I am the woman who drives a bit too fast for snowy roads (I was running really late - not usual for me).
To myself, today I am mom. I helped in the school, made a great dinner, had peanut butter cookies waiting as an after school treat, helped with McKayla's science fair project, and just generally did the "mom" thing.

Who are you today?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

thou shalt not murmur

One thing in particular struck me as I was reading the Book of Mormon the other day: it's SCARY how much I have in common with Laman and Lemuel! Specifically, Nephi was talking about Laman and Lemuel and said, "...And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them." (1 Nephi 2:12)

And I thought "Dang! I'm just like them. That's why I murmur too! Because I don't see the big picture, because I don't know what God wants me to learn from my trials, because I can't see the growth my experiences are forcing in me, because I don't know all the why's, because, because, because, because..."

Dang again! I really hate it when I'm reminded I sometimes have more in common with Laman and Lemuel than my hero, Nephi.

Monday, January 18, 2010

sin city

Kevin, Alec, McKayla, and I are in Las Vegas. We've been staying in Henderson which is really pretty and feels safe. McKayla's soccer games have been North of the Strip in a nice area.

So, what could possibly have induced us to spend our free time yesterday on the Strip?

I don't know what I was thinking.

We finished church and had a whole afternoon and evening ahead of us. I checked out a few things we could do for free and we were off! First, a tour of a chocolate factory with free samples. Nice. Then a walk through a cactus garden. Nice. Then we drove down to the strip and watched the fountains at the Bellagio. Nice. Then we walked down to Caesar's Palace to see the Journey to Atlantis show. Had to walk through a casino. Not so nice. Saw the show. Cheesy. Looked at the aquarium. Nice. We were all getting tired (lots of walking) so we bagged the other shows that were on our list. However, McKayla wanted to go to M&M World so we walked the other direction towards MGM Grand. Nasty. Someone standing every 17.5 inches trying to hand you a porn card (basically). Yuk. Streets were littered with said cards. Gross. Garbage cans were overflowing and trash was everywhere. Disgusting. People were drunk and foul-mouthed. Uncool. A guy started making fun of Alec calling him a retard. Classless. Made it to M&M World and watched a short 3-D movie. Cute. Just wanted to get back to our car. The street we were parked down had a foul odor emanating from it. Stinky. Got to the car and got back to our hotel room. Relieved.

What was I possibly thinking venturing into "Sin City"? "Skin City" "Slime City" "Slum City"

--scrappinsoccermama is so grateful that what happens in Vegas STAYS in Vegas (at least if it happens on the Strip).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

proud mama?

I am "mother" to four Mia Maids (14- and 15-year-old girls in church). This past Wednesday I took them all to Zupa's for dinner bacause I was so proud of them. Last September we set a goal, as a class, to read the Book of Mormon in 100 days. All four girls accomplished this goal as well as the other leader and me. So, we celebrated!

For 3 of those girls, it was the very first time they had read it! (It was my daughter, McKayla's, fourth time.) I think I could just burst at the seams with pride. It's not just an accomplishment, it's the knowing what that means in their lives. One hundred days of inviting The Spirit into their lives! One hundred days of drawing nearer to The Savior!

It's my very favorite book.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

striking terror in hearts everywhere!

Lately I have been subjected to extra security measures when I've flown. I've decided I must look menacing or threatening. When I flew to Los Angeles, I was subjected to the "naked scan" machine not just once but twice! Then, I was still patted down around my middle. (The only thing they'll find there is some extra weight!)

Yesterday, they scanned my roll-a-board suitcase then hailed another TSA agent to come rifle through it. When he didn't find anything, they sent in through the scanner again. The culprit? A CUCUMBER! Yes, I was traveling with my own lunch (you never know when you fly stand-by how long you'll be stuck in an airport and I didn't want to be gouged by airport prices for food that is high-fat, low-nutrition.)

Anyways, there you have it - a particularly terrifying mother traveling with her pretty daughter and her son who has Down syndrome armed with (GASP) a cucumber! Thank goodness they caught me! Don't you all feel the skies are safer now?

Friday, January 15, 2010

books I've read in the past month

Here's the list of books I've read in the past month. I ** the ones I highly recommend.

25 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living: A Guide for Improving Every Aspect of Your Life by Linda Elder and Richard W. Paul

**Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage to the Antarctic by Alfred Lansing

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

My Antonia by Willa Cather

Arctic Homestead: The True Story of One Family's Survival and Courage in the Alaskan Wilds by Norma Cobb

The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom by Slavomir Rawicz

mother-daughter bonding

McKayla and I went to a movie late Tuesday afternoon. We went to see Leap Year. It was fairly cute although not one I'm dying to see again.

Doesn't matter. It wasn't about the movie. It was about spending time doing something fun with my oldest daughter.

I stole a few more moments with her last night as I bribed her to paint my toenails. (Yes, I know, I could paint my own darn nails but then I wouldn't have been able to chat with her.)

Besides, now I have great-looking toenails to show off this weekend in Vegas! Let's hear it for sandal-weather!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I taught seminary at WestRidge Academy yesterday. That is a private, very expensive high school that doubles as a treatment center for addicted youth. Some of the youth are court-ordered to be there while others are checked-in by their parents.

Every time I have taught at WestRidge, there has been at least one student who tugs at my heartstrings. I see how cute, personable, talented, etc they are and feel so bad that they have thrown so much away. Yesterday that boy was Dallin - a cute, friendly senior from South Jordan. He used to play soccer and lacrosse. He liked music and movies. He looks like the boy next door - the kind you'd feel safe with your daughter dating. However, he got involved with drugs and quit playing sports. He lost all outside interests. Now his only thought is whether he'll stay sober. It breaks my heart.

I'm not sure I could ever work full-time in a place like that. I would want to take too many of them home with me. I would cry over every relapse. I would try to fix all of their problems. I would think with just enough love or if I just tried hard enough or said the right thing, I could change them. While I know that's not true, I think I'd beat myself up while trying.

I still remember another boy from there who caught my interest - Mason. I can't forget how hard he was trying to put his life back together nor his determination to stay sober and change his future. I wonder how he is and if he's all right. I'll probably never know.

I believe it takes an incredible person to work with troubled youth. How do counselors, psychologists, teachers, caseworkers, etc do it?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

snowed in!

I really like snowmen! A few years ago my collection got too big to be included with my Christmas decor (the Christmas decor had probably expanded too). Now, the snowman get their own display for the month of January. Here's a sampling:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

ahead of the curve!

For once in my life, I just might be ahead of my time. A few years ago we had our laundry room finished. I picked out an unorthodox paint color but one I loved because it reminds me of tropical paradises! I can envision Cancun or Hawaii or Puerto Vallarta while doing the mundane task of laundry.
In Monday's newspaper I read that "turquoise" is the design color of the year for 2010. Wow! Maybe I'm a trend setter....(well, probably not).

Monday, January 11, 2010

get out of my life!

***WARNING*** I am going to rant. My rant may be dangerous to your psyche. Do not read this rant if you are pregnant, have a heart condition, or suffer from any other serious illness or injury.

I sincerely fear that government is getting TOO big. It regulates everything! I think there must now be a law regarding every tiny aspect of life. I'll wager that a week doesn't go by that I don't violate some law or another (and I view myself as a law-abiding person). I can't keep up with all the laws whether they are passed by the state legislature or a national congress. I'd really like to see governments step back and allow the competitive marketplace to do its job.

For instance, this morning I was reading in the paper that part of the "airline passenger bill of rights" that government passed in 2009 includes a section on planes being late. The government now has the right to fine airlines if flights are consistently late.

1) They claim passengers cite on-time performance as their number one concern. Really? How many people who book flights research the on-time performance of a specific airline before purchasing their tickets? I would venture to say that price and schedule dictate most of the booking. Shouldn't a major concern be the airlines safety/maintenance record?

which brings me to my next point...

2) Is there allowances in this "bill of rights" for weather delays? How about for maintenance delays? Currently, if even the printer onboard is not working, the flight is delayed. The problem might be minor. It might not. Regardless, I love knowing that my flight will not take off until every light shows "go" and every item has been ticked off the pre-flight checklist. My safety is my first concern.

3) If passengers really are ultra-concerned with on-time performance, they can show their displeasure by utilizing other forms of transportation. That's what the free market system is all about. If you don't like a product, you find a different product elsewhere. This may not be the solution for those of us out West but back East, there are commuter trains that could be used. Or just find an airline who consistently has good on-time performance.

Regardless, I don't know why we're paying our lawmakers to write laws about airlines' performance. Let the free marketplace do its job. Maybe, for once, you lawmakers could humble yourselves enough to realize that pilots, ground control, and flight control know more about the airplanes and airline safety than you do! I fly fairly frequently and see ample evidence of airlines trying to operate in a safe, efficient, timely manner. As a pilot's wife, I can guarantee you that the ground crew, flight attendants, and pilots do not like delays in flights either. They do all they can to depart and arrive on time. So, government, butt out!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

are you scared?

My 8-year-old is currently in the kitchen attempting to make pancakes all by himself. Are you a little scared?

I am.

He has mastered macaroni and cheese so he does have some rudimentary cooking skills.

This latest attempt at cooking was brought on by disgust at my suggestion of oatmeal for breakfast. I guess if I won't make him what he wants, he'll make it himself.

Wait, I kind of like this plan!

I'm thinking of liver and onions for dinner -- maybe served with a side of beets....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

great quote

"No man is free who is not master of himself."


Friday, January 8, 2010


I am completely overwhelmed by all that I don't know. I know virtually nothing about trees and plants. I can't identify most birds. I understand only the basic rudiments of weather. I know very, very little about animals. I don't have the foggiest idea how plumbing works, what makes an auto run, or how to tune a piano. And let's not even talk about really complex stuff like biochemistry, heart surgery, or marine biology.

In fact, I don't even know much about stuff I do every day. I can cook and bake but only if I have a recipe. I don't know anything about kitchen chemistry or what spices blend together nicely to create a perfectly-seasoned roast. I know nothing about programming a computer. I can plug in my hair straightener but don't know anything about voltages or how the house is wired.

I have racked my brain and can't come up with one single thing that I am an absolute expert in. I don't know everything about anything.

Is it possible to become an all-knowing expert about something?

If so, what would I want to be exceedingly proficient at?

What interests me enough to want to know every little conceivable detail about it?

What interests you?

--scrappinsoccermama is not of the belief that ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is just ignorance.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

scariest job in the world

I generally think I have pretty good children. They are well-behaved. They get good grades. They will share with others. They are usually nice to everyone. They don't tend to get in trouble. I don't have a lot to complain about.

Then I have mornings like this one and I wonder where I've gone wrong in raising them.

I arose early this morning and made homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I thought that made me a pretty wonderful mom. I was almost ready for my children to fall at my feet thanking me for being the "Best Mom in the World". (I know how much they LOVE cinnamon rolls.)


Instead I get a grumbled, "Mom, how soon will those be ready? I hate it when I have to grab one on my way out the door so I don't have time to brush my teeth."

Really? That's all you have to say?

Sometimes their ingratitude shocks me and I seriously begin to believe I have failed as a mother. Do my children have too much? What can I do to make them realize how incredibly blessed they are? They have food to eat and clothes to wear and a home to live in. Why can't they realize that alone is amazing? And don't even get me started on the fact that they have more than one pair of shoes or can go a week or more without doing their laundry. And, for now, they even all have their own room. Spoiled!

I toy with the idea of packing them all off to a major service project in a third world country so they can really see how well off we are comparatively. I think of making them list their blessings one by one until their hands are too tired to write anymore. I wonder what to do. How can I make them aware of and grateful for the myriad of blessings and privileges they enjoy every single day of their lives?

Sometimes being a mother is the hardest, scariest job in the world. Will I ever get it right?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

think hard

I am currently reading a book on better thinking. The very first page says in BIG BOLD print "The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thinking."

The idea is that if you improve your thinking, you'll improve your life.

No intellectual pain, no intellectual gain.

I guess this is the year for my brain to hurt!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

stuck in a rut?

One of the men I work with at the temple was teasing me this morning because I always park in the same spot. He said, "I bet you always sit on the same bench at church too."

I'll bet he's right!

Not only that, but my habitualness goes much deeper than that. I even park in the same row at WalMart every single time! Oh, yes, I do.

I don't like to think of myself as dull, boring, and predictable. I prefer to think of myself as efficient. See, I don't have to waste any brain cells trying to remember where I parked. I don't have to walk up and down rows of cars vainly pushing my car alarm so I can locate my vehicle. Instead, I march out the doors and down "my" row and voila! There's my car! Quick. Easy. Painless.

(or maybe I just don't like to think too hard)

Monday, January 4, 2010

looking forward - 2010

I hope the 4th is not too late to be making my New Year's Resolutions. I must be forgiven for procrastinating. I spent the 1st in airports and on planes. I spent the 2nd driving to/from Idaho to attend my nephew's baptism and confirmation. Sundays are just busy with church, meetings, firesides, choir practices, etc. So, today, at 4:20 a.m. I finally get a chance to think about the future. Here's a few goals:

Lose 34 pounds. Weird amount, I know. Last year I lost 20 pounds at the beginning of the year and kept off 17 of those. I wanted to double that amount this year. Not that I want to lose 40 and only keep off 34 of them but...

Earn my YW Medallion by completing my Personal Progress. This will be my 3rd time earning it but the program keeps changing and so do I. Besides, how can I encourage my girls to do it if I don't set the example. Practice what I preach and all that.

Write my Grandma Searle's life history. This is the year that I am going to finish this project.

Begin now with all major projects and finish early. Last year was not a banner year for me. I realized with 8 days left in the year) that I still had 48 CPE credits to earn. My Christmas cards are usually done by August and this year I finished in December. And the list goes on. This year will be better. I vow to have 40 hours of CPE (continuing professional education) done by May 31st. My Christmas cards will be done by August. I will hand make my sisters' Christmas presents by October. I will make all of my nieces and nephews birthday presents by the end of this month.

I will write the book that my Sunday School classes have been after me to write for years.

I will make a superhuman (for me) effort to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 Highlights

January - Brakston, Shanley, Chandler, and I make a quick trip to Hawaii so Brakston can visit some of his favorite places one more time. Brakton enters the MTC. I get called to YW.

February - Kevin and I set off for the Dominican Republic but end up in Mexico City where we spend some enjoyable days. Chandler gets baptized and confirmed.

March - just soccer. Brakston enters the mission field.

April - I substitute math in the high school and really enjoy it! We have some great Easter parties.

May - McKayla makes the Utah Glory soccer team.

June - Alec attends Camp Kostopulos. McKayla's soccer team plays in the Utah Summer Games. Kevin and I serve as Lehi and Sariah at our Stake Youth Conference.

July - The kids and I fly to Tempe to see Wicked. Girls camp! McKayla attends Oakcrest. The rest of the kids and I camp with Nebekers at Yuba Lake and have a blast on the waverunners.

August - lots more playing on the waverunners and several soccer tournaments. McKayla's team takes 2nd at one of them. Searle Family reunion at Bear Lake. I attend Education Week at BYU.

September - Shanley enters YW and attends the temple for the first time. Everyone is back in school. Soccer. Brakston has his appendix out and his first hospitalization ever.

October - Kevin is released as Bishop. More soccer. Chandler and I go to Texas to see Dawnette. Brakston is made a senior companion.

November - I go on a scrapbooking retreat with friends. The kids and I spend Thanksgiving weekend in LA for a soccer tournament. Alec gets to serve as an "honorary manager" for the RHS basketball team.

December - Christmas parties. Brakston is made a District Leader and has his first greenie. Kevin and I go to Hawaii.

Honolulu Tabernacle

Last Sunday we attended church with the Manoa Ward in the Honolulu Tabernacle. The building was so pretty. Actually it was a whole collection of buildings complete with 2 gyms. Here is the main tabernacle.This is the building that houses the Primary. It is two stories. I know that the YW met upstairs.
These are the bishop's offices.
This building is where RS and Sunday School were held.
Here is the courtyard.
The church block contained a gigantic Banyan Tree. It is difficult to capture the enormity of it. I will say that it provided so much shade that I would be strongly tempted to hold my Mia Maid class outside every single week! (except that the Natives thought it was cold outside - it was, after all, only 80 degrees that day!).

Saturday, January 2, 2010

celebrating New Year's Eve

How did you welcome the new year? Fireworks? Games? Food? Watching the ball drop in The Big Apple?

I spent mine in the Honolulu International Airport. Yep! Getting home proved to be as much of an adventure as the week spent in Oahu. Kevin and I arrived at the airport at 7:30 p.m. to find extremely long lines - what idiots want to fly home on New Year's Eve? We waited through 5 flights to Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco and didn't manage to get on any of them. The last flight was seriously delayed and didn't leave until 2 a.m. We had to be back to the airport by 6 a.m. to try the next flight so it seemed like a waste to try to find a hotel.

I caught a few hours of in-and-out sleep on a carpeted window ledge (so comfortable - NOT!). Seriously, looking at the flight loads, Kevin and I thought we'd be stuck in Oahu for several days (stuck in Hawaii - how bad could that be?)

Instead, we experienced our first miracle of the new year. We were the very last two people that got on the 7 a.m. flight to Los Angeles (from there it was easy to find a flight home). As much as I loved Hawaii, I was eager to get back home and see my children! I truly consider myself lucky to have spent the first day of the new year on a flight back home to them!

Friday, January 1, 2010

it's a jungle out there! (or at least a rainforest)

For our last day on the island, we hiked to Manoa Falls. It was an absolutely gorgeous walk! At points, the trail was even strewn with beautiful orange flowers.It truly was a rainforest - complete with lush, tropical foliage. Everywhere you looked there was a different shade of green and various shaped leaves. I could hears the calls of the birds over head. I could hear the stream running alongside me.
It's a good thing the hike itself was so pretty because Manoa Falls wasn't much more than a trickle (it is the dry season after all). It was still lovely.

Then we headed back to the Polynesian Cultural Center (there was no way to cover it all in one day). Kevin and Todd tried their hands at manly-man activities such as spear-throwing and fishing. Jill and I did some weaving, some hula dancing, and then some Tahitian hip-shaking before we tried our own hands at spear-throwing. Jill was pretty good at it and nearly hit the target with every throw.
We wtached the Hawaiian dancers and then this cute Tahitian dancer.
We also watched the IMAX movie on coral reefs. It was interesting.

All of the sand and sea and sun of the past week must have gone to my head. I lost my head a little and got this great sea turtle tatoo.

Okay, not really. The tatoo is tempura paint and will be off by my first shower. I had only a moment of feeling like a rebel. All good things must come to an end. Time to head back to reality and cold weather. sigh.