Sunday, September 29, 2013

Decisions, decisions

Every time we are blessed with a free Saturday morning, we agonize about which beach to go to. Big waves or small waves?  Soft sand or easy beach access? Bathrooms or snorkel friendly? Crowded or secluded? I know, I realize we are very spoiled. Yesterday, we settled on this beach right across the street from Scott's office on Hickam AFB. It's situated right at the main entrance to Pearl Harbor. What's great about his beach is that when you catch the tide just right, the water is shallow for at least 100 yards out, so it's like one giant kiddie pool!

We also borrowed our neighbor's stand up paddle board for the day! This beach was great place to practice because the water was so calm.
Mark waiting for Daddy to come back so he can have a turn!
like a pro. :-)
We even got to watch a submarine coming into Pearl Harbor behind us!
Mark loved "surfing" on the paddle board and then jumping off into the water.
Such a fun morning! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Three years old!

 I asked Mark (like I do every day before I smooch his cheeks), 
"Are you mama's baby?"
Now he answers, "No, I'm 3 now!"
3 is not a baby anymore.
3 is not a toddler.
3 is borderline "kid"
His birthday fell on Saturday this year, so we got have his party on his actual birthday.

Of course, Mark wanted to have a Star Wars pool party just like his Bubba.
my friend Brittney helped me make these cool light saber cupcakes!
Avery and Chloe

Baby Max!
Mark swimming with Chloe. He loves Chloe!
Shannon and Avery
Happy Birthday, Mark!
Family Pic!
 Lots of new gifts from our generous friends!
As you can see, Keaton is just as excited as Mark!
After his guests left, we took a dip in the jacuzzi! 
Mark is such a source of joy and laughter for our whole family. We are so blessed by our "baby" even though he's not a baby anymore! Love you Mark!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Honoring Heroes

Our friends, Will and Maddie invited us to join them for a trip to the fire station on September 11th. It is their family tradition to bring goodies to the firemen on 9/11 to honor them for their service to us.
 I know that my boys will never know what it was like to live in the USA before that day that changed everything. I thought this was such a great way to help them begin to understand the significance of September 11th, and the importance of honoring all the many heroes that gave their life so unselfishly for others.
Of course the Kaneohe firemen were super excited to receive the yummy snacks, and were so nice to let the kids  climb around all over the trucks, and drill them with 100 questions. I have a feeling this is our new family tradition also!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our full life!

Get ready for lots of random pictures - none of which deserve their own blog post, but all of which show you what kinds of things fill up our days each week! 
Mark is my constant help in the kitchen. Just give this boy a sink of bubbles and he will totally wash dishes (and probably flood the kitchen while he's at it!)
It's been the hottest summer I remember in Hawaii in our 4 summers here (yes, we've lived here that long now!) Anyway, we've been spending many a day up at the pool cooling off. Mark has turned into such a great swimmer!
A trip to the zoo to say hello to the hippo! 

Fishing with Daddy at the botanical gardens!
We figured out what the fish like - hot dogs! We probably caught at lease 15 fish in a row. It was so much that Mark finally got bored and just started throwing rocks in the water. Ha!
Since Keaton is in school on Fridays, I've gotten to take Mark to Auntie April's playgroup every week! I so enjoyed this group with Keaton, so I'm so excited that Mark gets to experience this as well. Where else would you get to give your bugs a bath in shaving cream? Not at our house - for sure!!
Mark and I made our own playdough last week! Not sure why I've never tried this before. It was so easy, and the dough is so much better than store bought. No it's not good to eat. That doesn't stop Mark from trying though. Sure am enjoying all this 1:1 time with my (almost) 3 year old!
would you believe that Shelly the Fish is still alive? It's been over 13 months now. Isn't that like 150 in goldfish years? She's survived many assassination attempts by Mark (death by playdough, death by rice, death by coins...) She doesn't even have any rocks in her bowl anymore, and her bowl is usually only clean when we have company coming. She must really love our little family because she just keeps on swimming!
We took in a movie one Saturday afternoon. The boys loved Planes!
More helping out in the kitchen. Looks like he's been taste-testing as he stirs!
Good old fashioned brother bonding - over their devices!
Keaton loves to color. Grammie and Papa sent him a really cool new coloring book where you have to fill in the rest of the story - he loves it!
Baskin Robbins! Remind me to get it in a bowl for him next time!
Celebrating our best friend Lucas's birthday at Chuck-E-Cheese!
Mark also loves to color!
Homework! Keaton loves to do his homework right when he gets home from school. I love how he is thriving in Kindergarten. He really enjoys learning, and his teacher brags about him to me all the time. Tonight before bed, he was telling me all about marsupials! Ha!
And of course - plenty of beach time!
Marine helicopters at the beach! Even better!
Not sure if I could ever get Mark used to a place that was not near the water. He is such a beach baby!
Our life and our hearts are full. We are truly blessed!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Senior Pictures

How would you like to have this as your backdrop for senior pictures? 
I had so much fun photographing Amaris, our pastor's daughter, yesterday at Sherwood Beach in Waimanalo. 
Amaris is such a sweetheart - a truly beautiful person, and so much more mature than I was at 17.

She's also a fabulous babysitter, which is why I was more than happy to accept babysitting as a perfect payment for taking senior pictures!
I'm so excited for her as she enters her senior year at Trinity! She's hoping to follow in her older sister's footsteps and attend Covenant College next fall. 
We got rained on several times, but the overcast skies actually made for perfect lighting and an empty beach - bonus!
Have an awesome year, Amaris!