26 February 2008

4 less teeth for me

Well, my wisdom teeth are gone,and I am miserable. My kids have really taken care of me though, and I couldn't have done anything without my friend Elena's help. She drove me to the appointment, picked me up, took the required silly after op. pictures, picked up my medication, and then got my kids from school. She also offered to take them to school in the morning. She is a dear friend, and I am so grateful for all her help. Darwin was planning on being my nurse, but the Coast Guard decided to send him to Oahu last minute, so she was able to step in and do what she could. Darwin was able to give me a priesthood blessing last night, so that all would go well...which it did.

This is a picture I took of myself this morning just before leaving. I wore my glasses, so I wouldn't have to deal with my contacts sticking to my eyeballs while I was out.

Here are two of the after pictures. I think I was still a little out of it...hehehe.

I'm headed off to bed now with a percoset, and hopefully I can just sleep this time, and not throw it up like the last one I took.

Amazing occurance...mom's will understand

Darwin left this morning for Oahu for two days, and I am having my wisdom teeth pulled at 10 am, so yesterday I did a lot of housework, so I could take a day or two off.
Now for the amazing. I washed, dryed, folded, and put away eight loads of laundry yesterday. But what got me the most excited was that for 45 min. all the dirty laundry buckets, my bathroom laundry hamper, the clean laundry baskets, the bed (my folding area), and the kids's clean laundry buckets were empty!! This has not happened since the day we moved in, when the buckets were placed in the laundry area. I ran out and took a picture before anyone could throw something in them. I even waited to take a shower last night, so my hamper could be empty a little longer...hehehe...

22 February 2008

Brooklin's first track event

Brooklin participated in her first track meet today. It was actually a qualifying run for the real track meet that will happen on March 8th. She ran and won the 400 m in 00:01:14, and the second place was 00:01:21...six whole seconds after she crossed the line! It was kind of cool, she was running all by herself there at the end. She raced against four other sixth grade girls, and they were taking the top three to the Kiwani's (not sure of the spelling or pronounciation) meet in two weeks. The boy that won the sixth grade boys 400 m, had a time of 00:01:13, so she is almost as fast as the boys. He actually might have gotten a better time, if he hadn't run right out of his shoe at the end....it wasn't tied good and he ran kind of funny for a few steps, and then his shoe came off, and he finished in one sock and one shoe.

This is the video of her race.

Welcome to the world baby Cannon!!

This is the newest addition to the Strasser Family. Cannon Russell was born this morning. He weighed in at 8 lbs. 9 oz. and was 19 1/4 inches. An interesting coincidence....six years ago Micah's wife had Aria on my birthday. Today is Micah's (32nd) birthday, and Cody's wife had baby on his birthday. Joel, the pressure is on now. You are now obligated to have a baby on Cody's birthday....hehehe!

This day is now officially closed to birthdays! Besides being George Washington's birthday, it is also Micah's birthday, Cannon's birthday, my nephew Isaac's birthday, and my friend Ann's birthday! Happy birthday to all of you! I also just saw on the internet this morning that it is also Drew Barrymore's birthday today, and JLo and Marc Anthony had twins early this morning! Very popular birthday...although I will not be sending out birthday wishes to Drew or the twins! It is almost as crowded as our Sept 11th birthdays....... Logan, Dakota (Dar's cousin's son), & Jay (nephew).

19 February 2008

Penguins on Maui

Since the kids didn't have school yesterday, we decided to go geocaching. (if you don't know what that is...click here http://www.geocaching.com/ ) We haven't been caching in over 3 months, and there have been a few new ones placed since we last went. We drove over to Ka'anapali to the Hyatt Regency, where they have several birds on display in their open air lobby...including penguins, macaws, a parrot, and some cranes. The geocache was a puzzle cache and we had to get info off of the penguin sign to get the coordinates for the cache. Anyway, since Caleb loves penguins so much, we thought it would be great to go and see some. I don't think the kids believed that there really were penguins here. Here are the pictures.

They had two Macaws...one scarlet one and a blue one.

This one wasn't on his perch, so I didn't get a very good shot of him.

This is an African grey parrot.
His name is R2D2, and he made bleepy noises, just like R2D2.

Caleb is answering the questions for the geocache from off of the sign.
Here are all the kids with the penguins.

All the penguins were African black-footed penguins.

This was also there....a yellow crested crane.

They also had some koi, so I took their picture too.

We were able to find the geocache, and it was filled with little rubber penguins. All the kids took one. After that we walked down to whaler's village to eat over priced fast food for lunch, and then we went and found one more geocache that was in the same area. There was also this skeleton of a sperm whale at the enterance to whaler's village.

18 February 2008

Random pictures from the Iao Needle

This is the Iao Needle (it is pronounced ee-yow)
This is a leaf....and I don't remember what type it is right now, but if I remember, I will post it.
This is a Papaya tree. I love how the fruit grows right off of the trunk.
This is a wet taro field. The Hawaiians use the root to make poi.
This is the Iao Stream.

16 February 2008


Today, Darwin took all the kids out in the Coast Guard boat to Molokini Island to snorkel. They saw a bunch of whales with their calves, and a ton of fish. All the kids went in the water...but London spent most of her time in the boat. Isaiah hung out in a float tube (they were all also wearing life jackets), and Caleb got to try out the wet suit he got for his birthday. The water was 150 ft. where they were, and it was so clear they could see clear to the bottom.

I didn't go with them...although I wanted to, but the reason he took them out, was because my friend here (Elena...with the post it car...hehehe) asked me if I would like to go to a concert with her. She had bought tickets to a Keali'i Reichel concert for her parents for Christmas, and they were excited to go, but at the last minute, they had to make other plans, so she asked me to go with her. It was a wonderful show, and I am glad I got to go with her. She is friends with (and I have met) one of his backup singers/hula dancers, and she went to school with his guitar player. He is a big name recording artist here, and grew up on Maui, in Lahaina. I really enjoyed myself, and the music and and the dancers were amazing. Here is a link to his website... http://www.kealiireichel.com/index2.html You can listen to a sample of his music, and see some pictures from his shows. Anyway, while I was sitting there, I realized that I am going to have a really hard time in a few months when we have to move. I really love living here. Not just because it is Hawaii, but because I really love the people I have met and the culture here. The Hawaiian people are so loving and beautiful, and I am so grateful for all of the experiences we have had here. I can say that as for my favorite place to live, this is it. Kodiak was my favorite for along time...but I love this area so much, this is the first time since we have been in the coast guard, that I really am not ready to go. I could stay here for three more years and not be ready to go, but we have to, so I will deal with it. =)

Sorry, there are no pictures this time...I wasn't allowed a camera at the concert, and Dar and the kids didn't remember to take one. We hope to go out on the boat again, and I will try and get pictures of the whales in the next few weeks

13 February 2008

A poem written by Brooklin

Brooklin was asked to write a 12 line poem this afternoon, by one of her teachers. She didn't hear the part about it being only 12 lines, so now she is going to have to write another one. I thought she did an amazing job though, so I told her I would post it here, along with some pictures of her scuba diving with her dad, Grandpa Jensen, and Uncle Austin in January. (She got scuba lessons this year for Christmas.)


Wake up before sunrise, grab all of your gear,
Drive out to Kihei, Walk onto the pier

Show them you’re certified you bundle up tight,
The boat starts to go; the cold is a fright.

The sun starts to rise, the water’s so clear,
We enjoy the beauty Mother Nature left here.

Put on the scuba gear jump into the water,
Inflate your B.C., and float like a bobber.

Wait for the group till together we flock,
Give the O.K., then drop like a rock.

I begin feeling breathless, I sink really fast,
the others behind me, I’m down here at last.

The colors are exotic, the reef so vast,
an octopus swims by and I take hold of him fast.

The turtles are holding the ground with their toes,
They don’t even flinch as we sit nose to nose.

In an underwater cave the light points to a turtle,
I see glowing eyes staring from an underwater hurdle.

A gigantic shark swimming back and forth…ten feet long!
I felt so happy I could have broken out in song.

I look at my gauges, my air’s getting low,
I head back to the boat, only this time I’m slow.

I climb up the rope; I get onto the deck,
Then I head home, at the end of my trek

12 February 2008

Elena's revenge

Well, she got me! I asked my friend to watch our children so Darwin and I could chaperone the EFY dance on Friday night. She took the perfect opportunity I gave her, to get me back . We got home at 10:30 pm from the dance, and she told us she decided not to do anything, because we were supposed to be housing some of the people that had to fly over here for EFY, and she didn't want to make a big mess for them to see. I totally believed her! We ended up not having to house anyone....they decided to stay with some friends....so anyway, when we woke up Saturday morning, we had hearts all over our back fence. She told me that all the kids helped, and that it totally wore them out, so they went right to bed...except for Brooklin. She was still up chatting when we got home. Her plan was to sneak up the stairs as we were coming in through the garage, but we came in the front door, and she was like a deer in the headlights....caught red handed! It was funny, and Elena is Brooklin's activity day leader, so it was nice for them to get to talk a little.

Caleb's last pinewood derby

Caleb made his last pinewood derby car this month....sniff, sniff.....but not to worry! We will have one year off, and then Isaiah can start tiger scouts and we can do four more cars! I really need to vent about how they run the pinewood derby here in Maui. Once the boys get their cars weighed and turned in, they never touch them again until they are eliminated from the race. The leaders do all the racing, which was kind of the whole fun for the boys. The track is surrounded with caution tape, and one or two guys put all the cars on the track and everyone just tries to crowd around and hopefully see when their car is racing. It really stinks! They didn't even really have a track at the scout office that you could borrow for your own races until this year. When the cars are eliminated, they have another track set up for the boys to play on, so even though the boys hope their's is the winner, they are all kind of hoping that they'll loose so they can race their own cars.

They were doing double elimination....Caleb won his first race by a hair, lost the second one, and then won like four in a row, before he was eliminated. There were only about 8 cars left when he got out, so he did pretty good. After that, we never saw him, because he was at the practice track, running his car ragged. The were putting all kinds of things on the track for the cars to race or hit....soda bottles, rocks, cell phones, other cars....you get the picture. He came back just once, because one of the front wheels came off and went under the track, and we had a few spares, so he just replaced it and ran right back over there. That was his fun for the day. They also do the raingutter rigatta at the same time as the pinewood derby, and they have the packs set up boothes so the boys and thier families have something to do while the men are racing the cars. It isn't a total loss, but I'm still grateful that Caleb started as a Tiger scout in Juneau, and was able to race his own car the first time.

All 69 cars that raced on Saturday.

This is the guy who gets to race all the cars....and Caleb's car is the red one with the yellow arrow on it. It is supposed to represent the arrow of light he is working to acheive.

This was his first race. The cars raced like this all the way down the track, and his pulled ahead just at the end.

Caleb won an award at the end for the best hot rod car. They spelled his name "Caleb Gensen".....duh!

09 February 2008

CTR moment

We were at the Maui Mall today, for the pinewood derby. (I'll write about that later.) Anyway, the different packs set up game booths for everyone to play at during the races. Isaiah played ring toss. The pack had set up plastic Pepsi bottles in a triangle formation, and gave each person a handful of shower curtain rings to toss. There weren't any other kids around, so they told Isaiah he could keep playing until he won. He finally got one on, and they handed him a can of Pepsi as a prize. He turned right around to me, and said, "Here, Mom. I'm not allowed to drink this, but you can." !!! We just recently re-explained to all the kids about caffeine, because I had my monthly headache...which I medicate with Motrin and a caffeinated soda...so they all got after me for having a Coke. It was really funny, but great to know they are listening

06 February 2008

My favorite place on Maui

**GPS coordinates for this location **
N 20° 46.528 W 156° 19.525
While Darwin's family was here, we took them up to Pulehu chapel. It was built in 1850 or so and it is the oldest LDS church building still standing in Hawaii, and one of the first permanent structures built by the church in Hawaii. It was completed in 1851, and was restored just a few years ago. The accoustics are amazing inside the chapel, and since Lisa (Darwin's youngest sister) and I both love to sing, we decided to sing "Nearer My God To Thee". Her husband Austin took this video...and I thought it would turn out to be really spiritual, but when you have an Isaiah around, things don't always go as planned. =) Also singing with us are Brooklin, Darwin's dad, baby Cameryn, and Caleb.

Pulehu is my favorite place on Maui. Just recently, we had a ward fireside there, and it is one I will always remember. I felt the spirit very strongly, and so did everyone who attended. I am adding some other pictures of the chapel and the grounds.

Pulehu Chapel and congregation in 1880.

Pulehu Chapel in 2001, before it's renovation.

Pulehu chapel grounds in 2008. The elders live in the house next to the chapel. This was taken by Brooklin.

This is the plaque from the "monument" on the grounds, and a picture of the first presidency that is on the wall inside the chapel.

The front of the chapel and the sacrament table and trays.

A desk in the entry, and the chairs that are up on the stand.

A side shot of the chapel, (the baptismal font is dircetly behind the chapel) and a picture of the pews. If you click on the picture to make it bigger...you can see Isaiah pulling the rope to ring the bell in the tower. BTW, The other people in the pictures are our friends the Cabatu family....their car is the one we put post its all over.

05 February 2008

Caleb's party

Here are some pictures from Caleb's party on Friday night. It was a little crazy with seven extra boys in the house, but Caleb had fun, so the party was a success.

Jacob, Caleb, Paul, Jordan, Alex
Isaiah, Ian, Ezekiel, & Kekoa

This would be the bribe/reward for smiling in the first picture

Caleb's cake. It is R2-D2, but it didn't turn out all tha great.
Caleb blowing out the candles.
At one point during the movie, Caleb and his friend both jumped up to tell each other something cool about the part they just saw, and banged heads in the process. The other boy has braces, and he got Caleb right above the eye. Since it was on his head, it bled a lot, but we were able to get away with just a bandaid.

We told Caleb that this is what would happen to his lips if he ever kissed a girl with braces....he seemed pretty concerned, so I don't think he will kiss any girls with braces when he is older.....hehehe!

A close up of the braces bite.