27 June 2010

View from the 18th floor

We are staying at a hotel in Waikiki while we are searching for a home.  We are up on the 18th floor!  The elevator only goes up to the 17th floor, and then we have to use the fire escape stairs to get up to the 18th floor.  The above picture is the view from our lanai (deck, patio...lanai)

We have been to look at about five houses so far...none of which have felt like we were home.  I was looking through my notes (I take very intricate notes so I can remember which home had which features) and had to laugh.  This is from a house we looked at yesterday, "rat poison ?? on the floor."  "Family room used to be a lanai, now it is enclosed and there is an empty fish pond (complete with bridge) behind the couch."  "My feet felt offended walking without shoes on".  "Isaiah just told the realtor that someone REALLY needed to clean the toilet".  From another house we viewed on Thursday, "Washer and dryer are outside on the side of the house...there is no door to them".  "Brooklin just asked me where the master bedroom was...the three bedrooms couldn't have been more than 8x8 each!!"  And from another house, "small. broken down.  darwin kept saying the entry/living room was a bedroom, because it wasn't big enough to be the living room"

So, things are not moving as quickly as I would like them too, but God put us here for something, so he must know what's going to happen and when.

We went to church today at the Honolulu Stake Tabernacle.  It is a beautiful building.  Not like any other church building you could ever imagine.  It is huge and has a huge mosaic of Christ on the front of it and a reflecting pool.  The chapel is very large, the benches are all wooden, the choir loft is gigantic, they have a real pipe organ, and the seating goes in two different directions.  The ward we attended was the Makiki ward.  Their boundaries include mostly condos and apartments, so the primary and ym/yw was very small.  Brooklin said that there were only two young women, and one of them wasn't there this week, so it was just her and one other girl!

We are going to take a drive up to the North Shore this afternoon and visit the temple grounds.  The temple is closed right now for renovations, and from what we've heard, they will be having an open house this fall before they rededicate the building!

Please pray that we will be able to find our home this week!  We are leaving on Friday for Idaho/Wyoming/Utah for three weeks and then three days after we get home, Darwin is leaving for three weeks for a school.  I don't want to live in a hotel for very much longer (the parking garages in the hotels have RIDICULOUSLY small spaces and it takes me 45 minutes to calm my nerves after trying to park in them) and its just no fun unless you are on vacation.

23 June 2010

We're here...a travel log of the past 24 hours.

We made it to Honolulu last night.  We got on the airplane around 8am in Juneau, flew two hours to Seattle, wondered around the Seattle airport for nearly six hours (it was a long layover, but the airport there has more stores than Juneau so we had fun window shopping), boarded the plane for Hawaii at 4:30 pm and flew for nearly six hours to Honolulu.  We landed in Honolulu at 7:30 pm, found all 12 of our checked bags (plus we each had a rolling carry-on and a backpack...making a grand total of 24 bags!!) and then started the hunt for the paperwork with the name of the hotel we would be staying at on it.  That took at least 45 minutes.  I guess we both forgot to print off the reservation and neither of us knew the name of the hotel!  oops!  We headed over to the USO to see if they could help us (and so we could get a snack and use the restrooms).  While Darwin was going through a list of hotel names to see if he recognized one, I pulled out my laptop to see if I could find the email Darwin sent me with the reservation on it.  I prayed for wireless service...and it worked!  We found the reservation details!!  We took a breather and then realized that I didn't print off the car reservation paper either!  (Man were we not prepared or what!?)  I took the laptop out again, sorted through more old emails, and came up with the reservation...I am so thankful for yahoo email and for free wireless service!!

We got on the shuttle to the car rental place and got our rental van without a hitch.  The best thing was that the van they gave us fit all six of us and our 24 bags!  We couldn't see out any of the windows, but we didn't have to leave anyone behind with bags!  The other gadget I am extremely grateful for is our TomTom.  It is a little talking GPS that told us every turn to make and what lane to be in.  We drove straight to our hotel and were able to check in by 10pm.

This morning we got up and ate at Denny's.  Then we took Dar to his new office so he could get our check in stuff started.   After I had a slight freak-out moment (I misunderstood what was going to happen and felt at a complete loss about where I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to be doing...and Darwin was late for work and grumpy at me for freaking out) we all went in and met some of the people he would be working with.  I took the kids back to the hotel for the rest of the morning and spent the day calling about rental houses.  We went back to pick up Darwin from work at 3pm and went up to Tripler to get our medical stuff in order.  (On a side note...we haven't had to use military doctors for 10 years and we were really ok with that.  We'll see how this all goes...I am just really grateful that we have medical coverage).  We ate a yummy (extremely overpriced) dinner at Chili's and then went to the biggest Borders Bookstore we have ever seen!  It was gigantic and was two levels!  Brooklin thought she was in heaven...hehe.

I don't love the traffic or trying to park in parking garages, but I am so excited to be here.  I hope we can find a place to live soon and I really hope our car gets here FAST!  Sorry this was kind of boring...but I just want it recorded and had a few minutes to hurry and type it out.  I'll try to write a better post (with pictures) soon.

16 June 2010

2,818 miles

The kids and I walked to downtown Juneau today from the hotel.  We went to the Alaska museum, ate at Pel Meni's, and played in the Del Sol store.  On our way back to the hotel, we found this signpost...

It is 2,818 miles to Honolulu from the parking garage in downtown Juneau.  We have five days left here, and then it is off to our next adventure.  The movers have pretty much packed up the entire house...with the exception of a few random things they just leave in the middle of the floor (which irks me to no end).  They are going to be bringing the container truck tomorrow and loading up all our stuff.  We will be cleaning til our elbow grease runs out, and then we are going to paint the entire upstairs (well minus the bedrooms and bathroom...and plus the stairwell).  We hope to have it all done by Saturday night.  Logan will be helping with the painting and anyone else who might want to help clean or paint is welcome to join us! =)  please?! =)  (I got the entire bottle of maple syrup chiseled out of the bottom of the refrigerator yesterday, so the rest of the cleaning should be a piece of cake, right?) ;)

Well, I should go to bed now.  I have a fun day of cleaning ahead of me tomorrow that I need to rest up for.

13 June 2010

Isaiah's Hawaiian/Alaskan baptism

Isaiah was baptized at 6:25pm tonight!  We are so proud of him for choosing to be baptized!  Darwin baptized and confirmed him, Caleb said the opening prayer, London gave a talk on baptism, Brooklin played the interlude music, and I led the music and gave a talk about the Holy Ghost.  Our bishop told us there was a miracle today.  He forgot to fill the font this afternoon.  He was also late leaving to come and open up the building and as he was driving fast to get to the church he was scoping out all the waterways along his way, because it takes a really long time to fill the font, and he was sure we were going to have to do it outside.  When he got to the church, the font was full.  He didn't know how it happened, because no one there said they did it.  After the baptism, he found out that the missionaries had a baptism last night, and on their way home they realized they hadn't let the water out.  They didn't have time to go back, so they decided to do it in the morning at church.  They forgot to do it this morning too...and the bishop said he was sure that it was a miracle and that God knew he would be late and forget, so he prepared a way for the font to be filled!

There were a lot of people at Isaiah's baptism!  The entire primary room was filled and some people had to stand.  We are so grateful to all of you that were able to come and show your love and support for our Isaiah.  He was positively beaming. =)  Isaiah told us that he wanted a "Hawaiian baptism".  He watched Caleb and London receive "a thousand leis" after their baptisms, and he wanted that for his baptism.  I have a giant tub of leis we received in Maui when we left, so I brought a whole bunch and told the members that after the closing prayer, if they wanted to congratulate Isaiah they could come and get a lei to present to him.  He was so excited that he got to have this be part of his special day!

Dad and Isaiah

Isaiah with his baptism lei

a thousand leis and all his friends

one of the kids said he looked like Santa Clause


Jensen Ohana

08 June 2010

Happy 8th Birthday to Isaiah!

Isaiah celebrated his eighth birthday on Sunday.  We have 9am church, so everyone had to be dressed and ready for church before any presents were opened.  Here is Isaiah's wishlist for this year. (spelled as he did on the paper...interpretations if needed after)

  • 1 DS Gam Bo kawgon or in sigd Bowser.  (Nintendo DS game.  Bakugan or Inside Bowser)
  • 2 netll Seowing set. (needle sewing set)
  • 3 a board gam.
  • 4 a sling shot.
  • 5 a bal of yorn. (a ball of yarn)
  • 9 sugar dades.
  • 6 a mine gum ball musen. (a mini gumball machine)
  • 7 a nowtebook.
  • 8 a camera.
  • 10 a new bike.
  • 11 snap dragons.
  • 12 fuchsias. (we recently went to a store that was selling hanging flower baskets.  Isaiah loved the ones with fuchsias.  I also showed them snap dragons and I guess they've never seen them before, but they all loved how you could pinch their cheeks and their "mouths" would open).
  • 13 play House.
  • Newclots. (new clothes)
I'm going to go off on a short tangent here.  Since we have been living in Juneau, we have been feeding the missionaries twice a month.  I sign up on their dinner calendar for every other Monday.  Part of the reason I decided to feed them so often (most families have them over once every month or two) is that I have two brothers serving missions right now.  Another reason is that we were having a hard time having Family Home Evening regularly, but for the past 18 months we have had a spiritual lesson every other week...hehe!  (and we play games and watch movies on the other weeks).  Sometimes the missionaries give the lesson, and sometimes we do it.  We have had several missionaries in our home, and during the winter months when the singles branch is few in numbers we were feeding two sets of Elders every other week.  There are two missionaries in particular that we have really come to love.  Elder Mineer and Elder Starkie.  Both of these young men are amazing missionaries and both were in Juneau for at least six months!  (most missionaries are transferred every three months or so).  These Elders were companions here for a short time and they were awesome together. 

ANYWAY... =)  Elder Starkie's birthday is the 7th of June.  Normally we would have had them over for dinner that night because it was a Monday, but someone else had already signed up for that day.  I wrote our names down for June 6th and told Elder Starkie that it was Isaiah's birthday on the 6th, so we could have cake and ice cream  for both of them.  I made two cakes and we bought Elder Starkie and his companion (Elder Goodwin) some presents.  We got them each an Alaska flag, a Nerf dart gun, and a book of photographs of Southeast Alaska.  We also got Elder Starkie an Aerobie (its like a frisbee, but so much better).  This was the last time we get to feed the missionaries here, since we are packing up next Monday and moving to Hawaii in exactly two weeks

A DS game from London

A lego set from Caleb

some new PJs from Brooklin

a watch from dad.
(again with the crazy faces)
He also got two new shirts and two new pairs of shorts from me...but I was taking the pictures and didn't remember to have someone else take the picture of us.

Isaiah blowing out the candles on his #8 cake

Elder Starkie tried three times to blow his one candle out...and then ended up just laughing at it.  It was pretty funny!

Isaiah and Elder Starkie

Isaiah had so many poses, it was hilarious!  Every time the camera clicked, he would do something new!  what a little ham

06 June 2010

A walk out to Nugget Falls

On Friday, a friend of mine (who is 39 weeks pregnant) asked me if I would like to go walking with her out to the waterfall to sort of "help things along".  It didn't work (she is still pregnant today) but we had fun anyway.  They have been building a new pathway out to the waterfall for the past year, and it is mostly finished now.  It looks like they are going to be putting some signs up at the end of the trail and there was one bridge that was still just a plank, but overall it was a really nice walk.  The only thing I didn't like about the new (green rock) trail was that you are in the trees the whole way to the waterfall.  There is also a newer trail along the beach that I liked a little better.  I haven't walked out to the waterfall on the side trail since Isaiah was 12 months old.  We have been out there a few times in the winter, but always just walk across the lake to get there, so the beach trail may have been there for awhile...hehe.

remember the pollen cloud from the west glacier trail post??  this is the spruce pollen in the lake!!

hehe!  Bethany at 39 weeks!

Happy 10th Birthday London

London turned ten on Thursday.  Thursday was also the last day of school...so she got a barbecue with the whole school and got to leave school early!  hehe!

Here is London's wishlist:
  • Haircut
  • Skate Bored
  • Convers
  • Sketch Book
  • Pencils
  • New cloths
  • Vamp. Voleser (this is a book...?? i don't know what it is about really, except vampires)
  • Itoch or Ipod nano
  • DS Games - My Sims Kindom

My Sims Kingdom from Caleb.
(notice the "i'm up and my eyes are open - what more do you want from me?!" look on brooklin's face...lol).

New clothes from Brooklin

Isaiah got this duffel bag for London all by himself.  He gathered a bunch of codes from our Disney movies, and had Darwin help him make an account and enter them.  He looked at all the things he could buy with the points he earned, and decided what he wanted to do most was buy a birthday gift for London!  He is such a sweet boy!  He told her he got it for her because we are moving and he thought she could use it to pack her things in.

Dad got London a pair of converse. 
(He was making lots of faces for the camera, and this one was the funniest).

(London also got a watch, a wallet, and a sketch book with colored pencils).

One funny thing that London said on her birthday was, "Now I only have to wait two more years and I can start shaving my legs!!"  She has already been asking me about shaving her legs, but I've told her she needs to wait a little longer...(probably until I can teach her how to do her armpits at the same time, since teaching her now wouldn't make any difference in the amount of hair she was removing from her underarms...lol)

London is a wonderful daughter.  She is growing like a weed and she doesn't let herself get lost in the middle of the family.  She doesn't complain too much, she is fairly obedient, and she is a great friend to everyone around her.  She is also going to be a great babysitter in a few years and an amazing mother in her adult life.  She loves little kids and can play with them for hours.  We love you London!!  We are grateful to have you as a part of our family!

8th grade graduation

Brooklin graduated from middle school on Thursday.  Darwin and I were able to make it to the commencement ceremony...complete with a 7th grade band version of Pomp & Circumstance (still cringing from that one), long winded speakers, and a slide show.  It was just a little ridiculous...to me.  I am really proud of Brooklin though (and every one of her close friends) for receiving the Presidential Award for academic excellence.  They are a really good group of kids and they all take their schooling seriously.  One of the speakers did say something that I really did like.  She said, "There are four things that will make you successful in high school.  Go to school, Be on time, Do your work, and Turn it in.".  We all had a good laugh at the last one. =)

I guess we are now parents of a high school student!!  I don't feel that old...although my natural hair color is getting more gray all the time. My hope for you Brooklin is that you can find your place in high school, that you can find at least one good friend, and that you will succeed in whatever you try.  You are a strong willed child (yes...you are still a child) and you are one of the most fearless people I know (besides your dad).  We are really proud of you B!  You are an amazing daughter of God!  You only have a few short years left at home... (oh...btw...did we tell you we are buying you luggage and a one way ticket to Timbuktu for graduation??) ...and then you will get to go out and experience the world any way you would like to.  Take every opportunity you are given and make the most of each one.  Choose to "be as happy as a bird with a french fry". =)  We love you girl!