Sunday, December 26, 2010

Oh, what fun!

Christmas Eve was not like any Christmas Eve we've ever had. Mike, Joey and I went to the beach and had some boogie-boarding fun! On the North Shore of Kauai, the waves are stronger in winter and we got beaten by the surf. The ocean was angry that day, my friend.

I was all excited about the waves until one picked me up, knocked me off my boogie board and slammed me down to the bottom of the ocean (only about 4 feet deep, but it was still scary). When the surf tried to take off my swimming suit, I decided to sit out for a while, even though Mike was getting a great laugh.

These pictures are all mixed up, but this is Mike on Christmas day in his new Hawaiian shirt I got him.

Mike and Joey chillaxin' in the afterglow of Christmas dinner.

Back to the beach on Christmas Eve. Here is Mike enjoying the view of the pounding surf.

Mike and Joey enjoying the board.

Oh, what fun it is to have a Hawaiian holiday!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Church Christmas Party: Hawaiian Style

Gotta love the church Christmas party! Ours was last night. We hoped for a great time and we were not disappointed. The kids did a great program portraying the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
There were tables full of great food. Our branch president cooked kalua pork and chicken, poi (yuck, but don't tell any native Hawaiians that I said that), an oriental chicken-and-noodle dish, and rolls. The rest of us brought salads and desserts. We had haupia (yummy coconut pudding/jello type stuff), a salmon dish with tomatoes and onions, lots of fresh fruit, and a huge abundance of high-fat, high-suger desserts - YUM!

After the program we had an open mic and several little girls performed, including this little cutie.

My favorite thing of all was when these two men played Hawaiian songs on the ukulele and guitar and sang. Then two girls from our branch performed an impromtu hula. It was wonderful!

I thought Joey was going to be a wiseman, but I was surprised when he came out on stage with top billing: Joseph himself. He looked so cute.

Missionaries always add to the fun. The Haole (white) one is from Idaho.

Our beloved branch president, President Koga, who did the cooking.

Look closely, there's Mike and Joey enjoying the food and fellowship.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Feathered Friends

There are so many things to love about this magical place called Kauai, but our feathered friends are one of my favorites.

These beautiful birds are called Brazilian Cardinals and they always hang out near the pool. Joey has started bringing crackers outside with him so he can feed them when he goes swimming.

Mike almost got one to eat out of his hand today.

Kauai has chickens EVERYWHERE!!! I love them. They are at the airport, the hospital, the school, the church, the mall, the grocery store, everywhere. Here are some in our yard.

A mama and her babies in our yard.

This mama had nine chicks and we fed them cracker crumbs so they like us now.

Here she is looking into our house, waiting for food. Her chicks are all hidden under her belly.

There are chickens at the beaches.

I think it's really funny that we lived on a farm in Colorado and we had no chickens for the last several years. Then we move to a condo in Hawaii and every morning, we wake to the crowing of roosters. A lot of people here complain about the roosters, but I absolutely love the sound of them. They don't wake me up anymore; I guess I'm used to them. I love to listen to them crowing and to the clucking and chirping of the hens and chicks.

You might be wondering if there's chicken poo everywhere, but there really isn't. Maybe the nightly rain washes it away, I don't know, but it really isn't a problem.
I love the chickens!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Getting Ready for Christmas

I was thinking about doing a blog post about all the beautiful flowers that grow here, but then I realized that there are too many different ones to do that because I just keep finding more new ones. So instead, I'll just include some in all the other posts from time to time. I have no idea what this one is, but it was growing in the parking lot of the shopping center in Kapaa. Things grow EVERYWHERE here. I've never seen such beautiful parking lots in my life.

This afternoon, Joey and I went around our yard to see what we could pick. We came up with this assortment:

There is a coconut, five oranges, three papayas, one passion fruit (also called lilikoi) and one big avocado.

Draw your own conclusions about this very strange orange.

On to the Christmas subject. Here is our little tree. I bought all the stuff, including the tree itself, at Walmart, and decorated the tree while my boys were camping with the cub scouts.

No Rest for the Weary

Just as I predicted, Mike got a call from the Kauai Stake President yesterday, wanting to meet with us this morning. He extended Mike the calling to be first counselor in our branch presidency. Our little branch comes from the three towns on the North Shore of Kauai: Hanalei, Princeville, and Kilauea. Our chapel is beautiful. It is located in Hanalei, across the street from a beautiful view of the mountains. Hanalei is the area known in the Puff the Magic Dragon song as "the land called Hanalei." It is truly a magical place.

Mike served for about three years as a counselor to Bishop Todd in Colorado, then served as the bishop for three and half years, and now is a counselor to President Koga, who is a sweet, humble and kind Hawaiian man, a taro farmer in Hanalei. We have grown to love him and his family very much already.

We feel so blessed for Mike to have the opportunity to continue serving Heavenly Father is this capacity. I guess we'll get to know the people here pretty fast now.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Very Weird Thanksgiving

Sure didn't seem like Thanksgiving this year! Weird thing number 1: I had to work Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so we had our Thanksgiving on Tuesday.

I did the usual, cooked all day, and the dinner was great.

Weird thing number 2: Only three plates at the table. So, so weird! I really missed having more family to celebrate with us. I'm used to a big crowd.

My boys were anxiously awaiting the blessing so they could chow.

The cook.

Joey opted for a turkey leg. He pretty much cleaned it. He ate turkey and watergate salad (which he calls "watergreen salad") and that's it.

After dinner, the cook rested while the boys did dishes.
Weird thing number 3: It was about 77 degrees all day, sunny, warm, green and beautiful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Language Barrier??

When I first got to Hawaii I wondered why I had a difficult time understanding some people. There are many Filipinos here and it took me a while to get used to their accent. The native Hawaiians also have their own dialect and it takes some getting-used-to also, especially for a red-neck girl like me. Here is an example. This is a copied-and-pasted, actual, unchanged in any way, ad from Craigslist (I did star out the phone number):

Nissan hardbody 1989 excab primer. project so no mo door panels,no rust truck runs cherry did oil change not too long ago..couple clicks too start um den your ready fo go.dis thing is bac tax das y da buggah ste yup any question lemme know numba-808-***-8113

Any one else have trouble with that one??

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hungry? (Seriously This Time)

Since my last post was about some disgusting things to eat here, I decided to do a rebuttal. This post is about the beautiful foods that grow in our yard.
The first one is not food, but I couldn't resist posting a picture of a hybiscus. There are all different colors of hybiscus here, growing wild everywhere. This one grows by our patio.

At the end of October, I bought seeds for tomatoes and cucumbers and planted them in pots on our patio. It's amazing that they are growing in November, but here they are.

These berry bushes also grow wild. I don't know what they are or if they're edible. Anyone know? They sure are pretty.

Okay, on to the food. This is an avocado tree that grows in our yard. Because we live in a condo, it's first come, first served, but we have gotten quite a few avocados from it. They make the yummiest guacamole. I hate it when no one gets the avocados and they fall on the ground and the chickens eat them. There are wild chickens all over Kauai, but that's a subject for another post.

See the avocados up near the top?

In a previous post, I said there was an unidentified fruit growing in our yard. I have since found out that this is passion fruit. Joey and I picked a couple and cut them open and they smelled SO GOOD!! But they were too sour to eat and then I found out they are not ripe until they are yellow and wrinkled.

This is a banana tree in our yard. The tree puts out a big strange flower and then the little bananas start to grow at the base of the stem. Eventually the flower dies and the bananas keep growing (the bananas are right in the middle of the photo).

More bananas growing after losing the flower.

This is an orange tree. They taste SO sweet!

I have discovered that I love papayas. I bought some from the grocery store before I realized that's what was growing on this strange tree. I think it's weird how they grow from the trunk.

I love all the free food that grows in our yard!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


DISCLAIMER: This blog post is not intended to be insulting to any group of people. I'm just showing my picky eating habits.

One interesting thing I've encountered since moving to Hawaii is the different foods that people here eat. Every day at work, there are strange foods on the table in the break room. The nice (and very tiny) little ladies who bring this food in always offer to share, but I usually say no. What would you say?

Today this was the fare. It's hard to tell what it is, but the gray things are little fish, complete with heads and tails. The white things are my favorite (NOT): onions. I have no idea what the red things were and I don't think I want to know.

If this doesn't suit your fancy, how about some chips? Sound good? Here are the chips that were on the table:
Hmmm... chips sound good, right? Well, you have to be sure to check out the fine print before you eat.

Have you ever heard of octopus flavored chips? No, I did not try them. They smelled even worse than Cool Ranch Doritos.