A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, March 23, 2018


One of my favorite parts of being in Hawaii is being able to just hop in the ocean whenever we felt like it. 

I just liked having my feet in the sand, and the warm water up to about my knees. 

Josiah, however, was wearing jeans and socks and tennies, and declined to get in, this particular time. 

So we took pictures of each other. 

I enjoyed having Josiah come with me.  There were times when we went in different directions, but it was nice to have someone familiar to share meals with. 

I had to stop and snap this.  The banyan trees were really cool, but I was also struck by the image of my grown children setting off on their own.  This is a weird phase of life for me.  It's easy to look at a baby and think, "Wow.  We made that."  Or even to acknowledge, "I kept the small humans alive today."  But to see my children turn into interesting adults, not because of me, but almost despite my failings, has been really mind boggling. 

So Josiah turned 21 shortly before our trip.  And Annaliese is 23. 

I'm not much of a drinker, like, at all, but they did manage to order me something that was fruity enough for me to not make faces as I sipped it. 

They tasted a few other things. 

Note:  This post from 2018 was found in my draft folder and published 2 years later.  Whoops.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Pearl Harbor - The Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor was a moving experience.  More so than I expected. 

Tour companies will try to sell you tickets to the Arizona Memorial, but if you simply show up there in the morning, the tickets are actually free--they just run out every day.  We got free tickets for the 10 o'clock showing.  First, you go into a theater and watch a brief movie, then you board the shuttle boat to the Arizona. 

The view from the windows of the memorial.  

Personnel who were assigned to the Arizona at the time of the attack, who were not on board when she went down, can be buried with the ship when they die. 

In fact, we saw a dive team preparing to go down while we were there. 

The back wall is names of those who died aboard the ship.

The smaller lists at the sides of the monument list additional crew members who have since been buried there. 

Because the monument is built directly over the ship, you can look straight down onto it.  We could see tropical fish swimming, but they don't show up in the picture because of the glare. 

Even all these decades later, there is still oil leaking from the ship.  You can watch it on the water, and the lapping waves carry it away. 

One of the massive anchors of the ship, which was recovered after it sank. 

This was a somber field trip, but I'm so glad I went.  As the mother of service members, I was touched deeply. 

Fortunately, there is more to see at Pearl Harbor, and I will share pictures from the Bowfin and the Museum soon. 

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Waikiki Aquarium

You know what I like about Hawaii?  It's warm.  We slept with the windows open and the breeze blowing.

Next morning, Josiah and I wandered around a bit before meeting Annaliese at her work for lunch. We stayed in Waikiki, which is very touristy, but is also very convenient.  You walk across the street to go to the beach.  You wander down the road for food.  There are ABC Stores *everywhere*, in case you have the munchies, or you forgot something. 

My beautiful girl!  It had been over a year since we'd seen her.  It was good to catch up a bit. Her manager gushed about what a great employee she is. 

After lunch, we went to Waikiki Aquarium.

Compared to Monterey Bay Aquarium, Waikiki Aquarium is small.

But it has some lovely tropical fish and other interesting exhibits.

I enjoyed wandering around with my grown kids.  It's a different vibe than doing the aquarium with younger children.

Jellyfish are fascinating.

I liked that it wasn't crowded, and we could linger or zip by as interest dictated. 

The seahorses were adorable, and Annaliese brought up a good point.  Who decided that the male seahorses were male?  I mean, ordinarily if you see a creature giving birth, you assume it's female, right? 

Part of the exhibits are outdoors.  The sunshine was wonderful. 

I did try to take pictures of the fish in this large, open tank, but the reflections on the water made the fish impossible to see. 

I remember joking about how we took Katie to the zoo, and we're standing in front of the zebras when Katie says, "MOM!  Look!  A squirrel!"  I kind of did the same thing here.  We were supposed to be looking at the giant clams, but what caught my eye...

...were the two little lizards on the stone wall. 

Our photo souvenir.  They take your picture against a green screen when you enter the aquarium, and it's ready when you leave. 

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Top o' the mornin' to ya!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I miss the art projects we did last year.  The girls' school didn't do anything for St. Pat's, which surprised me a little, but since it's on a Saturday this year, I have them home with me! 

I found this little leprechaun in our front yard and decided to take some pictures. 

I love my peeps.  And they tolerate me.  Even when I torture them by making them stand and smile and *gasp* hold hands. 

They're pretty good sports.  I miss them.  I'm looking forward to having them home for spring break soon.  And summer!  I'm going to appreciate the heck out of summer this year. 

Because before you know it, they'll be off again. 

I'm so glad I get to capture these fleeting moments.

It's fun to have green noodles and green ice cream and grapes and Snapeas and, of course, corned beef. 

But I wish I could slow down time, just a little bit, to savor these moments before they're gone. 

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Aloha! I went to Hawaii!

After finishing up her year in New Zealand, Annaliese decided to move to Hawaii.  For my birthday (and Valentine's Day, and our upcoming anniversary), Paul said I could go visit her.

I took Josiah with me.

Good gravy, that's a long flight (6.5 hours).  And I swear the screen said, "5 minutes remaining" for at least 20 minutes.  We were dying.  I know, it's shorter than going to China, but it still felt like forever.

But eventually we got checked in to our hotel and wandered out to find a bite to eat.  I love all the lit tiki torches in Waikiki!

We found a little second floor Mexican restaurant with a view of the beach.

The food was really good.

In fact, we ended up going back there another night.

Our hotel left something to be desired.  I think I've gotten spoiled staying in 4 star hotels in China. 

But it was a place to crash between adventures. 

And if you stand in the right spot and use your imagination, it even has a view of the mountains. 

This was my first time in Hawaii, and I was delighted with the warm ocean.  Growing up, the beach was nearby, but it was cold and windy. 

Hopefully, I'll get a chance to post some more of my pictures over the next few days. 

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