Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I'm trying to learn something new, so this is just an experiment.

Ok, so this seems to have worked (although I'm not sure why my font turned blue again - it did this on my last post and then when it changed back to black, it was underlined!).

I'm still trying to decide on color schemes for the house. I have painted 2 walls in the living room aqua and I love it. So the living room is aqua and brown. But the living room and kitchen are open and blend together, so the kitchen has to coordinate. I think I want to do lime green and aqua in the kitchen. I was looking online for inspiration and I found some beautiful inspiration boards on all these wedding blogs! SO, I'm gonna try to make some with ideas for my house but am trying to teach myself how. So bear with me here....this is just an experiment, I haven't given this inspiration board ANY thought whatsoever!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Here we are in Hawaii!

OK so, here we are in Hawaii! We've been here for 3 weeks now. Sorry it's taken me so long to get any pictures up. Many of you have asked what it's like living here so this will be a pretty long post to catch you up (actually, it turned out REALLY long, but keep reading.....there are pictures in the 2nd half!!) (Also, toward the end the words are all underlined and blue - not sure why, not sure how to change it, sorry). It's hard to describe or explain. Living here is definitely different than just coming here for vacation. I still have all the same errands to run and chores to do as I did in Colorado, except now add unpacking, decorating and sorting through what things to keep packed up in the garage since the house is alot smaller. We do get to the beach for a little bit most days though. We are a mile from the main road that runs up the coast through town (Alii Dr.), but we're on a huge hill. So it's a mile down and then a mile back up. There are two fun beaches just down Alii. The kids like to boogie board at Magic Sands and Kahaluu is good for snorkeling and surfing (and we almost always see Sea Turtles (honu - in Hawaiian) there). We've been to some other nice beaches further north out of town, but I like the ones 5 minutes away just as much!

The weather is nice. The same almost every day. Low 80's in the day, mid 70's at night. We never close the windows and always have the fans on (you don't really need air conditioning here). The humidity isn't as bad as I had thought it would be. I've never lived anywhere humid so I didn't know what to expect. We don't have any mold or mildew problems but food gets stale quickly so you have to use tupperware to store things (especially cereal, crackers and chips. Also, sugar will cake if not in a sealed container). And you definitely can't leave laundry in the washer for very long or it will smell. (Also if you don't have your food sealed you'll get ants).

We don't have as much wildlife here as we did in Colorado. Instead of deer and squirrels we have goats and mongoose. Seriously, there are wild goats all over. They just climb around on all the lava. The first time I saw 2 of them walking down the side of the road I thought they'd escaped from someone's yard or something! I had no idea there were just wild goats around. And we also have mongoose. They were brought over to the island many years ago to kill the rats. Well, now we don't have a rat problem, instead we have a mongoose problem. They haven't been a nuisance at all, they just run around like squirrels. I have heard that they are pests when you have a vegetable garden though. Then of course there are the geckos. We have many all around our house and on the lanai (that means deck in Hawaiian). They are super cute and don't really cause any problems except that they poop on the walls and ceilings! Yep, that's right, they poop! It looks like mouse poop only a little bit bigger. It's a pain to clean up. Mostly I just use my vacuum attachment.

We have been so busy settling in and playing at local beaches that we hadn't really explored the island until this week. We spent 3 days driving south to Hawaii Volcano National Park and then up the other side of the island to Hilo and back home over Saddle Road. I'll post some pictures of our trip.

Dave's job is going well. They don't get alot of calls up there but they do have a large group of Marines up there for training for about a month and also some Army troops. He gave us a tour of the area on our way home from Hilo yesterday. I am still waiting for my Hawaii State Dental Hygiene License so I don't have a job yet. I'm hoping it will be here in another 2 weeks or so. I have interviewed at one office and have a followup interview tomorrow at noon.

We have found a church that the kids really like. We haven't visited too many but as soon as we went to this one they didn't want to go anywhere else. It's called Mokuaikuau Church and is the oldest Christian church in the state of Hawaii. The building is 190 years old!! The youth groups take a break for the summer so it's been hard for Gavin and Maici to make new friends. I signed them up for soccer but that doesn't start till school starts. But they've both been really great - they really miss all their friends at home but haven't complained a bit.

Here is some local produce that I got at the farmers market in town (about 3 miles from our house). All this only cost $14.00!! Someday soon I hope to have HOMEGROWN produce, but for now local will have to suffice. :)

On our way to Volcano we stopped at South Point. South Point is the southernmost point in the United States. There is nothing there but lava cliffs and some fishing platforms. There was a bunch of people jumping off the cliffs so Dave and the kids jumped in too. They started on the lower spots but then moved up higher and higher until they were jumping from the fishing platforms at the very top!! It was probably about 40-50 feet!

You can see how far down Dave is in this picture of Gavin jumping. He was in the air for a LONG time!!

Here is Maici jumping. She jumped from the ledge behind her and up just a little. She was the littlest one jumping!! That's my brave little Maici - no fear!

Look how clear the water is in this picture of Dave! You could see the rocks SO far down!!

Look at this tree on the way to South Point. Do you think they get a little wind down there?

Here are the kids on the edge of the crater of Kilauea. You can see the smoke billowing up from the center of the caldera in the backround. Crater Rim Road is closed on the opposite side because of all the smoke and because it has had some recent explosions that launch large, burning rocks into the air. Yikes!!

Here is the caldera at night. I didn't realize it would be glowing so much or I would have brought my tripod and gotten some better pictures. It was SO cool!!

This is the Thurston Lava Tube. Anyone can go through the first part since it is lit up inside. But to continue on you have to have flashlights - the 2nd half isn't lit AT ALL.

Here's Dave at the entrance to the unlit portion.

Gavin and Maici climbed up into a crevice on the wall. They turned their flashlights off so this picture is ONLY lit by my flash. It is so strange that the rocks appear to be glowing because with out the flashlights you can't even see your hand in front of your face! Pitch dark!! Not sure where the glow is coming from. Kinda cool.

We hiked a 4 mile loop called the"Kilauea Iki Trail". It started on the rim of the crater went down into the crater, across the crater floor, up the other side and back around the rim. It was all rainforest until you got to the crater floor. Then nothing but lava. Here Gavin is about 1/2 way down the rim and you can see to the crater floor. That faint gray line going across it is the trail.

This view is from almost the end of the hike. You go down the wall to the left of where the picture is taken, straight through the middle of the crater, up the wall on right and back around the rim. It was a gorgeous trail! There is still steam vents on the crater floor from when this part of the volcano erupted in 1959. You can see the plume from the active part way in the backround.

This is Akaka Falls. We stopped and made the short hike down to it in Hilo on our way home.

Maici did a henna on her hand all by herself. I didn't help her a bit!

And this was the sunset tonight from our lanai!

Our house is small but we're ready for guests!! We miss all of you so much so you'd better get out here soon!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Orange and Blue

Here's some more color schemes that are inspiring me for Hawaii.

Whatdya think?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Aloha Oe (or...snow in the rockies)

OK, so here's what I woke up to this morning! Today was originally scheduled as no school for the kids for a teacher work day. Then they changed it to a normal school day to make up for having had too many snow days. And now the make up snow day has been cancelled.....due to snow! Ha Ha!!

And here is what I will be waking up to in 40 days!!

Everything is really beginning to move fast now. Our shipping container arrives in 11 days. We only have it for 2 days so everything has to be packed and ready to load when it arrives.

We leave Colorado in 32 days! We will fly in to Sacramento and spend a week with my brother and SIL in Vacaville.

Then on June 1 we leave from Oakland and fly to Kona where we land at 1:16pm!!

Dave is still waiting for his "official" start date but right now it looks like it will be around May 30. So if that's true then when the kids and I leave here on May 25th for CA, he will leave here and go straight to Kona and be there to meet us when we arrive on June 1.

We are working on getting the house packed up. Downstairs is mostly done except for the kitchen and pantry, but I need to pack those last (you know, since we still need to eat and all). Since Maici has a snow day I think I'll start on her room today - it needs the most "sorting" - the rest of the house is mostly sorted, it just needs packing. But Maici's room has definitely not been sorted.

Here is my now empty living room. Looks kinda sad and lonely.

My SIL Julia gave me a journal for my birthday last month that I have turned into my "moving planner". I decorated it with hawaiian-ish stuff and use it to keep track of what needs to be done when and jot down little things I think of.
Here is the cover.

Here is the inside of the cover.

I have a countdown going. I snip off the corner of each page at the end of each day. That way I can flip to what day I'm on faster and you can see the number of how many days left till we leave Colorado.

Here's a close-up. The pink is the days till we actually leave. The green is days until the shipping container comes. You may notice the discrepancy between the two numbers. What will we do? you may ask. Where will we stay? We have several awesome friends who have offered their homes to us, as well as my parents. But since the kids will still have 2 weeks of school after the house is empty we wanted to stay close. So we will stay at the home of some friends who live close by, but will be out of town. And then stay at my parents on the weekends.

Another question you may have is "where are the dogs?" Well, it was a hard decision but we decided not to take them to Hawaii with us. Some friends of ours who had stayed with us for awhile last year asked if they could take them. I was super glad that someone who KNEW them wanted them, and also that they wanted BOTH of them. They are litter mates and have never been apart. So, 2 weeks ago we put them on a plane in their crates and they flew off to their new home in Texas.

Here they are with their new sister, Botox.

And here they are on their new bed.

I'm super glad that Kimmy keeps posting pictures of them (thanks Kimmy!!). It makes me happy to see them. I miss them a TON. But enough about that or there will be tear stains on my blog page.

So, there's alot more behind the scenes details about the move. I could go on and on (and on). I haven't posted anything on here since March 9 after all. But that's probably already more than any of you care about anyway. Maybe next time I'll post some info about renting since we are working on that on both ends of this move. Still looking for a renter for our CO home and also a home for us to rent in HI.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

West Hawaii Explorations Academy

Hooray!! We found out today that Maici got in to the charter school that we had hoped to send the kids to, and that Gavin is 1st on the waiting list for next year!! This is such an AMAZING school and I can't tell you how stoked I am right now!! I'm gonna try to add a link to video about the school. It's called West Hawaii Explorations Academy (WHEA) and is an outdoor, project based learning school.

I think I figured out how to embed the video. Let's see how it works:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Anniversary #16

Today Dave and I have been married for 16 years. On one hand, it seems like we're just newlyweds, we have so much fun together, we joke and tease and I always want him around me. And on the other hand it seems like he's always been here, like he's never not been a part of my life.

I wish I was eloquent and could write something beautiful about how great it is being married to him. Or I wish I was witty and could write a funny anecdote, but for a blogger, I'm afraid I'm rather blah, not a very creative writer.

But I at least wanted to mark the day with a post. So everybody knows that today, I have been married to my best friend, the one who knows all my stories, gets all my jokes, warms my feet, takes my side, completely ignores my imperfections and makes me a better me, for 16 years. He brings so much joy and life to my life and I can't imagine the horribly boring person I'd be without him. Babe, thanks for being the best part of me for the last 16 years. I love you.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Getting Started (Baby Steps)

I finally got started on some moving stuff yesterday! A friend loaned me a really great little book called "Dress Your House for Success" by Martha Webb.

It's about staging your house to sell it. It really put me in the right mindset to get started (and hopefully I'll be a better client for our realtor, my sister-in-law Julia). I think I was a little like a deer in the headlights - I could see the move coming but didn't know what to do, I was frozen. In the back of my mind I knew if I didn't do something then it was going to hit me, but I just didn't know where to start!! But she breaks the process down in to bite size pieces. In the book Martha first discusses how emotional it can be to detach yourself from your house and to see it as a product or commodity and that was really helpful for me. That is such a hard thing for me to do. I think of it as our home. It's not just 4 walls and a roof, it's the place where my family LIVES, where we relax, where we sleep, where we laugh, where we hang out with our friends. It's toasty inside when it's snowing, it's a cool oasis when the summer sun is beating down. We live on Woodhaven Drive and I've always thought that was such a good name because our house is just that: a haven in the woods. We've lived in this house longer than any of our other homes and it is definitely hard to find the balance between packing up our not only our things, but also our memories, our lives (it makes me cry just writing about it and this is just the STUFF, just wait until I have to say goodbye actual PEOPLE!). So anyway, yesterday was a good step.

The first step is to "unclutter". This is gonna take me a while. I did 1/2 of the kitchen yesterday. I'm gonna try to finish it today and maybe I'll take some pictures while I'm at it (the junk drawer alone will probably take all afternoon!). The thing that I'm really enjoying about it is that it will make the packing and moving part alot easier. All our stuff will already have been sorted through and all the drawers and stuff will already be clean. I took everything out of the drawers and cupboards I went through yesterday, vacuumed them, wiped them down and replaced the drawer liners. Then I sorted through whatever was in them and got rid of stuff I didn't want or need anymore, packed the stuff I can live without until June and then put the rest back in - they look SO great! I also scrubbed the outside of the drawers and the inside and outside of the cupboard doors. I tried to pull out the oven to clean behind and underneath it but it was too heavy for me to move alone. I'll have Dave help me do it today, but I was hoping to do it without him here because I don't want him to see how gross it's gonna be back there. I've never pulled it out to clean before! I only clean as far under there as the vacuum attachment will reach! Yuck! (I won't take pictures of that one!)

Our living room is not really that big and we have a regular TV in there that sits on top of a wooden trunk. In order to make the room look more spacious I had the idea to replace the existing TV with a flat screen that we could hang on the wall (thus getting rid of the wooden trunk and creating more floor space). We had actually said we were not gonna take the TV with us and just get a flat screen when we arrive anyway. So when I called Dave at the fire station yesterday to tell him my idea of getting the flat screen now, instead of in Hawaii he pretended it was a horrible idea and there was NO WAY he would let me do it. But of course, what husband would actually say no to a flat screen? So I think we're gonna do a little shopping today as well.

So anyway, there's a little update on the progress I've made. If I take any pictures I'll edit this post and add them on tonight. See ya later!