The truth as I know it:

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands. ~~~ Kristi Larson

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Look Kristine.... it's really a chicken!


It's actually a chicken... crossing the road... at the Maui airport.  When you see this, you know that you are in the country! :)

I surprised Brian with a trip to Maui for his 40th birthday.  I picked him up from work on Friday afternoon with his bag packed.  He thought maybe we were staying at a hotel for the night, but when I told him we were leaving the island he got really excited.  He was happy to be going to Maui, an island he hadn't been to yet.  

Then when he saw the car I rented for us, he was really stoked.  

I love this photo of us.  I love that you can see Lanai (another island) in the background.

I LOVE this.  This is a pineapple stand on the side of the road.  There were alot of them.  And they all had these little jars that said "Money Jar" (red arrow) with no one anywhere around to make sure you are honest.  I love the honor system.  Restores my faith in people.

We drove on this road.... notice that only one car can actually fit on this road... and there are actually 617 curves and 56 one lane bridge.  (that's from the brochure, I'm not making it up.)

Yikes, I can't see what's around that corner... or over that hill... aaaaggggghhhhhh!

That's the Road to Hana.  Alot of people opt out when they see the road conditions.  But it's definitely WORTH the drive for the views!

1 of 56....

White knuckles....

I think there should definitely be a hammock right there, what do you think?

Sunset... warm and breezy where we were sitting, but you can see the rain on the horizon.  It was a great last night to a wonderful sweet weekend.

Now for other things going on around here:

Here is the tree I told you about last week.  This is "Bob" as seen over Jack's bedroom (from my bedroom door.)

This is "Bob" from my front yard.

Getting closer....

This is Bob, standing in my neighbors yard, across the street from Bob.

This is Amy giving you a little perspective on just how tiny she looks standing next to Bob.

Jack had his Christmas chorale performance this week at school.  Please note that everyone is in shorts and barefoot.  This is MY kind of Christmas performance.  Being barefoot makes just about everything better, don't you think?

We made Gingerbread cookies... fun memory!

This is a bit backward in terms of timeline, but this was taken on Brian's actual birthday.  We went deep sea fishing.  Here we are starting out the day, so hopeful about a huge catch and some whale sightings.

Lines are set and we are ready to reel.

Brian caught the first "catch" of the day... a barracuda.  :)

There was ONE more catch the entire day.  There are many stories from the day, and maybe soon I'll figure out how to post the video of the incredibly rough seas we experienced. I thought it was 8 foot, but was informed that while I was asleep, it was determined that it was actually 10-12 foot seas.  People, that is twice as tall as me to twice as tall as Brian.  I don't know much about rough water, but I know that was a wild ride.  

At the end of the day we caught one Mahi Mahi and one barracuda.  Brian sort of blames it on me because I brought a bottle of Banana Boat sunscreen with me (which he eventually threw overboard.)  See, Hawaiian seamen believe that bananas are bad luck.  So, even though I don't believe whatsoever in superstition, I will say it seems unusual that we had so little activity that day.  Maybe the ocean was just too rough for the fish too????  Yep, I'm choosing to believe it was the water, not the sunscreen.  haha

I will say that when we landed on Oahu this afternoon, I really felt like I was home.  It was an odd feeling.  It's the first time I've left the island since we arrived, so it was a very odd sensation.  I thought of my friend Kim in Hong Kong.  I remember a post she did about coming back to Hong Kong after a visit elsewhere.  It was a definitely multi-faceted sensation.  Maybe I'll share more when I've had time to chew on those feelings for a while.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Island Life

There are alot of things I love about Island Life.  There are alot of things that frustrate me about life on an island too.  Here's a list:

Love- the weather.  Pretty much any day of the year (so far anyway) you can do whatever you want to do outside and count on there being some sunshine to do it under.

Hate - the fruit flies.  I don't understand why there are always fruit flies in my kitchen.  I try very hard to make sure there is nothing in the sink that would attract them, try to make sure the disposal has been run with plenty of extra hot water to wash away any residue of fruit or food, but still there is a swarm around my sink no matter what.  I have put out several "fruit fly traps" that always work at home (a covered glass of red wine), but no luck.

Love - the lifestyle, everyone is so laid back, it's how I imagine life was years ago on the mainland, where kids can bike two or three blocks from home without anyone worrying too much about it, where you can show up in shorts and "slippas" (flip-flops) just about anywhere you want to go, and where just about every day should or at least could involve some amount of sand and salt-water.

Hate - that I am so far away from my friends and I have no real options to just visit on a whim.  A visit home is a major undertaking and not something that could be easily accomplished.

Love - that we are still sitting outside at night and the weather is perfect with a light jacket.  The best temps of the year in Franklin and that is what we have every day here.  It's great.  The winds are blowing now for the past few days and I LOVE sleeping to the constant roar of the Kona winds blowing through my window.  It's amazing and natural and I will really miss all the fresh, open air when I get home.  I think this is the key to why we haven't had colds, sore throats, or an illness of any time since we've been here.  There is just so much fresh air that germs don't thrive.

Hate - that I am missing the first snowfall of the season today in TN.

Love - that there is an aircraft in the sky 24x7x365.  At night, when the winds aren't blowing, you can hear the constant faint rumble of planes and helicopters.  Between military patrols and commercial airlines, there is always a blinking red light in the sky.

Hate - that we missed the stick-horse parade at Moore this week.  Connor will be the only Harrison who does not have photos of himself at a stick-horse parade.  It's a MES tradition.  But I....

LOVE - that his Kindergarten teacher from home (who only taught him for 2 weeks mind you) made a horse for him because she didn't want him to be the only Harrison who didn't have one.  You don't find that level of devotion from teachers in most schools, I don't believe.

Hate - That we weren't home for Brian's 40th birthday yesterday, I had planned a big surprise party for him that involved a limo and lots of friends and pubs.  :(  It's times like that, when you KNOW what the day would have been like, that it's most difficult for me to be away.

Love - the tree down the street from my house.  I love that we have this experience and memory and I know it's one that will grow even grander over time.  I've tried to take a photo of this tree that will give you an accurate perspective, but you'll just have to take my word for it.  My neighbor, Bob, has a tree in his front yard that is probably about 4 or 5 stories tall.  He hires tree trimmers every year (as in, the kind that cut trees down) to climb the tree and drop no telling how many strands of lights from the top to the bottom.  At the tip top, there is a white star.  The most amazing part about this is that you can see the tree from several blocks away.  People are ALL OVER our street at the moment, driving slowly, stopping to get out and take photos, etc.  I am sure you can see the tree from space if you know where to look! :)  Or at least from an airplane.  Anyway, it's the coolest thing ever.

Love - that we can walk down to the tree every night, with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, in our shorts, and really just bask in the blessing of this new experience.

Trying to love - the fact that this warm weather makes it seem more like Easter than Christmas.  I feel like I'm missing the Christmas season entirely.  I want to curl up on the couch every night and watch the countdown to Christmas movies, but it just doesn't seem like Christmas and I don't think about it.  But I'm learning to be okay with this... comforted by the fact that we'll surf on Christmas day and swim on Christmas Eve and there are some definite advantages to life in the tropics.