When Alicia was born her great grandmother crocheted her a blanket. She never took to it but when Ethan came along it found it's calling. Ethan took it everywhere. To church, to friends houses, on vacations. It has seen a lot. It is not soft and the colors are a bit girly but he loves that thing. He calls it "itchy." But about a year ago it got to the point that we couldn't really patch it up anymore. It's not like fabric where you can patch it, it's yarn that unravels. I have told Ethan he can have the blanket as long as he wants but I am done fixing it and when it's gone it's gone. Right now it has separated into two pieces. I also find small pieces of yarn all over the house. It's sad but it has gone 8 years.
***********So this post is to itchy*********
This is Halloween 2005, itchy is in his lap
Early 2008, itchy at his face.
This is hunting camp August 2011. Itchy is in the blue bag at his feet
A few weeks ago we decided to surprise the kids with a trip to the Ducks first game. Ben and I love going to games but we had never taken the kids. We sat pretty high up but in the section that we like best. Thankfully there were many families around us so the drinking was minimal and the language was non existent. (The last game we went to was pretty bad and we were unsure about ever taking kids.)
Here are some pictures.
We came early so the kids could explore Autzen Stadium and shop a bit.
Ethan's favorite part was when our Duck came out on the motorcycle! Big smiles
I was trying to get a good shot of the sunset. O, well. you get the idea
The last week or so of August Alicia and I headed to San Diego with my sister-in-law Donna and my niece, Anna. The boys were all off at hunting camp and when I asked Donna if she wanted to meet us to paint pottery she upped the ante and said how about Sea World? Well. . . how about it!
So we spent an afternoon at San Diego Zoo Safari, a day in Sea World, and a day at San Diego Zoo. We felt like the Lord blessed every second of our trip and we couldn't help but comment on that throughout every day we had together. Everything ran smoothly and we got to do all we wanted to plus more.
Thank you Donna for such an amazing time and great memory maker for our girls.
Donna and Anna waiting at the airport.
Girls had their faces done at the Safari zoo. Alicia has wanted to do that for years so it was fun to have them do it together.
The first show we went to at Sea World, One Ocean, we sat in the Splash Zone. We did come prepared and were so thankful we did as we would have been far wetter then we were.
At the San Diego Zoo Donna and the girls were chosen to go up front and do some juggling before the Chinese acrobat show. Just another great moment on our trip.
The day our plane flew out we had a few extra hours at Sea World. We signed up for a tour and got to go to their rescue area. This is also where they house the mommy dolphins. The girls were not allowed to touch the dolphins but the dolphins kept sticking their little heads up to see us.
Was running through my summer pictures and thought I would share how hard my son worked at stretching before his soccer camp this summer. :) And don't you love their pink jerseys they turned into capes?
The kids have been wishing all summer that they had a pool. Instead we have been giving them a bag of water balloons almost every hot day. We started out with a couple of bags and then went back and bought more and then finally the last time we were at the Dollar Tree we bought 13. It is the best dollar spent. The kids get hours of fun out of one bag. When Ben gets home he plays a game where he takes turns throwing the balloons to them and then they get to try and hit their sibling. :) It's pretty fun to watch because half the time they don't catch them and when they do they usually pop in a few seconds.
Alicia missed the balloon Ben tossed at her. Bummer!
I am so excited I had to share. As of today we have our London and Paris housing BOOKED! It makes the trip to Europe next summer, to see my sister's family in Germany, all the more real. Instead of dreaming of it we are preparing for it. So excited. And we get to be in Paris for French National Day! Going to be amazing.
The first week of summer was a good one. We kicked it off by heading camping on Friday after the kids got out of school. We were able to go to Detroit Lake and stay in the group site with 4 other families. The kids love this day and it is always nice to get away with friends and catch up. The weather was actually really good and one of the dads set up a rope swing over the lake that the kids loved. They also got to go fishing and ride bikes. It was a very nice weekend and I hope we do it again next year.
Then through the week the kids got to have cousins visit, go to a dollar movie at Lancaster 11, go to the library, play tether-ball in our back yard, Ethan went on a date with his daddy, their Papa took them fishing and swimming for the day, they got to see Brave Friday afternoon at our local theater (very funny movie) and then have a cousin spend Saturday day/night so we could take her, along with our two, to Camp Tadmor Sunday. I think our summer started off fairly good, don't you?
They are waiting for Papa to pick them up. So excited to go catch some fish!Ready for Camp!
Ethan seemed a bit nervous about camp but he is with his best buddy and they seem to be doing just fine!
Today we woke up knowing we were heading home. I don't think any of us were ready. We thought 10 days would be sufficient but we were wrong. We could spend a month here like our friends were doing over on Maui.
We didn't have to rush as our plane took off at 11:00 so we went for Starbucks and Jamba Juice and then returned our trusty jeep. We were at the airport quite awhile allowing some last minute purchases by the kids, stuffed animals and an ukulele. We were lucky as this flight was nonstop. We were back at PDX about 8 and Ben's parents were there to pick us up. The trip was officially over.
Some last thoughts or pictures I wanted to share with you.
Before we left I had heard about the Mickey lamps at Aulani. We are doing our room in a calm beach theme so I knew I wanted to buy the lamps. They do not sell them at there store anymore because they could not keep up with the orders!! I was able to have my name put on a list, and had a lady call me soon after we got home, so we should have 2 of them by the end of summer.
The kids really enjoyed this vacation. I am not sure if it was going with friends or being near water almost every day but they would love to go back. I know both Ben and I wish we could go snorkeling more.
I wish we had had more time at Aulani. We never got to see their Starlit Hui show, never played their scavenger hunt, didn't go snorkeling in their bay and on and on. We also never saw any of Oahu but the Memorial.
If you have younger kids the Aunty's Beach House is great.
My kids went the first day for about 45 minutes. I think it is probably best for ages 3-7. Ethan would have enjoyed it if he had someone with him and Alicia was just too old. It's free and they have a lot of fun things going on. They also have a great check in/out system so there is no way your child will be stolen. Aulani also has this water play area that Ethan enjoyed but again probably would have enjoed more with friends.
When I was checking in for our flights I found they have a great area for those people who have late flights and need some where to stay. They also have computers for you to use for flight check-ins.
Thank you for sticking with me as I took weeks to fininsh this trip report. I love looking back at the pictures and I know it will help me remember everything in the future.
This morning we woke up and headed to the character breakfast here at Aulani. I loved it but the kids, especially Alicia, really didn't care to have characters come around and visit. It's sad when they out grow it.
Anyway the breakfast was yummy and again so many choices for every picky eater out there.
We found some chairs again in the shade and staked our claim. The nice thing about the pool chairs is that someone comes around and takes orders for you and then your food is delivered to you in cute bamboo baskets. We all spent time on our chairs reading or playing electronic games. It was very peaceful.
We had almost the same day as the day before but a little after lunch Alicia and I headed off to a lei class. We also finally checked out the Disney beach and then headed out to dinner. It was a nice relaxing day and we were all sad that as we went to bed we knew we would be heading home when we woke up.
I am wearing the lei Alicia made me for Mothers Day. It was nice to spend time with just Alicia.
The last picture my camera took before it broke!
So I last left you we had just checked into Aulani.
We were on the fourth floor in the Waianae Tower.
It really is a beautiful building. We decided to go try out the lazy river before our dinner reservations at 7. It was about normal dinner time for people with little kids so the swimming area was fairly empty. Ben and I found some lounge chairs and the kids were off to find an inner tube. We lasted about an hour and then went back to our rooms to get ready for dinner.
Earlier we had seen that the half beach area had been taken over by a company throwing an appreciation party. They went all out. It was gorgeous. When we went to dinner we sat outside and we could hear the entertainment they had hired--Gavin DeGraw and Lifehouse!! So we got a free concert. It was really cool to sit eating our dinner listening to LIVE music.
We went to Makahiki a buffet for our first meal at Disney. It was pretty good. LOTS of choices and some yummy desserts. Ben and I really wanted to head down and watch the concert after dinner but the kids were really tired and vetoed that idea. Instead we wondered back upstairs to the small gift shop and then to our rooms for bed.
Saturday morning Ben was off to find a Starbucks while the three of us went down to find some great shaded seats for the day. We decided to get seats at the pool area. Found some under an umbrella and we stayed there the entire day. It was just a relaxing day. Lots of swimming, lazing and eating. The kids and I had got refillable mugs and so we had pop, tea, lemonade or hot chocolate whenever we wanted to go refill it.
That evening they had a Disney movie out on the garden laws. They had grass mats to lounge on and we watched The Muppets. Not my favorite movie or one I even remotely liked but the whole idea of sitting outside in Hawaii watching a movie was very nice. We were then off to bed.
We really felt spoiled here and it was so nice to stay at one spot and just hang out together all day. If you ever get a chance to go with your kids take it.
Up next. . . Mothers Day in Hawaii
Today we are leaving the Big Island and heading to Oahu for three nights.
We drove to the airport and dropped off our jeep and made it to the airport with a lot of time to wait. AS we were going through screening Ethan was randomly chosen to be screened. They started to take him to a back room but an older gentleman said he could do it all right there at the end of the belt with our luggage. they took a fingerprint and ran it through a computer and then said he was free to go. they made it very easy and non-threatening, told him he could brag about it at school. I think Ethan forgot about it about 10 minutes after we walked out.
Kona has an outside airport. So we were waiting for our planes in the beautiful outside weather, which was also windy. We also got there early so the area we would sit in was full for a different flight and we sat somewhere else. I tell you all this because we moved around a bit and it was windy and about 20 minutes before boarding I realized I had Ben and the kids boarding passes but had lost mine. We checked every bag a few times, all pockets, wandered the areas we had sat in and found nothing. The first lady I asked for help told me to go check my bags again. Sure, like I hadn't done that already. The second lady I asked was Hawaiian and I have to tell you the Hawaiians are just so nice. She so kindly just printed me another one off like it was n big deal. I had been so nervous and she made me feel like it was no biggie.
We made it on the short flight and got off in Honolulu. We had tickets for Pearl Harbor so we got our next rental car, again a jeep, and found our way to the Memorial.
We enjoyed our time in Pearl Harbor, Ethan especially. They do a good job of making it easy to understand for kids and giving all the information you might need. Ben's grandfather was in the USS West Viginian that was hit in Pearl Harbor so it was something we really wanted the kids to be a part of.
Then we drove to our next resort-Disney's Aulani.
This place was so much fun. We had ran around the week before so wanted to just relax. We rarely left the resort and that was only to eat. When we got to the resort they gave us each a lei and then we were off to find our room.
To be continued. . .
So after a short break I am finishing the Hawaii trip report:
Thursday was our last full day on the Big Island. We have reservations for a luau tonight but wanted to spend the day on his side of the island in the water. We left fairly early so we could try and get some family pictures taken. The problem was that the kids were really in no mood for pictures. After a few attempts I gave up and my kids were off to the waves. We stayed at Hapuna Beach for all morning and then headed back to our resort. we probably could have stayed a little longer but we had cut it pretty close the last time we had an evening event and Alicia was set on having plenty of time to get ready for the Luau. We also had to stop off and buy a suitcase for the present we had bought Ethan for his birthday. We got back with plenty of time so e all took showers and started to pack for the morning flight.
We then headed to the hotel for the Island Breeze Luau at King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel. We were all excited for this. The place was very pretty and they had fun things for the kids to do before the start. They got tattoos, learned how to throw the fire stick, and we watched the pig come out of the pit.
Finally it was time to eat and then enjoy the show.
Those dancers were amazing and it was nice to spend the last night with our friends here.
We went back to our resort and started packing a bit. Our flight in the morning isn't too early so we can finish then.