Just a bit ago we had the chance to take a trip to Hawaii (or Ha-why as Ansel says). It was wonderful. Enjoying the sun, the sand, and family was luxurious. The kids loved it! They played and played and enjoyed cousin time. Some days I'd just stare out at the beach and ocean in the morning listening to the waves. Therapeutic.
Some pics below of our travels.
We rode a boat out to a sand bar and swam. So cool! During this stop we tried paddle boarding and Jess was approached by a turtle. It was neat to see one up close.
We visited the Dole Plantation and rode the train. We laughed because most of the train ride narration was filled with little plugs to buy expensive pineapples, CDs, chocolates, and coffee. We skipped that stuff but did get Dole Whips.
We went on a hike up Diamond Head. Ollie didn't complain once and Ansel was carried up 2/3 of the way (thank you Jess!). The view at the top was spectacular. The boys had more energy to climb trees afterward.
We went on a couple of other hikes/walks too.
We walked up to Waimea Falls and swam in the pool surrounding the falls. This was something that I've always wanted to do. Specifically to get my hair to look like that. Just kidding. I really loved it!
One morning after some pancakes with macadamia nut sauce we took a walk to the Makapu'u lighthouse. The views were wonderful!
And of course, the beach. Oh, the beach. What a pleasant time we had at the beach. I always say the beach is THEE place to vacation because it suits all ages. Plus, look at that water!
I always hesitate to put photos of other people on this blog due to privacy issues, but the family members we spent the vacation with were, of course, top notch. We had so many good conversations, fun adventures, and great times: blessing a new babe, meeting two new cousins, spear fishing, going to Island Snow for shave ice, watching the aircraft at the Marine base, bird watching, eating outdoors, and getting in our quarterly fill of HGTV. A vacation for the books.
I'd have to say that I really enjoy being a mother. It takes work, but it's sure something that makes my soul full of joy. It makes me grow and develop in ways that stretch me. It can be hard, like for instance when you worry to high heaven about one thing or another or when you're at the airport during a lay over and your kids want to play soccer and shoot goals with the tennis ball you brought. I guess I should have known better, bringing out that tennis ball.
Yesterday was a day to celebrate mothers. I sure had a great one. An optimist with a can-do attitude who didn't let anything stop her. These are qualities I keep striving to gain.
On Sunday, I was treated to salmon with fresh peas and a salad that Jess has become famous for in our house. I received hugs and kisses from my boys and it was wonderful. This group is the best.
Oliver is very much into Rube Goldberg Machines, which he currently calls RGMs for short. He uses everything from books to the tape measure and everything in between to build them. Jess and I were just saying that only weeks ago Ollie was asking us to help him build his marble run. Now his marbles runs are way better than what we ever built and his RGMs or contraptions are creative and clever. We have lots of marbles, dominoes, blocks and whatnot strewn across the floor on a daily basis. I am amazed at how Ollie brings the chaos together to create. He called this RGM the "best of the best."
Ansel gets in on the chaos too, making RGMs 3-yr-old style. And right now he's very much into playing board games with me. For example, Pictionary. His version is drawing something. Telling me what it is. Choosing a card and saying that what he drew is on the card (imagine that!). Moving his game piece. Rolling the dice. Taking a look at the hour glass timer. Repeat. He's also writing what he calls "easy letters" on paper. That includes O, L, T, I and the newest member V. He's also very independent and wants to do everything. Including dress himself.
Jess is busy caulking our bathroom shower. And to tell you the truth, I always think I could get it done faster but his precision and attention to detail will always produce better results. He also won our latest family bowling tournament. Yo.
As for me, I'm pulling weeds and really enjoying the beauty that spring brings to our front yard. And I finished our taxes. Woot.
Ansel and Ollie are 3 years and 9 months apart and it's taken a while for the two to "play" together. It's certainly not always sibling love but the moments come around and it's so sweet (especially for a mom that wanted so badly to have more than one child so they could have each other). One of these moments sticks out in my mind.
Ansel's birthday was coming up. Ollie whispers in my ear, "what should I give Ansel?" I asked him if he had any ideas. Now Ollie is way into money these days and likes to know he has what he thinks is a "good amount," so what he said next was surprising and kind. "I'll give him some money so he can put it in his money jar." And so it was. Ollie gave Ansel an envelope. On it we wrote ANSEL'S WALLET and in went a dollar bill, a dollar coin, and a nickel. Ansel loved it, you know, because Ansel loves anything Oliver loves.
Last night after viewing the Downton Abbey Finale I was happy that everything was tied up nicely and ended well. I even teared up during a scene between two sisters earlier in the season. Good stuff!
And yes, if I went to England and had the time I would not be ashamed to pay to take a tour of the place they shot the series. Pour some tea, make some scones, top them with cream! Here's to good tv show endings. Haha!
"Ollie, we've got to make your Valentine's box for Thursday," I say to Ollie Monday evening as we prep dinner.
"Okay Mom, I know what I want to do."
And with that we had a internet-idea-free box, complete with Big Bird. I only helped with the red and orange paper and the blue arrow.
I love watching Oliver come up with ideas and execute them. He is so original. Something I wasn't completely as a kid (which isn't bad, I liked what my siblings did and I followed suit and it worked for my personality so well). I think as the oldest child you've really got to break out and be brave as you experience the unknown often. Ansel really learns a lot from his brother and I'm thankful I was able to learn so much from my siblings. I often think of my oldest brother. The sibling who had to do everything "first." And I'm thankful he is such a great older brother. And how I have five more older siblings who enabled me to follow in their wake and succeed.
I don't know how this post took this turn, it was just supposed to be about Oliver's awesome box. But there you have it.