Monday, September 8, 2008

Maui Adventures

Monday morning, we got up, ate breakfast on our Lanai and got ready for our Zipline. We hung out at the beach and read our books until it was time to go. (Todd read a baseball book called "Playing With The Enemy" and I read "Breaking Dawn" of course. See it down there in the left corner? )



We were a little nervous but excited to do something new. We arrived at the Zipline place and were ready to go. We all climbed into this 4 wheel drive, 15 passenger van and headed off for the ride of our lives, up in the mountains above the ocean. The drive up was unreal- just to give you an idea, we had to wear our helmets IN THE VAN!








It is the craziest drive I have ever been on! We were bumping and bouncing all over the place. We got our harnesses on and got a little instruction and off we went! We were a little nervous the very first zip, but it was Awesome!


Todd

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Penny




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We had a view of the ocean the entire time we were up there.










Our guides were super funny...See him there in the backround?






We hiked in between each of the 8 ziplines, and then ate lunch on a 1,000 foot cliff. It was really cool!
















We got back to our condo and decided we would go snorkeling at Kapalua Bay. We came home and watched the beautiful sunset off of our Lanai.....











We finished our evening eating at Maui Tacos after I blew a fuse blow drying my hair, and took out the power of half of our unit and the one next to us...

Tuesday was a great day as we went snorkeling at our favorite place, Honaloa Bay.

This is a protected Bay, and there are so many fish, that there are chartered cruises that take people there to snorkel. We can drive there, as it is just a few minutes down the road. You walk through this beautiful jungle,


and then it opens up to this huge bay. The color of the water is just unreal. We saw tons of fish: schools of literally thousands of fish, eels, huge puffer fish, every variety you could imagine. It is really neat to just swim around together and look at all the beautiful things that are under water. It is so relaxing too, as it is so quiet and beautiful. We went back to our condo and rested for a little while and then went back to Napili Beach for a little boogie boarding for Todd, and floating around in the ocean for me. We went home and got ready- no power outages this time- for a beautiful sunset, dinner at Bubba Gumps, and a little shopping, all in Lahina.


Paradise!
Check out our Dolphin Adventure next...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Aloha!!

I guess I should start off by saying, "Aloha!" as Todd and I just returned from a fabulous
trip to Maui.




Thanks a TON to "Grammy" who flew up from Oregon to watch the kids for the week. I could do a whole separate post on the "Rowell Olympics", games they played, croquet tournaments, each kid getting to pick meals for the day, etc. etc. The kids had a blast and
so did we! Thanks Grammy, you Rock!!

Picture of Grammy with Nathan & Tyler at Christmas



The night before we left, Nathan kept waking up during the middle of the night crying that he didn't want us to leave. We tried to comfort him and put him back to bed, but a little while later, he would be back up crying. He even told us that he was going to say a prayer that we wouldn't go to "Who-why". (That is how he says Hawaii) Since our plane was leaving at 6am, we had to get up at 3:30 am. We could NOT go to sleep, we were just too excited. We kept saying, "I can't believe that we are going to be in Hawaii tomorrow! " We FINALLY fell asleep at 1:30am, and that is when Nathan's visits began. So after getting about 2 hours of sleep, I put on my
"Beach or Bust" shirt and off we went to the airport...



Re-enactment photo



We flew into Seattle and then on to Maui. Because of the 3 hour time difference, we arrived in Maui at 11:15 am. We drove straight to our condo right on the ocean in Kahana, marveling that we were really in Maui. We opened the door to our condo and were thrilled as the Hawaiian music was playing as the ocean waves were crashing below us. It was awesome. We looked around a bit and decided that we would go straight to the beach. We went to one of our favorite beaches to swim at... Napili Beach. We played in the water and enjoyed being together ALONE. We stopped for sandwiches on the way home and took them back to eat on our lanai (that is what the Hawaiians call a balcony). We decided to lay down for "just a few minutes" and then were going to clean up and watch the sunset. We woke up 2 hours later and it had already set. We were exhausted from no sleep, and the time difference...



Saturday we woke up and went to our favorite breakfast restaurant, The Gazebo. It is right on Napili Bay and worth the wait. And you really do have to wait awhile. One of their specialties is Banana Macadamia Nut pancakes...






After breakfast, we headed over to the Maui Flea Market (Todd's favorite part- ya, right) and stopped at the store on the way home. Then we headed over to a beautiful beach called Kapalua, that is known for it's awesome snorkeling. We saw lots of cool fish, including the biggest puffer fish I had ever seen!! We went home and got cleaned up and went to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, Leilani's...




It is right on the ocean in Kaanapali, and we were able to watch the sunset there.
Very romantic!





On Sunday, Todd made us breakfast and we ate on our lanai.




We decided that we would drive part way to Hana. Those of you who have ever driven the whole way to Hana, know just how long it takes. They even sell shirts that say, "I survived the road to Hana!" There are a lot of one lane bridges, beautiful view, twists and turns, and waterfalls, beaches, etc etc. We had driven the whole way about 10 years ago and so we just went part of the way this time...


We stopped along the way and hiked up to Twin Falls, it was a really pretty hike. But I probably should have picked better shoes than flip flops to hike in.




The waterfalls were really neat.....



And those much braver than us, jumped off the top... NO thank you!






This is a peninsula on the way to Hana. It is one of my favorite places. There is all this black lava rock, and the water is the most beautiful color. The waves just crash against the rocks, it is absolutely amazing!




We ate our sandwiches there, in the car, because it was just SO windy. You wanna know just how windy it was? Check this out...


LOVE the hair!! My kids think this picture is pretty funny!


The views were fantastic...





The flowers were beautiful...




But, the company was the best!

See? Windy!!

We drove home and decided that we would watch the sunset on the beach right outside
our condo...


I LOVE this picture!


What a fun day!

"Zip" on by later in the week to see what what we did on the rest of our trip...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Treasure of Motherhood

My Mother's Day started off with a bang. First, I was able to sleep in, and then got a back rub when I woke up (thanks Todd). The kids made me waffles (toaster waffles) and wrote "We love you" in peanut butter. Trevor serenaded me with "Twinkle, Twinkle little star" and "When the Saints Go Marching In", (the only songs he knows since he has been teaching himself to play the guitar) while Brandon and Tyler made my bed.

Next, I we had a treasure hunt to find my presents (thanks Brandon). The clues were up and down and up and down the stairs...

(For some reason this picture wouldn't turn the right way)



Everyone helped with the clues that lead to the treasure...

The last clue lead us to the basement. And here is what I found...


Tyler had made me some things at school and scouts. One was a coupon book. It included coupons for: a 2 minute back massage, doing dishes, a car wash, and breakfast in bed. He also made me a cute card...



Tyler also made me this cool bag to carry my stuff in

Nathan drew me a picture. It is of me and him. Apparently I have a HUGE Ice cream cone and he is trying to eat it! And he also had a big kiss for me.

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(His card said, "Dear Mommy, I lub you. I lub you because it's going to be Mother's Day. I like gibing you presents on Mother's day because I lub you so much. I really lub you so I'll hug you. Happy Mother's Day. It's a special day! Lub, Nathan"
Trevor, Brandon, and Todd also made me really nice cards.
And because my family know me so well, and knows that I am obsessed with taking pictures, they bought me a digital key chain that holds 120 pictures. So that I can carry them around with me where ever I go. Great idea, huh?! And, it's PINK!
After church, Todd and the kids made dinner. They made yummy nachos. Todd wanted to be sure that it would be something that everyone would be able to help out with. Pam and Loyd came for dinner and brought cheesecake for dessert. It was a really nice day.
I am so grateful for the wonderful family that I have been blessed with. I have an awesome husband who loves me and our children more than anything. I love all my boys and know the Lord knew what he was doing giving them to me. I used to be sad that I never had a girl, but now I truly appreciate my boys and what they teach me, and know that my family is just how it was intended. As crazy and hectic as our life sometimes is (especially during Baseball season) I wouldn't change it for the world. Being a Mother is a challenge, no matter how many kids you have. Sometimes you feel like you are doing a great job and sometimes you fell like you are failing miserably. But then you hear your 4 year old say a prayer, or tell a scripture story in detail, or you see your older kids cheering for their younger brother for hitting a grand slam, giving him high fives, and telling him how awesome it was, seeing them help each other out, and having fun together, and you realize that maybe, just maybe, you are doing a better job than you sometimes give yourself credit for. I am so lucky to be able to stay home with my kids. It may not always be easy, but it is always worth it. The real treasure is being a mother to my 4 precious boys. Seeing the great young men they are turning into makes me proud beyond words. Thanks for making my Mother's Day and my life wonderful! I love you!