Hawaii in pictures

I am taking the 'lazy' way out and putting up a post that is almost entirely photos. Deal with it. I'm just happy I've managed to maintain my attention span long enough to get a post UP.

We were fortunate to be in Hawaii during the Lantern Floating Ceremony. What better way to honor my friend than by floating a lantern in his memory. And my brain was actually engaged so I remembered to gather some sand from the beach in addition to a few pictures that I can send to his family. 

One side of my lantern. 

The Boy and The Girl each had a panel and left notes to their grandfather.

All those lanterns...such a peaceful ceremony. 

We also had the opportunity to hike up to the Pillboxes overlooking Lanikai Beach Park and watch the moon rise. You have to time it right - sunset and sunrise cannot be too far apart or else you find yourself sitting on a rock into the wee hours of the morning. Which is less than fun. Friends of ours brought cheese, crackers, and grapes...everything but the wine! The evening started off cloudy and we had a few bursts of rain but it finally cleared and the moon rise was glorious!

Pillbox #1

We hike in style.

Moonrise over Lanikai

We have been to Pearl Harbor before but had not been on to the USS Missouri. Actually, I have been but back when it was still in service. A friend of mine served on her during the Gulf War and I was able to welcome him home from his deployment which was the Mighty Mo's final cruise.

The Surrender Deck on the USS Missouri

On our bus ride over to the Missouri, they stopped at the Pacific Aviation Museum. If you've never been, I strongly encourage you to include it in your tour. It's a great museum and you really learn a lot about the air aspect of WWII. They are in the process of restoring the tower (below).

Pacific Aviation Museum at Ford Island

The Tree of Life

And, finally, no trip to Hawaii is complete without time spent on the North Shore, at sunset. If MacGyver weren't back in the Land of Oz, waiting for us, I'd still be sitting on the North Shore...it's a good thing I love him!

Leaving Hawaii this time around was not nearly as brutal as it was last time. It was hard but nowhere near as painful. Maybe because I've made up my mind that we WILL move back at some point. Or maybe because MacGyver was waiting for us on the other end. Or maybe because, as wonderful as it was to stay at my friend's house while we were there, it wasn't our home.

We did not get to check off even half of our "to do" list because our overriding mantra on this trip was "People before places". Therefore we chose to spend time with people instead of going to all of the places we wanted to visit. And even in doing so, ran out of time to see everyone we wanted to see. Obviously 4 weeks is not enough. It didn't help that The Girl picked up a NASTY cold during our last week on island and that prevented us from seeing a lot of people - I hate spreading germs about unnecessarily. And she was wiped out which cut our days short.

But it was SO good to be back. It was nice to be able to kind of slide right back into our lives in a way. And yet, at the same time, it's true that "you can never go home again". It wasn't the same but we didn't really expect it to be so which made the shock of it all a lot less noticeable. But things have changed - people have changed, places have changed. It's inevitable. And it will be even more noticeable the next time we go back. I worry that we'll lose that bond that we have right now. We lost it with Colorado - being gone for 14 years will do that. My hope and prayer is that it won't take us 14 years to get back to Colorado.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! I'm off to go sleep in the frigde - we are into the triple digits here and no relief in sight.


- hfs


I'm not any better at this the second time around

We're down to our last 2 days on island. It's been a WONDERFUL visit and I am incredibly grateful for the time we've been able to spend with many of the people we love. And yet, even a month hasn't been enough to be able to see everyone and do everything we wanted to do. How does that happen?

I swear there were really only 2 days that we spent just kind of relaxing here at the house. And yet, there are still several items on my list that we didn't get to. Apparently I just need to move back here and be done with it.

We have been able to do many things and I have many pictures to post. Once we get back to the land of Oz, I will start putting those up. In the meantime, I have a sick bear on my hands. The Girl picked up a cold that is doing its best to get down into her chest. I thought we might have the upper hand on it today but she spiked a mild temp this evening. If it's still there tomorrow, we're going to have to spend a few hours at the Acute Care Clinic. The last thing I want is for her to be miserable on our flight out of here. Flying sick is just rotten. Not to mention the fact that I do not want to get anyone else sick.

We're in the countdown window to the results from the promotion board. We should know by the end of next month whether MacGyver's active duty career continues or if our focus shifts elsewhere. And I have no inkling of how it will play out. But, surprisingly, I'm not stressed. Not really. I think that, as best as I am capable, I have handed this over to God. We were at Ohana group last night and a friend of mine was discussing a difficult situation in her life and how exhausted she was over it and she mentioned that her exhaustion indicated that she had not given it completely to God.

And I'm not exhausted. I'm anxious a bit but I'm not exhausted. God has proven to me time and time again that He IS in control so I am doing my best to rely on that and rest IN that knowledge and leave the rest to Him. He's worked out everything else - I have no reason to doubt He'll work this out too. In the meantime, I pray. I'm not sure what I'm praying for, to be honest. But I'm praying.

And so we say our alohas to our friends here. Doing this 10 months ago about did me in. It seems a little easier this time - maybe because MacGyver is waiting for us in Kansas. And I know we'll be back. I'm just praying that it's for good next time.


- hfs


Don't just love your children...

...LIKE them.

That's the line that really stood out and SMACKED me upside my thick head today as I read this blog post which I had followed from THIS blog post regarding domesticity (or lack thereof). The internet is really just one big giant rabbit hole and I seem to fall into it on a regular basis. But sometimes...just sometimes...I find a gem. And this is one of them.

Don't just LOVE your children...LIKE them. Go and read the first link...I'll wait.

All done? Good.

The post really spoke to me today because I'm running into some challenges with The Girl that I think fall under the like/love issue. I love my daughter. She is my soul walking around outside my body. She is amazing - strong, creative, funny, helpful, smart. I could go on and on listing her wonderful qualities. And she's a GOOD KID - not rebellious, is respectful, and so on. But there are those days where it seems that all I do is correct her. And I am sure she feels the same way. She's told me as much.

Take today as the example. The Boy and The Girl are participating in the play that our homeschool co-op here in Hawaii is putting on. They were kind enough to hold walk-on scenes for my children (and I am incredibly grateful!). In addition to the parts, The Girl is helping backstage, as am I. Given the fact that she's never been backstage and has not yet learned the ins and outs, I've been explaining things to her, correcting her when mistakes are made, and so on. I do my best to also point out the things she is doing right (and there are many. She's quite intuitive.) But there is a lot to learn when working backstage and, because we're just a day away from the production, no one else has the time to help her. So I do.

Our iPad is another issue. The Boy and The Girl are known to drain the battery and leave me with all of about 8% battery life when I need it (which is when we are out and about...without the wall charger). I'm constantly admonishing them to leave it plugged in when we are at home so that it has a full charge when we're out and about and today, I had to remind her again to plug it in. The consequence for not leaving it plugged in is that you lose access to the iPad the next time we go out. So we started off the morning on the wrong foot.

Then, when we came home this evening, she was distracted and left the gate open. We are housesitting for a friend who has a dog and leaving the gate open means the dog can get out. Thankfully, I thought to check the gate when I let the dog out but I had to then go and speak to her about the gate and the fact that she left it open. Thus, we ended the day on another wrong foot.

All of this is to bring me to the point that she internalizes EVERYTHING. Everything I recommend, everything I enforce, everything I explain, everything I suggest, everything that I point out is taken as a criticism of her character. I do my best to couch anything I say to her in a constructive tone (unless she's done something completely disobedient, at which point I will express my disappointment clearly). I don't sugar-coat things but I try to explain things in a way that indicates that it's not a failure on her part, merely a suggestion of how possibly to do things better or differently. And yet, at the end of the day, she was in tears because "I can't seem to do anything RIGHT today!"

And I wonder what could I have done differently today to help her understand that she's not doing anything WRONG, per se. She is a child and she needs guidance. Many times I let natural consequences provide the guidance but some things (her work backstage or the gate being left open) in which natural consequences do not work.

When I read "Do You Like Your Children? Do They Know It?", it spoke right into this entire situation. I know she knows I love her. But does she know that I *like* her too?

Because I really do.

One of the many books is sitting in my cart on Amazon.com is the book, "Six Ways to Keep the 'Little' in Your Girl: Guiding Your Daughter From Her Tweens to Her Teens". The Girl and I really enjoyed Dannah Gresh's series "The Secret-Keeper Girl" and I'm hoping that this book will help the two of us continue to enjoy the closeness that we've always had.


- hfs


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...