Monday, October 31, 2016

Christmas at the Beach

While in Hawaii last Christmas we spent plenty of time at the beach (in addition to the non-beach activities mentioned in the previous post). The beach next to our house is where we went most of the time. It had calm water and reefs close to shore where we could snorkel and look for fish. The kids' favorite beach, though, was Hukilau beach. It was just a short drive away so we went there a few times as well. The big kids liked it because the waves are bigger there, so they loved body boarding and letting the waves crash over them. We adults also had fun in the big waves. It was a little much for the littlest kids, though, which is why we spent most of our time at the calm beach.

The house we stayed at is on Laie Point, which is a big rocky outcropping sticking out into the ocean. Several times we went out to watch the waves crash and enjoy a moment of quiet contemplation.

Sometimes there were some fishermen there. They would set their fishing rods and then go eat breakfast.

On the morning of New Year's Day there was a crowd out there to see the sun rise for the first time in 2016.

Another fun thing about going to the beaches was Celia's underwater camera. Months beforehand Celia decided she wanted to do extra chores so she could save up money to buy a camera, and since we were going to Hawaii for Christmas, she decided on a waterproof camera.

Here Sabrina is mixing a potion in an underwater cauldron.

Overall it was a delightful trip. Although we enjoy Christmas in Alaska, Christmas in Hawaii is nothing to complain about!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mele Kalilkimaka 2015

This past Christmas we were lucky enough to go to Hawaii with Marel's family. We stayed in a big house on Laie Point on the North Shore of Oahu. This is the view we were greeted with as soon as we got to the house.

We tried to make it feel a little bit like Christmas. We brought our stockings and we made a bunch of paper snowflakes beforehand to take with us for decoration.

We all chipped in to make a delicious Christmas dinner with a Hawaiian-style ham as the centerpiece.

On Sunday while we were there we went to church near the temple, then went to the temple visitors' center where they had a display of all different types of Christmas trees. The girls (and Billy) of course liked the Hawaiian style tree the best.

Marel and I celebrated our 10th anniversary while there, we left the kids for a night and went off by ourselves. While out we went to a Buddhist temple up by the hills, and had some delicious Hawaiian barbecue at a food truck.

One day we went to the Dole Pineapple plantation and enjoyed some pineapple foods, ice cream floats, and candies.

On New Year's Eve we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center where we learned about and did activities and crafts from the cultures of the Pacific, and Caleb made friends with a duck. We ended the day with a lu'au and a theatrical dance performance.

Here the kids are showing us their best hula poses (and haka pose, because Balo is too manly to do the hula) before we all had to go back home.

Of course we went to the beach every day while there, but we'll talk about that in the next post.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Moose & Thanksgiving

Here we are beginning our annual blog catch-up. Here is a post we started months ago but never posted. It's from November. We had a couple of moose hanging out around our place. The kids enjoyed watching them as always, and Caleb was extra sad to see them go.

How does he look in Sabrina's glasses?

For Thanksgiving we had a larger group than we've ever had before, but that just meant there were more pies to sample!

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