April in a nutshell and in no particular order. :)
Pinewood derby for Noah - his last!! :(
He said since he won 1st place last year, he didn't care if his car was fast this year (Noah is NOT competitive). 
Adam and Noah decided to do a Winnebago car.  Because we didn't have to take off hardly any wood, the car was overweight (without adding ANY extra weights to it at all).  We had to drill out some wood from the bottom to make weight. :) We thought it would be the slowest car there, but he actually won a few races.  I think he ended up in the 6-8th place bracket. 

He did win 'Best in Show' though.  Man, those cub scout years flew by!!
 Had torrential rains (almost 100" of rain this winter!!) at the cabin so Adam spent a good chunk of time up there regrading the road, adding more drainage ditches and putting down road base to help with the flooding. 
 Speaking of my hard working man, he turned 39 in April.  We sure love this guy and ALL he does for us.  He is amazing, that's for sure. 
 Sold my MDX. 
 A tattle teller note from Grant. Ha! Much rather see this than what he usually does (hit the offender). 
 Easter weekend at the cabin.  My mom sends the kids a bunch of Easter candy and treasures each year, so they were sorting them and adding them to eggs.  We hid them around the cabin for their egg hunt.  They love a good egg hunt.  Our friends, the Wassoms, were there too, so Adam hid some $$$$ eggs outside for their teenagers to find. Now I know why my parents 'made' us egg hunt well into our 30's.  It's very entertaining to watch older kids/adults act like little kids. :) Well played, mom and dad, well played.  
 Hiked to the overlook.  That view never gets boring. Incredible up there. I wish the parks service would maintain this fire overlook.  Such a cool place, but the structure if falling apart. 
 My boys are pyros. 
 A bat that kept me company outside the kitchen window. 
 Easter Sunday.  A little egg hunt (only dimes and nickels in the eggs this time - spoiled kids kept asking where the candy was) and then Easter baskets.  Easter bunny brought all the treats we rarely get, so the kids were in heaven (their own root beer, candy bags and peeps).  They also got some glow in the dark stars. 

 Went on a fun hike with some hiking buddies. You can see more picture <HERE> on Heidi's hiking blog. 
 Open house at the kids' school.  Noah hatched and raised chickens in his classroom, so that's where we spent most of the time. 

Sunday afternoon drive to check out the Father's and Sons camp ground.  There was a big fire there last year, so they were still cleaning up, but Adam said it looked better when they went there for the camp out. 
Noah's been learning about the California gold rush for state history this year.  He had to do a poster about which route we would have taken. He did a good job. He got 'most convincing' from the parents vote after open house. 
After they did all their projects work on the Gold rush they got to go a field trip to Coloma (Sutters Mill), where it all started.  It was a fun field trip.  Noah was a pretty good gold panner. 
 He got lots of gems and even a few pieces of real gold. 


Hawaii - part 2

 Crazy how quickly I can get behind on this blog.  So, let's finish up Hawaii this post.  
March 18 - Played at Aulani.  This days was spent mainly at the hotel playing in the lazy river, on the slides and snorkeling at the beach by the hotel.  Ava spotted this rock fish and I couldn't believe she saw it.  She told me to come look at this rock she swore had eyes.  When I finally went over there, sure enough it was a rock fish. 
 We got him to move and you could see him better, but man, he was camouflaged in those rocks. 
 Noah playing with a gross sea cucumber.

 Adam took his mom out snorkeling.  The snorkeling wasn't too great, but still saw a few cool fish. 
 The freezer was stalked with ice cream treats, so cute little Luce enjoyed a yummy treat. 
 Inside the tunnel of the lazy river. 
 Lots of fun with these Gubler's. 
 Signed the kids up for an activity with Stitch to make slime at Aunties Beach house.  They went back and forth there during our stay.  We took turns watching the kids so the adults could go out for dinner.  The kids just wanted corn dogs and mac and cheese, so they didn't care to go out.  The first time Adam and Joe watched the kids while Beth and I went with Con and Rob to a Mexican place near the hotel.  Really good fish tacos.  This night (Saturday), Adam and I went to dinner with our friend Mike (our friend from Guam) and his family to a Thai place.  Later we went to their house and visited with them for awhile. 
The next morning Con, Rob, Noah, Joe and Adam woke up early to try and get Pearl Harbor tickets (they only hand out so many tickets each day on a first come first serve basis).  They got in and spent a few hours there. 
 While they were at Pearl Harbor Beth and I took the girls.....and Grant (Ava's usually the only girl, so this was a fun change for her) to do a scavenger hunt around Aulnai.  It was a neat scavenger hunt.  They give you an ipad and it tells you where to go. Once you get there you push a button and something happens.  The rocks will start moving, water will squirt, a video will play, etc.  Pretty cool.  They had a couple different hunts to do.  The kids got bored though and ended up at Aunties Beach house.  I wanted to keep doing it, but ended up going back to the room for some quiet time. :)
 That night we went on a walk down by the beach and to the different resorts to watch the waves and sunset.  
 Monday, March 20 - rented a big van and went to the Lyon Arboretum.  We were headed to some waterfalls, but Mike told us about this Arboretum so we decided to give it a try.  It was free and the kids could run and hike, so it was perfect. 
 I took about 100 pictures of flowers and trees.  So many cool looking plants!! I'll just post a few.

 At the end was this little waterfall where some of us dunked ourselves to cool off (the weather was actually perfect for hiking, overcast and slightly breezy). 
 Afterward we found this slightly questionable food joint and stopped for lunch.  It was actually really good - Serg's Kitchen.  Amelia enjoying her enormous hot dog.  
 This night Adam and I watched the kids while Beth, Joe and Con and Rob went to dinner.  They went to some Hawaiian place that was really bad. :)
 March 21 - went to Paradise Cove (I think that's what it's called) in the morning to snorkel.  Mike (he was a good resource) told us about this place.  It was only a 10 minutes walk from our hotel.  Within about 5 minutes of getting in the water Grant spotted the first sea turtle.  It was so fun to be so close to these cool animals.  We all got to snorkel right next to them all morning. 

 Noah spent most of the time getting lost and exploring.

 It was a fun place to spend a few hours.  Afterward the Gubler's went to Chuckee Cheeses (Joe really likes that place :)) and we went back to the hotel to play in the pools and relax.  This night Beth and Joe watched the kids while Adam and I went with Con and Rob to a restaurant called the Monkey Kitchen.  The food was amazing!  One of the nights, I think Friday (all my vacation notes were on my old phone which was deleted, so I can't remember when we did some things.  My memory is failing me, so I take notes), we went to the outdoor movie showing of Dori.  Our rooms overlooked the banquet lawn, so twice while we were there we got to watch their Luau (free!) from our balcony.  So glad we didn't fork over the $150/person for the Luau.  
 March 22 - Time to come home. :(  Con, Rob and the Gubler's left in the morning, so we had to say our goodbyes to them.  Finished up some laundry (our room had a washer/dryer in it - so convenient) and then we went swimming one last time before we had to head to the airport.  It was a really fun trip.  So glad we got to spend this time with grandma and grandpa and the Gubes. 


Hawaii - part 1

March 15 - Flew to Honolulu, got our rental car (Tahoe) and went to Target for sunscreen.  Mike Moody (our friend from Guam) works next store so he came over and said a quick hello.  Went back to the airport and met the Gublers and Carriers.  After getting their car we went to Mc Donald's for lunch (it was the only place we could find with parking - it's busy near the airport).  Drove to the Laie (took longer than usual d/t traffic) and checked into our rooms at the Marriott.  The beach was across the street so we quickly changed into suits and headed to the beach. 

 Beautiful beach all to ourselves. 
Came back, rinsed off and tried out the swimming pool. 
 My kids pestering grandpa Rob. 

 Everyone was pretty tired from traveling and the time change, so we sent them to bed, and Noah and I went back to the beach to watch the sunset and search for Sea Turtles. 

 The sky turned everything pink.  Love my little (not too little anymore though) exploring buddy.
 March 16 - the next morning we were all up early, so we decided to try and watch the sunrise.  We walked along the road to Pounders beach. 

 We got there just as the sun was coming up.  So pretty. 
 Adam pointing out some sea turtles to the kids. 

 IMO the north shore is so much nicer than the south.  No crowds at all!


Saw lots and lots of turtles from on top of the rocks (where Adam was showing the kids in the photo above).  I could have sat there and watched them all day. 
 Grant found some sea glass. 
 Focused on finding sea glass.
 The rest of the crew met up with us at the beach and we played in the waves and beach for a couple hours.  Amelia and Noah built a ship and house out of driftwood and other beach finds.  All the kids had a blast playing with each other all week.  
It's so much better spending time with 1 family at a time, especially when it involves vacations.  :) When we were in Europe with Luke and Jana's family we thought the same thing.  You get to know the kids so much better when it's just our family and theirs.  Who's up for vacation???
 Picture perfect!  I think that's Adam, Amelia, Noah and Ava in the water down there. 
 Noah and Joe trying to get taken out by the waves.  Noah thought Joe was the coolest, mainly because he likes to armpit fart with him. :) 
 Joe with Jane mid-backflip. 
 Noah's in that big wave somewhere. 

We were ready to head to the PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center), but didn't realize it wasn't open until 12. We loaded up and headed further north to Hale'iwa to where shaved ice was invented.  The shop is called Matsumoto.  It was as amazing as I remembered.  

 It took us a lot longer to get there because of construction, but the scenery was beautiful so it was fine with me. 
We ate lunch in Hale'iwa at a small Hawaiian place - rice and thin teriyaki meat.  It was cheap and yummy.  We made it back to the PCC much quicker. 
 Our first village we visited was New Zealand.  The kids were enthrolled with the Haka dancers.
 The kids got their temporary tattoos at the New Zealand village. 
 We watched a little bit of the parade, and then went to the village of Samoa. 
Jane was having a rough time, so Beth took her and Lucy back to the hotel for a nap. 
Meanwhile we indulged in a tropical fruit ice cream treat. 

 The Samoa village presentation was super funny.  The main guy was hilarious.  Afterward we learned how to make fish on a pole out of palm leaves, and watched a guy climb the coconut tree. 

 We did the boat tour and then went to the Fiji (I think) village where Grant caught a fish and we learned how to dance. 
 The boys getting their hula on. 
Beth and the girls came back and we went to dinner at the buffet at the PCC.  Who doesn't love a good buffet?! :)
 Beth, Noah, Amelia and I went to the movie they show at the PCC while everyone else went back to the hotel (the Marriott is about a 5 minute walk from the PCC - so convenient) for a quick rest.  We all went to the night show, Ha, at the PCC.  It was a good show.  Of course the fire dancers were the favorite.  Long fun day.  
 March 17 - Adam took Connie and Rob to some spot (can't remember the name) to show his mom where her parents were at on their missions. 
We loaded up and started our journey to Aulani.  We stopped at Sharks Cove to do a little snorkeling first though. 

 Amelia loved snorkeling.

We made it to Aulani in Ko Olina (south western part of Oahu).  We immediately saw Mickey and Minnie and the girls snagged a picture (the only character picture we got). 

 We tested out most of the pools and slides (the afternoon we got there quite a few of the pools and slides were closed d/t 'accidents' - I guess that's what you get with a Disney hotel), and then headed to the beach when most of the pools were closed. 
Cute little Lucy-goose.