Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Aloha, Hawaii


These two years in Hawaii have FLOWN by. We moved here when the twins were three weeks old. Unbelievable. They have grown up here. Our little Hawaii boys. Good thing we are moving to another warm climate. I don't know how any of my boys would handle pants and socks. 

Before we leave any place, I always have a list of things we need to do and take pictures of. I have slowly been checking things off since the beginning of the month. I think I managed to do everything plus a few extras.

Of course we had to enjoy our last shave ice. All three boys love them! We will definitely miss this cool treat that Hawaii is known for. 




Here's our pictures from around our town. First, we had to take a picture of the Mokes painting. The Mokes are our twin islands on Kailua beach.  Our little beach town is quite proud of these. And we had to visit the intertube girl statue. I have no idea about the history behind this statue, but I thought our boys needed a picture with her...




I wanted to have a memory from our time in Hawaii. I saw these paintings on pinterest and I thought they were perfect. My dad painted the amazing canvases and my crafty friend, Debbie, helped me with the boys' sand foot prints. I love how they turned out and I can't wait to hang them in our new home. 


I wanted Abram to see an authentic Hawaiian luau before we left so we went on a mama/son date. We ate dinner at the luau and stayed the night at the Hale Koa after.  It was such a fun night. Abram loved the whole show and he is still talking about the fire dancers. 



We couldn't leave without saying good-bye to our trash man.  EVERY.SINGLE.SATURDAY all three boys run outside to watch him take our trash. He is so wonderful and he waves and honks every time.  They love it. So, on our last Saturday we had to take him a small gift and get our picture with him. (I guess you could say its a tradition we have when we move. I guess it comes with having 3 boys.)


And here is our traditional picture of all three boys in front of our home. We have so many great memories here. It will be hard to leave.  


Abram is already praying for God to send us friends in Florida because he is so sad to leave his friends. He made sweet friends at church and school. We have had so many play dates and birthday parties- Abram has had a great time with these boys. 


His friends from church, Corban and Ranen. Their favorite thing to do is visit the bounce houses. They can do it for hours!

His best friends from school, Jakey and Dustin. These boys have had such a fun year!! 

I can't finish this blog without including pictures of how God has blessed me this year.  I love that God always shows up, gives us exactly what we need and so much more.  

This year I was blessed to be apart of the leadership team at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). It is a nationwide Bible study and this year we studied John. When I became a children's leader I thought I was helping them out but oh my goodness, I learned so much about God's faithfulness and the importance of prayer.  I was so blessed to be apart of this amazing group of women.


I love fellowship. I love talking with women about the important things and really getting to know them. When I learned about IF:Table, I thought it would be such a great thing. And it was! We met the first Thursday of every month and every time we met, it was such a sweet time. IF:Table provides us with a topic and four conversation questions. Super deep questions that force us to be honest and open. The four of us didn't know each other too well when we started meeting and such a beautiful friendship was formed this year.  I will miss these ladies, but we all want to start IF:Tables at our new location (three out of the four of us are moving this summer).



And finally, this last one was so very good. Every Wednesday morning a group of moms met at the preschool to pray over our kids and the teachers (Moms in Prayer). What a sweet time it was every week.  I learned so much about the importance of prayer and that God truly wants us to come to Him about everything. We celebrated answered prayers, cried over our children and encouraged each other throughout the year. I looked forward to Wednesdays with these ladies and God did some amazing things!


It is always hard to leave a place and say good-bye. Everyone always asks me how we do it and if I like moving so much. Here's what I say: It is hard to leave and we have loved our time here, but God is faithful. He has a purpose for each place He sends us and He takes such good care of us.  So, even though we love Hawaii, I am also excited to see what God has in store for us in Jacksonville, Florida.  He always provides what we need, takes care of the details and never ceases to amaze us.  

So on Friday we say "Aloha" to our time in Hawaii.  Next time we post we will be in Jacksonville, Florida!




Abram's Preschool Graduation

We just recently celebrated Abram's graduation from preschool. We have a kindergartener. I can't believe it! As a former teacher who planned lots of graduations, I never understood why moms cried at the end of the year, but here I was sitting in the audience, watching Abram, and sobbing. I have become one of those moms.  Just something about him going to kindergarten. He doesn't seem little any more. In the fall he will attend a public elementary school. The thought is scary to me. We have to leave our Christian preschool bubble and I am covering this sweet boy in prayer.

I wanted to blog about this special day because I want to read this one day and remember God's faithfulness and just another reminder that God's hand is on Abram and guiding his way.  God sent us to this sweet preschool and He knew it was just what Abram needed. We had two years of amazing teachers that not only taught Abram academically but more importantly spiritually. They spoke truth into him every day and taught him how much Jesus loves him.  His teachers loved him so very much. They took time to get to know him and understand him. Abram struggles with good-byes. He gets very scared and fearful. He needs things to be the same every day and he needs lots of reassurances.  His teachers understand this.  They never got upset with him, or tried to give me "suggestions," they just gave him what he needed. Whether that was an extra hug from mom or to be the helper in the morning to distract him.  We had an amazing two years and we are truly sad to leave. 

But we must, so here are some pictures celebrating the day.  


His teacher had this on the board during their last week. All the moms just sobbed as we read it. 

His sign in board on his last day. I love how he writes his name. Precious! 

Preparing for the graduation. He was so excited to wear his maile lei.


Abram go to say a few lines at the ceremony. He did an amazing job!


Receiving his diploma from his teacher, Ms. Rosemary, and teacher's aide, Ms. Christiana., and Ms. Jayme, the director, in the background.

I pushed Abram EVERY MORNING on the swings. The boy LOVES to swing. He can't get enough of it.  We had to take a picture on his last day. Look at that smile!

And playing with his brothers on the playground. Abe loved that Jack and Luke got to play with him (usually they are in the stroller). They loved it too!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Easter

We love holidays in our house and Easter is no exception! Abe gets so excited when I get out the box of Easter decorations because he knows the festivities are about to begin. This year we started a new tradition (which I'm sure we will continue every year). We had a glow in the dark egg hunt. Our yard looked so cool! We just put a battery operated votive candle inside the plastic eggs and there you go! Abe even hid them for me and Chris. He's a great hider! 



Of course, no Easter is complete without dying eggs. I was going to wait until the boys went to bed, but I decided to let them be involved. I braced myself for a mess, but they did so well! They loved putting the eggs in the colored water and taking them out to see what color it was. So glad we involved them. And there wasn't a mess at all! 




These egg whisks are amazing that my mom sent. They helped to hold the egg and kept our hands from getting colored. 


Our second new tradition was Resurrection Rolls. These were amazing! We dipped a marshmallow (which is supposed to signify Jesus' body) into water (the oils) and cinnamon and sugar (represents the spices) and then rolled the marshmallow in a crescent roll. After they cooked, the marshmallow disappears (melts) and the inside of the roll really looks like an empty tomb. Such a neat visual and they were yummy!




On Easter morning I gave Abe lots of clues to find his Easter basket. He loved his little scavenger hunt. 


This year we hosted our community group and friends at our house for an Easter party and egg hunt.  Once the rain stopped we had a great (dry) time celebrating. The kids had a blast looking for eggs! 



I have to show off some of our Easter decorations. I made this jelly bean tree just using branches from our back yard. I thought it looked super cute! Also, Abe and I spent about two weeks (every day during nap time) painting eggs for our banner. I loved the fun colors and all the different designs. Also, I made these treats for Abe's preschool class. Super easy, and cute! They are little chicks on a cup of pineapples. A little Aloha mixed with Easter. 



We missed our Papa this year on Easter (he is in Japan) but we had a great weekend celebrating our Savior's resurrection with our family and friends. We hope you had a great Easter, too!


Oh, and I wanted to share a new Easter book we got Abe this year. It's called "The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross." Amazing! The story weaves everything together in such a simple way to understand.  Just shows how much God loves us! 

Product Details


Jack and Luke's Second Birthday


Chris and I decided several years ago (before we had kids) that we would have a year of birthday parties and then take a year off. This is our off year. We of course still celebrate birthdays, but it is on a much smaller scale and we focus on spending time as a family.  

April 7 was Jack and Luke's second birthday. I know, we can't believe it either! Its crazy to know that we moved here when they were 3 weeks old and now they are two and we are getting ready to move again. Our little Hawaii babies! 

Of course no celebration is complete without decorations. Abram was so excited for the boys to go to bed on Thursday night so we could set out the decorations and presents.  So sweet! And of course, we must use our celebration plates all day long!




The boys enjoying their gifts. My mom gave them the bee wheely bug for Christmas and now we have the matching ladybug so everyone can ride! So fun to watch them scoot around and laugh together. We got them a waterfall wall, but all they wanted to do was sit in the water buckets. Oh well! 



That night we had their cake after dinner. Luke was not a fan of the birthday hat (we quickly took it off after this picture) but they sure loved their cake! Abram knows they like the show "Splash and Bubbles" (about fish) so he decorated their cake with ocean animals. I love that he was so involved with their birthday plans. He has such a big heart!



We had planned on spending Saturday at the zoo since the boys love animals right now, but instead we all had the stomach flu. :(  So, instead when we were all feeling better on Sunday evening we toured the fire station. All three boys loved it just as much! 



Happy, Happy Birthday to our sweet boys! You add so much fun and excitement to our family. We love you both!!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring Break with Cade



This spring break we had a special treat... My 16-year old (oh my goodness) nephew, Cade, came to see us.  The boys were in heaven ALL WEEK long.  They had an extra boy to play with, wrestle with, swim with and get dirty with.  Chris and I loved it because we were no longer out numbered. Each one of us took a kid. It was great!  

All Cade wanted to do when he got here is that we go to beaches. So, that's what we did! We sure kept him busy. :) 

Beach #1-- Hickam Beach

Our first adventure was a waterfall hike. This was a first time for all of us and it was great. It was an easy enough hike to do with Abram and carry the babies but still fun. And the waterfall at the end was amazing! Also, there was a swimming hole that the big boys swam in when we were done with the hike.

Hamana Falls, Kaneohe

The swimming hole!

Love this selfie that Cade took of him and Abe

Beach #2-- Kailua Beach

Beach #3-- Secrets Beach on the marine beach. Amazing snorkeling! Cade and Chris swam with some sea turtles. 


And back to Kailua Beach with all the boys this time .


Jack and Cade having fun!
Before Cade got here, Abram made a list of things he wanted to do with Cade. These things included: walking to Taco Bell for lunch, snorkeling, mini golf, kayaking, and swimming at the Hale Koa pool. So thats what we did Sunday after church.  Abram loved showing Cade how well he could swim. We had a blast! And yes, by the end of the week, everything was checked off Abram's list. :)

And on Tuesday afternoon we checked another thing off Abe's list... kayaking in Kaneohe Bay. Cade loved all the mountains and he swears he saw a baby shark swim under them.  Who knows??? 


On Wednesday, Abe missed school and we all journeyed out to the North Shore. Our first stop was at the Pineapple Plantation.  Cade and Abe did the maze (first time for both) while Chris and I took the twins on the train. 



All the boys enjoying some Dole Whip. Yum!!

After they completed the maze. 
Then we went to Turtle Beach. We love this beach because you are always guaranteed to see turtles. And lots of them! I think in this picture, there are three on the beach behind them.


Of course our favorite times were spent just hanging out with our cousin. Poor Cade always had a child with him. I don't think he got any alone time all week long. He was always willing to play legos with Abe or hug on Luke or Jack. We certainly miss him but this week with him was priceless!!