Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Ballerina Diaries

This morning Caroline realized her lifelong dream--she started ballet. I really don't think we will turn into a "ballet family" with girls working hours each day to attain the position of prima ballerina in Swan Lake or The Nutcracker...but I suppose I shouldn't say something I later regret. For now she is living for Thursdays when I drive her back out the Snoqualmie Valley to the community center where she and Ezra took classes when we lived out there. Yep, it's worth the 45 minute drive. The class costs a quarter of what anything around here costs. It's a beautiful balance of technique and fun. They learn the positions and the correct terminology but it isn't competitive. And there is an optional recital at the end of the four month session so that parents and family members can see what they've learned.
I love watching my kids learn from someone else in a group situation. And we love our teacher, Miss Sara. She has three kids similar in age to ours.
There were twirls...

and tip toes...
and "leaping" over the bean bag : )
And LOTS of fun and giggles.
I do believe today was the only day the teacher leaves the classroom door open for observation. After this the ballerinas will work behind closed doors for better concentration. And then we'll see the final work of art on recital night. Should be a fun 4 months!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Rest of Us (and some more Little Ones)

Swimming in the ocean, laying in the sand, floating in the pool and lazing on the lanai were not the only activities we participated in while in Hawaii. We did one or two other things. Small children limit the energy Tadd and I have to do too many other things. My folks' and the boys and Emily did lots of fun things like riding in an outrigger canoe, hiking Diamond Head, surfing and buying pearls (the boys most favorite activity was waiting while the ladies opened up oysters).
We watched the sunrise...
checked out other parts of the island...
ate dinner at Duke's Canoe Club as the sun set into the ocean...
walked around downtown Waikiki in the dark...

and checked out the local wildlife (a Hawaiian monk seal).
The boys played toss with the football most days and also played sand volleyball a fair amount.

One day we took a hike--it was tons of fun. We trekked probably about 3 miles and got fairly muddy. Caroline did all the downhill by herself and about 1/3 of the uphill. Grandpa kindly offered his shoulders for the rest of the ride. Nora lounged in the back pack and Ezra hiked his little buns all on his own. About 1/4 mile from the top he sat down and said he was done. I showed him how close we were and he whispered to himself "I can do this, I can DO this" and took off running. Haha, oh for the energy of a five year old!

Spectacular views.

And we drove into Haleiwa for shave ice several times. Yum!
After a week of relaxation on the beach...we had to come home. We knew it had to happen. Now it's back to the realities of winter! Snow, rain, wind and clouds--the perfect weather to keep us indoors for a while--where we have looooooots of projects : )

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Little Ones In Hawaii

I've had a lot of trouble getting the motivation to blog since I've come home. Not that I didn't have fun in Hawaii. It's just that the tasks of home and the pressure of getting my kids the proper amount of preschool (something I fail at daily) are getting in the way. Plus, I tossed up some pictures on facebook and it feels redundant to put them on here as well. Oh well, for those of you who don't use fb or who want to see more photos, take a look...
Here are some of my favorite shots of the little ones in Hawaii. What a fun place to take pictures of kids! The brilliant colors of the ocean and sky and the light backdrop of sand are perfect for posed and action shots. Of course, being a mom, I didn't get many of pictures of things other than my kids : )

We woke before the sun most mornings. I'm okay with that in Hawaii. The kids stay mostly on their home time, going to bed early and getting up early. And they sleep hard since they mostly don't take naps and spend the whole day running and swimming and swimming and running.

We went to the Bonsai Pipeline a couple different times to watch the waves. The first Sunday we were there they had an extreme high surf warning up. Nothing is more amazing than watching those waves. Pipeline waves have a specific color to them. It's pretty exhilarating just watching the guys and girls surf those waves--I can't imagine what it feels like to be the one actually doing it. When they wiped out it looked like they were jumping from the top story of very tall buildings.

Ezra had a blast learning to "buggy" board. He had a lot of people to push him into the waves between Daddy, Grandpa and three Uncles.
The above picture looks almost exactly like one we have of Ezra in Hawaii two years ago--same rash guard and all!
Thank the Lord, we managed to get away without any sunburns.
She borrowed her mama's hat and her brother's shirt when it looked like the sun might be getting through the spf 50.

My cousin Amy and her family recently moved to Oahu and we were glad for a chance to see her (she's Mike's oldest daughter). Our kids get along very well and Ezra and Caroline were thrilled to have playmates a couple of days. Kira got buried in the sand along with Ezra and Uncle Jeff. It is a little panicky seeing your child covered up that way.
The two little ones take turns "patting" each other on the head.
These pictures of Ezra and Caroline in front of Chinaman's Hat will always be some of my favorites, I'm sure. They showcase a lovely friendship(ya know, the one they have between fights).

This Kelty Kids backpack was where Nora lived for much of the trip. Praise the Lord for a backpack!

All three kids loved the water--both the ocean and the pool. Nora didn't even gasp when we'd take her out up to her neck in the ocean. I always thought pools were kind of silly in a place like Hawaii. But with three kids, let me tell you--not silly at all.
It might sound dramatic, but one day last week I will probably always remember as one of the best days ever. We hit the beach just before 10 AM and went back and forth between there and the pool all day--didn't go inside until after sunset around 6 or 6:30. I brought lunch down to the pool for everyone and held Nora in my arms on the beach for both of her naps. Perfection, I tell ya.

I'll try to put up some pictures with grown ups tomorrow...