Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sugar Cane Train

Here's a lovely little tourist trap that the kids just loved!  It started in Lahaina, headed north to Kaanapali, then returned back to Lahaina.  It had something to do with the historic sugar cane trains that used to be used on the island... but honestly... the whole ride was far too loud to hear anything historical they tried to tell us and it was mostly just to entertain the kids and see the beautiful coast.  Totally worth the trip with four kids between one and five.

Tyler and Marshall saying "choo choo!"

The three boys.

At the turn around the engine unhooked, turned around, and hooked up to the other end of the train to take us back to where we started from.  It is a beautiful replica of the original trains and they got the kids attention by blowing off some steam.

The ride back was full of silliness.  Never a dull moment with these kids around.

This picture has nothing to do with the train and everything to do with cuteness.  Tyler zonked out early every night we were there... he just couldn't keep up with the time change.  Here he is sleeping on Grandpa.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Random Moments From Our Sunday Drive

We went for a little drive after going to church at a ward in Kihei.  Church itself was great... we were concerned about the kids adapting to a new environment and we planned to only stay for the first hour but the kids really wanted to stay for primary/nursery so we let them and they had a blast!  Marshall even wanted to stay in Hawaii for another Sunday, so we were surprised by the success and got to listen to all the wonderful messages.

We headed out towards the Nakalele Blowhole that is on the north side of Maui.  I love the drive... so beautiful and secluded.  There were a lot of cars on the road that day, so we got in a couple of tight spots on the one lane bridges, but it was fun.  Most of the scenic pictures I already posted were taken while on this drive.  These photos are just all of the random stuff :)

I kept catching my own eye as we drove along, so I snapped a picture since the soft light had me looking oh, so tan.

Marshall wished he had a front row seat, so we let him "sit" in the middle row rather than in his carseat in the very back of the "van."  It was actually a crossover, but the kids thought it was super cool and informed us it needed to be called a van.

He had a great time bonding with Uncle Chase.

Here's another car that was in our caravan.  Grandpa and Cierra were being pretty silly most of the way and we all had a good time hollering back and forth to each other.
 At one of our stops Colby made sure his mom didn't exhaust herself getting in and out of the car.  
(I'm sure she loves that boy so much... he is such a pill!)

Colby with Tyler... just taking in the view.  
I love the way the ocean goes on forever and in practically every direction when you're on an island.
And yes... I have mini heart attacks any time Colby gets near a ledge like this... which he always does... oh well.

We had just been exploring kind of near the blowhole and had our picture taken.  Now I was looking for little fish or crabs that you could find in the countless tide pools that were right there.

Grandpa found a tiny hermit crab.

My boys and Chase were filming the blowhole while Grandma was yelling at them to come away from the edge so close to the ocean.  She had read a story that morning about a man that was recently killed at this blowhole because a large wave came up over the rocks and washed him into the hole.  Super sad...

Colby and Tyler checking out all the creatures in the tide pool.  For most of the time we were there the clouds had kind of settled on us so some of these photos aren't super clear.

Marshall was Chase's little sidekick that whole afternoon...

This was great.  There is a second tiny little blowhole right here that I had watched "erupt" once or twice and I'm not entirely sure these three knew exactly what they were looking at.  
I love the series of photos I caught!
Haha!  Tyler thought it was pretty funny that his hair got all wet.

Grandpa and Marshall

One more thing my big, tough boy inherited from me... a fear of heights.  Poor kid.  I hope he grows out of it a little.  He'll have so much more fun throughout life.

Now that his feet were on solid ground, the high rocky cliff he was on didn't phase him one bit.

I think these two are cute!

Tyler stole some time with Chase on the walk back to the car.
Uncle Chase is super cool!
(And single... and totally worth dating.  Just saying...)

Marshall and Karter showing off their muscles at the top of the hill.  Little boys are the best.

Kiddie Adventure!

I think it was Saturday that the men and Cierra went on a snorkeling adventure so the rest of us loaded up and took a boat to see some sea creatures.  On the way out, we rode in the bottom of the boat where each seat had a window to view the coral and fishies that we passed.  The kids thought it was great to see different fish as we passed by.  Once we were about a mile away from the dock, the boat stopped and we sat and watched many fish swim around us while some divers found creatures that they brought to each of the windows for all to see.  The kids had a great time!

These are black durgon triggerfish, the "friendliest fish" in the area.  
They do not hesitate to say hello to anyone that visits the ocean around them.  

Here are a couple of sea urchins.

These are kind of hard to see, but they are some kind of butterfly fish.  I think ornate butterfly fish.  If you look at the center of the picture then scan your eyes slowly toward the bottom a little you will see the two fish right by each other.  They told us about their romantic nature and how they stay with their partners for life and when one dies, the other will starve itself to death.  Awww...  :)

We even got to see a turtle!  I'm so glad we did because for at least a year Marshall and Tyler were counting down the days for Chase to get home from his mission so we could all go to Hawaii and swim in the ocean with the turtles.  This was a smaller, young female turtle... possible 75 years old.

This fish is a moorish idol.  The coral around Hawaii is relatively young, so it has more pastel colors.  We saw a lot of cool fish and creatures, but nowhere near the variety that we could see just by snorkeling at the beaches right by our condo.  Snorkeling is such a fun way to spend your time in Hawaii.

Tyler (3), Marshall (5), and Karter (3).  Tyler did get bored not too far into our ride, but when it was over he couldn't stop talking about how cool it was.  So he really did have fun.

I love that Marshall is totally into getting pictures taken these days.  He was always the one making us stop for a picture.  I love this one... I wish Colby could have been in it, but he had a great time on their snorkeling trip.

What a stud!

Beach Fun

Spending time at the beach is what I looked forward to the most.  It would get windy every day between about 10:30 and 5, so it forced me to go do other stuff too... had it been calmer weather I probably would never have left the sand.  As far as I can remember, Tyler had never been to the beach and it had been years for Marshall so we were all pretty excited.  The beaches by our condo were great.  Mellow waves with just the right amount of rock formations to keep it interesting and invite creatures towards the shore.  Snorkeling right off the beach was always fun.

On our first day the kids had a blast exploring these rocks since it was a bit too windy to truly enjoy all there was to do at the beach.

This is generally what I was doing.  Someone has to watch the little ones and make sure they stay safe... so I didn't get in the water as much as I would have liked, but it let me take plenty of pictures and video of the rascals being the coolest kids ever!

Tyler wasn't the biggest fan of the water... the waves made him a bit uneasy.  
He got very good at playing in the sand and teasing the waves then running away.

Marshall discovered boogie boarding and would have been in heaven if that's all he did for 10 days.  He got pretty brave and rode some big waves!  He only had a couple big wipeouts (one resulted in a massive somersault, a bloody lip and his head being drug along the bottom for a second), but he was so good at getting back out there and having fun.  He is getting to be such a big kid!

Marshall did great playing solo in those waves, but it was so much more exciting when Colby was out there to help him catch the big waves.  I just love the expressions on their faces in these pictures!

Look!  There's Tyler again.  Being three made Tyler plenty old to enjoy most of what we did, but there were a couple of times that his interest ran out pretty quickly.  Beach time was one of those things.  I love that he is pretty happy-go-lucky because he never seemed put out to be there once he was "done," he just found things to entertain him... even if it was just stealing my chair and laughing about it.

The boys having a grand, old time with Grandpa.

Early morning was my favorite time to spend at the beach.  Considering the time change, and the fact that my stomach has gotten large enough that sleeping is not entirely restful, I was wide awake by 6:30 every day.  I can't even tell you how many days I spent trying to get Colby awake and going so we could go down to the beach.  By the end of our vacation the little boys liked sleeping in too, so I had to do a little extra work to get us there, but it was so worth it.
I love the beach.  The sounds... the smells... it all brings me back to my childhood.  The only thing missing was an ice cream cone from Thrifty's once we were done (one of my favorite memories of my dad...).  We did, however, discover Local Boys snowcones that were delish!!!  Colby was hooked after his first one and it was great.

Another way the boys entertained themselves, and the rest of us, was throwing "mud balls" at the waves.  They'd make the biggest balls of sand they could handle and then bombard the incoming waves... with war cries and all.  They were like my brave little ocean warriors.  Haha.

I love how you can't go to the beach without burying each other.
This was Colby's sneaky way of catching up on his sleep while keeping Mommy happy and going to the beach.

Then the kids had their turn.  You can kind of see the remains of their sand angels too.

 Here's some more of Marshall boogie boarding.
I seriously had a hundred pictures of Marshall having the time of his life with that boogie board.

All those first beach pictures were from our time in Kihei, these next few were taken in Kaanapali while we waited for Colby to get done parasailing.  This beach had a lot of little pebbles that had washed up and the kids had the time of their lives throwing them at the waves instead of their "mud balls."

Tyler has become such a little goof these days.  He can be such a stinker, but he coats all of his obnoxious behavior in a thick layer of silly, so it's hard not to enjoy everything he does.  His latest antic is refusing to smile when he knows that's all we want to see.  I can't tell you how many times Grandma would approach him with a smile and a wave and he would just frown at her without a twitch.  (You should know that as I type this I can see him outside squirting a water gun at the kitchen windows and smiling from ear to ear taking great joy from his trouble making behavior.)

The word "boogers" still gets him to laugh almost every time.

He must have gotten unusually close to the water or really mouthed off to the waves to be laughing this hard as he ran away.  Watching him play like this made me miss being a kid so badly.  Running from waves just isn't the same as it used to be.

Marshall was just one with the water.  He had to be in it.
It makes me happy to see him like the same things I do since he is probably 95% his father's son.  The only things I am sure he got from me are his temper (oh boy!) and his appreciation of the chiropractor.  Colby just rolls his eyes and laughs when he hears Marshall talk about needing to go.  Haha.

Marshall was also pro at finding cool rocks, pieces of coral, and even a few shells while playing in the waves.  He really never collected them from the shore.  He'd just spot them rolling around in the waves and snatch them up.  I'm sure I carried five pounds of rocks and treasures in my purse on our trip home.

I love this last picture.  I have the best helpers in the world.  Love these boys.