Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Birthday

Today we sing Happy Birthday to a very special person, a wonderful Dad, fabulous father-in-law, much loved Pappy, great friend, and so much more. We wish we could be there in person to celebrate with you!

Gingerbread houses

Christmas is a time of traditions - one of ours is Gingerbread houses. I can remember as a little girl how my mother would mix together the gingerbread dough, and my father would roll it out, cut out the parts of the house and how we finally after many hours of waiting were able to decorate it with candy and icing.  Now we decorate gingerbread houses with our boys - the only difference is I do not make the dough, Bob does not roll it out - it comes in a pre-baked kit from IKEA, so each boy can have one to decorate and then later to eat.
Lukas and Noah watched as I assembled the houses and then they set out to decorate. Over the years we have seen quite a few designs and decors. This year they both took the task very seriously, making sure the candy 'matched' and expanding out from the house proper onto the tray.
The houses are now on display for a few brief days before the humidity in the air will get the best of these and the roofs will begin to sag indicating it is time to consume these humble abodes. I am not sure what part the boys enjoy the most, decorating, watching/admiring or eating...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Loss at 30,000 ft

Lukas was happily munching on some semi-nutritious snacks half way across the Pacific Ocean when suddenly one of his teeth fell out. A true 30,000 ft loss which he was only to happy to pose and joke about...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Finally, we had the camera ready!

We had yet another sweet visit with our 'cousins' the Severinghaus' who live in San Jose, only this time, I did take a picture! Rick hails from the oldest of the Severinghaus' brothers who came over from Germany in the mid 1800s, and the youngest brother is 'our' relative. We look forward to more reunions with our California relatives.

Christmas preparations

Back home in Monterey, we quickly unpacked our bags so that we could put our focus on Christmas. Bob and the boys brought home the tree and set out to re-arrange our furniture to make room for the tree. 
Noah and Lukas proudly put on the first two ornaments, the ones they bought this summer in Frankenmouth symbolizing their musical interests - violin and piano. We only dream of a baby grand piano...settling for a key board which they did not sell as an ornament.

The house smelled of fresh pine,  warm saffron bread and the Christmas music was playing in the background - we are ready for Christmas!


There is a reason there is a rainbow on the Hawaiian license plate - we saw one almost every day! There is always sunshine in Hawaii, sometimes it is just liquid.


The sunsets in Monterey are gorgeous, breathtaking and amazing - yet the ones in Hawaii are even more beautiful. I could have spent each evening on the beach filling up the SD card with shots of the big, yellow orange sphere that slowly descended into the deep blue ocean. God truly put on a show for us.

Some school

One of the many benefits of educating at home is the flexibility to go, see and explore. This year we are studying American history, and Dec 7, marked the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We spent a morning exploring, watching, learning and contemplating this monumental event in history - we even had a chance to talk briefly with a few who were there on that fateful Sunday morning.  No amount of history reading can replace that!

One morning we headed to the local Army Museum and walked around exploring - only because it was built so sturdily that not even a wrecking ball could destroy the Battery is it now a museum showcasing Army presence in Hawaii. Lukas and Noah spent a long time studying the various cases showing off weapons, and artifacts from years past.
The somberness of these places, and the destruction of war was not lost on the boys. Our freedom came and still come at a high price - the brave and unselfish men and women in uniform. Thank you for your service!

Cocktail hour

Having been well groomed in the Severinghaus' tradition of cocktail hours, the boys made sure we sampled the local libations. They made a few price comparisons to make sure we 'got the best deal' and happily settled in with their frozen drinks, playing with the umbrellas from Mamma and Dad's drinks.


We explored the town at night while searching for places to eat. Sometimes the best meal began with dessert, and other times it began on the beach with a walk - oh the worries of so many decisions...

Simple plan

The plan for the week in Hawaii was simple: swim, swim, beach play, more swim, a dip in the pool, back to the ocean for more swim, some snorkeling, sand castle building, more swim.