Monday, November 30, 2009

We can't believe we've already had over a 1,000 hits!! That's crazy! It's also crazy that only 12 people have signed the guestbook!!!??? With only 2 making requests!! What's that about?

Anyway, we've come up with a way to spice things up a little. Being that it's 2009 we thought how about when we get 2009 views we do a DAY OF DIVING & DARING DEATH!!!!

This would include a morning Shark cage DIVE...

...if that doesn't kill us then we'll Cliff DIVE from the 30 foot drop offs at Waimea Beach...

...if that doesn't kill us then we'll sky DIVE over the Hawaiian North Shore Mountains & Beach...

if that doesn't kill us then our Mothers will...

So tell your friends about the blog and keep checking for updates if you wanna see craziness happen!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Justin Timberlake Serenade!

We took Erin's "Do it or Die" threat on her Justin Timberlake serenade request very seriously and delivered as quickly as possible. We'd heard he had a home up in Hali'ewa so we headed up there to check it out...we didn't find him but we found his brother!!! It was awesome! Then as you requested, we got him to serenade us...after first sorta serenading him, which was not requested...sorry.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Our new favorite songs!

I know you all are loving the song we learned on the Ukulele, "Drop." We've now added that to our blog playlist as well as our new favorite song which is probably what you're hearing right now if you're's next.

We've heard it on the radio a million times and finally tracked down the artist. It's actually a local duo called, Keahiwai. How they came to be is pretty cool.

Mailani (born and raised here in Kailua) & Lei met when they were pretty young, elementary/middle school age by playing a lot of the same sports. Six years later Lei hears Mailani sing at church for the first time and can't believe how great she is. Mailani remembers Lei picking up her ukulele and strumming and then she's blown away. Now that the two have discovered each others hidden talent they decide to try out for their high school talent show and won. They were then playing at family functions, grad parties, coffee shops, and other gigs when they hooked up with 2 local producers that helped them cut their first album. It was released in 2001 and snagged them 2 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and 5 nominations. They've got 3 albums out and another to be released soon.

This song is called Falling by Keahiwai and IS available on itunes!!! Hope you like it. We can't get enough.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grandpa loved Hawaii

Thank you all for your messages...we are aware there has been some serious dropping of the "blog ball" on our part. We hope you'll all pardon our neglect. Here's where I've been.

This is a picture I took last June of my amazing, noble, rock of a Grandfather, who unexpectedly passed away last monday. In june I'd just gotten home from my mission and was anxious to get caught up with him and Grandma. I went out for a visit and he let me practice taking some pictures with him. At the time I didn't know what a treasure this photo and memory would become.

I got word on Sunday that he'd had a church...of all places, and doctors were saying he wasn't going to make it. I quick hopped on a plane headed for Washington to be with family and to attend his viewing and funeral services. What a blessing that was for me. I don't know if I could be okay with it all if I hadn't gone. Each of my 50+ cousins were there. Every single one except those currently serving missions, and those ones on missions Grandpa would've wanted to stay exactly where they were doing exactly what they were anyway. My Grandfather was a great man; a matchless example of hard work, dedication, humility, strength, integrity, service and faith, both in his life and in his death. We all miss him and are so grateful for the man he was and legacy he's left us. I've never been so proud of my last name.

I've had a different comforting feeling coming back here to Hawaii, a place he LOVED. One of the many missions he and my Grandmother served together for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was here. They lived in the city of Laie for several years and our family was able to come visit them on an occasion. I've loved being back here in a place where I have great memories with him and a place he held so dear. Which is why I'm sure he appreciated me wearing a Mumu to his viewing.

In just the few days I've been back we've really hit the ground running again. I'm way behind on the blog but check in soon for RIDICULOUS amounts of fun posts. In the meantime have a great Thanksgiving week!

Oh and Erin...thank you for your comment and request and know...WE ARE ON IT!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Name Bracelets, the Hawaiian Alphabet, and Teddy's Burgers!

All over the place you can have your name translated into Hawaiian and put on the item of your choice; necklaces, keychains, wallets, etc. it's great! Who doesn't want to know what their hawaiian name honest with yourself!

Brooklyn and I chose the leather bracelets, as seen below. As you can also see below I wanted to know what lots of names were in Hawaiian. : ) The thing is I thought the bracelets just got cuter and cuter the more I put on my arm. Brooklyn talked me down to three but then choosing the colors was very difficult.

Come to find out in Hawaiiain:

Brooklyn = Polikuline
Ceri = Keli
Cerina = Kelina
Joy = Hau'oli
Amy = Mea
Leigh = Kula

and unfortunately Allsop = Allsop

As you can see in this picture after a trip or two to the International Market the name bracelet count grew ...

I'm pleased to Inform you that
Gretchen in Hawaiian = Kelekena
Jennifer = Kinipela
Turtle = Honu
Hilarious = le'ale'a
Free one = Ka noa

Another cool thing is that there are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet! That shocked me! Their vowels are the usual: A, E, I, O, U and the consonants are: H, K, L, M, N, P, W.

Here's the tricky part, the pronunciation.

A's sound like ah, except if they're followed by an i, then together they make the hard I sound.
E's sound like A's
I's sound like E's
O's sound like hard O's
U's sound like oooo, as in boo it?

It's actually pretty simple, here we'll show you while we wait for our burgers from Teddy's. Teddy's Burger's is basically the Hawaiian version of In N Out Burger and it's delicious!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A day of Shopping, Eating, and needing to be sleeping!!


Today was one of Brooklyn's off day's so we headed to the international market in Honolulu for a day of shopping! The international market is a great place to find jewelry, Aloha Dresses, cool woodwork, name bracelets, neat artwork, street musicians, ukulele's, food, and crazies dressed as random things that charge you to take a picture with them. One thing we're not so crazy about with the International Market is how forceful some of the vendors are. I've never been good at bartering. It brought back funny memories from my many trips to NYC. No matter how many times I went to Chinatown, if I didn't have Jill or Melissa with me I was probably gonna end up paying asking price for any knock-off purse I got. I've gotten a little better but not much. It helps though when their asking price is completely ridiculous which was often the case especially with the pearl kiosks. All in all it was a great trip and we got a good head start on Christmas shopping.


Hawaii is HOT! I don't know if you're aware but in hawaii it gets hot and thats when your body is craving a nice cool tropical smoothie of some sort. We scored and found a sweet smoothie place there in the market that makes you a drink with a fresh fruit of your choice then puts your drink back into your fruit to use as your cup! Pretty cool...but very heavy!

The food highlight of the day was the PUKA DOGS!! First off, I love hot dogs. With that being said...years ago on the Food Network or something of the like I caught a show about the best hot dogs in the Nation where they traveled around the US unveiling the greatest hot dog places, most unique hot dogs places, biggest, etc. and one place they featured called, Puka Dogs, was in Hawaii. After finding they had a location in Waikiki we quickly planned an excursion to try it out. It was amazing! They feature fruit relishes rather than pickle relish. The menu offers the following delectable relishes: Mango, pineapple, banana, coconut, papaya, and even starfruit! Are you salivating? They also use bread with no holes then use a scalding rod to make a hole in it so the bun cooks from the inside out and wraps all the way around the dog. BRILLIANT! It was incredible and over my dead body will I leave this place without having eaten a hot dog with each of the relishes!!


I don't know if you're like me but if you are then you know shopping is exhausting and when you're exhausted and hot you can get kinda loopy. We shopped from early in the day to a decent hour in the evening and were really losing it by the end. Our desperation for sleep brought out behavior in us we were not familiar with. We seemed borderline drunk. I don't know why we felt we needed to begin recording our rants but we did. I guess we were aware we hadn't made any crazy videos in a little while and the blog was suffering so hit the record button. We might regret posting this one.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our First Ukulele Lesson!!

The Singles here are crazy and get together a billion times a week!!

Sunday = church
Monday = FHE
Tuesday = Ultimate Frisbee
Wednesday = Paint Ball
Thursday = Dodge Ball
Friday = whatever they decided thursday


So tonight was Ultimate frisbee. They play for the dark, rain or shine, and tonight was RAIN! It's been raining a little bit each day but never really lasts long...except for tonight. It poured...for awhile but that didn't stop them.

After that we headed to Keanue's for our FIRST UKULELE LESSON!!!

Then Keanue made us a midnight snack! YUM!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Taking a break from posting our Hawaiian adventures to wish my Dad a Happy Birthday!

Hey Dad! Happy Birthday!

I wish I could be there to celebrate with you...well sorta, except that would mean I wouldn't be here. So I guess what I'm saying is I wish YOU were HERE so I could celebrate with you. Sorry I didn't send you a card but I did the next best thing. Can you guess??? Yup, I made you a video or two!

I wasn't sure if you were in a funny birthday mood or a sentimental birthday you get both!

"You're the best!!"

Friday, November 13, 2009

Some things you might not know about Hawaii:

1. It actually consists of 8 main Islands: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and the Big Island of Hawaii.

2. It's the most isolated population center on the face of the earth! Hawaii is 2,390 miles from California; 3,850 miles from Japan; 4,900 miles from China; and 5,280 miles from the Philippines.

3. Almost half of the WORLD'S commercial supply of pineapples comes from Hawaii.

4. From east to west Hawaii is the widest state in the United States.

5. Under-sea volcanoes that erupted thousands of years ago formed the islands of Hawaii and the islands themselves are the projecting tops of the biggest mountain range in the world!

6. Hawaii has its own time zone (Hawaiian Standard Time.)

7. There are no racial or ethnic majorities in Hawaii. Everyone is a minority. Caucasians (Haoles) constitute about 34%; Japanese-American about 32%; Filipino-American about 16% and Chinese-American about 5%.

8. The island of Niihau is a privately owned island, with livestock raising as its principal industry.

9. The island of Kauai is the 4th largest of the islands.
- By law no building on Kauai is allowed to be built taller than a palm tree.
-The Waialua River is one of 5 navigable rivers in Hawaii. It drains off Waialeale Mountain which is considered the wettest spot on the earth!!! Averaging 488 inches of rain per year.

10. The Island of Oahu has the city, Honolulu, which is the 11th largest metropolitan area.
- More than 100 world-renowned beaches ring Honolulu
- On any given day Waikiki attracts 72,000 visitors.
11. The island of Maui is home to many famous attractions including the old whaling town of Lahaina, the road to Hana, Kaanapali Beach and the Haleakala Crater (Ha-lay-ah-ja-lah), which is the world's largest dormant volcano.

12. The big Island of Hawaii is the largest of the islands, twice the size of all other Hawaiian Islands combined.
- The Big Island has Kilauea Iki, the world's most active and largest volcano.

- The island houses the world's biggest telescope and more scientific observatories in one place than anywhere else in the world.

13. Hawaii has the highest life expectancy of all the United States. Male=75. Female=80.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dad comes to town!

Dad’s been traveling into hawaii about once a month for the last year and a half or so for work he does in Laie and I was super excited that he’d have a trip out while I was here. I got to pick him up from the airport at about midnight and drove up to Turtle Bay Resort in Laie where he stays for meetings at BYU-Hawaii.

For two days I stayed with him at Turtle Bay and went with him to some meeting. First of all, Turtle Bay resort is the COOLEST! The main floor where you check in and eat is open air. No walls. It's so awesome.

It's set up on the North shore in a place where it can see both the sunrise and the sunset and was designed in a unique triangle type shape so each room has a view of the ocean. Pretty Cool. Our room looked out onto the pools, and the ocean side where the surf school is. (west side) This picture shows our room window there in the wing on the left.

Here's a couple shots I took the night we got there. It was about 1 or 2 AM.

Another cool feature is the parrots that sit out on their perch, no cages, but don't fly away. They sit there all day and acknowledge passerby's with a friendly, "Aloha."

A small bay on the east side is known for visits from a wild seal. He'll come lay on the beach for hours. The staff marks off a good amount of space around him so people don't try and get too close since monk seals aren't the friendliest of creatures. Unfortunately he didn't pay me a visit.

I was really excited to go with Dad to some meetings and meet more locals. Just like everyone else I've met here so far, they all were really nice. I met some great people; the presidents of both BYU-H and the PCC, and several other wonderful people, one that lives in Kanoehe, around the corner from Kailua, even offered her place and kayaks anytime. Have I mentioned how stinking nice these people are?

One crazy thing she told me is that Kaneohe(right next to Kailua) is where hammerheads go to have their babies!! Can you imagine my panic at this information. Naturally I raced home, did some research and found that 5-8 thousand hammerhead pups are born each year in kaneohe!!!

The adult Hammerheads spend most of their lives in deep water and swim at depths of 600 feet but come into the shallow waters of the bay to have their babies. This usually happens in the summer and early fall months, have their babies and swim back out into the deep leaving their pups in the shallows where they stay for the first few months of their lives feeding in the reefs. They eventually swin out into the deeper waters and grow up to 13 feet in length like their Ma's and Pa's. OH GOL!!! I'm sweating.

Ok...on to more positive things...I learned something else that I immediately added to my "Reasons why Hawaii is the greatest place to live" list, is that Thanksgiving and Christmas are so huge here that several places pretty much close their offices for December!!

The last meeting of his trip was pretty interesting too. It was about both the History of Hawaii and Etiquette for doing business here. How to NOT offend the natives.

It was great to meet the people Dad works with out here and great to have him meet the people I hang out with up here. He finally got to meet Brooklyn even though he felt like he'd already met her thanks to all the crazy videos I'd sent home while she and I served together. I was excited our schedules worked out so that Tanner was able to come out too.

And now, the moment Sister Greer's been waiting for...drum roll please...


The Greer's were one of the many amazing families in Minnesota that had us over for dinner, drove us all over town, came joint teaching, gave investigators rides, meals, basically helped us with EVERYTHING! Her son Tanner is out here at BYU Hawaii and I promised we'd get together and her request was a picture. I'm so happy to have delivered and I'm sure there will be plenty more.

The President of the PCC gave Dad tickets for us all to see the PCC night show, "HA," which means Breath of Life. It has an huge killer set with waterfalls, vines, bands, sand, trees, all the bells and whistles including a cast of over 60!!

They tell a story of the generations carrying culture, traditions & values to their posterity and do so through song and dance from various countries including Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, and of Course Hawaii. The one that's my favorite and has been since the first time I came to the PCC as a little girl is the Tahitian dancers with their Poi Poi balls. It's pretty incredible. I remember getting a set a long time ago determined to master it but quickly realized it's either in your blood or it's not and for me it was NOT. Although this has got me wondering if I need to give it another go. Maybe I'll give it another go or maybe I'll leave that to Connie & Sandy. : )

Here are some highlights including the Poi Poi & Fire dancers. The fire dancers always steal the show.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Slip N Slide - A late night with the Singles!

One of the many things I love about the Church is how no matter where you go you have instant friends, and good ones.

We've met some really awesome people in the Singles Ward here. There's only about 30 people so technically it's a branch not a ward but it's great. It's been so long since I was in Hawaii last that forgot a cool thing they do. When they start sacrament meeting or when someone is beginning their talk they say "Aloha" to the congregation and the congregation all together responds, "Aloha!" It's really fun.

Another cool thing...Brooklyn's been talking to a co-worker of hers that's interested in the church. This week she's beginning to meet with missionaries and so we were talking to the Elder's at church and I noticed one of them was "Elder Madsen." I asked if he was related to Laurie Madsen Snarr or Mark Madsen, and he responded, "I wish." He said he wasn't but that there was a relation to Truman G. Madsen so I think there is a connection somewhere. I was surprised he wasn't because he really had those same kind brown eyes that run in the Madsen family.

The members in the branch are SO nice!!! They invited us out to FHE where they were going to set up slip n slides at a park in Waikiki. I was SO in!! It was such a blast! I go thinking they said Slip N Slides, they must mean, Slip N Slides...but nope they meant HUGE 25 foot long sheets of plastic doubled up to be 50 feet!!

Helping carry the goods up to the top!

We went to Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu. This huge beautiful park right on top of the ocean. This is a picture I found on the internet but happens to be of the EXACT spot we set the slides up. The slides were there on top of the hill and headed straight for the water and as the night went on they shifted somehow and were steering us all towards the palm tree on the left. It got dangerous.

It was so cool to have the ocean in front of us and the city lights of Honolulu behind us.
As if that was scary enough add that the sun was setting wan eventually was done. This made it impossible to get good video....Sorry...but messing with my point and shoot we found some settings that helped us capture a few semi decent shots.

Lori soaping it up

The first ones to go...

This is Hala, sounds like "holla"

Check out the daredevils with their innertubes, rafts, boogie boards, and piggyback stunts!

It's our turn!

We ended up wet, sudsy,

covered in grass...

but with some new friends!

This is Keanue Kekaula...say that 3 times fast! He's gonna give us some Ukulele Lessons!! We can't wait!

After clean up we had a supposed "Hawaiian favorite treat" buttered crackers in hot chocolate...I was sure they were just trying to trick us "Haole's" into eating buttered crackers in hot chocolate but Lori confirmed and had some herself which reassured me. It was actually pretty good.

I thought it was pretty funny that they had hot chocolate in Hawaii. I guess Hawaiians get cold here????

We spent the rest of the night listening to Keanue and the gang jam on the guitar and Ukulele's. It was awesome!!

My favorite was their rendition of Beyonce's Irreplaceable, "to the left, to the left, everything you own in a box to the left." My camera battery died before I could get that but here's a quick snippet I got with it's last run.