Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween and Homecoming

Ah, she's growing up. My little girl, our Kirky, the tomboy of yesteryear.

Saturday night was the Homecoming Dance. The efforts of dress shopping, getting Dad's approval for said dress, shoe shopping, finding the perfect pearl in Hawaii and the loan of a little black clutch paid off. I sat her on our old kitchen stool and we played makeover. I'm not bragging, but she's seriously a looker. If she weren't the only girl born that day, I'd swear she didn't come from her dad and I. She's beautiful inside & out.

Now it's time to buckle down for Halloween! This month has been one big whirlwind of crazy, so I haven't been able to sit down for some serious creepy creating like I want to. I did manage to have fun with this tiny banner....

The little girl was one of the images I picked up while at my sis's in Michigan last weekend. Other elements came from Little Pink Studio who always carries fun vintage supplies on her Etsy site. Pop in some plain old crepe paper, Heidi Swapp, MM and goodies from my own stash; I like her. She's got serious attitude.

This is Sozo, just because. We're painting the entryway and she wanted to help out.

Did I show this before? I've got half-timers these days. I fell in love with this revolving stand. The DH thought I was nutters. I still love it. It's covered in chippy golf-leafing and topped off with a crown. Perfect for creepy cards right now and even better once December rolls around to hold holiday greetings!
If you're in my neighborhood on Halloween night, bring a lawn chair for the annual movie on the side of the house. The guys will be setting up the projector and speakers. I'll be setting out illegal amounts of candy and snack foods. This year? The Nightmare Before Christmas. A little Tim Burton, a dark night and scores of little kids on a sugar high? Now that's scary!

Catch Up Photo Post!

Because Blogger better let me post some photos today!
Hawaii, the Big Island: One side is all blackened lava fields with resorts popped here and there amidst beautiful beaches. Very different than our experience at Maui. They pretty much just bulldoze lava, plop some fuzzy grass on top, build a resort and landscape! The other side is rainforest lush with scenery that feels like it's straight out of Jurassic Park. Not many beaches, but gorgeous sea cliffs and mighty crashing waves.
Sunset at A-somethin, something, I can't pronounce beach otherwise known as A-Bay Beach at Waikoloa (the water in front is an ancient fishpond):

Loco Moco. Mmm, yummy, artery clogging local deliciousness. Loco Moco is rice (brown rice isn't an option) topped with eggs(want to be Stink-Eyed off the island? Ask for Egg Beaters instead, lolol), topped with meat (I went for Portuguese sausage, Tim went for Spam, kids went for sausage or bacon, vegetarians need not apply), finished off with gravy. As a side, potato-mac salad. Bad for me, but I figured all the hiking, swimming and snorkeling would even it out.

See that guy in the water? He's tied himself to a concrete post and has a spear. Why did he tie himself up? Well, because you're not supposed to be in that freaking water! It used to be a port, but the water is too rough. In the late 80's I think, a barge full of new Toyotas broke loose and crashed upon the rocks here. An insurance adjuster from Lloyds of London came by on helicopter and insisted that it land on the barge so he could get a closer look. Big wave came and drowned the adjuster. Nope, we wouldn't be snorkeling there.

Chilling on Hapuna Beach while Mom and Dad boogie board. All future attempts at decent photos prompted wild hand gestures and strange bodily noises.

Sea Turtles abound on the Big Island! They are quite firm in their admonishments to stay at least 20 feet away from the turtles, but apparently the turtles didn't get the memo. They will swim with you, around you, ignore you or take a liking to you, but they are hard to stay 20 feet away from unless you are out of the water at all times. I got a big kick out of them. So cute! Of course, all I could think of to say to them was "Cowabunga Dude" because I had "Finding Nemo" on the brain.

The photo of this crater does not do justice to the raw fear and terror it inspires. In Volcano National Park, it's unofficially called The Devil's Mouth. The sides of have collapsed down into sheer walls and just getting within 6 feet, I got sick to my stomach. I'm not bragging, but I'll ride any amusement park attraction, I'll go to the scariest haunted houses in October and it takes a lot to truly freak me out. This did it. There was a smallish sign telling people to walk no further about 100 feet away because of unstable crater walls. The clear path lets us know that most people ignore the sign. It's in our guide book as worth the look, so we did. Even my college freshman who thinks he's immortal respected the boundaries I told him to keep. Yep, that was my Halloween scare for the year.

Sunset atop Mauna Kea. This tops our sunrise at Haleakala on Maui. It was almost a party atmosphere with people taking photos in parkas in the thin, moonscape atmosphere, but when the sun began descending a hush came upon everyone. As the sun departed, someone sat on a rock and softly played old hymns on a harmonica. Even as an adult, it was one of those rare moments when you really feel like God wanted to show YOU something special. The ride up there was wild, the ride down even wilder in the dark, but if you ever go to the Big Island, just do it Bro!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Loco Moco Bro!

We are back from the Big Island, but still on island time. This means mornings are haggard, but I get a second wind about 11p.m. that lasts until 3a.m. This would be amazing if I didn't have children to attempt to get on a regular schedule!
I have so much to get caught up with, but before I do, I just want to let my fellow 21 Challenge people know how much of an honor it was to take this journey with them. I will be checking your blogs and commenting as much as I can. My 21 days finished up in Hawaii and I can tell you it was no problem meeting my goal with the hiking, swimming, snorkeling and boogie boarding we did. (help to set off any servings of loco moco and shave ice I had)
As proud as I was going into this trip of my small goals over the course of this 21 days, as soon as I was at the gate for my flight to Hawaii, I could tell I was probably one of the 10 largest people on the plane. I was on a full load of Iron Man triatheletes! These people are not only thin and in shape, they are sinewy and lean to the point of appearing almost emaciated. On the roads, they had signs saying "Caution: Ironman atheletes in training" and they were! Everywhere we went, they were biking or running over hot highways cut into lava flows. No shade, no rest stops.
A lot of this trip involved trust. Our children needing to trust that we weren't wasting their time, endangering them or driving around needlessly. We had to explain again and again that this was our first time on the Big Island, so we were experiencing it just as they were. They were frustrated when we took wrong turns down bumpy lava roads (which are merely suggestions of paths rather than roads), skeptical when we coached them through their first attempts at snorkeling and hanging on to their hats as we took them up scary roads with heart-stopping drops (um, Mom was askeered too).
I hope they are able to look back and see that our intent was good and their experiences worth it. I hope the sunset from the summit of Mauna Kea was worth the cold, thin air and truly frightening drive up there. I hope the turtles, eels and colorful fish was worth their first try with a snorkel tube and trying to adjust their breathing to relax and not fear the depths of the water. I want them to realize that Volcano National Park is truly unlike anything they will ever see close to home and to appreciate the fierceness of nature. I'd like them to look back with fondness at picking avocados over a waterfall after a grueling hike down a questionable path in the rainforest. I'm proud that 2 out of 3 tried Loco Moco, a local concoction that is killer on the arteries, but I feel a visit to any area isn't complete unless you eat as the locals do. And I'm fairly sure that just a day or two into their return home that they are already romanticizing their time in Hawaii from what I hear them tell their friends.
This is hard to believe from a group of kids whose overwhelming request in Hawaii was to go back to the condo. Have they even mentioned the condo to their friends? Nooooooo.
Blogger is taking forever to load photos today, so they'll be coming soon!
The next morning after I returned home, a bunch of fellow scrapbook artistes and I got together for a scrapbook yard sale. I think we were our own best customers, but we had a great time! Never have enough time to visit amongst each other. These are some of the most amazing women I know; heartfelt and hilarious. Finally I was able to meet Kim of Too Much Stuff! We had traded comments back and forth on our blogs for quite some time as well as emailing. I'm delighted to find that she is as witty, genuine and fun in real time as she is with her written word, even more so!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Who wound up the clock?

Because the time is passing by too quickly! This week has flown by. I've been remiss with taking journal photos. The journaling I have done is in between organizing for the scrapbook sale and packing for our trip to Hawaii.

On the 21 Challenge front, I've been doing great this week. I think it's due to the great report I got at my Weight Watchers weigh-in this week. Just amped up my attitude to get it done!

Crazy week bullets (cause my friend Beetle Bailey [yes that's what we all call him] told me to just tell the time; don't build the clock:

~Yes, hubby and I did eat out every blessed meal until midnight October 1st, our official anniversary!
~I found the coolest little card holder carousel thingie at the Old Lucketts Store on our big day. Hubby had his doubts until I got it home and put it into action. Photo soon if I get my ducks in a row!
~The lady we are renting a condo from in Hawaii upgraded us for free, so we'll be staying in a bigger place with a better view! Serendipity!
~My teen angel and I got into trouble today at her Rheumatology appointment for loudly counting from 1 to 5 in different character voices in an attempt to will the doctor to finally come in. They didn't appreciate our merry mirth as much as we did.
~After getting a high dollar pair of shorts on superdy-duper clearance at the Columbia Mall tonight, teen angel declared that she now understands why I get so jazzed when I get a great deal!
~My dog already knows we're leaving and has gone into clingy mode. That's okay for a lap dog, but very hard on your lap when your baby weighs over 90 pounds.
~Pumpkins are lining the porch at alarming rates. I think one may weigh almost as much as the dog! This time of year, we usually come home with at least one new pumpkin each week and keep most of them around until Thanksgiving if they haven't rotted. After that, we play pumpkin toss in the back yard. It's messy, but it's fun.
~October 14, Sunday: Scrapbook Yard Sale in Walkersville, Maryland. If you're in the area, shoot me an email and I can give you details. Come take this stuff off our hands! It's good stuff and goodness knows that we paid enough for it. Several scrappy 'vendors' will be there and it's going to be good!
Here are a few photos I took last weekend of my journal, but haven't gotten around to posting yet. More to come on the flip side. I'm so proud of everyone who's been hard at work during these 21 days!