Waipio Valley and Hope

Every once in a while we will follow Shane and Avery up to work. We usually just hang out by the cars or go to the park while they work in the forests. 
After work, we play.
We usually get malasadas at TEX drive-in. Amazing malasadas... get them warm and you will never be cold again. They warm your soul.

On this particular day we went to Waipio Valley lookout. Usually you can go down into the canyon, but it is currently closed due to Dengue Fever outbreaks. Eep.

 It's really beautiful and we were lucky enough to see a whale coming in and out of the water.
We are going up north again tomorrow so hopefully we will see more whales. :)

I know I've shared this on my Facebook, but while I am here in Hawaii, so many people that I love are heart broken and searching for Harry Fisher.
Harry is on of my best friend's older brother. He grew up right next door to me. He's kind, so smart, and deserves to be found. We really want to find him. Please look at the picture, keep it in mind as you drive around from place to place in Utah and even beyond that! He could have made it far on one tank of gas.
So many people miss him and are heartbroken. We need to find him!

 Harry Fisher is still missing. It has now been a week since anyone in his family has heard from him. PLEASE PLEASE keep a look out for his SUV. It could be in the Draper area as well as Utah Valley.
It is a Tan 1995 Toyota 4-Runner, license plate C13 9HP.
If you have information you can contact the Draper Police Department (801) 576-6300 

Thoughts about new places.

 Hawaii is a strange place.
Although this is a great adventure to be able to live here for  as long as we are, I find myself being disgusted by the thought of living here permanently.
Not for the usual reason I think people would most expect.
I think the worst part is the lack of seasons here. Humid, Rainy, more Humid and Tropical Storm are not the seasons I'm looking for.
People send us pictures of snow and say "aren't you lucky to be in Hawaii." When really I'd love to have a logical excuse to drink some hot chocolate.
I keep thinking of Fall and harvesting and the feelings that come along with that time. The Christmas we spent here was... fake? I'm not saying any of these things to draw pity, and I hope what I say doesn't  come out as complaining, but speculation.
Christmas without snow and family and a Christmas meal was strange and forced. Like trying to push something thick through a strainer.
But we prepared ourselves for that and did all we could to make it great for the girls. It wasn't terrible by any means! It just didn't feel like Christmas.
 My next thought jumps to our families. I'm so grateful for Facetime and social media so I can keep up well with all the people I miss. Even though it's not near the same as being with them. It can't hurt to be without them and reach out to new people, despite how terrifying it may seem sometimes.
 The last reason I think is that I was not born a Hawaii/Tropical soul. My soul (I hope) is more European. I dread to think I have an American soul. I know that sounds terrible to say but when I think of someone having an American Soul I think of someone who loves developments, McDonalds and Walmart. I do think that is harsh to say, and I recently read some chapters in the Book of Mormon that caused my American Pride to over flow! Maybe there is no such thing as an American soul, just the great blessing of being able to have the freedoms we have here.
Where was I going with this?
Oh. Europe.
Do I seem like a tropical person?
If it weren't for so many people comparing how tan/pasty they are I hope that I wouldn't care if I was white as a pearl. Beaches are nice, but so is the Van Gogh art museum. (.... I assume, I have only been there in my dreams). No one cares or can tell how tan you are if you are wrapped up in sweaters boots and scarves! Freckles are worth the sun time though, I do love freckles.

 People kiss me on the cheek here. It's funny and charming to be a part of such a culture. While I'm simultaneously hyperventilating because I don't kiss them back because I still find it so odd!
People call everyone Auntie/Uncle here. A 3 year old kept calling me Auntie in Nursery! I can't begin to express my confusion! Then she called all the other leaders auntie as well!? Well I learned my lesson for the day. Also, if you are addressing a peer you call them Cuz.
I have yet to call anyone any of those names. Because I'm just too awkward. And too pasty still.
 The only thing I'd imagine is European about Hawaii is that they call Trash "Rubbish" as well. And they call flip-flops slippers, and I have no idea if that is European.
 I wouldn't say it is HARD to live here. It's not a minute by minute struggle to stay positive or interested in what our plans may be for the next week. It's just strange feeling so new, and knowing that you won't be here long is even stranger.
Of course there are the typical struggles that come with normal life. Trying to push through mediocrity, do something more, be better than you are currently. That's just life, no matter where you go.
 It really is lovely here. The sun is warm, the rain is pleasant, the geckos don't attack you... haha.
We went on a drive up to the northern side of the island and the whole drive could and should be in a movie! It was so breathtaking! Bridge after bridge of canyon lookouts and streams that lead towards the ocean! Views of more trees than I ever thought possible! One of the loveliest places I've been in the Eucalyptus forest (pictures to come). I've never loved the repetition of tree trunks so much as I did there.
 People are kind here. We live near Pahoa which is considered a "hippy town". There are dozens of hitch-hikers to be seen as you drive for only 20 minutes. Not only that but it is considered very safe to hitch-hike here! Tatoos and dreadlocks are common to see. We really haven't done much venturing down there as I would like. The library has been a huge comfort for me. What mom doesn't appreciate a good library?

I never thought I'd end up on an island. I keep thinking that when we aren't here anymore that we will look at all these pictures and miss this place. It's really getting annoying that we always miss the place we were last, but mastering loving where you are at the current time is such a struggle.
Our house is cute. We love having Avery around. We've been to the beach atleast 6 times and we will go again tomorrow. I've adjusted to living with geckos in my kitchen. The farmers market is amazing and seeing the humble people there selling the produce they sell is very touching. The frogs croaking at night have become so normal that I hardly notice them. I think I will miss them when we move back. The demon roosters will, however, not be missed. I usually don't care for shooting guns, but I'd spend hours at a target practice so I could take those things out, haha!
I've been here for a month and a half. We've already done a lot of things on our bucket list.
The hard days are hard and the good days are good, just like anywhere else.
I miss Shane a lot when work gets busy, just like I would if we were anywhere else.

 I love looking at the girls faces and I feel giddy inside. I can't wait to tell them about all the things they saw, did, learned and eventually forgotten while we lived here. I pray that Taegan will have some of her first long-term memories here.
God takes us places that we never expect. I don't  know where we will be after Shane is done with school in Logan, but I hope we can vacation in Europe soon :)
Here's to adventuring and figuring life out at the same time! Stay positive!

Black Cliffs and Classical Mushy books.

I had to look through the blog to see what pictures I had posted and hadn't yet.
I CAN'T BELIEVE I've only posted TWO TIMES!!!! I have so many pictures to post.....

Maybe I'll just bomb this post with pictures.

As you should all know, Hawaii was created by volcanoes. We live on the youngest and largest island. Therefore, we live near volcanoes. Which explains why we have black sand beaches, no?

We went to see the ocean one day (forever ago) and found some delightfully stunning black cliffs. Take a peek.

 Look at the swirls of the dried lava!!! So cool.

 Cutest 4 year old I've ever seen.

 When you find a dead crab and you've GOT to have it as a hair accessory.

I feel like I'm getting used to living here. I don't wake up confused about where I am, so that's a good sign right?
I'm dying to take some pictures for someone, but I only have my family and Avery to drag around and smile for me.

Something big has happened!
I read Pride and Prejudice!!!(kind of). I tried reading it multiple times in Jr. High and High School and I always thought the same thing. "This is boring and I have no idea what is going on". So I'd quit.
But my brother-in-law, Sam, lent me Pride and Prejudice and ZOMBIES! I'm a huge zombie fan. Now THAT'S a book I can get through. In fact I LOVED it and now I want to read the original book. So I guess I'm officially a mushy-romantic-book mom. Check that off my Accidental Bucket List.
I also had to watch Sense and Sensibility. My newly discovered love for Jane Austin books and my love of Alan Rickman (rest in peace) drew me to watch that. Guess what. I loved it and now I also want to read Sense and Sensibility.
What is happening to me?!?!

Sidenote: someone at church told me that it actually gets way hotter here in the summer. So maybe I will just live at the beach starting in May.

Enjoy the photos and pray that my landscape photography improves 100 fold.


Keeping busy and chilis.

I might have mentioned this a couple times, but we have no car.
The girls and I just try and get creative and endure what we can while staying at home all day. Luckily we do have a park near us, but there are usually puddles or wet sand there so it usually turns a normal day into a bath day. 
We don't have tons of toys here. We do have a TV. As much as I don't like having shows playing for hours at a time, it's better than every one crying and wanting to explode from the inside.. 
However, things HAVE been much better than I could have imagined. We have rough days but they end and new days come. I really couldn't be more grateful for how things have gone here.
Here are some pictures of somethings we find to do here when Shane is gone and when he his home.

 Blowing pom poms through funnels in to a bowl.
 Taegan being beautiful

 Eating nanas and having messy faces

Playing with fairies in a juice fairy house.
If anyone is looking for great/cheap and imaginative toy there have a bag of fairies, mermaids, and princess at Target in the dollar section. They are small and remind me of a girlish version of army men.
 The girls love to assist Shane and Avery in their work right when they get home.
They helped them get their mongoose traps stacked up into the car. They did get distracted by the water dripping from the roof though.

 One of the many papaya trees in our yard. I tried an over ripe one and it was nasty... so I need to give them another chance, haha.

 This is our little house.

Want to hear a story of chaos?
Look at these adorable little chilis. We have multiple bushes of these in our yard. One day I thought it would be fun to pick some and hang them on our Christmas Tree because we had a creative and homemade Christmas tree this year. So the girls and I each grabbed a handful and headed inside.

I told Taegan to hand one to Shane and have him taste it. He licked on and said it tasted way too hot to bite into (and if you know Shane then you know that must be really hot!).
Right after he finished saying that, Daphne was chewing up on of the chilies in her mouth!!!
I grabbed the milk and tried to pour a cup for Daph's little mouth. Our ears were greeted by a terrible scream. Taegan had touched the peppers to her upper lip. Now two children were screaming and climbing on me while I tried to pour ONE glass of milk for TWO suffering children.
Daphne seemed to recover well (by some miracle. She also eats sriracha with Shane on the daily)
but Taegan had a rough time getting the sting off of her upper lip. But watching a show made it better, like usual. HAHAHA! Such madness. All for some ghetto Christmas decor.