Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Favorite Quotes: No Safer

"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."
Helen Keller

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Every Memorial day since we've lived here in Hawaii we spend the day with friends at Kawela Bay. We spend the day playing in the clear calm waters and relaxing on the warm blonde sand.

Afton and Sierra paddling way, way out in the middle of the bay.

The sand looks and feels a little different at every beach.  At Kawela's the forest comes up pretty much right to the shore so there are a lot of pine cones and pine needles and stuff in the sand.  This is the beach where the second Hunger Games movie was filmed and I think some of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were shot here as well.

Afton the phone stealer. Thanks to her I have a few pictures of our fun day at the beach.

Sierra is one of Afton's besties. They spent the day playing in the kayak and texting on the beach.

Not a great picture that Afton captured of me but it is the only picture I have (so far) of my new one-piece swimsuit.  I purchased this suit from Target last fall and have been altering it little by little to suit my needs.  Finally today I made what I hoped were the final alterations.  I tested it out on the surf once more and had only one more problem with the suit: there is a little tie in the front that rubs into my ribcage while paddling.  I will have to move or remove the bow and then it will be perfect. I hope.

Other alterations I have made on the suit include cutting out the back, putting in new straps that criss cross and tie at the back to keep it tight while surfing, reducing the butt width, reducing the crotch length, removing a ring at the front and replacing with a tie.  These alterations have made the suit cuter and more comfortable to surf in.  It is difficult to find a one piece that will work for surfing.  Most are too loose and catch water and then can't flush it out quick enough. They ride up the rear end or cause chaffing in sensitive areas like the crotch, underarm, across the chest or over the shoulder straps. This suit eliminates most of these problems but not all of them.  Next step is to make a pattern from it and see if I can reproduce it in a way the further reduces the problems inherent in a one-piece surf suit. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Nakoa Loop Trail (kinda)

This summer I have been asked to be the young women's hike specialist for our ward and I have been so excited about it. I love having a good excuse to explore this beautiful island. I have planned 4 awesome hikes for our girls. 

The first one is the Nakoa trail at Kahana. I hiked this trail last year and it was okay. The best parts of it were finding mountain apples and playing at the rope swing and swimming hole at the end. It wasn't one I planned to do again but I knew it was easy and thought the girls would like it. 

Last Friday, The night before the hike, it rained and I got nervous. There were stream crossings and the swimming hole at the end that we would have to traverse and I was worried about taking 6 mostly non swimmers through it all. I chickened out on the loop and took an alternate route to some swimming pools higher up on the stream--and thus much shallower water--and then we went back to the starting  point via a "road" that was rarely used to access a water reservoir. 

The changes ended up all for the better. I really liked the hike. The pools were a pleasant surprise and the girls had a great time. I might even take this route again! And if we want to go to the rope swing there is a much easier and shorter route we can do but we'll save that for a later date. 

Charity and Caryn were kind enough to be my fellow adult supervisors. The girls were Chrysanne, Emma, Talia, Naveah, Sophia, ME, and Ana. 

Our first viewpoint. We came around the bend and the girls were struck by the beauty of the mountains framed by the valley jungle and skies. I was struck by the beauty of their stricken gaze. I love seeing their eyes opened to the grandeur that surrounds them. 

A little stream crossing. Last time I came through this was just a muddy section. This time it was ankle deep. 

The pools at the end of the trail were lovely. I hadn't been to this section before      I was recovering from a week of sickness and was too tired to do much exploring but it looked like there were more pools both above and below this one. 

Though not used to hiking the girls weren't too tired to explore. In fact ME bounded right in and ended up swimming!

Gear and lunches were quickly discarded while the girls cooled their toes and played games on the rocks. 

This is a short portion of the bamboo forest we passed through to get to the pools. It was really cool. 

On our way back the path passes past a hill. We saw that there was a faint trace of a trail up and wondered why. Wonder no more. A few of us scampered up and were rewarded with these divine sights. To the left is the water reservoir. 

Heading down the water reservoir road.Just a mile or two left of our first adventure in hiking this summer. I had agreat time with these lovely girls. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Field Trip: Hawaii Nature Center

 After recovering from her weeklong illness and missing her assigned field trip day Cora was so excited to be invited to attend the Hawaii Nature Center overnighter with a different 6th grade class. We outfitted her with everything on the packing list plus a little used point and click we picked up for $35.  Here's what she brought back: A special report from Cora.

Taking pictures of Annie taking pictures. Waiting around for the bus.

Karsen loves having pictures taken of her. What a cheese!

The real Annie shows her face.  One of my besties.

Attempting pictures of other friends didn't work out too well.

Me, Cora!

Friend Selfie! Maren, Annie and I on the bus.


More Karsen

The students on the bus go up and down . . .

Silly selfie

First view of the forest in Manoa

Beginning to feel on top of the world.

Eve. So excited we are finally here at the Hawaii Nature Center!

Camp Leader: Ms Kristen.

First activity: Geography of the Ring of Fire

Talking about the Pacific plate. Learned about how it moves so much and causes eruptions and earthquakes along the Pacific Coast of the United States, around in a circle to Japan and up to Alaska.

Taking pictures of the scenery. Love those wispy clouds.

And mom will love this picture of  this cute little 6th grader.

Nature scenes. The tree on the left is a Kukui tree.

Beautiful sky

Having a lesson on how the Hawaiian Islands were formed.

Learning about Hawaii's hot spot. Everytime the plate shifts a new island is formed from under the sea. The big island is the youngest island but there is another one beginning to form under the surface of the water.

Now we learn how Oahu was formed by two major volcanoes. 

We use this stuff to build a diorama of Oahu. First we make the shape.

Now we add our trees.

Ahhhhh! The cows are taking over the island!! Help!!

Went on a hike and really went on top of the world. So cool to look out from the tops of the mountains and forest over the city below.

Looking across to Diamond Head crater

Honolulu Harbor and Sand Island

Looking towards Punchbowl

More trees

Making another diorama. This time we are learning about how water filters through the trees, vegetation and ground.

Mr. Charles shows us how the ground holds together with the roots of trees.

A pretty flower with berries. Don't know what it is called and neither does Mr. Charles.  Need to look it up.

Time to relax

We smeared ourselves with charcoal.  Why?

The lone tree

beautiful orange flowers

Dragon fruit taking over the trees

dragon fruit up close.  No fruit on right now though.


Getting ready for lunch and the ranger hike.

Selfie with John

Ms. Kristen was a really awesome counselor. She was nice and she taught us about Hawaiian history and answered lots of questions. 

Cook pines

Back at the nature center the boys set up their tents.  They slept outside and the girls slept inside.

Nature picture

Time for a campfire

We roasted marshmallows and told stories and jokes.  One boy caught his marshmallow on fire and when he tried to get it out it flung across the campfire at me.  I went to pick it up and got burned.

Time for bed---or is it?!

Lights out but we tried to pull an all-nighter anyways. Lots of talking. A lot of girls didn't make it past midnight. Annie and Maren and I made it until about 1 am.

Meet Rafael. He is a turtle. He lives outdoors in a kiddie pool.  He is about the size of a piece of copy paper.

Giant Elephant ears. At first I thought they were gigantic Taro plants.

What a jungle!

Mr. Howe is hiding in his cage.

Rafael's home.  Looks gross to me but he loves it. I hope.

Such a cute little bunny.  I bet mom would love Mr. Howe.

This way to the hiking trails

inside the classroom there is a real slide but we didn't get to go on it.

Some artifacts at the Nature Center. These are turtle shells

Here are some other stuffed animals

I liked this mural on the classroom wall.

Ms. Kristin makes some healthy snacks

and I eat them.

a Taro plant

ti leaves

a cool painting at the Nature center

Getting ready to go.

but first some flowers for my mom

Rainy on the ride home but looks amazing.
I really loved the trip and it was a one of a kind experience and I will never forget  this experience I LOVED IT!!!!!!
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