Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Well, have you been wondering where we’ve been??  Stuck in the land of no technology!!  Ah!  We had no internet access for one day, and then a “sensor” on our computer went out and won’t let us access the internet.  We had our computer at a repair shop over the weekend, but to no avail.  So, we’ll see when you get this….
On Thursday, Dwight and Orin went exploring!  They are both from the same cloth and LOVE this sort of activity.  They hiked all over lava rocks and searched for beaches.  Orin is a blast – totally game and cheery.  They made a great team.  The SCORE of the day was finding a coconut tree and harvesting some young coconuts for us.  They brought them home and we got lots of yummy, pure coconut water for Quint’s bottles.
A new coconut tree growing from a coconut on a black sand beach

Friday was Ty’s birthday in which he turned 3 years old!  Always calling himself Tyrell Sackett, this new 3-year-old delighted in having the Happy Birthday song sung to him ALL day (as long as you sang Happy Birthday dear Tyrell Sackett!)  Dwight took him on a “date” to Starbucks and then they stopped at the Mauna Lau macadamia nut visitor center.  Mmmm… samples. J  We all had a chocolate cake for dessert and Ty blew out the candles that spelled his name.
TY -- the Birthday boy

 Saturday was very restful for us.  Dwight took our computer in to get fixed and then we all chilled for the day.  The rain is refreshing and relaxing.  Being that its always in the 70’s, the rain doesn’t put a chill in the air, but is more like a warm shower.  The boys love playing in it.  It doesn’t last for long and then the sun is out.  We had a nice walk around the neighborhood and enjoyed all the varieties of trees.  There are some AMAZING estates along the one road we took!  Beautifully manicured lawns and “jungles” bordered by palms and lush greens.
A beautiful FULL double rainbow in our front yard

Quint feeling GREAT!

Burnell and Orin's lizards attacking each other

Sunday, our neighbors had some people over and practiced their cattle roping skills.  We enjoyed watching them, especially the young 8-10 year old boy that was doing quite well.  It reminded us of our dear Warren Johnson family.  The boys were SURE that their cousins were better than this little guy. J  I love the Palamino coloring of his horse!
In our evenings, we’ve enjoyed playing card games.  Burnell is quite capable at playing Solitaire now.  Even Grandma Gail breaks out her cards.  We had a great 3-way game of Rummy going, which Dwight smoked us all!  I would admit that 2 games of Solitaire are better for our marriage than Rummy. J  Actually, its fine.  Dwight keeps us all laughing.  He’s such a wonderful husband and Daddy.
The 3 little guys have been fighting a virus/cold.  I thought maybe it was the croup, started by Quint and a hoarse cough.  Could be.  They had high fevers for 2 days each, which thankfully are much lower now.  Just some congestion left over.  Praying that they get better and thankful that our new little one is safe in the womb still and not exposed.  The Lord’s timing is always the best.  Still waiting ... Taking lots of walks has definitely helped.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Midwife and snorkeling

We met with a midwife in Hilo today.  She’s delightful.  Her name is Jacqueline Hahn and she’s actually a Naturopathic Doctor as well.  She reminds me of Aunt Barbara! J  She has a fun-loving spirit about her, though she has her own beliefs about “spiritual” matters.  We are glad to have her as part of our birth team.  Baby has yet to fully drop, so I may be several weeks out still.  Ahhhhh, sometimes I think its soooo close, and now I’m thinking it’ll probably be another 3 weeks and I’ll have to induce. J  Lord, you know … but this waiting game is trying.  However, it has given me much opportunity for enjoying Hawaii.

Dancing in the rain!!

We’ve been doing some school.  Ty and Chance are learning their letters and the sounds.  Burnell and Orin are practicing their words and sentences.  We played a fun game in the car with the 4 boys – I say a letter and they come up with a word.  Later in the evening, we played rhyming games – Chance’s first time learning to rhyme.  They did wonderfully.  Today, Burnell wrote out the alphabet in lowercase letters only and wrote out some words Mama came up with.  Fun, Fun!
A Papaya orchard on our way to the tide pools
Chance standing near the tide pools
Daddy and his boys getting ready
to go snorkeling.  It was a little overcast and windy at this moment.  Neat thing about the weather is that it
changes just about every 2 minutes.

I was able to snorkel for the first time, too!!  It was a wonderful experience – and VERY romantic for me.  Holding my love’s hand and cruisin’ through the water pointing at different creatures from our Lord’s hand.  Ahhh…. Very relaxing.  I’d show you the pictures, but I look like a beached whale. J  That’s OK … Dwight said every other snorkeler looked just like me (with a belly hanging down).  The event would have been perfect, were it not for my crash on the rocks on the way back to the car.   I was trying to make sure the camera didn't get in the water.  It looked worse than it was.   I washed really well once home and now my  gashes  just look like nicks. 
Burnell and Orin went snorkeling as well.  They did quite well in the calm Kapaho tide pools.  Its amazing!  The pools look like shallow ponds, but once you get in, they’re 12-15’ deep.  (I actually asked Dwight how deep they were to get the actual numbers.  I would have said they were 50’ deep.  Hmmm… not so good with judging distances under water).
Note on Hawaii water:  it contains Staph!  How fun!  Gotta keep the wounds clean.  So far, so good.  Burnell actually had a wound that began to puss up and get red.  We had to clean it out twice, mark the circle of red, and watch.  This morning, it looks like its healing nicely.  Orin was reminded of when Hattie helped him with a similar owie. J
Little Quinty woke up with a “croup” cough.  We’re treating his fever with Peppermint Oil.  The croup is a virus that should pass within 5-6 days.  It causes swelling in the vocal cords, hence the dry cough.  No congestion, really, unless there are problems.  Got some more young coconuts today at the farmer’s market and put the coconut water in his bottle.  He downed 2 bottles immediately.  Good electrolytes for his body. J
Meet Teak and Tito!  They belong to Bob and Suzie, but LOVE being over here with us.  They lay at the front and the back doors during the days – especially if there’s rain.  They love to be pet and scratched.  Teak holds up his paw for a shake.  Orin loves Teak and Chance loves Tito the best.  Mostly, they just lay out in the grass looking dead.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trip around the island and snorkeling

Another great day in Hawaii!!  We awoke and shortly after breakfast saw a beautiful blonde horse in our yard!  It was running at full speed and ran right up to Dwight, who was able to pet it.  It whinnied and ran back trying to get with the other horses.  He’s a sweet, 11-month old gelding who belongs to Bob and Suzie.
Costco run … on the other side of the island!  Dwight, Burnell, Orin, and I set out for Costco over in Kona.  We like going into Hilo, then up the Eastern shore and over to Waimea.  We ate lunch there and then drove South along the Western shore (in Kohala) looking for a place to snorkel.  Not too much luck here.  Finally made it to Costco, fueled up, and spent a crazy amount of money buying groceries, filling the car to the brim.  You don’t even want to know.  Burnell and Orin had 2 boxes of diapers between them and stuff all around.  We made one more snorkeling attempt south of Kona at Kahalu’u beach. There’s a reef that blocks much of the surf, but it still comes in rough until you get about 100’ feet out.  Dwight and Burnell went out together.  They came back about 15 minutes later, Burnell boasting that he got to pet 2 turtles!!  The waves were a bit rough for Orin, the water kept filling his mask and snorkel, so he didn’t get out this time.  He and Mama played in the waves.  It was fun to see the snorkelers all over this area. J  So far, the favorite snorkel spot is in South Puna at the Kapaho tide pools.

Orin posing while Burnell gets washed up from a crash.

Burnell getting ready to go pet some turtles.

Daddy and Orin braving the surf
Driving home via the Southern route, we decided to stop at the Volcano National Park.  The park has free entrance after 4pm AND you can see the lava best at night.  This volcano is from Kilauea and is the same volcano that flows into the ocean down a little further.  The more recent eruptions have been coming from Mauna Kea, which we haven’t seen yet.  Anyway, we popped in, saw a red glow about 200’ out, walked through a small museum, gazed at the brilliant stars, then left.  I’m sure there are trails you can walk that give you better viewing of the lava, but we were cold and it was dark.  So … another day.

Pointing at a helicopter flying in front of a huge lava explosion (at the museum)

Pointing to the volcano on the map of Hawaii

Funny and interesting notes: 
1.        I’ve made so many calls on rentals and vehicles.  I catch myself saying “we’re from the states” a ton!  Horrible.  Hawaii is a state, too.  I’m supposed to say “we’re from the mainland.”  Oops.
2.       After our car burned up, we got in touch with Dado who brought out the car we’re using now.  We had to drive him back to Hilo.  He wanted Dwight to drive and get comfortable with the car.  At the highway, Dwight went to take off on a hill and was in 3rd, accidentally.  It gave off this burning smell, in which Dado and I exchanged glances, like “a burning smell again!!”  Dwight covered up by lifting up his wallet (which totally reeks of the previously burnt car) and said, “it must be the wallet.”  I kept laughing about this all day!  It struck me sooo funny!
3.       Dado gave us a tour of Hilo before we dropped him off at his house.  He showed us where he goes kayaking and spear fishing with his buddies.  He showed us a beautiful park along Banyan Drive (a park full of huge Banyan trees, grass, along the water).  He also showed us the market where the fish come in!  YEAH!  Can’t wait to get some fresh, locally caught fish.  Dado is a great help to us and very easy to deal with.  We’re thankful for our connection with him.
4.       The Hawaiian language, we’re learning,  is very simple.  It has the 5 vowels, but only 7 other consonants!  H, K, L, N, M, P, and W.  No wonder every road and town seems similar. J
5.       One of the places we had looked into renting was behind the Lyman Train Museum in Lauapahoehoe.  Lyman – great name! J  My first thought was … trains???  Why do they need trains on an island?  Well, back in the days when the sugar plantations covered the island, they used trains to transport the sugar.  So, now the plantations are gone and the trains are “historical.”  But, they existed!!
6.       The Hawaiians do this “hang loose” wave to one another.  While reading the travel/guide book, I learned that its actually called a Shaka.  It came from a security guard who was guarding the sugar on the plantation trains.  He was missing his middle fingers.  He would wave at the kids that were trying to steal the sugar … to scare them off.  The kids began to “warn” each other that he was around by waving as the guard did.  Over time, it became a common wave.
7.       Aloha means both hello and goodbye.   Sort of a universal greeting and parting.  Mahalo means “thank you.”
8.       Leaving the Costco gas station, Burnell says “It smells like gas, is the car going to light on fire??” Poor guy’s been traumatized and thinks every car might light. J

Monday, March 21, 2011

Car and Snorkeling

So, after Dwight and Burnell were dropped off back at our place by a kind policeman, things became quite mellow.  Nowhere to go.  Most of us napped while Dwight attempted to use an outdated way of contacting the outside world – the telephone book. J  Its amazing how much we rely on the internet now.
Fortunately, our 1 contact “Dado” came to our rescue.  He kindly brought a car to us and we are renting it from him for the month.  The pressure’s off for finding a van this minute – though we’d still like one.  Maybe it would be easier to just ship ours over afterall.  We’ll see.  Our new rig is a little 5 passenger Kia, no air conditioning, no power steering or windows, stick shift.  But, it hasn’t caught on fire yet!!!  Dwight and I took it into town, got groceries, looked for more car options, looked into opening a Bank of Hawaii account or PO box.  Endless little details.
Then … Dwight took Burnell and Orin snorkeling!!  YEAH!  Their enthusiasm was  adorable when they arrived home and told of all they saw and learned.  It takes a little getting used to – floating, breathing, etc.  But they got the hang of it.  Orin was a bit nervous to go again.  Dwight saw 2 massive turtles and gently pushed one up above the water for the boys to see.
It rains HARD here every night.  We have a metal roof and it sounds so loud and ominous at times.  The showers are brief, but powerful.  And EVERY night.  I like it.  The days are warm and sunny, typically. 
Sunday morning dawned bright and early with the munchkins waking at their usual 6:30am.  Grandma Gail is sweet enough to help everyone get up and dressed while Dwight and I sleep ‘til 7:00.  Such luxury. J  Then, she engages all 5 children in helping with breakfast!!  What a feat.  They’re up on the counters, measuring this, mixing that and flipping that.  WOW – she’s an amazing Grandma.  Quint is quite attached since Grandma likes to pick him up (and Mama doesn’t do that much anymore – he’s soooo heavy).
Burnell practicing his photography - pregnant Mama with a beautiful plumeria lei that Grandma Gail bought for me. Smells wonderful!!
Suzie gave the boys flowers to give to Mama - not sure what the pink ones are.  The white are gardenias (Grandma's favorite!). 

Dwight decided that we would check out a local church this morning.  He researched last night and found that one of the very first churches on the island was just down the road from us.  We were able to walk (since all 9 of us don’t fit in the car) the short distance to the church and arrived around 9:20.  The service started at 10:15 so we walked home and then back.  It is a delightful little church – Presbyterian.  The singing was led by a young girl in her senior year of school.  We sang “This is the Day” and 2 other familiar choruses and then “Pharoah Pharoah” – an interesting selection for the morning.  We sang 3 hymns – 2 in Hawaiian, the other “How Great Thou Art.”  There was some reading and congregational response.  There was a little skit.  We let the boys go to “Sunday School” with 3 other girls and Grandma Gail.  Then the pastor spoke – a nice woman in her 50’s.  J  Yikes. J  There was a time for prayer requests and joys and someone mentioned having us there as a joy.  She also prayed and thanked the Lord for the Men’s ministry keeping the grounds so nice.  Hmmm… The spirit there was nice and rejoicing.  The songs gave glory to the Lord Jesus.  The skit and message talked a lot of taking up your cross and “doing” your part for the Lord. After, we were invited to a “potluck” and fellowship.  Dwight and Grandma Gail tried the raw Ahi tuna that one of the men had brought.  Mmm.  I enjoyed the fresh baked bread. J
Home for a nap for Mama and the little ones.  Daddy took the oldest 3 snorkeling again.  Burnell and Orin, on their second times, were more exploratory.  Dwight said they just took off and saw all sorts of fish.  Super exciting. 
Dwight took Burnell out first.  He still kept thinking he was going to sink.  He didn’t’ want to try the fins yet, so he just swam around.  The water went way over Burnell’s head and Dwight just held him up with 1 hand as they cruised around together.  When they got back, Orin decided to try it, but with his fins.  They got into about 10’ deep water and Orin started to see all the fish. He began pointing and just took off!  Pretty much, the only time he needed Daddy was if his goggles filled up with water.  He LOVED it!  By the time they got back to the rocks, Burnell wanted to try it again with fins.  They all 3 swam around for about 20 minutes having a blast!  Chance held onto Daddy while they swam around.  It was his initiation to snorkeling.  Little nervous, but he did great.
No pictures of snorkeling.  Keep forgetting to take the camera.  Mama's going with them today - to document. :-)

Orin woke us up asking if we were going snorkeling again. J  We’re off to Kona to hit up Costco today.  Just might get to the water while we’re over there.
Orin is getting very good at catching lizards.  Here a little lizard starts to "bite" him.  Good pose.  Orin just laughed. 
PS - Loving everyone's comments on here and on FB!!  I can't reply to your comments on this blogger.  Send me your email address at dwightandmarilee@gmail.com so we can reply to you, too.  Love you all and having fun keeping in touch.  Praying for cousin Nicole's baby today.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We have a car ... actually we HAD a car!

So … the rest of the cow story.  Dwight met the neighbors (a retired ER doctor and his wife) who showed him where the cows got out.  3 strands were busted on the fence.  Dwight popped the hinges on the gate nearby and herded the cows.  Silly cows, they went right back through the hole they’d made, not the open gate.  Ah, well … Dwight was able (with his amazing fence-fixing skills) to mend the hole.  He was also offered a job on the place by the doctor, helping mow lawns, tend to the place, etc.  Dwight’s shows himself so valuable to others all the time. J
The landlords (Bob and Suzie Hamilton) got back in touch with us and he offered Dwight all sorts of supplies, tools, and even the use of his quad to help him.  I think he’s glad to have Dwight around.  Dwight mentioned that he could feed the animals if they had to leave town again.  We double-checked and all 22 cows are accounted for.
Apparently, Bob and Suzie, who said they were going camping, actually  went to help their friends over in Kona whose house was hit by the tsunami waves.  It moved about 100’ from its location, into trees, during the tsunami.  They tried to move the house in 1 piece, but had to cut it in half, remove stumps, etc.  Crazy!!  They’re “camping out” and helping.  Too cool!
After the “rodeo” Dwight and I and Ty headed out to meet someone about a car.  We ended up waiting around forever to finally have him show up and tell us to follow him a block down the road.  He led us to a park where his Dad was waiting with a minivan.  Sketchy!!  Hmm… have to think about that one.  We saw lots of junk and finally found a little minivan being sold by a sweet young couple.  Yeah!!  Now we have a rig for our time here.  More stress relief!!
On a humorous note, I do most of the calling while Dwight drives.  When I’m talking to the Hawaiians, I start this whole “Hispanic” accent thing and not speaking in full sentences.  Its funny because Hispanics and Hawaiians are so similar.  Their laid-back way of life, their family ways, but especially their accents. 
Dwight’s intending on taking the boys snorkeling tomorrow.  They couldn’t be more excited.
STOP THE PRESSES!!  The drama continues. J  We all loaded up in the morning for our much -anticipated snorkeling trip.  We began to smell gas (while waiting in the driveway) and I noticed that a belt was hanging down below the engine.  Dwight checked and then had us all unload.  We wouldn’t be going anywhere. L  Big bummer and disappointment.  L L
After calling around, we found a mechanic in Kee’au (just 5 minutes down the road).  Dwight explained the situation and the mechanic said it would probably work for him to drive it that far.  Dwight took Burnell with him.  On the way, the car lit on FIRE!!! No, this is not an exaggeration … Dwight’s never seen anything like this.  He and Burnell made a quick exit as the smoke billowed everywhere.  The fuel lit (we had just filled the tank).  People stopped with fire extinguishers and then fire trucks arrived and cops, etc.  The flames began to go up the hill behind the car, too.  We wonder if we’ll make the evening news??? J  The fire chief even showed up.  Dwight and Burnell were able to rescue all the snorkeling gear and towels and personal items in the car … except the 1 carseat (which is now soaked in fire extinguishing juice).  Praising the Lord that no one was hurt.

So …. We’re back to square 1 with the whole car situation, only now we have no wheels and are stranded at our place, with no internet.  Dwight’s been on the phone and we have 1 contact that might have a rig for us to rent.  What on earth … ???  We’ll have to wait and see.
We were discussing all that’s happened regarding our trip to Hawaii: the volcano erupting again, the tsunami, troubles finding rental houses, our car blowing up, etc.  Could it be that we’re not supposed to be here? Is the Lord trying to tell us something?  We’re not so sure He’s telling us that we’re in a bad spot.  In every instance, He’s protected and provided for us – and taught us patience along the way.  He also brings us into contact with people continually, in which we hope to share His love and light.  Its also a continual teaching opportunity for our children.  Today, Burnell got a lesson in evacuation from a burning vehicle and his obedience skills were tested.  We also learn that our plans are not exactly the Lord’s plans.  He must have intended for us to rest at home today and not be in the ocean. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

To the beach!!!

What a beautiful day yesterday!!  We couldn’t be happier or imagined things being more wonderful. 
First things first … have to go to Starbucks to “connect to the world” via internet.  How do we survive without this???  Oh, and the coffee – for Dwight. J  While he shopped for cars, I took the boys to Walmart to get some items for our new abode (soaps, rags, a real skillet, food, etc).
We’ve been so thankful that Dwight is not allergic to anything here.  We thought perhaps he was since the first few mornings at our vacation rental he woke up with itchy eyes.  We think maybe there was a cat there at some point.  Thankfully, he’d clear out during the day.
We called in the reserves – aka Grandma Gail.  With my contractions, I began to feel that I needed Mama here soon.  So, Daddy found her an amazing flight out that very night!  (before all the spring break traffic).  So we drove over to Kona to get Grandma.  She arrived an got her luggage and was waiting all of 5 minutes before we pulled up.  We’d planned to be there earlier, but the Hawaiian way of traveling is SSSSSLLLLLLOOOOOOWWWW … like the speed limit, or something … or even slower!
While traveling home North of Kona we stopped at the beach.  A real beach, for the first time!!  The boys were absolutely in awe and having THE time of their lives.  The water is like bath water – 70 degrees ish.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in the sand before.  Orin was wearing his Tevas until I convinced him that there was nothing sharp this time.  J  They loved going out and then running back before the waves caught them.  This is definitely their playground.  Dwight and I felt a little like lifeguards – especially with Ty who can’t really judge when he’s gone too far out.  Quint was satisfied with sitting just where the waves would wash up around him, next to Grandma Gail.  Aaaahhhh!!!!!!  This is HAWAII!
Feeling revived and refreshed, we drove through Waimea again and stopped for Thai food, Dwight’s choice.  The Spicy Chicken he ordered burned his mouth like nothing he’s ever had before! J  Everyone else enjoyed Cashew Chicken and Pad Thai.  We had the restaurant to ourselves and our waitress loved us. J  She served us 2 dishes of dessert for free – with toasted coconut ice cream and leiche (sp?)ice cream ( a local fruit – perhaps the one grown here on the orchard we live in).  Super sweet.
Home at last … to our own beds.  It felt so good, I didn’t even have 1 contraction!
Up at 6:30 this morning with the light.  Feeling rested and relaxed.  We have to return our rental car this evening so car shopping is necessary.  We have lots of numbers to call and people to connect with.
We were almost ready to go, when a neighbor drove up and told us the cows were out!!  Our landlords, the Hamiltons, went camping yesterday and will be gone through Friday.  Sooooo…. off go Dwight and his 2 oldest herdsmen to help get the cows back in.  They’ve been gone for over an hour now.  Hope everything is going well …

Love you all!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No longer homeless :-)

We have a home!!  The Lord provided THE most wonderful place for us.  We are living in a custom-built mother-in-law quarters in a 3br/2bath home totally separate from the owners.  The owners live just a little further down the driveway.  They run a fruit orchard (the trees are all around the houses) and have horses and “rodeo” cows in the next field over.  The field across from us is totally empty and beautiful.  We basically see no one from our windows and there’s plenty of room for the boys to play and roam and be loud.
Our process to get to this home was amazingly humorous.  The house had been listed that morning and I had emailed and left my phone number , but forgotten a number.  Fortunately, the lady didn’t give up on me but emailed me back.  I gave her my full number and she called and we set up an 11:00 appt.  I was excited about this place.  Dwight found 4 more places to call (we’d upped our budget a bit and decided that a furnished place is the only way to go).  We had a 9:00 appt about an hour out of town and a 2:00 appt locally (but spendy).  We looked at 2 more inbetween and one was horrific, the other turned us down.
We arrived early to our appt and waited for the owner to get back from Hilo.  I started crying, it was so peaceful and perfect.  The lady liked us, despite the fact that we had 5 (soon to be 6) children.  Its overwhelming to some.  But, the boys won her heart (YEAH!) and she decided she liked us.  She’d have to talk to her husband.   She left us to go get an application, came back and asked us when we’d like to move in.  We said right now, if possible, paid the cash, and had a home … just like that.  Praise the Lord!!  Thank you to all that were praying, for it really did seem to be a miracle.
Once settled, Mama and little guys went down for a nap and Dwight took Burnell and Orin to a dive shop for snorkeling gear.  Little guy snorkeling gear is super cute!  Can’t wait to get pictures of these guys in the water.  Its drizzling today and we’re trying to get our car situation taken care of, but play time is a comin’.
I’ve been “going into labor” each night for the last 2 nights.  Hmmmm…. Seems to be that a baby will greet us soon.  I’m so glad to be in a good place.  My mother is supposed to be arriving today at 2:30 in Kona.  I’m delighted, since I thought Dwight and I were going solo last night.  Not exactly the plan.  We’re driving over to Kona to get her and hopefully get to go to Costco while we’re there to stock up.

Dwight’s humorous note this morning:  “According to dog code, Hawaii is officially our island.  We have marked every square inch of it.”  This relating to the fact that we stop about every 20 minutes for a potty break of some sort.  Ha!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pictures!! Finally a few ...

Ty in the hotel
Burnell and Orin got to stay in a room with Grams and Grandpa.  Huge treat!
Just before going through security in Portland.
Row 1 of Johnson men.  Chance and Ty were right behind with Mama.
Watching airplanes, luggage carts, and those machines that push the airplanes away from the gate.
Eating a young coconut
Kapaho tide pools!! An awesome place for these white boys to explore.
One of the gulches I mentioned.  Dwight saw 2 whales today just beyond the cliffs!!
Chance tree climbing. They also swung on vines like Daddy did in the pictures from his last trip.  YEAH!
Burnell loving the wind in his face (and barking!)

Contacting us

I should also mention that the best way to contact us is via email or Facebook.  Or, you may text Marilee's phone.  We left Dwight's phone in Oregon with Wade - as he is running the business while we're gone.  Go Wade!!  Phone calls aren't a good idea since I think we're still roaming (even though I changed our plan before boarding the plane!). :-)

Homeless in Hawaii

Tonight is our last night in our vacation rental.  Then, we’re homeless … unless we get something.  J  Ha!
Have you ever seen the movie “Groundhog Day”??  The guy wakes up every day and it’s the same day he relives over and over.  Dwight and I keep laughing – that’s us.  Today was day 4 of house-hunting and traveling the island with 5 children stuck in the car.  They’ve done extremely well, considering. 
We may have narrowed things down by this time … then again, maybe not.  Phew!  What a chore.  We laugh over one house in particular.  The owner was “selling” us on it when he kept saying over and over, “Very old, very old … need lots of work … very old.”  We also have had several laughs over the fact that practically EVERY street over here starts with the letter K followed by some assortment of vowels.  Kehuelani, Kaahina, Kaweiliani, etc.  Which road do we turn on??  Most realtors want a 6-month lease – but we said “NO WAY! “J  You feel good about that, don’t you.
On the up side, we’ve enjoyed seeing the island.  It is beautiful.  North of Hilo is incredibly gorgeous.  There aren’t many beaches, mostly cliffs.  But there are deep gulches, with waterfalls that run from inland to the ocean all along the coast.  One after another … gorgeous.  South of Hilo, down Puna way towards the South Point is also beautiful, but is more remots.  We have yet to experience the “rainy” part of the rainy side.  Its been sunny every day we’ve been here so far!
Starbucks … our saving grace.  Today we went twice – once in Hilo and once in Waimea.  Both times to use the internet.  In Hilo, we met a sweet girl named Hihina (Heeheena??).  We think that’s her name.  We specifically introduced her to Burnell so he would remember her name (he’s usually so good with names), but he says he can’t remember because “her name sounds like a flower or a bush or tree or something!” J  Ha!  Love that boy!
Our car is kinda fun.  It’s a small suv with 2 rows of 3 seats in the back.  Ty and Quint have their spots on the first bench while the other 3 rotate between the 3rd seat on their bench and the “back of the bus”.  The 1st bench is the choice spot because you can be at the window and make it go up and down all day.  Interestingly enough, if their window is open, the front window on that side must be open at least 2 inches or else the whole car vibrates (Ba ba ba ba ba).  J  Usually the windows are down and their heads are hanging out.  The barking thing is an added touch!  Nothing like pretending you’re a dog while hanging your head out the window. Hmmm…
We’ve gone to 2 farmer’s markets so far – one in Hilo, and one in Pahoa on Sunday.  They remind Dwight of his craft fair days.  Booth after booth of vendors selling fruit, veggies, clothes, soaps, etc.  One booth had the best goat cheese.  They’d sell us goat milk for $20/gallon, but their customer list is full!!  Whoah!  The music cracked me up – a Hawaiian lady singing various “country” songs with a distinctly Hawaiian beat and instruments.
We’ve been buying about $5 worth of bananas every day, papayas, kahlua pig … mmmm. Our appetites are … ravenous.  We eat about every 2 hours – mostly bananas.  Quint says “na na” now.  That’s practically all he eats. J  Just kidding.  He loves ‘em though.  Today, one of the places we found had avocado, tangerine and guava trees.  We ate a bunch of guavas.  Orin climbed the tree and shook a large branch so the ripe ones would fall.  Another place had a tomato plant with 3 ripe tomatoes (we ate those, too).
Thanks for all the info from people about the blog.  I’ll figure it out soon.  Also, some of you are still wondering what we’re doing over here.  Our plan is to be here in Hawaii for 3 months(ish).  Main reason, originally, was to avoid juniper allergy season in Oregon.  Of course, we had lots of other options, but this one sounded fun! 
Oh!  I might be having the beginnings of labor pains, too.  Which is why, at 2am, I’m awake and feeling like “nesting” – and since there’s no house to get in order, I’m writing all of you.  Gotta tie up those loose ends in life.  Aaaahhhhh!  I feel better now. 
More to come of our adventures.  We love you all and miss you, too.
PS We’ve been watching the news in the evenings.  The earthquake and tsunami damage in Japan is incredible.  And Santa Cruz – all the way across the ocean!  Makes us even more thankful that we were nowhere near Kona that night.