Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hawaii Adventures -- Part 1

Trying my hand at blogging ...
March 11, 2011 Aloha everyone!! 
Short version: 
We are doing great!  Our flights were fabulous and the boys all did wonderfully.  We arrived in Hilo around 5, rented our car, and made it to our nice house in Pahoa, about 25 minutes from Hilo.  The house is perfect for our needs.  The Tsunami scare ended up being far from us and we are safe and sound.  We spent today visiting the south-eastern side of the island, playing in tide-pools at the ocean, and shopping at a local farmer’s market (where we got papayas, fresh farm eggs, a young coconut, bananas, and some other local fruits).  The Lord also directed us to a midwife!!  She and her husband run the market.  We are barbequing tonight and laying low after our huge, much-needed nap.

Long version:
Burnell & Paula drove with us to Portland on Wednesday night, where we stayed in a hotel near the airport.  Everything went off without a hitch and we were at the airport at 8:00 am, as planned.  With all the carseats, luggage, backpacks, paknplay, we were thankful for the extra hands, as well.  We made it through security without a hitch – actually, we were treated like celebrities with all the boys in their matching shirts.
The flight was perfect and the boys were amazing!!   We received much attention and hopefully gave the Lord much glory for what he is doing with our family.  The takeoff was a highlight.  They all lit up with excited statements and glee when the engines roared and we picked up speed.  People all around us were laughting at their excited exuberance.  The boys were so well behaved.  A “neighbor” on one side helped Chance with his meal and a “neighbor” on the other offered to let the boys in their window seats so they could see us land.  The flight attendants gave us Oreos and milk, too.  Quint took 2 naps and the other boys each a nap.  Chance stated at one point that the airplane was like a big flying house, with bathrooms, and food, and movies, etc. 
We’ve had endless comments and questions about our family – mostly people stating how well-behaved the boys are.  We are so thankful for their obedience and good attitudes.  They are a delight to their parents.  Other people as if there’s any twins?  Is #6 a girl?  Are we going to keep trying for a girl?  Working on a football team?  What are their ages?  Lots of fun … and a definitely a very effective way for us to engage in conversation with  tons of people.
We rented our car and drove to our place just outside Pahoa, about 25 minutes south of Hilo.  It’s a nice 3 bedroom 2 bath house on 1 acre in a very private subdivision.  There’s a  beautiful tropical garden all around us.  We unloaded and then headed back to Hilo to look for Costco and get dinner.  Unfortunatley, we spent the rest of the evening looking for a Costco, which doesn’t exist on this side of the island, come to find out.  J  Ooops.  After grabbing a late dinner, we made it home and to bed after our LOOOONNG day.  We were up ‘til 11, which is 1am.
No sooner did we fall asleep, but we began to hear loud sirens going off every half-hour.  We were delirious and didn’t think anything of it until we got a phone call at 2:30 from my Dad (Ted) letting us know of the Tsunami approaching and scheduled to hit in ½ hour.  We also had several texts from concerned friends.  We had no idea how close we were to the ocean or our elevation, although we’d seen signs saying that we were at 500’.  Regardless, we decided to pack up quickly and drive to high ground – wherever that was.  Dwight led us in prayer, as the boys were scared and still delirious.  Once on the road, we turned on the radio for news and looked at a map.  We realized we were probably on high ground and that the impending Tsunami wave was about 6’ and we were several miles inland – and on the South/Eastern side of the island.  We turned around, went home and back to bed.  Whew!!!  What a seriously LOOONNNNG day!!
Day 1 on the island:  Still being disconnected from the “know”, we didn’t know how hard the island had been hit, but decided to drive around anyway.  We drove towards the south beach and stopped at a local farmer’s market for FRUIT!!!  They chopped open a young coconut for us and we drank the coconut water (putting some in Quint’s bottle – he loves it!) and then eating the custard.  We also bought bananas, papayas, and fresh farm eggs.  We enjoyed visiting with the owners – Gerald and Shannon (aka Smiley).  We mentioned that we were here for a while and were going to have the baby here as well.  I asked if she knew any local midwives and she said that she was one and she had a great birthing tub.  I am so thankful for the connection.  We’ll see where we end up and if we use her, but it’s good to know for now.
Little farther towards the coast, we found the Kapaho tide pools and went exploring.  Tons of lava rocks!  All but Orin wore their tevas/flip-flops.  He said he was tougher than nails.  And so he was, but his little feet sure took a beating.  The rest of us suffered scrapes and other owies as well, but it was a fun time.  Quint found a special spot and sat in the water playing with rocks.  Ty spent tons of time throwing rocks.  Dwight took the 3 older and had some swimming lessons.  What a nice time – and a good relief from the airplane ride!!
Back home for much-needed naps.  The whole family was able to sleep for over 2 ½ hours – a real feat!  We awoke and Dwight grilled burgers while the boys played “war” and I worked on our letter to you.  Can’t wait to get online and fill everyone in.  Hopefully we’ll have internet tomorrow!


  1. thanks marilee for sharing your adventure in this way! i am so excited for you and your family! what an amazing thing for your boys (and you) to have the beach for a playground!!

  2. Aunt Marilee,
    We are so excited for you! We already are planning our "trip to Hawaii" in two years:)! You are such a trooper. I can only imagine having five boys in the car for four days! I am so glad that you have a house and can make your "nest". Thank you so much for keeping us updated, we really enjoy reading your blog and seeing what you are up to. You are in our prayers. We love you all so much. May the Lord continue to bless you. Love,
    Kyla Cheri....(for the Johnson clan:))