Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter 2019

Easter Week/ Holy Week started our as our return from Spring Break. On Tuesday we colored eggs. Addy enjoyed writing on eggs with the white crayon. Alexa enjoyed seeing how many different colors she could fit onto one egg. They both liked Justin adding lots of glitter to their final products.

Since Justin was traveling to Egypt, I decided to volunteer at church during the one outdoor service. This meant we were invited to church on Saturday night for a pre-Easter event. We enjoyed worship, praying over the chairs and a wonderful meal. The girls mostly ate bread and cheese. Afterwards all the kids ran around the field and had a fun evening.

Sunday morning we woke up early. The girls raced around the house to find more eggs then their baskets would hold. (Time to upgrade their infant baskets) They enjoyed sorting their eggs and even eating some chocolate before breakfast. The girls wore their dresses from the father/daughter dance to church. Once we arrived at church the girls were able to enjoy the bounce houses before anyone else arrived. They then went to their class and had a wonderful service, including games.

After church we went to the Ellinghaus' home for an egg hunt. The kids once again ran around and had a great time. I wasn't keeping close tabs on Addy's sugar intake. She ended up sick at dinner later in the day. Opps! It ended up being a learning experience for her on her personal limits.

Easter was a special day with a focus on Christ. We did make the most of the commercialized part as well. It never quite felt like a holiday having Justin away.

Saturday, April 6, 2019


Hawaii for our 10 year anniversary has been the plan as long as we have been married. I never imagined that we would be living in California and only a 5 hour plane ride away. I do remember thinking in the early years how strange it would be to have an 8 1/2 year old. That time flew by and I am very grateful that we had the opportunity to go as a family of 4 to Oahu.

After an eventful time driving to airport, we made it on the plane. We have always sat 4 across meaning I sit with the girls and Justin is usually across the aisle. Our flight was early but the girls had a good night rest, so they didn't sleep at all. Instead they played games, watched shows on the TVs, did a tiny bit of school work and watched as the islands came into view. Once we arrived we went straight to the hotel to check in. We walked around a bit, ate dinner and played at the beach.

The next morning we had an early appointment to go snorkeling in the ocean and see sea turtles. The girls enjoyed the catamaran ride. They were excited about snorkeling but a bit overwhelmed. Alexa did not like the cold water temperature. Addy was a bit hesitant about being in the middle of the ocean. The life guard with us offered to put Addy on his board and paddle her around. She LOVED it. It made her entire experience. Alexa preferred laying on the boat and relaxing. Later in the day, Addy and Justin took turns jumping off the boat into the water. Sunday afternoon we hiked Diamondhead as a family. It was so very warm so we can bought ices and a pineapple smoothie to take with us. The girls did the entire thing with minimum complaints.

Monday morning our hotel had an art expo. Alexa took hula lessons and the girls made bracelets from old water bottles. Addy bought a bath bomb that she later enjoyed. That afternoon we went and hiked Manoa Falls. It is a simple walk to a water fall. It is in a rainforest and felt right out of a movie. In the evening we went up with Aly and her family and swam at the hotel pool.

On Tuesday we went to a beach on the East side of the island called Lanakai. It was one most beautiful beach I have ever been to. The girls enjoyed snorkeling off the shore, playing in the sand and being buried up to their necks. We had lunch at a local Hawaiian spot. Super yummy, but so much food. In the afternoon we went to Pearl Harbor. We did the tour out to the Arizona. Addy was bored and fell asleep. Alexa was in shock and a bit sad. After the tour we met up with our friends. The girls were so excited to be together. Maanya even asked for a playdate....

Wednesday morning we woke up very early and went to Hanauma Bay to snorkel. The girls were very brave. I don't think they enjoyed seeing the fish as much as playing in the sand with their friends. After snorkeling we went and had Hawaiian donuts called malasadas. They were yummy and became our lunch. Then we went back to the hotel for the girls painting class. They learned how to paint the Diamondhead scene. Alexa did the night time and Addy did the daytime. We brought home two very sweet paintings. That evening we had a Magic Show at the hotel. The girls were in awe. It was a bit hit for them.

Thursday we drove to North Shore. We started at Turtle Bay with swimming and snorkeling. I enjoyed taking the girls out as the water was warmer and they were more comfortable. After an hour or so we moved to Sharks Cove. We saw lots of neat things in the Tide Pools. We snorkeled and came very close to a shark. It was overwhelming for me. The girls didn't seem too concerned by him. After lunch we went to Waianae Falls. The movie Jimangi was being filmed. We didn't have much time to be nosey so we didn't see The Rock. We did make it to the falls and all swam out under the waterfall in the rain. I hope its a moment the girls will remember. If we ever go back to Oahu, It will be on my list to see again.

Thursday evening we had our Luau. We were greeted with shell necklaces and drinks. The girls and I made flower bracelets and coconut leaf head pieces. The chief had a preshow that included climbing a tree. There was the traditional roasting of the pig (which we glanced over). We booked our tickets very early. I was able to get us seats in the front row. It made it such a great experience for the girls. They both really enjoyed the fire dancer and even the hula dancers. Our host was Glenn Mederio's. He sang "Nothings Going to Change my Love for you" as Justin and I danced. It was probably the highlight of the trip for me. Alexa went on stage for a quick dance competition. I could have gone to the Luau every night.

Friday morning we had an activity that Justin found for us. It was the Pirate Adventure. The girls were given eye patches and bandanas. The had to solve clues on the boat to find the location of the treasure. Once we were there they pulled it up onto the boat. They had pirate swords and went to battle with the crew. The girls LOVED it. It was Addy's high light for sure. That afternoon we went and got out traditional family ornament. In the evening we went out to a hibachi restaurant. So yummy but sad since it was our last night at the hotel.

Saturday morning we all decided we want to go back to North Shore. We stopped at the Dole Plantation on our way. It was neat to see all the pineapples that we enjoy so much. Outside of the train ride, we didn't see much else. I did get some yummy corn before we found a shrimp truck for lunch. After lunch we went to Waianae Beach. The waves were unsafe for most of it. The big drive to go there was so Justin could jump off the rock. He did and even got thrown around in waves for awhile. We have wonderful videos to remind him why he was so sore. Afterwards we went to get shaved ice from Masumoto. It was highly known for the best shaved ice on the island. I felt a little under impressed but it was still fun to do. The best thing about it was the cost. It was the first "cheap" thing we did all week. After we had our treat we went to the airport. We spent 2 hours in the United Lounge eating dinner and relating. Our flight was a red eye. The girls slept for most of it and for the 2 hour drive home.

Hands down the best Cox vacation to date.