The Beach Boys

Posted by Tamie on Wednesday, May 30, 2007

We're still learning to blog so this posting is a bunch of disconnected pictures then some random thoughts about being here. Have fun weeding through.

Caitlin (Tamie was her EFY counselor back in '99) and Jeanelle (her younger sister) came on the 16th. Having them here has been so much fun. We've gone to the beach with the boys almost every day. The boys love to play “robot” with them. They pretend to be robots while the boys use the remote control to tell them what to do. They also offer tons of added energy playing in the waves, tag at the park or just rounding them up or winding them down. I've enjoyed trading off walking and talking with them each morning. It's fun to play Ticket to Ride and hang out at night. And they are so helpful. It's the coolest thing to gear yourself up for dishes after you get the kids in bed and come downstairs and they're all done. They've also surprised us with clean bathrooms, washed windows and even spent a whole Saturday watching the kids so we could go to the temple and dinner with Rob and Emily Smith (staying a few days).

Auntie Erin (everyone calls each other auntie—kind of like “sister” in the church but extended to the whole community) invited Ty and Tanner to a mommy-run preschool this Tuesday. They were doing the letter “O”. We read about ocean animals, traced our hands then colored them and cut them out to make octopuses but rather than just talk about the ocean we then held hands and went on a little field trip out her back door to see and play in the ocean. I thought “Wow! Only in Hawaii”

My favorite thing about Hawaii ? I had to answer it's those peaceful moments that come so naturally and frequently here: Sitting on our deck overlooking the ocean for scripture study, going to sleep to the sound of the waves, sitting under the plumeria tree while the kids play, being at the beach where time stands still but flies when you look at a clock. You just watch the waves thinking “wow, I wonder how big the next one will be” then it's like two hours later. Wherever you are if you stop and look around you see colorful plants with palm trees or the ocean or sharp green mountain peaks on the horizon, you hear birds, smell flowers, plants and fruit, and feel the warmth that just relaxes you.

Something else high up on my favorite list is going to Foodland. That might seem sarcastic since food prices are double what they are at home but I'm serious. The place is so nicely air conditioned that I'll just walk the isles pretending to look and just linger. I always feel rejuvenated after a good dose of air conditioning. The laundromat has the same effect. Even though it's like $5 a load I love the air conditioning and I love how quick you can do laundry.

I have to admit it's an adjustment not having any of our usual activities and toys accessible. We've had to be more creative and kind of bored sometimes. One day we found a tree that drops small bouncy ball sized fruit and rolled it down someones driveway. We've thrown pebbles in an old paint bucket. While the boys generously let Mommy nap Saturday they discovered some fallen coconuts in the neighbors yard. Ryan got out the sledgehammer. One was full of ants, one full of worms but the next one was good (at least we hope so, since we ate it). The boys collected them for a couple hours and Ty announced it's his favorite thing to do in Hawaii and he's going to do it every day.

They have really cool bugs that look like leaves. You could easily squish it if you weren't paying attention. The boys and I were watching a slug the other day that we thought was really big. But then we saw one some friends collected. It escaped from it's container and was crawling up their wall. I wish I had a picture. It must have been ½ foot long and really fat. Wow.

We finally discovered a park in the BYU faculty housing area. Besides the play area and basketball hoops, there was an old skateboard left out. The kids had fun laying on their belly and rolling themselves with their hands. We even had an angelic Tanner moment where he was helping Jordan roll. I took a little movie just so we have evidence.

Speaking of Tanner, it's really too bad he wasn't born to parents who like pets. He is all over Buddy, sneaking him “treats,” throwing him rocks or dirt to catch (dumb dog), laying on him, asking if he can come wherever we go. He even slipped and called me Buddy once today. Another thing about Tanner is that he waits to go pee until it's practically out so out of desperation (very few public restrooms here) we hid him in the bushes a couple times. Apparently he's decided that's a much better idea than going on a toilet. We catch him dropping his pants in the middle of the yard, park, beach—you name it.

Ty is up to lesson 20 in his 100 lessons for learning to read book. He's finally getting excited about reading because he feels successful and enjoys having Mom give him one-on-one. Emily and Rob brought Ty his scholastic book order including a “mom and me” cookbook. So far we've made a fruit dip shaped like a fish and an avocado vegetable dip that looks like a frog. We're planning on doing potato mice this week. He keeps begging to fish but we're not sure how. We're hoping to figure that out. They fished at the Polynesian culture center with sticks, string and dough bait until it was all gone (over an hour). We only made it to three activities (if you count throwing pebbles in the river as one activity) in the three hours we were there since our kids just fixate on what they're doing and don't want to leave. If they're happy, we figure we can just chill. It's just not worth prodding them on sometimes.

We've discovered some fun food here. One thing you all have to try (and we're amazed we've never thought of doing it) is adding sliced bananas to your pancake batter. while you're at it, add in some shredded coconut. To top it off they have coconut syrup you can buy to drizzle on top. Mmmmmm...

As wonderful as it is, we do miss you all. Take a minute to let us know how you're doing. Aloha.

The Sign on Opportunity's Door

Posted by Ryan on Sunday, May 13, 2007

Well, here we are in Hawaii!

The house is beautiful, albeit not completely finished. The ocean sings us to sleep at night. The weather is warm and sunny. We have no television except to watch a couple of DVDs that we brought. We have no stove, no microwave, no oven, no carpet, no air conditioning. We brought a very limited set of toys. Our balcony extends above the wave breakers and sea turtles pop their head out of the bay that we overlook. Lizards climb about the walls and rocks and feast on the many active mosquitoes. Food and household items cost about twice what they do on the mainland. Walmart and Costco are an hour away.

The lazy Kamehameha Highway separates our road from the Hawaii temple and from BYU-Hawaii, which each stands as a testament to the ennobling influence of the Church in this city. LDS chapels are scattered all about the city to welcome the beautiful saints of Laie to worship. The local grocery store is closed on Sunday; on Saturday it's full of warm, friendly faces of various ethnicities and backgrounds. It seems as if every aisle is obstructed with a pair of people who have recognized each other and have stopped to catch up on old times.

We've been here two and a half weeks and I'm ashamed that it has taken me this long to understand what a sacred and special opportunity this can be. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience like a mission, or a study abroad to Jerusalem. Tamie has been the exemplar to me and frequently shares with me her thoughts and feelings of this place. Clearly, she is being taught from on high.

We've heard from a lot of people back home whose reaction to this opportunity has been to label it as luck. Certainly, we are fortunate to be given the chance to be here, but it is so much more than that. To apply luck as the only label would be to neglect the effort it took to get here and the hardships we endure to be here. For example, it took some effort and courage to arrange things at work. And the kids have had a difficult time adjusting to the new environment and routine; they've been very demanding. And as lucky as we are, I have to believe that experiences like this are available to anybody who is willing to go through the effort to seek it and find it.

My Grandpa Heaton used a phrase that fits well: “The sign on the door of opportunity reads 'push'.”


Posted by Tamie on Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Today marks the end of our first week in Hawaii. We thought it would be fun to share our top tens with you:

Ryan's cool wreck dive where he saw ships 100 feet under water. They swam through the ship and saw eels and tons of fish. A huge turtle swam up to them. (It's only number ten because I wasn't there). We actually all got to see big turtles at turtle beach--way cool.

The sweet sliding glass door in our house that's as big as the wall. When you open it it's like removing a wall and you become part of the stunning ocean view.

Fresh pineapple, papaya and coconut off the side of the road. This guy just cut it up for us with his machete. Cheap and delicious.

Shaved ice with ice cream in the bottom drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. Jordan made the rounds eating out of everyone's until they were all gone. I was also able to buy one of my little zip purses with a matching beach bag there.

Riding the pineapple train at the Dole plantation (Jordan refused to get off). We fed these CRAZY orange fish afterwards. When you threw the food they were swimming on top of each other out of the water to get it--like they wold sacrifice their life for it. It reminded us a little of the way Hyrum eats. On the way out we stopped at the gift shop and smelled these incredible cinnamon roasted macadamian nuts that made us determined to go back.

Watching the boys (Ty especially) love the beach and CONSTANTLY asking to go. They always want Buddy to come (The Doxeys dog) so they can throw sticks for him. Tanner seems to think fish will get him--no thanks to the Jonah story.

The boys following their "treasure maps" on an incredibly beautiful hike to a waterfall. When we arrived we had to swim in it even though I was fully clothed. those who know me understand that I couldn't pass a waterfall up--no matter what I was wearing.

The People: Getting time to talk to and be with with each of the Heatons. One if the new people with us is Sarah, Chris's girlfriend. It was SO fun to see him with someone and get to know her better. The locals are also fun to be around; we loved hearing simple, grateful Hawaiian testimonies on Sunday and have REALLY enjoyed some of the warm smiles that have been given to us.

Hawaiian lushness and beauty: fragrant yellow and white flowers everywhere, rainbow trees, palm trees, HUGE trees with hundreds of branches and vines growing up them. Walks/ jogs to the temple are especially beautiful.

HOT Hawaiian nights-- oo la la. Listening to the ocean at night is SO romantic. It's also very loud. The first two nights we thought Hyrum slept through the night but it turns out we just didn't hear him because of the ocean.

Now for the top ten bad things about this week:

10. No carpet or kitchen or mirrors in the house.

9. A cliff in the backyard and an uncovered deck upstairs that make us a little nervous.

8. How to deal with all this sand. What do I do at the beach, for example, with Hyrum who just wants to stuff sand in his mouth? He gags it up but doesn't seem to learn any better.

8. Having to drive an hour to Walmart or Costco.

7. No car seat for Jordan who is always taking himself out of his seatbelt.

6. Beautiful weather can also feel hot and muggy sometimes (Ryan's contribution).

5. As nice as everyone is about it, four kids are just sometimes a bother.

4. Mosquito and bug bites (better weather= bigger bugs). Karynn got stung by a bee. Ouch! Every time a bug touches Tanner he thinks a spider bit him and he's going to turn into Spiderman overnight. He actually introduced himself as Spiderman in church by lifting his shirt up (he thought it would be obvious when everyone saw his body I guess).

3. Only two people have looked at our house in West Jordan.

2. Adjusting to jet lag and a very different living experience for the kids. Jordan's had the most break downs.

1. Tamie getting strep for the fourth time since January. It is very likely she'll have to get her tonsils out when we get home.

Well, that's a stinky note to end on. Life is beautiful here and we're excited to get our family settled. Mark Doxey will be working on the house all the time--carpet should be here next week. We're excited to have those who are coming to visit. I'm excited about just going to the beach every day with the kids. Being far away makes us more anxious for news from home so if you get a minute then please drop us a line.

Sorry, you'll have to wait for pictures because we left the conversion cord home. Ryan bought a new one--we just have to wait for it to be shipped.