Posted by Tamie on Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Some of you know this is our first "year of jubilee" as a family. At least every seven years we want our family to experience another culture for a few months pulling ourselves away from familiar things, taking a break, learning from new people, renewing our goals and commitments. These weeks in Hawaii have fit this description. It has been easier to feel the Spirit with so much beauty and such little distraction around us. We're voluntarily more quiet here. Often the environment is just too captivating to disrupt with noise. We often choose to walk instead of drive. We roll the car windows down and turn off the radio. We eat or play outside instead of in. We often don't know what time it is. Now we've been in Kauai two days and as we work on this blog we hear crickets and smell incredible night blooming jasmine.

I wanted to share a few thoughts we've had here and Ryan is going to post something that talks more about what we've actually been doing.

These people do a great job at loving each other. They are much less inhibited in expressions of affection: waving vigorously across a room, holding your arm while making a comment to you cheek to cheek, hugging, patting, smiling. On one of my bad days I was opting to walk home rather than ride in a car of overtired kids. My countenance and shoulders were drooping. A sister in the ward drove by. She actually honked to get my attention and gave me a warm wave and smile. This is a sister whom, besides exchanging looks, I had only had exchanged a brief comment with one time.

Another great way they express love is singing 'Aloha Oi' when people move out of the ward. They have it taped in the back of the hymn book and after the closing song of sacrament everyone stands. The family or person goes up to the front and people sing as they put leis on them. It feels so nice. So many families have left our ward at home and I never got to express my love to them. This is a great tradition. People wear leis for special events but after being here for awhile we have also started to notice an even better use of the lei. We've noticed a few sisters who often wear leis to church then leave with bare shoulders by the end. They watch for someone to give it to then do it. In Kauai today we were really struggling with our tired kids and after the meeting a sister kindly gave me her lei along with words of love and comfort as a mother of three boys. It was so beautiful and lifted me tremendously. Ryan and I keep trying to come up with something we could do in Utah that is similar.

As far as what we've done these last couple months, we had a pretty regular routine down in Oahu. In the morning Ryan started work early and I went on a walk, often with one of our guests, pushing Hyrum in the stroller. We would have breakfast and family prayer. Hyrum would go down for a nap then off to the beach with the others--usually Kokololio. Ryan called when Hyrum woke up then we'd come home for lunch and naps. After naps Ryan was done or almost done and we could go on another outing all together (park, beach, or something touristy). We had six weeks of guests that made it a lot more fun as well. It's so much better when you have people to share the memories with.

It may not sound like it but there has been some stress here. We felt a heavy weight to keep the house and car as nice as possible because they were both generously lent. Sometimes the kids get stir crazy or overtired and we still get irritable and have bad days. We also have the weight on our shoulders of selling our home, buying a home, backing out of buying a home, making and offer, getting rejected--we just kind of slide this stress into our days once in awhile. We're sure it would be a lot more intense if we weren't so removed from it. The day we left for Kauai was insane. Cleaning the house, the car, packing 13 bags, checking 13 bags, then waiting an extra hour for a delayed flight.

Only read this if you have a strong stomach. I was playing with Hyrum at the airport, holding him above me and giving him a wide mouthed smile. He actually threw up into my mouth, down my shirt and on my crotch area. I was so grossed out. I actually laughed out of shock and just went to the bathroom. Quite memorable.

Now we're in Kauai and will see many of you in a week. We're staying in a little cottage called "magic sunrise" or something. You can probably take a look on the internet. It's a beautiful property, if a bit rugged. It's painted very artistically and is super cute. The little pool is perfect for the kids. We're going to a fun little expensive train ride tomorrow then trying out kayaking with all the kids Tuesday. We'll be living up our last week as much as possible.

It will be sad to leave but fun to be home. You will probably be most surprised at how much Hyrum has changed--crawling like crazy and looking much older with a cute buzz. Enjoy the pictures. We love you all. Aloha.

Comments (2)

I love the pictures and just the whole description of your routine while you've been away! Thank you for sharing. You always have such great insight! I love the "give a lei" idea, I will have to think of something like that I can do here. Let me know what you come up with! We miss you guys!

Posted June 26, 2007 at 12:05 AM by Blogger Mindy

i love the newsletter and especially the pictures. your whole family looks like you are having a great life's experience. looks like we can learn from the island folks on how to be more inclusive friendly. thanks for sharing, i love you guys, looking forward to seeing you home soon.


Posted June 26, 2007 at 10:00 AM by Blogger DENNIS