Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Bush District Youth Temple Trip

This was and will be the only Bush District Youth Temple trip in the history of the church for two reasons. Number 1, this was the first time the youth from the bush have been organized in such a way to be able to travel to the temple as a group, and number 2, the Bush District was dissolved by the Church on Sunday, February 21st, 2010. The three Anchorage stake have now changed boundaries to include the seven bush branches. Our stake has Bethel, Nome and Kotzebue. And it's a wonderful change for them and for us. My sweetheart worked for about six months to bring this little trip to pass and it was worth every minute of it. Members of the stake sponsored the youth by donating Alaska airlines flyer miles to get them into Anchorage and some very special members of our ward housed and fed them. I was blessed with 9 "stripling warriors" for the weekend.

Fourteen youth from four of those branches participated in two temple sessions, one on Friday evening and another on Saturday afternoon. Some had never been to the temple and one youth hadn't been out of Bethel for four years. Three recently moved to the bush from Utah due to changes in family situations and the economy.
It was difficult to get good pictures because there were so many people trying to take pictures. Representatives from the temple presidency, the mission presidency, the former bush district presidency and youth leaders from all three stakes were on hand to welcome and chat with the youth. These youth are from Bethel.

These kids represent the Bush Branch from three different locations, Aluknuk, Clarks Point, and one I can't remember, pronounce or spell, but it starts with an "S". Dillingham.

Dutch Harbor. She was a fun girl. We had a blast at neon bowling and she holds the group record for most $$ spent on clothes at the mall!!
The cousins from Bethel. #3 was my right hand man! He helped me pick out baby clothes in the mall, chaperoned me to the restroom, made sure the car doors were locked, and kept us all in stitches most of the time.
In addition to the temple the youth enjoyed some shopping, a regional church dance, neon bowling, long, hot showers (water is very expensive in the bush), Costco pizza, breakfast at Denny's (their choice , not mine!), about 100 chocolate chip cookies, too many arcade games, playing 10,000, Sunday church meetings in Eagle River and a stake youth fireside. We had some wonderful times that I will never forget. I hope they don't either.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ahhh... The Beaches

Mom at the beach. Not sure which one. Glass Beach. The description is at the bottom of the blog because blogger is dumb.
The best part of going to an island is obviously the beaches. There are so many beautiful and varied beaches that we love for many reasons. This is a photo of Poipu beach during the alleged tsunami. We joked that the before and afters look pretty much the same. And we are grateful for it, but we were awakened at 6 am by the tsunami alarm system, which is very effective, we had to tune to see if we were in an evacuation area (we were) and then pack up really fast in case we had to evacuate (which we didn't). But it was great emergency training. We made a quick trip to Koloa Town to pick up some quick food as our supplies had dwindled. And we did run the road block on the way back from Koloa Town to avoid being stuck away from our condo. We were mostly sad for all the people in Chile who were so affected by the earthquake. Sunrise at Bellows Beach on the east side of Oahu.

Bellows Beach, one of the prettiest. This is the view outside the ant and centipede abiding beach house. The kids should recognize this.

Another view of Bellows Beach. It was so windy there we couldn't even sit out.
A new find. Shipwreck Beach at Poipu. It's not a swimming beach unless you are a surfer, but it's lovely. The only downside is that the locals do come there to surf which makes it less family friendly. Unless you want your child to learn some new vocabulary. I digress. There is a trail head here as well that leads around the shore and up to the overlook but we never made it up there. Next time.

This is Tunnels Beach on the north shore from the air. It's a great snorkeling beach during the summer when it's calm. It was not calm at the time. The whole north shore was mostly closed due to high waves and stronger than normal currents.
I can't remember this one - maybe Glass Beach? But how lovely it is.
Another new find. Salt Pond Beach in Hanapepe. Absolutely beautiful in every way. Nice swimming, nice snorkeling and the views are lovely. The photo doesn't do it justice.
My brother David and I at Poipu, according to Dick. I really can't tell this time. It was at sunset, I think, his first evening on the island.
Glass Beach. Totally made of glass. Truly amazing. The story goes that nearby was the dumping area and over the years all the glass was more or less crushed and smoothed by the sea and deposited on this shore. All the sand was actually glass. It's lots of sizes and colors. I brought a bag full home for my collection. It only caused a mild stir with the TSA. There was also a monk seal napping on the shore.
We miss the beach!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Surfing Weiner Dog

We have been to Hanalei Bay three times and every time the weather has not been so good. It's a lovely bay however, and there's a small eatery that has wonderful fish tacos so that makes up for it. We missed it with Steph but found it while my brother was visiting the following week. Lovely beach ladies!
And the surfing wiener dog.
He actually fell in and as soon as he was back on the board he was ready to go.

What a cute little guy.

Poipu, Kauai

Steph and Dick just after the helicopter ride. It was a lot of fun! The monk seal that swam ashore for a long nap..I think she was there for a couple of days. Steph took this photo of us right after dinner at the The Beach House. It's a lovely restaurant overlooking the ocean, great food, and the company wasn't bad!
Me and Steph at the mall in Lihue. It's not such a great mall, but it has lovely outdoor plants.
Dick took this one of me in the helicopter. Steph and I were all that because we got to sit in the front seat. Woohoo!
I'm out of time - more photos later. Aloha!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lowlights, sort of

There was very little about our vacation that we would change. I could live without the centipede and all the ants, but that was only for a couple of days. It rained our last day there and I was a little disappointed because I left the beach early the day before to get my hair cut and it did cost more than I usually pay for a really good cut. The wind was pretty crazy a lot of the time but then there are always other places to go to get out of it. And there was that one little incident with the rental car on Kauai, but so far nothing has come of that either. So by and large it was a great trip in almost every way. Except for a few unwanted pounds that I brought home. I hope to get some photos up tonight. Mahalo!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!

We arrived back in Alaska around 5:30am this morning, picked up luggage and arrived home around 6:30am, asleep in bed around 6:31 am. I am definitely having a very hard time typing since I haven't touched a keyboard bigger than my iPhone in two weeks! Lots of correcting.

Pictures are forthcoming. I got up at 9am and proceeded to try and organize my near dead self enough to attend my first presidency meeting in my new Relief Society presidency. This was the calling I was extended about six weeks ago but circumstances prevented my being sustained until yesterday, still in my absence. That's a long time to keep a secret! Too long as a matter of fact so I just told some people. Hehe. But they were people who could keep secrets, like my sweet children who are too busy to think much about my comings and goings anyway, which is fine.

Tried to go to work but after seeing five cars off the road (one completely flipped over) and more snow coming down I called my boss and let me know I'd be working from home today!

Then I picked up some groceries, another task requiring way too much brain power for me today. I could go in a couple of different directions here but I am going to try and keep my comments on track. "I LOVE MY FAMILY!!!" We enjoyed Stephanie being able to come over to Kauai for 5 days and spend some quality time with mom and dad and then my brother came over for the other 9 days. It was a very unique experience. And some really fun times that none of us will ever forget. It's going to take me a few days to get back into the swing of things because we were gone for two full weeks and that's the longest vacation we have ever had in Hawaii.

The helicopter ride around Kauai
Hiking the Na Pali cost trail (or part of it)
Grilling at the clubhouse
Dinner at The Beach House and Plantation Gardens
Laying on the beach at Poipu
The wildlife, whales, seals, turtles, peacocks, birds, exotic fish, chickens, cows, and horses
Fabric shopping!!!
The soap shop
Glass Beach and we have glass to prove it
The sunrise and sunsets
Lapperts ice cream
Beatles music
Hiking Diamond Head
Farmers markets
Waikiki beach
Shaved ice

We are also very grateful for the technology that allowed us to hear our last Bush District Conference as it was officially dissolved and absorbed by the three Anchorage stakes. As a result Dick and I were both released from our callings. And more technology whereas we could watch our stake conference via the Internet from our condo in Kauai as Dick was sustained onto our stake high council. Along with the three new bush branches, Dick and I were the only ones with access to that link.

Lowlights tomorrow!