Hawaii 2016




*MORE PICTURES COMING SOON* I’m working on getting pics from all sources (my camera, my phone, Wyatt’s phone, Kellie’s phone, etc. etc.)


Here is the report of the second half of our trip:

On Saturday:

We went to the swap meet/market at Aloha Stadium. We got souvenirs for the kids (Olivia told me later that Mrs. (Laura) Bell asked her while at school if she was missing her parents. She shrugged and said sure, but it would be worth it if she got a ukulele out of the deal – we were happy to oblige).

In the afternoon Wyatt and I went and visited E.E. who lives in Hawaii. It was Leo’s birthday and she was getting ready for a party. We helped her get ready!

That evening we went down to Waikiki to sit at the beach and watch the people go by (we didn’t have swim gear). Then we went to dinner at a restaurant called The Shore Bird.



IMG_7883On Sunday: We were going to Pearl Harbor. I ordered tickets to the USS Arizona, which I had heard were hard to get if you didn’t get them ahead of time. But we weren’t really sure what else we would want to see or how hard it would be to get tickets to the other parts. So we decided we’d better be there right when it opened. We got there at 9:05 am. We were able to get our tickets to the Arizona switched to an earlier time (we were set for 2:45 pm, we changed to 9:30 am) and it was a good thing we did because they stopped the tours about 10 am due to winds. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the park listening to all the tours and looking at all the displays. We were there until they closed, we caught the last shuttle from the USS Missouri back to the parking lot, and even had to had over our audio sets through the closed and locked gate. We were sure glad we got to go and spend that time learning about this heart wrenching piece of our American History. It made me so grateful for my many blessings, so proud to be an American, and so somber to think of the sacrifices of those who served and died in World War II. IMG_7908



On Monday:

We decided to go back down to Waikiki and spend the day at the beach. It was a relaxing day on the beach.

On Tuesday:

We were going to go down and snorkel in Hanauma Bay, but it was closed. Luckily we figured that out before we drove all the way there. Instead we turned around and drove up to the North Shore and spend the morning in Haleiwa relaxing on a windy beach (it was a little cool so none of us except Wyatt got in the water).

In the Afternoon:

We went into town to get a shaved ice from Motsumoto’s – the most famous shaved ice on the island so I’m told. It was good. We looked around the shops in the cute little town. Then we went to the Dole plantation.

In the Evening:

We went to another luau at the Marriott. It was very similar to the PCC (in fact, everyone in the luau originally worked there), but it was much more interactive and up-close. It was a ton of fun, and we had a fun time looking around the hotel too.

On Wednesday:

We went back down to Honolulu and this time went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. It was great time. We were there into the early afternoon.

In the afternoon we went and climbed Diamond Head. It was an easy hike, which is good because doing anything physical when Kellie’s involved can be a little intimidating ;)

That evening we went back up to Laie where Wyatt and I met up with Cy and Emily again for dinner. We just talked and laughed the evening away.

On Thursday:

It was our last day! After packing and loading everything up we met up with Emily at White Plains beach (a military beach, she hooked us up) and took some surf lessons. I’m happy to say we all got up! Wyatt got up on his very first ride, the rest of us were up on our second.


At one point Wyatt and I even caught the same wave and rode it in together! (Too bad there are no pictures of that!)

Surfing was not nearly as hard as we thought it would be in terms of getting up/balance, but way harder than we anticipated in just the paddling out to the waves. We all got pretty wiped/tired.

In the afternoon we went to Costco to get a few last things before we left. Then we went and hike Manoa Falls. It was a beautiful and fun hike!

In the evening we went to dinner at a restaurant called Nicco’s on the pier. It was delicious and fun way to end our Hawaiian vacation!

Then we caught the red eye home.

What a fun and full vacation!

A Letter to the Lovelies While We’re In Hawaii




Dear Little Lovelies,
Aloha! That is how you say “Hello” in Hawaii.

Hawaii is a set of islands in the middle of the pacific ocean. Here there is a unique and beautiful culture. We are staying on an island called Oahu. It is the capital of Hawaii. We are staying in a small town called Laie. In this town there is a college called BYU-Hawaii. That’s right! It’s just like BYU that is by us, only it is in Hawaii! There is also a very pretty temple here. Daddy and I went to the temple the other morning. Also, our place where we are staying is right by the beach, just like when we went to Newport. So in the mornings or evenings we go out on the beach.

One day when we were here we went snorkeling in “Sharks Cove.” Snorkeling is where you swim in the water with a tube in your mouth so you can breath under water. This way you can see all the beautiful fish and sea life. We saw bright colored fish and even a big sea turtle. The turtle let us touch his shell, and swim all around him. But when we tried to grab onto him he would swim away so fast that we would have to let go. It was a lot of fun.



After snorkeling we went on a hike in a canyon to a big waterfall. The hike was gorgeous! There were flowers and beautiful giant trees. You kids would have climbed every tree. They were like the tree at Tarazan’s treehouse in Disneyland, except without the tree house. We jumped in the pool at the falls and swam. The water was cold, and there was a strong current, so you had to wear a life vest even if you were a good swimmer. But we had a great time. DSCF0151IMG_7710



The next day we went to the Laie temple. It is a beautiful temple that was the first temple built outside of Utah. It was dedicated in 1919! When you stand on the steps of the temple you can see a straight view right out to the ocean. It was very pretty.





That afternoon we went and did a ropes course. We put on these special ropes all over our body, called a harness. Then we got into these funny cars that were kinda like our four-wheelers, and they drove us to the top of the mountain jungle here in Hawaii. When we got there we climbed this big set of stairs to the top of a platform – kinda like your playhouse in the back yard, only a lot higher. When we were at the top, they tied our ropes to a wire, and we jumped off the platform and ziplined down through the trees and farms of Hawaii. We went on 8 different zip lines, two different belays (where you climb down from a really high place), and even two suspension bridges across the jungle. On the zip lines we even did some tricks, like riding backwards, or upside down. It was a lot of fun. You have to be 7 years old to do it, and the whole time I was thinking how much fun you kids would have doing something like that!


Yesterday we spent the morning snorkeling at Turtle Bay. We saw fish just like in “Finding Nemo.” We saw a nemo fish and a lot of others.

In the afternoon we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, or the PCC. It is owned and operated by the church. It is a lot like Disneyland except without any rides. Kinda like Tom Sawyer’s island or something. We went on a canoe ride, watched a movie where our seats moved and water got sprayed on us, and watched shows about the different cultures of Polynesia. We even tried to make fire by rubbing two sticks together. That night we went to a fun dinner at the PCC, and then went and saw a show about all the different Polynesian Cultures. At the show they had fire dancers who spun sticks of fire around and threw them all over. It was so cool!

Today we are going to the market to look for Ukulele’s and Tiki’s and other fun things to bring home to you cute kids. I sure do miss you guys, and I know daddy does too. Every activity we do we thing “Oh, wouldn’t the kids just love this!” — and we wish you were here with us.

I love you! I know you are being extra helpful to grandma. I think about you every day!

Love you all,

Mommy & Daddy

Happy Birthday Wyatt #39




IMG_0333Wyatt has entered his last year in his 30’s!

For his birthday, and considering how overwhelmed and busy he’s been, I arranged for the kids to spend the night at Grandma’s house so he and I could have some legit down time.

We went downtown to get some Southern BBQ at R&R BBQ, then went back up town to watch movies at home. We sat around and did nothing in particular. It was heavenly.

*Of course, the minute the kids are away, we miss them like crazy*

Saturday we slept in and took a slow morning before going out and (what else) looking at Real Estate. We picked up the kids and headed home in time for the adult session of Stake Conference, which Wyatt was logistically in charge of. IMG_0334

Sunday (his actual birthday) we celebrated with presents as soon as he got home from his morning meetings. Everett especially couldn’t wait to give Daddy his present – an army guy with a parachute. Everett kindly offered to help dad play with it. ;)

That evening we had the Smiths and Reimann’s come over for ice cream and cake.


Girls Weekend




Olivia has told me all winter that she was really looking forward to our special girls weekend. But when spring break came and we were WAAAAY too busy (well, Wyatt was too busy – remember this) to get out of town.

Olivia was worried it wouldn’t happen. Frankly, I didn’t have much hope either. Finally instead of asking me she went straight to her daddy. She told him how disappointed she would be if we missed our annual trip. He said we’d better do it then!

So we went to St. George. We left on a Friday afternoon and came home Sunday morning before church. We packed a whole lot of fun in that short time though. Some things we did:

  • Played with our cousins
  • Went to dinner at a Hawaiian cafe
  • Went shoe shopping, Olivia got these:

Mint Green Converse Shoes

  • Went out to ride the horses, got caught in a wind storm and did not ride the horses
  • Went hiking at the Red Cliffs – see pictures:




  •  Went to dinner at Pizza Pie Cafe – Olivia’s favorite resturaunt!
  • Went to Aunt Karen’s to make a fun flip-flop art project of Olivia’s desire!

As you can see we had a great time! I’m so glad we’ve started this fun tradition!

Softball, Baseball, and T-Ball




After a game one night during spring break, I had all the neighborhood baseball buddies come over to our house for a late-over movie night.

This year we decided to play spring ball rather than summer ball – we’re trying to have less busyness in the summer.

Olivia is playing softball in a draper league. Her games are Monday’s and Wednesday’s with practices on either Tuesday’s or Thursday’s depending . . . all the way down in south Draper.

Calvin and Everett are on the same baseball team, along with their neighborhood buddies, Braydon, Jace, Sawyer, and Owen. Wyatt is coaching that team. Their games are also on Monday and Wednesday nights up the street by the high school.


Roo’s little T-Ball team.

And Roo is playing on a tee-ball team with his buddy, our neighbor, Reed. They have games on Monday and Wednesday nights at the same fields as the other boys, though at different times.

So . . . Monday’s and Wednesdays have been – ahem – hectic. But all the kids are doing great and having a ton of fun!

Sunday – The Book of Mormon




Last winter I was awake in the early hours with a little one. As I rocked the baby in the pink-grey light, I really tried to meditate on the things that challenge me.

One thing I worried about was how to guide my children in the gospel. How would I protect and fortify their growing testimonies against the palpable darkness that is permeating all around me?

So that morning I listened to the creak of the rocker, and prayed about how to guide my children. And the answer came clearly: The Book of Mormon.

I told Wyatt about that impression. The Book of Mormon would be the key to giving my children sound doctrinal testimonies of the gospel that will anchor them to the Church of Jesus Christ. Even when others have testimonies that waver and question and doubt, those who have real understanding and knowledge of the Book of Mormon will be able to withstand. It was such a clear and simple, and powerful answer. And I instantly recognized both the simple truth and the great obviousness of it. It has renewed my commitment to our scripture reading with the littles.

This week I saw this, and it reminded me of that early morning answer.