Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hawaii - Part 3

After our solemn trip to the Arizona Memorial, we visited the USS Bowfin submarine and the USS Missouri battleship (this was where the Instrument of Surrender was signed by Japan and the Allies).  This is right up my alley - I love all things historical.  The kids really enjoyed it too!

Ian, Cecily & Grandpa on the deck of the USS Bowfin

One of the few pictures I managed to snap of the interior - the people behind us wanted to go faster than the audio tour, grr

Ian, Allegra, Cecily, and Aunt Becky

Heading towards the USS Missouri (my favorite - I'm really the one who insisted we had to tour it)

Daddy and his little girls

Colin manning an anti-aircraft gun

All six of the kids plus Dad (a rare feat!)

The spot where the Instrument of Surrender was signed (the Canadian signed on the wrong line, which I find uproariously funny)

Allegra, Elinor & Cecily in one of the multitudinous sleeping cabins for the enlisted crew (they are my children, they complained about how itchy the wool blankets were)

Dad and Phoenix hanging out in front of the on-board Post Office - we can't let Dad pass up an opportunity to pose with anything having to do with his long-time employer

Elinor, Allegra, Ian, and Cecily after our two hour tour

Allegra hamming it up with her sisters (she's mimicking the very famous sailor kissing a nurse pose behind her)

Hawaii - Part 2

On our first full day in Hawaii, we headed straight to the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.  I've been three times now, and it's a powerful experience.  I feel so privileged that my children have experienced it.  My kiddos can sometimes be rambunctious, but the sober mood that pervaded the movie, boat ride, and memorial itself definitely was felt even by the little ones.  Cecily is very verbal, and she talked a lot about the "boys who died on the boat".  She thought the oil stains were rainbows for "the boys", and I suppose that's one way of looking at it.  
On the boat ride over

The "rainbows for the boys"

Colin was fascinated by the remains of the ship itself, and the tropical fish which inhabited it

James, Ian, and Cecily

The little girls with their Aunt Liz (Cecily was stuck to her the entire trip, I think) at the Visitor Center afterwards

Hero & Cecily, with Uncle Troy and Phoenix in the background (baby-wearing is so manly, isn't it?)

Ian, in a rare photo (he shies away from the camera)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hawaii - Part 1

In the few days after Mom passed away that James and I were in Wisconsin, Dad told us that they'd made plans and provision to honor Mom's wishes to have her ashes scattered in Hawaii.  It took a lot of planning to make the trip a reality, but in July it finally happened.  The eight of us, plus the rest of my family (Dad, brothers and their wives, and our niece), hit Oahu and soaked it all in for a week.  It was a very emotional week, full of highs and lows.  My family and I feel so privileged that we got to share that experience and will treasure the many memories forever.  Dad rented a lovely beach home in Honolulu for all of us.  We enjoyed fun, frolicking on the beach and in the ocean, sitting in hot tub and watching a lightning storm (smart, eh?), and lots of good eats, including some fresh-caught fish from the boys.  

We ate most every meal outside, on the extensive decks.  Pineapple was, of course, a staple!

The ocean was literally 10 feet from the hot tub, and the hot tub was under a canopy of palm trees.

Dad fueling for the day with LOTS of coffee (I sympathize).

Ian babysitting his littlest cousin, Phoenix

Elle and Cecily crashed pretty hard our first night - the plane ride was grueling, and then the waiting in the airport for the rental vehicles, sheesh!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Saying Goodbye, Again

It was my mother's wishes to be cremated upon her death.  Deciding what to do with her ashes was a process that took over a year to happen.  A small bit of them were kept in Wisconsin, where she was born, raised, and lived her entire life.  They rest close to Dad, her parents, and my brothers.  We had the privilege of spreading another small portion here, in Idaho.  Mom loved Idaho - in fact, she'd said to me that if she couldn't be laid to rest in Hawaii, that she'd like to be scattered from Bogus Basin, our local mountain and a place she and Dad visited nearly every time they were here.  Although we were able to honor her request for a Hawaiian burial (more on that to come), we decided to scatter a few ashes here.  We wanted to do this as a family, so we waited until my Dad and brothers and their wives and our niece flew out to Idaho in July.  Then we drove up to Bogus and hiked up to a a nice high spot.  She loved the view of the city from up there, and that's exactly where we laid a portion of what remained of her earthly body to rest.  It was emotional for everyone, but the moment was peaceful and God-filled.  We took a few pictures and as we were getting ready to leave, Allegra picked a wildflower and laid it on ledge from which we'd sprinkled her ashes.  

A view of the mountains and foothillls to one side

A view of the city to the other

The kids with Uncle Ryan and Aunt Liz

Grandpa and all his grandkids - our six plus cousin Phoenix

"Children of the Heavenly Father
Safely in His Bosom Gather
Nestling bird no star in heaven
Such a refuge e'er was given"

Elinor Turns Three

Well, now I'm up to mid-July.  And I'm renewing my membership in the "Bad Mom" club yet again, because apparently I have no pictures from Hero's 14th birthday party.  But, rest assured, she did turn 14 two days before Elle and she did have a party and cake and such.  I promise.  We celebrated Elle's birthday at Nana and Papa's house with a barbeque, some swimming, and a VERY green and pink cake.  Three's been pretty sweet so far, because it's meant being potty trained and starting preschool!