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Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This is the view from my mom's is perfect.  She has this adorable out door furniture with comfy pillows that is perfect for sitting and relaxing. 

Sunday evening we scattered my dad's ashes and it was perfect.  It was meaningful, beautiful and of course emotional.  The sun's rays kissed the water as my mom, brother and I sent him out into the waves of the ocean.  Most appropriate as it was his very FAVORITE spot.  We celebrated with a dinner at Lelani's.  Although, I missed most of it and my dinner had to be boxed because miss Isabella was not in a cooperative mood.  She actually ran a very high fever for the first 3 days we were here.  She finally has been fever free for the last 24 hours and back to her old self.  She even touched the ocean today without trantruming. 

The kids go 100 miles an hour until the crash.  Grace is trying to collect any and every flower that she comes across (which means we have so many brown withering flowers around our condo).  I know sooner dispose of the old ones and a whole new crop of flowers appears!  She is so happy to be wearing make-up (which consists of lip gloss and a little pink eye shadow).  Hawaii is the only place I allow make-up right now :) 

Well...I would love to post more pictures but the connection is soooo slow.  Many pictures when we get home.  Mark spent the morning snorkeling off Molokini on a cruise.  He LOVED it. to dinner.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jet Setters

We made it!!! Currently, all 3 children are napping and I am sitting on the lanai with gecko's running underfoot, listening to the sound of tropical birds singing in the trees.  It is warm...83 degrees.  The smell of the nearby restaurant is wafting into the condo.  Fabulous.

It is weird to think that it is cold, and rainy and the holiday season is in full swing at home.  It is if we have been transported back to the lazy days of summer.  The sun sets at nearly 6pm and we are wearing shorts, tank tops and sun dresses.  My cheeks feel sun kissed and I spent nearly an hour snorkeling on the beach in front of our condo this morning.  I am bound and determined to see these turtles everyone talks about...but I haven't yet.  Lots of Dory and Nemo fish though :) 

Luke and Grace are fish...they would swim nearly non-stop if we let them.  The water is warm and it takes no time for your body to adjust to the temperature.  A little piece of heaven on earth.  Bella enjoys the beach as long as she has her aqua socks on so she can't feel the the sand, and she wants nothing to do with the big blue ocean. 

Family has been arriving and our group continues growing larger and larger and louder and louder (which most of it is Luke trying to be heard.)  It is so fun!

Tonight we are going to up to the Royal Lahina where we will spread my dads ashes.  I know it is going to be emotional for me so I am trying to prepare myself.  After that we are going out to dinner at Lalanis. 

Sorry I couldn't post more pictures but the connection is slow.  You can visit me on facebook and see more. 

Aloha!  Carissa

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

With a Heart of Thanksgiving...

A year has come and gone since these pictures were taken, and later this week the 5 of us will once again board a plane and fly 2500 miles to one of the most beautiful places in the world.  To say how THANKFUL I am for this opportunity AGAIN is an understatement.  I know I have done NOTHING to deserve to go again.  This is indeed a most extraordinary blessing, not only to share with our family of 5, but to share with our extended family of 18!...mimi and papa, uncle D and auntie Katie, my aunt's, uncle's and cousins and my sister-in-law's parents....I am truly BLESSED... My HEART is full of gratitude and thanksgiving during this time of year, for the blessings God has given to my family...

(Maui sunset)
This trip is a culmination of a year's worth of planning, organizing and dreaming.  It is a time to get together with those that we is a time to REMEMBER as we scatter my dad's ashes a long the shores of the Royal is a time to CELEBRATE life, joy and happiness...TOGETHER.     

(Luke (7) and Grace (5) last year at the Maui Ocean Center)

The kids will once again enjoy warm afternoon's swimming in the ocean, building sand castles or "making pies" as Grace and I did last year.  If a dip in the condo's pool is desired, it is only feet away from our patio.  Mark, Roger (my mom's husband) and Uncle D will be zipping down the lines of Haleakala through Skyline Eco Adventures.  Mark and Uncle D will be boarding a boat through Trilogy cruises and snorkeling one morning at the little island of Molokini.  I will be FRANTICALLY trying to keep up with the kids (ages 8, 6 and 1 years old) with my camera glued to me to try and capture each moment.  As the moments go to quickly and kids grow too fast....I got a new camera recently a Nikon digital SLR.  I am in LOVE!
(Beach in front of the condo...looking towards Wailea and the Grand Wailea).

I am thankful this year I will have the opportunity to have our laptop with us and I will be able to blog and share pictures as the trip happens.  I am very excited about that!

So my friends...we are mostly packed and ready...join us this next week via my blog to share this most magical and fun time as we discover Maui again in a new way...such as Bella trying to eat sand for the first time, Grace looking for coconuts every where we go, Luke eating 2nd breakfast at Mimi's condo, trying to find an excellent Hawaiian shave ice, watching my mom and Roger trying to BBQ on the beach...and more seriously to find closure and lay my dad to rest in a place he LOVED as much as me! 

See ya on the Islands...ALOHA!

Friday, November 18, 2011

What the World Needs...

...LESS worry about health care product safety....and MORE babies shampooing with cereal and applesauce...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Black Belt Training

He's back.....and he's in black!!!! Luke has officially upgraded to "Black Belt Training."  After having about 2 months off, Mark and I noticed that Luke was more "bouncy" at home, and tending to be hyper more often.  I wondered if there was a connection between more hyperactivity and karate.  So I did what I always do....I Googled!  After several hours of extensive google research (insert a giggle here), I did find that YES there is a connection.  In fact, karate, or martial arts, is the number one activity for children who have ADHD.  They are more successful in martial arts, than say baseball.  Mainly because it requires them to focus and allows them channel their punching, kicking, and oh yes..yelling in a positive appropriate manner.  Swimming is also another great activity for children with ADHD.  The resistance of the water and full body involvement including sensory systems is an excellent activity for kiddos like Luke.  Baseball would be more difficult...per say...for Luke, because there is so much "down" time in the game.  I can see him out in left field day dreaming or doing his own thing only to miss the game.  Not to say we won't try, but there is a definite therapeutic benefit to Luke by participating in karate.  I told Mark that I want to approach karate like we approach therapy.  Because I honestly believe that is what it is for Luke.  It helps him to be calmer, motivated, greater self control and focus.  He also sleeps better.  Plus...his karate is sooooo positive.  They learn character traits and participate in character building activities.  The instructors are awesome and are super sensitive to Luke's special needs (as in ordering him a special helmet because of his microcephaly). 

So HE'S BACK!!! And LOVING being in the BLACK BELT TRAINING class.  We are proud Luke!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


8 years ago I said one final good-bye to my dad.  He hugged me at the bottom of the stairs, told me he loved me and kissed me on my cheek.  As he ascended the stair case, I watched unknowingly the last time I would ever see my dad. He was young, at the age of 52, still a lifetime to live, places to go, babies to hold...but it was not meant to be. 

After he passed, my mom told me that while he was in the ICU, the sun shone bright through the windows and onto his face.  She went to close the blinds, but he stopped her.  He wanted to feel the warmth on his face.  He loved the sun.

Yesterday, while I was driving the kids up to our church, the sun was so bright and warm on my face, I couldn't help but think of my dad somehow reaching out in the only way he can.  And of course I had to stifle the tears.  The older I get...the more I miss him, the more I realize what he is missing, and how much I still need him.  The hole left from his passing will always remain void.  There is no substitution. 

The end of this month, my dad will finally make it to his final resting place.  His ashes will be scattered in the waters off of the beach at the Royal Lahina, Maui.  My grandmother's ashes were scattered in the same place several years ago.  There is no better place for my dad to be.  He loved Hawaii, he loved the sun. There is no other magical place like Hawaii.  It is captivating, beautiful, peaceful, serene. 

I could go and on and on about my dad, but I am already a blubbering mess and the font is blurry.  I will leave you with this song a sweet friend sent me today.  I love the band MercyMe. 

So...farewell dad...another year.  You are truly missed by so many.  Your time cut short, but your influence will forever shape the lives of the individuals you touched.  Love to you always...ME

"You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now"
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