Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tucker lately...

I also have to brag about my boy, Tucker. He is such a good boy! We are lucky to have him. He is the best big brother and always looks out for Taylor; sometimes too much! But he usually means well. He was going through a phase where he would throw tantrums quite a bit, but luckily is passing that stage now and is just so nice to be around. He is so smart and loves learning. He has a whole bunch of pre-school work books that he does all the time, he really loves learning. He is sounding out small words to read them and can to simple addition and subtraction. He loves to joke around and pull people's legs. Sometimes I worry that he is going to think that lying is ok, but for now he thinks it's funny and loves to make people laugh. He has a good little heart that I hope always stays with him. He loves Pre-school and always looks forward to going. He can't wait for Kindergarten next year. I can't believe that Kindergarten registration is just around the corner. My boy is getting so big, I can hardly keep up with him.
He has had this frog now for awhile; a few months now. He doesn't really have a name. Sometimes Tucker calls him Toady, sometimes it's Ribbit, sometimes it's just froggy. Either way, Tucker loves him and recently inherited this old fish tank to keep him in. Tucker put some of his own toys in it so the frog would have a place to play.
There's a close up of Toady, Ribbit, Froggy or whatever you want to call him:
Playing with his new remote control helicopter that he got for Christmas! Thanks Albrittons, the boys love this! :)
When I first married Ben I thought it was so weird that he slept with the blankets over his head like this. Then we were in Alabama just this past Christmas, and for some reason Ben's brother one night ended up sleeping on the couch. When we woke up the next morning I saw him on the couch wrapped up like a cocoon. Well, apparently it is a genetic trait because this is how I find Tucker most mornings. Wrapped all up in his sheets. Silly Pyper men!
The biggest news of all recently is that Tucker got glasses!!! He looks so handsome. He is doing so well with them and most of the time remembers them every morning and keeps them on. Although 'Tucker, put on your glasses babe' has become a part of my everyday vocabulary. He has done great with how big of a change it is for him. But I think he likes being able to see better so that is incentive enough to wear them. A few months ago I noticed that he was blinking a lot and squinting to see things, so I called his dr.'s office and they told me to go ahead and make an appointment with the ophthalmologist. We went in and sure enough he needed glasses. I can't say I was too surprised because all four of his grandparents have glasses along with his dad and many aunts and uncles. It was inevitable.
Here he is on the day he got them:
We love our Tucker. He is such a sweet and smart and handsome and funny boy. What would we do without him? The other day we were dancing to his Spongebob CD and there is a song that goes like this...'Be true to your self...' I'm not sure how the rest of it goes, I just know that one line. I heard him singing it over and over again because it's his favorite song on the disc. But it sounded funny, so one time I asked him what the words were, and he sang to me, 'Beef Judy yourself'...' I was dying of laughter. For some reason this is so funny to me. We always tease him now by saying Beef Judy. :) Anyway, that's my little man!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Taylor turns 2!!!

I can't believe that this little lady is already two! She is so much fun to have around, I love love love her. She is sweet and sassy and loud and loving and just our little miss thang. She's my little buddy right now and can always be found somewhere close to me. A lot of times during the day I will tell her to go and play or I will turn on cartoons for her so I can get something done, but most of the time I fall victim to her persistence and cuteness and she pretty much gets what she wants.

She loves her big brother and can pretty much hold her own with him. She is not afraid of him and doesn't let him bully her around, although he pesters her ALL day. :) I missed her so much in Hawaii! She is just now starting to get into princesses and dolls. She loves wearing princess clothes (a church dress) and she got a stroller for her birthday which she LOVES. She loves pushing her dolls around the house. Maybe she has a girly bone in her after all. She is going to be our roller coaster lover. She loves going fast, going on bumpy roads, being swung around and just being out of control period. And she's loud. Oh the loudness of her voice and she's not afraid to use it. I have never met a little girl so excitable as her. She gets SO into things. If she is into something, which happens all the time, her little arms get so stiff and and her hands just move around and around and around and her eyes get so focused. I gotta make sure I harness that energy and passion when she gets old enough, because she sure does have a lot of it!
We just love our Taters, and are so happy and feel so blessed that she is a part of our family. I can't imagine life without her.
Don't get me started on the binky. I said that I was going to start weaning her of it when I got home from Hawaii, but honestly the thought scares me a bit! She is so attached, and will seriously ask for them all day long. And she likes to have extras in her hand and will just randomly change them in and out. She's addicted. Those and her blanket. I'm not even going to try with the blanket. I don't want to make myself miserable. She will carry 3 or 4 of them around with her all day long. She is so funny!

This year for her birthday we kept it pretty low key. I had all of these grand plans, that I will hopefully do next year, but they all fell through out of sheer laziness. I had just gotten home from Hawaii the day before and was just exhausted. Plus, we were all feeling pretty crappy, so we just stayed home and hung out at home like any other day.I felt kind of bad that we didn't do anything exciting. Well, my mom took us to chuck e cheese the day before her birthday, so that was her big celebration. :)
On her actual birthday I made the kids 'T' pancakes and then also the number of how old they are for breakfast in the morning. Tucker always gets the uppercase T and Taylor always gets the lower case t. That's how I tell their stuff apart if they have something matching.
Pretty typical picture for my kids:
Then we had Papa and Kathryn over for a fondue dinner. I was going to invite friends, but since we were all sick or on the verge of getting sick, I thought we should keep to ourselves. I made these cute little bug mini cakes. They are so cute, I wish I could have decorated them better.
I took out two of them for the candles and put them on the table with the rest of the food and before my dad and Kathryn even got here; somehow without me knowing Taylor climbed up on the table and delved right in! :)
Luckily there were more. :) But we had a nice night as a family and had fun watching Tates open her gifts and blow out her candles.
Next year I will try something a little bit more fancy, but this will have to do for a 2 year old. :) I went a little overboard on Tuckers 2nd birthday and realized after that maybe I didn't need to do so much for a 2 year old. Sorry Taylor! :) Such is the life of a second child. We sure do love you though, girly! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kayaking to Captain Cook Monument...

Our last day on the island we decided to spend it doing something really fun. We all wanted to kayak, so that's what we did. We kayaked to the Captain Cook Monument. It was a beautiful day for kayaking and snorkeling. We found this guy (in the Kabala) who is the heir to King Kamehahamea. We each bought a bag of Kona Coffee and got a free kayak rental with it! :) I think that is his way of going around some new law regarding the Captain Cook Monument; but we went with it! :)


It was so beautiful! I even got a free ride on the way home because Ben's oar broke and so he used mine and rowed all by himself! :)
Jon & Danielle...
After snorkeling for a few hours, and meeting some lovely people, we decided to head back. But it was beautiful over there. Kinda crowded though.
After that we headed to the Coffee shack for lunch. It had this gorgeous view...
We were really sad to say good bye to the island and our friends, but were excited to get home and see the little ones. Thanks to everyone who helped take care of them while we were gone! We have such great family and friends who take care of us! We REALLY appreciate it!

Mon. Feb. 13th- Kayak to Capt. Cook monument. Meet the heir of King Kameahamea and buy some great coffee (with a free Kayak rental included) and meet a whole slew of delightsome people while snorkeling. A very entertaining lunch at the Coffee Shack! Then off to Kua bay again for some more boogie boarding. Then off to Roy’s for a special Valentines dinner. YUM!

Tues. Feb. 14th- Costco in the AM for some gifts to take home. Ben & Taraka have an early early lunch and then catch their flight home! L

Sabbath day...

We checked the internet for church times while in Kona; and found out that they have a 9 and an 11 o'clock session. We opted for the 11. We show up at the chapel and it was packed. We go inside to find out that they were having stake conference. It had started at 10 so we were late and there was not a single seat in the house. We decided to head over to the temple to take some pics. When we got there there were a whole bunch of other couples doing the same. oops! :) The temple is beautiful though!
The boys did all sorts of great poses! :)
After that we decided to head down to the beach, just to relax. Not to swim or play, since it was the sabbath; but if we were just going to be relaxing anyway, we might as well do it at the beach, right? Ben found all of these little hermit crabs.
Eric did get in the water for a few minutes just to cool off, and without thinking had the keys in his pocket. Well our key was one of those new keys with an electrical chip. Not a good thing to get wet. It totally didn't work and we had to wait for the car rental place to send a new key out to us and it was this long ordeal, and earlier in the day Ben and Danielle thought it would be funny to take all of Eric's money out of his wallet as a joke, and yada yada yada... not a good situation! :) But luckily Eric was very forgiving and when we FINALLY got a new key all was well and it's something we can all laugh about now! :)
After that ordeal we headed home to make a delicious home cooked meal of steak, plantains , guacamole and chips and bock choy. YUM! And of course, home made pina coladas! Danielle was the expert pina colada maker!

Sun. Feb. 12th- Attempt at church. Pictures at the temple. K’ala Kai Beach (airport beach) for some reading in the sun. Eric and the keys have so much fun frolicking in the ocean without a care in the world! Unfortunately for us, that meant a few hours stranded at said beach while we wait for a new set of keys. Eric makes a new friend. Then off to see the Manta Ray’s at the Marriot. Then home for another delicious home cooked meal of Steak.

South Pointe...

We spent one day and went to south pointe. Along the windy road down (which I got car sick on!) there were a ton of fruit markets. The kabala said that this one was the best! (and the most expensive!!!) The boys had to stop.
Our first stop once we finally got down to south pointe was the green sand beach. It is a beach with green sand (obviously!) but you have to trek there. It is like a 2 mile trek through all of this lava rock. You HAVE to have a 4x4. If you don't, you have to walk it. We felt bad for all the suckers walking! I don't think that half of them made it. We barely made it in our big Ford Expedition. Luckily with the navigation skills of Ben and Eric combined, we made it through! :)

Our next stop was the cliff for some cliff jumping off the southern most point in the United States of America. It is so beautiful and the water is so clear down there. A local told us to make sure that no one was bleeding because there have been sharks down there recently. Ben was worried about that because he got beat up in Hawaii and was all bloodied and bruised on his legs. :) Luckily no sharks got him while he was in the water.

Only the boys jumped...
Next stop was the black sand beach. The sand is really black. It is really just lava rock ground down to sand. But it is also a resting spot for turtles, so we got to see some little friends while we were there.
Here's a better look at the black sand. And my fat ankles. On one of the first days in Hawaii I fried my calves and feet so my ankles were swollen so big! I had never seen my ankles so big! You couldn't even see my ankle bones sticking out!

Sat. Feb.11th- South Pointe. First on the agenda is Taraka throwing up. Check. Green sand beach. Check. Luckily we didn’t ruin the car on the drive there or back. Cliff jumping. Check. Black sand beach. Check. Into Punalu’u for some lunch (and some pies) and then to the sweet bread factory. Check. Snorkeling at 2-step after lunch. Check. Then to Ali’i drive for some window shopping and dinner at Rapanui’s that almost didn’t happen. But was delish. Check.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Na'Nui Falls...

After Wiapeo valley and a quick stop for lunch, we headed out to find Na' Nui falls. This beautiful waterfall you can hike to and sit under.
We had to stop at the rope swing on the way...

And then we found it! It is this gorgeous hike along this little river, over these big huge rocks...
Once there we swam in the deep water and got to sit on the ledge underneath the waterfall, it was so cool!
Of course, Ben and Jon had to climb up the side of the cliff to find a place to jump off...
It was a great first adventure day! :)

Thurs. Feb. 9th- Waipeo Valley, 4x4 down to the beach, then to Dave’s village. Lunch at L&L (yuck!) To the rope swing for some fun with a girl in her underwear! Then the hike to Na’Nui falls where the boys did some cliff jumping and where the girls swam under the falls; where Shar may or may not have gotten ringworm on her hand. Late night Pizza dinner and Pina Coladas! YUM!

Fri. Feb. 10th- Hapuna beach in the AM. Boys & Danielle body surf. Taraka gets FRIED and Shar & Taraka get a delicious Lava flows to drink. Lunch at Jackie Rays for some Pupu’s to share. After Lunch it’s Koa bay for some more body surfing. Ben gets beat by the rocks. (surprise, surprise) Movie night for everyone, girls to see ‘the vow’ and boys see ‘chronicle’ Both VERY riveting movies! Eric tries to poison Taraka with his Banana’s Foster after the movie.

Wiapeo Valley...

The next day we were ready for some adventure. We headed north to Wiapeo Valley. It was a long and scary 4x4 trek down into the Valley, but it was so much fun. The valley is just beautiful!
We were finding coconuts and macadamia nuts like crazy and had fun cracking them open...
Of course, with Ben there had to be a 'feats of strength' He challenged Jon to a race on the beach...
While we tried to catch some of these guys...
Here is the beautiful Valley, and the village of Dave. We had this blue book that we called the Kabala all week. It had all the things in it that you can and should do on the big island. It said that down in the Wiapeo Valley is this village of hippies who just want to be off the grid. It also said that there was an inordinate amount of men named Dave who live in this village. Of course we had to to check out the village; and sure enough we ran into some Daves who stared us down and glared us out of their town.:)
This is a car that fell over the cliff going down that steep road to get there. The Kabala said that the man driving this car miraculously survived because he wasn't wearing his seat belt and was able to jump out of the car! Some crazy stuff going on in this valley! :)


Kileaua Bay...

We decided that we would take every other day to just sit in the sun and relax. Since we were all worn out from the travel, we decided to just relax on our first full day there. We went down to the farmers market and Ben and Eric were like kids in a candy store. It was so much fun trying out the new fruit.
Here are Jon, Shar & Ben at the market. After meeting the Baileys the night before for the first time, we knew we'd be good friends. They were so much fun to be with!


All of our delicious fruit that we enjoyed all week. We tried many a new fruit that week! :)
Kileaua Bay...
Just hanging out with the turtles on our beach...




It was a perfect first day in Hawaii!

Tues. Feb. 7th- All arrive. Dinner at Thai Rin. Baileys & Pypers meet for the first time!

Wed. Feb. 8th- Farmers market for some killer fruit and veggies. Kileaua Bay for some relaxing and reading in the sun. (where we saw the turtle on the beach) Lunch at Killer Tacos. Errand running-costco & walmart. Jon, Danielle, Shar and Taraka run at the old airport running track. Ben & Eric snorkel. Delicious homemade Tuna dinner!