Monday, March 31, 2014

Sunday Drive

One thing about living on an island that's 30 miles wide, my kids really have no concept of the term "road trip." Yesterday, we decided to hop in the van and do a little bit of exploring. We ended up at  the furthermost point on Oahu from our house - Kaena Point State Park. 44 miles from Kaneohe! Thankfully the boys were troopers, and there was minimal complaining on our LOOOOONG journey (happy meals helped!).
Searching for rocks...
Throwing rocks in the ocean
Chillaxin'
how my kids will forever remember me...
handsome hubby
Sunsets are a special treat for us Windward folks.
bye bye, sun!
When the sun finally disappeared into the water, it left this unbelievable pink sky. It was truly an awesome display, and a perfect end to our weekend.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spring Portrait

I can't really believe that this boy is approaching the final stretch of Kindergarten, and will be 6 next month! I wasn't even planning to buy any spring portraits, but the little stinker is just so photogenic! Keaton is doing wonderful in school, is reading like a pro, and is taking his first Karate class this afternoon!
 

Yesterday afternoon, a friend of mine stopped by our house to drop something off. From the next room, I heard her ask Keaton through the screen door, "Is your mom home?" Keaton replies without skipping a beat, "Yes! My mom's always home when I am." How absolutely blessed I feel that my boys get to say this!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blueberry Shamrock Muffins

I love baking! Unfortunately, I also love to EAT what I bake, so I try to limit my baking to weekends and special occasions. Dilemma: Mark and I got a hankering for some muffins this morning. Hmm...what's the closest "special occasion" that could justify baking on a random Wednesday in late-February? Well, St. Patty's day is only 3 weeks away, so how about some semi-healthy green muffins? 
Please pardon the very non-food blog worth iPhone pics. I really had no intention of blogging about this...

I'm not usually very intuitive when it comes to modifying recipes, but I was really happy with how these turned out! They were super-moist, and just sweet enough.

Speaking of sweet... I'd be nowhere without my super-sweet kitchen helper!
My secret ingredients! Powdered Spirulina (found at Costco) - so many health benefits and bonus -  it turns everything it touches bright green! I love coming up with ways to color foods with real foods instead of yucky food coloring. My other secret ingredient is Arbonne Daily Fiber Boost. If you've never tried this stuff, it's awesome! It's tasteless, texture-less, and it adds 12 grams of fiber per scoop. It doesn't change consistency of anything you mix it in, so you can stir it in baked goods, pasta sauce, smoothies - I love it! And of course, it's Arbonne, so the fiber comes from all natural sources, and is super-easy to digest. If you are interested, I actually know a consultant :-) The good news is that if you don't have these secret ingredients, the muffins will still be yummy. Just not as green. Or healthy.

The muffins weren't quite as green after they were baked. I might try adding some spinach next time? Hmmmm.... 
Blueberry Shamrock Muffins 
Ingredients:
3 large ripe bananas
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup blueberries (I used frozen)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp spirulina powder
2 scoops Arbonne Daily Fiber Boost


Directions:
1. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add agave and egg.
3. Add coconut oil and blueberries.
4. Combine dry ingredients and gently stir into banana mixture.
5. Pour into 12 well-greased muffin cups (or  I always do 24 mini muffin cups)
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
 And they're really not that bad for you either...
Per Mini-Muffin
Cal: 94
Carbs: 14g
Fat: 3g
Protein:1g
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 6g

























Sunday, February 9, 2014

Winter Waves

While my mom was visiting, Oahu happened to have some of the biggest swells of the whole season. One evening when Scott got home from work, we made a little road trip up to the North Shore to catch a peek!

It was cloudy and the sun was beginning to set, so everything was bathed in such beautiful golden light.
None of these pictures really do any justice to the magnitude of the waves.

We kept getting chased back by lifeguards on 4wheelers and told to get away from the water. Every once in awhile, a big wave would come up very suddenly and sweep up the whole beach. Kinda scary!



Such a display of God's glory! Again and again, I'm amazed and so thankful that God has allowed us to live in such an beautiful place!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Aulani

Time to catch up on some fun January memories! 

My parents escaped the frigid Oklahoma winter and came to visit in early January. Partly to celebrate my Dad's and Scott's birthdays, we decided to stay a couple of nights at Aulani. We had walked around many times, but never actually stayed at the resort. "Wow" is all I have to say. Of course, as is everything Disney, every inch of the resort was first class fun. We had such a blast!

checking in - let the fun begin!
Our room was amazing - I seriously wanted to move in. The view wasn't bad either!
Our first morning, we made reservations for the Character Breakfast. The boys were so excited to meet Mickey and his gang!
The boys barely ate a bite because they were so distracted with all the fun activities during breakfast. I think we did manage to get at least one Mickey waffle in each of them.
The boys were always the first to jump up and join in all the dances and games.
The resort has acres of pools, lazy rivers, waterslides, and other activities, but this is where we parked our stuff every morning - Menehune Bridge!
The boys ran and jumped and splashed and slid all day long.

They only stopped playing for snacks!
Scott decided to try out the "Rainbow Reef," a man-made reef in the middle of the resort for a completely controlled snorkeling environment. The boys got a kick out of seeing Daddy swimming with the fish on the other side of the glass!
The resort itself is not overwhelmingly "Mickey Mouse," but I was surprised how much the boys loved trying to find all of Disney characters who would appear here and there throughout the day.
They even waited in some long lines to get their picture taken with different friends.

We celebrated Daddy and Papa's birthday on the last evening with a fun dinner at the Monkeypod and then a special bottle of wine! Thanks to the Lieblers for introducing us to "The Prisoner!"
Aulani was such a treat - thanks Brumbra and Papa for a weekend we will never forget!