Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hawaii & Baby #2

Aloha! Well we are back and enjoying life in the real world but had a blast in Hawaii. Things went pretty much as I explained our plans in the previous post/entry. We arrived at the Honolulu airport late Wednesday, April 24 and took a National van to pick up our rental. Geoff had helped me find a coupon code to make the car rental reservation online. Well we also got a code from online and when I tried to check in to get the car she thought that it was for a business. I told her that I did not work for them and I must have put the code in wrong by mistake. She said no problem and met the price we had been quoted online and added Jonny as a driver. Then we plugged in the address to our hotel into our GPS and found the area but not the parking until we looped back around. Parking was $20 a day! Crazy! Anyway we noticed that they had a buffet so we ate at the buffet the next morning. Then checked out. We went to Snorkel Bob’s to get our gear and on to Hanauma Bay.  We rented a locker to store our shoes and shirts etc. then had a good time snorkeling. Jonny had to be patient with me because it was my first time snorkeling.
I had a hard time keeping the water out of my goggles and the see water stung my eyes. Overall though I had a great time snorkeling because of all the fish we saw. While I went to the bathroom Jonny saw a sea turtle up close because he went out near the strong currents off to the far left side of the bay. Yeah not the safest decision but I am glad I stayed closer to shore once I went out to meet back up with him. We took an underwater camera and hope the pictures turn out well but want to use up the rest of the pics before we develop the roll.  Anyway, we left our change of clothes in the car so we hiked up to the car and got them thinking we would go back down to the bath house as it was worded online. I thought it would be an indoor shower but when we asked before going back down the lifeguard said there were no indoor showers so we just changed in the bathrooms by the snack bar. Then we drove to Haliewa (hall-ē-ā-vu) where we ate lunch at Haliewa Joes Seafood Grill, where we got a recommendation to eat from a family Jonny visit teaches. Jonny later bought a t-shirt there when we did shopping in Haliewa. 
After lunch we drove to the house I reserved on airbnb.com and got the keys and garage door opener. The homeowner and his wife (they met in Thailand) brought us fresh guac. Then we got washed up and changed to go to buy food for the rest of our stay. Foodland was very close but a bit expensive. Hopefully we saved though because it would have been even more expensive to eat out every meal. The house was on the edge of their property so it was not a secluded as it looked in pictures but they did not bother us. I chose it because of the privacy that I feel many busy hotels don’t offer and the kitchen so we can cook and prepare our own meals. Well before we headed down to buy the food I called to ask if we could barrow a casserole dish and he joked around about the size because the house only had a little toaster oven. Oh! Oops so I said never mind we would figure out something else. Well we made it work and I still got my chicken and broccoli casserole made mostly on the stove.
            Jonny and I had a great experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). We did the all day package. So at noon when they opened we were there to get the most out of our day. The Cultural Center is an educational center where you visit the different countries of Polynesian culture: Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, Tonga, New Zealand, etc. We had a great time visiting the different areas and watching the presentations. They even had a boat parade where each area was represented on their own long canoe with platform for the dancers to preform while being pushed along the river. The rower of the Fiji canoe even fell in the river and the dancer mostly responsible had to pull him back on board. Our baby was rocking out to the drums during the Tahiti dance too. J
After visiting all the various areas we headed to the Luau where we stuffed ourselves with purple sweet potato rolls, sweet potatoes, salad with papaya seed dressing, salmon, pork, and beef. They also had pineapple bars, some kind of cobbler, and chocolate cake. We even shared a smoothie mango and strawberry that they served in a pineapple. While we ate we enjoyed the entertainment. Then they brought out the Kahlua pig but I was too full to eat any. Jonny did try it and said it was good pork but nothing special.
We then walked to the amphitheater where they performed the evening show called Ha, Breath of Life. It was a great performance but we were both pretty tired by the end and I was grateful for the intermission to stretch and take a potty break. That was a touching story though and I liked the message of the importance of families and the gift that life is.
Saturday was the day we set aside the morning to attend the Laie Hawaii Temple. I enjoyed learning from the sister missionary in the Temple Visitor’s Center that this temple is the 2nd oldest temple today. Joseph F. Smith dedicated the Laie Temple in 1915. We also talked to a cute family there from Sandy, UT. They were there with their three oldest children because their daughter is battling cancer and came for her wish made possible by the Make a Wish Foundation. Her wish was to eat at a luau. We did not get their names but they have been my thoughts and I need to include them in our prayers.
We then went back to the house for lunch and then on to the beach. Our first stop was at sharks cove. The water level was really low so I decided to work on my tan and Jonny snorkeled. He saw the second turtle on this trip t the edge or sharks cove and no sharks. Then we went on to the next beach. There wasn’t any sign to tell us which beach we were at. So we looked for the calmest area and I got on the boogie board and got past where the waves were breaking. It was very cool and calm but then I wanted to come in and did not time it very well and did get pushed in harder than I was comfortable with being pregnant and all.  Later we found out that that was the pipeline where the best surfing competitions take place.  Anyway, there were no showers there to clean off with so we had to wait until we got back to the house and used the outdoor shower to clean up but sand was all over us so it took a while to clean off all the sand and what was the worst was it was all over my scalp even after showering.
Sunday we made it to church early and enjoyed meeting some of the ward members. There was a couple that spoke with the husband’s mother. The wife had to pull a twelve-hour shift and then come the next morning to speak in church. She gave a good talk though and I wish I had some of the quotes and poems she read. There was a man in the row in front of us who was the Hawaiian presenter and our luau host at the PCC. Also Jonny told the men in priesthood, when he was introduced as a visitor, that his mom served in the ward as a missionary 40 years earlier and asked if specific people she remembered were in the ward. They were not in the ward or no one recognized the names but the currant ward mission leader was the mission leader 40 years ago and remembered her. He sent his joy in hearing about how she was doing and sent his enthusiastic, “Aloha”!
Monday morning we got to Waimea Valley Waterfalls (not Bay as I had mistyped in the previous post) before it opened and were the first to the waterfall. Jonny spent more time in the water and I got out and took pictures. For our final day in Haliewa we spent time at the Waimea Bay beach and then went into town for lunch and shaved ice. Jonny ate at a shrimp van and I got some chicken tenders and fries at an Italian fast food place. All were well received, especially the shaved ice. They serve the shaved ice with vanilla icecream  or a bean icecream and have so many choices and combinations of flavors of syrups. I chose the Haliewa mix that had melon, mango, and watermelon and Jonny got a different triple combo. We then took our shaved ices over to the shop next door and we began our shopping. After shopping we returned to the beach did some snorkeling, Jonny boogie boarded and we had a great last swim in the ocean. Then we headed home and watched part of a movie on my nook and ate up our leftovers and popcorn. We even tried a third time to see the sun set over the ocean but the clouds kept us from that experience this trip.
The next day was Jonny’s 30th birthday so when I woke up at 4 am thinking about what I needed to do to pack everything up before checkout I decided to finally get up at 5:30 am and shower. Then I made Jonny an egg sandwich for his birthday breakfast in bed. I woke him up singing happy birthday and served him his breakfast. He ate it but not like a sandwich. J Then I cleaned up the kitchen and started on the packing. Due to the early start we were ready to check out half an hour early. It took us a while to get ahold of someone so we could check out early but we did and headed to Pearl Harbor. We decided to start with the outside sights and take pictures and then we lined up for our tour of the USS Arizona that I registered online for ahead of time. It was a very sober and patriotic memorial where we learned quite a bit. Jonny rented the audio tour and I preferred to take in the different areas by just reading plaques posted nearby.
The memorial is built over the top of the sunken ship and it is the ship that has the most victims in US history. At the USS Arizona we saw a fish swimming over the remains and they had two divers checking on the GPS of the ship to see if the ship was shifting at all. We were informed that the survivors have the option of their ashes being buried in the ship, returning them to their crew who fell in the attack at Pearl Harbor. The presenter at the memorial said he had told this to a group and a lady came and talked to him after and she told him that she was a niece of a survivor and that her uncle’s brother died on the ship. Her uncle’s ashes will most likely be one of the next added to the ship. It was a very warm day and I had a hard time staying on my feet. Jonny would go through the indoor exhibits for a longer period of time than it took me and so I would go and sit down or got a snack from the car since we could not bring in bags. I am glad that it worked out to go to Pearl Harbor on Jonny’s birthday because he just enjoys soaking in the history of it all. He said that there were survivors who shared their experiences on the audio tour that were touching and brought tears to his eyes.
After we finished up at Pearl Harbor we went and found a Teddy’s Bigger Burgers that we had a coupon for in the rental car magazine and I saw good reviews for online. It was delicious!  They are ranked #1 burgers in Hawaii, you have to wait a while for your food but it is all made with fresh ingredients. I had a crispy chicken sandwich and they put their special sauce on it, honey mustard sauce. Mmmm! The fries are skinny (just the right thickness) stake fries. Jonny had a medium sized (7 oz.) burger with pineapple ring and a delicious sauce. It was very good and messy!
Then we went and vacuumed out the rental car and the only time the weather was less than perfect was at that moment of course. It started raining right after we put our money in. Oh well! J We then went to Snorkel Bob’s and returned the snorkel gear. Then before heading home we stopped for some shopping at the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Jonny was a good sport and we even walked to the beach to see if we could see any beach vendors selling t-shirts because when we went that morning back to the Waimea Beach it was too early and he was not out with his shirts yet. I ended up getting a t-shirt from a shop at the mall.
We were both sick with worry all the way to the car rental return because Jonny forgot to take the keys out of his pocket the last time we went swimming. The rental magazine said it would cost like $250. On the way we decided to be honest and hope for the best. Well our honesty shocked the guy we returned the car to and he did not charge us but he said we did not tell him. So unfortunately it was a kind gesture by him but he would have to lie that we did not tell him. This did not really feel wrong because of the intent of his heart in my opinion until we relayed the story to Steve when we got back. It is one of those things that I am glad the Lord has to judge. Anyway, while we waited at the airport I was missing AJ and watching the little girl across from us with her mom and wishing I could be holding him. I mentioned this to her and chatted with her a little. She was waiting to fly standby and so she had to wait with all the late boarders rather than get on early with the families. Her daughter was squirmy and the young mom was getting a bit agitated so I think it helped her to feel more comfortable around us. Then another lady played peek-a-boo with the girl too. Jonny and I got our seats changed so we could sit together this flight. We both got to sleep about three hours, which was perfect for Jonny because he would have to wait to sleep until he got home from work. Before we fell asleep we watched an in flight movie, Parental Guidance, about grandparents who watch their grandkids for a week and build lasting relationships with them. It is also a comedy that we felt Billy Crystal played well as well as his costar Bet Midler.
Anyway, we arrived on time and safely and were glad we checked our roller bags at the gate.  Picking them up with our checked bag which were there waiting for us at the caracole when we got there. Prayers were answered because we had to get home with enough time for Jonny to shower and get ready for work before going to our ultrasound. The tech was not sure at first and then got the money shot and said she was sure it’s a BOY! Yep we are having another boy. AJ will be a great big brother to his little brother!  
Because we have so many pictures I am putting them on Photobucket and you can see them by clicking on these links: http://s1312.photobucket.com/user/Jamie_Bratt_Lamb/library/Aloha%202013 and  http://s1312.photobucket.com/user/Jamie_Bratt_Lamb/library/It%20is%20a%20BOY%20again.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New in our world

It has been too long so here is the gist of what is new in our world.
Well AJ is 18 months going on 2 years and has his little tantrums when tired or hungry. When he is happy he rapidly stomps his feet and Grandma Lamb has named it his “happy dance”. Two things that trigger AJ’s “happy dance” are when Grandpa Lamb finishes combing AJ’s hair and he looks at his handsome self in the mirror and eating Cuties, clementine oranges. He is such a precious and sweet spirit, as well as addition to our family. Speaking of addition to our family, we are expecting a baby the first part of October. I will be the last of four on Jonny’s side to have a baby this year. Tesha, Scott’s wife had Eliana in February. Julie will have Bethany around the first part of May. Becky is having their fourth child around the first part of September.  I guess we all decided to have grand babies for Grandma and Grandpa Lamb take off the first part of 2014 to serve a mission. Tesha has been living with us while Scott is in training for the Airforce Reserves. So we have been enjoying our time with her and Eli. It has been a great practice for AJ to share his grandparents’ with another child for an extended period of time after being use to having them dote on him. He has handled the change seamlessly and has shown that he will be an affectionate brother. When he wants to hold Eli he puts his hands out in front of him so we hold her in our arms and in front of him so he can put his little hands and harms under her for about five to ten seconds and then he is done. AJ showed signs of his sensitive side early on and continues still today. For example, he gets this worried look on his face and uhs until we reassure him that Eli is crying because she is hungry or getting her diaper changed and even then sometimes he keeps worrying until she stops crying. We love our bigger boy and I am enjoying him being old enough to be in Nursery but I think he enjoys it more than I do.

I have been working on signing up for Professional Development classes for teaching and substitute teaching in Canyons School District to build up points to keep up my teaching license. The requirement is to gain 200 points within five years of the time I got my license. I taught for a year with this level 2 license so I get about 30 points. The most points that I can accrue from subbing are 50 points in 2 years. So I need 120 points through volunteering or taking classes. I have a long way to go and still trying to find online courses. My first experiences of subbing went well and I hope to enjoy the future jobs. One was at Midvale and I know now that the school address is out dated because I showed up at the old school a few days before it was demolished. The new school is not far so I was not too late to my first assignment. This was for a reading assistant so I went to various 1st and 2nd grade classes to help with reading groups and then in the afternoon I had two math groups. The kids were well behaved for the most part and the few that acted up may have more so that day due to the rainy weather. The other assignment I took later that week was at a school near (dentist) Gary Clark’s office. It was for a teacher who had a dentist appointment in the afternoon and so it was a half-day job, which means half pay. I did not mind though the kids were great and one was a sister of one of my previous students.

Jonny has finished his English 202 class and it looks like he will have an A as his final grade. Way to go hun! He is going to take an art history course this Summer Semester. Then he will only have a few more semesters to go if hopefully he tests high on the Compus test in Math so he will only have one more math class to take. He is working full time in the LDS church Vault.  We are saving money for our own home someday so we are living with Jonny’s very kind and generous parents.

Jonny is turning 30 on the 30th and with our skymiles and tax return we will be celebrating in Hawaii this April 24-30. We will be arriving late on Wednesday night and pick up our rental car before staying in Waikiki Gateway Hotel. We are going to Hanauma Bay to snorkel Thursday morning. After which we will get lunch and buy groceries on the way to the house we are renting. On Friday we will visit the Polynisian Cultural Center and enjoy the luau and show that night. Saturday morning we will go to the Laie Temple. We may enjoy some sights nearby or do some shopping. I found the nearby church services we will attend Sunday and Margie served in the ward we are attending as well as served 6 months in the area we are staying in. Monday we will hike to the Waimea Bay Waterfalls and later hit the North Shore beaches before we have to check out the next day. We will then spend the majority of Jonny’s Birthday in Waikiki. Our reservation to tour the U.S. Arizona is at 10:15 am. After Pearl Harbor we will get lunch and wade on the beach. That afternoon we will tour the Iiona Palace. Then that evening do some shopping and eating at Ala Moana Shopping Center. Finally we fly out at 9 pm and arrive back in Salt Lake at 7:30 am Wednesday morning.
Then we will have our ultrasound to find out what gender our second child will be on May 1st before Jonny goes back to work for half a day. We love our boy but would love to have the experience of raising a girl and hope that the reason I was having worse morning sickness with this pregnancy is because we are going to be blessed with a little girl. If we have another boy we hope that he is as sweet and cute as AJ and will love our son or daughter. Then about a week and a half later I will be driving to California with Margie & Geoff. Steve and AJ will be flying out to CA, as well as Tesha and Eli. When Margie & Steve leave for Boston for Peter’s graduation the Jensens will join us and Jonny will fly out Wednesday. We J’s will drive back alone to UT on Saturday the 18th of May. It may be a long trip due to frequent stops for me to stretch and AJ to get out for a bit.

Monday, October 22, 2012

AJ's First B-day & Party

Monday was AJ's 1st birthday! We started the day off with yummy yogurt which is one of his favorite anytime foods. : ) Then Grandma Lamb needed to go over by Canyon Rim Park so we played at the playground and then went for a walk around the park. After lunch and a nap we took AJ to see the animals at Wheeler Farm.

                                                AJ loves ducks so we visited them first!

He had a blast!

Baby ducks were in the big pond. Oh so cute!

This funky chicken made us smile. What a hair do!

AJ opened his presents from us and his Grandparents 
after a yummy stroganoff dinner.

                                           To finish off the day he got to taste Birthday Bash
                                        ice cream (a favorite in our home) & half of a Twinkie!

He did not understand blowing out the candle 
but loved every bite. : )

I made lots of yummy treats for his party.

Cake balls and cupcakes with whipped cream frosting.

Birthday boy!

AJ smashed his cake & liked the frosting!

Puzzles & clothes, oh my! 
Thank you to all the 
friends and family that came 
or would have if they lived close by. : )


Grandma & Grandpa got AJ a swing
that he can share with his young cousins.
He loves it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Summer 2012

A lot has happened this summer but I have not kept up with it so I will sum it up for you.

1. Our lease was up at the end of May and so we chose to put the furniture and boxes in storage and move in with the Lambs to save money. We moved in to Jonny's generous Parents', Steve & Margie Lamb. Geoff, Jonny's oldest sibling, lives here too but we are only rarely privy to seeing him on weekends. When we do AJ loves to have his uncle make him laugh! AJ also loves to have his Lamb grandparents so close and has made a lifelong bond with each of them. Some of AJ's firsts that took place while living here are crawling and his first steps! He also enjoyed his first time swimming with Abby and her kids, Grandpa & Grandma Lamb, and Uncle Geoff, as well as mommy and daddy of course. : )

2. This summer we also were blessed by Abby and their three kids weekly visits. AJ and I would go to the Library for story time on Thursdays and lunch after at the Hunter's. Then Saturday night they would come for dinner and sleep over so they could come to our ward with us. Margie enjoyed teaching their oldest son's primary class! AJ loved having his cousins around so often and we miss them now. They are in Boston now where Peter, Jonny's brother, and family are living while he finishes his International MBA at Boston University. Abby is ecstatic that he is back from a study abroad in China that was for three months and was the first part of his MBA program.

3. We spent this summer traveling and reunions!

First the Lamb girls all gathered here in UT for a sister retreat/reunion. We all picked some activity to do while here. So we did Zumba, went on a hike, made cake pops, went to Sound of Music at Hale Center Theater, played a get to know you game and tasted Tesha’s homemade traditional cooking. Basically we had some great girl bonding time together.
We drove to St. George to the Shakespearian Festival where Jonny and I got to see Les Mis. Jonny received the tickets for his birthday. This was my first time seeing Les Mis live and we loved this performance of the classic musical. When we arrived at the theater and had the usher take us to our seats we were pleasantly surprised because we were sitting in the front row. Thank you Margie and Steve for such a wonderful experience! This was a bit of a pit stop because the main reason for our trip south was to attend the Lamb Family Reunion in Orderville. Becky and Joseph brought their three kids from CA and were in charge of the kids’ games. It was fun to learn a lot about the ancestors and see the family perform talents.
Then AJ, my parents, Kelsie and I drove to visit Amanda, Adam and the twins in Corvallis, OR. Their first house is nice and has a great garden in the front and back yards. We enjoyed picking and consuming fresh blueberries at a pick your own berries farm. Dad took us to see his grandparents’ home and his childhood home in North Bend. All of us enjoyed the coast but AJ loved it. We captured on camera his fearlessness of the ocean, crawling right in from the beach. The clam chowder was fantastic and I don’t eat clam chowder. : ) I was ready to be back home with my loving husband by the end of the trip but enjoyed the sights and time with family.
We had a family reunion with Jonny's family, sadly minus the Northern Californians. Since Gabe was going to turn 4 in Boston we celebrated early by going to Jungle Jim's and ate pizza & donuts, as well as swam at the Hunters while the men packed up the moving truck. After we got the, formerly known as, OC Lambs loaded up in their moving truck, sent Abby and the kids off to the airport, and said farewell to the Jensens we packed up our bags. 
Jonny, AJ, and I all flew to San Antonio to visit my family and meet my nephew William. My dad had been up to UT for work and flew back with us. We ate TexMex and had a BBQ with my Mom’s potato salad and TX brisket and turkey! Mmmm!!! Played games and fed babies. The big adventure was a day at Feista Texas: slurping Slurpies from a boot, splashing in the water park, riding rollercoasters and watching Rock’n at Rockville High. I also introduced Jonny to a funnel cake and got it a la mode. Thanks Mom for watching AJ on your last day before work started up so we could go all day to the amusement park! Jake, Jess, Will, Kelsie, my parents and our family all got to have a picnic and feed the ducks, deer, and peacock at the Quadrangle. AJ liked the deer and when he fed one he first put his finger right in the deer’s mouth before giving him the celery stick. Fearless! Good thing the deer is tame and use to kids. To cool off we went into the Visitors Center and learned that the Quadrangle is where they kept the Native Americans at one point. We learned that the phrase “Geronimo!” originated from the legend of Geronimo, an Indian chief who was said to have jumped from the clock tower their in the Quadrangle. Skeptics say he would have been going too fast to survive. Thanks for letting us squash in with you all, especially Kelsie for the bed.