Friday, January 25, 2013

Visitors from Another Land


We were so lucky to have a big fun group of visitors in November. Seriously. It was so fun. First came Noah and Kristi and their four kids. Noah and Kristi are wonderful guests. They are up for anything  (except for one thing you will see later) and everything and are so appreciative and cheerful. Plus our kids adore each other (except for brief moments between Cub and Po)…



Cam and McKay are two years apart, but are more like twins.



Bennett doesn’t have a counterpart in our family, so I guess he and Ana should have been buds. He really enjoyed the sand. He’s from San Diego, so I’m sure he wanted to compare the taste of sand on both sides of the Pacific.

A few days after Noah and Kristi got here, Jonah’s youngest sister Charity arrived, and everyone cheered!



Jonah and Noah spent some good time preparing the imu pit for our Hawaiian traditionally cooked turkeys. Above is a photo of the banana tree they picked up from a friend’s compost pile. 


Here are the rocks that were heated from a fire that burned all night in the pit. They are surrounding the two turkeys.



Charity and Kristi helped everyone dress their parts.



Jonah and Noah did some speedy and quality work to get the lanai done enough that we could eat on it by that afternoon. It was like when the polygamists would come frame houses in Saint George. Poof! There’s a house.



We went and watched some massive waves at Hookipa while the turkey cooked in the pit there under that copper cap.


Here they are unearthing the turkeys wrapped in foil, wrapped in banana leaves, covered by puka rocks, covered by dirt, covered by more banana leaves to keep in the steam, covered by a few bed sheets, covered by plastic, covered by dirt, capped by the copper cap (from our fire pit).

Was it worth it?!



Oh heck ya! It was DELICIOUSIOSO!!!



We got everything else cooked and a nice table sat.



These girls could never pass as Wampanoags, so they were Pilgrims.



I love Thanksgiving, and I love Thanksgiving food. It makes me want to go make the whole meal right now.

We had 16 people over for dinner. It might be a new record…


After Thanksgiving, we tried to work off all the food by taking all eight kids and five adults on the infamous Bamboo Hike.

Don’t let these photos fool you into thinking its less than anything but SPECTACULAR! Also, don’t let the photos fool you into thinking that it is in any way a great idea to take eight kids on this hike. They were all troopers and all survived with smiles on their faces, but it was a little bit that side of crazy.


The beginning of the hike is through some think bamboo forest, hence the hike’s name.



Miles of river bed boulder scrambling (okay, maybe not miles, but at least a mile).



Don’t forget the freezing cold muddy swims, with an infant and two toddlers too.



But at the end we reached a waterfall fed secluded pool surrounded by tall cliffs and virgin Hawaiian jungle.





Everytime I’ve done this hike I have a little coronary thrombosis when we have to climb up old ropes to surmount a twenty foot cliff. Jonah knew I’d stop there and not take the toddlers past that part of the hike, so he and Noah snuck ahead and took all the little kids up the cliff before I got there. Sneaky.



Elsie usually has a hard time with long hikes like this, but she did so well! She just kept on truckin’, through mud as deep as her knees, swimming through freezing water, and even climbing over all those river bed boulders. I was fairly impressed but also mad that she usually complains so much, because now I know she can handle it better than she lets on. That’s my girl…



On the way back we stopped at one of the lower pools to let the kids swim and jump off the low cliffs.



We had a great time, but I think everyone was fairly excited to get to the end and have a Thanksgiving leftovers picnic in the bamboo.

We didn’t really bring any food on the 6 hour hike , so it was well received (a.k.a. feeding frenzy)


The happy hikers!


After the hike, Jonah took us out to a fishing spot on the road to Hana. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring any bait, so we just played on the shore instead. We found these cool sea creatures, like a cross between a mussel and a sea anemone. I should figure out what they were, huh?


On the way back, Noah and Kristi’s car had a bad bout of car sickness, darn it.

Then, Noah and Kristi had planned to go stay at a resort that night while we watched their kids. But we needed to keep their mini-van to be able to fit all the kids, so they tried to take our Maui cruiser. Unfortunately, Kristi is not incredibly fond of cockroaches, and our car has some cockroaches. She got a black plastic bag from Home Depot and tried to calm her roachphobia, but it didn’t work and they came back to our house instead of going to the resort. We were glad to have them back so soon, but darn, that’s not a fun way to spend the night.


The next day we spent at the beaches in Lahaina and followed up with a dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise.

(Did we eat our way through the week? I think so.)


And here we are trying to recreate the infamous Awkward Family Photo from Jonah’s family on the tree limb.


Charity and I were kind of bummed that the Lahaina Banyan tree didn’t have Christmas lights yet, but it was still magical. The kids even broke all the rules and did some major Tarzan swings.


I think the Noah and Kristi family was adequately worn out by the time they left. The week went by so fast though… I think they just need to move here permanently.IMG_1594

The night before Noah and Kristi family left, Jonah’s parents showed up! We had 15 people sleeping here that one night. and everyone had a bed! (Except some kids had to share).


Charity was leaving soon, so we took a surprisingly warm trip up Haleakala  and marveled at the view and majesty of the place.


We also went with Jonah’s parents to meet up with his aunt and cousins (they were having an adults-only family reunion at a resort in Kaanapali) at Tommy Bahamas in Wailea. It was so fun to see all those relatives here together on Maui.


Once Rick and Linda were our only visitors, we sadly had to get back to a semblance of every day life. We sent the kids to school. Here is Elsie with one of her daily art creations, a Santa Suit!



Jonah helped put on his first Den Meeting as a Cub Scout leader.



I took the youth from church down to the beach front outdoor roller skating rink in Kihei. I didn’t bring my own kids, so I had to whoop up on some other ones.


Po slept for about two weeks straight in our bed. My only complaint about having visitors is having to switch Po’s sleeping location around. This is what I dealt with every night:



But I would totally put up with it for such great visitors. I mean seriously, don’t I have the greatest in-laws?


Hopefully we have them convinced to visit more often!

We were very sad to see everyone go. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves!




Well, Po did. She went right back to ruling the house.







Cassie said...

All my kids sleep in the shape of a star too. I cannot stand having a kid in our bed...we make them sleep on the floor beside our bed if they have a bad dream or something.

Elsie has a very manly looking left hand in that picture in the bamboo forest. You should have it looked at...

Jenn Howell said...

Aja - I think I've been through that Bamboo hike and the waterfalls!!!! .. It was crazy scary on the rope ladder over the cliff, if that's the same one. I even broke my foot on the rocks after swimming in what I thought was a terrifying little pool of critter infested waters. So fun!