Friday, August 31, 2007

just like the olden days

today, i was taken back in time. a time b.c., before children.

before we had children, mitch and i were quite adventurous. we spent a good deal of time hiking, camping, canoeing, rock climbing, you know, things that are easy to do without children.

our favorite hike was the narrows in southern utah. if you are not familiar with the narrows hike, it involves hiking through waist deep water for a huge portion of the hike with hundred foot rock walls on either side. it is super challenging and by the end of the hike you are exhausted, wet, and your feet are killing you, but for some reason you just love it!

the other favorite for us is rock climbing/bouldering. before i met mitch, i climbed in hawai'i and in provo. then, after we meet we found we shared the same love of rock climbing and went several times in provo. when we moved to oregon we went once together shortly before i found out i was pregnant with nani. since then, mitch has gone several times, but i have not.

so today, mitch's last official day of his sabbatical (ohh, so very sad!) he wanted to take us on a hike that he did last year with the priests. it's the oneonta falls hike. he picked it because it is a short hike, something the girls could manage, with a beautiful waterfall at the end.

he had told me that the hike was along a creek and that we might get a little wet. so, as we are packing up today, i notice mitch pulling out a change of clothes for everybody and beach towels. i come down wearing jeans and he looks at me and asks, "you're wearing jeans?" i'm thinkin', "uh, yea! can't you see them?!" he says, "you might want to change. you're gonna get wet."

hmmm, ya think? i thought he told us that we "might get a little wet!?" that looks like a lot more than just "a little wet", wouldn't you agree?

it was an excellent hike and the girls did an awesome job. making our way through the trail several hikers commented on how impressed they were that we were making the hike with the three girls. they were excellent little hikers and really enjoyed it, even though they got wet! we met up with a couple of frogs along the way, too!

my favorite part of the hike was when i was able to do some bouldering to stay out of the water and dry. it was a thrill! it made me itch to do it again! i had forgotten how much i loved it!

and this was the reward at the end:

okay, so it wasn't "just like the olden days", but it was a taste of what life was like when we were young and free. we hiked through water, though mitch had to do it 3 times each; once carrying nani, once going back to get lala, and once more carrying lala, i did some bouldering, mitch tried, but it was a little difficult with kawena on his back, and we had a hiking adventure, though it took about 3 times as long.

isn't it great the changes children bring into our lives?!

what are those?

i don't know about you, but getting my children to eat the dinners i prepare is like pulling teeth. i can't tell you how often i hear, "i don't like that!" as they sit down at the table, not even having tried it. other things i hear:
  • "ewww!"
  • "what is that? .... oh, i'm full!"
  • "yuck!"
  • "i don't like chicken!" uh, you just ate chicken last night and you didn't complain!

so, i really look forward to making dinner, as i'm sure you can imagine, and all of the wonderful praise i hear from my children! i can always hope that tonight will be the night that they jump for joy at the prospect of eating my food, right? but 9 times out of 10 i am disappointed, yet again!

well, last night i made pork chops with apple stuffing. it was super tasty, to the adult population in our home, the little people had a different opinion (except kawena, she likes my cooking, for now, at least!)

after dinner, we were headed to the ice cream social at nani's school and the girls knew that in order to get ice cream they had to eat a good dinner. lala was struggling the most to get her pork chop down. we told her she just needed to take a few more bites. she was the last one at the table while we were cleaning up and getting ready to go. i went to check on her and it actually looked like she was doing a pretty good job. i looked at her plate and i saw this:

a little puzzled i asked, "what are those?"

lala answered, "those are the ones i already ate..."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

welcome to oregon

yup, we are almost home and i have mixed feelings about this:

the bad:
  • real life must start again
  • going home to a home that we still own and must show while living in it
  • the vacation is almost over
  • all that living space, the girls will get lost
  • getting ready for school to start
  • having a schedule
  • mitch going back to work in a week
  • not seeing new places and exploring with the girls
  • having to unpack

the good:

  • working out again, 8 weeks without exercise is NOT pretty!
  • still having a home
  • washer and dryer and dishwasher
  • room to spread out
  • school starts in a week
  • having a scedule (getting the girls back on their sleeping schedule is what i am most looking forward to)
  • our big, comfy bed
  • seeing all of our wonderful friends again
  • driving in my quiet tahoe that has so much space
  • internet access 24/7
  • kawena won't have to sleep in the middle of the living room and kitchen
  • being able to make noise after we put the kids to bed

i've got this mind set that if we don't go home the vacation won't end. i wish it were true. why can't we just be independently wealthy so mitch doesn't have to work and we can just travel and play! ahh, that would be the life. i guess i better wake up and get back to reality!

"there's something in it!"

we had breakfast outside the other morning (mariposa koa, outside of yosemite) and afterwards the girls went over to the playground to play while mitch and i moved our trailer to a new spot in the park. lala, like she often does, left the lid off of her propel water. i saw this, and replaced the lid.

after playing for awhile, she came back all hot and sweaty. she needed a drink. she had come into the trailer to cool off in the air conditioning and brought her drink with her. i was busy straightening up and turned around just in time to see her spitting her drink back into the bottle. i immediately said, "lala, don't do that!" as soon as her mouth was empty of the propel, she looks at me with a disgusted look on her face and says, "but there's something in it!" still a little annoyed, i take the bottle from her and look down into it and see a dead wasp floating in her drink!

that could have turned out much worse than it did!

Friday, August 24, 2007

what are the chances?!

during my summer when i was nineteen, i was home from my third semester at byu-hawaii, which, by the way, was fabulous. it was a wonderful summer because of my two buddies, nate and tim. we were like the three musketeers. we spent most of our free time together, hanging out with friends, going to the beach, and just making memories.

the boys were preparing for their missions, and i was writing to a missionary. by the end of the summer, they had both gotten their mission calls. nate to taipei, taiwan and tim to texas, houston east. i bid them farewell to their missions while i headed off to yet another great semester in hawaii. before we went our separate ways, tim took a $20 bill and cut it into thirds. he gave one third of the bill to each of us and we agreed that when we all met up again after our missions (my mission would overlap with theirs so it would be at least three and a half years before we would be together again) we would go have lunch and catch up on all of our adventures.

this past monday, while we were at glacier point in yosemite, i was listening to the ranger talk about half dome when up walks tim. total shock! i couldn't believe it! of all the random things! what were the chances that we would be up at glacier point at the exact same time! it had been years since i had seen him last! what a small world!

i love life's little unexpected jewels! there's nothing like an old friend to bring a smile to your day, or night!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

sights of yosemite

for those of you not into photography of nature please skip to the next post, for those of you not, here are some of the beautiful creations we saw this week at yosemite:

vernal falls, as you can see it is very dry right now. only vernal and nevada falls are flowing:
half dome as the sunsets:
half dome on the far right and the valley below:
some random granite upheavel of which i don't know the name, but it is pretty:
bridalveil falls, the white puff in the center is the "spray" of mist trying unsuccessfully to "flow" off the falls:
el capitan, the largest single monolith of granite in the world (can you imagine rockclimbing that baby?! all 3,593 feet of it):
overlooking the valley from tunnel view turnout with el capitain on the left:
illiloutte creek:
half dome and vernal and nevada falls:
ahh, the beauty of nature at it's best!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

a full day of yosemite

this weekend we enjoyed the beauty of yosemite national park. it was a first for all of us. we spent 2 days marveling at the beauties that were created for us to enjoy. it is an amazing place to behold!

on monday, we did a hike up to see vernal falls. the water is very low this time of year so the waterfall was small, but still beautiful! the girls were troopers and hiked the whole way up the trail.

our little hikers taking a water break in the shade:

we made it to the bridge!!

once we reached the bridge, we took our shoes and socks off and walking through the frigid waters. it was a warm day, about 97 degrees, so it felt so good to get our feet out of our shoes and into the water. for about the first 30 seconds it was so refreshing, but beyond that our little toesies began to feel like little frozen sausages from the snow melt water coming off the falls.

family photo:

we played there for a good hour and mitch took the girls climbing on the rocks and through the water. they loved it! i stayed put with the baby, who also enjoyed playing in the water.

mitch and the girls exploring:

then we hiked back down to yosemite valley to make the drive up to glacier point to enjoy the sunset overlooking the valley and half dome. wow! breathtaking!
about a mile before glacier point we stopped at this viewing spot where we could see both nevada and vernal falls and half dome.
the mason girls with half dome behind us:
we really had to stop to let lala get out and get some fresh air. it was very bizarre because our first day at yosemite lala got carsick twice and threw up. this was after she threw up coming down from sequoia national park the day before. if you remember from my previous post, lala was the one thought to have had the iron stomach! apparently not! the poor girl! it was funny because you wouldn't even know it was coming. she would be jabbering away one second, throw up the next second, then start jabbering away again. she is quite resilient, our lala! she made us laugh when after throwing up she told us, "that was my food. i know it was food because it felt different than last time when it was just my flavored water (that's what she calls crystal light)!" i'm sorry, was that too much information?

enjoying the view at glacier point overlooking the valley below with half dome in the background:

there was a fire burning on the other side of the valley above the falls so we tried to get a closer look through the telescope.

it turns out that the fire has been burning since july and as long as it is not endangering anyone, they will just let it burn because it is actually health for the forest.

we stayed there until after it was dark.

by the light of the moon in yosemite:

once at the car, nani and i went to use the restroom before making the drive back down to the valley. while we were in there, mitch got the other two girls into the truck. just before we were coming out of the bathroom, mitch honked the horn twice. i was thinking, "okay, we're coming. geez!!" when we got out, mitch told us that they had just seen a bear walking across the parking lot not two car lengths from them and it was heading toward the bathroom. so, that is why he honked the horn to scare the bear into the woods. he could just see it in his mind, we walk out of the bathroom and find ourselves face to face with a bear! i couldn't believe he didn't get a picture!! he said he was too concerned about us coming out before it left! i guess i should be happy about that! man, why did we have to go to the bathroom and miss it?! that was actually the second bear we came across in yosemite! i had heard the ranger telling someone that the bear is really hungry right now. i guess because it is so dry there isn't much food and she needs to put on 100 more pounds before she can hibernate. so, the ranger said we may see her around looking for food. boy, i'm sure glad mitch honked his horn!!
by the time we reached the campground all three girls were conked out, but not before we heard, "raise your hand if you had a fun day!" and every hand went way up!

sour face

eating a frozen lime fruit bar at yosemite national park:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

in the beginning

in the beginning there was bert tarayao and jill harker. they were two cute, single people. one, jill, came from idaho falls, idaho while the other, bert, came from hilo, hawaii, two completely different places. one summer in 1963 (i think that was the year?), as chance would have it, they were both in southern california. bert had wanted to get away from the islands and jill was visiting her sister during the summer break from ricks college.

they met on an "m n and gleaners" (olden days young single adult) activity, on the boat to catalina island (how romantic). bert was drawn in by jill's beautiful red locks and tall, slender physique, and jill thought bert was a handsome island boy with a brilliant, gleaming smile! they spent much of the remaining summer together.

as with most summer romances, the summer came to an end much too soon. jill was whisked back to ricks college as her studies beckoned to her, while bert was left longing for jill back in sunny, southern california. bert was determined not to lose the lovely jill. so everyday he wrote a letter to her expressing his undying love, in the hopes that she would not forget the little island boy she loved that summer.

well, chance would have it that she did not forget her hawaiian hotty and his undying devotion paid off. on august 17th, 1965 the happy couple were sealed in the idaho falls temple and thus began the family of bert and jill tarayao.

aren't they cute!

over the past 42 years, their little family of 2 has grown to an ever increasing family of 14, four beautiful children ;-), 3 great looking children-in-law, and 5 perfectly wonderful grandchildren!

grandchildren: lala almost 4, kawena almost 1, katrina 12, nani 6, kele 7

tutu man and tutu lady we love you! thank you for your beautiful love story that brought us all together as an eternal family! may your love story continue for many decades more!

authors note: based on a true story. artistic license was used. all information is true to the best of the author's memory.

note to mom and dad: sorry it's a day late, we were in sequoia national park the day of your anniversary and they have no internet access up there, can you believe it!? hope you had a great anniversary! i also hope i didn't take too much artistic license. feel free to correct anything in the comments section, mom and dad. i love you two so much! i'm always sad to leave when we visit. we had a great visit, minus the sickness! thanks again! see you in october!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


the girls LOVE the tidepools! today we looked for crabs, and fishes, and sea anemones. we found all three. i tried to convince the girls to touch the sea anemones, but they would have nothing to do with it! i told them the anemone would give their finger a hug if they touched it, but they would not get that close to them. i loved exploring with them and seeing there excitement at all the creatures crawling around in the tiny pools of water. here are some pictures:

nice bum in the background! (note to self: i need to learn to photoshop unwanted things out of my pictures, that would be the first thing to go!):

cute bum cheek weggie:

the hermit crabs:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

sandy face plant

poor kawena got reaquainted with the sand today by way of a face plant in the sand. one minute she was standing on the beachchair so happy and proud of herself,

the next minute she was face first in the sand

my new love

for those of you that read my 100, you will recall that i have a fear of waves. though i am an excellent, strong swimmer, i've always feared waves. maybe it goes back to the summer when i was a young girl frolicking in the waves at big corona when smack i was hit by a wave and it tumbled me over and over. i didn't know which way was up or down and i seriously thought i was a goner. but, obviously, it didn't kill me, but i was scarred for life!

or was i?

that all changed today! we went down to little corona today and mitch and i went boogie boarding. i was determined to give it a try, and boy did i fall in LOVE with it! we only had one boogie board between us, thanks to gavan, so we had to share. it was hard giving it up when it was mitch's turn. in fact, when we were walking back to the car i asked mitch, "did you have this much fun last year when you boogie boarded with gavan?" his reply, "yea! actually i had more fun because gavan wasn't a board hog like you!" i must admit, i did hog the board! it was just too fun not too!!

at first, i just road the little tiny waves, granted, the waves don't get all that big at little corona. right at the beginning i had the board and a bigger wave was coming toward us, it was a really nice one. mitch said, "take this one!" i chickened out and let it pass, catching a much smaller one. by the end of the day i was passing up the little ones and waiting for the big ones like that first one i let go. i tell you i am hooked.

tonight on the way home from the movies we were talking about our boogie boarding adventures and i said to my mom, "so, now we just need to move down here so we can boogie board." mitch said, with a chuckle, "no, mahina, you don't need another addiction. that is just what our kids need. they are already neglected because of your blogging addiction, they don't need you to abandon them for boogie boarding too. they need a mom!" i figure i can just take them with me and they can learn to boogie board! see, good quality time!

so here is a video of mitch and the girls playing in the sand while i am boarding. then, mom pans over to me in the water catching a TINY wave. it was still fun though! she didn't get me on any of the bigger ones. (note: mitch doesn't usually wear shoes to the beach. those are water shoes for walking at the tidepools ;-)


i remember after we moved to oregon and had our first child i wanted to take nani to the park. so, i set out to find the perfect park. i drove to the first park and was horrified to find, not sand, but bark chips on the ground. so, i loaded her back into the car and drove to the second park, only to find the same thing, bark chips. i loaded her up again and headed to the third park and found, for a third time, bark chips! i was thinking, "what is up with all the bark chips!?" i was a little perturbed by this point. all i wanted was to find a park for my daughter to play at that had sand. now, i was bound and determined to find a sand park. after trying two or three more parks, i dejectedly gave up my quest for a sand park and let her play at the bark chips park.

it was beyond me to think that there was no sand at any of these parks. what were these people thinking??!! you can't have a park without sand! growing up in newport beach, ca, all of the parks ONLY had sand. sand makes sense to me! bark chips?? no sense! think of the slivers! i never even knew that there was such a thing as bark chips before i moved to oregon.

later that week, i talked to a friend of mine who had grown up in oregon and i asked her where i could find a park with sand. she looked at me and said, "there are no parks with sand." "what?! no parks with sand?! you've gotta be kidding me!" she wasn't, there really are no parks with sand (well, there is one at the rose garden park, but that is too far away and the playstructure isn't built over the sand, there is just a sand box to play in). i couldn't believe it! who makes a park without sand?! apparently oregonians do!

well, our second child, lala, truly is a my child. that girl LOVES sand! anytime we are at a child's play area, like omsi or sea world, that has sand, you will find her happily playing. when we went to omsi back in june she was in the sand box for almost 2 hours straight. when we were at sea world in "shamu's happy harbor" she wanted to go immediately to the sand box, while nani and her cousins went on the bridges and water area and climbing ropes. today we went to the park by my parent's house and before leaving she excitedly asked, "is it the park with the sand?"

place lala in sand and she is one happy girl!!

at omsi:

at sea world:

at the dunes beach:

today at the park:

that's my sand baby!