Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Na Pali Coast

This fifteen-mile stretch of rugged coastline on the northwest shore of Kauai literally means "the Cliffs." Much of Na Pali Coast is inaccessible due to its cliffs that drop straight down, thousands of feet into the ocean. Sailing, rafting and hiking are the best ways to experience Na Pali Coast.

There are numerous boat tour options to explore Na Pail Coast. The smaller boats have the ability to take you into the sea caves, which the larger boats can not. After much research, I decided we should take a smaller boat. We thought we would be sailing on the Na Pali Kai Boat (see photo), but were surprsed to see our small "raft" (picture on the top right) that I had booked instead.

The kids were a bundle of nerves, as we signed our lives away, watched a "safety" video, and were warned and re-warned about the risks of our excursion. When we met captain Erin, our fears were not eased. Fortunately, Hulk Hogan had snuck aboard, and all our fears were put to rest.

Captian Erin
Hulk Hogan
The scenery was breathtaking. It tuly is one of the greatest wonders of the world. They were filming the 3rd Pirates of the Carriebean movie on the Na Pali Coast one week prior. Unfortunaely, we did not see Johnny Depp.
Our boat was able to actually enter the stunning sea caves. The cascading waterfalls, and velvet green terrain are spectacular.

Dolphins swam along side our boat. Spinner dolphins were displaying their acrbatic abilities as they spun in the air. Sea turtles swam with us as we snorkled.
We stopped for lunch and snorkling. Captain Erin referred to us as "Utah", and gave us the remainder of the cookies, since our family was so large. I began referring to him as Dan since someone had mistakenly called him that and it really annoyed him.
The Napali Coast coastline is truly majestic. It is another must see, in Kauai.

South/West Shore

We explored the South and West Shores of Kauai, experiencing small historical towns with charming little shops. Two must stops along the way are the Shrimp Station, for heavenly shrimp, and Jo Jo's for delicious tropical shaved ice.

We originally planned on hiking in Waimea Canyon, but we had some car sick passengers, therefore, we only stopped at the lookouts. The scenery was stunning. They call the Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Hawaiian Islands.

We stopped at a fruit stand only our journey and purchased some luscious fresh pineapple. There is nothing like fresh Hawaiian pineapple.

Poipu Snorkeling

We were able to spend the day at the Marriott, Waiohai Beach Club located in Poipu. Ben, Lizzy, and I spent most of the time at their beautiful pools. The others explored Popiu's fascinating underwater world. Ben examined the making of an exquisite, volcanic rock, man-made pool with his snorkel equipment.

Friday, June 25, 2010

North Shore

On Kauai's north shore you'll discover some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. Movies such as South Pacific were filmed here.
The Kilauea Lighthouse is the northernmost point of the main Hawaiian Islands. Built in 1913, it guided ships heading to and from the Orient. In the 1970's its light was turned off and this landmark was replaced by a low-maintenance light beacon.

We visited both the Blue room Wet Cave and the Manin-holo Dry Cave located in Ha'ena. Sea caves are formed by thousands of years of ocean waves pounding against the lava and eventually etching out a cavern. At one time, the ocean was up to this point. The water in these wet caves is fed by springs seeping through the porous lava and is extremely cold.

When we passed the above water hole on our way to the caves, the man on the bike was bathing in it. On our way back, he had finished his bath, and was riding his bike down the middle of the street. The sign on the back of his bike said, "Thank you for pot smoking."

The Wailua falls is a majestic, 80-foot tiered waterfall. The falls was made famous when it was featured in the opening scene of the popular television show, Fanasty Island. There are many beautiful beaches along on the North Shore that we stopped at or drove by. These pictures are more of a cliff than a beach. As I was parking the van, and before I could say this is too dangerous to climb down, Mike and Quinn were at the bottom.

Opaek'a Falls is located off the north branch of the Wailua River.

The north shore also is home to several quaint towns that we visited such as Hanalei, and Princeville. We loved shopping in these little towns along the way.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Secret Falls Kayak/Hike Tour

We decided to go on a kayak/hike tour to Secret Falls. In order to go we all needed water shoes, that we did not bring. Thanks to the $8 specials at Wallmart, we were able to purchase these lovely water shoes for our tour.

Our tour consisted of paddling up the Wailua River with our fun and adventurous guide Lindon. Once we reached the North Fork of the river, we proceeded with a short hike through a tropical rain-forest. The hiked led us to the beautiful Uhuwehi Falls (aka Secret Falls). This was an adventure our entire family enjoyed.
Kayaking to the North Fork. Some Kayaks carried non-paddling passengers.

Hiking through the rain-forest to Secret Falls.

Enjoying the falls (well most of us, Ben...not so much).
The trek back.

The Little Blue Church

We attended church in Hawaii, at the Lihue Ward, in this charming little church. This little blue church was built by my friend, Amy Jacobsen's, Grandfather in 1932. It's architecture and ambiance accentuates the Hawaiian culture of warmth, kindness, and love.

The congregation consisted of many visitors. We saw many of our hotel acquaintances there. I was so touched by the sweet spirit of the Hawaiian people. Their hospitality is abundant, and brimming with compassion. They made us feel so welcomed and comfortable. At the end of the meeting the ward members sang this song to all of the visitors and presented us with knitted leis that they had made.

We have been to three different LDS wards in the past three weeks. We have been to wards in Las Vegas, West Valley, and now Hawaii. The gospel and it's beliefs and doctrines are the same wherever you may be. We always receive a warm welcome, and feel the spirit wherever we attend.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kuai 2010

Welcome to Paradise!

The beautiful scenic view of the hotel landscape, terrain, and facilities.

Luscious tropical fruit smoothies, the state bird - the rooster (maybe not the state bird according to google, but we think so, they were everywhere), and friendly little birds that will eat out of your hand.

Fun in the dazzling pool, playing volley ball, and jumping off the bridge. We may have gotten a small reprimand for bridge jumping.

Entertainment - Handstand contests, football, and reading.
The breathtaking beach, and ocean.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Padres 2010

Ben played machine pitch for the Padres this season. His coaches were Mark Larsen, and Jeff Smith. They did a great job teaching the kids new skills, the game of baseball, as well as good sportsmanship.

Ben played first base quite often, as well as other positions. He was a great defensive and offensive player. He made 4 home runs, which included 1 grand slam. It has been said that the borrowed bat, (from the Parry's) that Ben used during the baseball season, is a magic home run bat.

The regular season consisted of winning all but one game. We missed the play-offs since we were out of town, but his team took 3rd place.

Ben was selected to play on the Allstar A team. He is excited to be able to continue playing baseball for a few more weeks this summer.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, and Anniversary, Steve!

Today is a tough, emotional, quiet, slow, day for our family. We are missing Steve a lot on this special day. We are just letting the day pass, and taking a moment to remember him.
Thanks to wonderful friends and family for sweet messages, notes, and gifts on this day. We love and appreciate you! Good Things to Come

This has been an inspiring video for me to watch today. My favorite quotes from this video are:,

"For those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ there are better days and good things to come."

"Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end, trust God and believe in good things to come."

I have seen this quote referenced in other blogs, which reminded me that we all have trials, and difficult times in our lives. Our circumstances may be different, but when we embrace the gospel blessings come.

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Mom's 80th Birthday Party!

Dad & Mom

Happy 80th Birthday!

Our Family

Brother's and Sisters

The Crowd

My mom's 80th birthday party was held on June 5th, at the Lion House. Several family members flew in for this special occasion. The Lion House is one of my mom's favorite places. My sister Susan was the party planner, and host. She made a memory book with family photos, and a DVD. She did a wonderful job, and my mom couldn't have been happier. Happy Birthday mom!

Let The Summer Begin!

Summer has official begun today. It wasn't ALL work at the Brown's, but special projects are getting done, thanks to my cute kids. This is Katelyn hard at work cleaning, organizing, and oiling my kitchen cabinets. They look beautiful! Mike took on the garage, you better hurry if you want to see it clean, it only lasts a short time.

The day began with Ben at Basketball Camp at 8:00; Mike at Basketball Camp at 10; cleaning; swimming; practicing baseball; practicing basketball; and practicing music.

I love having the kids out of school for the summer! Hopefully, we can get some projects done, but more importantly, have a great time together!

Sarah Can Cook!

Rice Krispie Treats 101!
(...and who said Sarah couldn't cook.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day


and much more.

Memorial Day weekend was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. It was difficult visiting Steve's grave and being reminded of our incredible loss, and void in our lives. Moving Meagan and Quinn to Vegas, in the same weekend, added another dimension of sadness. It was extremely difficult for all of us, but especially the younger kids. They are very close to their sister, and are really sad that she won't be 5 minutes away anymore.

We had a great time visiting Las Vegas. There are many wonderful things about Las Vegas, and there are many things that characterize it as "Sin City". I won't go until details about what may define it as such, let's just say, my younger kids got their eyes opened a tad.

There were lots of interesting billboards that made us laugh. One in particular was advertising Dr. Reefer. His logo was a marijuana plant, and it said, "To get legal today, call Dr. Reefer.

We went shopping at Town Square while we were waiting for the U-Haul to arrive. I had to invoke the "forced, family, fun", policy to get everyone to come. It is a fabulous place to shop! It is similar to the Gateway in Salt Lake, but ten times the Gateway. It has amazing shopping, entertainment, and great eating establishments. The boy's didn't see the attraction, probably because we just shopped, but indulged us.

The girls favorite place to shop, was H & M. They had scouted this out in advance, and would only go to a mall that had H & M. The clothes are inexpensive, and fashionable; every college student's dream.

The funniest moment at the mall, was Lizzy's experience trying on clothes. The door to the dressing room was locked, so she slid on her back under the door, only to find the dressing room was occupied. Now this wasn't just any slide. This was a lay on the floor, legs bent, smiling face, fast slide. I think she slid out as fast as she slid in when she was eye-to-eye with strangers. I'm not sure who was more embarrassed, Lizzy, or the occupants.

The boys were such good sports, but were thrilled when we finally left Town Square. We took them to the Nike outlet, for payment of enduring such agony. Mike found some great shoes, and Ben's purchase was of course, a ball. He took the ball EVERYWHERE with him. As we would traipse through the casino trying to get to our hotel room, patrons would encourage Ben to throw them a pass.

Church started at 9:00 a.m. The boys wore their basketball shoes with their Sunday clothes. I'm still wondering whether it was a wardrobe mishap or wardrobe mischief. When Ben got in the car after church, he ripped off his Sunday shirt and there was a Bountiful Baseball T-Shirt underneath. Sunday after church we went to see the fountains at the Ballagio. I am not sure that was a great Sunday activity. We parked at Cesar's Palace and had to walk through the hotel to get to the fountain. If you have ever been to Cesar's Palace you know what I mean.

We had a great time, shopping, eating out, spending time at the pool, seeing a few sites in Las Vegas, and mostly.....spending time with Meagan and Quinn. We are going to miss them so much!

We all were really happy when Meagan drove home with us to pick up a car in Salt Lake. She will be staying with us until Thursday. I told the kids maybe we can just go back and forth until she gets tired of it and moves back.

9th Grade Recognition Night

After the scholastic awards were distributed, they presented the Departmental Awards. One person per department received an award. Mike received the Departmental Award for basketball.
I am completely full of emotions tonight. I am so proud of Mike. These past two school years have not been easy. Amidst the difficult times, he has amazed me with his devotion and motivation to academics. He has not only excelled in academics, but sports as well. To top it all off, he is one of the nicest young men I know (I might be a little partial).

May Music

This spring has been full of music competitions. Katelyn, Mike, and Lizzy participated in piano Federation. They performed at the U of U, and were judged by three judges. Mike and Lizzy received superior ratings, and Katelyn an excellent.

Katelyn performed violin federation at the U as well. She received a superior rating for her performance.

Lizzy received a silver harp performance with a silver star. She was invited to play in the Honor's Recital, and received a trophy.