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Maui Wow Weee!

So, we instantly fell in love with the little island in the Pacific that is Maui. Instantly!  We stepped off the airplane and felt the warm air, cool breeze, smelled that wonderful Hawaiian smell, and were met with friendly “Aloha’s”. Ellie’s hair started to curl up from the humidity right away, and we were soon taking off the layers of clothes we had on from the lovely 4 degree Utah temperatures.

We stayed just north of Lahaina in Ka’anapali at a resort called the Honua Kai.  It was right on the beach and had excellent amenities including a great pool area that was kid friendly and a nice market with lovely cupcakes and fresh locally farmed produce. We had a lovely room with a kitchenette and a good view of the ocean from the balcony. Except for the Luau, one dinner out, and a handful of lunches we were able to have low stress meals in house.

The highlights of our trip:

  • Snorkel/Dolphin and Whale watch boat tour to the island of Lanai So, when we go to the snorkel site I went out got spooked and promptly returned to the boat, Gary went out had a great time and encountered a fish half his size, Ellie got all geared up stood on the boat deck where the waves went from her knees to her chest jumped in with Gary got 10 feet away from the boat then with out crying or screaming or anything  just pointed back too the boat and she was done. Props to my three year old for being so brave.
  • Driving the Road to Hana
  • Lounging at the Ohe’o Gulch in Kipahulu at the end of the road to Hana
  • Morning walks on the beach
  • Eating spaghetti and clams (mermaid food) on the balcony as the sun set
  • The “Reefdancer” boat tour which is a glass bottom boat where we were able to see an Octopus
  • Attending the Old Lahaina Luau where Ellie exclaimed she was going to “eat the pigs body” after she watched them dig it out of the pit. Wha?
  • Dancing with the wee one at the Luau
  • Watching the amazing dancers “princesses” at the Luau
  • Discovering Napili Beach and successfully snorkeling there. We were able to watch a sea turtle hang out in the surf from the beach
  • Getting the family down to the beach for a sunset
  • Watching the sunset from the top of Haleakala Crater

Animals we saw:

Gary’s favorite part = swimming in the Ocean and learning the “Hawaiian Way”

Danette’s favorite part = morning walks on the beach watching all the whales, snorkeling for the first time, and watching my kids discover and love the beach

Ellie’s favorite part = seeing the Octopus, playing in the waves, and eating pig at the Luau. (Side note again my girl was brave as she was swept off her feet by more then one wave while we were there. She would get up and look at us as if to check in to see if it was ok and then smile at what a thrill that was and get right back after it. Oh to have that uninhibited drive to play and not fear consequences. PS Mom we were right there with her each time)

Owen’s favorite part = We think by the excitement we witnessed from him that he really liked playing in the waves and eating sand

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip. (If you would like to see all of the photo’s from our trip visit our flickr site here )

Owen just laughed at me when I told him with a very serious voice not to eat the sand

and some videos too…

We could get used to Maui

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A Happy Birthday Indeed

I had an excellent day yesterday. It started out with a full nights rest save for the wee one sneeking into the room in the middle of the night. Owen didn’t make a peep until 5am ish and that’s pretty good for him. The morning continued with a blissful sunrise spreading a lovely alpine glow over the Wasatch. I fixed one of my favorite breakfast (Apple Oven Pancakes) which the Wee One refused to eat. (Sometime we just don’t get each other) The morning continued with the Mantra of “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘cause ev-ry little thing gonna be all right

Gary took Ellie to preschool and Owen took his morning nap and I was graced with an hour and a half of pure silent moments to myself. Ahhhh

After Ellie’s preschool we went shopping. On the way home I let Ellie call Bada and Papa. She talked to them for over a half hour and it was all about Christmas. There was talk of Santa and ballerina’s, reindeer, chimneys, the north pole, Polar Express Train, Christmas Tree’s, Pirate ships for Owen and a crown for Daddy, It was so much fun to listen too. They really had her going.

I found Gary at home making my favorite Chicken Parm Dinner. We had plans of decorating our Christmas Tree but found out that the stand it was in was leaking all over the place.  🙁

Gary saved the day by bringing out my Birthday gift. He totally surprised me with an old school Fisher Price Sesame Street play set. I spied this about a month ago and got all giddy over it. I found it at this site Check it out if you grew up in the late ’70-’80’s  I guarantee you’ll have childhood nostalgia overload. I felt like I was 4 years old again when I opened it. I don’t remember if we had this set when I was young or if a neighbor kid had it all I remember is how much I loved it. The trap door that spits out the characters on the side, the “catwalk” that leads the characters to a slippery slide, the merry go round, all that.  I think that some of the childhood neurons in my brain that had been put to rest came back to life for a little while last night. It goes with out saying that Ellie and Owen were impressed too. They played with it until they passed out literally. Gary said that as he was laying Ellie down in her bed she mumbled in a dream filled sleep fog “sesame street playhouse…”.  Needless to say Gary did a good job this year of making my Birthday extra special.

Another funny side note. We were listening to Christmas music last night an old version of “Santa Baby” sung by Eartha Kitt came on and according to Ellie it is scary. She got really upset and cried big tears telling us it was scary. We couldn’t figure it out the only thing I can think of was the background singers. ???

And… Here is some footage of Owen and Ellie hamming it up too

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My Mom did a stellar job hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. The food was so good. Even the kids gobbled it all up and gave thumbs up with big smiles. It was a little somber considering we were all getting used to the idea of Grandma Jackson not being there, but it was so nice to be all together.

Owen and his Thanksgiving Banana

Parker the "Super Nurse!"

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Life is about Love

My Grandma Jackson passed away last Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving. She has been battling different ailments for a long time but it was a little unexpected and caught us off guard. My Grandpa Jackson asked me to give the eulogy. I was honored to be asked to do this and grateful for the opportunity to share my memories and thoughts of Grandma.  I explained in emails to Leslie and my mother-in-law this morning the kind of experience it was for me…

It did go surprisingly well. I was calm the entire time which is unusual. Every other time in my life when I’ve been put in that kind of a situation my heart races and I get the cold sweats and shakes, but I never experienced that. Instead I experienced Grandma’s love and it sheltered me from all the anxiety. Pretty much one of the most spiritual moments in my life.

LuDean Burris Jackson, 83, died Nov. 24, 2010, in Logan, Utah, after a long battle with health challenges. LuDean was born in Logan, Utah, at home on Oct. 3, 1927, the first child of William Thomas Burris and Alveda Lillian Barrett Burris. She attended Logan schools and graduated from Logan High School in 1945. LuDean worked at Logan businesses during and after high school. From the flip of a coin on a double date she met her future husband and eternal companion, Scott Jackson. She and Scott were married June 12, 1946, in the Logan LDS Temple. LuDean was active in the LDS Church, serving in the Young Women and Relief Society programs and as a Logan Temple officiator. She was involved in civic activities and was a good friend to many. She enjoyed the beauties of God’s creations and beautiful music.
LuDean is survived by her husband and friend, Scott, and their five daughters; Meriam Nielsen (Alan), Sherrie McKenney (Paul), DeeAnn Davidson (Daniel), Laurie Jackson and Gay Jackson. LuDean is also survived by two brothers and one sister; Keith Burris (Marye), Ronald Burris (Elaine), Carol Godfrey (Joe). She loved her family as much as life and was a loving grandmother to 15, special great-grandmother to 19 and one coming in May.
There are many ways to remember my Grandma like the violets in the lawn, a beautiful rose, Ebelskivers at Christmas, baseball, the temple, but what stands out the most is a simple letter

Dear Grandma Jackson

I think a letter is an appropriate way to honor you. As I gathered my thoughts and memories of you I asked my siblings and cousins to share with me their memories. Each one of us agree that we will miss your letters and cards. You never missed a holiday or reason to send a note.You wrote personal letters to each of us when we needed words of encouragement.  You wrote me almost every week when I was younger and learning to spread my wings. Remember the summer I spent in Alaska? The highlight of each week was when I found a letter from you. You knew I needed that connection to family when everything seemed so far away. I have learned that you did this for us all, we all have received letters of encouragement and love just when we needed it the most.  How lucky are we to have these hand written words to keep close to our hearts to remember you with.

I know that family was the foundation of your life. You gave unconditional love to all of us.  You would light up when ever we were together, especially around the wee ones. We felt your pride and your joy when we were together.  You always greeted everyone with a smile and a hug.  I will miss how you greeted us with genuine joy as we walked up the back steps into the kitchen. Your love for Grandpa and his for you was something to behold. What a beautiful marriage  you shared with Grandpa. You were so devoted and it was so easy to see that you were best friends. I love the fact that Grandpa kissed you goodnight every evening.  I cherish the sweet story of the coin toss to win the first date with you.

This love for family and friends radiated from you and made you such a positive person. You have endured so much with all your ailments you never complained you didn’t let it bring you down and depress you. You stayed positive and I think that took a lot of strength. Your positive attitude has had a far reach. We have always been amazed at how well you’ve handled the pain and frustration of diabetes. You have shown us how to rise above and be happy.

Grandma you knew that the key to life was to cultivate relationships and through that there is love. What a beautiful life you lived with so much love in your heart. What a wonderful example you are.  I never heard you speak ill of anyone I only witnessed you make more and more friendships along the way and those friendships were so honest and true. You have taught us through example that life is about love.  I am so honored to have your legacy to follow. You are the ultimate matriarch. I miss you Grandma.

with all my love,

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Happy Halloween

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

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Corn Belly’s

My Mom had some time off this week so she treated the Grandkids to a day at the Corn Belly Festival at Thanksgiving Point. We started out by having lunch across the way at the Cabela’s Store. The kids were so caught up with the display of animals we had a hard time getting them to concentrate on lunch. It was a blast we (the adults) were pleasantly surprised by the festivities at Corn Belly’s.  From princes land to gigantic jumping pillows, cow train, and haystack mazes. There was so much more beyond that.  At any rate the kids had a ball and it was stimulation overload by the end of the day. It was a beautiful warm day and the weather was so perfect.

Ellie and Tamia being Princesses

Taking a break on the big pillow

Cow Train

Riding the Corn Maze Express notice Ellie's ears are plugged b/c there was a "monster" next door making noise and Tamia is mimicing me taking the picture Silly girls

Parker in the Corn

Parker and Ellie in the haystack maze

Grandma and the kids

Grandma and the kids with Silly Faces

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Maui Wow Weee!

So, we instantly fell in love with the little island in the Pacific that is Maui....
article post

A Happy Birthday Indeed

I had an excellent day yesterday. It started out with a full nights rest save for the wee...
article post


My Mom did a stellar job hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. The food was so good....
article post

Life is about Love

My Grandma Jackson passed away last Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving. She has been...
article post

Happy Halloween

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at...
article post

Corn Belly’s

My Mom had some time off this week so she treated the Grandkids to a day at the Corn...
article post