Sunday, September 28, 2008

Some pictures

I am loving the new blog feature that you can have on your side bar that tells you when the last time someone updated was. It is a huge time saver. But I am also finding it to be a little stressful. Laura has one on her blog and I am very conscious of not falling "below the yellow line." (<- biggest loser phrase) I just don't want to be at the bottom of the list because I haven't updated my blog in so long. STRESS. So here are some pictures of us lately. With commentary of course. {We went fishing as a family a couple Saturdays ago, and it was a huge success. The boys loved it because I went and could take them to the swings that were close by the fishing pier. Then they didn't have to sit in the sun waiting for the fish to bite. When a fish did bite, Steve would call us over and we would all get in on the action. This is a sting ray that Nathan reeled in with a missing tail. I think it is disgusting that it is in my house and in his hands. Yuck!}{Here is Steven's catch. I have a better picture of the fish, but I figure you would rather see him in his pirate hat than the fish anyway.}
{Of course the degutting of the fish.}
{Here is Jacob posing with our new avocado tree we got in the mail. }
{Friday night was the Fall Festival at the school and we had a great time. I didn't volunteer to help at it because Steve was out of town and I didn't know what to do with the boys, so I felt bad about that, but we did have a good time. Here is Jacob knocking down the bowling pins for a great dollar store prize.}

{This is a blurry picture of Steven's favorite game. The cake walk. He went around this thing like 10 times and still ended up with no cake. Poor guy. Maybe I will make him one. We donated Monster Cookies to the cake walk.}{Nathan and Jacob on the rock wall the school put up. Pretty cool. Jacob didn't get very high unfortunately}
{Here is Brandon doing that good ole thing one year olds do. This time it was a brand new, extra large roll. I didn't get mad at him, this is just his new thing.}
{See, here he is showing off three things. 1. His new embarrassed face. 2. His new Hawaiian boy outfit that I totally love. 3. How good he is doing at standing. The three other boys, when they started standing, they were walking within a day or two. Brandon has been standing pretty well by himself for a month now, but he still doesn't walk.}
{This is his other expression. His fingers go in his mouth like that all the time.}
{And lastly, I cleaned up for the Home Teachers tonight, so I decided to take a picture of our family room without the boxes. I am as happy as I can be with it for all the junk furniture we have in it, but since it is going to be a while before we get anything better, I guess I better learn to love it. By the way, what do most people do with all the wires that hang out from there TV when it is mounted on the wall. The way we have it is just tacky, but I don't know what else to do with them. }
There, now I am safe on that list for at least another week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our new toy!

Steve and I are not usually big spenders. Meaning, we prefer to spend our money on lots of small things, and rarely on big expensive things. Well, as you can see if you have been watching the blog this past 2 months, that has definitely changed. Our big spending is coming to a close though, so that we can afford to keep our home, but we had to go out with a bang, and here it is!

Last Friday we had this Electric Baby Grand Piano delivered to our house and we are LOVING it! I was a little concerned that it was going to be way too big for the room, but I think it looks great. Steve and I are getting lots of practice on it, and the boys are enjoying singing with it. Soon we will start Steven in piano lessons, and hopefully he will enjoy learning. As my friend Suzanne and I were just talking about, piano playing seems to be a dying art. I feel like Mormons used to be such a piano playing people, and now there are meetings all over the place that are begging for someone to play "at least the top hand". My personal goal is being good enough to play piano for my calling hopefully within the year.
After we made the big mess in the house the boys were karate chopping the styrofoam to get it to fit in to trash bags. A definite highlight to their day.

Here is baby Brandon sporting his Big Kahuna T from Hawaii. He looks happy doesn't he.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I have another blog I am suppose to be doing, but I have to wait until I can get a good picture of me with Brandon smiling per Laura's request. We have all of course reconnected here at the Hughes homes and are moving on with life, but I will still get photo evidence. :)

In the meantime, I have something to say. I have been reading a TON this summer. Probably due to the fact that I haven't had a house to clean or a computer to play on for most of the summer. And then when I did move in to my house I was so hooked on books that I have been moving at a very slow pace. In fact I told Steve that I would be taking a break after the last book I read because I was losing sleep and important cleaning time because of it.
So, I finished "Return to Love" by Anita Stansfield (an LDS author) but I still wanted to have something to read at appropriate times. So, I decided to read a self help book that I have. Those don't seem to yell at you to pick them up like some other books do. And THAT book is what I want to share with you.

First: the story. For a time while we were living in Germany, Steve and I were having a pretty hard time in our marriage. I know, I am not suppose to admit such things in the perfect and peaceful world of blogging, but a lot of you already know anyways. So, without going into the private details, I decided to buy a book to see if it would do me any good.

This book was written for ME. I couldn't believe how well it described me and my flaws. I quickly changed my attitude towards Steve to save him from the misery that the men in this book have gone through. Now believe me, Steve had a lot of changing to do as well, but he so graciously let me take the first step. And, as I was nicer to him, he became nicer to me and so the ball started rolling in the upward direction instead of rolling down like it had been. To this day (about 2.5 years later) our marriage is still at a point that we are both happy, and feeling loved and respected by the other person.

So, the other day while I was at a book store I came across this book

Even though, I am happy in my marriage right now, I so respect Dr. Laura's views at this point I had to buy the book if not just for a refresher course. It was on sale for $5 too, so that helped. Anyway, the book is great. It talks about the wonderful characteristics of women and how they differ but compliment the wonderful characteristics of men. And how the womens movement, to make women the same as men, really hurt our society and our own individuality. I am thoroughly enjoying this book as I am learning new things about me, Steve and people in general.

So..... whether you are blissful in your marriage, miserable in your marriage, or somewhere in between, I recommend this book if not just to help you understand your spouse better. It is such an easy read as well. Enjoy!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A PERFECT vacation

{Views from our hotel room}

If I could describe a perfect vacation, the one I just got back from would be it.
1. Perfect and beautiful place.
2. Gorgeous weather
3. Nice, friendly people
4. Very nice hotel
5. Paid for mostly by someone else
6. Lots of time spent all alone, doing whatever I wanted.
7. Lots of time spent alone with Steve enjoying one another.
8. A call to my Mom and children everyday to ask how things are going, and the answer always being, "things here are great!"
9. A call to Laura everyday to find out where to go, what to eat, or what to do, and her always there ready to give suggestions. She lived on Oahu for about 3 years, and knows that Island well. It was great to have someone to talk me through my vacation.

Could you really ask for more than that. I love, love, loved this 10 days we got to spend in Hawaii!

Now for the details:

MON.- Steve left about 6:30 for his class, and since I was jet lagged, I was ready to get out of bed too. I spent the first day going out to breakfast at "eggs and things", shopping in the cute little touristy shops, and then went out to the ocean. The water seemed SO salty to me, but maybe it was because I was just at Lake Tahoe. The beach was gorgeous and very relaxing though.
When Steve got home he brought snorkeling gear for both of us, and we went out to the water and practiced using our stuff. It was really fun and we saw some cool things in the water just outside of our hotel room in Honolulu.

TUES.- I got on the bus and headed to Laie to visit BYU Hawaii and to see the temple. I was able to do a session at the temple and the bus ride there took me on a road right along the coast so it was a beautiful drive.
{This street leading up to the temple is so gorgeous.}
After the temple I took the bus and meet up with Steve and his friend from work named John and we snorkeled at Haleiwa. We were swimming with a big sea turtle there which was very cool. This snorkeling experience kind of freaked me out though, because the reef was so close to the waters surface that you had to lay on it to get back to shore. I hated that, and kind of panicked when I was getting out, and scrapped my leg up. I didn't want the black spikey things to poke me! For dinner we went to Haleiwa Joes which had very good sea food.

WED.- I spent 4 wonderful hours at the Aloha Stadium shopping at the hugest flea market. It was so much fun, and I was all alone, so I could look at whatever I wanted and for as long as I wanted. Talk about Perfect. Steve met me there the last hour it was open and then we went back to the hotel for a nap. We had Jack in the Box for dinner that night, and just relaxed in front of the TV.

THURS.- This was the last day of Steve's class, so I just relaxed at the hotel and went to the beach. When he got home we went to Hanauma Bay to go snorkeling again. If you haven't guessed this was Steve's absolute favorite thing to do. Hanauma Bay was gorgeous and we saw lots of big fish and coral. It was here that I finally figured out that I think snorkeling makes me sea sick. Every time we went I came out of the water with a slight stomach ache and I couldn't figure out what it was. But this day I felt that motion sick feeling I have felt so many times in my life, and I finally realized that was the problem. It was so beautiful there though.

FRI.- This was my favorite day. We got to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center all day and I loved this place. It teaches you so much, and is so enjoyable as well. The dances are beautiful and unique from what I have ever seen, and the people are gorgeous. We got to go to the Luau there too and it was wonderful. We had a nice buffet dinner, and then went to see the show and I was amazed.
{Before we headed to the PCC we got to eat at our favorite place. I had to take this picture because while Steve and I were traveling around Europe, we told my sisters that our goal was to go to McDonald's in every country we went to. I think we just about accomplished that goal too. So, I thought I would let you all know that we continue that tradition with all of our travels. Breakfast was great by the way.}

{Our favorite guy at the PCC. He was doing the show for Samoa.}
{I had this horrible zit all day at the PCC, so I had to keep this hat on. I was trying to take a picture of it to see how bad it was. I showed Steve the picture expecting to get a response about how beautifully blue my eyes are, instead he asked me if I wanted him to erase it. Men!}
{These are some of the canoes in this canoe parade they did. It was amazing.}
SAT.- Guess where we went? Snorkeling again of course. Steve wanted to try snorkeling first thing in the morning, so that is where we headed on Saturday. I had had my fill by then, so I layed on the beach and read my book, while Steve snorkeled for 2 hours! He loved it, and I really enjoyed myself for the first hour and forty-five minutes. By the time he got out of the water, I was really ready to go. We went back to the hotel and rested and then went out to dinner at Red Lobster, one of our favorite places. Then Steve went back to the hotel to go to bed, and I went on a walk along the shoreline of Waikiki. I went about a mile down the beach and watched the sun set, it was very nice.
{Steve snorkeling out to sea}
SUN.- We went to the Pearl Harbor Memorial Sunday morning and rented the headphones that tell you all about it. We had a nice time there, and learned a lot about a tragedy that I did not know much about. I decided it was as devastating at the time for those people as Sept. 11th is for our generation. It does hit home harder when you live at the time that something like this happens.
After that we headed to church at the same ward Steve was born and blessed in. We really enjoyed our meetings there, and we also got an extra surprise. There is a family in that ward that had just moved in a month before, that I was friends with when we lived in Augusta. Suzanne and her husband Jared have 4 boys and live on Schofield barracks. She is such a wonderful person and invited Steve and I over for dinner on the spot. We went and had delicious BBQ hamburgers and really enjoyed their company.

MON.- Was Steve and I's 8th wedding anniversary. We have celebrated our last 4 anniversaries at a beautiful restaurant in a castle in Germany, so Steve had to make sure this anniversary was exciting since it would be breaking our tradition. And he did a fabulous job. We slept in that morning and then headed over to the north shore for some great Mexican food at Cholos, then we went to Matsumoto's to get some much talked about shave ice. It was really good, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I could because I was full from lunch. It was delicious though.
Then we decided we wanted to check out the Dole Pineapple Plantation. We went on a small little train ride around the plantation and learned a lot about pineapples. Then back at the visitor shop we paid $10.00 to open up an oyster and see what treasure we got inside. The oyster I picked had 2 beautiful black pearls in it, which are going to make fabulous earrings. What a great anniversary present from my dear husband.
That evening Steve had planned for us to go on a Sunset Cruise with a dinner buffet. So we got a little dressed up and headed out to the boat. It was so nice. The food was good, it was great to be there with Steve, and to go up top and watch the sunset was so peaceful and romantic. After the boat we went to a show that Steve wasn't sure what it was, and it ended up being a magic show. It was pretty cool. Not something that Steve or I love, but it was entertaining and we got to be there together, so I thought it was great.

{These pics are out in front of our hotel. The last two show our new love for the Hawaiian culture. (We are copying the statues in the back in case you are wondering)}

TUES.- the day we headed home. I woke up Tuesday morning very excited to go home and see the kids. A perfect vacation is one that ends at the perfect time too. I was ready to go home, but I wasn't so ready that I was getting antsy. It was just perfect. Our long traveling day got us home at 8:30am Wednesday where Mom and Tawna picked us up with Jacob and Brandon in tow. Brandon was so confused when he saw me. He had that look that said "I've seen you somewhere before, but I can't put my finger on it." He wouldn't smile at me, and was much happier with Mom or Tawna for at least the first 24 hours. In fact he preferred my Mom to me until we took her to the airport on Thursday. He has warmed up to me now though.

{ Back to good ole back scratches from 3 boys}So that is my wonderful vacation. I don't think it can ever be matched. I know I will travel a lot more in my life, but not when I am leaving so much responsibility behind. My Mom is truly amazing and has taught me so much and done so much for me. What a great example she is to do something so selfless and kind so that I could have a vacation. My kids were left in loving, capable hands, and I attribute most of my perfect vacation to that. Thanks Mom you are the BEST!

Last but not least is my wonderful sister "texting Tawna" :) This darling girl has only flown three places in all of her 19 years, and every time it was to come and take care of my darling boys. She is a one of a kind little sister and my sisters that are closer to my age and myself are thrilled to have her hopping from house to house. She is a joy to be with and does so good with our kiddos. We love you Tawna. (It's a bad picture I know, but it is all I got. Steve took it last night.)