Before & After Hawaii

When we left for Hawaii, we were pasty, ready for a change and hoping for a few challenges!

First full day in Hawaii

First full day in Hawaii

Although there are 100 reasons why we were excited about this trip,

one was to encourage the kids to get out of their comfort zone.


Tan-less baby

 In a relaxed setting, the kids were pushed out of their comfort zones to try

new things,

eat new foods,

and meet new friends!


The girls with their matching tattoos & paler complexions.

Hallmark overcame his fearful impression of the ocean and waves.


Once she got heated up, Joyful would leap into the water

and remembered how to swim (from 2 summers ago)!


Joyful finding new ways to get sand everywhere.


About the halfway point of our trip

Mother’s Day was celebrated in Hawaii with some delicious chicken and waffles and these munchkins!

I was pushed out of my comfort zone by running with my brother in law’s military group.

Intimidating and fun!


Joyful was able to get over her sandy issues and delight in the grit.


Batman and boogie board

The last week of the trip, Hallmark would adventure out into the ocean by himself to get water.

He even would grab a boogie board and go out with the Third.


A true adventurer

We also acquired some sunnier skin tones and beachy sun-bleached hair!


The babies at the beach being goofy.

The kids had their first motorcycle ride with Uncle J.


Hallmark looks a little uncertain on the motorcycle.


Joyful is always ready for a motorcycle ride!


The Third happily ready to go!


Hallmark was given the privilege to row our boat with our ever exciting guide.


The kids also learned about spear throwing.



We hiked Diamond Head too!

Trying Hawaiian shaved ice was a new experience and certainly an easy way to win over the kids to trying new foods!

Trying Hawaiian shaved ice was a new experience and certainly an easy way to win over the kids to trying new foods!

We left refreshed, pushed to new limits and thankful for the love of our family!

Are you intentional with getting your kids to try new things?

If so, how do you encourage them?

What sorts of things do you have them try?


DIY Superhero Capes


DIY T-shirt Cape

I realize I am not the first to make capes

but a kind woman at the library

mentioned to me how I should put them on the blog.


 And so I am!


What kid doesn’t love a comfy superhero cape?

Capes can flap in the wind!

Capes can flap in the wind!

And what mom doesn’t love a DIY project that takes 3 minutes and no shopping?

Flowing cape

Flowing cape

So grab an old t-shirt and scissors!

Toddler Superhero

Toddler Superhero

Follow the instructions and surprise your kids!

Lay t-shirt on flat on table.

Lay t-shirt on flat on table.

Cut the sleeves off and one side of the shirt taking care to keep the collar in tact.

Cut the sleeves off and one side of the shirt taking care to keep the collar in tact.

Many times the kids leave the house and I absentmindedly don’t realize their capes.

Nearly every time we leave with them on, we get comments.

It might not only brighten your kids’ day but others in your community!


And your kids may just dance their way around the backyard and the neighborhood!

Dancing capes

Dancing capes

As An Introvert I Like to Travel

This is a brilliantly silly post bent on encouraging the introverts

to step outside their house and try overseas traveling!


 I grew up in Japan.

I have been to several other countries on various trips.

I married a guy who’s job (Lord willing) is to travel.

But I am an introvert.

Is it possible to love to travel and be an introvert???

Most certainly YES!

One of my childhood homes in Japan

One of my childhood homes in Japan

1. When you are traveling, you’ll likely be in places where there’s a lot of people.

But you don’t have to interact with those people!

You actually can stay incognito and people watch

because others are distracted by everything around them.

I like to people watch, do you?

My family many years ago

My family many years ago

2. If you are going to a country that doesn’t speak your language,

you have every excuse not to talk to anyone!

Fresh Vegetables

Fresh Vegetables

3. Have you ever tried ethnic food in its respective country??

That’s reason enough to go!

And it’ll give you some good conversation topics when you are back with society.

Little Me

Little Me

4. Ironically enough, traveling overseas allows me to meet new friends.

And it’s kinda nice, they typically live all over the world

so maintaining their friendships is easier

because you are reduced to social media and email.

(Pretend Skype & Facetime don’t exist!)

Are you an introvert?

Do you like traveling?

Tasty Yogurt Pancakes


Early weekend tradition: Something Sweet for Breakfast


Typically I keep the sweets low in my family’s diet.

But it’s hard to deny the kids one sweet breakfast a week

especially as we always are eager for the weekend

which means more time with Daddy!


Recently the kids have requested Mickey Mouse.

So we celebrate weekends and

what’s a good way to kickstart the last day of school for the week

but pancakes?

We use the Creamy Yogurt Pancakes from Delia Creates.

I don’t buy extra ingredients if I can make do with what I have.

So I use regular whole wheat flour,

whole flax seeds (don’t even grind them up),

whole rolled oats (gives a good chewy texture)

and if any sugar typically I leave it out

(unless my homemade yogurt is particularly tangy)

then I’ll use maple syrup.

It’s easy and fills you up without weighing you down!


I’m not the best pancake shaper around but it sure does taste good!

What toppings do you like on your pancakes?

Looking at the Bright Side

Looking at the bright side graphic


Today the kids and I made an impromptu visit to a local beach.

The weather was beautiful with blue skies and a light breeze.

We were headed home from our local MOPS meet

when we all commented how it would be fun to play at the beach.


This mother could not deny these two a beach trip.

And because it was right around lunchtime it made sense!

No picnic, right before nap time, chores to do in the afternoon,

Sweet Cheeks without her blanket, could there ever be a better time?!

(Can you hear my sarcastic tone?)


Even rolled up pants is better than no visit to the beach!

Grabbing our stashed small box of sand toys,

dropping our shoes in the car

and racing down to the beach

was very freeing.

As I sat on the beach and watched the kids dig in the sand,

throw rocks in the water,

spotting airplanes above,

and making new friends,

I knew it!

This is what memories are made of!

This is what memories are made of!

No matter what else happened today,

it was a good day.

We ended up spending an hour and a half there

though the agreed upon visit was suppose to last a mere 30 minutes.

My kids had found some fun playmates

and even the new friends’ mom and I struck up an enjoyable conversation.


After beach humor

So I denied the chores my full attention

and said yes to all-natural vitamin D.

I gave up on the long quiet rest time

to relish the splashes and shrieks of joy

uttered from my children’s delightful mouths.

So today I looked on the bright side!


Update: Tomato plants are in the ground! Only time will tell if there’s enough sun, good soil and good natured animals who will leave it for us!