Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter in Paradise

Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving has come and gone and the tree just went up the other day. Things are going well in Hawaii and the weather is perfect! Who would ever want to live in the cold (sorry to all of you who are enduring sub freezing temps, snow, and arctic winds)?

The photos below are another sampling of the last month of so; certainly some wacky and amazing moments. Enjoy!

Super Dad and his side-kick Super Leif

The boy loves to bake

Wish we had a button that said "Look! I dressed myself!"

For Thanksgiving we packed up two coolers worth of food and beverages and hit the beach. We went over to one of our all time favorites, Lanikai and it was beautiful as usual. We stayed for a few hours and then made our way to the North Shore to have a picnic lunch under the Ko'Olau mountains. After that we stopped at the legendary Sunset beach to watch some big waves pounding the coast (not even close compared to what was to come in the near future); the second leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing would be starting in a couple of days.

Loving Lanikai beach on Thanksgiving

Trapping mom with a rope

Love that smile!

Leif the Science Kid conducting another experiment with ice.

Belly showing beneath the Ko'olaus

Silly boy making silly faces

Leif and Dad hanging at the beach on Thanksgiving

A great way to spend Thanksgiving!

Amanda and Cory on the North Shore, photo by Leif

Sweet boy hiding

Round 2 of the Vans Triple crown of surfing: Sunset Beach

In the week that followed we started to get ready for Christmas. One day when Amanda needed some time to focus on her projects Leif and Dad went out for the day and ended up getting a "whole huge denormous pile" of balloons. If you know this boy and his fixation with balloons, you know that he was shaking with excitement as Dad blew up every single balloon. Phew!

It must be heaven

Leif also loved helping decorate the house and the Christmas tree. He has learned that he only gets to touch the "soft" or non-breakable ornaments and that is fine with him. He is also doing ok with the presents so far. Only a few were taken back to his room to be played with (still in the wrapping, though).

Finding a perfect spot for an ornament

Helping mom decorate the tree

Whoa-ho-o!! It might be chocolate!

Thank you Grandma!

Later in the week, the surf forecasts were calling for some of the biggest surf on the North Shore in 20 years. This also meant that the Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Surf Contest (a.k.a The Eddie) was likely to go. The Eddie is only held when waves are consistently above 30 feet in face heights for the day. The last Eddie was held in 2004 but this is not to say that there have not been big enough swells, we had two near 40 feet last year, the conditions were just not ideal. This year was all but perfect. Cory took the day off from school (sorry students) and left at 4:30 in the morning so he could get a place to park. He arrived at Waimea Bay at 5:15 and only had to park 1 mile away! The beach was already packed. It was reported that over 30,000 people were at the Bay that day. Anyhow, it was a once in a life time experience for sure.

Eddie would go...and it was big!

An ominous morning

Party ride...sharing the aloha

Hazardous conditions to say the least (40+ft)! Shoots! 18 ft scares me!

The Eddie was BIG!!! 30-40+ foot waves...omg!

Kelly Slater after his near perfect 98 monster ride

The Bay will call the's on!!

15 ft shore break...simply impressive

In two days Cory will be running the Honolulu Marathon (12-13-09) and pictures of his nearly lifeless corpse will follow; likely on our Christmas post. So until then, have a great holiday season!

Aloha and mele kalikimaka!!

Cory, Amanda, Leif, and "Boo"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Harvest Time

Happy Harvest Time!

Fall is certainly in full swing and all of the Bennetts in Hawaii are glad that October is pau (done). Last month was completely nuts with all of the parties, projects, and obligations that we had to attend to. The start of October was a bit more relaxing as Cory was on Fall break so we were able to get to the beach a few more days. Anyhow, here are some photos of the last month or so. It is nice to look back on these as it reminds us how important it is to just stop and take time to enjoy life...especially when you live in such a beautiful place as Hawaii.

Enjoying Fall break at Lanikai beach

Time for a snack

Digging out a huge fort

lounging at Ko Olina

Chicken Joe's (from Surf's Up) famous line: "I can feel it in my nuggets"

On Cory's birthday we found out that our second child will also be a boy. We were all quite happy to hear that he is looking fine and seems to be in perfect health. Leif has decided that the baby should be called "Boo" after the character in Monster's Inc. even though this character was a girl. Regardless, it made for a clever addition to Amanda's second costume for this year (see below). The due date looks to be March 23, 2010.

Beautiful baby "Boo"

Contemplating birthday cake

Happy 34 Dad!

One of the things that had Cory swamped was the annual Hawaii Association of Middle Schools annual conference in October. Cory is a board member, president elect for the upcoming year, and volunteered to run/present a "learning lab." Terry T., one of Cory's most respected colleagues, agreed to co-present and it was so nice to share this experience with her. Cory is hopefully nearing the end of his course work for his PhD, too. He met with his committee the other day and they agree that he is ready for is comprehensive examines and it looks like he will be writing them over Christmas break. So, if anyone is planning a vacation please do not come during this time as Cory needs to be extremely focused on this exam (answering four questions each answer being about 15 pages long).

Cory's presentation at the H.A.M.S. annual conference

We also made our traditional trip to the pumpkin patch. Each year it gets so much better. This time Leif was able to pick out the pumpkin he wanted all by himself.

Found a good one!

2007--10 months old

2008--22 months old

2009--34 months old

Leif painting his pumpkins

Amanda went gang-busters trying to make birthday gifts for Leif's friends, our Halloween costumes, and product for the Honolulu Mommies craft fair that was held during the HM Halloween party. I don't know how she pulled it off but she did (super mom I guess:). Unfortunately, Leif was scared of the Kermit shirt she made and we ended up being ghosts again for Halloween.

The costume that never was

This is as close as Leif got to being Kermit

Animal and Kermit at neighbor's costume party

Miss Piggy and Kermit at the same party

Honolulu Mommies annual Halloween party

The fruits of her labor

Getting ready to carve pumpkins

It's trick or treat time!!!!

Momma and baby "Boo"

Leif and Dad scoring big on Halloween booty

The only jack-o-lantern we made...guts were "stinky!"

We hope your fall has been less hectic than ours and sincerely hope that you might have a chance to come visit us in the near future (though Christmas is likely not a good time this year...see above). So, until then,


Cory, Amanda, Leif, and baby "Boo"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good Times


A lot has been going on here but we will keep this short and let the pictures and videos do most of the talking. Amanda is feeling better now that she is into her second trimester and she is even starting to show a little. Pictures of her and more details will follow with our next post.

Leif and Dad with their first homegrown pineapple

Amanda scored huge pile of free fabric and other sewing supplies. It was like Christmas came early! Of course she set to work making lots of projects and gifts for others.

That's a lot of fabric

Leif had been singing songs after dinner and decided to do it while being a strong man. We thought he was going to burst a blood vessel while doing this. Once again, another reason he keeps us laughing.

Wheels on the bus meets strong man

One day we took a trip to the Dole Plantation to kill some time. Leif loved climbing up on the pineapple pictures and sticking his head through. He has his legs spread wide in back and is standing on two posts; which he figured out how to do on his own.

Leif at the "Pineapple Place"

One sweet smile

Leif and Dad being silly

Amanda needed some time to get things done around the house one day so Leif and Cory took off to the zoo. We had a blast seeing all the animals, including the stinky elephants.

So excited to be at the zoo

Showing Dad the Meerkats

Deep in thought at the zoo

Leif came up with this one day. He found Amanda in the kitchen and wanted to show her the "pulley" he made. Amanda wasn't sure what he was saying as we had NEVER talked tohim about pulleys. On top of that, he wanted Amanda to be sure she knew what he was talking about so he clarified that it was "a pulley; a simple machine mom."

Showing off his pulley (a simple machine) invention

Leif won a slip n slide at a friends birthday party. Needless to say he loved it.

Such a strong boy

best part of the slip n slide...drinking the water

Having a great time on the slip n slide

Cory surprised his dad for his 60th birthday by coming back for the party. He had a great time seeing his mom, grandma, siblings, and other family members, too. It was a visit full of aloha though Cory really missed not having Amanda and Leif there.

Fremont country side views

Views from Cory's 12 mile run

Wild sunflowers and farm equipment

Shaka Mom

Fall arriving early in Fremont

Grandma Thor and Cory after talking story over ice cream

Cory's Dad's 60th B-day party

Sister, brother, Dad, and Cory

Leif missed his dad, partly because he wanted his " big huge pile of prizes" that Dad had promised him.

Excited to have his big huge pile of prizes

Its Mater!!!

We hope all is well and hope to hear from you soon.


Cory, Amanda, Leif, and "baby boo" (as Leif calls it :)