Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer Vacation Begins

Summer vacation has begun...sort of. Cory has finished the semester mentoring the new teachers and is finishing up a week of no work/school responsibilities! Cory had a great time working with these teachers and certainly learned a lot from the experience. He is currently working with his advisor on writing an account/summary of the field experience with two of the mathematics teachers with the hopes of having it published.

Allison, Shannon, Trevor, Cory, Julene, and Karl
Time off means that we have been to the beach...a lot! So what follows are basically beach pictures. Hopefully they don't seem too boring but rather show a little of what Leif enjoys doing and how his personality is really starting to grow!

Planting our little garden

Helping mix the sugar in the cookies...Leif likes the sugar

All ready for the ball game...we just don't what game he plans on playing

Helping make the pizza

Discovering the joys of chocolate pudding at Zippy's

May 2008...a lot of change in 1 year

Some of our favorite beaches right now are Ko Olina, Ala Moana, Waikiki (we usually go to the zoo first and then walk across the street to go to the beach), and Lanikai because Leif now loves playing in the water. One day he just took off and didn't get out of the water until an hour later. He particularly likes "swimming" which means he lays in the shore break and lets the water push him around, "surfing--getting on his boogie board and having mom or dad pull him around, or running into the water to rub handfuls of sand on dad. He has even had a few "wipe outs" where he goes under. Although he usually comes up crying, wants to be wrapped up in a towel, and needs to wipe off his face, he always wants to get back in the water; sometimes right away. He is really loves going to the beach.
Giraffes, rhinos, and zebras...Oh my!

Momma and Leif surfing at Waikiki Beach
Having fun in the sun
Can't wait for him to graduate to the big boards
Finding his own happiness

Watching the sun set at Ko Olina

I'm not so sure about this "salad" part but I love the olives

The Bennett Family

Swimming with turtles
Boys Day was May 5th so we celebrated it in style. We began by hanging up our carp "kites" and then went to the North Shore for a day of fun at Chuns Reef--Cory went surfing in solid 5 foot waves, Leif and Amanda played in the tide pools, and then we finished it off with a nice big shave ice from Aoki's!

Happy Boy's Day!

Flying "kites"

A great way to spend any day...with shave ice

One of our outings started with an 8:00 am start out the door. We first drove to Kailua and a wonderful "hidden" beach called Lanikai. We played in the surf and sun for a few hours, got lunch from Maui Tacos, and shared a HUGE scoop of chocolate ice cream from Coldstone before we made the drive to the Windward Mall in Kaneohe to try and tire Leif out on the indoor play area. It worked. While he slept we made the drive to Laie to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center as we have annual passes. The PCC is literally on the opposite side of the island and takes a good hour to drive there anyway, so when we are on that side of the island we like to try and make a stop.

Swimming with dad

Showing his silly side
Lovin' the beach

Strollin' through Kailua with mom
Cool! A fountain!

This was a special day at the PCC as they were having their annual Samoan festival and International Fire Knife competition. Our free admission includes admission to the evening show which was when they were holding the finals for the competition. The finalists included a guy from Florida, Tahiti, and the Big Island and we had great seats for the action. It was very cool to watch and Leif was really into it. After an hour of the show and the first round of the finals, Leif was ready to go home so we packed up and made the long drive back to Ewa Beach, getting home around 9:00 was a long day!

Getting our fishing gear ready at the PCC

Trying to catch a big one

First time fishing
Playing an ancient Hawaiian game
First hula lesson...for both of us

Watching the Samoa performance at the evening show

Announcing the three competitors for the competition

Wow! Check out that Tiki-man, dad.
These guys must be crazy

aloha PCC

Summer classes will begin next week for Cory though one of them will be on line. With two classes this summer, two this fall, and two more in the spring we are hoping that his course will be done (then it is on to the dreaded comprehensive exam!). Amanda is loving her sewing machine and has several new quilts and projects much fabric and so many patterns but so little time...ughh!

Aloha to you all and we hope to hear from you (or possibly come visit us in paradise) soon!

Cory, Amanda, and Leif