Monday, March 21, 2011

Can You Say Pocatello?

It is official! The Bennett family is packing our bags and moving to Pocatello, ID. Cory accepted a position as an assistant professor of mathematics education at Idaho State University. Pocatello is about two hours from both Yellowstone and the Grand Teton's National Parks, a little more than two hours from Salt Lake City, and about 30 minutes from a good looking ski area. We are all very excited about this new chapter in our life even though this means saying aloha to close friends as well as places and experiences that we have come to love in Hawaii.

Pocatello is in southeast Idaho right in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains

ISU campus

The "mountains" surrounding Pocatello

Winter sunset in Pocatello

Autumn's first snow

So...we have begun packing for our big move. However, there is much we want to see and do before we leave so we made our "list" and have been checking the items off as we do them. There will be much that we miss about living in the islands...but there is so much to look forward to and so many more new and exciting experiences which make for more fabulous memories.

Definitely taking this to Pocatello

Two brothers

Kung he fat choy! Celebrating Chinese new years and feeding the Lions for good luck

The Bennett Boys

Leif feeding the dragon!

Good friends in China town

One of the places on our "list" was the Polynesian Cultural Center, PCC. The PCC is by far one of our favorite family places on the island. As Leif gets older, he seems to love this place more and more.

Mom and boys in front of some tikis

Leif throwing a big shaka at the crazy twisty palm tree

Leif caught a huge fish...nobody (besides Amanda) ever catches fish here!

Amanda and Leif doing some Hawaiian "bowling"

What handsome little boys!

Taking a walk along Ehukai beach after our picnic

The North Shore...what more can one say.

Kian is so independent. He loves to just take off on his own.

Some of the crew at the Dole Plantation

Two of the sweetest pineapples ever!

He cleans up well :)

This one is a goofball just like his brother.

Another place on our list, Waimea Falls.

Kian's first shave ice. He LOVED it.

During the last couple of months Kian also had his first birthday. We celebrated with another friend of ours, whose boy's birthday is the day before Kian. Everyone had a great time except Kian did not want to touch the HUGE cupcake that Amanda made for him.

Happy 1st birthday Kian :)

Brothers sliding

Big smiles all around

We also took our first family camping trip near Laie. Even though it was a quite windy and mostly cloudy, we had a great time. Leif and Kian both did so well sleeping in a tent for the first time and we all had fun hanging out with friends. During the night we went on crab hunts and Leif caught two; he was so proud of himself.

Happy to be camping

Making sure nobody takes his food

Playing at the beach

Having fun with friends

Leif and Cory making roasted marshmallows...Leif was so excited for this

The view from our campsite

Kian Kai...what a perfect name for this boy. He loves being near (and in) the water

Watching kite surfers

The boys got Oreos...

...they both loved them!

Chun's Reef is one of our all-time favorite beaches because of the tide pools. This was Kian's first experience in the tide pools and, of course, he loved it. Leif was keen on catching tiny fish; which he did with his net.

Surf, sun, and doesn't get much better

Little Kai guy.

After the tsunami, Amanda's "Aloha Moms" group put together a fund raiser for the children of the Japan disasters. Aloha Moms sponsored a "keiki walk" wherein they walked a mile around a local high school's track. After each lap, one-quarter of a mile, they received a quarter of a straw. Once they completed four laps and had collected four straws, they earned their medals. Leif was so proud of his and it was his "special" for several days. For the toddlers, they had a diaper dash. My little Kian one first place in the boy's race! Other local oranizations sponsored this event, too. A local running store provided the "aid" stations with water for the runners during the race and muffins and fresh fruits at the end of the race. In the end, over $4ooo was raised by these kids. They made us all proud.

Doing their pre-race stretches

At the starting line

Leif cruising along in his running shoes

Time to refuel

Showing off his medal

Some of the crew relaxing after the race

A big mahalo to you Kalama!

So...the next big update will likely be from Idaho. This should include our vacation to the Big Island (right after we move), a two week stop over in Washington to visit Leif and Kian's Pop-pop and Nanna, and finally our move to Pocatello.

So...a big aloha from us all!

Cory, Amanda, Leif, and Kian