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Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri


Merry Christmas!

For many years I've always had a Christmas picture to go along with a Christmas card.  I didn't get one this year.  For one, I was just overworked, underpaid, understaffed, and unprepared to get it all done before we left for Hawaii.  For another...I have 2 married adult children for the first time!  I really didn't know how to handle that.  They are now part of their own little family of two...for now.  I guess it is possible they could be a family of three next year, but I doubt it.  It'll cause me to be just as unprepared next year.

Christmas was pleasant.  My husband did all the Christmas shopping.  I just wrapped the gifts.  I love him for that.  I hate to shop; it ranks the same level as a root canal with me.  We had some unique gifts from Hawaii from Jordan, and we had a dangerous gift from Seth.  It is always interesting here.

The girls were excited as usual.  Jack was his usual calm self.

See what I mean by dangerous?  Seth didn't get this from the kids section, either.  As you can tell, she has already used it to chop some brush away from the path to her fort in the woods.  She loves it.  She wears it on her belt.  I drew a line when we went out to dinner last night.  She had to leave it at home.

Ivy is enjoying getting to know her keyboard.  Eva and Joy play on it, too.

Jack and his sister got into a gunfight in the living room. 

Eva got a new Marine uniform from Jordan.

And since Jordan wasn't with us this year, again, we skyped Christmas Eve and Christmas afternoon.  Her sweetheart is away, so she spent Christmas alone with her dog.  I don't feel too badly for her because she got to go here:

And, to be honest, I am so glad that she didn't take me on this hike.  I do not like heights at all.  I get nervous because all it takes is one stumble and I'm over the edge and gone.  No thanks.  My stomach gets all queasy when I look at these pictures.

And for all those who are sick of my Hawaii pictures, you can leave now....

Still here?  I just wanted to post so Jack's family and friends can see some underwater pictures of the shark cage.  We have a video and I snipped a few pictures from it.

Jack and Jordan are the ones with the black wetsuits on.

The funny thing about this picture is that the men on the boat would throw a red water bottle out to attract the sharks.  I guess that is better than bloody, stinky, chum.  Anyway, the bottle had my husband's company logo on it.  I thought that was funny that this water bottle was in Hawaii.  I don't even have one with his company logo...

Notice how Jordan made sure her feet were not sticking out of that cage?  I don't blame her.

Hope you all had a great Christmas!



Since Jack wanted to snorkel one more time, we woke up by 7:00 to make the long drive through traffic to reach the bay. 

Every time we went somewhere, the traffic was heavy.  That is the one thing about Oahu that I didn't like.  I'm not a crowds person.  I prefer the slower paced life, and it reflects in my children.  Even Jack commented that he preferred a certain area of Hawaii over another because of the crowds.  He doesn't like big cities at all.

The first time we went Hanauma Bay, we were rained on.  This time, we had a few episodes of sprinkles, but it was a beautiful day there, and Jack got plenty of snorkeling in.

The water was beautiful.  Even though I didn't snorkel, I did get in the water to above my knees because I was so hot.  As I walked toward the coral, I could see the striped fish.  It was really a neat experience; one that I am not familiar with.  I'm glad Jordan shared it all with Jack.

I thought I could get a nap at the beach like we did on Waikiki, but I guess I wasn't that tired.  After showering and gathering our bags, Jordan dropped us off at the airport for the long flights home.  We had a 3 hour layover in Houston.  With traffic, it took us 4 hours to get home after we arrived in Charlotte.  So, I was awake for over 30 hours.  It reminded me of all of our trips to China.  I didn't sleep on the plane then, either.  I was so glad to see my husband and girls.  I slept for over 13 hours my first night home. 

The best part of Hawaii, was being with Jordan.  If I just stayed in her house the whole week I visited, I would have been happy.  I really do not like going over a year without seeing her in the flesh, but that is life in the Navy.  Now, I'll start my countdown to her wedding in July.  And, I'll finally get to meet my son-in-law.


Eternity...From Here...

So, this morning was a morning of rest.  I ate Christmas cookies and coffee for breakfast.  Just before noon, we headed out to the post office on the Navy base so Jordan could send out her Christmas presents.  The post office did not even open until 12:00 p.m.  When we arrived there, we were about number 1,000 in line. It really took us 90 minutes to get her packages sent.

We decided to go to a famous beach here in Honolulu.  Well, it is only famous to us older folk, though.  Remember the movie, "From Here To Eternity"?  It starred Burt Lancaster in 1953?  Sound familiar?  So, here is the beach scene from the movie.  Jack and I walked along those rocks in the background.  He and Jordan swam right there in that same, small spot.

I thought about redoing this iconic scene while I was there; but Burt Lancaster is dead, and my husband was still in Virginia.  Maybe next time.  But, Jack, Jordan, and I enjoyed the little beach with about 25 other beach goers.

We had to walk down, then up this hillside.

The water was very beautiful.  Too bad that movie was done in black and white.  No one ever got to see the gorgeous turquoise and blue/green water.


Sunday and Monday in Hawaii

On Sunday we headed to the bay for a day of snorkeling.  It was a bit overcast, but I hoped it would clear up.  We arrived by 8:30-9:00 am, and it was not real warm.  The pictures do not show the beauty of the bay because of the clouds. We actually got caught in a downpour as we gathered our things and headed up the mountain to the truck. We are hoping to go back again this week before we head for home.  The weather is supposed to only get better.

 There were quite a few of these crabs on the rocks near the water.

I did not get in the water past my ankles on Sunday.  I did not have the luxury of a wet suit.  

This morning, we went to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  But, I know me.  I knew I would cry.  I got choked up thinking about it before I even left the house.

This is the actual anchor from the ship, weighing almost 20,000 pounds

USS Bowfin

There were a couple of WWII veterans signing books.  I could sit for hours talking to these men.  I am sure they are a wealth of information and have so much to share.  

This was the dock for the ship.  There were empty docks where the other ships were docked before the bombing.

The memorial lies across the sunken ship just below the surface.

Part of the ship is above the water; it is still leaking oil 70 years later.

Inside, the list of servicemen who died.

Nearby, sits the USS Missouri where the Japanese signed their surrender.

Jordan had to go to work after lunch.  She works about 30 minutes north of her home.

Jack and I braved the Hawaiian traffic and headed to the west side of the island.  I love GPS.


We Rode In A Submarine

Another early morning, and we headed downtown to Waikiki.  We had an 8:30 a.m. appointment for a ride on a submarine.

There were only a few people out at the beach early in the morning.  We took a boat out to our waiting submarine.

We passed a few surfers hoping for some nice waves, which didn't seem to happen.  (Notice none of the surfers are wearing wet suits!)

As we were sitting on the pier, I realized I forgot my Dramamine.  Jordan and I quickly downed our pills, which was a very good thing.  Even being tied to the pier our boat was bobbing on the water, causing us to feel a bit queasy.  It was even worse once we got into the tiny submarine, with no view of land.  I thought for sure that I would put the little bags next our seats to good use.  But, once the submarine started its descent, we both felt fine.  It was quite amazing to actually ride in a submarine and view the sea life.  We saw many fish, a resting sea turtle, and a few eagle rays.  After our adventure, we stayed on the beach for a while.  Jack was a bit disappointed that this beach didn't have the waves like the beach on the North Shore.

This area was actually a lagoon that I can imagine the girls would really enjoy playing in.  We were hoping for warmer water here, but it was cold.

This morning, we went to the swap meet where there were hundreds of vendors selling their wares to sweaty tourists.  I could have bought a hundred things, but ended up only buying cold, fresh fruit to cool off.  Jordan bought a fresh coconut from an old man selling them out of the back of his truck..

And, I thought I'd throw in a picture of Jordan's Christmas tree.  Yes, it is fake, but it is still pretty.

And, I love her little chalk board baskets under her table.  So sweet and cute.

Tomorrow, we will attempt a morning of snorkeling.  The water is chilly, and I do not have a wet suit.  I am not sure how much this old woman can handle...I'm just not sure it is worth the risk.  The older I get, the less I like to feel physically uncomfortable.

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