Sunday, May 23, 2010

May Birthdays

May has some important days in our family. We have a couple of birthdays--Gail and Jonathan. Jonathan was one this year and Gail wanted to celebrate BIG like she did when Caroline was one. It's one of those Hawaiian customs that kind of sank in--a ONE YEAR birthday luau. Caroline actually had more of a Halloween Carnival for her first birthday, but since Jonathan's big day is in May, a luau seemed appropriate. So Gail hosted a luau. The invites were cute, the food was delicious and plentiful, we had a nice mix of friends and family in attendance. And we were all so full! In traditional Hawaiian style, we ate until we were tired (not until you are full, as common sense would dictate).

Here's Seth with his birthday boy.

Besides having lots of food, there was entertainment. A cake walk was one of the fun things for kids to do. And the cupcakes were very yummy.

That last picture was kind of out of place. There were wonderful decorations, too. Below are the tikis that met you as you walked in the door. There was a banner OVER the door, too, but I didn't get pictures of that.
Here are the pretty tables that she set up (with help from some fellows in the family). The far wall has a fishing booth on the left, lei-making station in the center, cake walk on the right. There were nice green grass trim thing-ies on the stage, palm trees on the walls and tables, just cute stuff in general. Oh, and orchids on the tables.
Did I mention the food was good? A nice photo was never taken of the whole spread, but the menu was:
Sticky Rice,
Kalua Pork
Chicken Long Rice
Tossed Green Salad
Fruit compote
Potato/Macaroni Salad
Haupia Squares
Pineapple Bars
Ribbon Jello
Water Punch to drink, and the straws were very festive, indeed! Pineapples, palm trees and flamingos in paper fold-outs. Cute!

Here is a big happy crowd at the lei-making station. They were made with paper cut-outs of flowers and plastic straws pieces. It's the same style of lei that every first-grader in Hawaii will have made at LEAST once for May Day. Nick was manning this booth for Gail; however, he is sporting a fashionable Kukui nut lei.
Here I am manning the fishing booth. Gail had made really cute floral hair clips as prizes for girl fishers, and boys received little plastic gekkos, plus fruit snacks and other candies when they came back for more. And they did come back! I should have taken a picture when the lines were all tangled and Jonathan crawled right into the middle of it all. It was a miracle that no one got their eyes poked with the authentic stick fishing poles!

Below is a picture of Nick taking a picture of me taking a picture of Gail and Katie. It was so fun to have Katie's family here for the weekend! They drove all night on Friday after Casey's work! See the cute little pot of "orchids" on the table, and the coconut palm?

A group of people enjoying good food and good company. We have great Grandma Liebhardt and Grandma Pam at the table with Katie and Casey. Pam's holding Jonathan. ( Here's where you can see the green grass skirt trim across the stage in our cultural hall.)

Ah, the other entertainment was a HULA Hoop contest. Get it? Gail had quite the theme going here--HULA hoops, FISHing booth, LEI making [and a cake walk, but we needed birthday cake!]. Here is Katie competing with Casey's little sister, Kaysha. I think Katie won. And Katie with dark hair is still something I just cannot get used to!
Here is one of Caroline's friends. She ended up being our champion hula hooper. Effortless. She made it look so easy. Amazing.
Caroline and her friend. Note the relaxed posture of Rakell in the back--arms folded, one foot in front of the other. So, the next time YOU are in a hula hoop contest, remember that, folks.
Seth's brother, Aaron, drove up from St. George. They have babies fairly close in age. She's a cutie, too!
And,what's a birthday without presents ??!! (Well, when you're one, anyway. Some of us oldies certainly can get away without them!) Here's Jonathan opening up some gifts at home. It sure was a fun-filled day !
The traditional cake demolition took place a little later. At home, less clothes, closer to a tub. And he definitely needed a tub after ward!

So, that was the party! A fun time was had by all. Gail and I even danced the Hukilau, but if you want proof, you'll have to contact Seth. He took video on his phone and will be more than happy to share it with you. I recommend that you only view the first minute or so. After that, the verses get kind of cloudy and not quite so graceful. Some things just stick in your minds forever! Do you know how long it's been since Gail, Katie and I have had Hula Lessons? Yeah. Let us not count the years.

Oh, by the way. Gail turned 31 on her birthday this month. Happy Birthday, Gail and Jonathan!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chilly Toes

I thought my toes felt a little chilly this morning on my bike ride to work in flip flops. (not jeans--two days max on the one pair, so it's dress slacks today.)
I found out just why I felt a bit chilled. It was 34 degrees. That's just not right.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jeans Week

I said to myself and my husband this morning as I was dressing, "This feels like a JEANS week. I think I'll wear jeans every day this week." School is out, I don't feel like being professional.

However, it's difficult. I only have one pair.

Time to go shopping!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Congratulations to Nick!

Congratulations to Nick! He graduated this past weekend with his Bachelor of Science degree from SUU. He doesn't feel like he's's off to graduate school for him. But we are very proud--er, I mean --WELL-PLEASED with our son.

Graduation was a two day affair this year. On Friday, April 29, they had a main Commencement ceremony in the Centrum with all the graduates marching in (via the Carter Carrillon--a new tradition). Senator Robert (Bob) Bennett was the speaker, they awarded honorary degrees, etc. It was a cold and blustery day, it was snowing all morning with bits of blue sky here and there. By 3 pm when the graduates were scheduled to begin lining up outside for the march across campus, it was still spitting snow now and again. No-one got soaked, but they were ALL cold! I told my graduating students to wear their thermals. ha.

Here's Nick, getting ready to line up. He actually ended up being the first in his college when they marched into the Centrum. Unfortunately, we were on the other side of the arena, so I didn't get any good pictures on the inside.

Nick, one of his Sigma Chi buddies, and down the line farther is Jamie, one of my student workers. She got all sorts of top honors and was the speaker in Saturday's Convocation in the College of Science. (Yes, I do try to hire smart students. And I'm usually successful!--so are they.)
One shot of the interior of the Centrum. He's down there. I actually texted him to let him know where Mike and I were sitting.
After the Commencement Ceremony, we all headed over to the Garden House for dinner. Here is Nick STUDYing the menu.
And it was a small group. Just the immediate family who was in town. Seth came and went before I snapped the picture.
And Jonathan was there, too.
THEN, on Saturday at 12:30, we headed back over to the Centrum for the NEXT ceremony-- The College of Science Convocation and awarding of diplomas for the graduates. This is where they read the names, and they walk across the stage. And you know, the audience did a much better job than in years past about being boisterous and rude and noisy and disruptive. (Yes, sometimes they really get out of hand at these things.) But this one maintained some decorum. Even Jonathan. ;-)

Here he is walking in, past all the instructors, on the way to his seat.
After the speeches, etc. they lined up to proceed across the stage. And we were in the right spot! Second row from the floor and I could actually see the whites of his eyes. ha. Only I forgot to edit before posting, so you get to see the RED of his eyes. Sorry.

He did have his name called, walked across, received the diploma (cover), shook hands with every one and went back to his seat. No mishaps for ANYone! Amazing. I guess I'm used to crazy high schoolers or something. Below is Jonathan. He had come to the end of his being patient and was so happy to be clapping and cheering at the end of the ceremony. He was so cute, clapping and cheering with the rest of us. And I even caught it on my camera! Amazing.

Outside, afterwards. Proud parents. :-D Way to go, Nick!
Bloopers. (not really, but they are not the USUAL shots)

Do they look cold? He even wore the sunglasses on his head/hat the whole time. Black blended in to black, so it wasn't that noticeable.
Uh, yeah. Goofy. Just plain goofy. I think he gets it from his brother. (Thanks, Damian!)
But at least he's happy!

Or trying to be tough. Or something!

But Wait! There's MORE!

I ran across some more photos from China! I don't know where they were hiding on my camera or on the computer, but I was glad to find them. The first day we were in Beijing and it was so cold, our first stop was the Temple of Heaven. My camera was so cold that it stopped working for a while, I guess, so I just quit taking pictures. ("Whew!" my reading public is saying)
So here are some shots of my first day in China at the "Temple of Heaven" in Beijing. Above is just some pretty statue/god things on the edges of the roofs.
This is looking up the stairs to the main building. Below is the view from the top of the stairs of the rest of the courtyard area and buildings. One on the right,
One on the left,
And one in the center. And, yeah, it was COLD! This is where I left Berenice at the bottom of the stairs (which she does not enjoy climbing) in a sunny spot out of the wind.
Below is a shot of the inside of this round building. There were large--no, HUGE--pillars within and they were highly decorated. I believe the guide said they were wood. Those were some big trees they used to make those pillars!
Here's Suzette taking a photo. Notice the pretty green tiles on the roof. And the snow and ice all over the ground. One of my friends has been here and she asked if we stood in the center of the courtyard to see...something or other. I don't recall. Well, the center of the courtyard was covered in snow. So, no, we didn't get to see that something.
Walking into the place, we had to pass through a park. The trees are planted in rows in some areas. It was crowded.
The trees were still snow-covered from the previous day's snow storm. And it was windy, too. Brrrr.
These are people just dancing a waltz in the park together. They do like to entertain themselves. We saw folks doing Tai Chi in the park, too. That was fun. In another place, we saw them gathered to sing.
And now THAT concludes my trip narrative. I already ordered the print of my Blog, AND photos, so when memory fails, I'll have a record of this great adventure. And memory DOES fail, folks!