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Oxer!

Oxer – A horse jump or fence with vertical poles and another pole spread out a foot or two away that is usually higher than the first set of poles.

I have so much to say about Keira and Remi and riding and jumping and Amara getting married and moving to Florida with Seth and the Air Force and us finding a new trainer and and and and.

But it’s Monday and all of that will have to wait.

So I leave you with this . . . Keira and Remi training over an oxer . . .

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Their oxer was a 2′ vertical, spaced by tires, 2′ 3″ vertical. Notice the markings on our ruler jump – Keira is over 4 feet in the air on a young 1,000 pound horse.

As a parent, this is NOT easy to watch, and this is a relatively low jump.

See that 36″ mark? That’s her goal before high school.

I’m gonna need more whiskey.

Oh The Places They Have Been

Lovin’ this photo of Keira hiking at Independence Mine in Alaska – July 2012

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Summer Baseball

Jason played with the CageRats baseball club team this past summer. It was awesome and fun and a struggle at times. He absolutely loved the workouts and the other kids on the team. They played a mix of out-of-state tournaments as well as a bunch of in-state games against other high school teams.

He struggled with his elbow at times . . . sometimes it would be awesome, and sometimes it would hurt so bad he’d ask to be taken out of the game, which was a big deal when it got to that point.

He got a LOT of playing time in left field, which he totally loved!

We traveled to Phoenix in June. I made Jason and his buddy, Shep, sit on the Jack Rabbit in Holbrook, AZ for our token Route 66 stop :-)

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They also had the opportunity to play on the Oakland Athletics’ spring training field! Super nice field! Jason couldn’t get over how awesome the outfield was – how clean and flat and “springy” the grass was. Welcome to the Big Leagues, kid :-)

Jason and Shep before their first game.

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Not everyone gets to say they executed a successful hit and run on a big league field!

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We also traveled to Atlanta (hot!) for a week – in July. Holy hot Batman! The boys actually played pretty well at the Perfect Game tournament. They could’ve been even more competitive if their coach hadn’t been overruled by the club team owner on who to play where, when. It was tough for the guys to give their best every game when they knew the best team wasn’t on the field at any given time. But, it was a great experience overall. Jason really liked how the team stayed together in the hotel and had a team van where they went everywhere together in. One of the kids’ Grandma had a great house on 10 acres with a pond about 45 north of the hotel. After one of the early games, we loaded up the boys in the van, ran to Walmart for food and drinks, and went to the pond to play, unwind, and enjoy BBQ. It was a great break in the middle of a tough week!

We spent quite a bit of time scrimmaging our own in-house club teams and playing games in Denver. There was a lot of driving and a lot of time spent at the ball field this summer! But, when you get to watch your kid play under the lights and see some amazing sunsets, it’s all worth it.

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Tackless Cowboy

Keira decided she needed to get some neck reins for Cowboy. She wants to ride him completely tackless. I guess I’m fine with it because Cowboy is awesome! He may be a turd and try to buck everyone else off, but he and Keira have a special “thing” together – he lets her do whatever she wants to him . . . from laying on his back while he eats hay to dressing him up for costume classes at shows to riding him tackless. We paid quite a bit of money for him 2 1/2 years ago to be a jumping horse for Keira while she got her confidence back jumping after her accident. He’s 18 now and retired from show jumping – he’s had a rough life with lots of jumping. His previous owner was not good to him, so basically we ended up rescuing him.

We rescued him. He rescued Keira.

They have an understanding and I LOVE it!

Anyhoo – back to this . . . neck reins and tackless jumping.

It’s not easy for a mom to watch her kid jump over anything on a horse with full tack! But I completely trust Cowboy and know Keira is a great rider . . . so I got out the video camera!

Because he’s a large pony, she can get on him bareback without a mounting block – and he just lets her climb all over him. It always makes me giggle!

 

Once she’s on, she goes to town! She took his bridle off and got to work :-) Look Mom! No hands!

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She gives me a heart attack sometimes, but she loves it, so we watch and just make sure she’s as safe as she can be.

Hawaii – 2.16.16

Day Six – 2.16.16 – Surfing Lessons and Red Eye Home

Our last to do item was surfing lessons! We chose to take lessons from Ivan at Hook Up Surfing. Their lesson meet place was a short walk from our hotel, so it worked out perfect.

The bonus was it was close to the hotel. The bummer was that we had to be checked out of the room by 10:00 a.m. Our lessons were at 9:00. So we went down early and found a breakfast place on the beach. Then we headed back to the room and stashed our bags in the “day room” that the hotel offered for bags. We had a great time in our lesson! It was the 4 of us plus one other lady with Ivan and Jenny. Keira did the best out of everyone – she did the most actual surfing. Jason was second – thankfully his elbow held out and did not hurt! Dan and I each got up a couple times – so we’ll call it a success :-)

After our lesson, we had literally ALL DAY to wait. We had the red eye out of Honolulu back to Denver. Yuck! We walked around the shops again, hung out on the beach, played in the lagoon, and still had hours to go. It started to rain a bit, so we covered up under towels and each took a nap on the beach in the drizzle. When we woke up, there was a beautiful rainbow. At least that was a little bonus to our long annoying day!

Beach Rainbow

Dan was awesome and got us 90 minutes in a room starting at 4:00 p.m. so we could shower and clean up before getting on the plane for the long ride. We enjoyed finally having chairs to sit in and being able to rinse off all the salt and sand and put on actual shoes.

Our flight home was very uneventful. Same awesome first class seats with all the food and drinks and movies, except this time we actually laid back the seats and slept – the kids had to go to school when we got back on Wednesday!

We thought we’d get them to school by noon since we were supposed to land at 9:00 a.m.

Turns out, we had a CRAZY tailwind and arrived at 6:45 a.m.!!! We got our luggage, got home, they showered, and we got them to school by 10:00. Not bad :-)

Hawaii – 2.15.16

Day Five – 2.15.16 – Travel to Honolulu

We had an early afternoon flight out of Maui to Honolu, so we spent the morning drinking Starbucks on our lanai and watching some people learn to surf :-) It was a great ending to our stay in Maui!

We got to the hotel on Waikiki Beach quite early, but they had our room ready, which was awesome. It was a beautiful 2 bedroom suite with a view of the ocean. Not a bad place to stay on our last night in Hawaii! We spent the afternoon walking around the resort while trying to decide where to eat dinner.

Ultimately, Dan and I decided on The Chart House. Our wedding dinner had been at The Chart House on Maui (now closed), so we decided to take the kids here for a nice dinner before we left Hawaii. We had a table that overlooked the marina. The food was amazing and the sunset through the marina was stunning!

A great way to spend our last evening in Hawaii :-)

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Hawaii – 2.14.16

Day Four – 2.14.16 – 20th Vow Renewal and Feast at Lele

Our 20th Anniversary day is here! I’d been in contact with Anita at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Kihei since August. She had it all set up for us to renew our vows on our anniversary, which just happened to be the first Sunday of Lent. I called when we got to Hawaii to make sure everything was good, but didn’t get any return calls. Just to be safe, we showed up to the church about an hour early to make sure everything was set and to find out if we needed to anything specific.

They had NO CLUE we were coming! Turns out, Anita had left and moved to Texas in November and didn’t tell them anything about our vow renewal. Of course I had all the information with me, so they found Candi, the church administrator, for us. She was AMAZING and got everything set up and ready to go.

The mass was crazy long because it was the start of Lent, there were tons of visitors, they introduced the Catechumens that morning, and there were lots of announcements.

Finally, after Communion and what seemed like the longest mass ever, Father Watanabe told everyone he had one more announcement. You could feel the near silent groans from the congregation – they’d already been there FOREVER. Then he announced that they were doing a wedding blessing for a couple celebrating their 20th anniversary. More near silent groans as I’m sure they all thought we were just some couple vacationing over Valentine’s Day and decided to renew our vows for an anniversary that was happening sometime this year.

We all 4 walked to the front of church, and when Father Watanabe introduced us and mentioned that we had been married right there at that church exactly 20 years ago to the day by Father Jack, the mood changed. People got a little more tolerant, and the older people got all happy and clapped and smiled that we had the kids with us.

The rest went off without a hitch :-)

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After the ceremony, we spent some time in Kihei, shopping and eating awesome lunch at an outdoor joint before heading back to the house to relax. Jason was content hanging out in the hammock in the backyard watching the waves. Dan, Keira, and I walked into Lahaina to do some shopping at all the beach front shops. It was a lot of fun! We found some cool stuff nestled in among the tourist things. Of course Keira found ice cream to enjoy 😉

That evening, we had reservations for the Feast at Lele, which was the same location as the luau we went to when we got married. It was only a block from the house we were staying in, so that meant we could walk and enjoy the evening. We got cleaned up headed out early so we could enjoy the pre-party. As always, mai-tais for adults and kids were free.

 

All drinks come with live flowers in them – which Jason had to give to Keira so he didn’t DIE :-) And of course Dan had to give her bunny ears in the photo. Can’t take him anywhere!

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Not long after we arrived, we were given leis, which Jason respectfully declined, and shown to our table. It was in a great spot so we could see everything – the stage, the water – it was perfect! We were ready for our feast – five courses of food from five different cultures, each accompanied by song and dance of that culture.

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Drinks were included, so the kids tried one of everything. Yes, we are THAT family!

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Dan and I enjoyed our first mai-tais.

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Then we tried something else from the menu – a yummy blended something or other.

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We just celebrated 20 years of marriage. We have our kids with us. The house is less than 2 blocks away. The meal is five courses, and we figured why not enjoy?! So we did. We topped off our evening with some embellished coffee drinks served with dessert just for us.

Here’s to 20 more years, Honey!

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***I’m pretty sure the kids walked a good 50 feet in front of us the entire way home!

Hawaii 2.13.16

Day Three – 2.13.16 – Snorkeling Molokini Crater and Turtle Town

This was Keira’s must do, even though she does NOT like snorkeling. I feel like an entire day on, near, by, in water was appealing to her. We all LOVED it! Got up fairly early to be there on time. We had yummy Kona coffee and continental breakfast while we waited for everyone to board. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning!

There are definitely worse places to be :-)

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On the way to Molokini crater, we saw a TON of whales! We were even fortunate enough to see a giant whale fully breech and then do a black splash on the water. VERY cool to see! Definitely do not have to pay for a specific whale watching tour if you go out on the water for any other thing. It took us awhile to get to the island because we had to slow down for whales, but it was totally worth it.

The snorkeling was really  neat! Molokini is a volcano crater that is just out of the water. It’s a HUGE drop off, which is perfect for snorkeling. It’s calm and the fish like to hang out in there. Jason and Dan liked to actually dive under while Keira and I were content to just float on the top and look down.

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While people finished the snorkeling time, the kids decided to have some fun on the water slide off of the back of the boat.

Jason loved it!

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Keira did it, but I can tell you that is definitely a look of regret on her face!

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We enjoyed an awesome BBQ lunch on deck while we drove from Molokini to Turtle Town for the second half of our snorkeling adventure. On the way, we all saw a Coast Guard helicopter circling something in the ocean. We thought maybe it was protecting some whales or something. There are very strict rules about how close boats and people can get to the whales.

 

Jason and Keira watching the Coast Guard helicopter.

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Everyone onboard was oohing and aahing and taking selfies with the helicopter in the background. Then the captain got on the loud speaker and announced that we’d be making a detour. Turns out, there were a couple kayakers in trouble and the helicopter was out there for a water rescue! Our boat and a half dozen other boats cruised on over and kind of circled around the rescue operation just in case.

 

Dan decided he’d like to help, too :-)

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We could hear the Coast Guard radioing about the rescue through our captain’s bridge. We were also close enough to see the guy jump out of the helicopter and catch the basket as it lowered. It was pretty cool to see people get put in the basket and hauled up to the helicopter.

 

Not something you get to see every day!

 

When everyone was safely onboard the helicopter, they left. Another boat went to pick up the kayak and haul it to shore with them. At that point, we were off to Turtle Town for more snorkeling! The sea turtles were way cool and big and fun. They’d swim right up to you! You could’ve reached out and touched them if you wanted – but apparently they don’t like that, so we didn’t press our luck. We’d had quite enough snorkeling for one day, so we hung out on the boat, where it turns out you could see more turtles from up there than you could from in the water! It was pretty cool :-)

A great snorkeling trip, for sure!

We got back around 2:00 p.m. Keira LOVES the water and the ocean and kept saying she just wanted to play on a sandy beach and in the water. We all chatted and figured we’re wet, we’re fed, and we’re close to the beach – so we headed over to Kihei to the public beach to cross that item off of Keira’s list :-)

Despite what he may say about the beach, it looks to me like Jason did indeed enjoy himself!

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Keira ALWAYS loves being in the water. She definitely takes after her Mom on that one!

 

Despite all the sunblock he used, Jason was DONE with the sun for the day. We had the top off of the Jeep, so he put his hoodie on and wore his hat crooked so he could block the sun from hitting his face :-)

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We decided to walk into Lahaina, check out the largest banyan tree on the planet (fills an entire city block), and find some yummy food. But first Dan and I had to enjoy some Longboard beer on the lanai!

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Another great day! Another great meal! Looking forward to Day Four – our anniversary!

Good Night :-)

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Hawaii – 2.12.16

Day Two – 2.12.16 – Road to Hana

My “must do” for the trip was driving the Road to Hana. I remembered it from way back when we got married and loved it! I wanted the kids to experience it, and I also wanted to hike all the way through the Bamboo forest in Haleakala National Park. It was raining too hard last time and we didn’t get very far.

But first things first – we got our first morning view from our Lanai. It definitely did not suck!

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Jason LOVED watching the water and the waves. I think he could’ve stood there all day.

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Ku’au Store in Paia for breakfast sandwiches and to grab some water and snacks for the drive. May or may not have been the best breakfast sandwich ever! They also have the coolest fence ever :-)

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Hookipa Beach was supposed to have great surfing, which we really wanted to see. We stopped to check it out, but it turns out the waves were too big so the beach was closed.

Dan decided to “relax” at the beach???

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Next up, Keanae for some amazing views! Jason could’ve stared at the waves all day – again.

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Keira, on the other hand, was always on a mission to find the largest snow cone possible (and banana bread – always banana bread – cuz it’s everywhere in Hawaii – fresh and warm and awesome).

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Spelunking in the Hana Lava Tube anyone? It’s tough to photograph a dark cave-like thing, but it was really cool – believe me :-)

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Waianapanapa State Park – so beautiful and so historic. The black sand beach was awesome!

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And our final destination – Haleakala National Park! The hike was fun and the views with all the bamboo were so cool! Walking through the forest is pretty eerie – if you stop and listen, the wind blowing the trees together makes music.

Big Ol’ Banyan Tree

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Got Bamboo?

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I have to say that living at altitude was a definite plus when hiking a 2.5 mile trail uphill on vacation. At sea level, easy peasy!

And it was worth the hike to the end to see the 400 foot Waimoku Falls.

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There wasn’t a lot of water on this day, but it was still pretty awesome. We had left pretty early in the day, so we decided to high-tail it home, as much as you can “high-tail it” on a narrow, winding, two-lane-but-sometimes-one-lane road with a speed limit of 30. We got almost all the way back to Ku’au before we had to stop and put the top on the Jeep due to rain. We stopped, conveniently, at a store where we got snacks and Dr. Pepper – who doesn’t like a Dr. Pepper on a long-ish drive?

Hawaii 2.11.16

A long long time ago, the Boedies went to Hawaii :-) Why did we go to Hawaii?

  1. The kids had February 12th and 15th off of school.
  2. Our 20th anniversary was on February 14th.
  3. We were all ready for some kind of beach vacation.

Ultimately, we decided to take the kiddos to Hawaii and renew our vows in the church we got married in. I don’t think I ever got around to actually blogging about our trip (which was fabulous, btw). So here goes . . .

Day One – 2.11.16 – Travel Day

We pulled the kids out of school one additional day on each end of the trip. Dan went all out and got us awesome tickets for the flight to and from Hawaii. Non-stop, comfy seats that reclined all the way into a bed, all the drinks (and food) we wanted, and free movies for the entire flight. The flight was amazing and comfortable and right on time!

Are they actually smiling, at each other, and visibly enjoying themselves in the presence of their parents out in public?

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I made the awesome decision to have a Lei Welcome when we got to Hawaii!

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Great idea until Jason had an immediate allergic reaction and had to take off his beautiful living flower lei :-) I’m giving him “the look” because I was trying to take a picture of me and Jason and he was using my phone as a mirror to make sure his hair looked OK after the flight!

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We had a bit of a layover in Honolulu before our connection to Maui, so we had some lunch and some fun with the leis.

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Jeep rental picked up – success!

Drive to rental house in the dark – success! (Well mostly – we only tried to enter the wrong house once.)

Trip to grocery store for food and drinks – success!

Settled into the house listening to the amazing waves crashing on the shore just a few yards from our back patio – success!

Good night’s sleep before our drive to Hana on Day Two – success!