Christmas Eve in Hawaii

When we had our first Christmas in Hawaii we decided to make it Christmas Eve tradition to go to the beach. This year was so much fun. We actually haven't been to the beach since October - I know, so sad, but it has been a bit rainy. So here we are getting our tans back and enjoying the sun. I think Andrew has really missed the water, he was a bit crazy. Thanks Dad for the awesome tri-pod - I didn't even have to balance my camera on a rock this time! Above is the "beach" picture you requested.

I know you all have been having your fun sledding in the snow...but have you ever tried this kind of sledding. The kids had fun, Zac got a workout, and I laughed and laughed.

That night we had our usual Christmas Eve pizza and root beer floats then we read the Nativity story together and the kids acted it out. Andrew played not only Joseph but also the wise man. He ended up giving all the presents under our tree to baby Jesus. It was very sweet.

Something To Warm You Up.

I have been reading every one's blogs out there and decided that you all need something to warm you up. A few days before Christmas we took the advice of a friend and visited the Macadamia Nut Farm. We are still not sure why it was called this because I really only saw one Macadamia Nut Tree on the whole place. Putting that aside though, we had a great time. It was kind of like a mini PCC (Polynesian Cultural Center) only much more intimate. I think there was only about twenty in our tour and half of those didn't speak English. We saw a fire dance (video below), how to open and eat a coconut, how to make head pieces, and then they took us out in boat into the 800 year old fish pond built by King Kamehameha the 3rd. While out there we saw where they filmed "Lost", "50 First Dates", "ER", "Jurassic Park" and "Paradise Island". It was so fun. Mostly though Andrew just wanted to jump in the water...

After the boat ride we got to pick and sample a new fruit. Star fruit. Very good. I think the kids ate at least three a piece. Kind of like a apple but shaped like a star. Sorry no pictures, I was busy eating! All in all a great educational and entertaining day.

Thought this video could warm you all up on those cold main land days!


School Christmas Programs...

Here is Andrew at his preschool Christmas party. As you can see he sang, "Rudolph" Sorry no video of this - too dark. Anne still had her Rudolph Tee from last year and wanted to match Andrew. This is the first year Andrew would sit on Santa's lap. We told him he had to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas so he practically leaped onto his lap. When his teacher handed him his present he rand down to us all excited. He ripped the paper off then promptly frowned. When asked what was wrong he said, "This is NOT what I asked Santa for." Waiting is so hard for my kids...

We waited through an hour and a half of elementary Christmas carols to get to the best grade - kindergarten. Here is Anne singing, "I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas." Don't you love how the light shone on her?


Pepermint Fudge

Thank you Becky Higgins for this wonderful recipe! I have been trying out some new holiday treats before I make them for all our friends. Although I only ate one (fudge is so rich) I really liked it. The peppermint twist adds a bit of an umf to a normal fudge. I have to add one more thing to this post then I will be done with it. Last night after dinner Anne asked if she could have some Mudge. "What is mudge?" we asked her. "You know that chocolate, white, yummy stuff." Anne said. "Oh fudge..." And that is now why we call fudge, mudge in our house.

Here is the recipe:


3 tsp. butter, softened

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 c. powdered sugar

6 Tbsp. baking cocoa

1 tsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract


2 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. milk

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

1/4 c. crushed peppermint candy (about 10-12 candies)

Line the bottom and sides of a square baking dish with foil. Grease foil with butter; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, cocoa, milk and vanilla. Spread into prepared pan. Chill for an hour until firm. For peppermint layer, beat cream cheese in a small mixing bowl. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, milk and extract. Stir in peppermint candy. Spread evenly over chocolate layer. Chill for an hour or until firm. Using foil, lift fudge from pan. Gently peel off foil and cut into squares.

Notes: A double batch fits well in a 9" x 13" pan and makes about 7-8 dozen little squares of fudge. Also, to crush the peppermint candies, I place them in a thick zip lock bag and use a rubber mallet or a rolling pin (might want to double bag it if you use a rolling pin). This is where Anne and Andrew liked to help!


The Force Is Strong With This One...

Like all Jedi Andrew has taken to sleeping with his Light Saber so as to be always at the ready.

Grandma Darlin's Sugar Cookies

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is making Grandma Darlin's sugar cookies. Now this tradition dates back to our early years of marriage. Christmas came around and Zac told me that I have to learn out to make his mom's sugar cookies. They are his favorite. So I learned. Now I make the dough then Zac and the kids roll and squish then sprinkle. They really are yummy cookies, you can't eat just one.

Our finished product...never as good as Grandma's but still quite yummy!


All She Wants For Christmas...

There have been many signs that my little girl is growing up. Yesterday I had one more small sign given to me. Yes, Anne lost her first tooth. Seeing as how we didn't want to traumatize her we promised not to pull it. Well there was still a bit of drama but thanks to her electric tooth brush the tooth came out all by itself! She was so excited I thought she was going to cry. This morning Anne was please to discover that "The tooth fairy" or Mom as she calls her, had left her a dollar. "Now I am rich!" she said.


That Time of the Year

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did at the Turner house. We decided to keep it just us this year - our first time ever in six years of marriage! Zac and I slaved all day over the hot stove only to discover that it only took Anne and Andrew 15 minutes to eat all they wanted. I have to say it was so nice having Zac home the entire day. This was the first time in three years that we had him all to ourselves for the entire day. I couldn't have cooked all that food without his help in the kitchen.
Now Zac and I have a tradition, or maybe I should call it a deal. He knows I love Christmas music. He found this out the first year we were married when I started to listen to it way back in September - thus a deal was struck. I promised not to start listening to Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving and then I could listen to as much as I want, whenever I want. (I did start a bit sooner this year...Josh Groban finally came out with a Christmas CD and I couldn't wait. Each year I try to add to my collection. This year so far I have the new Josh Groban "Noel" and Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong" and I have on my list to buy Michael Buble's "Let is Snow".
So the day after Thanksgiving I filled our CD player with Christmas music and we started on our second after Thanksgiving tradition. The setting up of the Christmas Tree. This I love...the music, the cinnamon apple candles burning, the lights twinkling. Next to Christmas day this is my favorite.


1 Little Indian

Well we had our Pilgrims last night and today we have our Indian - or as Anne corrected me - we have our Native American. Today was Andrew's Thanksgiving Feast for his preschool. Needless to say Andrew didn't want to be an Indian he wanted to be Peter Pan. I let him wear the Peter Pan belt and dagger under the Indian outfit and he was a bit happier.

Pilgrims in Hawaii

We had a fun FHE tonight. We talked about the Thanksgiving story then we all took turns saying what we are grateful for. I get this idea from you Dad. Let see...some of the things the Turner family is thankful for this year: Family.Our Home.The Church.Wonderful Children.Knees.Shoulders.Star Wars.The Book of Mormon.School.Clothes.Grass.Trees.Flowers.Smiles.Yummy Food.Air Planes.Jets.Trains.Railroad Tracks.Music.Our Bodies.

We all know the list could go on and on but there are a few off our thankful list.

I usually don't save all the school work that comes home with Anne, but this one is a keeper.


Night at the Park

For all of you who know my Andrew you know he doesn't hold still for long...so lets just say getting this picture is somewhat of a miracle.

We have a very small yard. So small that when my kids hit from this tee-ball stand the balls usually go over the fence then into the neighbor's yard. We found this awesome park the other day and went the other night for FHE. The park is amazing. Swings, two different playgrounds and my favorite part - tons and tons of grass to roll and play on.

One of my fondest wishes is to someday have a camera that can capture all the many movements of my kids...


Primary Program

There are days when being in the primary is tiring, stressful, worrying, and frustrating. Today was not one of those days. We had our Primary Program today and I couldn't be more proud of all the kids in "my" primary. They all said their parts so well - many of them memorized - and sang so beautifully. Thank you Ewa Beach 1st Ward Primary for making this a sunday to remember.


Andrew Off To School

Today Andrew started preschool. I was worried about him. I was worried about myself. Would he play well with the other kids? What would I do with myself for three hours? All turned out well. Andrew painted a paper bag pumpkin, made bread, and learned a Thanksgiving song for the upcoming Thanksgiving Feast. I discovered just how many errands one mom can get done without the whole getting in and out of the car routine. I do have to admit...I listened to half of "The Lion King" cd before I realized that I could listen to anything I wanted. I missed my little Buddy.


We Can Fly! Almost...

Here is my little Tinkerbell and Peter Pan. They both were so excited to get into their costumes. Andrew has actually been watching the movie "Peter Pan" and carrying that dagger around for days in preparation for the part. The only sad part about the whole day was when Andrew put the whole outfit on then said, "How come I still can't fly?" It just about broke my heart.

Yes, Anne is wearing make-up and we both had fun putting it on her and she on me...

The whole crew. Zac is the evil Captain Hook and I a lowly pirate...my favorite part about the whole night was when one of the little sunbeams from our primary came up to me and just looked at me for a while then said, "I know who you are!" Right then I thought she was going to say I was a pirate...but instead she said, "You're Sister Turner!" Yes my costume was so good that not even the kids in my primary knew me...at least this is what I keep telling myself. All in all a really fun Halloween. Until next year...

Halloween Mask Parade

Instead of dressing up in costumes at school they had a mask parade. The masks HAD to be homemade. It really turned out to be fun. It was interesting to see all the creativity flowing around. In case you all are wondering, Anne designed her mask and I constructed the mask. Hot glue is hard enough for me to handle!

Anne's class won the door decorating contest so they got to lead the mask parade. It was so cute, Anne walked through the school halls saying, "Happy Halloween" to everyone all the while waving.

Anne also got her first "Glow" Award today. This is an award system they do here to help the children strive to be their best selves. It really does work!


Pumpkin Patch

Today we made the annual trek to the local pumpkin patch, "Anoun Farm" Pictured above are the pumpkins we would have picked if our superman had been with us. Unfortunately Zac is TDY for this week. He was missed. I had to keep asking the kids when they picked a pumpkin, "Can you carry that yourself?" In the end I carried both pumpkins to the car sweating profusely - two small pumpkins.
Andrew models his pumpkin for us...

This year Anne decided to go with the less traditional white pumpkin. I love it!


The Banyan Tree

Yesterday Zac was at work. I had tons of errands to run and dragged the kids around with me everywhere. I do believe in rewarding good behavior and because the kids were so well behaved I took them somewhere we haven't been in two years...our Banyan Tree swing.

Anne 2005---------------------Anne 2007

Andrew and Mom 2005------------------- Andrew 2007

For those of you who haven't seen a Banyan Tree I thought I would include a picture. These really are the most amazing trees. The tree sends out it's roots from the branches which grow down to the ground then into the ground forming a new trunk. The last time we visited this tree I think it might have been wider. They must have trimmed it back...so sad. Looking at the pictures from both visits I just can't believe that Anne was Andrew's age and Andrew was just a little guy. I can't believe how much they both have grown without me noticing.


The Force Is With Us

We are trying this new parenting technique in our home. Every day if the kids do the chores required of them they get a sticker on their chart and if they get a certain amount of stickers in a row then they earn Smiley Faces (I know what you are thinking Burton Clan - but it worked for us didn't it). Well Anne had earned enough smiley faces to choose something to buy. She has really been wanting a Light Saber. A Light Saber you say - isn't that more of a boy toy? Now let me explain. Star Wars in our home has become the new "in thing" Because Zac has been off work this week they have been watching it a lot. (I only let them watch it with Zac around) So off to Walmart we went while Zac was in the Priesthood Session on Saturday to get Anne her blue Light Saber. Two Walmarts later we met with success. Pictured here are some of their recent battles with the evil Lord Sith, Daddy who asked how much the Light Sabers were because I think now he wants one too.
These are their best Jedi faces - I asked them to smile but they said Jedi don't smile.