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.