Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Let The Good Times Roll!

I just got back from a week in New Orleans and it was great! I went to participate in an Administrative Professionals International Convention and got to attend lots of great classes. I came away pumped up to be my very best! But we also got to have some fun, do some sightseeing and shopped 'til we dropped. Just like the New Orleanders (?) say, we "Let The Good Times Roll"!

Mardi Gra may be in February, but they celebrate year 'round in New Orleans! We had a great welcome party at our conference with dancing, cajun palm readers, jazz musicians, jugglers, stilted clowns, charicature artists, and even baby alligators to see up-close! So fun!!

Nobody can say I'm not an animal lover! But my friend Lila about had a heart attack getting even this close.

St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square in the French Quarter.

New Orleans' cemetaries are called "Cities of the Dead" because they are all put in tombs above ground. This tomb has 500 nuns in it, no kidding! They put one in and that slot can't be opened for a year and a day. Then they take the bones, put them in a bag and drop them into the bottom and put another body in the coffin in the same spot. Gross!

It was sad to see how much devastation occurred because of Hurricane Katrina 3 years ago. The worst areas had no houses left at all. This area is being built up by Habitat for Humanity as a place for the musicians to come home to.

On the last night we had a big formal banquet. Our Hawaii Division always wears Aloha Dresses and has leis shipped over for the night. All the other groups love it and want their pictures taken with us. It was really fun.

One fun night Andy Childs put on a great concert for us. If he looks familiar, he was 1st runner up in that Greatest American Band competition. He was really good!
I had only two regrets when the trip was over. First I didn't get to go to a jazz place and just sit and enjoy it. We were too busy. And second, I didn't get to see Nicholas Cage who was filming a movie in New Orleans and staying at the hotel our conference was at. Some of my friends did see him, though, and got their picture taken with him. They said he was really nice... :( Too bad for me.
After a week we were all ready to go home and I loved getting back to my family and our beautiful Hawaii.

Amanda's Church History Trip

A week after Amanda's graduation she left on a 2 week church/American history trip. She had a ball and got to see so many awesome places. Independence Jail, Far West, Adam-ondi-Ahman, Nauvoo, Palmyra, The Hill Cumorah, The Sacred Grove, Peter Whitmer Farm, Carthage Jail, Kirtland, Washington D.C., Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, New York City - it's hard to name them all and too many pictures to show, so here are just a few fun ones.

Amanda made some great friends on the trip. Here she is with a few of them in front of the "Friends" fountain in New York City.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Check Out Our Green Thumbs

Our flowers are blooming like crazy! While mom and dad Christopherson were here visiting we planted a bunch of flowers in the front of our house and in pots on the porch. They did the hard part, digging up the flower bed. I did the fun part, planting the flowers. They have really grown and look so bright and happy. We love to come home and see our cheerful little house now!

We also bought 4 little seedling papaya trees which have grown like crazy. It was so amazing that dad started measuring them each day to see how much they had grown. They are now almost big enough that Ryan can nap in their shade (haha). We are looking forward to the day when we get basketfuls of papayas from them.
The other day one of our friends in the ward called to offer us a few banana trees. We have been wanting to plant some but couldn't find anywhere selling them. So for family home evening we piled in the car with our shovels, went over to his house and he let us have 4 apple banana trees and 1 tall papaya tree. Woohoo! We are carefully tending them to be sure they get enough tender-loving-care! They wilted a little right after we transplanted them, but they perked up after a few days and are now looking strong.
Now if we could just get our vegetable garden planted...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jana's New Toy

Here's a photo of me on my new toy! My lime green electric moped is so much fun to zip around on. It doesn't take any gas or oil, doesn't emit any polution, completely quiet, and way cool. It truly is a lean green machine. I know you're wondering so I will just answer the questions I get every day - it can travel 30 miles on a charge, takes 6-8 hours to completely charge up the battery and goes about 25-30 mph, yep it's pretty zippy. It's perfect for me to go to work and around Laie. I could also go up the North Shore and hang out at the beach if I felt the urge... Oooo, I just might be feeling the urge right now!
If you want to see ebikes in action check out their web site at http://www.alohaebike.com/

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Beautiful Bethany

Bethany graduated from the Culinary Institute of American in New York a year and a half ago and now lives in California. She is a fantastic chef and can make a beautiful feast out of any food.

The family went to the Polynesian Cultural Center and we had a great time learning about all the different Polynesian Island cultures and trying our hand at a few different skills - like hula or drumming.

After her graduation, Bethany came out to Hawaii and stayed with us for awhile and we loved having her here. She is a doll and so much fun to have around.

Bethany came at just the perfect time! Brielle was born and we got to play with her and have a fun baby shower for Brooke and her. We were always fighting over who got to hold Brielle. Here's a photo of two adorable girls!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ryan's Crazy Life

Ryan is a crazy man! Wherever he goes, that's where the party is. He keeps us laughing and is my hero whenever there is a gargantuan cockroach or rogue rat around. He is a Junior in Political Science at BYU-H and would love to take you on with any kind of controversial argument! He loves taking pictures and works at BYU-Hawaii's school newspaper as the Photo Editor. So at most campus or community events you will find Ryan snapping pics with some big ol' camera. It's fun to see his name under the pictures in the paper giving him credit for them. Woowoo, Ryan!

Da Bruddahs chillin at da kine graduation party waitin for some ono grinds!

Ryan in one of his crazy "Threadless" shirts... what does that picture even mean?

Ryan and Adam are wild boogie boarders! This picture shows Adam getting out of the ocean and Ryan back in the distance coming to climb out on these jagged rocks that the waves crash on endangering their lives and giving us heart attacks - just so they could catch some good waves at the end of "Laie Point". Just after we moved here, Chuck fell on these rocks and sliced his hand open requiring surgery and months of healing to repair. Naughty boys! Stay off of those rocks!

Ryan also loves to kill us at Monopoly and doesn't mind rubbing it in! Our family also loves to play Skip Bo, Phase 10 and Jungle Uno (the wild and crazy version of Uno!). Yeah, we like having Ryan around - I think we'll keep him.

Alec's Interests

Alec is 15 years old and fun to have around. He likes to play computer games, watch Anime shows, Japanese stuff, science and playing with our dog, Besita (check out our family photo). Take a good look at this picture of him with Adam because it is rare for us to catch him smiling in a picture. I think it is his personal goal not to let us get a good picture of him, but every once-in-a-while we succeed! Look at those cute dimples!

Hiding... I thought he'd get hungry and come out for food, but he outlasted me!

The frowning waffle chef... Alec makes some terrific waffles, great egg salad sandwiches and delicious mashed potatoes - But don't ask him what his secret ingredient is - he'll never tell.

Alec loves to go boogie boarding with Adam and Ryan. Sometimes the boys win - sometimes the wave wins! Alec will be getting his driving permit soon and Chuck will have to take him out practicing (that is too scarey for me, it's Chuck's job!). Holy Cow, I can't believe my baby is turning 16 this year.