January was full of Home Improvement Projects. It started with a Room Update for Dean - he got new Solar System bedding that he picked out himself (from Land of Nod), 2 new bookcases (one short and one tall) and a new dresser from Pottery Barn Kids, the new furniture all matches the PB Kids desk we bought him just before he started Kindergarten. We also gave his room a fresh coat of blue paint. I wasn't too sure about the color at first, but it looks pretty good. And it is just paint!
Then we started in our living space. We were about to rip out the very stained carpet from the living area and hallway, but first we wanted to install a faux board and batten in the entryway (and by "we", I mean Joel. I just supervised. And by "supervised", I mean stood over him and said "I don't know if that's the way you're supposed to do that..." when really I had no idea either. I'm an expert at supervising, which is why Joel and I learned a long time ago it's best if we don't work together on these types of projects). But we also painted the entire living area, entry and hallway as well - and that's something we are capable of doing together without too many stink eyes, loud sighs or even yelling!
After that was complete, it was time to install the new flooring. Joel did all of this himself. We picked out a beautiful solid bamboo (not laminate) and Joel did a fantastic job, even without my supervision! ha! (for the sake of our marriage, Dean and I stayed at my Mom's until the job was done). It looks great!
With all of these home improvement projects, we didn't have a lot of extra time for fun in January, but Joel and I did manage to squeeze in a hike on the Lahaina Pali Trail the last weekend of the month.
Things slowed down quite a bit in February and we took some time to enjoy several beautiful beach days...
Dean even showed off his Yoga Skills...
I love kids' artwork. This is a drawing Dean made one afternoon of our family. I especially love how much hair he gave Joel and his short shorts!
March was quite a bit more busy. We enjoyed the You-Pick Strawberry Patch at Kula Country Farms.
And Dean of course was my favorite little Leprechaun!
My Mom and I took Dean to Hana one Saturday so he could do his favorite hike through the bamboo forest up to Waimoku Falls (The Pipiwai Trail in the Kipahulu area of Haleakala National Park).
In late March, we dyed Easter Eggs. We decided to try a few different techniques this year and had a lot of fun with our experiments. The beautiful eggs below Dean created by painting on the "watercolor" dye mixture. They were the most beautiful Easter Eggs I've ever seen!!
And we also created our own "All Natural" dyes out of various foods - vegetables, fruits, berries, and spices - and learned about how throughout history, people have used items found in nature to create dyes for food, clothing, etc. Below are some of the examples of eggs dyed with Turmeric, Beets, Blueberries and Paprika.
And finally, Dean and I posed for our traditional Mother-Son Easter Photo:
In April, Uncle Jeremy (my brother) came to visit from Montana.
And Joel received the long-awaited good news that he had been accepted into Grad School to get his Master's in Social Work at the University of Hawaii. Yay Joel!
And that brings us to what was probably the highlight of 2013 - a super fun trip to San Diego with Grandma Jo and Grandpa CR!
We got to do so many fun things, including a trip to Sea World where Dean really, really wanted to see the penguins (seeing penguins was the only thing he really cared about seeing at Sea World when we were planning our trip, although once we were there he enjoyed just about everything - especially a really wet water ride roller coaster thing that he rode over and over again) - so we paid extra for the Up Close Penguin Encounter where you get to go behind the scenes of the penguin exhibit and actually inside the exhibit, learn about how they care for the penguins and actually touch them, etc. It was pretty interesting. When it was time to actually go INSIDE the exhibit, it was COLD in there - they keep it at about 27 degrees and there is real snow in there (Dean's first time seeing snow!). Dean touched a King Penguin and then asked the penguin guy if he could touch some snow. The guy was nice enough to find some clean snow for him to touch. When we were leaving the exhibit Dean said "It's freezing! It must be like 60 degrees in here!". Everyone thought the little boy from Hawaii was pretty hilarious.
We also got to go to Legoland, which was pretty cool. Grandma Jo and I took Dean there when he was about 16 months old and we met up in San Diego and we had always thought it would be fun to go back when he was older (and thought Joel would enjoy it too). We were right! It was a lot of fun!
We visited the San Diego Zoo as well as a few really cool museums in Balboa Park, we rode a double decker train, ate a ton of really good food, did a lot of awesome shopping, Dean got to go bowling (something he had specifically requested to do) and just had a great time! Dean will remember that trip forever!
Dean also got to spend a day with his Sarah. I'm sure most of you remember Sarah, Dean's babysitter who used to live down the street from us. She moved to San Diego a few years ago and Dean misses her so much! Even though they don't get to see each other very often, they still have such a special bond. He was SO excited to see her! When we picked him up from her place and it was time to say goodbye, he cried and cried for almost an hour - and I mean big, heartbroken crying. It was so sad. We all love Sarah! But I really believe these two will be friends for life.