Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Marty passed his PRAXIS test!!!!! Woooohoooo! We are so proud and excited for him! He is one step closer to becoming a teacher! He had the opportunity to teach a class of first graders this semester and LOVED it! They loved him too, he got a TON of "We'll miss you Mr. Van" cards! Gotta love first graders! Can I switch????

Monday, December 6, 2010

Boy #1

Happy Birthday Harry! We are sooooo blessed to have you in our family! It has been 11 great years... and here are the reasons we love you!
 11.  Football Moves- despite the fact that you have never actually been on a team, your passion for the sport and the cool moves, keep us grinning! I KNOW that you have already created a touchdown dance! I'm sure it ROCKS! P.S. We also love the fact that you cheer for any team that we are NOT cheering for (except of course, the U!)

10. Bulldog- You are so good at getting what you want! Your mind is working a million miles a minute, trying to figure out the best way! Such tenacity will serve you well! :)

9. Cartoons- You still love a good cartoon! Nothing much better than watching you watch Scooby Doo and Tom and Jerry.

8. Passion- When you love something, you LOVE it! There is nothing half-way about you son. You will give your heart and soul to anything you believe in.. such a gift!

7. Animals- You love animals... since you were a little baby. Its gone from dinosaurs, to dogs, to cats, to lizards to creepy stuff in general. When you were little you wanted to work at the zoo! Discovery channel is WAY fun to watch with you.

6. Snuggles- We treasure every quiet moment that we share with you. Often we will find you hanging out in the kitchen, just to be near. I love that you will still hold my hand, will sit by me in church, and will go to the store with me. Thanks buddy!

5. Confidence- You are so smart and sure of yourself! It takes a LOT of rock solid evidence to convince you of something. It is fun to watch your mind work through those conundrums... you always make it work, one way or another!

4. Spirit- You have such a clear, true spirit. Even with a million things going on in your head, you are still able to hear the still small voice, act on it, and share with me. And more often than not, the whisper of the Spirit is enough rock solid evidence for you. Thank you.

3. Your help- You have become such a great helper! I am honestly not quite sure what I would do at church without you! I know that as the oldest kid, you have a lot of responsibility, and that it doesn't always seem fair. And I know that I am often giving you 10 things to do at once. But your help is really the factor that can turn any stressful situation into an easy one! Thank you so much son!

2. Harry Potter- We do love a good Harry Potter don't we son?!! Sharing that book series and the movies with you has been one of the highlights of my life. I love your insight, your enthusiasm, and the fact that I have found a kindred spirit to share it with!

1. Books- We ALL love that you love books! Whenever it gets quiet, we know exactly where to find you, curled up in a corner somewhere reading your latest book! Its hard to keep you entertained when you don't  have a good book! We hope you will keep reading and thinking and learning, for the rest of your life!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Papa!

Papa! We love you so much! We are so happy that you got to attend the Temple dedication, what a true blessing! We are sorry we are not there to share this special day with you! AND we miss EVERYONE so very much, we are excited for summer! :) Happy Birthday, Dad, thanks for everything you have taught me, the value of hard work, love for the temple and recognizing the gift of family! Love you so much Dad! :)
Love, Marty, Pua, Nahinu, Ikaika, Makakoa, Ka'eokulani and Aunty Nia!

P.S. We are still trying to upload a video with the whole family, it doesn't like us so far! Love you guys! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Stripling Warriors

Harry is a smart, tough, kid. I am grateful for the little insights that I get that show me that he listens to me on some level... every comment that he makes gives my heart a little pat of comfort, especially since I know how much I miss when I am not with them every day. I do miss the kids crafts, and holiday activities, and organizational charts, and reading to them every night, things that seem to get lost in my massive daily-to-do list. But what I REALLY miss are the teaching moments. It seems as if I am always reacting rather than teaching, and as my boys get older, I am more aware why the prophet has counseled us to stay at home.

Aunty Nia hurt her leg the other day, and Harry wanted to know if she had been able to get in to see the doctor. When I answered that the doctor had seen her, he said to me "I'm so glad that Heavenly Father blessed Aunty Nia, cause He knew she needed it."

Ron had a migraine, and Harry said, "I bet if he gets a blessing he will get better, that's all he needs."

And yesterday, he wrote a talk for primary all by himself and spoke about his favorite scripture (Alma 56:56) and how the Stripling Warriors listened to their mothers and had faith, and were protected from harm. Ah, the wish of my heart.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


There are many gifts in my life. Children who are healthy

Friends and Family

Lots of Family who are near and celebrate with us (We miss everyone else!)

The priesthood and the gospel

and for family bike rides... even if the first question that my boys ask is "Hey Mom, do you even know how to ride a bike??"
(I WISH I looked that good!) LOL!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Driving home today from work, I encountered 2 explosions.
Explosion #1: Rock hitting windshield
Yes, I was driving on I-15, with Fred, and it scared the crap out of me (ask Kahi, I was on the phone with her at the time) The glass shards are INSIDE the car, and I'm glad it wasn't 6 inches higher. :)

Explosion #2: This happened in the back seat of my car at approximately the same time (courtesy of the oreo cookie world).
Which was scarier? :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ron's Magic

Ron just turned 8!! What fun! We had a great time! My kids get a birthday party when they are 5, 8 and 12 (did I mention that throwing parties is NOT my thing?)! So, Ron got to have 15 cousins and friends over... needless to say, chaos was the word of the day, but it was so fun! :) We had a marshmallow war! So fun! On his baptism day, we had a yummy breakfast and then he was off to a BYU game! Too bad the team did not oblige him by winning! :(
 I will post pictures later, but in the meantime.... The TOP 8 REASONS We LOVE Ron

8. His awesome sense of humor! Case in point: we were trying to have family prayer, and Ron was pretending to meditate... complete with the crossed legs and chanting "Ohm". In an effort to hurry the process up, I said "Buddy, you better Ohm it up" meaning of course, to hurry it up" Ron responded with "OHM!!" screamed at the top of his lungs! :) I know this is one of those "you have to be there moments"  but we all collapsed with laughter... it was just so unexpected and enthusiastic! He surprises us all the time!

7. Hitches! Ron loves nothing better than to hitch something to a moving vehicle! I cannot tell you how many times I trip over a string connecting a truck and a cage, action guy, boat or another truck!

6. His Grin! Ron has one of those smiles that is pure joy and makes everyone else smile around him! Add to that his crazy laugh, and it is a party all the time!

5. Blankets! Dude has a million blankets on his bed. It doesn't matter how many times I come in and fold some and take it away, NOR does it matter if it is 100 degrees... the kid loves a good blanket! His favorite one, is the one his Dad made him last Christmas!

4. NCIS! Ron is a diehard fan of NCIS! He loves nothing better than to hang out with his Dad and watch episode after episode! Of course, he loves a good Gibbs-Slap as well! :)

3. Mini-Marty! Speaking of NCIS, Ron pretty much loves everything that his Dad loves! BYU, trucks, NCIS, his family. Ron will spend all day helping his Dad in the yard, or puttering around the house. He has a special connection to his Dad and it is a joy to watch!

2. His willingness to help! Ron loves to help anyone and everyone, he spends time across the street, helping "Grandpa Wilson" weed his garden. He often pops into the kitchen to see if I need help with dinner. He is the first to offer to run out to the car and get something for his lazy Mom and he even helps putting up chairs at church.

1. His love for his family! Ron will wake up every morning at the crack of dawn, as I am pulling out of the drive, frantic to give me a goodbye kiss. He will spend hours wrestling with Harry and Neville on the trampoline and then on the same day he will come into the house to get Fred and play quietly with him on the trampoline, because Fred is not so fond of jumping. He will postpone playing with friends, if there is a chance that he can spend 15 minutes with his Dad. He loves us, and shows us in a million little ways. We are blessed and better people for having Ron in our family!

Happy Birthday buddy! We love you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

To London and Back Again

So here I am again! My email got hacked and apparently I went to London, got mugged and needed money! Many of you called to see if I was OK... which I so appreciated, but I started answering the phone with "Hey, I'm not in London and I don't need money!" About halfway through my day, I realized the error of my ways... I should've been answering the phone by saying "I'm not in London, but feel free to send money!" lol
The tragedy of this experience, however, is that I lost access to my earlier blog. Not only, can I not add to it anymore, but I lost many of my posts. As I was struggling to recover whatever I could, I realized that even though I have a love/hate relationship with blogs, it was my one effort at journaling and since I have long lost my time to scrapbook, I realized that I really enjoyed going back and reading about my kids.
There were many funny, touching moments that I had forgotten.
So, I am renewing my efforts, yet I make no promises, but I would love for you to join me! I love you all, and am grateful for the influence you have had in my life!