2002 Christmas Kazette
Aloha from sunny Hawaii! Our year has been very busy with our move from
Nebraska to here, and I feel as if each month could take up an
entire Kazette. I’ll try to pare it down for you.
In January we drove out to St. Louis to drop off the car the Navy was
shipping for us to HI. We tossed in a little sightseeing, having
been there the summer before, and drove back to endure a couple of
with only one car!
February brought us the flurry of moving (not to mention some snow,
though the best storms were in January!)
The 1st week we moved stuff into storage for the duration of our HI
the 2nd week we sent a light load of ‘must have’ items like sleeping
and a microwave (no furniture allowed) on it’s way to HI, supposedly so
it would be there when we got there and could help make ‘home’ more
until our big move got there (6 to 8 weeks after leaving NE.) The 3rd
was our big move and all the last minute things to get our cat, Little
Bear, ready and ‘legal’ to move to HI. The islands have a strict
process to ensure that rabies never reaches the islands. Little Bear
her plane a week before we did.
One last week of hotel living and renting a car in Nebraska, and we
ourselves were on the plane. It was of course cold and windy and I seem
to remember a layer of snow on the ground... regardless, I wore shorts
and a winter coat to the airport. We had a relatively uneventful trip
arrived in HI about 3 hours after we were supposed to, rented a car,
in the hotel and the next day we were able to pick up Doug’s car (the
shipped from St Louis.)
It took us less than 4 weeks, I think, to get us completely ‘street
legal’ and officially moved to the island. We rented a house about 20
from Pearl Harbor, where Doug works, got both our cars to the island
inspected and with stickers for HI and the Navy Base, got our household
goods delivered and our cat our of quarantine.
Phew! Bring on the visitors!
That’s right... we had TWO sets of visitors shortly after arriving
on island. Dan and Reva (friends from WA) came to visit us while they
on a wonderful multi-island vacation, and
Todd and Lynn, friends
who grew up with me in Madison, came to see us/HI too! Although I
know the island all that well yet, I think I did an OK job showing them
around. Any of you who come now will have a more experienced guide.
(A group of Doug's former co-workers from Nebrasksa also came out to
Hawaii and we met them for dinner. Cool!)
The summer passed, and although it seems as if EVERY day is the same,
weather-wise, here... somehow it was much hotter in June-August. With
air conditioning, we felt the difference. Now that it’s December, I
still go to the beach every day, but I *DO* feel cooler,
especially at night. Erika started at a new preschool
she’s really been enjoying it.
Fall brought slightly cooler temps, and a wonderful Halloween. Erika
decided to dress as “Steve” from the show “Blue’s Clues” which was a
obscure, but she had tons of fun and got more candy than I’ve ever seen
in my life. We
spent Thanksgiving at our house with some friends, for a total of 9
I think that’s the most we’ve ever had in any of our houses and we had
a great time. Doug made a DELICIOUS traditional dinner.
Erika turned 4 in May and FINALLY got potty trained! It was very late
in coming, but when she finally ‘got it’, it only took a week or two;
only had 1 nighttime accident and perhaps 3 daytime ones. Whoo hoo!
are lots of parks in the area, though not many with swings, and we’ve
to most of them. We enjoy doing picnics and Erika really enjoyed “The
States Birthday Party” ( = July 04). The celebration on the Pearl
Navy Base had rides, music, food, a car show, wrestling, gifts/trinkets
and of course, fireworks. Her favorite holiday was Halloween, though,
like me. Since about June, she’s been taking ONLY halloween themed
out of the library on our weekly visits. Some she has gotten out more
once! She is trying to learn how to read but isn’t quite there yet. She
still is a very good helper and enjoys cooking with Doug, baking
with me, and doing various arts and crafts at home and at school. There
are several kids in the neighborhood, mostly older than her, that she
playing with. There’s a short but steep hill in our backyard that we
to go ‘sledding’ on, with cardboard for sleds. Some of the older kids
to crouch or stand and ‘surf’ down.
Doug seems to enjoy his new job at ComSubPac (Commander Submarine
U.S. Pacific Fleet); I don’t get to hear many details since parts of
job are ‘super secret’ but for the most part I think it’s interesting
Occasionally he will get sent to the Mainland on business, but as in
these trips are rarely more than 3-5 days. He also goes to sea about
a month, but that’s also for very short periods of time. It means some
extra $$, though, so that’s not a bad thing! It does feel weird for me,
however, to once again not know where he is. Once I drove him to the
dropped him off, and while talking to his Mom later I realized I had NO
IDEA what sub he was on, or how to contact him if I really ‘needed’
I also had to laugh when he was dropped off from one of these trips on
the nearby Air Force Base. I had been waiting on a Navy pier for him
I got a call on my cell phone, and I had to say, “Pick you up
Doug has also been swimming and working out on his lunchtime so he has
a healthy tan and growing muscles! I’m married to Popeye!
Other than motherhood, I have been busy trying to fit all the stuff
we *DID* bring into our much smaller house. Oh, how I miss Erika’s
I also have worked on quite a few web pages this year; our own, one I
got PAID FOR (whoo hoooo!) and a few volunteer ones. I now feel much
comfortable getting around the island, and pronouncing street and town
names! I am involved with a great group of ladies that does an
class for Navy wives, called COMPASS, and if I can ever get my butt out
of bed and turn myself into some kind of morning person, I might
be quite active in that group. I haven’t found a mah jongg group to
with yet, but I did learn how to play Bunco.
Doug and I have been so lucky to find great childcare for Erika; she
gets very excited whenever we tell her a babysitter is coming... so we
are back to going to the movies though its not as often as we used to
We also finally found a church that we are comfortable with, on the
at Pearl Harbor. Between that and our library cards, I feel very
Moving to Hawaii has been a great experience overall. The drivers here
are laid back and kind to a fault... merging here is almost NEVER a
even on the busiest roads. We visited the Mainland in September and
a big difference in wait staff, though. Our waiters/waitresses were SO
NICE on the Mainland... I guess the Hawaiian’s are tired of all the
and don’t seem to think they have to be nice so that someone will come
back. People, though, are very friendly. We were thrilled to get our
“Howzit?” and I got called “Auntie” by the mom of one of Erika’s
All in all this should be a very pleasant 3 years.
Merry Christmas! Mele
Wait, there's more!
It's only fitting that I type
in green, as that is Erika's favorite color. It's one of the only
she will actually pick as a favorite! If I ask her, "Which did
like better, the "Jonah" movie, or "Beauty and the Beast" she will
answer: "I liked BOTH of them!" .... Very diplomatic of her!
Erika has continued to embrace
new things, although moving here was a bit traumatic for her. She asked
EVERY DAY for months if we could go back to Nebraska so she could see
friend Brittany. "I don't like Hawaii. I want to live in Nebraska. Why
did we have to move?" She still misses Brittany very much, but has
to living in Hawaii... I have a short movie clip of her strumming on my
ukelele and singing "I love Hawaii, I love Hawaii!"
Erika has grown quite a bit over
the last year and is now about 43 inches tall and around 40 lbs. She
to dance, and run and build sand castles at the beach. She is NOT a fan
of open water. She does ok in pools or at the local water park, but
doesn't like to go in the ocean. This makes life a little easier for us
as we don't have to be on constant alert when we go to the beach to
sure she's not drowning. Instead we have to keep on eye on who's she's
recruiting for her new best friend. She is VERY friendly and is
walking up to other kids and saying, "Hi, my name is Erika. Want to
with me?" She does this at the beach, at the Mall, at the Park, at
(in Erika's world, that's 'resternaut') and just about anywhere she
Erika had lots of fun learning
how to play soccer. The Boys & Girls Club had a 10 week session for
4 year olds. They focused on basic skill and having fun... not playing
and winning games. I was very impressed with the coaches and Erika was
sad when the 10 weeks were over. We will be looking for more soccer and
other sports as the year goes on.
We got digital cable when we
here, and that, plus her getting older, has expanded Erika's TV
She went from only knowing/liking PBS and Disney shows to adding some
Jr like "Blue's Clues" and "Bob the Builder"; "Dora the Explorer" and
I admit it?? "Spongebob Squarepants" Her new PBS favorite is
and our kid video/DVD library is ever-expanding. It's great that we
get to rent ones from the local library! Variety is truly the spice of
(motherhood) er, ummm.... Life!
Erika still loves black olives,
but many things she used to eat are now on her 'yuck' list. Thankfully,
though, in general she still prefers vegetables and fruits, as well as
cheese, as snack foods. There are very few candies that she likes.
has been good in that they often only serve milk or water with the
snack, so Erika has been drinking more water. (She has always liked
Subway is one of her favorite places to go when we eat out for lunch; a
ham and cheese sandwich with mayo, no mustard, is usually preferred
a hamburger or cheeseburger. She hates most fruit punches and will have
lemonade instead. We do not give her soda, but the few times she has
some she hated it. One less thing to battle over, hurray! She doesn't
to want to explore local cuisine, but hey, her parents have been
back on that a little too.
Erika's been working hard on
how to read. She is going by the memorization method, rather than
each letter out. To each their own, eh? I imagine as she is taught
in school she will use both methods. Erika loves preschool and
in "Show and Tell" almost every session. She goes to preschool at the
YMCA on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I have had fun going on
their field trips with them... so far we've gone to the Zoo and to Sea
Erika got to do quite a few
this year, including but not limited to Baskin Robbins, The Hawaii
Fair, watching the "Jonah" multiple times in the theater, watching
from the water on 'Capt Pete's boat' (Pete is Doug's co-worker) and
"DragonTales Live!" She enjoyed going with Todd and I to the top of
Head, and then repeated that feat with Daddy too a few months later.
All in all the move to Hawaii has
been a positive one for Erika and we hope she will remember some of the
great times we are having here when she gets older.
ok, ok, so the paper one had
a wordsearch... here you go:
find the following words from the Kazette: (you'll have to print it
out, or just play 'by eye')