Hurricane Season 2020

Oh boy. First Hurricane Douglas whipped by us with just some winds and rain, now Hurricane Isaias is barreling toward Florida where most of my family spends the summer. There is already talk to get the older relatives out of there and everyone end summer early. Of course, none of them want to and no one is listening to the family. I’m not sure if this Hurricane is going to strengthen or if it’s going to fly off like ours did. I pray everyone stays safe and if they need to, evacuate NOW instead of making a last minute decision that may turn bad.

We are finally able to get out and about a little. I like taking my kids to the stores. It’s helping being able to bring them we we are picking up school clothes and school supplies. I have almost everything ready. I’m still not 100% sure I’m sending them to school with the best intentions. I’m going to make that decision on Monday. I have to prepare like they are going. I think it’s going to be okay. I’m overly protective and finally that’s a good thing Lol

I’ve been getting a lot of work emails caught up and I see I have some new comments and emails to get to this week from my blog. I will catch up soon guys. Thanks for reaching out, I love that!

Summer has been pretty chill, not a lot going on but a ton of little things here and there. The most important thing is we are fine. Everyone is healthy and we are all trying to have fun and enjoy the beautiful weather there. I love Hawaii. I really do.

Have a great weekend guys! Love you all!

Toy Purge & #HurricaneDouglas

We survived 2 events the past few days. My daughter Peace’s 3rd birthday party and a hurricane. I think the birthday party did more damage in my house than the wind and rain.

Peace decided she wanted to open each and every single gift by herself. She refused any help, AT ALL. That being said I sat there with a few spectators off and on for a total of 5 hours until she got everything unwrapped. It’s not because she had a ton of presents. She had, what I would say, the usual amount. But being 3 and very stubborn she took her sweet a** time with each one. Then she started playing with things and needed a drink, a snack, to walk outside, to go see what the boys were doing. It was the last time I ever let one of my kids do that Lol In the end, I still had everyone help me cut the toys out that are so wonderfully strapped into a box. That took more time and we had to clean it all up. She had a wonderful birthday. She said she had the most fun ever. I did the best I could during a global pandemic. Checkmark that done.

Then it turned into Hurricane prep. I really don’t know we even bothered. We did more work to get the main house ready and closed up than we did to deal with the weather that never materialized. This is why we stayed. We had several weather guys telling us via the tv that this thing was going to swing out. It wasn’t going to hit us head on and to be safe but also know it’s not in our path. We got the outerband of hardly much. Windy, yes, rainy, yes, dark and cloud, oh boy yes. We were fine. We spent the whole time watching tv until the tv satellite flicked off a few times. The kids were a little anxious about all of the noise but more curious why they couldn’t go look out the window.

I wouldn’t even say I survived Hurricane Douglas, I did what all Nebraskans do when a tornado siren blares off, I went outside to go look Lol I’m very happy it took off the other way and no one was injured or had serious house issues. We had some palm fronds down and a few branches. Nothing major. We picked it all up within 30 minutes. Life goes on.

Back to beautiful Hawaii and enjoying the last bits of our summer.

The boys start school next week. YIKES! Yes IN SCHOOL, school. I went today and officially signed them up but I told the Principal, if I feel like my kids are in any type of danger from COVID I will remove them immediately and deal with the ramifications from that. I like their safety precautions, I like they are going to do their best to distance the students. I think we are okay. I feel good about it. My boys want to go. I can put Peace into a program but I decided not to. I will take her and her baby sister on little outings and we will continue the Little Mouse online class she’s already doing. I think that’s the best I can do for her this year.

Did I mention I’m sending my boys to a public school? It’s not a Catholic school. I’m not sure how this will go but when Heston realizes he doesn’t have to study religion he’s going to implode with happiness. He hates “so much Jesus, Daddy!” Lol Alex will be fine. I hope they make a lot of new friends. I really hope they both behave. I pray ALL of the kids, staff, teachers, and other parents stay healthy. For all of our sakes. I know my family will be doing our part. I’m done tossing and turning about this decision. I had a long talk with Kate about it. I think she really helped me decide. We will try it.

Rep. John Lewis passed away, his stay in the Capital is today. God bless that man. He really fought for equality for all. I will miss his voice and his sincerity. He was a great man and he leaves us with an enormous legacy. I pray I turn out even a 1/10 just like him. I’m trying.

Hope you all are okay. The rest of the day is all about purging toys. I brought some with us, we have bought some, and with all of Peace’s birthday gifts, some things are getting donated tomorrow. She doesn’t need all of these things. It’s time for another Toy Purge.

Have a great day, America! Love everyone outside of America too, hope you guys have a nice evening? mid morning? early morning?

Happy 3rd Birthday to Peace Taylor!

3 years ago my first daughter Peace Taylor was born. I remember being excited, scared, hopeful, and anxious. The first time I saw her I bawled my eyes out. She was this sweet, tiny, little girl. She had a soft cry and as it turned out she was a chill baby. My 2nd chill baby so far.

Wow, how things have changed Lol

Now, my once chill baby is now a big girl. She is sassy, attitude, NO DADDY!!!, and smart. Very smart. Everyone notices her cute smile first and how smart she is second. As soon as she speaks it’s obvious. She is learning at such a rapid pace I’m shocked at how fast she picks things up. She has a very strong memory, like me. But she’s smart. I know I’m smart because of my memory, not because I’m a smart guy. My powerful memory serves my mind. Because of my memory I have of lot of information stuck in my head that makes me sound smart when I’m just reciting what I’ve read. That’s why I read ALL OF THE TIME. She’s just like me, except with a lot less drama. She loves me to read to her and get our time snuggling. She LOVES to eat just like me. She loves colorful things and she loves to dance. She is all me in a much pretty package.

I have loved her from the moment I said Yes, I will adopt her. I will love her until my dying day. She is one of my best friends and I really just enjoy being around her. She’s so funny. She can be a brat. That’s what makes her different from my twins. She’s very individual. She demands independence and she has a stubborn side. I love everything she is and everything she will be. She’s my inner Peace. When I hold her my whole world calms down. Even today when we snuggle together she and I have our quiet talks. She tells me everything she thinks and asks me if I like her. I love her. I have a hard time telling her no. She’s too cute. I love watching her be a little sister and a big sister all in one. She is my middle child. She is everything I prayed for her to be.

Happy Birthday my girl! We can’t have the big party I wanted to give you but we can celebrate you all day and make you all of your favorite meals. Today is for you and for us to make you feel special. I hope you enjoy your presents, your cakes, yes there are 2, and your new sunglasses. You make me smile, you make me laugh, you make me feel whole. You are daddy’s girl. I love you my little Peacey Pie!

Hawaiian Tourists

After the family quarantined for 14 days plus 2 extra days we all loved up into the rental van and went out into the world. We had our masks around our necks and our gloves in our pockets. YES I DID MAKE EVERYONE WHERE GLOVES! I got so many comments today about that. I don’t care. This was our first family trip out into the real world in months. I wanted to see what’s going on first before I say hey, no more gloves, we will Purell after every store. It went fine. The kids LOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVED getting out. Finally! They felt free and happy. They had not been out at a grocery store in months. Proabably since early March, I’m not kidding. Heston said can I touch everything. I said no or you will go sit back in the van. He kept his hands to himself. Alex was spinning in the milk aisle Lol And yes I did make a small video of Sky walking in a grocery store Lol My family loved it. She held onto the basket and wobbled a few steps before I put her back in the cart seat. She’s still new to the whole thing but I wanted to show off her skills.

We finally bought the foods we wanted. No more lists and fighting about whatever I forgot to buy. Everyone was happy. Then we drove around and got out at 2 tourists things that were outside. We made it quick before we had freezer items to drag home. It was really fun to take family photos outside. I will put them on my Instagram account tonight. Yes I signed up with Instagram because I did delete my Facebook.

We are back home and everyone has happily put their items away. The kids are playing with their new toys. I did buy a few school supplies. I’m looking into maybe putting my kids into public school here. NOT Catholic school. I’m having an issue with the local Catholic Church and their lazy COVID response. I have several months to do some research and figure out if that is even a possibility. Hawaii did not get hit that hard. It’s really nice knowing that things might be, dare I say, NORMAL here come fall? If that’s the case I will stay here until January. I don’t know yet. I just want my kids to be safe and healthy.

I really did enjoy taking the family out. Tomorrow I’m going to take the kids and Lynn with me for a few hours in the morning. We are going to go explore the city. When I come back I will leave the van and the girls can go anywhere they want the rest of the day. Wednesday we will go out as a big group again, Thursday, same thing as tomorrow, just me, the kids, and 1 adult. And we will not go anywhere Friday/Saturday/Sunday to avoid the huge tourist crowds. Today we were not in any crowds. It was really nice. I feel pretty good about my decision to come back here. I think we will be okay. I’m still going to make everyone where the masks until we really get used to the social distancing. The kids are having a tough time learning that one. I may need to get 2 pool noodles and tape them to their heads Lol If your pool noodle hits someone, you are too close. Just kidding.

How are you guys? I hope you are having a great start of your week. A lot is happening back in the mainland, I am keeping an eye on things. Mask up, Americans! We have to do our part to prevent COVID in our local communities. Love you guys!

Rowboat Book Club Book #91

Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett

Hollywood Park is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life. Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse. Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer.

We were never young. We were just too afraid of ourselves. No one told us who we were or what we were or where all our parents went. They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon. They would sit with us or walk around the grounds, to laugh or cry or toss us in the air while we screamed. Then they’d disappear again, for weeks, for months, for years, leaving us alone with our memories and dreams, our questions and confusion. …

So begins Hollywood Park, Mikel Jollett’s remarkable memoir. His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country’s most infamous and dangerous cults. Per the leader’s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult’s “School.” After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother. But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and more erratic.

In his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol. Raised by a clinically depressed mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step-fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex-con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician.

Hollywood Park is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him. Although Mikel Jollett’s story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal.

I’m ashamed to admit this, but…

Yesterday the girls and I sat on the couch and watched the first 3 Twilight Movies. Yes, I really did. We had been so burnt out on being outside, swimming, running around in the backyard, I decided lets have an indoor day. I had 3 activities planned for the kids. One involved a huge box of legos I had brought with us. As soon as that box came out all 3 of my kids latched onto it. That’s all they wanted to do yesterday was build stuff with legos. The baby is still trying to learn to walk and we had worked with her in the morning. Sarah flopped on the couch, flipped on the tv and there it was. Twilight. She said hey lets watch the first one. I said no. Then I said NO and then I sat down. I started asking questions. Sometime later everyone was watching Twilight and when the bad parts came on the tv was paused, fast forwarded or the kids went to the other room for a snack or bathroom break. The kids didn’t pay any attention to the tv at all. I was sitting on the floor by the table playing and building legos almost all day. It was fun. Those things are great because you can build anything.

That’s about all we got done. Today I’m doing laundry, I’m cleaning the house. I love being on an off time schedule so I can get all of the chores done while everyone sleeps. There are 2 movies left so I agreed to finish off the series. I’m going to put out healthy snacks because yesterday we all munched on junk food.

Kate is doing the best she can during a very sad time in her family. We are praying for her family and I hope you all will send up a quick prayer for her right now. Amen.

Hawaii is perfect. The weather is the exact same every day. I love it. I don’t want to go home. I may not have to. It doesn’t look like things are getting any better. There’s no rush to get home. I’m working on the birthday party for next week, then another birthday party and then it’s all going to be about homeschooling and setting it up.

We called the contact tracer and took my whole family off of the restrictions list. Yes, that’s a real thing. They all had to quarantine for 14 days. I didn’t because I had all of the paperwork I needed to get out of it. That being said I only a few times to get groceries. And one other time for something else.

My health is finally much better. I’ve been struggling this year with some very oddball ailments. Kate is either freaked out by it or just very patient. I’m finally back to feeling normal. It has taken months.

The rest of this month is going to be about exploring the islands. I can’t wait to get everyone out and about finally. We have decided to do our adventures during the week when things aren’t so crowded as opposed to the weekends when the huge crowds are out. I am picking ONLY outdoor activities with a mixture of shopping here and there. Everyone will wear masks and gloves or they are not going. I’ve managed to keep COVID away from my house so far, I don’t need to get all this way and then it infects everyone. I’m happy tomorrow we will finally get into the city. It’s going to be fun and I hope my kids will handle the mask thing okay. We’ve been doing test runs around the house. I made sure the masks fit properly and that everyone is comfortable.

Safety first. Masks on, always.

Hawaiian Shaved Ice Cold Feelings

I had to go to the grocery store yesterday. It took 3 hours. I wasn’t very happy about it. When I got home I did my COVID protocal Hawaii recommends which is pretty much what I do anyway with 2 differences. We moved the food into the kitchen and Lynn, Gabby, and I prepped, chopped, wrapped, and sorted out the items. Then we started handing it out to the girls so they could take it back to their cabins. I overbought (Again), I forgot things even though it was clearly on the list and no one was happy I brought home Taco Bell. I had a frustrating afternoon.

Then I tried to make up for that by running into town after supper and getting everyone Rainbow Shaved Ice. That turned it around a little but not much.

The food in Hawaii is just like that Popeye’s commercial, I’m having a moment here. It’s so good! I’m really enjoying buying the local foods I never get to cook with and experimenting. I love it. I really do. I’m finally feeling better. I can take a full, deep breath without coughing. Whatever got in my lungs (NOT Covid) exited stage right and I feel great. My swimming is improving, I may even be able to go walk on the treadmill again soon.

The kids are great, they are having fun, except yesterday, the girls are all having a blast. Sarah’s baby is so cute I could just smooch her chubby cheeks all day.

We love Hawaii!

Don’t buy her a Cameo video

We love it here in Hawaii. We really do. The kids have so much more open space to run around in and explore. We are working from our new nanny schedule. You work 1 day, have a day off, work another day, have 2 days off, work 2 days, have 3 days off. This is mixed between 5 adults and it’s working out very well. We should have been on this schedule the whole time. This allows you to completely have more than 2 days off in a week. It’s a nice break. I’m still hanging out with my kids daily. But when it’s not my day I get to lean back a little and relax. The kids enjoy not having all day with me.

This week is all about Peace’s 3rd birthday party planning. Good luck with that, thanks COVID. I’m thankful we are all healthy but I’m bummed for her because no one can come. Lindsay said she was going to quarantine and follow the rules but she already broke the rules on Day 4 and now she can’t make it in time for Peace’s birthday. She’s mad but I’m glad she’s going to start over to get here in time for Sky’s 1st birthday. The theme is summer days. She loves sunglasses, the beach, and being outside so I have ordered and brought a whole bunch of Hawaii themed decor. I have more coming. We are going to throw her a very fun birthday lunch. I’ve rented a bouncy house but I’m not even sure they are bringing it now. They restarted their business than Hawaii said NOPE last week to that kind of stuff so I really don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s all I’m working on this week. I’m going to try to throw her the best birthday party I can under COVID restrictions. I’m also thinking ahead for Sky. What works for Peace may be relaxed and better timing for Sky. With everything else, I just need to figure it all out.

It’s fun being back here. I love standing outside in the backyard and watching everyone hang out and play. We set up a baseball diamond. My boys were supposed to start baseball this year but that got cancelled. I’m teaching them all of the basics and I really hope this summer they get the basics down easily. They have a lot of fun batting but not so much fielding.

I’m finally feeling better. I had two issues that are being resolved with medicine. It was nothing serious, it was more annoying. I feel like I’m finally getting my full lungs back. I did not heal up like I thought I would. Getting older sucks. You don’t bounce back, you just bounce then lay there and wonder why you can’t get back up and be normal again. I mean, I am 47. I need to do things with the forethought that I can not just jump around and do everything that I used to do. I have to remind myself before I do things, hey, you may get hurt, be careFUL!

How is your summer going? I love all of my comments I’ve received the past 2 weeks. Yes I will continue to blog more often. Yes I am still with Kate. We have been in a good place for months. We had 1 stupid fight the other day that we squashed within a few hours. She will have an announcement about what is going on with her soon. Probably in the next podcast, it’s the reason we were fighting but it’s leveling off now. Things are pretty great. No complaints. My plan is continue to chill out and relax. I’m plan to still surf the morning waves and find new recipes. That’s about it. All family time this summer. I love it.