The Hawkins Family

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Honolulu City Lights

Every year, the city of Honolulu opens up city hall and creates a holiday wonderland.  They sponsor a Christmas wreath contest and break out the HUGE Santa and Mrs. Clause.  We thought this was a nice cap to the evening and you just can't get more holiday like than streets filled with lights and a 30 foot Christmas tree all decked out.  We had a great time taking in all of the festivities.

These were some of our favorite Christmas wreaths entered in the competition:

Here are the highlights from the lights:

Merry Christmas from Waikiki

Taris and I spent Christmas at home and alone this year.  It was quiet, but a nice change of pace for us.  Since it was just the two of us, I opted not to cook and we headed down to Waikiki for dinner at one of the fancy little restaurants on the strip.  We ate "dinner" (at 4pm) at Wolgang Puck's Steakhouse.  It was absolutely wonderful!  We enjoyed the atmosphere, the company of the two of us, and of course all of the amazing food.  Believe it or not, I did not take one picture of us at the restaurant.  We finished in time to take a walk on the beach to watch the sun set over the ocean.  It certainly was not our typical Christmas and most definately not the weather we are used to, but we both loved not having to bust out our winter coats to head outside.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Morning...sort of

For those of you that know me, you know I hate waiting to open presents...especially at Christmas.  And I hate keeping secrets on what I am giving.  Since we didn't have to wait for Santa Clause to visit our house, I convinced Taris that we could open our presents on Christmas Eve.  We both got what we wanted and then some.  The highlight was my ipod and Taris' highly requested beats by Dr. Dre.  I bought us the X360 Kinnect.  Which was probably the funest toy ever!  Here are a few highlights from the present opening.

Christmas Card

I finally got our Christmas card in the mail on Christmas eve!  I was so busy taking care of my sisters cards and waiting on a convenient time to take a family picture with Taris that I was completely OUT of creativity for my own card.  After a chat with my sister, Alexis, we settled on this as the final product.  Taris insisted on an entire family photo (with the dogs), but we did not drive all the way out to one of the two dog beach parks on the island.  Next year...much better planning...and hopefully not an unexpected, last minute trip home to take care of our rental in Abilene.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

North Pole Express

For Mason's birthday, everyone went to the North Pole Express (formerly Polar Express) in Grapevine.  I was SO glad that I got to go too!  Everyone had a great time.  It was crazy cold and actually snowed the next day!  There was so much to do: a train ride with Santa, a visit with Santa at the toy store, ornament making, and hot chocolate.  It was such a great memory maker.

Mason, Kendall, and Tucker
Doesn't Tucker remind you of the kid from "The Christmas Story"
He finally figured out that his arms could move!

Kendall would not go up to see him alone...and did not want to sit on his lap

Kendall decided she could try and touch Santa

Oh the many attempts at a group picture

Tucker LOVES pez

Rachel, Mason, Tucker, and Mike


She got a Christmas bell

A little more warmed up to Santa

The conductor

Our train car

Mason made a sleigh

Kendall and Alexis with the finished ornament

Thursday, December 1, 2011

O, Christmas Tree

I love putting up the Christmas tree each year.  This year, while I loved getting it out and putting it up, I didn't feel like pulling out all of the Hallmark ornaments this year.  So, our tree is not personalized at all this year!  And although I love the simple theme of red, white, and silver, it just isn't the same when it comes to the memories that all of the personal ornaments bring to life for me.  Next year, I will fight the plastic packaging and the individual boxes...because it really is worth it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Adventures in Stained Glass

I decided to be adventurous and take a stained glass class at Hickam Arts and Crafts.  The piece that we are to make in class is a Christmas wreath made from holly leaves.  There was no time wasted.  We got right to work on the first day of class learning how to cut the glass with all of the tools.  It has been so much fun so far.  I am looking forward to seeing my final product!

My work space

Traced my leaves and ready to start making my first cuts

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pearl Harbor

On Monday, we packed Ashley and Alexis up for the airport and took them to Pearl Harbor.  They have a great walk through museum that sets up the events of December 7.  There is also a submarine and battleship that you can tour (which we didn't have time to do).  After the Arizona, we did lunch, dropped Taris off at work, and explored the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island.  It was so neat.  The museum is actually housed in original hangars from the area.  It was a great way to end the weekend.  We were so glad that Ashley and Alexis were able to stay a few days extra to see us.

View of the Bowfin, Ford Island bridge, and Honolulu

Ready to watch the informational movie before getting on the boat

Part of the Arizona

All of those that have survived the Arizona and have since passed away

View from the memorial wall

One of the two anchors that are on battleships

A diagram of where the memorial is located in relation
to the ship under water

The parks service guide that answered all of the questions

Entrance to the Arizona Memorial

Bowfin submarine

We tried out the simulators.  Taris would NOT have been proud.

Getting ready to hop into the cockpit

Alexis had a hard time landing.  Fourth time was the charm...sort of

Tractor used on the only privately owned island in Hawaii.  The Robinson
family (the owns...still) tilled the entire island so that it was not able to be
used as a landing area by the enemy.

Plane from the Doolittle Raid

Close up of a plane from the Doolittle Raid

One of the original hangars during the attack has
now been added to the Pacific Aviation Museum

Original gun from one of the ships from battleship row

The blue glass is original glass with original bullet holes from the attack of
Pearl Harbor