Friday, May 16, 2008


Aloha makamakas!! For all of you who don't speak Hawaiian, that means "Hello friends". Normally our blog is mostly about the kids, but as the oldest of the Echols kids and at times, most immature, I wanted to tell about something that I had gotten to do recently.

Thanks to Jaime, who I like to refer as the "greatest wife ever", I just returned from a week in Hawaii. I went to visit my longtime friend, Heath, who is currently living on the island of Kaua'i. It was a full blown guys week and did I mention that it was in Hawaii. (I couldn't remember.)

It was a blast. On days that Heath had to work, I spent a lot of time sitting on the beach and balcony staring at the waves rolling into the bay and also snorkeling. A few days into the trip, we were sitting on the beach and seen a shark attack a turtle in the spot where we had been snorkeling a few days previously. Needless to say, that really ended my snorkeling trips for the rest of the time that I was there.

We toured the whole island. We seen the old sugar cane mills, sugar cane and coffee fields, several waterfalls, Menehune Lake, and most every beach that we could find. Some of my more favorite things that we done were going up to Waimea Canyon, the dinner Catamaran cruise to view the Na Pali Coast, and touring the North Shore side of the island.

Here are a couple pictures from Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau lookout.

Here are a couple from the Na Pali Coast.

Here is a good shot of a beach on the North Shore. The cool thing about the North Shore side is that the beaches run right next to the road. You pull the car off to the side of the road, open the door and you are standing on the beach. They also are not very crowded as you can tell. This picture was taken on a Saturday.
One of the other great things the food. We stayed clear of the places that we could eat here and stuck with local eating places. The best was the Smith's Tropical Paradise Luau. It was more food than anyone can eat, but I tried most all of it. Of course the kalua pork was the best, but the teriyaki beef and sweet and sour mahi-mahi was good too. I also ate a Hawaiian sweet potato, which was purple, and a few bites of poi. Poi is sort of weird and I won't waste anytime explaining it because, I don't know that I can. Another one of my favorite eats was at Puka Dog. You may ask what that is and I will say that they only serve hot dogs and fresh squeezed lemonade. Puka means hole in Hawaiian. They cook the inside of their buns on some type of post and then they put the dog in the hole. You pick your type of dog (sausage or veggie), then you pick your garlic sauce (mild, hot, or volcano), then finally you pick your type of sweet relish (mango, banana, coconut, pineapple, etc). I had a sausage Puka Dog with mild garlic sauce and coconut relish. Possibly best hotdog ever.

The last day that I was there, we attempted to ride some waves with a boogie board. As amateurs, we were in way over our heads. The surf looked good, so we headed out to find that the waves were probably 8-10 feet high. Both of us managed to catch a few waves and it was awesome, but most of the time we drank more saltwater through our nose than anyone ever should. Our boogie boarding skills did draw the attention of some locals. There were some 11-12 year old kids who were making fun of us. We knew we looked goofy, so we joined in on the fun.

I had a great time and I must give the host/tour guide/cook/photographer at the Mixon Makai 5 stars.


Monday, May 5, 2008

A Day with Hallie

Hallie likes to talk, as most of you who have spent time around her know. She isn't talking to hear herself talk. She is talking so that you can hear her talk. What most of you may not know is that apparently she knows it all too. I was at home with her one day last week and she just couldn't help but to share some of her wisdom. I wanted to share a few with you.

Hallie on driving.
Daddy, a speed limit is how fast you can go and not break the law, right? If you break the law, then the police will take you to jail. Mommy says that you drive slow. You don't want to break the law, right?

Hallie on hitting a baseball.
Hal: Daddy, how do you hit the ball hard?
Me: You have to swing really hard.
Hal: I will try to swing really hard, but I can't promise that I won't swing at bad pitches. I am only 5 and I don't really know which pitches are bad, so I swing at them all.

Hallie on God.
Daddy, God hates sin, but he does love everyone. Well, I don't think that he loves Satan. Satan tried to take over Heaven before the world was created. That is why God threw him out of Heaven.
(From a previous day) Refried beans are great, but God is better than refried beans.

Hallie on going to Kindergarden.
Daddy, I know that I have to go to Kindergarden because I am only 5 years old, but I am smart enough for first grade. I know all of this Kindergarden stuff.

Now we are all the smarter thanks to Hallie.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Light's Out

Andrew and Daniel have been out of their cribs for some time now and sleep in twin beds. They have adjusted to sleeping in their beds, but won't seem to go to sleep without me or Jaime sitting in the room with them. This has been ongoing for a while. Jaime and I alternate nights just to keep our sanity.

Last night, it was Jaime's turn to sit. We try, every now and then, to break them of needing us in their room, so she decided to put them in the bed and leave to see if they would stay in their beds and go to sleep. We do have a gate to make sure that they stay in their room. (They can open doors, even if they are locked.)

After she got downstairs, it was obvious that they didn't stay in their beds. We heard them banging on the floor, wall, door, gate, and anything else that they may have been colliding with while walking around in the dark. Eventually, we didn't hear them anymore, but not allowing ourselves to be tricked, we stayed downstairs a little longer.

When it was time for Blake and Hallie to go to bed, we all walked very quietly upstairs hoping not to disturb the potential sleeping kids. Blake and Hallie went to bed without a hitch. Next, I headed to Andrew and Daniel's room to check on them. As I went to step over the gate and into the room, I almost fell on my face as I tried to avoid the two little bodies that were cuddled up next to each other in the doorway right next to the gate. They were cute and hilarious at the same time. Here is a look at what I saw.
I guess when the warden calls for light's out and locks you up in the dark, you have no other choice but to go on to sleep.