Grandparents’ delight times two

29 03 2014

It’s been six months since we saw our granddaughters in Italy where they live. The sisters have grown up so much since then.

They go to Italian school during the week and holiday throughout Italy with their parents on weekends.

These updating photos were made by their father who posts them to a blog for us to see. When we’re half a world away in Hawaii, we also video chat via FaceTime on our iPhones.  It makes up for the distance.

Who knows when DH and I will see these beautiful children to love them in person next?

Perrin, 2, and Ayla, 4

Perrin, 2, and Ayla, 4

Ayla. We introduced here to you as Miss Marvelous.

We introduced her to you as Miss Marvelous. Her name is Ayla. She’s a princess.


Perrin. She loves going to school.

All photos by Travis Hylton
Copyright 2014 Rebekah Luke

Make a wish, Papa!

20 12 2013

Miss Marvelous, 4, came to DH’s birthday dinner tonight. She’d taken a two-hour nap during the day and was allowed to stay up past her regular bedtime. The surprise treat was an after-dinner show she put on entitled “The Adorable Show” starring the dogs Alice Brown and Pua.

... Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Papa ...

“…Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Papa, happy birthday to you!”

"Now make a wish and blow out the candles!"

“Now make a wish and blow out the candles!”

Copyright 2013 Rebekah Luke

Time out with grandchildren

12 12 2013

You’ll have to put up with a proud grandparent for a bit. Family arrived from Italy two days ago, and, of course, they want to go to the beach, play with the dogs, and run around silly.
A lot is happening this holiday season, and some things just have to be put on hold.
Everyone, be safe and enjoy as much as possible. I’ll share Popo’s adventures with Miss Marvelous, et. al. with you.
Here she is, age 4, wearing a plumeria lei in the foreground, with DH her Papa carrying her sister 2-year-old Perrin, and me.

Photo by DD Letts

Happy birthday, Miss Marvelous!

7 05 2013

Ayla turns 4 today. I am her Popo. Happy Birthday and Hau‘oli Lā Hānau to a beautiful princess! Buona Giornata! I love you very much!
Princess Ayla ©2013 Rebekah Luke

Ciao, baby!

12 03 2012

Our son-in-law Travis landed a job rotation in Naples, Italy. Yes, it’s true: in less than two weeks he and DH’s only child Ari and their children Miss Marvelous and three-month-old Perrin leave Oahu for three years. Our family and close friends have got used to the idea and the many advantages of moving half way around the world from Hawaii.

Travis is a civilian who will be working for the U.S. Navy that has a large base in Naples. His expertise is in water engineering. There will be better pay, proximity to all of Europe, international school for Miss Marvelous, and many other benefits, including a generous housing allowance, for this young family.

What they leave behind will likely still be here when they return. Culture shock, most likely. And their dog Pua, who will not make the trip but will move in to live with us instead. Poor Ula!

Aloha, ciao, hello, good-bye, but mostly good luck and see you again soon!

DH and I hosted a going-away party on Saturday at our house and invited some old friends, neighbors, and people in our rural Kaaawa town who Ari grew up with. The guest list included our little friend Oliver, a playmate for Miss Marvelous.

Flooding and road closures of the severe weather storm the previous five to six days—with chilly air, a tornado, thunder, lightning, and hail stones— were not a problem anymore, thankfully, and all the folks, almost 40 of them, arrived and stayed ’til the end. It’s not uncommon for us to schedule a party, only to have stormy weather on the day of the event. Go figure.

I planned three food stations (hot food, cold food, and beverages) and a simple-to-prepare, mostly Italian menu. The only item I had to actually cook was the mushroom risotto that I precooked the day before following instructions from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2004; ISBN 1-4000-5446-X).

The rest involved finding space in the refrigerator and freezer, and washing the produce:  Palermo’s ultra-thin crust Margherita pizza (frozen, three to a box from Costco), sushi (1 big platter made to order at the last minute from the Ninja Sushi store), fresh romaine, bocconcini (small, marinated mozzarella balls, 40 to a tub from Costco), fresh tomatoes (found some cute, flavorful, 1-1/2″ ones that I sliced in half and drizzled with bocconcini marinade), steak (broiled to rare and sliced for serving so diners didn’t need a knife; the meat continued to cook on a steam table), roasted asparagus (with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, 500 degrees F. for 5 minutes), and brownies (baked in the morning from a Ghirardelli mix).

I brought out the nice stem glasses for the Italian wine—hey, what better occasion?!—and, although we didn’t request that people bring anything, they did. No one got thirsty. Ari brought Bubbie’s mochi ice cream from Miss Marvelous’s school fundraising event. Ari loves mochi. I wonder if they have mochi in Italy?

Of course, we have to visit the kids in Italy! They announced they will come back home to Hawaii in November for Perrin’s first birthday luau. Kalua pig from the imu and the works. Hearing that, this big change in our family is easier for Papa (DH) and Popo (me) to take. Ciao, baby! See you on Skype!

Copyright 2012 Rebekah Luke

Twelfth day of Christmas smile

6 01 2012

Like my adult psychic readers, our 2-1/2-year-old Miss Marvelous likes to let me know that she knows. I can always tell when she’s been to the studio. After she leaves, I find little messages. Mostly she will rearrange things. She must know I am visually sensitive and like to see the living area neat and tidy, for example.

For the Christmas holiday I took three Christmas balls from a larger collection in a basket in the foyer and put them in a smaller display stand  in the living area for a design “repeat” where normally there is an ipu (gourd). Later I found Miss Marvelous “helped” me by neatly putting the items back the way she originally remembered them, that is, she remembered where the ipu belonged, and she saw the big basket of shiny colorful ornaments.

Today, as I packed the decorations away — it’s the 12th Day of Christmas when I usually take things down — I missed a Christmas ball from said collection. I looked around the room and noticed it sitting, again so very neatly, on a low shelf next to the portrait of me that Miss Marvelous likes. Ahahaha! 😉

Copyright 2012 Rebekah Luke

New life for old ornaments

5 12 2011

Greetings! from our family to yours. Christmas decorations are up at the studio, and the look gets more Zen-like each year. A collection of beloved ornaments begged to be included instead of being left in the storage box, so I came up with what I think is a clever idea.

I culled the soft and fairly unbreakable ones, stuffed them into a big stocking, and hung the stocking next to the toy box. The next time Miss Marvelous comes over, there’ll be some new surprises to discover and play with.

Soft ornaments fit into stocking for pre-Christmas fun. Each had a place on Christmas trees past. This year the toddler in the family may play with them.

Our social calendar is filling up. For example, this week DH and I will be taking Miss Marvelous on an evening trolley ride with her school; it’s joong-making time with my friend Nani; and I’m gigging with the choir. I mustn’t forget tai chi and water exercise as usual.

On Saturday I’m giving a workshop at Kaneohe Yacht Club for members and their guests on how to make lei garlands for the holidays. It can be a stressful time, especially with the kids’ new baby and exciting job change — more about that later!

I’m reminded to relax and stay in the present and make time for Miss Marvelous to play with her stocking. ~ Rebekah

P.S. Do you like the snow? It’s courtesy of 😉

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke

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