Archive for May, 2014

XTERRA Freedom Fest 2014

May 30th, 2014

Camp Bennett has partnered with XTERRA and Kualoa Ranch to launch the 6th year of Freedom Fest Races on July 5th and 6th. XTERRA Freedom Fest is two great days of off-road racing in Ka’a’awa Valley, Oahu, Hawaii. Enjoy ocean views, mountain climbs, movie sets, and live music as you raise money for charity.


Seven races, two days, and over 1000 athletes from around the globe will rally at the ranch in an effort to raise money for Wounded Warrior, Access Surf, and a Clean Water Initiative. Get involved as a racer, volunteer, sponsor, or spectator.

Athletes can choose from several events and get the whole family involved! Saturday events include an XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon consisting of a 1K swim, 20K bike, and 10K run, a 1K Open Water Swim Race, a 20K and 40K Mountain Bike Race, and a Kid’s Fun Run. Sunday will offer a 5K XTERRA Trail Run and Adventure Walk, 10K XTERRA Trail Run, and a Kid’s Fun Run. Both days athletes will be entertained by live music donated by local artists.

Age group winners qualify for the XTERRA World Championship Triathlon on Maui. Trail run overall winders receive free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship on Oahu in December. Come volunteer, race, or just buy a ticket to the BBQ and enjoy the live music and amazing views of Kualoa Ranch.

Freedom Fest started in 2009 by a small non-profit in Kailua called Camp Bennett. Camp Bennett operates on the core values of fitness, nutrition, and community being the foundation for health and happiness. It says it's passionately committed to bringing the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to participate in activities that enrich life. The group wanted to create an off-road event in the valley that would raise money for local charities and encourage families to get out and play!

The group partnered with XTERRA in 2011 because of their LIVE MORE philosophy. XTERRA is a Hawaii based company with 100 events produced in the United States and globally. With the partnership 25 people earn slots to race in the XTERRA World Championships in Maui. This is very special because around the world one must typically win a championship race in order to qualify.

Chapter books

May 28th, 2014

My daughter loves to read. We support that! She is reading at a grade level ahead of her own.

I've learned a new word through Olivia. The grown up books are called chapter books. She is reading chapter books. She has torn through all her books at home and regularly visits the library for more.

I was cleaning my home office and finally decided to part with my graduate school tomes. Either I've held onto it because I thought I would reread it, or I never read it fully the first time.

Graduation day - MA in Political Science from UH Manoa

Graduation day - MA in Political Science from UH Manoa

It's been a whole decade. Who am I kidding? I acknowledged defeat and put them in a Goodwill pile.

Olivia saw them and asked if she could have whatever I am giving away. I did give her Tina Fey's Bossypants because it's a fairly easy read and Olivia really liked the comical cover.


However, I warned her the rest would be pretty boring. Geopolitical analysis on Asia and political philosophy on social contract theory aren't really first grade material. Maybe second grade. At private school only.

"Read it out loud to me to see if I like it," she insisted.

I did. I got through one sentence before she said, "It's OK to stop now."

I thought she was being polite to me so I kept going. "No, really. Stop now," she requested.

The books went to Goodwill.

That's what husbands do!

May 26th, 2014

We invited Olivia's friend Amanda to sleep over. "Her daddy said it's OK, but he needs to check with her mommy first," updated Claus.

"Oh, of course," said my sometimes precocious-seeming six year old. "That's what husbands do."

"Do?" I asked.


"Yeah. They always need to check with their wives first before they can do anything," clarified Olivia, without meaning to be funny.

Claus and I laughed out loud. Then his laugh faded and his wide smile tightened up into a little pout while he faux-glared at me from a place where the kid couldn't see him. I shrugged. She might be speaking the truth!

Aloha Festivals seeks applicants for Oahu events

May 23rd, 2014

The 2014 Aloha Festivals is now accepting applications for participants in the 2014 O‘ahu Royal Court and annual Aloha Festivals Floral Parade.

Aloha Festivals was first held in 1946 as Aloha Week, and over the past six and a half decades has become a celebration of Hawaiian culture, integrating the traditions and cultures of the Islands through music, dance, cuisine and art. All festivities are coordinated by a volunteer board of directors. Aloha Festivals is funded by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, corporate and private sponsorships, and sales of Aloha Festivals ribbons and merchandise.

Photo courtesy Aloha Festivals

Photo courtesy Aloha Festivals

Applicants are currently being sought for the positions of mō‘i kane (king), mō‘i wahine (queen), kamāliʻi kane (prince), kamāliʻi wahine (princess) and other court members of the 2014 Oʻahu Royal Court. Applicants must be of Hawaiian ancestry and are expected to make various appearances during their reigning year, from September 2014 to August 2015.

King and queen applicants must be 35 years of age or older; prince and princess applicants must be 16 to 18 years old. Scholarships will be awarded to the chosen prince and princess to further their education after high school. In addition, court members are also being sought to fill attendant positions.

Interested applicants for the O‘ahu Royal Court must complete an application form and supply both a headshot and full-length photo, as well as proof of Hawaiian ancestry. Applications must be received by Monday, June 30 to the Aloha Festivals Royal Court Committee, P.O. Box 15945, Honolulu, HI 96830. For more information about applying for the Royal Court, please contact Charles Kapua at or

Photo courtesy Aloha Festivals

Photo courtesy Aloha Festivals

Participants are also being sought for the 2014 Aloha Festivals Floral Parade on Saturday, September 27 at 9 a.m. The parade runs down Kalākaua Avenue from Ala Moana Park to Kapi‘olani Park. Marching band units, floral floats, specialty car units, specialty marching units, and pā‘ū (long-skirted) and equestrian units are welcome.

Parade applications must be received by Thursday, July 31 to the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade Committee, P.O. Box 15945, Honolulu, HI 96830. For more information about the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade, please contact Toni Lee at or

Applications for the Oʻahu Royal Court and the Aloha Festivals Floral Parade can be found at (click “forms” and “download forms”).

White Rabbit

May 19th, 2014

Olivia is still at the age where I, her mommy, still am omnipotent. One morning as we prepared for school, she asked for cookies, homemade butter mochi, and Korean nori for the day's snack. I gave it to her.

As we were leaving the house, she remembered, "Can I have a White Rabbit candy, too?" I think the snack pack is already quite sweet and large so I said not today, but tomorrow.

As we were walking to class, she said, "You can just leave my backpack on the desk and not unzip it today." I rarely unzip it for her, unless there's something I need to give to the teacher, so I was immediately suspicious.

"What's in there you don't want me to see?" I asked.

She tried to evade me by simply repeating the request. I then repeated my question, followed by a threat to be angry if a confession was not immediately forthcoming.

She made that irresistible sad pouty face and looked down at her feet. I'm secretly a sucker for that, or maybe not so secret because she does it all the time and gets away with all kinds of stuff.

I opened the bag and saw one little White Rabbit candy sitting atop all the rest of the snacks. I looked at her with a frowny face. "Didn't Mommy tell you not today?"

Pouty face got poutier (and cuter.) "But... it's so tasty!" she begged.

"You need to listen to when Mommy tells you something, Sweetie. That is how to be a good girl." Side hug. Kiss atop head. "Plus, Mommy knows everything. I'll find out eventually."

I let her have her candy. I let myself have my moment of Mommy Knows All. This can't last much longer, so I'm going to enjoy all the times when I still have eyes in the back of my head and can read her mind.

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