Nov 152012
 

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As Kapaa Middle School gears up for the Hawaii State Assessment (HSA), computer students contributed to a positive and encouraging test-taking environment with their latest class project. In an effort motivate test-takers that frequent the school’s computer labs, these posters have been blown up and displayed in each grade-level’s PC lab. Outstanding 7th grade work is above and below is finished work from 6th grade.

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Using the drawing tool in their Google Drive accounts, students created these colorful posters which included hand drawn designs, customized word clouds, famous motivational quotes, and various text and imagery. My computer classes are taught in the 8th grade computer lab at KMS. Below, you can see the semi-permanent installation that is now making the room a more vibrant learning environment. Great job to all my Computer Wizards!

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Oct 152012
 

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Here’s a quick gallery of all the fun things we did with Momma Ruth and Big Daddy Wags a few months ago. Highlights included daily snorkeling and beach adventures, incredible dinners every night, Smith’s “Tropical Paradise” Luau with Pele the goddess of fire, a visit to the neighborhood swimming hole, and trying to pose for pictures that make it look like we’re rock climbing. We also had an awesome fourth of July celebration with live music and fireworks at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kekaha. And to top it all off, we even got to spend an entire day on a boat with friends in Hanalei bay! As always, it was a memorable trip and we can’t wait for the next visit!

Oct 012012
 

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These little guys were the newest addition to our ohana, nearly four months ago… I’ve been a bit behind posting updated pictures. They’re just about fully grown now, but still as cute as day one. Our older chickens have been producing fewer eggs lately and I think they’re getting nervous with the replacements moving in. Although the newbies aren’t quite old enough to start laying yet, we should be expecting large brown triple grade A++ eggs within another month or two. Can’t wait!

Sep 092012
 

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Here are the results of my first project as a digital media teacher! These collages show every student’s work from my two classes of 6th-8th grade Gifted and Talented. Students used a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create inspirational posters that included a motivational quote, their digital signature, and stylized photos. Technical requirements for the project involved using multiple gradients for the background, a minimum of two artistic filters applied to one central image, visible blending options on every layer, and a cohesive layout that easily communicates each student’s message. I am incredibly impressed with the outcome!

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Jul 152012
 

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Our weekend camping trip to Kalalau was a last minute decision with very little planning and minimal preparation. At 10:30pm the night before we were still shopping for camelbaks and cans of soup and by 6:00am we were already on the trail. Luckily all of our camping supply was being boated in on our buddy Lorren’s fishing boat, Pole Bender. That left us with a great opportunity to run the 11 mile trail with nothing more than a couple light snacks and our newly acquired camelbaks. The panoramic shot below is from red hill, my favorite part of the trail.

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We went with marathon runners, Lina and Nancy, who kept us on pace to arrive at Kalalau in only 3.5 hours. A few sore joints later, we were lounging on the beach, playing in the water and taking in all of the sights. Before dark we hopped on Lorren’s Boat for a little expedition down the Napali Coast to Nu’alolo Kai for a little snorkeling action. We had our campfire soup for dinner, a long nights rest, and we headed home on the boat in the morning. Thanks Lorren, Lina, Nancy and Lee for a great adventure!

Jul 092012
 

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This is what summer is all about! A quick afternoon trip up a neighborhood trail turned into an adventure under tree roots, over fallen logs and rock hopping up river to Makaleha Falls. Only about three hours roundtrip, this hike had a huge payoff at the top. The perfect swimming hole engulfed by steep canyon walls lies just beneath the waterfall. It was a refreshing break before our journey back through the jungle. We’ve been having a great summer exploring new parts of the island and discovering treasures like this within our own neighborhood!

Apr 292012
 

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Gearing up for their Kauai wedding, Brittany and Jeff arrived a little early with an agenda to explore as much of the island as possible. Right after they landed we hit the South Shore in search of sea turtles, and despite poor visibility, we lucked out with a great snorkeling session! Then we wiped the sand off our feet and changed into dinner attire on the side of the road. Jeff and Brittany insisted on treating us to dinner (the first of many lavish meals during their stay!) at one of the newest and nicest restaurants in Poipu, Red Salt. After narrowly escaping multiple food-comas, we all woke up early the next morning for a day hike to Hanakapi’ai Falls. There’s no better way to catch up with great friends than hiking all day together! Swimming in the icy pool under the falls, then eating lunch on the warm river rocks was the perfect reward and recharge for the hike back. It was awesome experiencing such an incredible waterfall for the first time with Brittany and Jeff. We were also lucky enough to spot a couple rainbows as we headed home! Below is a conglomeration of pictures from the day… Photo credit shared – all the best ones were from their camera 😉

Many mahalos to Brittany & Jeff for such an incredible time spent together. Stay tuned for their gorgeous wedding photos, coming soon!

Feb 182012
 

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This year for Christmas, Julia and I picked up a couple used kites with the intention of learning how to kitesurf slowly, cautiously, and with the help of our experienced kiting friend, Jerome. The first few sessions involved set-up and safety procedures, but lacked the right wind conditions. When the wind finally picked up enough to actually launch our smaller kite, I felt ready to give it a try behind the controls. One common kiting term used to describe wind-enduced disaster is “Kitemare“. You can see how this lesson ended… kite in a tree, cutting down a tree, Chris in a tree, but thankfully minimal damage in the end.

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Jan 212012
 

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Normally, midday on a Saturday is a popular time for surfers to enjoy the waves. This day was no different with most of the well known surf spots jam-packed with paddle boarders, body boarders, short and long boarders. Our recent summery weather has brought the crowds to the beach and we’re all happy to take advantage of the postponed rainy season. We were lucky enough to find a more secluded corner to ourselves with the added benefit of a photographer onshore that randomly decided to grab a few shots of our session together. Needless to say, we had a great day “somewhere in Hawaii”.

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Nov 252011
 

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Our Thanksgiving this year definitely stepped it up a notch. A big thanks to Jerome for hosting our feast at his beautiful beach-front home, and to Jill for coordinating everyone’s best pot-luck contribution. We signed up to bring Julia’s special cranberry salad and the turkey, which felt like way more pressure than our usual commitment of side dishes. Luckily after plenty of research, preparation, and the handy imu turkey cook-a-thon fundraiser, we can’t take full responsibility for how incredible it turned out.

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The day was complete with speedminton, frisbee, and mixed drinks. Needless to say, it was a perfect sunny and beautiful celebration. We’re thankful for our families, friends, and of course the place we call home. This last picture is where we spent the day after recovering from our huge meal…

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Sep 102011
 

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We managed to sneak in another funday with the Kauai Crossfitters in celebration of September birthdays. The day was complete with a huge blow-up waterslide, live band, freestyle frisbee, an assortment of superfoods, full moon, and several hours spent on our communal mini-ramp. After complete exhaustion set in, I ended up kidnapping Jerome‘s new micro 4/3 camera and snapped a few shots of the halfpipe action. This is as close as you get to a formal black and white affair on Kauai…

Aug 212011
 

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CLICK HERE to view our second photo shoot with Monkeypod Jam. This time we focused on the different flavor combinations that go into each artisan fruit spread, highlighting local ingredients, plated creations, and more tropical fruit grown on Kauai. After the fruit was cut, the jam was spread and the plates were photographed, we couldn’t let anything go to waste so I definitely took advantage of the opportunity. As always, it was such a fun (and delicious) session with Monkeypod Jam’s owners/operators, Aletha and Rob. Next up, the Monkeypod wedding!