Kauai Vacation – Day 3by Angie

14 Jun 2009
12:06 pm

Church was wonderful in Kauai, at the familiar blue-roofed building that carried fond memories from past vacations.  Relief Society was a beautiful lesson about forgiveness and mercy, which led to continued discussions throughout the rest of the day.

Sunday DinnerSince Saturday was Kim’s birthday (our adopted sister for the week), and Sunday is my Mom’s, Day 3 in Kauai ended with a grand feast.  We had bought enough beef tips in gravy, peas, and rolls to feed 10 people, and we put our two microwaves to good use in the hour leading up to dinner.  Mom even had her very own chocolate cake and candle (thanks to a single-serving microwavable molten chocolate cake mix).  Though the suites didn’t have stovetops, they did have half-sized dishwashers, so we didn’t even have to spend much time washing up – just put load up the dishes… “It’s just that easy!”  We finished with a little devotional by Mom, presentsPam and Kim, and some planning for the coming week.  At the end of the family festivities, my Mom and I went out on the balcony and studied my next JS Manual lesson together (topic: temples); it was so wonderful to be musing and brainstorming with my Mom like that again.  It was even more wonderful for it to be happening as we looked out on Kauai in the fading light, with the sound of the waves on Kalapaki beach accompanying our conversation.  I love Hawaii.

Kalipaki Beach

What’s Today???by Angie

15 Dec 2008
12:12 pm

This morning, my darling husband woke me up saying, “Do you want your surprise?  Do you want your birthday present?”  When I got my blurry eyes open and mumbled something silly in the affirmative, he told me to look under my pillow.  There was a slip of paper that read:

“I have a tongue, but do not taste; I’m glad – it’d be unpleasant.

I have a ‘soul,’ and so I’d like to help you find your present.”

…which led me to my closet, where I found another clue stuck in my right tennis shoe, which led me downstairs, which led me to the cat, which led me to Mr. B, which led me to the clock, which led me to the TV…behind which was a large package wrapped in brown paper:

I got a Wii Fit!  I’m so excited!  Jim made me breakfast, too, and then headed off to work while I started playing.  The little animated balance board even put on a birthday hat and tossed some confetti around, since today is my birthday!  Amazingly, my “fitness age” was 29…which isn’t my real age…but pretty close!  I thought that was pretty cool, considering the last time I tried a Wii fit, it guaged me at 64 or something.  I guess my Pilates is working even better than I thought!  Anyway, I love it!  Thank you, Jim!  And, thanks to my friends and family for all the warm wishes via phone, email, Gchat, facebook, Geni, etc.!

A Happy Storyby Angie

12 Jun 2008
9:06 am

Once upon a time, beyond the stormy mountains but this side of tomorrow, there lived a king and queen with five lovely daughters. All five grew up into beautiful ladies; when our story begins, two were already wed to handsome princes. Four of the five princesses lived within a day’s ride of their parents palace, but the second princess and her husband made their home far, far away, on the boarders of the great sea.

A great celebration was soon to take place, to honor the queen’s birthday (who, due to a fairy gift, only looked younger and more beautiful every year), but the youngest and loveliest princess noticed that her queen mother seemed very sad. This was because a dragon had attacked the kingdom of her second daughter several weeks before and, though the prince had defeated the dragon, the queen wished desperately to visit her daughter and help with repairing and restoring the kingdom.

The youngest princess had a magic mirror that could speak to another mirror at her sister princess’s castle. She called and told her sister that she wanted to use her magic to send their queen mother to the kingdom on the shores of the great sea to visit. What a wonderful surprise! The arrangements were soon made: The queen would be traveling in a great coach pulled by magical winged rabbits, who could fly the great distance in an hour. They would land in a forest of oak trees, where all such magical transportation landed: it was called the Oakland Hare-port.

Well, the great day of conveyance arrived and the queen kissed her husband, the king, and began her journey. The second princess and her handsome prince also set out from their castle in a carriage to meet the queen and bring her home from the hare-port. While the magnificent horses jogged along, the carriage passed the hovel of an evil, iron-nosed witch. This witch had been glad when the dragon attacked the kingdom because she hated the prince and princess. When the prince had defeated the dragon, the witch was disappointed, but at midnight she had sneaked to the dragon’s body and magically stolen his power to breathe fire, which spark was still alive, deep inside.

When the iron-nosed witch saw the royal carriage passing by, she grabbed her broomstick and rushed outside, mounted, and began to fly alongside. She made herself invisible to the prince and princess and planned to breathe hot fire on their horses so the steeds would overheat and fall down dead. That way, the royal couple would never reach their queen mother! The prince, however, was very wise and a good horseman. As the invisible witch began to breathe out her fire, the prince saw the horses shiver and begin to sweat. With her next big breath, he notice their wild eyes and tossing manes. As the witch prepared to take her largest and hottest breath of all, the prince suddenly steered the horses off the road and pulled the carriage to a stop, so he could tend to them and find out what was wrong. The witch, meantime, could not stop her broom very quickly and was so angry that she didn’t notice where she was going. She flew right into a sign-post and burst into a million pieces. The fire-breathing magic burst out of her as well, and landed in a little red brick oven in a village in the oak forest.

The wise prince and his princess waited for half an hour to let the horses cool down and rest, and brought them water from a magic well nearby to drink and be refreshed. Then they resumed their journey and arrived just in time to meet the beautiful queen at the hare-port, who hadn’t had to wait very long at all.   A great feast was held in the oak forest, where they ate pizza cooked in the red brick oven.  Finally, the royal family returned to their castle and there they are all living still, happily ever after.

A Busy Weekendby Angie

9 Feb 2008
10:02 pm

Jim’s Grandma Pat passed away a week ago, so several of our relatives were in town for the funeral today. It was a rare time (and the first time in a long time) that all six Hoffman siblings and their parents were together. Everyone had arrived by Friday afternoon and Jon had managed to arrange for us to all tour the Pixar Animation Studios with him. It was so amazing to see the concept art and maquettes that decorate the entire facility!

After the tour, we went out to eat at a restaurant called KC’s BarBQue. I had found this place listed on citysearch (since Jim requested BBQ for his birthday dinner), with 41 five-star recommendations out of 45 reviews, so we were really looking forward to it. When we arrived at the spot, however, we almost drove away: it was in a terribly run-down part of town, and it looked like little more than a hole in the wall, wedged in between a tire place and a paint store. Inside, however, it looked like a cross between a museum and an antique shop! The food was fantastic and the staff were very friendly and helpful. I would definitely recommend it (for lunch or an early dinner – it was kind of scary walking to our car in the dark in that part of town).

This morning, we drove up to Galt, which is about an hour northeast of Livermore. There we attended the funeral services and graveside dedication for Grandma Pat. There was a small luncheon for family members, where I got to meet several Hoffman relatives (more than I can remember names for!), and where Jim’s family got to visit and catch up with cousins and friends that they haven’t seen in years. I never knew Pat, but it was wonderful to hear so much about her and to see so many family and friends enjoying one another’s company and comfort.

Before heading back to Livermore, we drove over to the Heritage Oak Winery to visit Tom and Carmela Hoffman – relatives who were not able to attend the funeral. Their lands and trees are beautiful and very peaceful. They let us pick dozens of ripe oranges from their tree, and we enjoyed an incredible sunset together as the lovely, exhausting day was closing.

Happy Birthday to Meby Angie

15 Dec 2007
5:12 pm

Today is my birthday! I got to enjoy breakfast in bed and a relaxing morning with Jim, and then we went to the Oakland Temple together this afternoon. This evening, we went to Strizzi’s – a fabulous Italian restaurant in downtown Livermore.  Parking downtown is pretty tricky on a Saturday evening, so we had to walk a little ways.  As we approached the intersection near Strizzi’s, we heard the unmistakable sounds of a motorcycle behind us.  The rider pulled up to the stop light and we realized that it was Santa!  From head to toe, he was decked out as the jolly old elf, complete with christmas lights on his motorcycle.  He was waving and “Ho, Ho, Ho”-ing, even after he turned the corner and drove out of sight.  I’m so sorry I didn’t get a picture of it – I tried, but I wasn’t quick enough.  It was a very entertaining part of a very lovely birthday.

Last night was our Stake Choir Concert on Temple Hill! It was a great success and we’ve both really enjoyed the wonderful people we’ve met and worked with in the choirs over the last couple of months. We performed our whole program twice, and the second time it was video recorded. We kind of wished that it had been the first performance that they recorded, but they were both great, really. We’ve made a lot of new friends through the choir, and it’s been very fun to rehearse and perform.