Easter in Hawaii is pretty special.  Our church has always done a sunrise service at the beach, followed by water baptisms.  Some things are worth getting up early for.


But Easter does tend to sneak up on me!   I do much better with holidays like Christmas that have a set date every single year.  Slipping a holiday in randomly (or so it seems,) just throws me off every time!

I guess that’s why I haven’t ever been very good at doing all of the little crafty things in the Easter season.  Well, that and the fact that I’m never very good at doing little crafty things, haha.

I have promised Levi that we will decorate Easter eggs later this week, and I’m thinking that a big Easter egg hunt with friends on our property would be fun for Easter afternoon.

Otherwise our Easter is usually quite simple.  We go to church, hang with friends, and have a nice big dinner on the deck.

I wanted to create a special dessert to share after what will probably be a day filled with not-so-healthy food (my boys love ham on Easter.)  These cheesecake cups, made with part light cream cheese, and part greek yogurt, turned out amazing.  With a  little toasted coconut in the crust and more sprinkled on top, along with fresh papaya, they are going to be the perfect finish to our day!

yogurt cheesecake cups, hawaiian easter! :)

Well, that and more jelly beans, of course.   Light Tropical cheesecake cups at thegrommom.com Little fingers can’t resist jelly beans… (light) tropical cheesecake cups! Here’s the printable recipe:

Here’s a few more fun Easter ideas from around the web…

What a great idea!  Place small glow-sticks inside plastic eggs…
My boys would love to do an Easter Egg hunt in the dark!

glow stick easter eggs!

Here is one idea that I will absolutely be using this year.   (Am I the last person to discover this?)

(If I had girls…) So pretty! glitter eggs

These  Easy Hipster Easter eggs, look like fun!

Have you ever made Easter Resurrection Rolls.?  I haven’t. Maybe this will be my year.
(Baking + a spiritual lesson?  SO Homeschoolesque!)

My friend Megan shared 10 Easy and Elegant Egg Recipes for Easter.  YUM!!

Shanna’s Easter Coconut Lemon Cake blows my mind.  I could just look at her pictures all day long.

Easter Cross Wreath.  I love it.  A DIY here.

Finally, to give your family some hands-on lessons for the Easter season,  I highly recommend this  Sense of the Resurrection, ebook!  Though you can use it for weeks leading up to Easter, you can also get it now and jump in this week.  (And then keep it for next year!)  It is full of readings and activities to help your little ones get involved, and get focused on Jesus in the Easter season.

Have an awesome Holy Week.  Stop and enjoy it all.   You’ve got time.

Much Aloha,
PS  Don’t forget to PIN and share!  It really helps spread the word! :)

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Our Anniversary…and a Marriage VLOG

April 12, 2014

Today is Dave and my 18th Anniversary. And I found a few more photos from the archives (three years ago, I think…on vacation in Washington State.) I’m so thankful for Dave, and our marriage which has only gotten better over time. Well, I filmed this video over a week ago, and today is our anniversary, […]

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Fourteen of my Favorite Daily Short-Cuts.

April 11, 2014

Happy ALOHA FRIDAY! We have been organizing some older photos, so things like this might be showing up for a while… Well, I’m gonna make a wild guess that your life is as busy as mine.  Don’t you wish you could spend less time doing all of the little stuff that consumes your days, and […]

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Eating “Clean,” Vegan, Paleo…and all the rest: Where I Fall in the Spectrum. {And my favorite recipe for Energy Balls.}

April 9, 2014

I have been asked many times to share about what kind of foods I eat and what I feed our family.  Am I vegan?  Do I eat all organic, and so on… Well, it is kind of a big deal these days:  From “Clean” Eating, to Vegan, to Gluten-free, Paleo, and on and on…you can’t […]

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The Anger-Lecture Habit in Parenting: It’s Ugly, Let’s Change it.

April 7, 2014

Moms and Dads…Do you ever get to that point of frustration with your kids where giving an appropriate consequence just doesn’t cut it?  In fact, you might feel like only a massive explosion, or smashing something to pieces would actually satisfy your need for relief…Maybe you yell, or maybe you don’t yell, but you carry […]

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An Anniversary, A Threenager, and a Big Fat Lip. (+ more.) A Weekend List.

April 5, 2014

Hi Friends! I have attempted to post here a few times this week, but it just…wasn’t happening.  It’s been busy.  We’ve had company, a full schedule, one runny nose, and a minor fall-out-of bed/bloody mess (see #6, below.) All of these things seemed to have zapped the .05% of spare energy that I might have […]

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Homeschool Confessions: The Good, the Bad, and the Slightly Awkward

April 1, 2014

Well friends…You know I only post about homeschooling about once every two years, right?  So bear with me while I finish what I started last week when I responded to the hottest question in the homeschool world:  ”What curriculum do you use?” Today, I share a quick and honest look at some of the things […]

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Risk, Pain, and Purpose.

March 30, 2014

My last week, or..more like three weeks, have been filled with a series of low-grade disappointments. Thankfully, all low-grade. My family is healthy, my marriage is strong…the big stuff is in place. But it seems like a number of things happened, in a row, to simply bum me out.  (I’ll share some of them in […]

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Homeschool Updates. {Part I: Curriculum.}

March 28, 2014

For a homeschool mom-blogger, I suppose I don’t talk about homeschooling very much. This is probably because I really don’t feel like a serious, professional, homeschool momma. There are other bloggers out there–Who share great ideas, create printables, and put together amazing curriculums.  They get excited about homeschooling, and inspire me to do the same. […]

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Salted, Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

March 26, 2014

I think I’ll need to start a new recipe category here just for bananas.  Because man–do we ever grow bananas!  We must be at the perfect altitude for bananas.  Or is it longitude?  Latitude?  Maybe its more about annual rainfall.  Or how Saturn lines up with Jupiter.  Or maybe I don’t know much at all, […]

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On Finding your Personal Passion

March 24, 2014
finding passion

Hi, it’s VLOG time around here! The topic of finding passion has been on my mind for some time.  I wanted to start with a little intro which applies to anyone at ANY STAGE of life!  This is an encouragement to continue to develop yourself as a person–to pursue hobbies, chase dreams, and find the […]

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Surf Contests Own Me.

March 22, 2014

We just wrapped up three days straight of the Regional Surf Contest down at Kewalos Basin, Honolulu. The waves were small, and it was really hard for kids to show what they can do in a fifteen minute heat without good waves.  Of course some came out well, but a lot of really good kids […]

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Complaining but not complaining

March 18, 2014

Today was one of those days.  The bad-headache-kind.  And the piles of laundry, messy house, paperwork piled up and I just can’t seem to get anything done kind.  And the…Wait. You didn’t come here for that, did you? But I’ve got to ask:  When you were kid, did you ever have the dream where you […]

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Green (Banana and Kale) Muffins. Happy St. Patty’s Day!

March 16, 2014

My kids took one look at these and saw:  SPRINKLES. I took one look and knew:  KALE, and BANANA. WIN. WIN. I’m not usually one to (remember to) do any thing special for this particular holiday, but since I had already ironed Dave’s shirts, (I never do that!) organized the garage (no way!) emptied out […]

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Hawaiian-Style Home: DIY Starfish and Shell Decorations

March 14, 2014

Hawaii offers so much inspiration for home decorating.  I have always loved coastal themed interiors, whether in my hometown of Gig Harbor, Washington with its Pacific Northwest Fisherman themes, or during my years in Southern California, or here in Hawaii.  With the added elements of tropical flowers, sun and sand, Hawaiian-themed decorating is my favorite. […]

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Diet and Body Image: How Changing my Thinking Changed my Life. {a VLOG}

March 12, 2014

OK…So here I am with a follow-up video from last week.  But really THIS ONE…is for EVERYONE. I think you’ll agree that the concepts that I am talking about here can be applied to pretty much any area of life.  It’s useful stuff, and I hope you’ll take the time to watch it! It was […]

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It’s all Big.

March 10, 2014

Bigs:  Just a bunch of BIG (little) stuff around here lately.   A list: 1.  WAVES: Our Hawaiian “winter” has continued on with some big rains, and some even bigger waves. Sometimes, the waves at Waimea are just big enough to make a family pull off the road, climb on their SUV, and watch. (That’s […]

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Simple Lemon Raspberry Bars

March 8, 2014

Have I mentioned that our LEMON tree has been rather…fruitful lately? Seriously friends.  I think it might be time to set up camp at the Farmer’s Market. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep baking. These lemon raspberry bars turned out so good.  I thought you might want to make them this weekend!  Yes?  Good! I found the […]

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Today: The World Premier of Beyond Sight, the Movie

March 7, 2014

Happy Aloha Friday! Finally:  The World Premier of Beyond Sight will kick off in Southern California.  Many locations will be showing the film over the next month, so check the Beyond Sight Web site for locations and details.  This is going to be such a GREAT MOVIE! In case you have missed my posts about this […]

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Of one Sea + Josiah Swanson Collaboration T-shirts: GIVEAWAY!

March 5, 2014

Maryam, my friend and fellow-North Shore boy-mom, (and fellow Dr.’s wife!) launched Of One Sea less than a year ago. Now she’s working hard to keep up with the demand for her darling T-shirts, hats, totes, and other family goods! The Of One Sea Spring line has us really excited.  Maryam and my son Josiah (14,) […]

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When the Grandparents took FIVE teenage cousins to Washington DC.

March 4, 2014

My two oldest boys just returned from a FUN, and educational trip to Washington DC, sponsored and chaperoned, by my parents.  Three of their cousins came along, as well as my brother, Lance. (aka, “Super Uncle.”  aka “The one who beat me in the NYC Marathon.”) The stories will likely be spilling out for weeks […]

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Diet, exercise, and Body Image: My Story {A VLOG}

March 2, 2014

So, I’ve got one more video here for you. This is one I’ve been thinking about for a L-O-N-G time.  I’ve been quietly writing about it for a while now, (you’ll hear me mention that in the video,) and talking with Dave and other friends about it too. I’m excited…really–passionate, about this topic.  It’s not […]

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Easy Coconut Rice with Papaya and Pistachios

February 28, 2014

I have a theory about people… Most people fall into one of two categories: They are either of the PASTA-persuasion, or more RICE-oriented. Which one are you? I like both, but I’m definitely more of a rice girl.  I LOVE rice!  I prefer it mixed up with flavors and textures…Fried rice being an absolute favorite, […]

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8 things I can’t live without

February 26, 2014
photo 2

It’s just a list.  It’s quick.  (It’s my husband’s birthday, there’s a few things I ought to do?)  The photos are at the bottom.  Have fun, and then share something of your own too, ok? EIGHT THINGS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT (Or I really wouldn’t want to–) 1.  Instagram.  What a perfect, albeit completely useless […]

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A Chore System, and Money Management for Kids: A Video.

February 24, 2014

After the my first parenting video, I received feedback from people who were interested in how we do our chore system with the boys.  I am here with a video about how we do chores, and the method we use for the kids to manage their money. Our chore system is not at all fancy, […]

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When Life Gives you Lemons…{Lemon Oatmeal Banana Bread w/ Dried Cranberries. (made w/ coconut oil.)}

February 22, 2014

When life gives you lemons… (Like lots and lots and LOTS of lemons…) It’s time to start baking! I had no idea that our lemon tree was so fruitful!  It is still young, but after a little visit to the Swanson Orchard (aka: the top of our yard, hehe :)) Dave came back with a […]

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Announcing: GROM Apparel! For Surfers, Skaters, Snowboarders, and more. (Asking for Your Input!)

February 20, 2014

So…We made some t-shirts! Grom-T-shirts, to be exact. They are Grom-designed, and GROM Mom approved… GROM Dad too **JUST WAIT TIL YOU SEE OUR SKATEBOARD AND SNOWBOARD DESIGNS!  They are the CUTEST! We have only received our sample batch, but before we make them available to the public, we’d LOVE your feedback. The plans for […]

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Praying for Boys: Book Review And Giveaway

February 19, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 1.59.37 PM

I’ve said it many times, but let me just say it once more:  Parenting is hard work.  Guiding and directing our children, meeting their needs, disciplining, training…It’s enough to wear out the strongest of parents.  (do I hear an AMEN out there?)  Personally, I can’t imagine parenting without prayer.  I am so thankful that I […]

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10 Rules for a Happy Marriage: A Dr. Dave and Monica VLOG

February 17, 2014

Welcome to our first couple-video!  Dave and I were inspired by Valentine’s Day (ok, I was,) and we thought it would be fun to do a marriage-themed Vlog.  Dave was a great sport to play along… We keep things pretty light in this one, mostly because I really wanted this to be a chance for […]

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