The Fu family is together here. In the back row are Roni, 35, Rena, 13, and Lance, 42. In front are Roger, 11, Randi 17, and Lance, 16.

Kauai family makes
sticking together
a fun tradition

LIHUE >> The Fu family tradition of spending every Sunday together started when the kids were young, said Roni Fu.


"Lance was a rodeo rider, and there used to be many more rodeos all over the state. Rather than him going alone, I packed up all the kids, and we went with him. We were his biggest fans," she said.

"Today, if any one of the family is paddling in a race or playing baseball, everyone else is there cheering for them. It's become the parents cheering for the kids rather than the other way around."

Lance, who is an executive with one of Kauai's largest construction companies, and Roni Fu, 35, and their four children are by any measure a remarkable family.

They take along anyone who wants to join -- surfing, fishing, hunting, whatever -- and treat them as one of their own.

Their two girls -- Randi, 17, and Rena, 13 -- are both on Oahu at Kamehameha Schools. Normally they come home every weekend, usually with friends who are far more than just guests.

Lance, 16, and Roger, 11, go to public schools on Kauai. Their hilltop home is only a short ride from the Kilauea recreation center, but most of what they do doesn't involve organized sports. In fact, it's rarely organized at all.

"A lot of what we do is spontaneous. Sometimes the kids ask if they can do something special. Or I might see in the paper it's going to be a low tide and suggest we all go catch squid," Roni Fu said.

For many years the most popular Sunday outing was riding dirt bikes -- all six Fus wearing plastic armor. Lance Fu, 42, breaking his back in a motorcycle accident put an end to that. But there are jet skis and surfboards and plenty of pigs to hunt.

Being inclusive is expected in the Fu family, but doesn't mean everyone is required to participate in every activity.

"If the older ones want to go surfing, they always ask the little ones, who may not want to go. But they always are asked," said Roni Fu, 35.

Most of the togetherness comes from Lance Fu's side of the family, a sort of Hawaiian version of the Brady Bunch.

"My dad had 10 kids, my mom had six. We still all get together every Saturday at their home in Anahola for dinner," Lance Fu said. Dinner is potluck with everyone providing part of the meal. Entertainment usually is some sort of board game or card game, and everyone plays.

"This isn't just on holidays. It's big parties with great food every weekend," Roni Fu said.

Much of what the Fus do together for fun, other people would call work. Lance Fu is still a paniolo and runs about 150 head of cattle for his neighbor. Since his back injury, he noted sadly, "I'm kind of limited to supervising."

"Whatever we're doing, the kids are there helping out. They're all good riders." Lance Fu said. "If we're hanging meat, they hang meat, too. And if we're castrating, they're right there helping."

The Fu family is fiercely proud of living on Kauai and being both Hawaiian and "country."

"If we were brought up in the city," Lance Fu said, "I'm sure we would have found some things to do. But it wouldn't be as terrific as this."


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