Sunday, January 29, 2012

Last week in pictures

This past week we were the lucky recipients of some new (to us) outdoor play things. Some of our new friends had a trampoline and teeter totter to pass along and the kids are LOVING them! Our formerly empty yard has been turned into a private playground!

They have spent so many hours on the trampoline already and we are all so happy that they have something fun to do outside!

Zara having fun!

Bella and I got our hair cut short last week. I was concerned that Bella would regret it once she went so short but she was determined that this was what she wanted and she's been loving it. We've had 3 weeks of calm windless days, but the wind is back and we are so happy to not have hair blowing in our faces!

We're the short haired chicks in our family and Thor now has the 2nd longest hair out of us 5!

Such a cute little pixie!

Some of our good friends took us out on a boat last week and it was wonderful to be out on the ocean for the first time (besides the ferry to Maui). We saw humpbacks, sea turtles and a big manta ray.

John found this little guy while moving some rocks around. At first he thought it was a huge worm, but upon closer inspection realized it was a tiny snake! It must have been a snake that lived underground as his eyes were barely visible. Thor loved it and played with it for ages. At one point he finally put it down on the deck and it wriggled through the cracks and fell down below - much to the snake's relief I'm sure!

Some up-to-date photos of the garden.
 John took the opportunity during these past calm weeks to put up some windbreaks. The plants will now be more protected and hopefully the soil won't dry out so quickly.

We all enjoyed a break from the wind... the plants as well as us humans. It felt like we could finally relax deeply rather than bracing ourselves against the force of the wind. We're all thriving and growing and blossoming!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Enjoying the moment

It never fails to amaze me how much the beaches here can change from day to day. Last week we were at our current favorite beach (pictured in the previous post), enjoying a quiet, mellow day with the kids in the tide pools. The next day we went back and it was a very different scene! The waves were much bigger and there was a waterslide leading from the top pool to the bottom pool, which was now about four feet deep. It wasn't so safe for the little kids, but us older ones certainly enjoyed it!

A big wave pouring over into the bottom pool.

Bella and Thor just couldn't be left out of the fun, so they stripped down and jumped in for a quick dip during a smaller set of waves.

Just a few days before this the kids were moaning about how much they were missing H2O, the pool and aquatic center in our old neighborhood. Who needs a pool when you've got a waterslide and natural aquatic park at the local beach?! No chlorine and it's free!

The fun at this beach lasted a couple of weeks altogether, and now the tide pools are buried under a couple feet of sand! A good reminder to enjoy each moment! Life is changing each day as well. We never know what the next day will hold so let's just enjoy each moment!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Gardens and things!

Our garden is thriving, (thanks to John and Virgil's hard work!) and we are enjoying some of the harvest already. We've had some beautiful, windless days this week and we've all been out there planting and getting our hands in the dirt. Almost every night we enjoy a big green salad straight from the garden. Hmmmm, fresh greens! Radishes are abundant as is the basil! Pesto party anyone?

This area is planted with squashes of all types, cucumbers, melons and potatoes. We've harvested a few patty pans and a cuke so far. Lots more coming on!

A good size salad turnip. I was so excited about planting these but they are SUPER spicy. There must be a more mild variety. Has anyone planted these and found a variety they love?

Playing with the roly-poly bugs.

The tomatoes are growing like crazy. Apparently they are really hard to grow here as they often
get infested with maggots. So John is covering each group of tomatoes as they develop with a little stocking that slips over them, in hopes of keeping them safe from the bugs that lay the maggots. Here's hoping for lots of salsa and pizza sauce in the near future! As well as pesto! The basil is thriving.

We've found a new favorite beach! The winter waves have taken away a huge amount of sand from this beach, leaving these wonderful tide pools for the kids to play in.

Depending on how big the waves are, every now and then a big one causes water to pour over the top of the rock outcrop and creates a little gentle waterfall from the top pool to the bottom. We've been spending HOURS here. It's amazing to listen to and watch the waves crash just on the other side of the big rock but have this safe space to hang out in. It's a magical spot.

One of my new friends on the Island is an amazing artist (as well as a carpenter and unicycle rider!)This amazing, multi-talented woman painted an entire studio condo in beautiful murals for the owners who live in Italy most of the time. We went over and had a look last week.

The kitchen is a fairy forest scene. Even the ceiling is painted a pale blue with wispy clouds.

This sunset is incredible - the sun absolutely glows. And the baseboard even has sand on it.

One of the fairies from the kitchen scene.

The bathroom is going to be an underwater scene. Only the dolphins are done so far, but Trace will be adding all sorts of fish, coral, etc.

 For someone who loves color (like I do!), this would be an amazing place to vacation! I must meet the woman who owns the condo and requested the murals. I'm guessing she's pretty neat!

The flowers around the condos are so beautiful. Thor just loves them. He picks the fallen plumaria blossoms up off the ground and collects handfuls of them, admiring their beauty and their scent. He picks the prettiest hybiscus flowers and brings them to me to share... no matter how many times I remind him to leave them on the plants for others to enjoy, he just can't resist! He's captivated by them. I hope the gardeners there don't mind the extra pruning going on! The flowers are one of the beautiful things about this place and we're all enjoying them. Aloha!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all our family and friends! We enjoyed the holiday season here even though it never really did feel like "Christmas"! With being so removed from the hustle and bustle that usually goes along with that season (not to mention the lack of snow!), it really could have been any time of year. We celebrated Winter Solstice with dinner and a fire on the beach. We ate, talked, sang, the girls danced hula and we had a beautiful evening.

We sure were missing our friends and family across the ocean, but at the same time felt so blessed to be celebrating at the ocean (in shorts!)

Please excuse the grainy photos.

With friends Bill (in white hat) and Virgil ( in red hat)

The girls dancing hula to "Christmas Luau".

We had dinner with a group of friends on Christmas day, a gift exchange and more singing and playing our ukuleles. On New Years Eve, we had dinner and a fire on the beach again at a different location, the kids had fun playing with sparklers (firecrackers and fireworks are BIG here for New Years!)  and we layed out under the stars, listening to the waves.  We were in bed by 10pm but the New Year arrived even though we weren't up to ring it in!

We got to the beach in time for sunset.

Hanging out on the beach before dinner.

Horsing around!

I LOVE this photo! Such a handsome little man!

Playing in the waves.

And now we begin fresh... a new year. 2011 was a wonderful year for us. We made some huge changes in our lives, travelled to some amazing places, I turned 40... lots of adventures! Who knows what this year will bring, but I'm trusting it will be more adventure! And more incredible experiences. I am SO happy and grateful for this beautiful life.