Saturday, December 29, 2012

A tour of Paia

Today Zara and I went for a walk into the sweet little town of Paia (pronounced Pa-ee-a). I took my camera and lots of photos, with the intention of sharing this lovely place with you.
Come along with us and we'll give you a tour!  
This is our new rental place. (Zara likes the saying "home is where my mom is" so we're calling it home!) The owner has converted the garage into an apartment and lives there with his 9 yr old daughter. So far so good! 

The entrance into our subdivision. (Pronounced koo-ow)

A cute little shop selling high end home decor items. Some lovely things made on island.

One of the many surfboard fences in the area! We are just a mile or so from the most famous windsurfing, kite-surfing and just plain surfing area on the island.... Ho'okipa Beach.

The Maui Dharma Center.
This temple is called a Stupa. I'd like to try some of the meditations here.

Don't let this old building fool you! This is Mana Foods.... one of the best natural food stores I've ever been in! I am THRILLED to be living so close to this store! 

The one and only intersection in town. Traffic is often backed up in all three directions here.... the only drawback to living in this cool town.... lots of other people want to be here too!

The BEST fish on the island... right here! The other night we walked into town, got some yummy fish to go (fish tacos, fish n' chips, and salad with blackened ahi), took it back to our place and enjoyed a delicious fish feast!

After we finished our little walking tour, we hopped in the car and drove less than 10 minutes to a lovely little beach in Sprecklesville. People here call it "Baby beach" as it's fully protected by a reef that creates an amazing, safe place to swim and play.
We are certainly enjoying this little corner of the world. As this year draws to a close we feel so blessed and so thankful for the amazing year we've had. So many new friends, new experiences, a summer spent with old friends and family.... a life so full of love and blessings.... we are so grateful for our beautiful life!


"If we don't change, we don't grow. And if we don't grow, we aren't really living." (Gail Sheehy)
We've all heard the saying "Change is the only constant in life" .... well that certainly seems to be true in our lives!
You may remember from my first post upon arriving in Maui, that we were not happy with the house we had arranged to rent. The universe was whispering that it wasn't the right place for us.... but we chose not to listen.... we chose to stick it out, honor our lease agreement. Well, the universe gave us a kick in the pants last week. One night while we were out for dinner, the neighbors ordered pizza to our address, and when the pizza guy arrived, they beat him up, kidnapped him and stole his car and money. IN OUR DRIVEWAY! That was a wake-up call! The next day I got on Craigslist and found us a lovely house in Paia. We moved 3 days later! What a relief to be somewhere safe, in a lovely, quiet area with lovely neighbours. And in the town I had wanted to move to originally when we first started talking about moving to Maui.
So we spent Solstice weekend moving. Not quite what I had planned.... but isn't that often the way? The universe had different plans for us. New beginnings, changes.... all good.
On Christmas Day we decided to get out into this lush landscape on the north shore and go for a hike. We drove down the Hana Highway a little ways to Twin Falls. It was fun to explore and hike... the falls and the area weren't terribly impressive... there are far nicer places further along, but this was close and easy for the kids.

We are loving "winter" in Hawaii!
I'll post more photos of house and area soon! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Aloha....

 These days I often think of our friends and family in colder climates and try to imagine you all in a winter wonderland! It's rather hard to do when it's sunny and warm here! We've been attempting to get into the holiday spirit and are accepting that it just feels different here!
The Kihei Salvation Army set up a boutique of all things Christmas, so we went in there a couple of weeks ago and bought 2 little trees.... one for the main room and one tiny one for Bella and Thor! We also got a bunch of little colored fairy lights, tree decorations and some fun cookie cutters. Last week we made 3 batches of salt dough ornaments and had so much fun cutting them out and decorating them.

These sweet little trees were made with love to give out at our caroling performances that we've been doing with a group of homelearners. We've been going to Senior Centers around the island to share some holiday spirit playing ukuleles, singing carols, and dancing hula. Zara is one of the MC's for the program and loving that role. Bella and Thor are handing out these ornaments while we sing our last song as well as singing and shaking bells throughout. Everyone is involved and having so much fun! 

This is in our living room, which is part of one big room that also includes the eating area. All the walls in this house were bare white cinder blocks, so I've been trying to put up a few colorful items. The pink canvas in the background above is one I painted to bring some pink into the "relationship" corner of the room (according to feng shui!)

This has been one of Thor's favorite spots since the kids decorated this gingerbread house! He has spend countless minutes, probably hours, gazing at the house. He has been trying to figure out how to make the door swing open and closed for next year!!! He'd like the fairies to be able to use the house!
(It's in a pan of water to keep the ants away from all that candy!)

This was a fun little project that has added some life and color to our bare walls! I had been imagining it and then last week the kids and I went down to the ocean nearby and as I walked down onto the rocks, there was the PERFECT piece of driftwood! It was exactly as I had pictured! (Thank you, Universe! I love it when that happens!) So we came home, strung the ornaments to it and fastened it to the wood above the cinderblocks.
Here are some other random photos from the past couple of weeks. 

Zara has been teaching herself to play the piano. I brought a little "teach yourself to play" package from home and she has just taken off with it! She put the static cling labels on the keys with the name of each note and what it looks like on the music and started with basic songs. She is now to the point of playing both hand together without needing the labels. She sometimes practices for hours a day! She tried lessons back when she was 6 and did not like it at all. But now she is ready and teaching herself and loving it!

This was the first egg we got from our chickens! We were all pretty excited!

Some corners of our house that make me happy!

A bowl of beautiful feng shui crystals waiting to be hung in just the right places!
Tonight the kids brought down some wrapped gifts to put under the little tree. They are so excited about Solstice... they don't mind that there's no snow on the ground! They have been counting down for weeks now! We'll do some holiday baking this week, some more caroling, a little holiday party at our house, and before we know it, we'll be celebrating the return of the light.
Happy Holidays to you all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Life in these Islands...

I had thought we'd be living a pretty quiet life here on Maui but it's been surprisingly busy! We're spending time with new friends, enjoying activities with a wonderful homeschooling group, exploring this beautiful island, hula hooping with friends at the beach, making our house as cozy as possible, and just settling in and adjusting to life here.

We spent 2 weeks on Molokai and loved catching up with our friends there. And we finally got to see the north side of Molokai from the airplane while flying there and back! The sea cliffs (highest in the world) are stunning!

These photos, taken through a blurry airplane window, just don't do it justice. But it was thrilling to see this part of Molokai for the first time.

Our dear friends, Julie and David, surprised us at the airport with aloha and lei! So special!

Zara celebrated her 11th birthday there. We had a small party with her menu request: Cashew rice loaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, broccoli and cheese, beans with crushed almonds and parm. cheese, salad, and carrot cake with cream cheese icing for dessert. Yum! The kids and I decorated her cake with playmobil scuba people, as that's what we gave her for her birthday.... scuba lessons!  She wanted her hair done like Anne of Green Gables in the movie (Megan Follows). It didn't turn out quite like she had in mind but she kept it in!

We enjoyed being at Papohaku beach again! I walked down there almost every morning and just soaked up that ocean energy. Then we spent some time at the north end playing in the waves. Zara did some snorkeling just where the waves were breaking and found some beautiful shells.

It was very special to dance hula again! I danced twice at Coffee's of Hawaii at the Sunday concert and then with the halau at a performance they were doing at some condos on the west end. It was an annual home owners assoc. dinner and we were part of the evenings' entertainment.

It was a magical night. Soft breezes, twinkling stars above, the sound of the ocean, hawaiian music and dancing with my hula sisters.... so lovely!

The morning that we were leaving we did an early morning walk out to one of our favorite spots - Kaupoa beach (the old tent camp). It was as beautiful as ever! We collected some lovely shells and the kids enjoyed the tide pools. We waited until the last minute for that one, but I'm so glad we made it out there! We were back home by 9am and went up to Virgil's for breakfast and good-byes. We felt sad leaving Molokai in some ways, but also felt very eager to get back to Maui and immerse ourselves in life here.

When we got back to our Maui home we found that one of the wild chickens had hatched some cute little chicks. One of them got tangled up in some long grass and Zara was happy to "rescue" it! She held it for a little while and everyone pet it and gave it some love, then she gave it back to it's mama!
A few days after we arrived back we were given some young hens that were caught nearby. There are 6 of them in the coop and hopefully they will start laying eggs soon. We have heard that wild hens don't lay very frequently so we'll give them a couple of months and will see if it's worth feeding them and looking after them. If not we'll just let them go again!

I had never driven around the north-west side of Maui, so last week we decided to take that road to the west side for some snorkeling. What a crazy, narrow, winding road it is! Very beautiful in some parts but quite stressful! I'm glad we did it but I don't think we'll be doing it again anytime soon!
We stopped along the way to stretch our legs and admire the view. This is our new van. We arrived on a Thursday and owned this van by noon on Friday! We are really enjoying it and are all excited to finally own a vehicle! (Yes... for the first time in my life! Something to do with my Dad being in the car business I guess!!)

While we were stopped on this point, a beautiful rainbow appreared in the sky... one of so many we saw that day. Stunning! I just never get tired of looking at rainbows!

Molokai in the far distance.

Having fun at Kapalua Bay.
(With Molokai in the background again but from a different perspective)

We feel very blessed to be part of a wonderful, active homelearning community on this island. Almost every week there is an activity of some sort going on. This past week was Chi Ribbon Dancing and Stick Fighting - a Filipino martial art form.  Bella really enjoyed it! Thor spent more time climbing the big trees in the park and Zara enjoyed looking after an 18 month old baby! But we all had a great day and met some lovely new friends.

This week we've had new friends over both days and are thankful to be meeting lovely, like-minded families! Tomorrow will be a quiet day....maybe....I hope! Whatever it is, I know it will be wonderful! We've just started working on some felt solstice tree ornaments - it's almost that time again! The kids are enjoying learning to hand sew. 
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American ohana! Aloha!