Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sweet family time - part 2

A month has already gone by since my sisters surprised me (by arriving with my mom) at the airport for a birthday visit... the beginning of two weeks of wonderful family time! I posted photos from the first week here. The day before my sisters left, my dad and nephew, Jasper, arrived for the 2nd week. We had so much fun! It's all just sweet memories now but I'm so thankful for the time we spent together.

4x4ing into Kawakiu.... one of our favorite beaches!

Snorkeling, playing in the sand, bocci ball, collecting shells, eating mangos... a great morning!

Music and hula at Coffee's of Hawaii

Dinner out at Hotel Moloka'i

We spent a good part of a day exploring the east side of the island. Stopped for a swim and playtime at mile marker 20. Snorkelling, swimming, playing, running, relaxing....

The island of Lana'i in the background.

We got lunch to go at the only little cafe on the east side. Took it into a beach on a magical little lagoon and spent some time enjoying and exploring the area.

Visited a mango orchard on the way home and feasted on mangos! They were just going out of season when we arrived in the fall, so we are thoroughly enjoying them now that they are back in season. Ripe, juicy, sweet.... yummy!

We hiked into the old tent camp with Dad and Jasper one morning. We found lots of beautiful shells and a little gecko who released it's tail in Zara's hand!

A glorious sunset...
And then before we knew it, we were saying good-bye! The 2nd week flew by as quickly as the first... so many good times.... boogie boarding, building in the sand, ping pong tournaments, hanging out together ... wonderful memories.

Zara had been looking forward to Jasper coming for months. She'd been making a list of all the things she wanted to do while he was here. She couldn't wait to show him "her" island. Hike to the old tent camp, go to the old harbour (Hale o Lono), go to the east side, have lunch at Mana'e's Goods and Grindz, work at the library together, laugh, play, hang out and talk.... they did it all! It absolutely filled her up to have her cousin here. She's been missing her friends back home so much and it was such a treat to spend time with her special cousin/friend.

Saying good-bye wasn't SO hard this time as soon we'll be back "home" with our friends and family. We booked our tickets today.... 7 more weeks on this beautiful island. I'm going to enjoy every last moment of it! xoxo

Tie dye and green things!

I LOVE tie dye! I love the creative process and the finished product... I love the colors all mixed together and playing off each other. We had fun tie dying a few days ago. I had a whole bunch of onesies and other white items from a project that never quite got off the ground, so we finally made the time to turn them into something gorgeous! A friend on the island is having her first baby in August, so we did all the onesies for her. 

A rainbow on the clothesline! This skirt is my new favorite.

They love their new clothes! They pulled them off the line and couldn't wait to wear them.
 I grew up jumping on the tramp with water in the summer but we have to very careful with how much water we use here. I think we are just more conscious of water usage in general. So this was a rare treat... actually the first time ever I think. So fun on a hot day!

We've been enjoying green smoothies almost daily.... mango, bananas, frozen coconut milk and loads of fresh kale and spinich! Add a couple tablespoons of the "tropical vega smoothie" protein powder and it's a powerhouse! Not to mention absolutely delicious! And they make great mustaches.

Last week we replanted the herb garden boxes. There's not a lot of soil in these boxes so we haven't had great success, but we tried again! Lots of herbs and flowers.... we've seen a few sprouts so far.

Zara made a map of the herb garden and wrote down everything that we planted.

Pineapples growing in the garden. John has been planting most of the tops from the pineapples we eat... we've got quite a plantation going on! This one above was planted a couple of years ago, but the one below with Thor was just planted since we got here. They usually take a few years to produce. Very fun to watch the process.

It's been a great week! Aloha!

Note: Has anyone else using blogger been having issues getting the spacing right? My spacing on  my published blog posts never looks like it does when I'm posting. It always turns my single space into a double or removes the space altogether. If anyone has any ideas or hints on how to get the spacing to be accurate I would be so grateful. Thank you!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Island Style!

(I am still going to do a post about the last week of my family's visit, but I thought I'd be in the moment and post about today first!)
My lovely new friend Jeannine and I decided last week that we'd like to spend part of Mother's Day at Mo'omomi beach together with our families. This beach is on the north side of the island and is an area that we have not explored, so I was happy to be there. It is more rugged than other areas and because it's on the north side, it's the catch-all for the plastic trash that travels the oceans wide. We have seen very little plastic garbage on beaches on this island but apparently it's all here! After enjoying the area for a few hours, we pulled out 2 big black trash bags and filled them with fishing line, fishing nets, plastic bottles and other trash. We even found a child's plastic snow ski! Go figure!

Just as we were getting ready to leave, we spotted a sea turtle off these rocks. We watched it for awhile as it dove and swam... very cool. It's nesting season right now so we were hoping to see some on the beach, but had to settle for the one in the water! We also saw a monk seal sleeping on a little beach. It was a lovely morning with friends, in the sunshine, at the ocean.
 Bella was having so much fun with Nathalie (Jeannine and Paul's daughter) that she went home with her for a few hours! I picked her up before going to the Sunday concert at Coffee's. This week at the concert when they called up all the ukulele players, Bella came up with me to strum her new ukulele that Grandpa bought her for her birthday! She was in heaven!
(More on Bella's new uke in the near future - Family Visit Part 2!)
When we got home from Coffee's, it was such a glorious evening that we decided to take our supper down to the beach - North Papohaku....probably our very favorite place on the island. We enjoyed our yummy dinner of veggie wraps and the kids had fun playing in the sand while we watched the sun sink down behind Oahu.

You can see the silhouette of Oahu at the bottom of this photo - the view from our house.
This year I bought myself a Mother's Day present - a bracelet made by a very talented artist living in the San Juan Islands. He comes to Moloka'i every year to collect puka shells and sometimes to set up his studio. He is well known on this island and many people here have one of his very distinctive, beautiful braceletes. I've been admiring them on others for months and was thrilled to walk into the book and gift store yesterday where they are sold to see a new shipment had just arrived. I found a smaller one to fit my little wrist and said "Happy Mother's Day to me!". The shells will always remind me of this beautiful place, bringing me back to the beach on Moloka'i even when I'm far away! A beautiful gift from the sea. A work of art.

Happy Mother's Day...

I am so grateful for my mom and feel so blessed to be mothering three awesome kids of my own!
Love and hugs to all the amazing mama's in my life! xoxo

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The best surprise ever!

Life has been full of family time, adventures and making memories the last couple of weeks! It's been wonderful! For months we've been looking forward to my folks coming to visit again. We've been talking on the phone and making plans. So a week and half ago, we went to the airport to pick up my mom (she was coming a week earlier than my dad). We made her a lei and were excited to see her airplane arrive on time! We were hugging and kissing her when Zara said (with a confused look on her face) "Is that Auntie Jill?" I turned around to see both of my sisters walking towards me! They came to surprise me for my birthday! And wow... did they succeed! I was absolutely, completely blown away! I burst into tears, laughing and crying and exclaiming and hugging.... it was the most incredible surprise EVER! What a gift! We had a fantastic week together... it flew by way too quickly! The day before they left, my dad and Jasper (nephew) arrived for a week. So we had one fun evening together before saying good-bye to my sweet sisters.

We had so much fun together.... here's a photo recap of our week together.
(For those of you on Facebook, you will have probably seen most of these photos posted by Leah - she was the trip photographer so most of these are her photos! The others are Mom's! Thank you both for your lovely photo memories!)

In complete shock! It took a couple of days for the reality to sink sisters are really here!

We ate outside on the patio most nights.

Hmmmm.... lots of good food! The first nights dinner was tomato pie and roasted eggplant. It was great to have my sisters around to help and inspire me in the kitchen.

A walk to one of my favorite beaches - the old tent camp.

At the Kalaupapa lookout (overlooking the former leper colony).

Buying tropical flowers at the Saturday market.

Lots of fun in the pool at the condo.
Lilikoi (passionfruit) is back in season! It's delicious over macadamia nut ice cream!

The Sunday concert at Coffee's of Hawaii is a big part of our life here in Moloka'i so I was so happy to get to share it with my sisters. Leah enjoyed learning to play the ukulele...she picked it up so quickly! Each week the band invites all the "uke" players in the crowd to come up and play together so Leah and I joined the group to play and sing "You are my sunshine".

We all had the chance to learn a hula with DJ (my hula teacher)

I love my sisters!

The next day we headed to the beautiful east side of the island to hike up to Halawa Falls. The scenery is so lovely along the way!

It's mango season again and there were hundreds of ripe (and very OVER ripe) mangos on the trail. We came home with a backpack full of them!

Halawa falls - a lovely spot!

Thor at the Macadamia Nut farm

 Mom treated me to a lovely massage on the morning of my birthday - a great way to start the day! And after a relaxing day, we had a little birthday celebration at Hotel Molokai. This is the only place on the island to have dinner by the ocean. (With the exception of a picnic on the beach!) The food was delicious and we had a lovely evening.

On Jill and Leah's last day here we spent some time at gorgeous Papohaku beach.
The water was crystal clear and so calm...we collected shells, swam, snorkelled and just soaked up the beauty!

Sweet little snorkeller! We got her all the gear when we were in Maui in December.... she LOVES snorkelling! She just cruises around comfortable as can be!

Our last night together. Mom wanted to get a photo of us in our matching robes.

A week of sister love! I feel so blessed!

And it's not a Kofoed family holiday without some jumping pictures! I'm not sure if it's because we grew up with the "Toyota jump" or because it's just fun to jump!

What a jam packed, adventure filled week! I am so thankful for the opportunity to share this beautiful island with my sisters.... this place we currently call home. It's been such a treat to have family around... I'm missing the company of my sisters now that they are back home with their families, but feel blessed to have my parents and Jasper here for a couple more days. We're soaking up the family time as it will have to last us until mid-summer!

I have so much to be grateful for in my life and right now I'm feeling very grateful for my loving family. Even when we're living "far way" they are always there. I love them all!