Friday, December 17, 2010

Yo Ra Na!!

Teya joined a Tahitian dance group a little over a month ago. Because she joined the class so late in the season she only had a few practices before the big performance on stage. But she didn't mind because she knew as long as she just shook her hips she'd look like a "real Tahitian dancer!" The class will pick back up after the holidays in January, so she'll have many more chances to show what she learns over the next year. 
 This is her best little friend Rhiannon and her older sis Rachel.

For some reason they put the tallest girls in the front of the stage and the tiny ones behind in the back... didn't make much sense to me as it was so hard to see Teya and Rhiannon. Hopefully at the next show she'll be more visible. What I did catch though is super cute :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray!!

For Teya's birthday this year I wanted her to feel really special and have the day be something memorable. Four is a fun age for kids when everything is magical, I have lots of memories being that age, so I really wanted to put on a classic kids party for Teya. So that what we did, pulled out all the classics. It was a balloon theme. The invitations and some confetti were stuffed into an inflated balloon that read "Pop Me!" At the party we had at least 80 balloons here there and everywhere. The classics were played: Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Hot Potato, and Freeze Dance, all accompanied by prizes and gift baggies.
 Two of Teya's little besties: Taylor above, Rhiannon below

 We did "Heavy Heavy Hang Over Thy Poor Head" to receive the gifts, of course.
 Teya got the jackpot with gifts this year (makes Christmas simple now...) It's a good thing we'll have a two bedroom at TVA because her toys have now completely taken over our front room!!

 Phil as the photographer at the party must like the "looking down position" because in 40% of the pictures the subject is, you guessed it, looking down.

 I like this lucky shot with Teya's face perfectly framed by that crazy hat!
 Can anyone guess what her cake is supposed to be? She made the request herself......
 It's a gum-ball machine! The white center is a stawberry cake, and the pink ends are red velvet. The round center was cooked in glass bowl, did you know you can do that?? I didn't until I made this cake, but it turned out really cool and was fun to try something different.
 We realized we didn't have any matches or lighters only when it was time to light the candles, so Phil started a paper towel on fire from our electric stove top and hurriedly transfered it to a candle. Nice job McGuiver!
 Trying out her new toys: that the blissful face I want to see at the end of her birthday!! It was a success:)

Femme Fatal!!

My Sister in Law is a HOT BABE!! I've been meaning to post this for the family since Oct or Nov... just had to let you all know how smokin' Steph is these days:)

So I Married and Iron Chef...

Its slacker catch up time for me. I will be short on the clever narratives and quick with the pictures because I'm backed up all the way from Halloween!!
Phil's dream job is to be an Iron Chef. If you haven't seen an episode before, check one out on the Food Network. Each episode revolved around a "secret ingredient" that is revealed at the last moment and must be used in each dish. For Halloween I was the "secret ingredient." Fortunately I'm not in any pictures:) I was just dressed all in black with a giant white question mark on my stomach. Clever clever.

Teya and Ava matched this year, both as Cinderella, and we didn't even plan it... maybe they have ESP just like their Mammas!! It was after both costumes were ready that we realized it, only Jessie gets the gold star because she MADE her detailed costume and I just dropped the cash-money-flow for Teyas!!

Trunk or Treat!!! My first one, (somehow always missed them in LA) so I had to pitch in and deck out our trunk... and those decorations only just got cleaned out of our trunk two weeks ago. Ha, oops.
Like our sweet ride?  Its a Honda Civic 91 baby!! No, A/C is not included:( 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

La chasse pour une citrouille!

Moving to Hawaii has been everything fantastic, it's been all that was hoped for and more. There is however one element missing from this paradise island: my family and the changing leaves. Okay, so that's two things. I've never been a home-sick person. I'm determined to make where ever it is that I am become completely our home and to enjoy the people there. Enjoy the now. It's part of what I love so much about discovering new cultures and peoples, always figuring out what makes the community work and then to become a part of it. But this year a tinge of longing has hit me for my siblings and parents in Utah. Mainly because it was harder than I'd anticipated to take Teya away from her soul sister Ava Lynn and their side kick Cohen James. Kids have a way of taking the priority in our lives making things more complicated... in the best possible way bien sure! I admit though that I have let my mind wander to what it would be like to smell that distinct smell of fall, the magic of the leaves, the harvest food on the table, the family kickin' it at Grandma Bella's house on a lazy cool Sunday evening....
But these moments aren't drawn out or remorseful, I'd be a fool to not appreciate and relish the home we have now,  but Autumn has always been my favorite (if brief) time of the year. I'll soon feel just fine once I get word that the first snow has fallen in good 'ol Ut-izz-ah!! 

To the point! I had to implement as much of this wonderful season as I could into the  month of October with the resources available. First item of duty: find me a pumpkin! Luckily the Laie Playgroup was doing that for me by rallying the troops and taking a field trip to the pumpkin patch. I say "the" because it's the one pumpkin patch on the island:) 

 No, I didn't run into Christian Bale (see Sarah's blog) but we got the second best thing! We met these two!! Teya was uber affectionate to Mr and Mrs Sweet Onion. I wonder if it's because they seem like giant stuffed animal toys come to life... I couldn't think of any other reason for her tender love shown to them. Several hugs, kisses, hand holding, waving, high fives, little dance jigs, and even a drawn out farewell hug and kiss when we were leaving the patch must have made those two feel like the champions of her world! (I just noticed this, when I enlarged the picture above I could see the onion man's face peering through the sunglasses... kind of creepy! Click on the picture, then magnify or zoom it and you'll see what I mean...)

 She just couldn't help it. Has aunt Boozie been giving her lessons?

 Pas mal, non?  (Not bad eh?) It felt like a real traditional Autumn moment for a while, never mind the patch was surrounded by a banana tree plantation and other tropical fares. I just made sure they didn't get in the photos to ruin the effect. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I've recently posted a massive load of pics on Facebook to showcase Dave's visit to the island!! What I didn't post on FB were these, some shots from the last night Dave was around. The family gathered while we fired up the BBQ and held a chill session. On the menu: Dave's Own Recipe Quinoa Salad (w/ roasted almond bits, corn, French green beans, cranberries, all organic of course...), Broccoli Potato Soup (made with our new top-o-the-line BlendTech from my parents!!!), Stephanie Marinated Chicken, and a healthy variety of mouth watering Sausages.  

 From the moment she met Dave last year, Teya has really taken to him. I think she thinks he's really a cool guy! Its cute to see the way he interacts with her and how much she loves to love on him:) She was giving him hugs, kisses, and her special attention all night. 
 We got on the subject of America's National Anthem, and how confused so many of us were at the words, but Stephanie takes the cake with her rendition of the score!! She had almost every line tweaked and twisted, with some invented words and phrases, we were throughly entertained as she sang! Steph, you'll have to leave in the comments some of your "phrases".... 
 Love this unexpected moment I caught on film, Teya tenderly kissing Harper's face. Melt:)
What I didn't catch on film were the tunes sung by Aaron and Rachel. Aaron writes his own music and produces a few music videos to accompany them, he's got a wonderfully soothing indie-folk type voice and style. Even more entrancing was Rachel's solo... after a bit of persuasion she agreed to bless us with her AMAZING voice while playing the guitar. There wasn't a sound the whole while she sang, even the geckos stopped chirping, because we were all so enchanted by the soothing tones and melancholy feel to her words!! I would buy her CD, easy!

I really like this shot of Phil, I have to sneak pictures of him if I want a real natural smile... he's like my dad,  The Ken, when it comes to cameras and forgetting completely how to smile with those perfect teeth and cute dimples!!
At this point I gave Teya the camera and she took over as our photographer. She went up to each person and got uncomfortably close... sometimes just a few inches from the face... and snapped a portrait of everybody. The only person I don't have from Teya's time behind the lens is Aaron, I think she was still too intimidated by him to get that close:)

She was totally being artistic here going for an abstract take on the typical face portrait.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cardboard and Duct Tape:

Teya left at least 90% of her toys in Utah. I left 100% of my toys in Utah (a beautiful collection of paints, canvas, brushes, sewing machine, and all other things creation worthy). I look around and see a roll of duct tape. We have mountains of boxes from packages being shipped out here. I have all kinds of time on my hands. Teya gets all kinds of bored if I'm not directly entertaining her every second. 

What do I do????

Well, we'll start with the Halloween critters we made today! I've been saving up our empty toilet paper rolls knowing they just had to come in handy sometime. I also splurged and bought a 10 pack of Crayola Markers  at Foodland yesterday.

Bend the tops of the TP rolls and you get instant ears or horns! It was a lot of fun to see Teya getting creative and excited about Halloween. These are just the first set of ghetto decorations we plan on making. I've got a few more festive ideas up my sleeve, keep an eye out!

Or how about we make a castle for Teya's animals?! It wasn't meant to be pretty, at this time I didn't even own my 10 wonderful crayola markers... I had a pocket knife for the cutting and a few feet left of the tape. But even the cheapest & ugliest of structures has done its job and given T-dizz lots more happy playtime.

 One day she was sad that I made her leave behind all her dress-ups, crowns, and princess stuff. So in an attempt to give her some dress up fun I made a quick princess crown: I turned to my trusty cardboard and covered it in tinfoil and jewels. Again it was shanty, but it held together well and served its purposed... until today when Teya decided to start peeling off all the tinfoil and jewels!!

The ever present childhood spaceship! We colored and designed a travelling craft that makes effortless transitions from rocket, to boat, to bus, to a home for her pandas. She's flapping the wings in this picture

And back to where we started this cardboard adventure, let's rejoin the Halloween Critters. We strung 'em and hung 'em.
 Is there anything to be learned from this quaint little trip? When all else fails, and putting aesthetics aside, a box, a knife, and a roll of duct tape can give a lot to imaginary play!!