Sunday, February 21

Want to have a fun family home evening?

Have a tie-tying lesson. 
With people who know nothing about tying ties.
Laugh at them.
Take pictures.
Put them on your blog.
Laugh some more.
Just don't make them mad.
Myyy, that's a long tie you've got there, mister.
Every month we get together with our friends Richard and Loraine and their son Kyler, who is Alec's age, for a family home evening lesson out of the Preach My Gospel manual to prepare our boys for serving a mission. Last month we thought it would be fun to learn how to tie ties, now that the boys are to the age where clip-on ties just don't hold the same appeal. We all gave it a go, but soon I retreated behind the lens of my camera to document this "coming of age" ritual for posterity.
Not because I couldn't tie a tie or anything.
It's not like it's rocket science.
 It went something like...the rabbit goes around the trunk of the tree, down into the hole, up and around again...

Oh fiddle. 

Wednesday, February 17

Welcome to Casa Alberdi, I will be your tour guide today...

After numerous requests to see what the "digs" in Hawaii look like, I finally pulled my act together and moved the lawn furniture, plastic storage shelves, and foam mattresses out of sight so that we could snap a few pictures.

 Just kidding...
sort of.

Anyway, this is our spacious living/home-school/office/storage unit/library/playroom.

Same room, different view.  These sliding glass doors are the sole reason we rented this place.  I mean, look at them.  Look how much light pours through them.  This is a very important feature for a light freak like me. 

 Who needs bedrooms with light like this?

Now we will rotate 90 degrees and view the kitchen.
The heart of the home...
The height of culinary advancement...


Let's be real.
This is the place where peanut butter and jelly sandwiches get slapped together and called a meal. 

My desk.
All mine.
Mine, mine, mine.
(From 4 to 5 a.m. and from 11 to 12 p.m.)

Stuff I love.
Can you stand it? Are these striped pencils not the sassiest thing you've ever seen? 
Isadora in Bellevue.
 Get you some.

More stuff I love.
A chair, actually.  Can you really love a chair?  Well, if you can, I do.  Not because it is super comfortable or anything, just because it makes a great backdrop for other cute stuff.  Like my favorite quilt.  That I made myself.  Okay, okay, the ONLY quilt I have ever made.  And probably ever will.  Oh yeah, and my favorite pillow.
That I bought myself. 
All by myself. 
 My mama would be proud.

My sweet friend Sariah called the other day to tell me she was moving to a much smaller house (like me!) and she wondered where she was going to put everything (like me!) and would she go completely insane with too many people in too small of a space (like me!)?

Okay, maybe she doesn't want to be just like me.
But here's what I've learned:

It's all about hidden storage.

And going vertical,
 which I'll explain later.

Allow me to introduce you to my coffee table.
Er, tables.
I bought these ottomans from the Country Living line at KMart. Who would have guessed?
 Linen. Tufted. Nailhead trim. Dreamy.
And the best part is that they have hinged with storage capacity.

I should be their spokesperson.


(This is the going vertical part.)

Who needs a garage?
  Not when you are married to a man who can wield a saw and a drill and a couple of two by fours like nobody's business.
 Screw those puppies together, slap on a little white paint and...voila! 
A storage unit in your living room.

Are you jealous?
Don't you wish you had one in your living room too?
 (Oh yeah, and that's Senecca's adorable bike that she repainted herself--it used to be pepto-bismol pink--that she never rides. We live at the top of a steep hill. Need I say more?)

 But it sure is cute.

And that's all that matters.

 This will surprise you I know, but there are absolutely no closets in this condo other than one in each bedroom for clothing, so I have enlisted the help of a basket (the one on the left) as my linen closet. I guess the builder assumed that a bunch of minimalists who never showered or changed their bedding would be living here. 

I have learned to adapt by having very few towels (1 per person), and no extra bedding.  I do wash our bedding regularly, I swear, but then I just put it right back on.
On that note, here's a bit of trivia to brighten your day and make me sound like Cliff Claven...Did you know that in Hawaii, they are not called lice, but ukus? (pronounced ookoos) Funny, huh? It somehow really describes what they are. And no, we don't have them.

What's that you say?

You say I've worn you out?

You're ready to go now?

Was it something I said?


Just when I was getting my groove on.

Saturday, February 13

Prepare yourself...

...for a torrent of blogarrhea. 

(It's been a while)

It's February, and I'm back on Maui and back to the routine.

You know the drill:

Get up. 

Get dressed. 

Go to the beach. 

Lay around all day in the sun. 

Sip frozen drinks. 

Work on my tan. 

Go home. 

Go to bed.


Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

"That is rich." (To quote the Grinch).

Only in my fantasy world.

Want to know what "a day in the life" for Michelle really looks like? 

Well....the fun begins at 4:55 a.m., when I drag myself out of bed to get ready to take the two oldest kids to seminary, which starts at 5:25.  Seriously? 5:25 a.m.? Who's masochistic idea is this anyway? And who in their right mind can feel the spirit at 5:25 a.m.?

To stay awake (and to pretend like I still care what I look like in a bathing suit) I go on a walk with an equally insane motivated friend while we are waiting for our teenagers. Incidentally, the most "worked out" part of our bodies are our jaws.

Then it's a race home to wake up Austen so that he can catch his bus at 6:55. Austen is what I call a "popper". When it's time to get up, he pops out of bed and gets moving. Stockton, on the other hand, is a "dragger". I don't think this requires an explanation, does it? Needless to say, I often end up driving him to school, which starts at 8:25 a.m.

Now it's back home to start round two of breakfast. Then the morning clean-up. Laundry, dishes, etc., and at some point, I manage to climb in the shower. At last, we're ready for some studying at the Alberdi School of Excellence, which two very "excellent" students attend, for the next few to several hours, depending on the day and the stamina of the teacher and students.

(In case anyone cares, subjects studied so far this year are: math, history, economics, art, constitutional studies, writing, grammar, spelling, chemistry, literature, geography, graphic design, HTML, photography, silk-screening, surfing and some stuff I've forgotten already.)

 Any guesses as to which ones are our favorites?

Lunch gets crammed in there somewhere, and the two younger boys are home just minutes after they left.

Snacks, noise, and chaos ensue. 

By now it is 3:30 p.m. and the begging begins.  Them, for me to take them to the beach, and I, for them to do their homework and chores so we won't have to do it at night. It's about a 50/50 win/lose proposition. So sometimes we end up at the beach and sometimes we don't. Currently, no one is involved in an organized sport, other than arguing with each other, although we've had paddling practice, tennis lessons, and scouts to work around previously. Senecca works at a restaurant in Kihei (a lot) and drives herself to dance every afternoon in Wailuku--about a 20 minute drive each way.

By six-ish, we're back from the beach or homework-land. Either way, we're sweating. Now it's time to figure out dinner. Why do you people think you need to eat three times a day anyway? Okay. Cold cereal it is. Wait. Never mind. That's just another fantasy of mine. You say you want something healthy AND tasty? I'll make it when I find a recipe for that. In the meantime, have some spaghetti and turn that T.V. off!

Time for dishes, showers, scripture study, and prayer, kiddos.



Is anybody home?

Find everyone, accomplish most of the above, then bribe, wrestle or cajole the kids into bed.

Well, sort of.

Give up and put myself to bed instead.

The next day, it starts all over again.

Lucky me.