Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Love Tahiti...

I realize that Norm and I have been back from our vacation for over a week and I have yet to post about our trip. Yes, we did actually go on a trip to Tahiti ( I have over 400 pics on my camera to prove it:) but between getting unpacked and everything else I am just now getting around to this post. Anyway, here are some of the top reasons why I love Tahiti...
  1. The Beach--I have to admit, I love the beach. And although I am not a fan of getting sand EVERYWHERE, one of my favorite things to do in Tahiti is to go to the beach. Here is a photo of us a "PK18", our usual beach hangout. Kobe and Tehani had a ball using their goggles to check out all of the underwater fishes and coral. And I did my best (though I don't know that I really succeeded) at trying to get a tan. But even if I am still white, I had fun none the less!
  2. My Grand Parents House--I spent almost every summer when I was growing up in Tahiti at my grandparents house, so this place really is like a second home to me. It was my first time coming back since my grandmother passed away last year so I was crying like a baby when we got there (I'm sure my Grandpa was thinking "Why are you crying--I'm not dead yet?") Anyway, there's a Tahitian old wives tale that you are supposed to bury your kids belly buttons in the ground--so they will always return to their homeland. Here's a pic of my grandparents patio where my belly button is buried:) I like to think that's part of the reason I go back so much--I am inexplicable drawn there!

  3. Our Family--This is the only time that we get to see our cousins in Tahiti--and now that we are grown, it's fun letting our kids play together when they can. And although Kobe often requests to have a "translator" when trying to talk with other kids, Tehani just jumps right in and talks...really...slowly. AND...LOUDLY...(as if that will magically make her french speaking cousins understand her :) Here is a photo of Tehani playing with her cousin Rarahou. It's funny because I had asked Rarahou to write the numbers on the chalkboard in French so that Tehani could practice. Not exactly what I had in mind (but I guess that is my own fault for not being specific enough with the 8 year olds :)
  4. The Market--My grandparents are just a few blocks away from the big open-air market in downtown Papeete. So when you need veggies, fish (or anything else for that matter) you don't head on down to the WalMart--it's off to the market for some locally grown whatever. Norm's favorite thing to do each morning was to head over there to buy fresh poison cru--Tahitian raw fish--and a Fanta (apparently THIS is the breakfast of champions!)
  5. The Roulots--In case you haven't had enough food with your morning trip to the market, you can fill up at night as well down at the warf. These little "rolling" restraunts come out at night and you can have your choice of chinese, tahitian, waffles (dont' ask) and anything else that you can think of. Here is a photo of the one night that we went with my cousin Tuamtahi and the rest of the fam. Yum!Well, that is it for now. I have so much more to post about but I don't know where to start. I promise to get caught up (the kids are coming back soon from Tahiti so I better get caught up)

Da Plane

Although today is the official start of our trip to Tahiti, I don't know if I could actually consider this a vacation day...

Get dropped off at O'Hare International Airport to catch da plane to Los Angeles. Our flight was at 6:30am and since ORD is such a crazy airport it was way too early. Tehani was very excited to not have to "dress up" to fly today--they majority of the time that the kids travel, they fly on my mom's buddy passes (which means dressy clothes for da plane)

Arrive at LAX and wait for da plane to Tahiti. We had at least a 6 hour layover which is a long time to hang out in an airport. With all of this time on our hands, Norm even walked down to the In & Out Burger thats a mile away from the airport (it's not like he had anything else to do!) and brought us all back some lunch. Yum!

Get on da plane for the 8 hour plan ride to Tahiti. Cynthia had been a little worried about how Charlotte was going to fare on her first trans-oceanic flight and she is a natural! I ended up with a seat by myself (which is much more relaxing that having to keep Thing 1 and Thing 2 from kicking the seats in front of them!)

Next stop, Tahiti!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Let's Luau

So if the fam and I have travel out to Chicago during the summer, it can only mean one thing--it's LUAU TIME! The Anderson Annual Luau has grown into such a tradition I don't know what we'd do without it. And my mom has been throwing this luau for so many years that we've really gotten all of the party prep down to a science (besides the fact that we actually have "Luau Book" that tells us exactly what to do!)
This year's party was yet again a great success. My Mom and Dad (and 100 or so of their closest friends) enjoyed all of Norm's tasty creations from the grill. I started getting worried that maybe we were going to run out of food (which would be a bad, bad thing at a luau) but everything turned out perfectly. It even waited to rain until that party was over that night.

Here's a pic of my Dad with two of his cousins and two nieces.

And our dancers--Cynthia, Tehani and Mallory--entertained the crowd with a few traditional numbers. (I know it looks like Cynthia is doing a booty shake but I promise it was a hula--it's a luau party, not a dance party :)

Tehani is still partial to doing her poi balls EVERY time we make her dance so I think we are going to have to teach her a few new non-poi ball numbers for next year.

So if you happen to be in Chicago in July 2010, let me know and I can get you seats to the best Luau in town!

In the dog house

In a bustling metropolis like Chicago, there are definitely plenty of sights to see--the Sears Tower, Buckingham Fountain, Wrigley Field and...the Anderson's Dog House!

Some consider it to be an urban legend. Who would build a dog house with motion-activated lights? Do you really need a microwave AND a water cooler in a dog house?

MythBusting fans will be happy to know the legend has been CONFIRMED. Don't ask me what makes my Dad decide that his doghouse needs these amenities (According to my Dad, it just does.)

If you look closely in the pictures, you'll notice that a lot of the edges and knobs have been covered with metal. Apparently the dog doesn't know the difference between the water cooler knobs and a chew toy so my Dad has resorted to dog-proofing everything in metal!

I'd joke that the dog has nicer cabinets than we do in our house, but I am pretty sure that he actually does.

It's definitely a rough life being man's best friend...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Daddy

Most people call today Father's Day but at our house a more fitting name would be Daddy's Day. Yes, I do still call my dad "Daddy." Weird, I know--but what do you expect from someone that still calls her mom "Mommy."

Anyway, in honor of this special day, I wanted to post just a few of the reasons why my Daddy is the best:

My Daddy can build anything
When I was seven years old, my Dad built me a play house. Now I know a lot of kids got playhouses when they were little, but this was not your average playhouse. We've actually joked that he could probably rent this place out--it's carpeted with paneled walls, has air conditioning AND a heater, working electrical sockets and a covered porch--with a porch light!

My Daddy showed me the world
Every summer was a new country: England, France, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Egypt, Austria, Hungry, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and more. Being able to travel to so many places was amazing. But what is even more amazing is the fact that my father has never been to ANY of these countries--he sent my mom and us kids while he stayed home and worked. Talk about a great Dad!

My Daddy is a genius
Apparently when I was little, I used to tell everyone this. And now that I'm older, I've come to realize that this is a very true statement. From making us get up early ("The early bird gets the worm" he would always say) to teaching us to save our money ("For a rainy day") I know that a lot of who I am came from the things he taught me when I was growing up.

So for this and everything else that you did for me, Happy Father's Day Daddy! You deserve it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do duckies go to heaven?

That's the question I got asked yesterday when the kids called. Turns out that "Ducky" was not doing well. When they first told me they found a pet duckling that they were keeping as a pet, this was exactly what I worried about. With the kids sniffling on the phone, I explained that Ducky would be very happy (and not sick) when he was in duck heaven. I also reminded them that, Ginger, my pet dog from when I was little, would take care of Ducky. Tehani was concerned that maybe Ginger might try to eat Ducky but I informed her that animals do not try to eat each other in animal heaven :)

Auntie Cynthia was nice enough to help with the funeral preparations. The kids wrote notes to put in the check box that Ducky was burried in. After singing a few songs and the prayer, Ducky was burried right next to the playhouse. And the kids will be able to visit anytime we go to Chicago.

RIP Ducky. We will miss you!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Over the river and through the woods

The kids have been in Chicago for about a week now. Even though they're gone, we usually still hear from them several times a day:
  • Kobe: "Mom, can I set up an account on Pokemon.com?"
  • Tehani: "Mom, did you know that (insert some random fact that only Tehani would know about)
  • They do occasionally call to tattle on each other, though I am not sure why they are calling me since it is not like in I'm there. (Thank goodness for free long distance)

Anyway, they also like give updates on all they things that they are doing with Grandma and Grandpa. And I think I've finally figured out why they can't wait to get to Chicago...it's like a gigantic party!! In less than one week they have:

And as if that wasn't enough, they even have a new "pet." A duckling wandered into my parents garage the other day. The mother is no where to be found but I hear that she has found a new "mom" in Tehani. My mom says that Tehani and the duck are inseparable. (Great, let's encourage my little veterinarian in training to take in EVERY stray that she finds!) I'm waiting for my mom to email me some photos (Note to self: teach Kobe how to upload pics so he can send them to me instead of waiting for my mom to convince my brother to come over and do this:)

At least this week won't be so busy for the kids. They do start swimming lessons, which is another tradition they have when they visit my parents-swim lesson's at the Addison Park District. And they are helping Grandma babysit Baby Charlotte for the week. (Which means in addition to wanting a duck when they get back home, they will also ask if we can have a baby too!) Great! The answer is no.

And no.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bon Voyage!

Summer is here which means its that time of the year where my kids start counting down the days until Grandma comes to take them for their annual summer trip to Chicago. Here a pic of the happy travelers when I dropped them off at the airport this morning at 6am.
We've been so busy with the end of school and getting packed that I have been a real blog slacker. But I figured now that I no longer have an excuse for not blogging, I had better get to work and start posting! In addition to blogging, I do plan to make use of my found "free time" by going to the gym as well. (Is it unrealistic to want to lose 25 pounds before we leave for Tahiti in 3 weeks?) Either way, I'm going to be a blog posting, gym-going, house cleaning fool until I leave to see the kids at the end of the month.

I'll just get started with the housework after a take a quick afternoon nap :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Camp Jeremiah Johnson

So our Cub Scouts were scheduled to do a "day camp" today which means that I got to spend my Thursday at Camp Jeremiah Johnson with Kobe and the boys. We don't have a huge den but after all the planning and forms to fill out I'm sure all of the leaders are glad this is over. I was excited to see how many things the boys were able to pass off--and they were having tons of fun! Some of the highlights included:
  • Shooting--If Kobe ever gets in trouble for shooting out someones window with a bb gun, now I can blame it on being a cub scout.
  • Boating--Definitely not a strong skill for our group. Maye our little Samoan den needs to take some lessons from their dads!
  • Archery--This was Kobe's favorite thing out of all the activities

I'm just glad that the camp was early enough in the summer that Kobe was able to go before he leaves for his next adventure at Camp "Grandma Anderson!"