Thursday, September 8, 2011

Home away from home

Well, we finally found "the one"..

We were hoping to find a home in the location of our dreams, with the amenities that we wanted.

After looking on Craigs List from Maui, we came across one that looked nice and was within our price range.

Joe called on it.

The woman he talked to was name Kay, and she is the owner.

She and her husband are living in California, off the grid, which means they have no electricity, but are completely sustainable on their own. I'm not sure about running water, but I would assume they HAVE to have it..??

They are building a community of small pods of which are "off the grid" also.

Joe had a good, long conversation with her about her home on Kauai.

He was very excited when he got off the phone with her, although I could tell he was trying to contain it.

After all, we were still on Maui and hadn't even seen the place yet.

She explained that the home was built by her husband Sam, who is a home builder.

They used mostly recycled materials, and were looking to rent it long-term to someone who was "green-minded".

The bottom level is a separate studio apartment, with a queen size bed, full kitchen, and an outside shower(Joe's dream)

The middle level is the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and 2nd bedroom (Jalen's room)

Then, the top level, which is accessed from the outside, is a huge master bedroom, with a king size bed. Perfect for Joe, Hallie Rose, and I!!

The house is tucked away in the mountainous region of beautiful Kauai's North Shore.

It is completely surrounded by lush greenery, avocado trees, papaya trees, lemon trees, and passion fruit trees.

It is 1/2 mile from the ocean, and about 1 mile from a piece of property that Kay also owns, which is located on a private beach.

There is no home on that piece of property, and we would be allowed to use it for our own entertainment!

The home for rent is at the end of a dirt road, and is very secluded.

Just what we were looking for!!

So, without even seeing the property, we already wanted it!!!!!

She promised us that she wouldn't rent it to anyone else, and would give us first dibs.

We anxiously flew to Kauai that next Monday, and headed up to see the home.

As expected, we absolutely love it!

We called her right away and told her WE WANT IT!

She was pleased to have a "green-minded" family to rent her home for the year, and we were pleased that we didn't have to continue looking around for a place to live.

It worked out just about as perfect as we could have asked for.

So, here we are, living our dream.

Perched up in what feels like a big ol' tree house.

As quick as we could say "we want it", our lives have turned into recycling everything we can, composting our scraps, using NO dryer for our clothes and only the clothes line, using the least amount of electricity as possible, no AC, and pretty much living the simple life.

We feel like we should have learned to live like this a long time ago, and that if more people tried to live like this, the world would be a better place for our children and grandchildren.

Moving on.....

The next step was finding a school for Jalen.

He had been out of school for 6 days already, and we had no plans on what we were going to do.

The North Shore of Kauai is very limited on schooling options.

After doing some research and asking around, we came to the realization that we had only 2 options.

Home school him, or send him to Island School, which is a private school located in Lihue.

Its only about 32 miles, but with the 2 lane road that travels there, and the slow drivers on the island, it can take 45 minutes to an hour to get there.

It is very pricey, but they offer alot of great stuff.

Their  "healthy lunch" program which consist of mostly organic foods, is made from scratch daily. Nothing frozen.

They also offer after school programs such as robotics and scuba diving.

The kids who graduate from there almost all end up going to major Universities.

The school has a great reputation, to say the least...

What to do? What to do?

We wanted him to have social interaction with kids his own age, and the thought of homeschooling him, gave me anxiety.

We decided to call Island School and make an appointment to go talk to them.

The very next day, which was yesterday, Jalen and I drove down for the 9am appointment.

Right off the bat, I got a great feeling from the atmosphere.

Open campus, friendly staff, and just a very laid back, welcoming feel.

The appointment went well, Jalen took a math test, and when we left, he was officially a student at Island School.

He was to start the next day.

Joe and I had talked the night before, and we both agreed that a school setting would be the best fit for Jalen.

We were not looking forward to the long drive to take him there and pick him up everyday, but we were willing to do it if it meant our son would be happy and be getting a good education.

Come to find out, last year some of the parents of the North Shore pitched in and bought the school a small van to transport the kids from the North Shore to the school.

Luckily, there was room for Jalen!

His Dad took him today, and he will ride the bus home.

He said the drive is not a big deal to him, as he has his iPhone to keep him busy. He can listen to music, watch movies or TV shows, or even do his homework if he wants.

Its a beautiful drive also. With the ocean on one side, and the beautiful mountains on the other.

Overall, we are very happy at how things have worked out for us here on Kauai.

They say when you move to Hawaii, the islands either accept you, or chew you up and spit you out!

I would say we are being accepted:)))

Hallie and I took a long walk this morning and it was so nice.

She loved looking at all the beautiful, lush trees and flowers.

We even saw a few dogs along the way, which is a huge plus in her book...

Yesterday was Joe's 35th Birthday!!!

Jalen made him the sweetest picture slide show, which played to music.

It was definitely a tear jerker.

We made signs and hung them up all over the house, and then last night we went to play miniature golf and eat Hanalei pizza, which was a surprise to him.

It was a fun-filled day with my awesome family. I feel like one blessed girl <3


  1. Oh my gosh----I love your blog so much---You are an amazing writer and that video that Jalen made is so special----great job Jalen!!! I am in tears over the pictures of your beautiful family---I miss you all so much but you are doing something that everyone wishes they could do---you just have the guts to actually do it---I am so proud of you for being that type of person.

    Love you,

  2. Lee has tried to leave a message on here---I will try to make her a Google account I guess--