Saturday, November 4, 2017

Disney on Ice 2017

For the seventh time, we headed out this afternoon to attend Disney's on Ice as a family.  This is the first time that all five of us have been able to go as Ella is finally old enough to sit through this long of a show.  As always, we had a great time watching the ice skaters whirl and twirl around on the ice while reacting such Disney classics as Finding Dory, Toy Story, Frozen, and a handful of other princess movies.  The kids all really enjoyed it--especially Ella who experienced all of this for the first time.  After getting over her initial disappointment that she was not going to be the one ice skating, she was completely mesmerized during the entire 2-hour show and burst out into tears when it ended.  It was so cute to see much she loved it.  This is always such a fun, holiday tradition for our family and we can't wait to return next year!

Lia, Logan, and Ella checking out the Disney toys for sale.

Another shot of the kiddos taking a gander at the goodies.

Mom and the kids taking a picture by the only Disney on Ice sign we could find in the venue.

Ella, Lia, Papa, and Logan in their seats ready to go.

Cute Lia before the show.

Ella striking a pose for the camera.

Belle performing "Be Our Guest" with Lumiere, Cogsworth, and the rest of the gang.

Snow White and her dwarfs.

Tiana and some waiters skating by us.

Prince Charming giving Cinderella a lift.

Ariel did the most amazing acrobatics with ice skates on while hanging from a rope. She happened to be right in front of us and it was very impressive to watch.

A group of skaters performing the dragon dance during Mulan's bit.

Although we have seen Rapunzel do this in the past, we were surprised to see both Rapunzel and Flynn Rider flying around on her "hair."

Mr. Ray and the rest of Nemo's class.

The octopus, Hank, talking to Dory while she was trapped in the fish tank.

Elsa letting it go!

Elsa and Anna skating through a snow storm.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Celebrating Papa's Birthday!

The kids and I celebrated Ron's 49th birthday tonight after everyone got home from school.  All three of the kids spent about 1.5 hours this afternoon working on a birthday poster and a variety of pictures that we hung up in the dining room for Ron to see after he came home from work.  It looked really cute and I am impressed with how much time they spent on it.  We then ate a Filipino feast in the dining room that I spent most of the afternoon preparing.  After dinner, Ron opened cards and his birthday gift from us and my parents which was a grey, Russell Wilson Seahawks jersey.  We finished up the evening by singing "Happy Birthday" to Ron before eating some homemade, banana creme pie.  We sure are grateful for all that Ron does for our little family.  He is such a wonderful husband and father and we are so lucky to have had him in our lives all these years.  Here is to another 49 more!

Ella handing papa his birthday present.

Checking out his new Seahawks jersey.

Papa reading the birthday card from the kiddos and me.

Getting ready to sing "Happy Birthday."

Papa with his eldest.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween 2017

Tonight we wrapped up another Halloween!  We had such a fun evening as all of our kids are finally old enough to enjoy every minute of it.  We were blessed with beautiful, autumn weather which made for some very pleasant trick-or-treating this evening.  We started out with an early dinner at 5 o'clock before taking our traditional Halloween pictures on the door step.  All five of us then set out as a group to trick-or-treat up our hill and back down again which takes a little over an hour and is the perfect amount of time for our kiddos to be out walking and door-bell ringing.  We then returned home a little after 7 o'clock in order for the children to have plenty of time to answer the door while counting their candy and watching Disney's old school version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow which I love!  Lia and Logan love answering the door as much as they love trick-or-treating, so they were lucky to have many visitors until almost 9 o'clock tonight.  As always, it was such a fun way to spend the evening with our darling children!

Since preschool fell on Halloween, Ella was able to dress up as Snow White, her second Disney princess of the season, and go to a party at Jace's house. They played several games, completed some Halloween activities, ate treats, and played outside.  Here she is standing by the decorations outside their front door before going in.

Ella and all of her preschool friends dressed up in their darling costumes.
Top Row (L to R):  Jacob and Jace
Bottom Row (L to R):  Valerie, Ella, Emma, and Isla

Our traditional, sibling picture on the front porch before we headed out to go trick-or-treating.
Ella decided to dress up as a third, Disney princess (Rapunzel) while Lia and Logan stuck with their original costumes of Rey and a pirate.

Lia as an adorable Rey--the coolest heroine from the Star Wars franchise.

A side shot of Lia's awesome Rey, hair-do.

Logan the pirate.  Arrrrrr.

Our darling Rapunzel with short, brown hair.

The gang heading out on the street!

Lia, Logan, and Ella walking up to our neighbor's door.

Ringing the doorbell!

Trick-or-treat!  Papa and the kids get for another door to open.

Monday, October 30, 2017


We gathered around the table tonight for our annual, pumpkin carving.  The kids were so excited to participate in this activity and Lia even tried cleaning out and carving her pumpkin all by herself.  Ella wanted a sad pumpkin, Logan wanted a scary one, and Lia strayed from the group and decided all on her own to carve a cat pumpkin.  As for the parents, Ron carved out an intricate face of the Oogie Boogie character from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" movie and my pumpkin ended up resembling an ant.  After finishing the carving, we lined up our pumpkins, lit the candles, and turned off the lights and marveled at our glowing creations.  We then wrapped up the evening by singing the song, "There's No Such Thing As a Ghost," while I attempted to accompany the family on the piano.  What a fun way to spend the evening before Halloween!

Ron and Logan looking at papa's phone for ideas for Logan's pumpkin.

Lia scooping out her pumpkin's guts.

Sweet Ella playing with my Albino pumpkin before I carved it.

Mama and Ella posing with her pumpkin after we finished it.

After we lined up the pumpkins on the counter, Ella and Logan immediately ran over and started playing with them.  They are just the cutest thing!

Our pumpkin family all lit up and glowing.

Ella posing by her lit pumpkin.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Golden Anniversary Celebration

Although we have been planning for quite some time now to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary this coming summer at some tropical location with the entire family, we had never thought about doing anything on their actual anniversary until last week my mom asked us if we wanted to get together and celebrate since their actual anniversary fell on a Saturday.  By some miracle, everyone was available the Saturday before Halloween and so we all agreed to get together including my brother and his wife who live in Montana.  I quickly set to work helping my mom find a restaurant for all of us to meet at for dinner.  After looking at several menus online, we decided that we should go back to the Lobster Shop which is the same restaurant on the Puget Sound in Tacoma where we met five years ago for their 45th anniversary.  We all gathered at 5:30 tonight and enjoyed the incredible views of the water and the mountains from the restaurant as the sky was totally clear from a beautiful, Autumn day.  After we enjoyed a delicious dinner and a special dessert for my parents, we returned back to our house for cards and gift opening.  My mom even brought her wedding dress and wedding album to show us.  They have been such a wonderful example to my brothers and me over the years as to what a committed and loving couple should be.  I am so grateful to have them in my lives and so grateful that we were able to be with them on this very special and momentous occasion!  Love you, mom and dad!

The entire group posed outside the restaurant before we started our dinner.

My darling parents with Mt. Rainier in the background.

A close-up of the special couple.

Eating dinner inside the Lobster Shop.

My parents before blowing out their candles on their creme brulee dessert.

Friday, October 27, 2017


Tonight was our ward's trunk-or-treat event at the church.  Since our ward boundaries just changed less than three weeks ago, our bishop decided to keep the entire affair simple since we had no idea who would be left behind in our ward to plan and carry out a large-scale, Halloween party.  So, we just showed up tonight for some donuts and hot chocolate in the gym before heading outside to participate in the trunk-or-treating.  Unfortunately, Ron had to supervise a playoff game for his high school football team and was unable to join us for the first time ever which was a bummer.  I managed to feed the kiddos an early dinner and then got them all ready in their costumes.  Lia chose to dress up as Rey from the new Star Wars movie, Logan decided to wear his pirate costume (of course), and Ella went back and forth for quite some time between several Disney princess costumes before settling on Merida.  The three of them looked so darling and we had a great time being together for this Halloween party.  I love how all of my kids are getting old enough to really enjoy and appreciate all of the holidays.  They help to make everything more exciting and special!  Here are some of the pics from the evening...

The kids and me standing in front of one of the beautiful trees in the church parking lot after first arriving.

Rey, Logan the pirate, and Merida all dressed up and ready to go.

The Hartland kids with Evie and Oliver, two of their friends from church.

Enjoying donuts and hot cocoa.

A close-up of my cute Lia.

Logan munching away on his donut.

Ella striking a pose for me.

Since one of the boys from Lia's primary class dressed up as Kylo Ren, we decided that we needed a picture of the two of them even though Lia reminded me that "we don't like each other." (She was referring to their relationship in the movie and not in real life.  It totally made me laugh).  Here is Lia and Winston striking their best Star Wars pose.

The three kiddos stuck together during the entire trunk-or-treating.  Here is Ella getting some candy while her older brother and sister wait for her.

The kids posing with one of the decorated cars.

Trunk-or-treating from Little Red Riding Hood.

All finished and ready to head home!