Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend

Well, we really celebrated Easter on the Saturday before at my parents' house with the brothers and their families. It was a good thing that we chose to hold the hunt on Saturday instead of Sunday as it ended up being a glorious day in the 70 degrees, but horrible rain the next day! We had so much fun being outside, soaking up some of that vitamin D that we haven't had in weeks! My mom put on a stellar Easter egg hunt complete with an equal amount of goodies distributed in designated areas for all of the grandkiddos. After the hunt, we went inside for an Easter feast of champions! After dinner and dessert, it was back outside for some more outdoor play til the sun went down. On the actual holiday, the Hartland fam just went to church and then had a mellow day around the house with the three of us. Lia got her basket full of goodies and then went on a hunt around the house (since it was too wet outside) for some more candy. Needless to say, Ron and I have already begun "helping" her consume all of her Easter sweets. We're really just looking out for the well being of her teeth. I know, I know, such good parents we are...

Here is a pic of the Easter-themed cake I made for our Saturday festivities. Although it didn't quite turn out like I had "envisioned," it tasted divine. I tried out an orange cake recipe with a strawberry mousse filling and my all-time favorite butter creme frosting! I'm still enjoying the leftovers!

Lia beginning her hunt with some Tinkerbell stickers.

Reaching up high for some candy in the sky!

Papa assisting Lia in her hunting endeavors.

Still working hard...
The grand matriarch helping Brynn out in her area.

Riley getting down low to retrieve a candy.

Bryce supervising Garrett with his last piece of candy that gave him a bit of trouble.

The entire gang lined up with their loot!!

Hope you all had a fabulous Easter!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cake Batter Monster

Ever since I was a child, an internal battle has been raging over which tastes better: the raw version or the baked version. Cookie dough or the cookie? Cake batter or the cake? The list could go on and on. And to this day, a twisted part of me thinks I prefer the raw version. It's a miracle that I haven't died from salmonella poisoning...

Anyways, it now seems that my daughter is struggling with the same inner dilemma. This was the cake batter monster that appeared in a matter of seconds on my counter the other day while we were mixing up the ingredients for my all-time favorite cake--the silky, sexy red velvet. As you can see, Lia couldn't be happier.

Red velvet vs. Lia.
I think the red velvet won.

The scary, joker face.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nuts for Numbers

Ever since Lia turned three, she has been very aware of her age and the fact that everyone around her has an age, too. She constantly talks about how she is going to turn four and then five...tomorrow. So, although she hasn't quite mastered the concept of the traditional calendar year yet, she seems to understand that everyone has an age that involves a number. As a result, her latest, favorite activity is asking someone how old they are. The first time she did this was to my mom the other week. However, it is the way in which she words this question that I find to be the cutest thing. Lia will ask, "How many old are you?" Although it's not correct English, it makes perfect sense, right?

Along the same lines, Lia was playing with her little, Barbie laptop computer while we were in the car a few days ago. While playing a game that requires her to identify certain numbers, she was asked to push the button that had the number three on it. Since this is her current age, Lia declared, "I live right there," as she pushed the three. She then went on to ask me, "Where does Papa live?" (In other words, how old is Ron?) I responded that he lives at fourty-two. Needless to say, she got a little stumped as her keyboard only goes up to the number ten. Oh well, she'll figure it out eventually.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Family Reunion--Hawaiian Style

Well, we've all just returned from a fun filled week on the island of Maui where we spent our Spring Break with all twenty members of my immediate family. It was the trip of a lifetime as I don't think that my family will do something of this magnitude for years to come. We thoroughly enjoyed the balmy, warm weather, the beautiful beaches, incredible snorkeling, adventures on the Hana Road, a private hula lesson, some excellent Hawaiian food, and sleeping to the sound of the surf crashing each night. Lia had the time of her life with her "friends" (a.k.a. her cousins) and fell in love with the pool for the first time in her life. Here is a quick peak of our week in paradise...
This is the view of the beach outside our window the first morning we were there. *sigh*

The Hartland fam enjoying the pool...a place where we spent many hours during our time in Maui.

Lia leaping off of the edge of the pool into the arms of one of her favorite people: her grandpa.

Grandpa and granddaughter as happy as can be.

Brynn and Kelsey working on their latest sand creation on the beach outside our condo.

Chris and Callie hard at work.

The sunset outside our condo one night.

Since four members of my family all have birthdays around the time that we were in Hawaii, we decided to celebrate one night while we were there. Here are three of our birthday people, my parents and Bryce, blowing out their candles.

We enjoyed a few walks along the beach in the early mornings. Here is Lia with her darling, older cousin, Kelsey.

Three generations of beach-lovers.

We spent a day exploring some of the sites of the infamous Hana Road. Here we are going around one of the many turns on this road!

This is what children think of the Hana Road.

This is what happens when bored children get a hold of a camera while on the Hana Road.

More camera fun.

Ron and Lia posing in front of a spectacular waterfall we stopped to look at along the Hana Road.

Another waterfall that we hiked to from the Hana Road.

The three of us cooling down in the waterfall's pool.

We arranged for a private hula lesson one evening with some members of our church from the Kihei area. All of the "little girls" participated and had a great time. It was one of the cutest things I have ever seen.

Lia taking the "Pearly Shells" hula lesson very seriously!

My little wahine doing the hula.

Near the end of the hour-lesson, all of the mothers decided to join in on the hula fun! Here we are learning the "Going to the Hukilau" dance. Please notice Lia getting down in the front.

Some of the girls exploring the glorious plumeria tree outside our condo.

Ron and Lia on a sunset walk.

Lia and her girl cousins!

A family pic at the "Dumps" before some morning snorkeling. Ron and I both saw several turtles and an eel and I even saw an octopus!

Brent and his fam heading out for some snorkeling.

Spencer entertaining Lia back on the shore while we were out in the water.

Ron and Lia at La Perouse Bay.

The Hartland Fam broke away from the group one night to attend a luau up in Lahaina. Here we are before diving into our feast!

A Tahitian dance performed during our luau.

A beautiful solo hula that was performed as the sun was setting.

Lia posing with two of the dancers after the show.

The three of us at a beautiful beach one afternoon in Makena.

Ron at sea.

Lia doing what she does best on the beach.

One day, we went to a beach in Kihei and rented some surfboards for the morning. Here is Kelsey getting the ride of her life. It was so much fun!

Mae Mae entertaining Lia while the surfing was going on.

No trip to Hawaii is complete without some 'shave ice' with vanilla ice cream. Here I am introducing this local delicacy to Lia out on our lanai.

The girls giving us a final pose on our last evening there.

All of the cousins lined up in a row (except Riley who was too busy throwing a tantrum). Oh dear.

We stopped at the infameous Ho'okipa Beach on our way to the airport on our last day there to watch the maniac windsurfers defy nature!

Thank you, Hawaii, for a glorious week!