Friday, December 27, 2013

Merida Comes to Life!

For months now, Lia has wished that she owned the Brave movie and Merida's bow and arrow set.  Occasionally, we would borrow the movie from friends and Lia would pretend to be Merida while watching the movie and ride her horse (the couch's arm) and shoot arrows (a stick) from a bow that she had rigged out of a wooden pole and yarn.  So, you can imagine her absolute excitement when she got the real bow and arrow set and the movie from Santa this week.  It has been so fun to watch Lia shoot arrows all over the house the past two days.  She really has gotten quite good.  And I just had to grab my camera  and take a picture yesterday morning when I looked into the family room and found her shooting her bow and arrow from atop her "horse" while watching the opening scene in Brave when Merida is doing the same thing!  Oh, how I just love this little girl's imagination!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Report

We wrapped up another Christmas yesterday and I am happy to say that this was the first one in three years that Lia didn't have an awful case of the flu over the holiday season.  Hooray!  Everyone was actually healthy which I was super grateful for.  This was also a special Christmas as it was the first one that Logan was able to really enjoy and appreciate.  We spent Christmas Eve at my parents with Eric's family.  As always, my mom had prepared a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings.  I just love going to my parents' home on this night.  It really feels and smells like Christmas when I walk through their door.  Afterwards, we had our little Christmas program with the reenactment of the nativity story, the lighting of the Christmas tree, and the singing of several Christmas carols.  We then spent a wonderful Christmas morning at our house--first seeing what Santa brought the children before stopping for a fancy breakfast in the dining room and then gift opening by the tree.  Lia loved all of her Merida, mermaid, and princess gifts.  Logan LOVED his Elmo gifts and his cars and trucks.  We then had a few slow hours before Ron and I worked in the kitchen for quite some time preparing a Filipino feast of rice, lumpia, sinigang, adobo, and dinuguan.  This is a tradition that I started last year and hope to continue for the years to come as it is my way of incorporating Ron's past into our holiday.  We then were joined by my mom (my dad stayed home with a brand new cold) and Eric's family again for more feasting and visiting and cousin-play-time for Lia.  And that sums up our Christmas 2013.  It's hard to believe that we will have another member of our family joining us next year.  So exciting!

Logan insisted on going down to the basement of my parents' home the second we arrived to play with grandpa's Lionel trains.  Lia joined them for awhile, too.

The man that makes all of the choo choo magic with my two kiddos.

Bryce joined us the second he arrived.

The Hartland fam in front of my parent's tree.

Our smaller group reenacting the nativity story.
Lia got to play Mary this year for the first time ever and she was very excited about that!

Our annual German tradition (from my father's side of the family) of lighting the Christmas tree with real candles.  It's always so beautiful and peaceful.
Grandpa helping Logan blow out a candle.

Logan playing with two of his favorite toys on Christmas morning--his stuffed Elmo and remote control truck.

Papa helping Logan open a gift.
Papa showing Logan one of the Elmo board books he received. 

Lia and I getting ready to open another gift.

Thanks to the book, Fancy Nancy and the Splendiferous Christmas, Lia got the idea to make her American Girl Doll, Mirabella, a bunch of gifts and wrap them.  We did all of this the day before Christmas Eve as it was the first chance that I had the time to work on this project.  One of the gifts included a quilt that I actually even tied with pink yarn.  It turned out really cute.  So, here is Lia opening up the gift bag with all of the presents while Mirabella looks on.

My two precious children, Logan's new best friend, Elmo, and me at the completion of the gift opening.  What a fun morning!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Grandma-Mommy-Daughter Date to the Nutcracker

Last year, I decided that it would be fun to take Lia to see The Nutcracker ballet every December.  After doing a little research, I learned that there were several ballet schools in the area that put on this ballet for a much more reasonable price than the professional company in Seattle.  Although I cannot wait to take Lia to the "real" thing when she is older, we enjoyed going to see the Evergreen City Ballet's performance today with my mom.  Besides getting restless the last few minutes, Lia loved every moment of it...asking me questions the entire time, oohing and ahhing over the costumes, gasping at the snowflakes falling down onto the stage, and applauding with total enthusiasm after every number.  I just love watching her watch these kind of performances.  It is such a sweet experience!

Three generations of ballet lovers.

Lia got to meet several of the dancers and have her picture taken with them after the performance.  Here she is posing with Clara, the lead Spanish dancer, and the Nutcracker.

Friday, December 20, 2013

There's No Day Like A Snow Day!

We woke up this morning to a light snow fall and learned that Lia's school district had called in a two-hour delay.  As a result, all morning kindergarten was cancelled which means that Lia had her first, official "snow day!"  Although I was disappointed that she was going to miss her class party and gingerbread man scavenger hunt around the school, I was also excited because it meant that the three of us could go outside and play in the snow before the rains came and washed it away!  So we bundled up and headed out into our backyard for some fun in the snow.  We actually lasted 40 minutes before the kids were ready to go back inside for some hot cocoa and homemade Christmas cookies.  I'd say this was a pretty good start to Lia's Christmas vacation!

The cutest snow bunny ever checking out the "no" (how Logan says "snow).

Lia and Logan enjoying the snow.

Lia anxiously awaiting her first sled ride through the yard (she informed me that I was the horse that would pull her--lucky me).

Siblings enjoying the ride!

After a three month hiatus, Logan was anxious to get back up on the play set for a few minutes.
Lia testing out the slide covered in a layer of snow with Logan looking on.

.Cute girl with no gloves on (she refused to wear them until the last five minutes...oh, brother).

Lia running through the backyard!

Logan insisted on trying out his trike on the snow covered sport's court.

Of course, Lia was quick to follow!

Logan lost it right as I was taking the cute sibling picture of the morning.  Oh well.  At least, you get the idea.  We headed in for cookies right after this and he immediately perked up!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Liaism in the Kitchen

It has been quite sometime since I have recorded a Liaism, but she said something yesterday that was so funny that I just had to write it down!  While Logan was taking his afternoon nap, Lia was helping me back some Christmas cookies.  As always, Lia was standing on her chair with her big, white spoon in hand ready and waiting to mix each new ingredient that I added to the bowl.  When I cracked open two eggs and dropped them in, Lia said with great enthusiasm:

"Yeah, I love eggs!  I love chasing them like a mermaid chases her husband under water!" 

Besides the fact that this comment is totally hilarious, I loved it because of how it combined Lia's knack for using descriptive vocabulary with her love of mermaids.  Apparently she loves stirring eggs into batter because they are so slippery and are hard to break up and mix in with the other ingredients.  Hence her description of "chasing" the eggs.  In addition, I loved how she compared this mixing action to a mermaid chasing her husband under water (who she later explained had fallen off of a boat...which is actually a scene from one of her favorite mermaid movies, Fish Tales).  Oh this girl, I just love her to pieces! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Bump Is Here!

I had good intentions of posting baby bump pictures the same weeks that I did during Logan's pregnancy so that I could compare apples to apples (or should I say bumps to bumps), but I'm off by a week due to one of the craziest weekends last week that all started with Ron drilling a hole through one of our water pipes while hanging our new T.V.  But, I digress.  Anyways, instead of posting a 22-week picture of me, a 23-week picture is going to have to do!  I am definitely bigger with this pregnancy than I was with my first two that were basically the same in the growing belly department.  It will be interesting to see how large I am by the end.  Regardless, right now is my favorite time being pregnant because I no longer have any of those typical, "first trimester symptoms," and am not big enough to be uncomfortable.  So, here's to a few more of those wonderful weeks!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

22 Months Old!

Our busy body turned 22 months old today!  Time is going so quickly these days.  We have had such a fun month with Logan as he has started saying and doing so many new things.  For starters, this boy's vocabulary development has finally taken off.  He is on fire!  He now "parrots" so many words that we say AND will just start saying a word on his own that he has heard us use over and over again.  I have tried to keep a running list of all of his new words, but I'm sure that I have missed some.  This is what I have for the past month:  light, paint, brush, chopstick (if you don't believe me, just look at what he is holding in the picture), out, boo, duck, fork, pen, blank (for blanket), seal, no, candle, nana (for banana), choo choo, whale, pee, phone, spoon, sock, hat, dad, knife, dirty, amen (after prayers), heavy, noise, help, Elmo, food, Nemo, nunny (for bunny), one, two, three, four, five, big, ice cream, dog, bus, tag, Jesus, yo yo (for yogurt), rock, keys, snow, scissors, smoke, hammer, movie, people, jacket, dark, walk, bag, and box.  Feeeyoooh!  That's quite a list.  In addition, Logan has become fascinated with his sister and says her name ALL the time (ee-yah instead of Lia).  He always calls for her, asks for her when she is not around, or says her name over and over whenever we drop her off at school or at a lesson.  Logan taught himself how to do somersaults and has discovered how to turn on the stereo in his room and does it constantly followed by some dancing.  He still loves having books read to him every day and now insists that I read to him after he wakes up in the morning, before his nap, before bed time, and one or two other times throughout the day if he gets his way. It's pretty unreal.  Logan also loves playing peek-a-boo with his blanket and has fallen in LOVE with Elmo and all things Sesame Street!  He loves watching his Elmo movie, listening to his Elmo music, reading his Elmo books, and points him out whenever he spots pictures of him.  It is so cute!  Our boy is definitely growing up!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Journey to Bethlehem

Last December I learned about an amazing live nativity put on by an Adventist church in a neighboring town the weekend it was being held.  As a result, it was too late to get the free tickets for admission, but was luckily able to reserve them in time for this holiday season.  Tonight, Ron, the kids, and I all bundled up and braved the freezing weather to make this incredible journey through Bethlehem.  The church did an amazing job recreating the nativity story and I especially appreciated having it brought to life for Lia.  In fact, at one point, one of the actors slipped her a golden coin and told her to hide it from the Roman guards.  Later on in the journey, Lia whispered to me that we needed to hide our coins "from the Roman."  So cute!  It was a wonderful way to remember the true reason for the season!

The kids and I beginning our journey through Bethlehem.

Cute, bundled up Logie giving me his "cheese" smile.  He especially loved all of the live animals we encountered through the tour.

We got to see the wise men,

live camels,

a bustling market place in Bethlehem,

cranky inn keepers,

wicked tax collectors,

angels on high,

and most especially a LIVE baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Freezing Parade Fun!

Months ago, Lia and I learned that her Girl Scout troop was going to participate in the annual Santa Parade in our town.  We were both thrilled about this especially since we watch this Christmas parade every year and love it!  However, as the week finally approached and I heard the weather forecast, I began to not be so excited.  A toasty high of 30 degrees was predicted with a low of 12 degrees on the day of the parade.  YIKES!!  But Lia and I decided to brave it anyways, bundled up, and left our boys at home.  My car's thermometer read 26 degrees driving down to the parade and 22 degrees on the way home, but we survived and actually had a great time.  However, I must admit that a toasty warm bath did feel mighty good after getting the kiddos to bed tonight. I think that my toes have finally recovered.

Lia with her two other fellow Daisies, Addison and Mila, all bundled up in blankets waiting for the parade to begin.  The girls got to ride on the trailer while the parents walked along side.

Some of the girls posing just as they turned on the lights on the trailer!  So festive and pretty!

Lia's Girl Scout troop ready to go!

Just as we were lining up to leave, Mr. and Mrs. Claus drove by in the beautiful, antique fire truck that they ride every year.

Lia and her buddies waving to the crowd as we cruised down Meridian Avenue.

What a fun way to spend a Saturday evening!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Done, Part 2

Well, we did it.  Last night, Lia and I finished reading the second Harry Potter book in two months.  It's hard to believe that we started all of this at the beginning of August and look how far we've come.  It really has been an enjoyable experience sharing these two novels with Lia.  She has understood so much and learned a lot about the wizarding world!  However, I must admit, that I am ready to get back to reading a few of her short books each night.  As silly as it may sound, I've actually missed Fancy Nancy!  :-)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Painting Mania!

I will be the first to admit that the months of October and November have been exhausting ones in the Hartland.  Why?  Because Ron and I have each been painting an entire floor of our new home in addition to keeping up with everything else in our lives.  Ron has been repainting the entire main floor the same beige color that was already on the walls strictly to cover up all of the marks, nicks, dings, and scratches left by the previous owners' wonderful four sons.  UGH.  I have never in my life seen walls as bad as these.  I, on the other hand, have been painting five of the six rooms upstairs with the help of my mom in all the colors from our previous home's bedrooms and bathrooms.  It's been like a bad case of deja-vu to have to repaint a second set of rooms the same colors.  Regardless, we powered through it and both finished up our areas this past week.  Halelujah!  I am ready for a break and to just get back to my "normal" life in time for the not-so-normal holiday season.  And before Ron rinsed out his last paint brush this past Friday, I had to get a picture of the CRAZY, tall walls that he had to paint in our foyer, living room, and stairway.  Some of these walls reach 20 feet and, thanks to our friend's ladders, he was able to do it all on his own and luckily didn't break his neck in the process.  Thank heavens!