Monday, April 25, 2016

A Quick Trip to Missoula

Although I had played around with the idea of going to Missoula for Spencer's mission farewell, I eventually decided against it for a couple of reasons (Lia missing two days of school, having to pay for my own hotel room, too quick of a trip to travel with little ones, etc).  However, when the opportunity came up a week in advance to just take Lia and go with my parents for a quick, two-day trip, I jumped on it!  Lia was so excited when she learned that we were going on yet another mommy-daughter trip to see her Montana cousins who she loves!  We drove up to my parent's house Friday night so that we would be ready to leave with them super early the next morning.  We then drove 8.5 hours Saturday and turned around and drove 8.5 hours back on Sunday, but it ended up being so worth it!  Lia and I had the back seat of the car all to ourselves both directions and just had so much fun drawing pictures, playing games, and reading books.  In fact, we only watched one movie between the 17 hours total in the car.  Not bad if you ask me!  While in Montana, we had a great time being with Brent and his family at Spencer's farewell party Saturday night and also before church on Sunday morning.  It was wonderful to hear Spencer speak in sacrament meeting and to get to see him one more time before he leaves for Taiwan for two, long years.  I'm going to miss that kid so much, but I am so proud of him for taking this huge step.  Good Luck, Pencey!

When we first arrived in Missoula at 3 in the afternoon, we drove straight downtown to meet Brent's family at a carousel.  Lia immediately jumped on a horse with Kelsey and enjoyed going around a few times.

Sarah Mae waiting for the carousel to begin.

We then drove to our hotel and checked in.  After going for a swim in the pool with Lia, we got ready and headed up to Brent's house for dinner and Spencer's farewell party.  Here is Lia with her three older cousins out on their deck at the beginning of the party.

The older cousins teasing Lia!

After dinner, we ended up back outside with a bunch of the kids.  Here is Kelsey carrying Lia.


The kids playing a game of tag.

After tag, Jared and I began one of the funnest games of hide-and-go-seek in Brent's yard that I have played in a long time.  We played for over an hour and had so much fun finding crazy places to hide in his big backyard, shop, and garage.  In fact, Lia and I eventually started hiding in every unlocked car which was a great hiding spot since it was sprinkling and cold outside.  I think we did this five different times.  However, Kelsey won the award for most creative and hard-to-find spot by hiding IN the chicken coop WITH the chickens and all of their poop!  Here is Lia posing with her before she climbed out.

Jared had the idea of putting all of the kids (besides his daughter who was the one looking for us) in his car that had been locked the entire game for the final round of the evening.  It was so funny throwing all of these kids in the car as fast as we could before getting caught.  Here is a picture I snapped of the three rows of kids hiding behind us while we waited for Kiana to find us.

Wet and cold, Lia and I eventually rejoined the party around 9 p.m.  Here we are posing with Spencer and the grandparents.

I let Lia go swimming again on Sunday morning at the hotel before we got ready for church.  This time I convinced my dad to go in the pool with her.  Lia would seriously go swimming every single day of her life if I let her.

Two water lovers at heart!

Swimming around.

And leaping in!

We got to stay in this amazing hotel in Missoula that looks like a giant lodge.  The woodwork inside the hotel is incredible.  All of the hotel rooms have a door that leads out into the massive, indoor courtyard that overlooks the pool and the giant waterfall.

Some of the woodwork and beams on the ceiling.

Lia standing on one of the beautiful staircases.

The view from our hotel door.

After Spencer's talk at church, we gathered in the foyer for a group picture of both sides of the family who came out for his farewell.  Here we all are with the missionary-to-be in the middle.

Cute Spencer and his family.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Funny Moment

Every once in awhile, I think that I am privy to witnessing some of the funniest things because I am a mom.  And today was just one of those days.  We have been blessed with some 80 degree weather this week which is crazy for Western Washington in the middle of April.  But I will take it!  As a result, I decided to drag the kiddie pool out of the shed to fill up for the kids to use.  After I blew up the pool, I put the hose in it and expected the kids to play around on the playset or the sport's court while it filled up with water at which point I was planning on changing them into their swimsuits so they could play in the pool before lunch.  However, what I didn't expect to see was Logan and Ella immediately ripping off their clothes and jumping in the pool before it barely had an inch of water in it.  They then started jumping in and out of the pool over and over again.  It was so sudden and spontaneous that I just burst out laughing.  It was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time.  I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped a few pictures of these two kiddos going wild in their birthday suits.  All I have to say is bring on summer!

A wild Ella literally falling out of the pool and onto the grass!

I attempted to get Ella and Logan to stop and pose for one picture several times, but they were so busy moving that it never happened.  This was the best I could get.

Ella sliding out again.

Ella crash landing while Logan leaps out!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Lia's First Softball Game

After a month of practices, we ventured out tonight for Lia's first softball game at a nearby elementary schools.  As with both soccer and basketball, this has really been the year of Lia just learning the basics of these three, team sports.  However, since I never played this sport growing up, I had no idea how much more complicated and involved softball was compared to soccer and basketball.  There is so much more to learn and so much more equipment to buy!  Good grief.  Luckily, Lia's fabulous basketball coach decided to also coach a softball team for one of the little league organizations in our town.  So, Lia joined this team with a bunch of girls from her basketball team in addition to her good friend, Mollie.  She has worked really hard the past few weeks to learn the basics of catching, throwing, and hitting the ball.  Besides hurting her finger really bad one night at practice, Lia has really enjoyed the experience and has already said that she wants to play again next year.  Here are some pics of Lia's first game!

Lia up to bat next!

Getting ready!

Swinging away at the ball!

Logan loved running back and forth between the school's playground and me all evening long.  I was just grateful as it kept him happy for almost two hours.  Here is my cute kid running back to check in with me.

At one point, the coach decided to let Lia play catcher which involved wearing some serious equipment.  I couldn't get over how cute she looked.  Here is Lia waiting to catch the ball.

Both Logan and Ella followed me over while I took some pictures to take a gander at their big sis all dressed up in scome crazy clothes.  Here is Logan staring at her...

and little Ella, too!

Lia's team, the Sun Devils, congratulating their opponments after the game was over.

Lia and the rest of her teammates running off the field for the huddle.

Lia giving me a cute smile while listening to her coach.

Finishing off the huddle with a team cheer!

The huddle breaking to head home.

My cute softball player striking a pose!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Playing Around...

This afternoon while hanging out together, Ella found an empty bag I had laying on the kitchen floor and somehow managed to sit inside of it.  We just thought it was the funniest thing as she looked so cute with her little head poking out of the top of it.  Lia then swooped in, grabbed the bag's straps, and started carrying Ella around the house like she was produce from the grocery store.  Ella just sat inside the bag and went for the ride without making a peep.  It was so funny!  Here are some pictures I managed to take before our bag-fun ended.

Lia carrying Ella around.  Look at Ella's serious face!

Lia getting fancy and spinning Ella around on the floor.

And some more spinning.

A close-up of my darling, blue-eyed girl.

Logan insisted on having his picture taken while making one of his many strange poses for the camera.

All three darling kiddos posing for a picture (which doesn't happen that often).

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ella's Two-Year Photos

During Logan's preschool today, I took my sweet, baby girl in for her two-year photos.  Ella actually did a great job for the photographer and produced several stellar photos for me to choose from.  I just can't get over how adorable and grown-up she looks in these pictures.  Her hair is getting so long, too!  I just love my Ellie Bellie!