Friday, March 31, 2017

Ella's Third Birthday!

We celebrated Ella's third birthday today with a fun beginning and end to the day.  We started off this morning with the kids and I eating waffles with whipped cream and strawberries in the dining room before rushing off to take Lia and Logan to school.  It was then just another day around the house until this evening when Lia and papa got home from school and my parents arrived from Issaquah.  The weather was actually nice enough for the kids to go outside and play with Ron and my mom for a few minutes while I finished up dinner.  We then ate a delicious dinner of roast beef and real mashed potatoes with all of the fixings in the dining room.  After opening gifts, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Ella before diving into her homemade Ariel cake that I had made earlier that day.  After watching her two, older siblings get to be the center of attention for their birthday parties in the last few weeks, Ella was more than happy to finally have a turn.  She was such a cute, little birthday girl today and thoroughly enjoyed all of her gifts and soaked up all of the attention.  Happy Birthday, Ella Avalon!  We sure love you to pieces!

Ella smiling at me before blowing out the single candle on her birthday waffles this morning.

Blowing away!

Ella's Ariel cake that I made for her.

Grandma and papa watching the birthday girl ride her bike.

Sweet Ella stopping to give me a smile.

Papa pushing Logan and Ella on the swings.

Ella changed and all ready for the party to start with her Merida dress and crown on.

The family gathered around the table during dinner.

Sweet Ella starting to open up her gifts.

Showing off her new Anna doll.

Lia, Logan, and mama helping Ella open her gifts.

Two adorable sisters.

Showing off Ella's new Anna gown from the movie, Frozen.

Logan was able to open up a belated birthday gift that had arrived the day before from Aunt Austin and Uncle Robbie.  Needless to say, he was absolutely thrilled and started jumping and screaming.  I just love how his belly is showing in this picture.

Logan (who had already put on his pirate costume before the party) ran upstairs to get the pirate ship we got him for his birthday so that he could play with both sets at the same time.

Ella and Lia ran upstairs after the gift opening was complete to play with Ella's new tea set on her bedroom floor.  

After getting Ella back downstairs, we sang "Happy Birthday" and watched her blow out the candles.

Lia had to help her out a bit.

Logan pretending to cut the cake with his pirate sword.  Such a funny boy.

My birthday girl enjoying her cake and ice cream.

And Logan doing the same!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Weekend Trip to Seabrook

A few months ago, I learned that Brent and Susie had decided to come out to Washington for their Spring Break and go to Seabrook to stay at Chris' beach house for part of the time.  When I went to look at my calendar, I realized that their trip to the ocean was at the same time that Lia's school district had a half day one day and no school the next day.  So, I quickly decided that we would join them at Seabrook along with my parents and Chris and his kids (minus Garrett who was on a scout camp out).  We haven't been there since Father's Day of 2014 when Ella was a newborn, so it was fun to go on this little road trip to the coast with my kiddos to be with my family.

Since it was a half day, we picked Lia up from school right at 12:45 and made it out to Seabrook by 3 p.m. as we were able to avoid the evening traffic.  After unpacking the car, the kids immediately wanted to change into swimsuits and hit the indoor pool before dinner.  Here are Ella and Logan heading into the pool.

After almost an entire school year of swim lessons, Logan has gotten really comfortable around the water as can be seen in this picture above.  He even started diving into the pool during this trip.

As always, Lia had the time of her life running around with her older cousins.  Here she is jumping into the pool with Sarah looking on.

Uncle Brent played a game with Logan that involved slapping the wet noodles on the surface of the pool.  Here is Logan trying to get Brent with them.

Logan carrying his noodles.

My little fish getting back into the water.

One of the reasons why Lia and Logan were so excited to go to Seabrook was so that they could sleep in the awesome, built-in bunk beds the first night we were there.  Here is Logan all dressed in his pajamas and ready for bed!

And Lia, too.

An outside shot of the adorable bunk bed room.

After breakfast on Friday, we headed out to the beach for the morning.  Here are the kids exploring the awesome tree stump house before walking to the beach.

Logan and the girls heading down the trail to the beach.

The kids had to stop and explore some of the amazing fairy and gnome houses that other children have built in the forest. 

True to Washington form, the beach was cold and windy that morning, but it wasn't we were grateful for that! The kids had a great time playing in the sand and in the surf.

Uncle Brent, Kelsey, Sarah, Lia, and Ella on the beach (Logan refused to be in the picture).

My girls and me.

Lia playing with a piece of drift wood.

Ella running wild in the dunes.

Logan writing his name in the sand.

The adorable "Pay the Troll Toll" sign found in the fairy/gnome forest on one side of the foot bridge.

Notice that some people have actually left money in the empty oyster shell.

The kids enjoying an afternoon snack in the kitchen.

In addition to going to the pool on Friday afternoon with grandpa, the kids kept busy by playing some games.  Here are Ella and Lia playing hide-the-thimble with Kelsey and Sarah.

After Chris' family arrived last Friday night, the cousins enjoyed being together on Saturday morning on the beach.  Here is a group shot I managed to get on the beach as they headed out to the water.  From left to right: Riley, Callie, Sarah, Lia, Logan, Ella, Kelsey, Trenton, and Brynn.

The cousins running out to the freezing water.

Lia screaming after feeling the water with her toes.

Logan and Ella stayed back on the dry sand to play with their beach toys.

I broke out our two kites Saturday morning and Ella had the funnest time running up and down the shore with one of them.  It was one of the cutest things I have ever seen to see this little two-year old running free on the beach with a kite trailing behind her.

Lia and Riley also joined in the fun with our other kite.

Lia running with a kite.

Logan playing with the sand.

The kids at play.

The classic shot I got of grandpa taking a nap on a piece of drift wood on the beach.  This is something that I have seen him do on numerous beaches throughout my life.  

After returning back to beach house for one last swim in the pool and a late lunch, the kids and I packed up and headed home to be with Ron before dinner time.  We had a wonderful two days at the coast and loved this quick trip we were able to take!