December 29, 2009

Catching Up

Poor, neglected blog.  How unfaithful I've been.  I'd promise to end that cycle, but, well--we've all heard that line before. :p

Just wanted to do a quick catch-up, in the off-chance that some still check in here.  In short, it has been a busy few months:

September: Lots of birthdays.

October: Still more birthdays, and a visit from my dad, his sisters and their kiddos, and my sister and her girls.  It was a blissfully full house, and we all still like each other. :D 

The girls also started homeschooling during this month.  The verdict is still out on the curriculm itself, but I truly love having the girls home, and being so directly involved in their education.  I've learned much about them during this time; kind of shameful, my, learn, and do better.

November:  A trip home.  We were able to make it to convention, and then enjoyed a couple weeks on the Big Island.  Spent enough time at the beach to reassure me that my girls are, indeed, part Hawaiian, and would actually be brown if we lived in a sunshiney place.  We were able to spend time with a few that we hadn't been able to see on our past visits home--so nice.  Went out with Mom and Aunty Lou to see the lava flow; couldn't get as close as we'd hoped, but it was still good to spend time with them. 

Our trip was extended unexpectedly, as one of the old aunties passed away, and I wanted to be there for her funeral.  Daniel came home as originally scheduled, and the girls and I flew home a week later.  The flight home was smooth and uneventful--Digiplayers are a flying mother's greatest friend. :p 

Oy.  Let me not forget to mention Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Arnall's 10th anniversary!  It was a quiet evening, with dinner, a movie, a diamond, and a Harley.  Yep.  I got my bling; Dan got his mistress.  And we also all still like each other.  :D

December:  We got home a week before Christmas, which gave me minimal planning time for the holiday.  This turned out to be a good thing, as we had the simplest, sweetest Christmas ever.  I don't know when I decided Christmas had to be a huge production at my house; it surely never was while I was growing up.  This year, dinner was simple, gifts were simple, and we actually got to spend time just "hanging," as opposed to mom being in a frenzy in the kitchen, girls being in a frenzy with too many toys, and dad being in a frenzy, trying to assemble the whole ridiculous lot before somebody has a meltdown. :D  Ah, yes.  It was sweet.  We only wish we could have been with more family, but thankful to have Heather and Dan's dad join us.

Oh!  We also took the girls to Seattle to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker."  We had fantastic seats, and the girls loved it.  My favorite part was watching Malia's face--magical.

In closing, I'm including these pictures of Kiana's latest creation.  She is definitely a baker, and was further inspired by a cake artist friend of mine. :D  Happy Holidays to all, and wishing you the best in 2010!!!

August 26, 2009

Olympia 2009

Ah.  So much for my "daily snapshot" intentions. :p 

It has now been a few weeks since my last post, but they've been enjoyably busy weeks, so no complaints here, really.  We've enjoyed quality time with many friends, starting with a camping trip that Kiana accidentally deleted all evidence of on her camera--there were some tears after that little incident. :-(  Good times, but we sure wish we had proof of it--our first family camping trip ever! 

The camping trip was followed by two much-needed weekends at Olympia convention; good days, and we're looking forward to more when we get Hawaii convention in November!  (Not to sound greedy or anything....:-9 Yippee!)

Another self-portrait by Kiana. :D
The Little and the Middle.
With Ille and Aurora!
Friends old and new.
This next set of pictures may require a drum roll--know why? ;-9
Happy Wednesday!
(Also, thanks to Kat & Ille, whose pictures I...borrowed.;-9)

July 30, 2009

Revelry. With One "L."

In case you haven't noticed, I'm trying to do a better job of updating my blog. It occurred to me the other day that I really don't need to do monster posts every time I log on; just a snapshot or two of our day, to stay connected to our loved ones far away.
I say a snapshot or two, because that's about all I've got right now.
Today was kind of a busy day. Bethany took the girls over to Josh's house to revel in the joys of air-conditioning, while I braved the heat, not reveling in the insecurity of having the house appraised. :D I couldn't stand the pressure, and called on Jamie and Chantel to come hold my hand through it all--such good friends I have!!!!
After Daniel's early leave from work, we took the girls to the mall for a bit, to revel in the joys of air-conditioning as a family, before heading home, and reveling in the joys of a kiddy pool, complete with bubble-blowing, which is also a joy to be reveled in:
And now, the family is in bed, and I am sitting on the back deck, reveling in a late night cup of coffee I'll probably be regretting in 6 hours or so, and thoroughly enjoying the cool air of the night, and all of creation in general:

Man, I love it here.

How Proper Ladies Spend Their Days in 100 Degree Weather

In an air-conditioned teahouse, of course! :D

The girls and I joined Melanie and her girls for storytime at The Storybook Tea and Boutique in Manette yesterday--what a sweet little place! The girls enjoyed lemonade, stories, and playtime with the wonderful collection of puppets, dollhouses, and other toys just waiting to be discovered. She also has an amazing selection of dress-up things, available for playdates at the teahouse. Just being there made me feel dainty, and that's not a word most would associate with me! ;-9
You'll forgive the mediocre photography; I walk among professionals, so I'm developing a complex. Oh, well. Do what you can.

As you can see, it's a cozy and inviting little place:
Full of things you never knew you wanted:
A lot of the items in her store are created by moms in this area, so you'll find some really unique things; we found a few hair pretties we couldn't leave without.

Here is the owner and gracious hostess, Wendy, reading to the girls, on the floor, barefoot.
Just my style! :D

It was a fun way to spend a sweltering morning; looking forward to our next visit!

July 28, 2009

Dog Days

We're having some amazing weather here in the Pacific Northwest;
this Hawaiian is trying to remember how to live in the sun. The temps have, :D And I hear tomorrow will be the hottest day this week!
We survived today by hiding out in the movie theater this morning (thanks, Regal Cinema, for your free summer movie series!), and then cruised in our little kiddy pool in the afternoon.
Here are Mikela & Malia, finally cool enough to smile.

And Kiana, slaving over a hot stove. By choice. She makes excellent mac 'n cheese!
Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Quiet Time

Anya, Mikela, & Malia

Enjoying the sunset after dinner

At Kitsap Memorial Park.

(Photo courtesy of Kiana Re' :D)

July 25, 2009

So much to say, so little time...

Well, it's been a glorious summer, and there is much to share, but I don't have the drive to go through my pictures right now...:p. Will catch up this next week, I promise. :D

April 3, 2009

Seattle Aquarium

Well, this will probably aggravate my logical sensibilities, but the next few posts will NOT be ordered chronologically. (I feel a twitch coming on...). I'm feeling really guilty about my neglected blog, though, so figured I'd better start somewhere, and "somewhere" turns out to be today.

Today, I decided to brave the masses, and my people-phobia, and take the girls to the Seattle Aquarium. Let me tell you, that is a feat--I'm generally a homebody, and, when I do dare to venture out, I rarely leave home without my personal slave--I mean, husband. ;-9 Seriously, though, I never realized how spoiled I am until I go somewhere alone with the girls.

So, here are my lovelies, on the ferry to Seattle.

On the ferry ride over, I was arguing with myself as to whether an aquarium membership was really necessary--I mean, I've lived here for 13 years (!), and this was my first time to the aquarium, so of course I'd probably never even come again, blah, blah, blah. The debate was over as soon as I spotted the line, out the door, and down the sidewalk. Not having to wait in line--well, it felt kind of priceless. ;-9 And, really, we will have to go back on a day that 19 different schools are not field-tripping to the aquarium--it was crazy!

Here are my Observers at the Tidepool exhibit--they refused to touch!

The all-important Bathroom Break Photo Opp. Actually, I thought these tiles were super cool, and I wasn't the only one taking shots of the wall....:D

Outside by the...otters? Or were they seals? Notice the sunlight, pouring over their turned out to be a really pretty day.

Another seal tank.

Lucky shot--these guys weren't being all that cooperative, but can't say I blame them. I'm starting to feel a little guilty about this whole captivity-for-my-enjoyment thing.

A quick break on a cool bench.

If you look closely, you can see the otters snuggled up against the glass...

In the lobby of the Aquarium.

All for now!

March 15, 2009

It's Snowing. Again.

And since this is the 347 millionth snowfall we've had this winter, I no longer feel compelled to run outside, take a picture, and post it for all of my loyal readers, seeing as how you're already quite familiar with what 5 inches of snow on my minivan roof looks like, since I've posted it 346,999,999 times before.
The insanity stops here.
Really, I'm not as hateful towards the snow as it sounds; it's given me opportunity to sit here with a steaming cup of Peppermint Chocolate Soy, sift through the 20,057 pictures on my memory card, and decide which 5 are blog-worthy this morning. (I'm too impatient to upload any more than that, and I've got dirty laundry calling my name.)
Drum roll, please.....okay, not really. :)
Our Three Little Bears.
Malia was on a power trip for the rest of the day after getting to sit in
The BIG Chair.

Rocking out at Sky Church, at EMPSFM.
Seriously, it's wrong to feel this reverent when you enter a museum for rock stars,
but this place was very cool.

Back at home, the girls got to meet Ronald. If this was a video, Malia's shrieks would be the soundtrack; she lumps him in the same category with monsters, the boogeyman, and Chuck E. Cheese. ;-9

We get this look a lot these days...a sign of things to come, I fear.

If there's anything to cure my ills, skepticism, and grumpiness,
it's looking into these big brown eyes. (sigh....)

There's more, but this will be all for now. Happy Sunday!

January 26, 2009

Sorry, sports fans--I actually attempted to update prior to this, but blogger freaked out on me the last time I tried (it could have something to do with photo #5--yikes!), so here I am now. Just a few random photos of some time spent during December and January; you'll have to wait until inspiration strikes again for a decent post, but this will hold you over until then. :D

Snow Day! Daddy & the Girls

Island Mama, Snow Babies
This year, we got together at Jen & Adrian's place for our annual reverse-strip poker game. (Saying that just made me feel really old and boring.)

Jeff & Melanie

Richard & Christine

It's not hard to see why my husband fell for me.
(Or why blogger initially refused to upload this photo. ;-9)

Baby Finn!

During the first week of January, Daniel had a planning conference at the Great Wolf Lodge. He was lonely, so we went to keep him company. The girls had an awesome time, and I, as usual, took hardly any photos. Here are a couple I was able to scrounge up.

Playing checkers, waiting for pizza.

The wave pool. It was very cool, but, boy, do I miss Hapuna.

When we returned home, the girls took some time to practice their culinary skills.
Making pizza

Gingerbread houses in January

In closing, a short video of the girls in the snow: