Monday, December 11, 2017

Thanksgiving Moments and More

We had a really relaxing Thanksgiving this year.
This is unusual for us because we have lots of family to share this holiday with, but things just worked out differently this time.

During Thanksgiving week, Jasper came over for a while and we made chocolate sugar cookies. The kids had fun decorating them.

Of course eating them was the best part.

Since our Thanksgiving day was pretty chill, I tried to give the kids some things to do to make it more special. Here they are standing by their grateful tree sporting their pilgrim hat and Indian headdress.

Some of their fall artwork.

The kids helped make our place card holders for dinner.

Mom and Dad spent the day with us. Everyone pile on for a golf cart ride!

Our new kitty addition. Meet Ringo.

This now makes three kitties for us.

Dancing fun!

Makes for a blurry picture but they sure had fun!

Family shot! Daddy was being silly.

Dinner was simple yet tasty.

Momma and Crosby got a haircut. We've got matching shirts too. Thanks Aunt Missy!

Someone figured out how to sit in the rocking chair. He even gets himself a book to look at.

He also figured out how to get up on these chairs. Thankfully he is good at getting down too. Look at that proud face!

This Thanksgiving was very enjoyable, and these last couple of weeks have been pleasant as well. Lots of fun times coming up!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Our Little Pumpkin Is 1!

It's official: Crosby is a one year old! I can't believe it's already been a year since we welcomed him to our family. He's been such a sweet little boy, and super smar too (I'm not biased at all).

We had a little celebration for him with a pumpkin/fall theme.

Our food table.

Pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cake balls, fall fruit dish.

We had chili and hot dogs, veggies, sweet potato chips, and popcorn.

I loved the backdrop, I had a hard time taking it down when it was over.

Family shot!

Our kiddos!

Aww sweet kisses.

Happy Birthday Crosby!
He didn't really know what to do with the candle.


Num Num!

All gone!


Brother and sister helped him out.

So did the rest of us.

Family and friends.

We all had a great time at his party, and look forward to watching him grow this next year!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Hawaii Adventure Part 2: The Farm

After our first week in Kona, Hawaii, we spent two weeks at Nick's parents' tea farm.

Their dog, Roscoe, is a huge, sweet dog. He and Crosby became good friends.

Nut cracking for days. Literally. We came home with about 20lbs of macadamia nuts. That's a lot of nuts.


Making chocolate covered macnuts with Poppy.

Scooter ride! Thanks Uncle Jeff for letting us ride!

Chillin' out in the yard. Gorgeous mountains in the background.

Piano banging! Ryder was very excited about getting to play on a piano.

Norfolk pine trees. These trees are soooo big! The needles can be super long!

Our first visit to the black sand beach.

We went hiking around some pools near the black sand beach.

Uncle Jeff showing Sabrina something neat.

A carpet of some kind of green plant. It was smooth and spongy.

There was one spot where a fresh water spring flowed into the salt water. It was so much colder than the salt water!

Visit to the green sand beach. After a bumpy ride over lava rock, we made it to this cove where the sand is made of a mineral called olivine, which makes it green.

The wave is coming!

The walls of these cliffs were covered with the green sand. The kids (and Poppy) had fun climbing up and sliding down. It may be hard to see in the pictures, but the sand really was quite green.

After that, we headed over to the southern most point in the United Stated. Here they have this opening to the ocean that flows underneath the cliffs. Nick insisted on climbing down inside (and taking the kids with him). I was a nervous wreck for the kids the whole time. It was beautiful though.

The cliffs at south point. It went down a ways.

Day trip back to Kona- kid free! Such a pretty drive.

On our way to Hilo for the day. We were going to hike to one waterfall, but after driving all the way up there, it was closed for construction. By the time we got somewhere the kids were going nuts (which was making Mama nuts).

Look who got his two top teeth!

Rainbow Falls. The mist from the waterfall creates the rainbow.

So beautiful.

Near the falls there are a lot of these Banyan trees growing. They are enormous.

They make for excellent forts!

It seems like almost every plant produces some kind of fruit in Hawaii. We got to try this one, which looks completely unappetizing, but actually tastes so good, like juicy fruit. I can't remember what it is called but it was so tasty.

We got to hike in a lava tube. There are no lights, so headlamps are a must, and pictures are pointless. It was neat to see all the lava formations.

Looking out from the lava tube.

We went out to Coconut Island in Hilo, which is kind of like a park. The kids got to play on this little beach until the rain that created that awesome rainbow caught up with us.

Sunset in Hilo.

Scooter date. We rode Jeff's scooter up on a mountain road to a nearby town.

Rainbow eucalyptus trees.

As we were coming back from our ride, we spotted a tortoise on the side of the road.

It turned out to be the neighbor's pet tortoise, but it was so cool to see one up close!

We spent a day at the Volcanoes National Park. Here the kids are checking out a tree form, where the lava formed around trees that have now died and decayed, leaving the form behind.

Steam vents. These were cool, but when the wind shifted it could get a little uncomfortable.

This was the closest we could get to an actual volcano without serious hiking. The kids weren't super impressed, they were hoping for lava.

We walked around on one of the lava flows in the park.

There is a lighted lava tube at the park that we visited. Ryder had so much fun he wanted to go through a second time.

We stuck around the park until it got dark, then went back up to view the lava. It was definitely worth being there at night. Not only did we get to see the glow, but got to see actual lava splurting up. This picture doesn't do it justice, but it was so cool. The kids got to see their lava.

Our second visit to the black sand beach was a more chillin' visit.

Behind the beach, there was this swampy garden area. There used to be a resort here, and I think this used to be a garden back then. There were these cool bridges here and there.

I don't know what kind of trees these were, but their roots were pretty cool.

The black sand beach is the place to view the sea turtles. The first time we went there were only 5, but this time there were 10!

Nick always has to catch something. The sand crabs at the black sand beach are - you guessed it- black!

On our way out we stopped at the southernmost restaurant in the U.S. to have some macnut pie. It was delicious.

There was so much we did in the two weeks we stayed there, we didn't come near to capturing all the moments. Next time we go I will try harder to keep that camera handy!

We had many fun excursion days, as well as many chillin' on the farm days. Ryder had to do some schoolwork while we there, which worked out great (yay homeschooling!).

The flight home was definitely tougher compared to the flight to Hawaii. We didn't have any grandparents with us, and we were flying during the night. Crosby did his share of screaming on both flights. It was enough to make me question whether I would go back until he's way bigger.

The older kids did great, they are such good travelers. Here Sabrina fell asleep on her tray.

Hawaii was an amazing adventure, one we will never forget, and one I hope we can revisit someday.