Wednesday, October 14, 2009

hawaii...still catching up from july...

(I have spent at least 45 minutes trying to get the pictures to stay with the right stories, but no matter what I do when I publish it gets all I apologize...I can't seem to figure out how to get it right...frustrating!)
July 9th through the 18th we headed out on an awesome 9 days of sun and sand in Maui with my parents and grandparents. Levi's brother Nolan and fiance Morgan happened to be there at the same time for a wedding and we were thrilled to have time with them as well.

The girls did awesome on the plane. I packed goody bags for each of them filled with new toys, books, sticker books, and coloring pages. We had tones of snacks and the DVD player with a few new movies...needless to say they had plenty to keep them occupied the 5 hour flight!

We spent the first three days at Napilli Bay and the rest of the time in Kehei. We had a great time with the girls and our family. The week was fabulous...we spent most of our time snorkeling, boogie boarding, playing in the sand, and swimming at the pool.

My Highlights:

Watching Ezri overcome her fear of the ocean; the first day she wouldn't get near the waves, but by the end of our time she was splashing in the them.

Ezri and Eden discovering they can float and swim around on their own in the pool using their puddle jumpers! (Ezri tends to be on the nervous side and wouldn't let go of the wall or put her face in the water, after all our time in the water she was jumping in on her own, holding her breath and dunking under. Eden is pretty fearless and reminded me of a little otter, floating around with her little toes poking out of the water.)

Breakfast at the Gazeebo. The Gazeebo is a restaurant on Napilli Bay that only serves breakfast and lunch. They make incredible food. We had amazing pancakes with white chocolate and macadamia nuts. And we discovered how amazing papaya is if you put a little lemon juice on it. The Gazebo is so popular that people start lining up early and it can often be an hour wait. Dad wen down and got in line around 7:15 so we could eat at 8:ooam or so. So worth the wait...incredible scenery and delicious food!



Levi's birthday dinner at Bubba Gumps. We flew into Maui on Levi's 29th birthday and celebrated the next night at one of his favorite restaurants...Bubba Gumps. We told them that it was his birthday and they stopped the music in the restaurant had Levi shake his booty for his dessert, and then sang him happy birthday...we were belly laughing...nothing like watching your husband shake it in front of a room full of people :0)

Snorkeling in general is one of my favorite things and it was so fun to do with the whole fam. But my snorkeling highlight was going with Dad and Levi in a bay just around the corner from Napilli Bay. (Mom was gracious enough to watch the girls). This bay was more private, with homes and what not and a little harder to get in the water off of rocks, but so worth it. We were surrounded by Sea Turtles...there had to be a least 10 or more just resting on the bottom of the bay or swimming up to the surface. There were so many that at times there would be one behind you and you'd never even notice. We saw small ones and huge ones with barnacles growing on their faces. God's creation is magnificent and experiencing the underwater world He has made was priceless!

Three dates. Wow! Having my wonderful parents with us, they let Levi and I escape on some dates. We were able to spend one evening with Morgan and Nolan...we had a blast. We ate a Cheeseburger in Paradise at a table in the sand and listened to live music. When we were done with dinner we walked around Whalers Village. I love spending time with those two...we're so thankful to have them in our lives...we wish they lived closer :o). Levi and I also went snorkeling one morning together which was fun, Levi heard people saying they saw and octopus, so from that point on he was a man on a mission...oh how I love him! The two of us were also able to go out one evening for dinner and some shopping, with kiddos sometimes you forget how nice it is to just have time together.

The Luau! We decided our one big treat would be to take the girls to a Luau. We decided to go all out considering your not in Hawaii very often and when would we have the chance to take the girls to a Hawaiian Luau in Hawaii we chose the the Hyatt's Drum's of the Pacific. We went ahead and bought the VIP seating because we wanted to be able to eat first and be in the front with the was worth every penny! The girls LOVED it. Eden especially, she even went up on stage and learned a was super cute! The show was amazing. One of the dances the men stick our their tongues and Eden just thought that was so funny and for the rest of the evening was doing the same. She stood on my lap and danced most of the show! We had a great family sitting with us from Tennessee and the girls immediately attached themselves to them, and Ezri sat with them for part of the show! It's just so fun to watch things through your kids eyes and this was one of those times.

Watching Papa boogie board. Our last day in Maui we decided we'd done enough snorkeling and just wanted to get some good boogie boarding in...which we did and my Papa even joined us at age 75! I don't think I've ever seen Papa just play like that and it was so fun to be out in the water with him and watch him figure out the science to catching a wave! He was in the water for at least 2 hours if not more! We all had turns out in the water with him and it will forever be one of my favorite memories of Papa!

Dad and the snorkels. This probably won't seem funny to anyone else, but I had been having troubles with my mask snorkeling and so Mom let me use hers. Dad was trying to figure out whose gear was whose and no matter how I explained that I had my snorkel and Mom's mask and Mom had my mask and her wasn't anyway it gave me a serious case of the giggles! I was laughing so hard I was crying!

Happy Birthday to Fluffy Face. One of the nights Levi and I were out, my parents and grandparents stayed and made dinner at the condo and went swimming with the girls. For those you who know Ezri well, she loves the spotlight and to be in charge. She had managed to captivate my parents and Papa and Grandma and created a whole birthday party for her purple puppy she named Fluffy Face. She has found scraps of paper for tickets and had everyone deliver their ticket at the party, made a cake out of something, and had everyone sing happy birthday! I love the way my family loves my girls!

Going to the aquarium. My parents and grandparents went to a show one evening and so we decided to take the girls to the Aquarium. The girls really enjoyed it and it was so fun to show them all the amazing fish we had been enjoying snorkeling. They also have an exhibit that is an underwater tunnel where fish, sharks, and rays are swimming above and below you feel like you're underwater.

Overall just being together! We are truly blessed by a wonderful family and I loved experiencing the beauty of Maui with them! What a priceless memory we created being in paradise with so many people you love!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

my sweet ezri shannon

my heart is so full and proud right now of my little girl! we've been struggling a bit with ezri and some of her dramatic attitude lately, but in between the tantrums there are always those precious moments where you see your little babe shine.

we had a little adventure to yakima today...on a hunt for tulle and sparkles to make tutu' fun! ezri was a great helper, but we left a huge mess at home. i told her we'd have to tackle it together when we got home. normally i would be facing a crying 4 year old who is too tired or misses daddy or has an name the excuse, but today she walked right in the door, headed to the playroom and began cleaning. she cleaned way more than i asked and then went on to make her bed, mommy and daddy's bed, and deliver the clean laundry piles.

once done with her chores she gathered up her little sis and some books. she hoisted eden into what we call the "cozy chair" (daddy's recliner) and the two of them are currently reading books together!

i never can believe how much love my heart holds for those two little e's of mine, but when you see glimpses of the girls God has designed them to be it just makes think i'm going to burst! thank you Lord for the beautiful and loving heart you have given ezri. bless her as she seeks to bless others. continue to cultivate and grow her into the young women you desire for her to be!

i love and treasure you ezzy bee!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

4th of july

So going in order catching up July through September...I'll start with the 4th of July!
This year was a bit unusual for us, we were just home without any big plans and it was really great! We started off the morning doing a 5k run (I believe they called the Firecracker run) at a park in town, as a family! Our friends, the Holt family, did it with us as well! I made Levi promise to stay with me the whole time and we pushed the girls in the stroller. I think it was a little bit of torture for Levi and his competitive nature to just run for fun! Needless to say, the last stretch of the run I told him to go ahead and finish at his pace...he regained a little of his dignity and passed the remaining few in front of us! I was just thrilled to have finished and enjoyed the family adventure!
After our run, we went to a pancake breakfast at the Fire yummy...and the girls got to sit inside a firetruck which was a highlight. We cruised the farmers market from there and then went home to enjoy the afternoon!
We made burgers for dinner, just the four of us, and then got cleaned up and headed to the park for the 4th festivities the city offers (after a quick ice cream stop). The girls wore their shirts and hair clips we made the day before with our small group friends...too cute. Ezri and Eden got their faces painted, Eden jumped in the bouncy toys (not Ezri's thing), they made silly hats, were given glow necklaces, and played with friends! We didn't stay for the fireworks show, but had a great view from our front yard. Eden fell asleep wrapped in a blanket in my lap watching and for the first time Ezri really enjoyed the show...without any nervousness! All in all it was a great day!

Yeah! We did it!

Katie, Tristen, and Emily Holt with Ezri (Curtis and Eden didn't want to be in the picture)

Look at my tummy!

Our sweet babes!

Friday, October 2, 2009

catching up

Hello blog land...we're still alive and have had a fun and full summer. I've just been terrible about keeping updated! I'm hoping to catch up this weekend with all of July, August and September. Fall is in full swing- Levi is back to school and coaching (go Bulldogs, they're having a great season). I've started teaching preschool and the girls and I are beginning to adjust to our new schedule! I have felt so contented this fall and so full of thankfulness for all the Lord has provided! I'm looking forward to catching everyone up soon!