Friday, March 30, 2012

disney on ice...

was lots of fun for jack, nana, and myself.  (no olivia this year, kindergarten sometimes gets in the way of these things.)  once again this year our "hot tots" playgroup had the opportunity to go to the show.  not only is it fun to be surrounded by your friends and their kids, but the tickets are SUPER reasonably priced so we can't pass up the chance to go.  :)  this year the theme of the show was VERY princess heavy, but that didn't stop jack from loving it.  he knows that where ever a princess is, there is a handsome brave prince (with a sword) not far behind.  :)

before the show began nana let jack choose a sword to take home as souvenir.

nana and jack
had to get one pic with my sweet boy, and of course the sword is with us too.

then it was time for the show...
rapunzel "flying" through the air using her hair.  
tiana dancing with her prince

cinderella dancing with her prince charming
mickey and minnie all dressed up for the royal show

jack LOVED the silly jazz playin' alligator

Thursday, March 29, 2012

i heart family photos...

especially when taken in beautiful kaua'i, hawaii.  these are some of my favorites from our photo session...
our little family

the fifers

pop and b

the whole fam

my gorgeous nieces

jack and olivia

 cousins and the best of friends

crazy christman :)

pure joy

sebastian and fawne from sea light studios were so much fun and made taking these pictures one of the highlights of the trip.  their talent for capturing our personalities and the love we all share for one another is a true gift.   these are pictures i will treasure for a lifetime.

Monday, March 19, 2012

a featured artist...

our olivia!!!  olivia's artwork was chosen by her art teacher out of all the kindergarten students at her school and was on display at the public library.  of course, she was critical of her work telling us how she could have made it better, but very proud of herself at the same time.

the proud artist
the piece.  she used oil pastels, crayons, and watercolors to create this piece.
we are so incredibly proud of the hard work and effort that olivia shows in all things that she does, especially at school.  art is definitely something she loves, so to be recognized in that area is extra special for her.  she is still dreaming of being an artist one day ("the kind that sits in the park and paints"- her words) so this is a good start in that direction.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

hawaii highlights...

there is no way for me to really capture in words or pictures everything that we did on our hawaiian vacation.  it was so much fun and very action packed.  sarah and i tag teamed when it came to snapping pictures, so you can check out her blog if you want to see a few more pics from our trip.  here are some of my favorite pictures and memories from our amazing trip...

waking up to this view after one the best night's sleep i have ever had!!

we went to this local favorite for a yummy breakfast our first morning.  it was de-lish!! :)
we went whale watching.  it was fun until 6 of the 10 of our family got sick.  :(  the next several pictures were all taken before the seasickness began.  pop, christman, steph, and jack were the lucky ones.
whale watching with my beautiful nieces, abby and kingsley.
jack-jack. he loved the boat ride.

mark and me.
one morning the girls, rara, and myself all went down to the lobby and learned how to make traditional leis.  it was fun!
one the best parts of the trip was just watching these smiles reappear on their faces constantly. :)
 olivia REALLY wanted see a real waterfall.  i think she wanted to swim near one, but this one was too powerful for that.  we drove up to this one.  it was gorgeous and she was satisfied.  
you can't go to hawaii and not have some hawaiian shaved ice!  yummy!!
it was a big as jack's head, but of course we did a pretty good job of  eating them up.

so those are just some of my favorite moments from our week in paradise.  sarah shares her perspective and some more of the fun we had on her blog.  check it out here.  i am so grateful for this trip and to have shared it with my bowlin and fifer family.  the memories we made we will have for a lifetime and the bound that we have is truly one of my greatest joys.  when i think about hawaii, i will think of:  the palm trees blowing in wind and lulling me to sleep each night, driving around the island and seeing beauty in every direction, playing in the ocean with the kids, tubing through caves, hanging out at our amazing hotel, playing at the pool, a luau where everyone was completely exhausted, roosters and chickens everywhere, family pictures on the beach, and every smile along the way.  what a trip!!

aloha (good-bye) kauai!!  hope to experience you again one day.  
mahalo (thank you) to b and pop for this amazing trip!!  

Friday, March 9, 2012

and we are off...

our journey to paradise begins.  we picked olivia up from school and headed over to b and pop's house.  the kids were bouncing off the walls with excitement, and i have to admit i was pretty thrilled too.  our hawaii vacation was finally going to happen.  we loaded down the car and we were off to the airport.  there we met up with mark (he was coming from a meeting.  of course, he worked up to the very last minute) and the fifers.  i didn't get any pictures of our LARGE family hauling our load through the airport or security, but let me assure you it was a TON of stuff.  i did snap a picture of the kids "carry-on" bags.  that would be 4 backpacks, 4 american girl dolls, and 2 personalized travel pillows.
of course, moonbeam, created a little something special for o and j to use during the long journey.   these travel pillows were perfect and super soft and cozy!!

once through security we all took a deep breath! (funny story-- because i wear a VERY supportive underwire bra, i kept setting off the metal detectors.  funny now, annoying and somewhat embarrassing at the time.  but because of that,  i had to get a VERY thorough pat-down to clear security.  again, funny now, a bit annoying and very much an invasion of my personal space at the time.).  we then grabbed some lunch and then found our gate so we could board the plan to LAX.

olivia and b were plane buddies on plane #1.
jack made sure to review the safety briefing card before we took off.  he was my travel buddy the whole time.  :)
about three hours later we landed in LA and had a nice long (4 hours) layover there.  the kids played in the terminal, and once again we ate, this time dinner.  (priorities people!!)

cousins hanging out, giggling over some mad libs
finally it was time to board the plane #2.  this time when we landed (6 hours later) we would be in our final destination- kauai!!  we were all smiles and so excited that we were almost there.
plane #2.  all the girls got to sit together.  they were very excited about this sitting arrangement. 
next up, five full days filled with family and fun!!!