Sunday, February 23, 2014

Family Dinner

On Sunday, after the thrill of the birthday activities had cooled off a little, we had Chris's sister Jeanne and cousin Jed over to visit and to enjoy a big pasta dinner.  I loved having 'Team Nelli' here to help with all the preparations.  Chris and Steven did the grocery shopping and made the meatballs, pasta and sauce.  Stacey made almond bread for dessert and I put together the salad.  The meal was incredible and went very smoothly since we had done most of the work the night before.


I love this candid picture of the cousins laughing together.  David is being "silly" as usual.  I am just thrilled to see him smiling in my picture!



A very happy family after a delicious dinner and wonderful conversation.
 

Aunt Jeanne gave Lia a nail polish and lip gloss kit for her birthday and even treated her by painting her sweet little fingers and toes pink.  Aunt ReRe is the best!!!

 

Cousin Anthony

Our first visit with Steven, Stacey and Anthony was postponed last month due to Anthony coming down with the flu.  They missed Cousin Jed's confirmation, but it worked out well for us because Lia's Godparent's and sweet cousin were able to attend her birthday party.  We picked them up from the airport on Friday night and as soon as we got home the kids started playing in the back yard together.  I'm so glad we have been able to have this cousin time together.
 

And Anthony is still doling out lots of hugs.  Love him!


Lia's Birthday Party Pics

Lia officially turned 6 on February 8th but we were unable to have her birthday party till February 22 due to poor planning on her Mommy's behalf.  She really wanted to have a party with friends this year and due to February sometimes being very cold and rainy, we wanted to have it indoors.  We have really enjoyed playing at Bouncin' Bears of Texas and she really wanted to have her party there... I just didn't realize you needed to plan these things 1-2 months in advance!  Well, thank goodness, she didn't mind waiting!  We ended up having 13 friends attend and I am fairly certain everyone had a really fun time.  Thank you Stacey and Kim for taking all these pictures for me.
 
 Lia is looking very happy to be the birthday girl here.

 Pizza... Kids are so easy to please!
Gigis cupcakes... so yummy!  Lia chose a chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake for her special birthday treat.
 
Action shot... blowing out her candles.
 


Her friend Chastity gave her a matching monkey to the one she had.  Cute!


I didn't get any pictures of the kids bouncing and having fun because I was too busy visiting... so I'm glad for this one.  The smiles tell me it must have been really fun!

Happy 6th Birthday Big Girl
We Love You!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday Lia!

We celebrated Lia's 6th birthday today with a really fun bounce party.  I will post more pictures tomorrow but wanted to share her birthday serenade video.  It starts out the wrong way but turns after a few seconds.  I think David was trying to "warm" his hand off Lia's cake candles and you can see her shove them away in the first few seconds.  I also noticed some pretty poor singing in the background.  I am thinking it was David and his buddy Courage doing that.  Well... it is never boring!

 
 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Baby Isaac - 34 Week Sonogram Pictures

Today marks my 35th week of pregnancy and I have been meaning to update our blog with the amazing pictures we received last week during my 34th week.  My doctor wanted to run a sonogram to check Isaac's growth and just make sure everything looked okay as we wrap up his time in my belly.  We received good news all around.  He was measuring at 5.5lbs with a strong heartbeat and all things checked like head, body length, leg bone (femur) measurements and my placental fluid levels all looked perfectly normal.
 
Of particular interest to me, was this sweet little peek at my baby boy's face.  How amazing to see this little life for a few brief moments.  Oh my goodness, what a gift.  Praise God.
 

Heartbeat...


Ear... And not surprisingly, a whole lot of hair already.  If Isaac is anything like David, he will be born with very thick dark brown hair and amazing long lashes.


Perfectly formed lips... no cleft palate or abnormal splitting.


5 weeks to go... not that I'm counting.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl and Nonna's Pretzels

The kids really enjoyed making Nonna's homemade pretzels with Dad last year and were really excited to repeat the tradition again this year for Super Bowl Sunday.  We've got all hands on deck here to knead the dough.  Well... I was relaxing... but took my job of documenting the process very seriously.  :-)
 

Here's the dough, ready to rise.


And here's our crew shaping the dough into fun pretzel shapes.

 
And very excited to put their creations into the oven...
 
 
Final Product

Lia's pretzels.  They look yummy, don't they?

Question Mark.

I think Nonna would be very proud!

And yes, they were delicious.
 Go Team Nelli!

Blessing of Marriages and Fellowship Fun at Church


Today at church was the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.  It was also the mass where all marriages are blessed.  I love this tradition more and more every year.  Father asks all married couples to stand and has us sit down as he progressively asks who has been married for longer than 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc... until only a few couples are standing.  The couple at mass that had been married the longest, had been married for 60 years!  This couple was presented a beautiful bouquet of flowers and applauded for their testament to the sacrament of marriage.  This tradition is particularly special to me because I remember being on our honeymoon and participating in this same tradition in a little church in Hanalei.  We were recognized as the most newly married couple and then joined by the most senior married couple, blessed, and given beautiful plumeria leis.  Today however, Chris and I were able to renew our wedding vows which we have not done in almost 14 years!  I am so glad Father had all the married couples do this.  My sweet children didn't understand why I was crying when it was my turn to do this but it was very powerful to make those promises again to love and honor in sickness and in health.  And yes, the pregnancy hormones probably had something to do with the tears but I'm very grateful our children were with us to witness those vows and hopefully they will know and understand one day that they are the result of their Mom and Dad's love for one another.

It was also Fellowship Sunday which means donuts after mass which makes my children extremely happy.  I didn't quite understand why the photo fun area was set up and what it was for... but our kids were really excited to put on the fun hats and have their silly picture taken.  Even David smiled!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Girls...

I took these pictures a few weeks ago on a Saturday night before we went to church.  We decided to go to the Saturday night vigil because Chris would be travelling to Shanghai on Sunday morning.  Emily took the initiative to get herself and Lia ready for church and they agreed to wear coordinating pink outfits complete with big girly hair bows.  I have to say I was very impressed with their efforts as I think I was taking a nap while all the preparations were taking place.  I was also happy that they wanted to pose for pictures and hammed it up for the camera.  It's fun being a girl.  :-)




Pinewood Derby - Part 2

After the official Pinewood Derby, the two Wolf dens met more informally to race their cars for fun.  Each scout received a medal for participating so everyone walked away a "winner".  Chris and David decided to bring last year's Pinewood Derby car, "The Speeding Bullet", as they determined it was a faster and more well designed car than "Rocket 5000".  They were correct.  The Speeding Bullet won for the fastest car among the wolf cubs there to race that night.  He was very happy and excited about this as clearly, it is much more fun to win.


The boys with the fastest cars are posing here for a picture.


Here is David last year proudly displaying his 2013 Pinewood Derby entry, The Speeding Bullet!