Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ho-Ho-Ho...Merry Christmas!!

Mele Kalikimaka!!

showing that Christmas spirit

They might dig the smile but the yogurt covered face won't do it for them

Christmas is right around the corner and that means we will soon be on a plane to go visit family and friends in Washington. We are greatly looking forward to this trip for many reasons: Leif gets to play with many cousins close to his own age, Amanda gets to check out some of her favorite sewing stores, Cory gets to go play in the snow (snowboarding!!!), and everyone gets to visit with family and eat delicious food. We are also looking forward to visiting our friends in Bellingham--our home away from home. We have also been pulling out the cold weather clothing, as there is 4+ inches of snow right now in WA, and even borrowing some clothing for Leif since he doesn't own long pants, long sleeve shirts, or a coat!
Trying on some closed-toe pajamas
Rocking around the Christmas tree on rocking horse Bob

Leif has been loving the holiday season so far. With all of the lights and decorations up he gets so excited he can barely contain himself. Leif and Amanda actually met Santa the other day as they were out for a walk, too. There is an older man who lives in our neighborhood who drives a red scooter (without helmet as there is no helmet law here) and has white hair with a long white beard...all real. On this day, though, he was wearing a Santa suite. Leif was so excited to see the "really" Santa especially when Santa drove over and gave him a lollipop! Leif and Amanda also went to a Christmas tree farm on island. The type of evergreen that grows here is called a Norfolk pine, and while it is a pine, it isn't quite like those nice, fragrant ones that are found in the Pacific NW.

Leif and Momma at the tree farm

Counting candy canes
Writing a letter to Santa...I hope he understands gibberish

We have already had a mini-Christmas the other night; we opened our presents from the Grandma, Grandma and Grandpa, and the Bennett's from Kansas City.

The tent and pool were a hit but nothing compares to balloons

Reading some of his new books he got from Grandma

Leif loves his new learning toy...though the "I" is already missing.

Cory also got his new surf board. Yeah...the one that was ordered in July. They say patience is a virtue. If that is so, then Cory was rather virtuous up until a week ago. He went out on it today, though the NW swell was only chest to head high, and had some serious fun--the wait was worth it!!! For those who care, it is a 7'6" quad that can be converted to a tri fin for when things get a bit more serious. Cory has a 6'8" short-board that is a load of fun but it is harder catching waves with that one and it is a bit frustrating when a overhead bomb sneaks in and you are either stuck inside or sitting too deep to avoid the pounding. On the other hand, his 8'2" mini-tanker can catch waves pretty easily but is simply a tank. When you want to get down the line or make a sharp cut-back it is slow and cumbersome. So far, this board is looking like a good happy-medium.

7 feet 6 inches of joy
Leif practicing surfing on his own board using the one shoe method

Amanda got a bunch of fabric and is so excited to start another quilt though she feels a bit guilty as there are two unfinished quilts hanging in her sewing room's closet. She is really holding out for her new machine which she will have this next year (summer????).

Can you say...Moda?
Cory is also done with teaching until next July. No more lesson planning, grading papers, crazy meetings with crazy staff members (not you Terry)! He will be starting his new temporary position at UH in January and it looks to be an amazing semester. It will still be a challenging semester but hopefully one with much less stress.

In case you were wondering what to get Leif in the future this next video might help you understand what his favorite things are. Enjoy!

We wish you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season and hope to hear from you soon!


Cory, Amanda, and Leif

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Aloha and Happy Thanksgiving!

It is deffinetly fall in the islands as we are wearing socks, jackets, and long pants more often (it is dropping down into the 70's you know!!!). We have been quite busy with Thanksgiving dinners, play dates, visiting friends (with a special visit from Auntie Anne from the Big Island!!!), and going to birthday parties. Here is the latest round of photos...enjoy!

One of Cory's friends threw a party for their one year old son and we were all invited. If you have never been to a real Hawaiian first birthday party then you are missing out. A professional band (with many albums), enough food and beverages to feed a large nation, inflatable jumpies, clowns, shave ice stands, along with games and prizes galore! It is the type of party you need a planner for. Leif was happy because there was balloons, balls, "happy cake," shave ice, and a clown that painted a balloon on his arm--clearly the highlight of the whole day!

Leif with two of his most favorite things: Mom and balloons

Parties means "shaaaaaave ice."

One of Leif's new things is taking pictures. He loves to "watch Leif" on the cameras. If he sees a camera...he wants it. That boy can sure throw a fit if he wants to though he gets over it quickly. Here are a few of his more recent creations.


A little out of focus but he's having fun

What would a long 4 day break be if we didn't go to the beach. It was an exciting day as three monk seals were resting and sleeping right next to us. Leif loved watching them and loved it even more when one of them passed gas; we heard about it for quite some

Building a fort with Dad

Simply adoreable...What more can you say

Surf, seals, sunshine, and the sand monster
Mom: "Don't eat that Leif it tastes yucky."
Leif: "Yuck!!"

You guys ready to go yet?
Measuring to find a good place to put the Christmas tree

After Thanksgiving means it it time for the "mickas tree"
We hope your holidays are pleasant and look forward to hearing from you all soon!
Cory, Amanda, and Leif