Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ellie is TWO!!

A month ago today our little girl turned two years old! We were very busy recovering from our big trip to Alaska, but we still found time to celebrate with a Cinderella party. Ellie wore her Cinderella dress (supported with her brother's Prince Charming costume) and had a blast! She had a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (since she loves chocolate), and enjoyed playing with her brother and cousins at her party. She loved opening her presents, sometimes more than the presents themselves! She is so silly and fun and loves to laugh. Some things Ellie loves at age 2: Callie's wild west (She calls it "yee haw!") Cookies Fishie crackers Minnie Mouse (which is kind of an obsession, she can't sleep without her Minnie pillow) Wearing necklaces Having tea parties Dancing (especially with bean bags on her head) Jumping off things Reading books Singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Kitties Doggies Broccoli Tickles Eating with spoons and forks (and not her fingers) Castles and princesses who sing Splashing in water Swimming Doing whatever James does Ellie is also talking up a storm. Today she said, "Where's Papa?" when he went away for a minute. She also likes to sing any song that she hears, to the best of her ability. It's really really cute. :-) I love my little girl so much, she is such a joy in our lives. <3

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ellie is 23 months old!

Little Ellie is 23 months old today!! :-) I know I missed when she turned 22 months... life has been crazy busy here with Eliot's summer courses and starting a new job. I've also started a mom's group at our church and, of course, been preparing for our upcoming Alaskan cruise, so blogging has made it to the bottom of the list sadly with all the sewing, crafting, cleaning, prepping, and packing I've been doing! Ellie is very busy getting into everything. Her word for anything she wants (and that she can't say yet) is "Buckle!!" because she loves buckles! Ellie has also started stringing words together, even saying, "I got it!" "Car Go" and "Bye Bye Ducks." A very industrious girl who loves trains, necklaces, Callie's Wild West, shoes, climbing, and anything her brother is doing. Often I will see Ellie pick up a book and "read" to herself. She also has gotten into duplo legos and the train set James got for his birthday. Pretty soon she will be moving into her own toddler bed (sniff!) and doing even more big-girl things (like the kind of training every parent dreads doing and yet it must be done). Ellie is also doing pretend play... she will feed her stuffed animals tea that she poured and pretend to sip things, etc. She loves dressing up, and has also taken to swimming like a fish (she even takes a breath and puts her face in the water!). Ellie also gives great hugs and kisses, but usually only on her terms. She is such a blessing in our lives, a silly dancing, wiggling, happy girl who loves to laugh! James has been a busy bee this summer, with swimming lessons and making new friends. We've explored many new parks and he's gotten really good at his bike (with training wheels still). I often go for walks with Ellie in the stroller and James riding his bike. James is also getting pretty good at writing his name, we are just starting to work on the last name and some sight words. He seems to enjoy numbers naturally. He also watched Wall-E for the first time recently so we've been talking a lot about robots, space, and some of the bigger words in the movie (like Directive, which has been fun for encouraging him to stay on task). He also loves the show Octonauts, which is about Ocean creatures. He and I made a lego Gupp-E today (a little underwater submarine used to rescue marine animals). James also has completed his summer study of Alaska and nautical terms, and he knows we will be going to see Salmon, which side of the ship is port/starboard, what is a glacier, how you pan for gold, etc. It's been a true joy to learn all about it right along with my kids. Homeschooling is hard at times but rewarding all around!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ellie is 21 months old!

I am a week or so late with this post...but out little girl is 21 months old!! She is saying more words, specifically Hi and Bye to almost everyone. Her word for most things is Uh-oh, but she also likes to say Mama a lot. And she has gotten pretty adept at please and thank you, and up as down! :-)

Today Elle had her first Popsicle, which she loved slurping on and licking till it melted all over her. James also enjoyed his Popsicle a whole lot. 
Ellie is a climber... She climbs on almost anything anywhere and has no fear of heights. She goes down big slides in the park and climbs big ladders (which freaks me out). Ellie loves to do whatever her big brother does, from coloring to eating blueberries off the bush in the backyard. She is also doing great in swim lessons with daddy... She's progressed from water babies to water kids! James is doing well in his lessons too, he had almost done a full bob under water and is working on floating on his back and keeping his kicks small.

The tomatoes are ripe in the garden today, which excited James. He kept calling them strawberries, and when I reminded him they are tomatoes, he said, "oh right, TA Mos!! I almost got! (Forgot)" :-) He eats those things like candy.

Not everything is sunshine and roses over here... James has decided to start lying about things (which we quickly managed) and Ellie throws giant tantrums when she is tired and doesn't get her way. But mostly they are good kids who are super silly and sweet. We are truly blessed. <3

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy Independence Day everyone! We had a nice day hanging out as a family... We played at home in the morning, James helped daddy pick some rhubarb and then helped me make a pie. Ellie helped Daddy water the lawn. 

After naptime, we went over to the lights of liberty celebration here in Springfield. The kids went "fishing" for prizes, went down a big slide, got some balloons, listened to some marimba music, and had a blast seeing some turtles and snakes. Then we went home and had BBQ dinner of chicken, corn on the cob (the kids loved both shucking an eating it), potato salad, chips, and watermelon with the strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert. The kids munched happily and we talked about our military and what they do to protect our freedom.

After dinner we went back to the park for fireworks. Ellie was so tired (10pm) she pretty much dozed through most of them while laying on my lap. James loved them, and he said a lot of "wow" and "that was a GREAT one!" It's the first year he actually loved fireworks and it was wonderful to share them with him.

Now we are all super tired so it's time for bed!

Happy 4th everyone!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

James is 4 years old!!!

How is it possible that I've become a mom of a 4-year-old?? James is 4 years old today, and I can't believe how much he's grown. It hit me when he was cutting the ribbons off his gifts all on his own (with safety scissors). He didn't need help unwrapping his gifts anymore. :-( How blissfully wonderful that he is independent and yet bittersweet... all these steps are steps farther away from us. Necessary, but sad nonetheless. Anyway, James asked for a party with an "Up theme and one big train." We delivered! The whole party was themed after the Disney movie Up... James had a Russell costume (he only wore the sash for a little while... he was cranky after his nap and it kept falling off him). The kids all got Wilderness Explorer scarves and the adults got Ellie badges. I had a blast blowing up balloons and making a little house fly around the room. I also had some travel posters from Paradise falls, an adventure book featuring James's adventures from the last year, a "Paradise Falls" savings jar, some stuffed and paper characters, Balloons and clouds cupcakes, clouds hanging from the ceiling, and an Adventure is Out There print. I plan on using a lot of these things in the kids room since I am redecorating James's room to accommodate both the kids and it will have an UP theme. :-) The kids all had a great time running around with balloons and playing "Find the Squirrel." The adults participated in a "Guess the skittles in a jar" game which my mom won. James loved blowing out the candle on his cupcake (and eating it). He got lots of cool gifts, including a big LEGO duplo train, "big boy" LEGOs a helicopter, some planes, a mini cooper, some toy story figurines, and books, among other things too numerous to mention. He was one happy kiddo and loved assembling the train with his cousins and sister. Tonight in the tub, without any prompting, he told me Ellie was his best friend in the whole world. <3 And now some pics of the birthday boy!