Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ella Kate's Birthday

We had a fabulous birthday weekend for Ella Kate last weekend. Her Neena and Papa came to visit and ended up being here for 4 days, which is really special. We had so much fun with them. On Saturday, we had a big birthday bash at JumpZone. She had the BEST day!! Thank you to everyone that came to help us celebrate!!
Opening presents from Neena and Papa.
A polka dot tea much fun!!
And a Roby bouncy horse...glad Neena thought ahead and bought a second one so we didn't have super-duper meltdown...because....the twins happen to love it too....can you tell???

Such a big girl. Can't believe she is 3 yrs old!!

And of course, the cake. Barney was a must. I ordered a Barney cake topper off of Etsy, and failed to read all of the fine print, like the fact that it would be shipping from Italy...and could take a month to get here. Well, it didn't make it (still haven't received it). So, I created my own cake topper similar to the one I purchased with modeling clay from Hobby Lobby. It passed as Barney, so major catastrophe prevented.
ADORABLE cookies made by my friend Robin...check out her other amazing creations here.
Jumping...jumping...and more jumping!!
Ruby going down the slide! I was so proud of her. She is definitely the adventurous twin. Molly didn't want to have ANYTHING to do with jumping or sliding.

Ella went down the big slide all by herself!! I went with her a few times and Wes did too, and then she tried herself...after that...she was all about the big slides.
All of the kiddos. I was so glad so many could come. Ella had SO much fun!!
Blowing out the candles...we've practiced this MANY times!! She couldn't wait!
Now down to business!! She is her Mother's daughter for sure...loves her some cake!!
I had to show these Barney themed favor bags. I bought them from Jettabees on Etsy. They turned out SOOO cute!!

I worked on a slide show of the last 3 years to post on my blog, and I can't get it to work. Ella and I have watched it MANY times over the last few days. Ella told me on the way home from school today that she wanted to watch her "movie"...I got so tickled. I added music to the slide show, and she said, "Momma, this is our song??".
Ella, you are 3 yrs old. Just saying that is amazing to me. You are HAPPINESS and JOY for your Dad and I. You are a gift to us each day. We constantly ask ourselves what we did to deserve such a beautiful, precious, little girl. We know that having and holding you is just a glimpse of God's goodness and love. I can't express to you the excitement we felt in our hearts the night we drove to the hospital, knowing we would be meeting you soon. Our lives changed in a split second. It was instantly full because of you.

I say this to you all the time. "You are the apple of my eye, and the spring in my step"

We love you SOOOOO much, Ella girl!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christmas Road Trip

Just thought I would share a few pics from our Christmas road trip "home".

Even 10 years later, I still refer to Texas as "home". I don't think that will ever change for me. As funny as it sounds, it's like my heart is at rest the minute we drive over the Texas state line. Anyone else feel that way about their hometown or state?? Don't get me wrong. I feel enormously blessed where we live now, BUT there is just something that makes me overwhelmingly content and calm being so close to our family and loved ones. Maybe it's just the extra set of hands (or many hands) to help with the chaos that is my life : ). Very well could be it.
We've arrived!! This was after our first 8 hour leg of the trip. We stopped to see my Dad's parents, the girls' Great-Grandparents, Bobo and Pop. They were clearly happy to get out of the car.
My heart was really overjoyed that at least one of the twins warmed up quickly to Bobo and Pop. We were there for one night, and I know it was so special to Bobo that Ruby brought a book to her and climbed up in her lap.
This about sums it up...they are EVERYWHERE...on EVERYTHING!!!
This was our 2nd leg of the trip, visiting my parents, Neena and Papa, and my Mom's parents, Nan and Big Papa. All of the girls love their grandparents so much. AND, as you can see, Papa is quite partial to them as well.
Reading a story
Christmas morning...first sight of all the goodies. Many probably know, but these babies, babble and jump up and down when they sense movement. The girls loved them until.....
They saw Ella's baby, that eats and drinks, and talks....note to three next time.
Oh, presents make the perfect step to climb on everything and DESTROY!!
New Mama, Molly, trying to figure this baby-thing out...
Fun with Neena and Papa
One of eight pairs of "fancy" shoes for Ella.
3rd leg of the trip visiting Grandma Diane, Grandpa Rick (who was out of the country for work), Aunt Stephanie, Uncle Jeff, and Cousin Reese. Magnetic paper dolls from Aunt Stephanie.
Getting the hang of it!!!

Pink Kitty Kat clock (with pearl necklace, of course) for Ella's bedroom. SO cute!
Potty Elmo
Finger painting on one of our many outings. This outing was to The Woodlands Children's Museum.
Decorating the gingerbread house with Grandma Diane and Reese. Wes and I snuck out this night to get some coffee. Apparently, Ella ate her weight in icing and put on a pretty good show. Hee hee!
I was amazed how pretty it turned out...with Grandma and Aunt Stephanie's help of course!

Seriously, one of the prettiest gingerbread houses I've ever seen.

One of our many trips to the park. Ella LOVES to swing on the "big-girl" swing.
Aunt Stephanie, Jack, and Ella. I love this picture.
About to go down the "big" slide

This visit was truly special for me. My Uncle Tom, who 6 months ago was diagnosed with what they thought was Pancreatic cancer and given the grimmest of outlooks, is ALIVE and doing better every day. Each report seems to get better, baffling Doctors, as tumors are "shrinking to shadows". It doesn't baffle me one bit. I sing on-going praises to my Heavenly Father who DOES hear my prayers, our prayers, and is still in the business of miracles. Thank you, Jesus

Every trip home is a little bitter-sweet for us. So happy to be with our family, and at the same time, sad, knowing it has to come to an end and we have to head back to the "real" life. We do our best to soak up as much of our family as we can while we are home. I find myself in a different mind set this year as many years in the past I felt sorry for myself that we didn't live near family. It seems I'm bombarded with stories of heartache and loss everywhere I turn, everyday. I am just SOOOO thankful to have had one more opportunity to spend our holiday with family, SOOOO thankful for my husband and 3 precious girls, and SOOOO thankful for my health and health of those I hold so dear, as it is clear to me it can all change in a split second.

Here's to starting this year with a glad, thankful ALL the credit to my Lord and Saviour.

Happy New Year, Y'all!!
Keep the Faith,