We went to church and had a wonderful time. One of the greatest joys in my life as a mother is hearing my little girl sing her heart out at church. It brings tears to my eyes every time! Ella was so well-behaved (whew!) and actually paid attention. Several times when the minister mentioned Jesus, Ella leaned over and whispered to me, "Mommy, I love Jesus!" And everytime we prayed, Ella yelled "Amen", always eliciting several giggles from people around us.
After church we were driving and saw some fireworks off in the distance, so Chris pulled into a parking lot and we sat and watched them. Ella loves fireworks and kept squealing and clapping. Of course, she cried when it was over, but lucky for us, that didn't last very long.
We decided we were really hungry, but couldn't find any place open. The crazy thing about this huge, busy town is that all the restaurants close at 9pm, even on the weekends. Then we both decided we had a craving for pancakes, so Chris took me to IHOP for the first time in our married life. I love the place- he usually can't stand the thought of it. We had fun though and Ella kept cracking us up. Poor thing must have been starving, because everytime she took a bite of anything, she would say, "Oh, yummy!" Then she got so excited and said, "I love food! I just love it!"
By the time we got home, it was after 11pm and Ella was still gearing to go. I pulled out her sleeping bag and she finally agreed to lay down.
Still pretty wide awake... I think it was close to midnight at this point.
We were saying our prayers and Ella wanted to thank Jesus for the fireworks and Mr. Moon (she is fascinated by the moon these days). She also wanted to pray for her cousin Hannah, who is sick in the hospital, and for two little girls at her school- Hannah and Lisa. She always asks to pray for Hannah (we prayed for her twice at IHOP), and we're not sure if she's talking about her cousin Hannah or the Hannah at school- I'm sure it's kind of confusing for her. The important thing is that we know God understands and hears her sweet, heartfelt prayers and that's all that matters.
Finally konked out... We feel so blessed to have such a healthy, lively, and compassionate little girl. We know that nothing we have ever done, or could ever do, would ever be enough to deserve her. She is truly a gift of God's grace.
For that grace, we are so, so thankful.