Monday, June 28, 2010

Kind of sneaky

Cade has discovered how fun it is to hide from Mommy. He will stand so quietly while I call and look for him..
And then just squeal and laugh when he's found. What a rascal!!

Sisterly love

"Come here, you little sweetie! You've got to be still! I want to hold you for a picture!" Yeah right!!
"Now just sit here, Sweetheart, and look at Mommy and smile." haha! She is such a mess!
I got a good picture out of it though! =)

Family date night

First up, Dewey's Pizza! The cute boys in the kitchen enjoyed having Ella's attention and she couldn't help but flirt a little bit...
Cade loved his breadsticks...
And Ella was in heaven with her very own root beer!! She asked me, "Mommy, can we come back here every single day?!" =)
And because Ella has been begging to go, we surprised her with a special stop on the way home- The Cone!
Ice cream with sprinkles just for her!
Cade did his own number on Daddy's cone...
Time for quarter rides!
The smiles just kept getting bigger on this little girl's face. I think we finally lost count of all the hugs and kisses we were getting! I'll gladly pay a few quarters for those any day!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My babies are back!!

I got my babies back today! I was welcomed with so many sweet hugs. They are just precious, and boy, did I miss them!!
Lexi was able to come along for the ride. It was a special treat to get to see her. We had a nice lunch with Mom and Dad, then hit the road to head back to Cincy. Lexi and Ella had to empty Pap's pockets first. He is such a softie!
It was a special night at home. We had one of Ella and Cade's favorite dinners followed by pink ice cream cones with sprinkles for dessert! Yum! One happy girl here!
I copied some pictures of the week from Mom's camera. Here's a few showing what they were up to.

Looks like they were busy having lots of fun! I know Pappaw is doing his best trying to turn them into country kids. haha! Ella was cracking me up telling me all about it. It's so funny hearing the "highlights" of the week according to her. Here are a few of them in her own words:
About Great-Grandpa's birthday party- I drank lemonade and tea and I didn't eat any birthday cake because I didn't like it. And Great-Grandpa was there. Then Payton and I rode all around and what was the pink girl's name? Yeah, Benise (Denise) took me to see her dog. She has a new dog that I didn't even know before and she even has dog food!
About Sunday at Papaw and Mamaw's- Kyle was there and we had pancakes and then bacon. We played baseball and I went to the playground. And, well, I shouldn't have taken my flip-flops off, because the rocks were too hot! So, actually, I started crying and I didn't even ride the swings, because I was just too sad! Then Kyle came over and he gave me a big drink of water. And we tried to drive fast and we went really fast and, I mean, it was sooo fast! But the train was really fast and we couldn't even beat it and then we just had to go home.
About swimming at Jason's- So I put on my swimsuit and we went to Jason's house. Lexi had to wear her clothes in the car, because she didn't bring her swimsuit. And then we got there. I opened the door and sweet, little Lady came running over to me and was like, 'Hi, Ella!' and she was so happy to see me! Then we put Lady in the pool and she didn't like it, because the water was too cold. So she wanted in the hot tub, but she couldn't get in the hot tub, because she's just a silly dog! Then me and Lexi held hands, and we told Carson to get out of the way, and then we jumped in and made a big splash!
About staying at Grammy's- I got to sleep on the tiger pillow all night and Lexi slept on my flower pillow. We played on the slide and Cade kept falling off and I said, 'Poor, little guy!' And we went to the park and I rode my bike around the big water. I wanted to ride on the swing, but it was down a different path, and I didn't want to go that way. I was just too tired and a little cranky. Then we got home and Pappaw said Bandi got into a skunk and was so stinky! I didn't think he was so stinky, so I helped feed him dog food and just gave him a hug.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Today I am thankful for stillness, peace, a little time of my own. Ella and Cade have been with my parents for a couple days. My original plan was to pick them up this afternoon. I am missing their arms around my neck and their smiling, little faces desperately. However, Mom and Dad said they had something planned and asked to keep them one more day. I figured this big house would start to feel empty without them today. Instead, I have found peace and rest and solitude.

I slept until 11 o'clock today. Yep, I did. I jumped out of bed, feeling as though I had slept the day away, and slightly afraid that perhaps I missed a phone call and someone would indeed find out that I had slept in. Craziness, I know, and, after several moments of feeling more than a little guilty, I had to cut myself some slack. I did work last night until 1:30. I didn't get in bed until almost 3 am. Am I not allowed to sleep 8 hours like any other normal human being that goes to bed at 10 and gets up at 6? The thing is, sleeping, or resting, is not something I'm very good at. I get very little sleep on the weekends, and routinely go 28-30 hours without it. As sad and unhealthy as it is, I have come to accept it as normal. To go, go, go until I pretty much have to lay down from exhaustion. I do hope it changes someday, but it's just the way things are right now. So what a good feeling to wake up today and feel rested. Really rested. And for the house to be quiet. And for my mind to be still and feel peace.

I don't know why this is always so hard for me. To allow my mind to be quiet and my body to not always be doing. To just be. And to give myself a break when I do those things. The Bible warns us of being idle, and sometimes I think I take that too far. There has to be a balance there somewhere, because the Bible also tells us it is important for a man to rest from constant working. Finding that balance continues to be my daily struggle. I know that when I do rest, when I am still, I can sense God's presence in my life so much more. And I know He doesn't want me to be so busy that I can't hear Him speaking to me. Today I have thought about things that haven't crossed my mind in years. I have had memories of friends and laughter and special moments that, at the time, I thought I would never forget. The sad thing is, in all my diligence to keep doing, I had forgotten. God has wrapped His arms around me today and slowed me down. And captured in this solitude, I have been reminded that this meaningless busyness of life is not what He wants for my life.

My dad asked me last night, jokingly, if, in having a little time to myself, I had found myself. We both laughed about it and then he asked me, in all seriousness, if I was resting. I think I responded with something like, "Sure, Dad," and my mind immediately went to something else and didn't give it a second thought. But darn if I'm not once again reminded of what a wise man my dad is and that my parents still seem to know me a little better than I know myself.

So today I am thankful for solitude. For peace of mind. And for parents who still know what's best for me, though they're always too gracious to come right out and say it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day

Happy late Father's Day to all of you great dads out there!! What would we do without all these wonderful men in our lives?!! I'm pretty sure Chris had a terrific Father's Day weekend. He and the kids headed to southern Indiana to be with family and celebrate Grandpa Martin's 80th birthday on Saturday. What a special time for his family. Grandpa Martin is such an extraordinary, respectable man and has such a tender heart for his grandkids and great-grandkids. We just think the world of him! I know that being able to be there and share in the celebration with his grandpa was very important to Chris and something he will always hold near and dear to his heart.

On Sunday, they were able to celebrate Father's Day with Papaw, Mamaw, Kyle, Kellie, and Payton over blueberry pancakes (so jealous!) and a wild game of baseball with the kids. Then they headed to Grammy and Pappaw's to play a bit and share a late lunch with Mom, Dad, Jason, Jared, Chad and April, and all the kiddos. It all sounds like such fun! We are so blessed and love our dads soooo much!! I'm glad they got to celebrate with everyone.

I have to admit this, too. I charged the camera and put it with Chris' things before he left. When I came home Monday morning, I picked up the camera and was so excited to see pictures of the weekend. Guess what? Not one picture. Not one!! He said it was just so busy that he didn't think to take pictures.
Who doesn't think to take a picture?!
Anyways... I guess I'll let it slide this time. I know I have more of an obsession with photos than most people. And also in his defense, working Saturday morning, then packing up, driving almost three hours, and singlehandedly caring for both kids is quite a task. I'm proud of him for making the effort to be there. He is such a great example for Ella and Cade in many ways, one of them being the fact that he always puts forth so much effort to be there for family. I love that about him. So what I have to leave you with is a few pictures I took last Thursday night when we had our own Father's Day celebration. I know at this point in their lives, Ella and Cade have no idea just how lucky they are to have such a wonderful daddy, so I try to make it my job to remind them all the time. =) I hope one day they will come to realize what a true blessing he is, and also come to learn the simple truth that nothing is more important than being there and being together.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oldie but goodie

Hey, has anyone seen Cade??
There he is!
Haha! This game never gets old! I love that every time you open the door, his laugh just gets bigger and bigger!
Cade is having so much fun these days pulling every little thing out of our cabinets. I never know where I'm going to find things. Yesterday I reached down to pull out a cookie sheet and found Crispin, Ella's favorite stuffed animal. When I opened the drawer to get a dish towel, there were three matchbox cars sitting on top. It does feel kind of chaotic at times, but it always brings a smile to my face to find these little "treasures" hidden around the house.
I also have to share the deal of the week- Ella's "sticker dolls". She has played, and played, and played some more with these stickers, creating all sorts of different looks for the dolls. It is definitely the best $4.99 I have spent this week!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The weekend

We had a fun, low-key weekend around our house. There was a little extra family time and, of course, lots of fun and silliness. All our best-laid plans were foiled Saturday since it rained all day. It finally ended late in the evening (too late to make it to the Reds' game- total bummer), and we finally made it outside to burn off some energy. We woke up to another rainy day on Sunday, so after church, we hit up the theater to see Marmaduke. It was Ella's first full-length movie at the theater and she loved it. I wish I had had my camera along. You can picture it though- little girl, big pop, overflowing bag of popcorn, huge grin. Precious. And all the hugs we received in thanksgiving for taking her- you know we totally hated that. =) Daddy treated us to an early (yummy!) dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, and then we came home and wore ourselves out playing in the hot and sticky summer air. I'm looking forward to more weekends like it this summer!
Enjoying Jello with Daddy...
Ella's first lightening bug! She kept catching them, then saying, "Oh, man! I killed that one, too!" haha!
A little water relief...

Daddy and his little helper... Nothing like a boy and his power tools =)
The first snack on our new patio furniture. I love these sweet, little faces soooo much!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ella's new scooter

Ella has been wanting a new scooter for quite a while now. Instead of just going out and buying it (like we both really wanted to!), we decided to make her save up and buy it with her own money. Yesterday, we counted up and discovered she had almost enough. We called Daddy and he gave her permission for a little loan (as long as she paid him back in kisses!). =)
Boy, was she excited!! We headed to Toys R Us, and, after much debating, she picked out a new pink Princess scooter (big surprise here! haha!). She figured it would match her bike and helmet. It just so happened to be on sale, so she didn't even have to borrow anything from Daddy!
Cade was along for the ride and looking cool...
He had a little money Great-Grandma and Grandpa Martin had given him for Easter. He ended up with a new lawn mower!! So fun!
Waiting patiently (or trying to, anyways) for Mommy to put the scooter together...
It's going to take some practice, but she'll get the hang of it. She has already been working hard on it this morning.
And she'll tell anyone who asks, "I got a new pink Princess scooter and I bought it with my own money!" =)