Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ella's timeline

Ella was given a project at school to brainstorm and come up with a list of memorable moments in her life. She then had to choose 6-8 of the most important, find a picture to represent that moment, and create a timeline of her five years. She's worked hard on it for several days, and finished it up over the weekend. She will have to present it to her classmates next week, so last night she practiced in front of us. We had a lot of fun seeing our little gal in such a big girl role. She did a great job and was so, so proud of her work! 1st important moment- Ella's first trip to church 2nd moment- her first Christmas. Look under the photo- I love how she sounded out the word "stokeeng". =) 3rd moment- her first birthday 4th moment- We "moovd" to Ohio 5th moment- the birth of Cade 6th moment- Disneyworld vacation and meeting Mickey and Minnie. She told me this was the very best day of her life (sorry, Cade! haha!). 7th moment- the birth of Harper 8th moment- first day of kindergarten I enjoyed working on this with her and hearing what stood out as memorable in her mind. As we were brainstorming, she mentioned all kind of little things in addition to the bigger things. She said some of her favorite times were going to The Cone, having family dates, playing Memory, coloring with Mommy, wrestling with Daddy. It was neat to get that affirmation that we don't always have to do big things to create a lot happy memories for our kiddos. =)

First cereal

Harper tried her first cereal last night. She's been watching us eat for a few weeks now- you know, turning that head to follow every single bite- makes me feel guilty!! Anyways, we started Ella later and Cade earlier, and knew it was probably fine, but wanted to get the go-ahead from the doc. When I took her for her four month check up yesterday, he said go for it, so Ella and I stopped and bought some on the way home. Harper was excited!!! First bite came right back out... ... but then we started getting some grins. Not sure if it was the cereal or all the attention, but she was happy and those little legs were just kicking away! We think she liked it. Hard to believe Harper is already old enough to start solids. She is growing so fast! {tear} Of course, this is Mommy talking, but she gets prettier and sweeter by the day. She is so squeezy and cuddly and I absolutely can't get enough of those rosy cheeks! This is such a fun and lovable age. Harper loves to nurse, sing songs and play pat-a-cake. She is starting to "talk", blow bubbles, and is still an amazing sleeper- she even slept 11 hours straight after her cereal last night! Her check up was routine, which is great in my book. Her 4 1/2 month stats: 15 lbs 6 oz (74%), 26 inches (91%), and off the charts for cuteness. =) Love you so much, Harper Girl!!

Here's to hoping...

Cade is beginning to show some interest in potty training. Yay!! And he's so stinkin' proud of his big boy undies! It cracks me up seeing that little bum in those tiny things! We learned the hard way with Ella, so we're not pushing this time around. We want it to be his idea. He doesn't go on a consistent basis, but occasionally he brings it up and then runs to the bathroom to go. We're keeping our fingers crossed that he keeps it up!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

S-p-e-l-l-i-n-g and reading

We have a speller and reader on our hands!! Our little kindergartner is soaking up all kinds of new sounds and words, and it's so exciting to watch. I love seeing how she tries to write the sounds she hears. Here are a few of my favorites so far-
Radeeo for radio
Shoos for shoes
Flawr for flower
Fir for for And my all-time favorite (mostly because she told me it is a picture of me with this word under it! haha!)
Hag for hug Mrs. Lakanen told me at Ella's parent teacher conference a couple weeks ago that letter phonics and letter combinations are two of Ella's strengths. Even hearing that, I am still impressed pretty much on a daily basis with how many words Ella can read and how much she knows that we didn't know she knew! She reads signs and boxes and words on clothing. She picks up a lot of books around the house and "reads" them. I thought it was from memory mostly. The other day though, she picked up a book she had never read before, opened it on her lap, and just started reading! Chris and I looked at each other in amazement! I said, "Ella, when did you learn to read like that?" She grinned and said, "I don't know. I just did!"

We are so proud of you, Ella Grace! Keep up the great work!

"Jesus bracelet"

I was picking things up off the floor the other day. Cade grabbed this out of my hand and said, "Look! My Jesus bracelet!" I asked why he called it his Jesus bracelet and, in his broken, little sentences, he said, "Because the cross! And Jesus! And he died!" He could have called it something else- his church bracelet, his cross bracelet. He called it his Jesus bracelet. How precious and reassuring that, at two years old, God's love is already working on his little heart and allowing him to make that connection.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Sunday

We spent our Sunday at Papaw and Mamaw's house. Ella and Cade always love getting the chance to hang out with their pal, Payton. These three found all kinds of things to keep them busy. They spent a good portion of the day outside. Ella couldn't wait to show Payton how she can ride bikes with the big kids now! Harper, for her part, soaked up all the attention from her family (aka spoiling!!). Here she is enjoying some time on Great-Grandma Martin's lap... What a great Sunday! Love that special family time!

Mr. & Mrs. Doug Martin

Doug and Liz are married! Woohoo!! They actually got married three weeks ago in Liz's hometown, and Pam and Dave threw a fabulous party Saturday night to celebrate. It is always such a blast to get together with the extended family and this was no exception.
The gorgeous bride and Grandma Martin Visiting with Uncle Dave There was a caricature artist there and Ella was so proud of hers! Our sweet gal and her mamaw Fellow 2011 brides, Melissa and Kellie. =) Papaw and Kyle are such good sports! ha! It was great catching up with an old friend. Kelly and I grew up down the road from each other and have been friends since kindergarten. I loved seeing her! We had passed the cupcake table on the way in, and Cade was so excited to finally get his little hands on one! And then it was time for dancing!! Ella was a bit hesitant to get out there at first, but once she did, there was no stopping her. This girl is a dancing machine!! Keeping step with the big girls Cade and his buddy, Doug. Cade is so crazy about him! Ella was cutting a rug with her friend, "Benise". So cute! Ella wanted to take a picture of me and my dancing partner. Pretty sure I had the most handsome one there! =) Congrats, Doug and Liz! We wish you many, many years of friendship, love, and happiness!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall days at Gram's

My parents were having family over for the weekend, and since I ended up with a couple nights off work and was feeling brave, I decided to throw the kids in the car and set off for Palmyra on a solo trip (Chris had to stay behind to work- boo!). Between traffic, an unhappy baby, and two (!) trips into gas station restrooms with three kiddos (insert two near heart attacks for Mommy here!), our 2 1/2 hour trip ended up being a 4 1/2 hour trip, but we did manage to make it before dark, all in one piece, and still have smiles on our faces- success! However, I do have to admit I have never been so happy to pull into Mom and Dad's driveway in my life! haha! Ella couldn't wait to say hi to Bandit. Lexi and Carson came over to spend the night, too. On Saturday morning, there was no keeping these four inside on such a beautiful day! They were bundled up and out to play in no time. Pap and Carson walking through the leaves- love this picture! Grammy and Pap's neighbor, Mike, offered to let the kids ride Duke. They were more than excited!!Lexi was brave and went first. She's ridden before and did great. Ella was next and was all smiles and giggles. There was nothing but pure delight on her face when she got up there.Mike let her stay up there for a reaallly long time and she loved every second. I'm pretty sure we will be hearing about riding Duke for many months to come. =) Cade was next. I was planning to ride with him, but he surprised all of us when he jumped up there all by himself. What a big boy!! He came running to me afterwards, saying, "I did it!" He was so proud of himself! Uncle Tim stopped by for a visit. It was really fun to see him. Dad and his brothers are peas in a pod. Look at them- they are dressed alike, sitting alike, and they talk alike. We were cracking up!Chad and April got there next, and we got to meet Baby Ty!! He is such a little sweetheart and so tiny!Baby Ty and Aunt Sissy Harper hung out with her bald head buddy, Jeffro. Up next- a hayride!! Happy boy! Jared and Lex Aidan, Owen, Carson, and Cade. They were laughing and being silly and just having fun. It was neat to watch this next generation of little boys together.Ella, Laila, and I sat together and chitchatted. Loved this special time with my niece and my big girl!My dad was in HEAVEN! He was on a tractor, driving his grandkids around- I don't think he could have been any happier! After the hayride, Cade enjoyed some time with Aunt April, his "special girl". =) Grammy and Pap holding their newest grandbabies.We roasted hot dogs, ate loads of chili, and made smores. I don't think Ella and Cade had ever had smores and they loved them! Silly boys! Cade loved rolling and playing in that hay! At bathtime that night, I found hay in every nook and cranny on him! It was sound evidence of a fun day outside!! I had to work Sunday, so Harper and I got up that morning and headed home, while Ella and Cade got to stay behind. Ella had a couple teacher inservice days this week, and Gram and Pap wanted to keep them for a couple more days. I'm sure they're having a blast and no doubt being spoiled rotten!