Monday, December 31, 2007

Snowboarding and more..

Happy New Year! Mike is in Colorado snowboarding with the students for their yearly ski trip. I think it took like 18 hours to get there. I'm glad I was not on that bus trip. I flew to Georgia to see my parents with the girls while he is gone. I cannot give any tips to my friends who have two little ones and are flying alone. I just keep thinking the whole time "I will not see any of these people ever again." I can say do not ever change planes and always get a direct flight. It is also so much easier when the baby is little and will sleep the whole time. I carried Ellie's car seat on this time with the help of our nice airtran guy. However, it is so much work to get it fastened in and get her into it while I am trying to hold Anna. I eventually have to ask a young girl behind me to hold Anna. It is so strange to me that no one offers to help. Also, once I got to Atlanta I had the car seat in the single stroller and Anna in the baby bjorn. Ellie walking next to me. It took us forever to get to baggage claim cause Ellie wanted to stop and touch every item. We then get on the train and Ellie is trying to hold onto the pole so she doesn't fall down. However, she doesn't really get it and eventually I just sit down with her on the floor so we don't all fall down. It is totally insane not to mention our $19 kohl's dvd player doens't work anymore and I had to carry Mike's work laptop on and I was so nervous about Ellie touching it etc... I will be using a wal-mart gift card to buy a better dvd player and a new movie for the way home. Anyways, we survived and it is so worth it once we get here!
I celebrated my 30th birthday yesterday. There's nothing like your 30th birthday on December 30th! Mike and I went to the Mavericks vs. Cavs game this week for his present and it was so fun. We got to see LeBron James etc.. it was a really good game and we are glad we got to go. My dad cooked us a yummy supper and got us a great cake. Today, is my mom's birthday. I recommend trying to avoid December birthday's if you can! Tonight, dad and I took Ellie to see Alvin and the Chipmunks. She loved it and I thought it was very cute as well. She loves being at Nana and Papa's!
Mike is in Crested Butte, CO. It is supposed to be freezing there so we had to pack lots of extra clothes etc.. He is really excited about the trip and getting to snowboard in Colorado again. It is much better skiing than on the east coast. I have so many fun Christmas pictures to post, but I don't have my cord. I will have to do it when I get home. I hope you all have a great New Year. I think my resolution is to run a half-marathon this year. However, I can't believe I just posted that cause I know that Mike will hold me to it! Anyone want to join us?!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A great day...

Today was a perfect day. Mike said it was our best day since we've lived in Dallas! There have been many great days since we've been here, but we haven't left the city to venture out. It was 75 degrees here so I woke up and thought "what could we do outside"? I heard that the Fort Worth Zoo was lots of fun. Ellie has watched "Barney at the Zoo" a few times and it was filmed at the FW Zoo so we knew she would be up for it. It was a great zoo and we were out for almost 5 hours with no melt-downs etc... Both girls were in a great mood and loved being outside in the nice weather. Ellie loved the elephants, tigers, and the baby jaguar (Go Diego Go)! Anna got a great ride all day in the baby bjorn with Mike. We drove around Fort Worth for ahwile and saw TCU, downtown, etc.. It is a unique city and we are so glad that we went. Well, the day got better when I got home and got to open 10 Christmas Cards. We got so many cards from our blogging friends and they all look great! There was a trend of a letter came with those who have no kids or only one child. It seemed like those families with multiple kids just sent the picture like us. We are so thankful for our friends. We were telling some new friends we've made here how we have so many good friends they are just spread out all across the United States. It seems like in Texas that most people have the majority of their friends in Texas. Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend full of Christmas cheer. We miss you all!

Dave Barnes Christmas Extravaganza



I love it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Our Student Ministry Staff




Recently our student ministry staff did a Christmas photo shoot for our leaders as a gift. Some lucky people walked away with some sweet pictures framed of us in some fun Christmas outfits.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Crazy Mom Moment....

I've been meaning to blog this story for a few days now so get ready for a big laugh. Well, a couple of weeks ago when we went to AR for my grandma's funeral I had a ton to do they day we left. Mike had to work all day and our plan was to leave around 5:00 P.M.. I wanted the house clean before we left cause I hate coming home to a messy house. I had to do a couple loads of laundry, pack, bank, gas, and you know watch both girls all day. I normally make a list cause if I don't I will forget something. I finally got it all done with the car loaded when Mike got home. At this point I was really excited to just ride in a car for 5 hours and not do anything. We are on our way and I had made Anna 2 bottles for the trip. However, I realize I had forgotten the can of formula (I know the most essential item). We get into Oklahoma and pull over at a supercenter. Mike goes into get the formula and I decide to fill the car up with gas at Wal-Mart's gas station cause it is always cheap. It is really cold this night and Ellie is wanting to watch a dvd. I pay at the pump and push "No" on the receipt so I don't have to get out of the car again. I'm in the backseat fixing the dvd and helping Anna out. I get back in the front seat and drive to go pick up Mike. I hear a loud noise, but I'm not sure what it was so I keep on driving. I get about 200 yards from the gas station and a lady is honking at me. She rolls down her window and says the "gas pump is attached to your car". I think oh my goodness I hope the car is not damaged? I get out of the car and the pump along with about 8 feet of tubing is still attached to my gas tank. However, nothing is wrong with my car. I run the pump and tubing back to the wal-mart gas attendant and she says "it happens all the time". There is some sort of break away thing so that when crazy ladies run off with the gas pump attached to their car it just breaks away. Praise God our car is o.k.. I go pick up Mike and tell him the story. He asks me do you think as a stay at home mom you start to lose brain cells? I totally think you do cause there are many things that I forget on a stressful day! It was a good reminder to slow down and take a break sometimes!

Monday, December 10, 2007

MUST WATCH...



Stay with it until the end...Holly wants all of you to know that most youtube videos are posted by me. Trust me though, this will have you laughing at the end.

We are back to normal...

Our lives have been crazy since Thanksgiving and I am so glad that it seems like we are back on a routine today. I know all my friends who have children understand how travel and lack of a schedule leads to many melt-downs! We were away before Thanksgiving to visit my grandparents in Arkansas and then we went to KS for Thanksgiving. We came home and the week after Thanksgiving my mom came here to help us paint the family room and kitchen. It looks so much better and I really like it. Well, while my mom was here Anna was really sick and ended up in the ER one night cause we thought she had RSV. She ended up having bronchitis or something you know they can do nothing about. Ellie had a cough and fever. Well, one day she woke up from her nap with a swollen eye and gunk coming out of it. I take her to the dr. and she had pink eye. While my mom was here on December 1st we found out my grandmother was taken to the hospice hospital and was not doing well. My dad got a flight to Dallas that night and the next day my mom and him drive to Arkansas. My grandmother ends up passing away two days later on December 3rd. Also, while my mom was here I got the flu and felt awful. I had a fever etc... and of course it lasted until we were in Arkansas for the funeral. I then get pink eye while we were in Arkansas and have to go to the doctor. We are finally all better and feel great! My grandmother's funeral was such a celebration of her life and how she's in heaven with Jesus! She looked beautiful and I believe it was exactly what she would have wanted. There were over 200 people there to honor her and it was very special. I am so glad that she got to meet Anna before she passed just 3 weeks later.
We are now home and have a week full of Christmas parties. However, we don't have to cook dinner another night this week so that is always nice. I hope you are all enjoying the season. We are trying to refocus on Christ this week as life has been so busy. I asked Ellie last night in the "Do you know what Christmas is about" She quickly responds REINDEER. However, she's pretty cute trying to sing Silent Night. I don't think I've mentioned that when you ask Ellie what she wants for Christmas she says a "race car". She wants nothing to do with a baby doll or anything like it! She does have a race car set that grandma got her that she will be very excited to open on Christmas morning... Have a great week!

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Prosperity Gospel



A friend of mine showed this to me (thanks wes), and I figured I better put it on our blog to share with our friends in the blogosphere. Love it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Huckabee 08

MikeHuckabee.com - I Like Mike!

Well, we are trying to do what we can for the 2008 election as it will be here before we know it. It seems like some people already know about Mike Huckabee, but others have no clue about him. He's a great guy who is moving up in the polls. He's a proven leader and if you watch him in the debates he is awesome. We agree with all of his views and really feel like we could trust him. You can learn more about him anytime on CNN or Fox. He seems to be catching lots of press and is actually becoming a leader. I also have followed him forever cause he was Governor of Arkansas for eight years. He spoke at my high school graduation. A random fact about him is that he has lost over 100 lbs. He used to be quite large and has now run a couple marathons. He's a very unique candidate. I don't know if he can get the nomination, but I think he will at least be the vice-presidential nominee. GO Mike!

Blessings and more....

Well, I thought about doing a "Thanksgiving" post, but it never happened. We have been gone to Arkansas for a few days and then to Lawrence, Kansas to visit Mike's family. We had such a great Thanksgiving and it was so nice to be away. We have so much to be thankful for this year and it has been on my mind so much the past couple of weeks. I am so thankful for our girls and their health. We have seen babies go to heaven this year and ones who are so sick. We have two very lively little girls who bring much joy to us each day in the midst of the toddler chaos. We are so thankful to be in Dallas at Watermark. It seems like the past couple of years have brought so much change and stress that I am feeling so content here. It is an amazing place to worship each week and Mike is loving his job so much. Our pastor's sermon on Sunday was all about gratitude and it really reminded me of how grateful we are to be at a church where Christ is truly the center. It would be an awesome sermon to listen to online. You can go to Watermark.org and then click on media.
I am so thankful that we are about to celebrate my 30th birthday and our 6th wedding anniversary. I cannot believe how fast time goes. It seems like we were just in high school or going on a date in Springfield, MO. I am thankful that each year has brought so much more and drawn me closer to Christ. Mike and I still have so much fun together. We cherish our time together so much more as life with kids has made everything a lot more busy!
I don't think I have blogged about this, but some of you know that I thought I was going to have a skin cancer removed. After, I had Anna a small place showed up on my face on top of my birthmark. It looked similar to a small zit (I know it is gross you may not want to keep reading). I left it there for a few months and then went to a dermatologist. They called it something I had never heard or and removed it with a razor blade. I thought I was going to pass out as they put a shot in my face and then used the razor blade to remove it. They did a biopsy on it to see if it was cancer. I am normally o.k. with pain, but the needle/razor blade thing was awful. They called me and said it was a form of skin cancer underneath my skin, but they weren't sure what it was. We found this out shortly after we moved. The derm. said I should go see a plastic surgeon since it was on my face. I met with a plastic surgeon and he sent me to a specific dermatologist who removed this kind of cancer where they cut a small circle on your face and then "scoop out" the cancer and then after he was done I would go back to the plastic surgeon who would finish the procedure. I was really dreading all of this and really didn't want a bandage on my face for 3 months especially during Christmas. Anyways, I met with the derm. here in TX and he wanted to look at my pathology slides again just to make sure exactly what he thought I would need to have done. He looked at them along with another pathologist and they said it was an "ingrown hair follicle"! I would not need the surgery! I cannot tell you how relieved I am and how thankful I am that I don't have to deal with all of this right now. I do urge any of you to go see the derm. if you are concerned about anything it will be worth it!
Anyways, that was a very random blog post, but it has been on my mind and I thank God for He is so good.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sweep the Leg Johnny!!!

So I (mike) found this music video that is one of the best I've seen in a while. Incredibly creative, a band got the original cast from the Karate Kid together for an amazing video. If you've got 5 minutes to kill, buckle up and watch this...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Possibly the best show of all time...


I found out today (possibly old news) that one of my favorite shows from the 80's is coming back with Mr. Hasselhoff himself. Knight Rider is back! The picture shows it all. I can recall many times I wished I had the follwoing things...
a watch I could talk to and tell Kitt to pull around back
an ejection seat in my car just in case
a silent mode button in case I ever needed a detective job on the side
a sweet red light on the front of my car
of course, the most important part, a bullet proof shell on my car in case I get shot at

Favorite Things....

Well, I just saw that Oprah's favorite things episode is on today. I love this episode and I think I've been able to watch it the past couple of years. I will never be able to purchase any of these things, but it does get me excited for a few Christmas presents. I will for sure be watching at 4:00 today while the kids are asleep and I'm sure millions of other SAHM will be joining me! If I could make a "wish list" of my own this year these would be a few items...I'd be curious to hear what would be on your list. It would be a blog topic if you are running out of them like me.
1.) A nice big purse (aka not from target)!
2.) New black and brown shoes. I tend to wear the same ones everyday and they are not in style I don't think. However, the ones that are in style (the ballerina slipper look) I'm not sure that I like them cause you don't wear socks with them and my feet are oh so white.
3.) Jewelry (once again not from Target) I love it, but never wear it cause it is so expensive to buy.
4.) House stuff
5.) A complete day off where it is all about me ha ha! I'm not selfish or anything.
Okay, better go both kids are now crying!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A great trip to Arkansas...


Anna and Reagan!

Cute Cousins!

Anna loving her roll from AQ Chicken! Yummm! Many Presidents have eaten here!

Ellie and Kayla
We had a great visit in Arkansas. It was so nice for us to see my grandparents and for them to meet Anna. Ellie was so kind and sweet to them. She sometimes is fearful of older people, but she warmed up fast to Meme and Pop. It might have been the candy, baby doll, etc.. that my grandpa had waiting for her. We got to stay with Kim and John Hurley. They have a beautiful new house and are adjusting well to Arkansas. I think they are going to attend the church that I attended all of high school. Ellie had a great time with her friends Jay and Kayla. Her and Kayla are best buds. They are about the same size and they both think the other one is hilarious. We enjoyed some yummy food at some of our favorite local restaurants and ventured to the mall for some play time. We ended up getting to see my parents as well since they got there a day early for Thanksgiving. My brother and sister-in-law were there as well. The girls got to play with their favorite cousins Reagan and Avery. They are such sweet girls who love to "baby" Ellie! It was a great time and now we are getting ready to fly out on Wednesday to go to Kansas. Mike is so excited to get his Kansas football shirt since they are now #2 in the country. It is so crazy that they are two wins away from playing in the national championship game! We are really excited to go see all our Shelton family in Lawrence. I hope you are all doing well. We have so much to thank God for this season. Blessings....

Christmas PJ's.....



I couldn't wait until the 25th to get the Christmas PJ's out this year. I wanted the girls to be able to wear them as much as possible since they look so cute in them!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Going Home....






I am so excited cause tomorrow we are going to Arkansas. I cannot believe we live within driving distance of where I spent the fist 21 years of my life! I grew up in Fayetteville/Springdale, Arkansas and it is where all my roots are from childhood etc...All of my family still lives there except for my parents. I try not to think about how nice it would be if they were within you know a 6 hour drive. Mike has some vacation days to use before January and this is the only weekend between now and Christmas that worked out. Our main reason for going is to visit my grandma and grandpa. My "Meme" is not doing very well and I really want her to meet Anna. She is now on hospice care and we don't know how long she has until she goes home to Heaven. She's a fun lady... I actually think Ellie has some of her spunk and strawberry blonde hair. I lived in the same town as my grandparents for 13 years of my life. My high school, church, dad's job, etc... were all across the street from their house. I went shopping with my meme all the time. She loved her "Dillards" Card. She gave me a love for books and laughter. They attended all my ball games, track meets, etc... I spent so many nights at their house I had my own room! I have so many good memories that I will never forget so I am really glad we are not in Carolina and we have this opportunity to go see them.
I also cannot wait to be in cool weather. Fayetteville is in the Ozark Mountains and it really is a beautiful place. I am so excited to be in a forecast that is not 84 degrees like it was here today. I hope to go to just one of my favorite restaurants and maybe take the girls to the Univ. of Arkansas campus. (I will always be a hog fan!) We are staying with our good friends Kim and John Hurley. We've known them all of seminary and this past year in Raleigh we lived in the same neighborhood. They just recently moved to Arkansas for a job transfer. We hope to maybe go on a double date with them. We don't really desire to go out with our four kids. There would be little opportunity for adult conversation. Anyways, we will come home on Sunday and I look forward to sharing some fun pictures. These are a few random ones I've taken the past couple of weeks. You can tell Anna is totally into snacks these days and is pulling up on everything. She also loves to find Ellie's sippy cup even though Ellie does not like it. Anna has already enjoyed juice, chocolate milk, and sprite. She's very sneaky.
Ellie's vocabulary is growing everyday. I plan on getting the video camera out soon. She loves to sing in the car and we have real conversations that are quite funny sometimes. Ellie has to say "sorry" quite often it seems like during the day. When she says "sorry" I always say I forgive you. Tonight, we are riding in the car and I told Ellie sorry about something and she said "I forgive you". It was so great and funny! She's very into having good manners lately and loves to say excuse me, sorry, please mommy (I hear this at least 50 times a day). Anyways, she's very fun right now and at the same time I'd say it is the most challenging time with Miss Ellie. Are any other mom's out there with 27 month olds going through some of the battles I'm going through everyday? However, I love her so much and thank God she's here with us everyday. Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Ballerina and a cat....


Sweet Sisters!


I love to dance!

Anna the Cat!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"The Draw" Ranch Party



Here's a video I (mike) put together from our ranch party last weekend. It was a blast, and the kids loved it. After the video you'll see a bunch of ours at the bottom that you can scroll through to watch

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Do we look like Texans?

Every year the high school ministry does an event called "The Draw". It is a ranch party about an hour from Dallas. There is a family at Watermark that owns some land and has built a really neat "barn house" that they let us use. The night was really fun cause there were hayrides, smores, a mechanical bull, and lots of country dancing. I ended up taking the kids and they did really good. Ellie loved seeing all of the students and of course the country music. It was a great opportunity for the students to invite their friends to a really fun event!


What do you think of Mike's hat?

Anna's First Dance!

Ellie and Mike having some two step fun!

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Flood

Here's a fun video from when there was a "flood" a couple of weeks ago and the youth staff had some fun with it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jayhawk Spirit....



Mike had to post this as we saw this tonight. These are some students from KU who were at A&M when Kansas destroyed them. You have to read what's on the shirts to understand..."our coach ate your 12th man..." Pretty funny. Rock Chalk.

Anna and Ellie all dressed up.....




I love the girls in these "smocked" dresses. I have two of them and they both always look so cute in them and they last forever! The one Anna is wearing was one that Ellie got for her 1st birthday. We tried to get a good picture of them together, but I can never get them to both look at the camera at the same time. I ended up handing them a stick as you can see to keep them occupied!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!


8-0 can you believe it and it is not basketball. It is incredible and the fact that we beat the aggies is even greater since we are now Texans. They could possibly be in the top 5 in the country next week! Go Hawks!

THE ARMSTRONGS ARE IN TOWN!!!



Our good friends the Armstrongs are in town, and it has been AMAZING to see them! We love them very much, and would love to see them move to Texas someday. I'm (mike) sure Holly will blog about this later, but I had to get some pictures up from their visit!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Don't Song LIVE

A funny video from our church marriage conference. The "blonde" guy is Braun. He's the director for student ministries.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Anna Katherine....




I realized I haven't posted any recent pictures of Anna. She's almost 9 months old and is doing so great. She's at a really "happy" stage right now and brings so much joy to us. She loves to crawl and explore her new house. She mainly follows Ellie around all day and I see how the second child does things so much earlier. She crawled at 6 months and has been pulling up for the past couple of weeks. She is a strong little girl who is growing up so quickly. I keep thinking we are going to be planning her 1st Birthday party before we know it. She has 4 teeth and right now she fits in perfectly with the jacolantern's! She enjoyed her time at the pumpkin patch and I realized she doesn't have anything on that resembles fall. We may have to go again to get some very cute pumpkin patch pictures! I hope you are all having a great week!

Monday, October 15, 2007

State Fair of Texas!




We attended the State Fair of Texas last week with the staff from Watermark. We had no idea what to expect except that people really acted like it was a huge deal. Most people in Dallas go every year and it is about 20 minutes from our house. It was fun and definetly the biggest fair I have ever seen. Ellie had a good time, but was not her normal self cause it was naptime. Anna was at a baby-sitter which was great cause it was really hot. It was definetly a "Texas" event, but I'm really glad that we got the opportunity to go to it! Congrats to my blogging friend Cassie Oakes who just delievered her baby girl and posted about it a few hours later! Technology has changed our world in a unique way!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Night Away.....

I am so excited cause tomorrow night will be the first night away from the girls for something fun in 8 months. We have been away when we came here to find a house. It was such a stressful time that it was hard to enjoy. We have been so busy with the move etc... that I think the timing is great this time! Our church is doing a marriage conference and all the staff goes for free. We are staying at a Marriott just north of us in Plano. It will be a great time for us to get to know people a little better! I am really excited for some adult conversation. I remember in college as a cross-country runner we would get massages pretty often, but I always wanted to save mine for when I was really sore. I think I am looking at this time away as the same thing. We had a really long day today with Ellie. She wouldn't take a nap and fought going to sleep tonight. She was into the cabinets and wanting all the attention away from Anna. We went to the grocery store which was another melt-down. I think God knew I would need this break and time with Mike. I love my girls so much, but some time away will be great!
Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend. I hope it's nice and cool with the leaves changing colors for you. We have yet to wear a long-sleeve shirt and Mike is still in shorts everyday. I don't think there's really going to be a fall. I got excited cause today it was in the mid 80's and it felt great. I forgot to post about something earlier this week. If you are looking for a good book to read you need to check out anything by Karen Kingsbury. She is an amazing author and I think I have now read atleast 30 of her books. She writes Christian-fiction and many of her new releases have been on the NY Times top 20 for several weeks in a row. However, I warn you to have some tissue ready in her newest release called "Summer". It is the second book in a series and Mike walked in the other night when I was finishing the book. I was sobbing it was so sad and he will never understand how I cry over a fictional book! You can check them out at your local library, but there is normally a long waiting list. She's the best and I can't wait for her next book to arrive soon! Have a great Friday I know we will enjoy it!

Monday, October 8, 2007

99 Balloons

You must watch this video. It is so sweet, but get some tissues ready. You can also view it at igniter media.com

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Thoughts from Texas....

Well, we have been here a little over a week and it seems like I have all these thoughts always running through my head. However, I have these two little girls who like to run alot as well. Mike is at church tonight and my sweet Anna has a fever so we stayed home. I think she probably caught something at church this morning and I didn't want her to give it to other babies tonight. She only has a fever, but is acting so sad. She has no energy and we had to go for a drive and a walk just to make it to bedtime without her being fussy the whole time. Ellie is watching "Franklin" which happens to be her favorite character this week. My friend Steph just blogged about just going through the motions lately and not really living each day to the fullest. I think about this often as for me most days are the same. Although, lately they've been crazy with unpacking, cleaning, etc... However, Mike and I are always talking about what we want our week to look like and sometimes we follow through with it, but often times we keep going through the motions. I know that God has called us to so much more. We are now in a new place with awesome opportunities. We know that God has called us to be here and are excited to see His plan unfold for us and our girls. It is funny cause a couple of years ago I told Mike the one place I never wanted to live was Texas. I think I didn't like the size of it and the weather etc... and wouldn't you know that is exactly where we are now. I think I like it here. It is as hot as I imagined, but it doesn't seem so big. I've yet to get on an interstate or go past our church. I still go to my normal places like the bank, Super Target, and the park.
Today, in church I was blown away by the message that we heard. Last week our pastor shared that a man named Lee Strobel would be the guest speaker next week. We've heard of Lee becuase of the book he wrote "The Case for Christ". However, we didn't known much about his story or why he wrote the book. He grew up in Chicago and was an editor for the Chicago Tribune. He was an Atheist and married to an Agnostic lady. He said he was very hostile to anyone of faith, but at the same time was living a life of destruction. He was an alcoholic and said he believed just about anything was okay. His wife met a friend and started going to church etc... She became a Christian and he said when she told him she was now a follower of Jesus it was his worst nightmare. After, a few years he eventually went to church with his wife and daughter. They attended Willow Creek church and he said after leaving he knew he had to investigate Christianity. He began a two year search of almost every aspect of Christianity and following Jesus. He interviewed religious scholars who were both conservative and liberal. He spoke with archaeologists, medical professionals, psychologists etc... He said he tried to convince himself that Jesus was not the only way to God and the whole thing was a big myth. However, one day after two years of study and personal examination he could not deny Christ anymore. He became a Christian and has gone on from there to tell of his story from being an atheist to a follower of God. His story is much more indepth and I think I will check out his book.
Anyways, it was an awesome second Sunday at Watermark. We are truly blessed and still cannot believe we are here sometimes in a place that is truly centered around the gospel. I am so thankful that Ellie and Anna will grow up in a church like Watermark. Ellie is really growing up and her new favorite thing to do is sing. She is learning lots of new songs and we do it alot in the car to help pass time. She loves "Shane and Shane" and their new cd. She always tells me again after their song "We love you Jesus". I recommend this song to all my friends with toddlers. Well, those are some random thoughts from Texas and I hope you all have a great Monday. May we all live with purpose!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

So much to blog so little time......




I realized it is October and it seems like our lives have been in constant craziness since July. We are all in Richardson now in our new house and it is great! We are on a schedule, eating home cooked meals together, and trying to learn how to be Texans? It really is a different culture and I realized today how strange it was that I was excited it was going to be in the 80's tomorrow. We all survived the travels here and all the details it took to move across the country. Mike is doing great and really enjoys working with a team. It is so different than having all the pressure of being the only youth guy. There are of course other stressful things with a large ministry. It seems like he is really finding his role and is being challenged to be all that God wants him to be as a youth pastor.
Ellie is definetly a Two year old little girl. We are loving this stage, but seeing the importance of discipline in a new way. She loves playing in her new backyard and peeking in at the "doggies" next door. She is really into any kind of ball right now and any kid she can find to entertain her. She asks to wake up Anna all the time and they are now sharing a room. They seems to sleep better which is kind of strange, but we are not doing it for naptime. I am not willing to risk those 3 precious hours.
Anna is 8 months old and is coming into her own little personality. She's such a risk taker and loves attention. She is crawling everywhere and has been for two months. She's enjoying lots of new baby food and chasing her sister. They are such precious little girls who we are so blessed by each day.
I am staying busy it seems like from 7 A.M. till 9 P.M. each night. I don't think I've been this tired in a long time. I forgot how hard it is to organize a house and take care of my family. I love living in a one story house and am dreaming of all the colors I want to paint certain rooms. There is nothing else really that we have to do to this house which is great considering it was built in 1958. I have enjoyed walking around the neighborhood and seeing how different a Texas neighborhood is from a Carolina neighborhood. There are no neighborhood pools and tiny yards. We actually have old trees and each house looks different. We are 5 minutes from I-635 which is the loop around Dallas and about 20 minutes from downtown. We are definetly the closest area to Dallas so it is kind of nice to be so accessible to so many places. I don't really want to drive on these interstates, but I'll enjoy going with Mike.
We are looking forward to our first Texas culture shock when next week we go to the State Fair. I've heard it is crazy and very large like everything here. Watermark lets the entire staff off next Wednesday afternoon to go to the fair and they buy us tickets for our family. I think Ellie is going to love it. Anyways, I'm posting some random pictures from the past month. I miss you all and think of you often. A verse that we've been thinking about since July is "With God all things are possible." Whatever comes your way may you think about this and realized He is more than powerful to give you the strength you need.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Braun's Bad Day

Hey... Here's a video Mike made from his first few days at Watermark. They showed it to the high school students in Sunday. Braun is the director of student ministry and most of the people in the video are on staff. Enjoy!

Friday, September 14, 2007

First Days.....

It seems like this week there were many first steps for us. Mike started his first day at Watermark on Monday. He had a great first week. He's staying in a family's pool house. They are really making him feel welcome and I know he's enjoying getting to know people. Their son who is a senior in high school at Highland Park High which is a very elite public school in Dallas. He's an awesome cross-country/track runner who is going to be running in college somewhere. Mike and the family were able to instantly connect over this subject since I made him follow the sport for so many of my college years. The boy is actually going to Duke tomorrow for a recruiting trip. Mike was able to tell them a little about Duke since we just moved from Raleigh. Anyways, I think Mike is doing great and really enjoying getting to work with a team. He has his first retreat next weekend. I know that will be a great opportunity for him to get to know the students and leaders better.
Ellie took a big first step today in learning to use the potty. I figured since we have time at my parents house we might as well work on it. She has been showing lots of signs of interest so I thought we would progress slowly. She picked out a "Diego" potty and it came with stickers etc... I knew Ellie would not be into the all day training thing and she would need a little more time. So after most meals I sit her on it while she watches something on PBS Kids. I don't know how to train her to just sit on it yet without something to distract her. At first, she wanted nothing to do with it besides just playing with it. However, she started sitting on it yesterday without her diaper. Today, she went a couple of times. She'd stand up afterward and say "all done". I've learned you have to catch her before she empties the potty on the carpet. She then gets a sticker which I think is her whole motivation! Anyways, it is a step and I think we have a while to go, but we are one step closer to only have one child in diapers.
Anna's first things this week is that she is crawling everywhere. She started crawling shortly after she turned 6 months. I remind you that Ellie did not crawl until almost 12 months. I think I have a very determined second child. She's so cute though cause she is tiny like Ellie and you wouldn't think she would be strong enough to crawl. She has also done so much better being in one place for awhile.

My big thing today was that I went to the dentist. I have gone regularly, but have not been able to have x-rays for awhile because I have either been pregnant, nursing, or had braces since 2004. I've known for awhile that I needed my wisdom teeth out. There are only three and it looks like only one is kind of bad. I have not looked forward to the whole wisdom teeth procedure. I've said many times that having a baby does not scare me near as bad as getting these teeth removed! I went to my mom's dentist and she's a really sweet young girl. She made me feel so much better and said her husband does all of their wisdom teeth extractions. She said they do it all in their clinic and that they just give you a pill that makes you very sleepy and you won't remember much! I will find out next week exactly how many they will take out and I should be able to get them out sometime before Christmas. I always dread the dentist, but today it was not to bad!

We are excited to see Mike and miss him so much. Ellie is praying for him every night and misses her crazy daddy. God has been so good to us and His mercies are truly new every morning. Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Crazy Month....

Well, I have been wanting to sit down and blog with pictures of what we have been up to in the past month. However, Mike has our laptop and I can't download any of the pictures. I will try and post some soon! I hope you are all doing awesome. I know this time of year for many of you is very exciting with the start of a new school year. Even though I am not in school and just stay at home. I feel like we are somewhat getting back to a normal schedule! I have realized lately how my little Anna loves her schedule. When she gets off of it she is a different baby for sure. Well, I will try and remember all that has happened in the past month and include many of the funny "shelton" moments. Mike and I drove to GA a few weeks ago and dropped the girls off with Nana and Papa so we could fly to Dallas to try and find a house. We found many on-line and thought it was going to be really easy. Well, all of the ones we found on-line we realized once we got there were in not so good areas. We basically started our search over and probably drove our realtor crazy! It was so different in Texas than the East Coast that it was very difficult for us to get used to buying a house built in the 1960's. We saw so many with the original carpet and lovely brown paneling. I really don't have the energy or desire to remodel a house that I kept thinking there has to be one that has been updated? We looked and saw some with potential, but none that felt like home. The last night before we were to leave I went back and looked on-line. I saw one that I really liked and asked Mike if they had already looked at it. He thought so, but was not sure. The next morning our agent called and said I think we need to look at the house on St. Luke's street(cool street name huh?)! I was so excited cause I could tell from their pictures that I was going to like the inside, but the main concern would be where it was located. We got to the house and knew instantly it was the house for us! It always works out that way that it is the last house you look at huh? I think it was good that we looked at all the bad ones and were able to see how great the house would be for us!
I will not change one thing and love it so much. A young family had renovated the entire house and she had great taste! The nursery was already painted with stripes on the bottom below the chair rail and the girls bathroom has the original vintage pink tile, tub and toilet. It is in a unique neighborhood that backs up to a creek. Mike is already so excited about taking Ellie to the creek. The family that owned the house were Christians and have been so easy to work with through our agent.
We will close on the house on the 17th and move in sometime around the 24th. Our last day in Dallas, Mike had lunch with Braun the director of student ministries and they were talking about is there anyway Mike could get there earlier than the 24th to start work. I thought it was a great idea except we had to pack all of our stuff, move it, etc....
We fly back to GA on a Monday and drive back to Raleigh late on Tuesday. We decided it would be best if we could be out of our house by September 1st so we could avoid paying rent, utilities, etc..We start packing on Wednesday and Mike calls a company that has moved us before to see if they could just come and load everything onto our trailer. They say yes, but they can only do it the next day!
I was a wreck cause we had not packed anyting yet and still had to throw away so much stuff. We also would have to take care of Ellie and Anna. It was insane! Mike and I stay up really late on Wednesday and get most of it done. The movers came the next morning and loaded everything onto the trailer which was such a big help. I don't think we could have gotten it all done without them. We finish everything except the cleaning by Thursday afternoon. We clean on Friday and the moving company takes our trailer to be stored until the 24th. They will then drive our trailer to TX. It was way cheaper than a company coming to pack, load, and drive it across the country.
We had a week until Mike was supposed to start work so we decided to take one last trip to the beach. We went to Myrtle for 5 days with the girls. We had so mcuh fun. It was awesome to see Ellie enjoy the beach for the first time. Anna loves the water and just riding in her baby backpack everywhere. There are lots of pictures I will post soon from our trip. The crazy thing was we both had to drive to Myrtle cause we were going from there to GA so I can stay with my parents for a few weeks until our house closes. Mike is staying in someone's guesthouse and we didn't think it would work out to well with the kids there. Mike then left this past Friday night at 10 P.M. from Georgia with the idea he would drive a few hours then spend the night somewhere. He decided to keep going and ended up driving the whole way so he got there on Saturday morning. I am so glad I did not have to make that trip through the night. Anyways, I can't believe all this has happened in just a few short weeks and we all survived all the changes. Ellie and Anna are very thankful to be on a normal schedule! I am so thankful to God for what He is doing in our lives. We are really excited for this opportunity at Watermark and have sensed His complete control so many times in the past month. I will post pictures soon if I can figure out how to do it here. Sorry this is so long and random. Have a great day!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Jabez....


I know I haven't posted lately and I have so much to write. I will do this sometime soon with pictures of our new house and an update on our move! Today, we decided that we were not going to be able to take care of our dog Jabez. Mike is going to be gone on a lot of youth trips and it is becoming to much work figure out how to move him all the way to Texas. We dropped Jabez off at a local humane society that has a "no kill" policy so that made Mike feel so much better. I also promised him that in time we could adopt a nice golden retriever. Jabez was a sweet dog that Ellie was beginning to love. We know that he will go to a nice family who actually has time to spend with him. Please, pray for Mike as he grieves. Ha! I'm sure that as soon as he starts work he'll be glad he doesn't have to take care of Jabez. I'll write more soon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"The Hunt"

Well, tomorrow the hunt for a house officially begins. Our house in NC is under contract and supposed to close on September 14th! It is such a praise that it was only listed for about 10 days. Mike has been in Dallas for the past couple of days scoping everything out for us. We are very limited in where we can live cause the church is in the city. We will live in the closest suburb which is Richardson, TX. However, it is a unique market there that mainly consists of older brick ranch style homes from the 1960's to 1970's. I am trying to not look at to many that have the same appliances, carpet, etc.. from 40 years ago. There are many that have been remodeled which I am very thankful! I'm sure it will be a journey for us over the next couple of days and for my parents as they watch both girls. It is the first time I have been away from Anna over night. She is such a good sleeper though that she should be fine. Ellie will enjoy all the attention. I hope you are all doing well. It is so hot here in GA. I'm thinking the southeast has been way more hot than TX this summer. I think we are fully prepared with the majority of days since July being 100 degrees. I hope to post a picture of a new home soon!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sold....???


We may have sold our house in Youngsville today! We knew it would happen there are just a few details before we sign the contract. It has been quite a journey with this house, but I can tell you I am so glad I am not going to be a resident of Youngsville, NC. However, as we were driving out there last night to meet the lady who wanted to buy it we kept saying we'd miss the country. There will not be to much country in Dallas. I'm sure every once in awhile we will have to drive north and see some cows and land! The house next to ours was for sale and a young couple bought it about two weeks ago. We put a for sale by owner sign in ours and they called us to look at it for their mother. This family will now have almost 3 acres with the combined property and they will e living right next to each other. I'm thinking this is how people do it in Youngsville! A unique fact about our land is that we found a tombstone right by the deck with a guy's name on it who lived for 86 years. One lady was scared that he was buried there? It reminded me of a story that Stephanie Armstrong told me that they once went to a visitation for a person who went to their church in Franklin County where Youngsville is located. The visitation was held at their house and the body was in a bedroom. We have learned that funerals in rural North Carolina are very strange. Anyways, we are very excited that the house is sold and we don't have to deal with it anymore!
We are flying to Dallas next week to try and find a house. We should be able to move sometime in September! It is still so crazy to me that we are living our last few days on the East Coast. We are trying to do some things we will no longer get to do when we are Texans. Tonight, we are going out with some friends to Chapel Hill. It is one of our most favorite places mostly cause of the Tar Heels. We are not taking the girls which will be nice cause I think we have been with them everyday for almost a month with no break besides church nursery. It should be a nice night, but kind of sad because we will probably never go there again unless Ellie goes there for college! I am posting a picture of Anna. She is almost sitting up and started baby food this week. She's 6 1/2 months old and I took both girls to the doctor last week. Anna weighed 13 lbs. 2 oz. and Ellie weighed 20 lbs. 4oz. We were so excited cause we were hoping Ellie would make it to 20 lbs. at her 2 yr. checkup!
Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend and I'll keep you posted on the house.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Charlotte's Web......

Today, we had a very fun morning. I've been taking Ellie to the free kids movie almost every week. Last night I looked online and saw that Charlotte's Web was playing at a theater nearby our house! I have been wanting to see this movie and I think secretly Mike wanted to see it as well. It was the first time he's been able to go with us so it was really fun. It was such a sweet movie and we love Dakota Fanning. I hope she doesn't end up like Lindsey Lohan. She's to sweet and cute to grow up. Charlotte's voice was played by Julia Roberts and there were many other stars who had voices in the movie. It was so much like the book which I loved as a kid. Ellie did so well and Anna just looked around and enjoyed her bottle. Anyways, just wanted to share with you all and encourage you to see this movie! Mike was so shocked at how well the kids did at the movie and he said "Do you think we could take them to see Bourne Ultimatum"? I don't know if our girls need to see that much action or violence for two hours, but it would avoid getting a sitter!I hope you all have a great rest of the day and stay cool!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Ellie!




We had Ellie's 2nd Birthday party on Wednesday night. I think we are still recovering from all the fun! We ended up having to have it at our house cause it was supposed to be 104 degrees on Wednesday. We went with the Dora theme which was mainly just lots of pink things! Our small group from church came along with Kim and John Hurley. They are some of our friends from seminary who live in our neighborhood. There were 6 kids there and two were babies. I think this is the perfect amount cause more than 5 kids under two could easily lead to disaster. The crazy thing was they all behaved great and there were no melt-downs. They all love parties we have decided. We had pizza which every kid loved along with the parents! I made cupcakes with pink sprinkles and ice cream for dessert. Ellie along with all of her friends seemed to enjoy the cupcakes very much. They also had candy in their goody bag. I think Ellie's best bud Cana was up until 11:00 at our house playing with Ellie. The sugar high was pretty crazy how it affects children. The next morning her mom said she woke up saying "party, party". The Via's came back over last night for a game of mexican train dominoes and Cana walked in ready to party. Ellie stayed up until 10:00 last night then we put her to bed. Cana watched Mickey Mouse Club in our living room until almost midnight. The summer is so crazy and we love "laid back" friends like us! Kelly said she thinks Cana is going to always want to come to our house cause she has so much fun.
I am guessing many of you got our email that we are moving to TEXAS! I never thought I would say those words, but we are really excited. We are not so sure about the "Big D", but we know working at Watermark will be an awesome opportunity. We have so much to do in the next month or so that just thinking about it gives me a headache. However, we know it will all get done and most likely by October we will be Texans. Please, pray for us as we have a house to sell here in Raleigh and then have to decide what house to buy in TX. We will be living in Richardson, TX which is the closest suburb to the city. We will truly miss the east coast. I am confident there is no greater place to live in the USA, but we know that Mike has been called to be at Watermark. I hope you all have a great Saturday. Enjoy the birthday pics!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ellie's Almost Two!!!

One Year Ago.....




I found these pictures today of Ellie from last summer. She has grown so much not just in size, but in so many ways. She turns two this Sunday! Wow where has the time gone?
She was not walking this time last year and now she is running everywhere! She now can communicate and tell us what she wants. She has a 6 month old little sister now whom she adores. It is amazing how in one year so much changes especially in the life of our children. Anyways, enough of the "teary-eyed" talk... We've had a good week so far. We took the girls to a Carolina Mudcats baseball game last night. We are still not sure what a mudcat is but it is close to our house and cheap. Ellie has been obsessed with games lately. She's always talking about a ball or a game since I took her to a movie about baseball. She seemed to enjoy the game although I think we left after the 7th inning cause it was already 9:00. Both girls ended up sleeping till almost 9:00 this morning cause we were out so late. Maybe we need to do this more often?
Mike preached on Sunday and did such a good job. I think he enjoyed getting this opportunity as it has been awhile. He also showed his camp video which I hope to be able to post on here soon. You can watch or listen to his sermon our website www.takeajourney.org . Our pastor has been away on vacation so he asked Mike to fill in this past Sunday. We told our pastor about Kanakuk and he sent his son there for two weeks to K2. We are anxious to hear about their trip to the Ozarks. So for those of my friends who actually read this blog I thought I would start a "tag" to hear what you all have been up to this summer. I've read about "tags" on other's blogs and it is basically like a forward with a topic that you have to reply to on your blog.
So my topic is what has been your top 5 events of the summer?
Here are ours in no particular order or excitement!
1.) Our trip to the OBX with Mike's family. It was so fun and to actually get to stay at a beach house for a week was awesome!
2.) We've gotten to go out on a boat twice this summer and I've loved it. I grew up going to the lake and getting to water ski etc....It has been so fun!
3.) I've loved not being pregnant for the first time during the summer since 2005. It has been nice to not be wearing maternity clothes and actually being able to be active this summer.
4.) I've been at my parent's house almost 3 weeks this summer which was really fun having the girls with their grandparents. They bring Ellie much joy!
5.)I am finally on a routine with the girls and am having consistent daily times with God that have brought much renewal. I am currently doing a Beth Moore study again and it has been awesome. God has been very good to us this summer in drawing us close to Him. I feel like our summer has been very purposeful and I'm excited to see what God is up to in our lives!

So I want to know what you all have been up to this summer or at least it gave me something to blog about today!

Friday, July 27, 2007

TGIF!



Well, it's Friday and I am looking forward to the weekend. We don't have big plans or anything, but it is nice to be back in Carolina! I made it with both girls on the plane! I think it was one of those days that was very empowering as a mom. I kept thinking I wonder if there are any dad's out there who have done this with two kids under two? I doubt it.. We can do more than we think as mother's. Anna did really well cause I just held her the whole time. Ellie had her own seat so the trick was getting the seatbelt fastened tight enough so that she could not get up. I had a new toy or snack in front of her every minute! They did so good and I will do it any day over a drive with two kids for 8 hours! The crazy thing was that once I got home it was only l0 A.M. and of course our house was not exactly clean. It was driving me crazy so I started to clean and it felt so good. However, I was like how do I still have energy after getting up at 4:30 in the morning! It is good to be home though and see Mike. Ellie was thrilled to be with her Daddy! Tonight, we are hanging out with some of our friends from our small group. We are going to play spades which we love and go to Taco Bell with them. It is a very "kid-friendly" restaurant for a Friday night! The girls in the picture are all of the girls from our group. We went out on a boat a couple of weeks ago. It was so fun and I remembered how to water ski! The other picture is of Ellie. I love this outfit on her. Someone gave it to Anna to wear this summer? It is 6 moths, but very large. I think Ellie looks like such a big girl in the picture. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm going home.....

Well, tomorrow is the day we reunite with Mike after 10 days and I attempt my first flight with both children. HA! I know most of you are thinking that it is crazy to fly with one baby. I do agree, but I can tell you after driving many times lately by myself with both girls for 8 hours. I will totally take a 1 hour flight. I also am going to have some help. It worked out that the chepest flights were for tomorrow and my mom is already flying out tomorrow at 8:45 A.M.. The really cool thing is that my flight is at 8:05 A.M. so she is going to be able to help me get through security, change diapers, check both carseats, and our bag! We have to leave by 5 A.M. because of Atlanta traffic so we are putting the girls down early tonight! I will give you a blog update soon on how it goes. Ellie will have her own seat. Even though she is under two they will not allow you to have 2 kids in your lap. We have really enjoyed out time here with Nana and Papa. Ellie totally loves being here and all the special "treats" she gets while at her grandparents house. I have enjoyed being able to spend some one on one time with both Anna and Ellie. Today, I took Ellie to the free kiddie movie by myself while mom stayed home with Anna. It is a great time cause all Anna does is nap at the time. It gives mom a break from crazy Ellie world! We went to see a really good kid movie. I normally don't like them because they are all rated PG. It seems like they are all animated, but all have adult humor. The movie "Everyone's Hero" that we saw today was rated G and was so cute! She loved it. It is all about a little boy and is dream of playing baseball for the NY Yankees. I would recommend it to every mom out there to watch it as a family. Ellie kept saying as we left the theater "More Game, More Game". I asked her what the movie was about and she said "game, ball, game, ball". She sat on my lap the whole time and it was really fun to just take care of one child for two hours. I can't believe I used to stress about it! Mike is busy this week with church work. It is going to sorda be a youth Sunday at church this week. He is preaching, making a highlight video from camp with student testimonies etc....I'm really excited for him! He always does such a great job when he preaches. Anyways, I hope each one of you draws close to the Lord this week. I have really enjoyed listening to the Hillsong United music on my dad's ipod this week. It is cool that my dad has an ipod by the way huh? He also knows how to work it. We haven't taught my mom yet, but she likes having it in the car! You must listen to Hillsong United if you don't have any of their music you should go get it. They are from Hillsong church in Australia and they are the college worship band. It is very similar to Passion, but I think their music is really catching on here in the U.S.. We sing their songs all the time at Journey. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sports Fans.....

Well, as many of you know I ran track and cross-country all of high school and college. I have continued to follow the sport through various websites and ocassionally on television. I know running is only popular every 4 years when it is one of the highlights of the olympics. However, an amazing accomplishment just happened over the weekend. There is a 24 yr. old guy named Alan Webb that set the American High School record for the mile 8 years ago and he went on to run at Stanford. He is now running professionally for Nike and has continued to improve. The world championships are approaching in August and so all of the runners go to Europe to compete during the summer. They have these awesome track meets all over Europe. Some are very small and some will have up to 75,000 people in attendance. Everyone thought Alan was going to try and set the American record for the mile that has been held for 25 years. He did it at a small track meet in Belgium. He ran 3:46 for the mile. Awesome! I promise you that you will know this guys name in 2008 when he is representing the USA in the olympics. Anyways, you can view his race at this website..... www.flocasts.com then click on Alan Webb AR and you might have to watch it on the low-res to get it to work. Anyways, I got chills watching this guy who has trained for years for this one moment to be the fastest American ever in the mile. The crazy thing is that he did it with no competititon and at a track meet that was very small. It is so frustrating that so many other sports get so much publicity with all of their negative role models and here is a guy that is just an awesome talent with an amazing work ethic and no one even knows about it. Anyways, just thought I would write about something that I thought was very inspiring to me to be the best at whatever I do each day!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Birthday Help?

Okay, I need some help. I can never decide what to do for birthday parties? I always want them to be "perfect" even though I know Ellie will never remember it and Mike doesn't really care. I just remember as a kid looking through scrapbooks at all my birthday parties and thinking that was a fun party. I want Ellie to look at her pictures and think the same thing. So I am going to give a few options and all those who read this please comment. Remember her party will be on Sunday, August 5th and that is not to far away! Here are my two options:

1.) Party at the house around 6:00 P.M., cookout, cake, ice cream, etc...
2.) Party at a park around 6:30 P.M. with just appetizers, cake, ice cream, etc..

This is where the concerns come in.... at home we have no back yard so everyone would be inside. Although, we have very few "little friends" we would invite there are quite a few adults and students I would like to invite. I don't know really what we would do beside eat, presents, etc... although, i thought about making a slideshow with pictures from the past year of Ellie. I couldn't do this if it was outside?

The park would provide more room and I wouldn't have to cook as much. However, it could be really hot or rain? I also couldn't decorate really or show a slideshow. It would be easier though to invite more people and the kids could run etc... also, Mike could bring a moonwalk there.

My other thing I can't decide on is I do not like the whole "character" party. I know Ellie would much rather have a Dora party than a ladybug, polkadots, flowers, or princess party. I just think those things are so cute. I love the cute, sweet invitations, cakes, etc.... but which one should I choose? I thought of doing just simple invitations in pink/orange (dora colors), pink and orange plates, etc.. and doing the cake with dora.
Anyways, I know this is silly, but I would like some input from my friends! Does anyone else stress about this stuff? I haven't been able to post any pictures cause Mike has my camera. I wish you all could be at Ellie's party! Please reply with some much needed help! Ha!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Camp days....

Mike is now at Big Stuf camp in Daytona Beach, Florida. I am in Georgia with my parents. The girls are loving being at Nana and Papa's. They are always so happy here. I haven't heard from Mike much since he is in charge of the 40+ people. He might be a little busy. However, we did talk today and he told me it was good that Anna and I did not make the trip. They ended up crowding the kids into the rooms so that atleast a couple people have to sleep in the living area on the sofa bed. I would not have had a room with just Anna and another adult. I am so glad that God knew He had other plans for me this week! I am really excited to hear about all that God is going to do in our students lives while at camp. I love camp. It really is a place that I always had so much fun. I think I have attended atleast 15 different camps in my lifetime. In junior high I went to church camp in North Carolina and Tennessee. I remind you we drove from Arkansas to these places on buses that would always have issues and definetly no air conditioning. I also went to so many different basketball camps. I would go with my friends and we would get to stay in the college dorms. I remember sweating all day and then staying up way to late at night. We would order pizza almost every night cause the camp food was so bad. In high school I continued to go to basketball camp with my team and I think I started going to running camp, but I can't remember. In college I began to work at camps and I loved every minute of it. Mike and I both worked at Kanakuk. He worked at K-Kountry for young children and I worked at Kids Across America which was Kanakuk's camp for inner city children. I also started being a counselor at my good friend Amy's running camp in Indiana. It was crazy we would run like 15 miles a day and then listen to speakers talk about running, nutrition, etc... and we thought this was fun. When Mike and I were engaged we were interns at a huge church in Memphis and we had to be counselors for all their camps that summer. We went on a missions camp to Alabama which was crazy. We went to Tennessee for a choir tour with their middle school students. It was a fun summer learning all about ministry from someone who was an incredible youth pastor. We got married and then Mike began youth ministry and the camps have never stopped. We've been to two different church camps in South Carolina and then I was pregnant the last two summers which eliminated me getting to go to camp. I can't wait for the days when Ellie and Anna are old enough to go to camp. There is nothing like the feeling of staying in a cabin with your friends and being isolated from the outside world for a week. It has always been a growing experience for me and my walk with Christ. I know this week I am supposed to be here with my girls. We are having lots of fun. Ellie is currently obsessed with pennies. We found this old piggy bank and she loves putting the pennies in the bank. Today, though she has figured out to put them in her pocket so she can hide them from us. Tonight, while I was out at the library looking for a book to read she stayed her with mom and dad. They said she kept pointing to a bib. Mom put it on her thinking that she wanted one cause Anna had one on today. She put the bib on her and Ellie began to say "ice cream". She knew she had to have her bib on to have an ice cream cone. She brings us so many laughs these days. Tomorrow, she is having an early birthday party here with my parents. She is going to have so much fun with her Dora cake and balloons. I hope I didn't bore you all with my camp stories. It is just that time of year when I miss it so much!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Random....




Well, it seems like there has been alot going on this week, but I don't have any pictures that go together so I thought I would post some from the past couple of weeks. I will start with a funny story. Last night we met a youth family in downtown Raleigh at Mellow Mushroom Pizza. Yumm..... Ellie liked her pizza and the family was 30 minutes late due to rain etc... We began to think this could get interesting with our two kiddos trying to sit through dinner for a long time. We did all kinds of things to entertain Ellie. She had diet coke with cherry (Mike's idea), played with their kids, and looked at video games. We decided to go to Krispy Kreme after dinner since we were already downtown. She had part of a donut and enjoyed every bite. We get home and we put her to bed around 9:00 P.M. and she was not tired at all. We bring her downstairs and she finally got sleepy around 11:00 P.M.. We were more tired than her. We will never do that much sugar so close to bedtime. We felt like awful parents.
I am leaving on Saturday to go to my parents while Mike is at camp. He's really excited about camp in Florida. I'm so jealous. However, I know we will have fun at my parents house. They are having an early birthday party for Ellie. They ordered her a Dora cake and some Dora balloons. She is going to think it is the greatest thing ever.
These pictures are of Ellie outside in her baby pool. She seems to enjoy it more than the big pool. It has been so hot here this summer that it has been great. The other one is of Anna at church. She is laying beside her good friend Hannah. Hannah is one month older than Anna. You can tell that once again I have a tiny little girl! I'm thinking we could have 2 members of a gymnastics team in the near future! I hope you all have a good day!