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


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


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!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Travel Times....

Well, I really don't have much to write today, but both girls are asleep so I thought I could come up with something. I was gone for a week to my parent's house and did the drive there by myself. Why I do these things I do not know? However, it is so worth it once I get there. My mom rode back with me to Raleigh. It was so helpful cause she could sit in the back seat and give Anna a bottle. We stopped halfway and stayed the night in a hotel. It was really fun. It was the first time I have done this with Ellie in a really long time. She thought it was great sleeping in the same room with us. She was in our bed some of the time cause she would not be quiet and I was afraid she'd wake up Anna. Eventually, around 11:30 P.M. she finally fell asleep in her crib. The next day was pretty good cause we only had about 4 hours to go. It was so helpful having my mom here with me cause Mike has been so busy with out "flip" house. We took Ellie to the movies again. We saw the Veggie Tales movie "Jonah". It was pretty good, but Happy Feet is still her favorite. My dad came on the 4th and they drove home on Friday. We ended up watching the neighbors fireworks and they were quite a show. I can't believe people spend that much money on fireworks, but it was a free show for us. Ellie really enjoyed them and was not scared. Anna was already asleep! Our crazy dog Jabez ran away that night and ended up in a nearby neighbor's house. I think maybe he is getting sick cause all he wants to do is lay in his crate and his fur is turning really strange colors. He is even driving Mike crazy.....
Our house is coming along. We have found excellent workers who have led us to new workers etc.... They work really hard and are doing some amazing work. Mike is even brushing up on his spanish and has been able to communicate with them which he said they love. They are now painting the walls, laying tile, putting in windows, etc.. When it is all finished I will post some pictures and you can see the transformation. It was truly way worse than an "Extreme makeover" home and Mike has done such a good job with being a contractor, house manager, etc...We have lived at Lowe's this week and have quickly decided in NC it is a much better store than Home Depot.
We will be home for one more week then we are off again. Mike is going to camp in Floida and I am going back to my parent's house. I decided I really did not want to stay here with 2 kids by myself for a week. I also do not sleep when I have to stay by myself. I wish I was going to camp, but it is just not going to work with the travel schedule etc...They are staying at a church overnight on the way to Florida and I really do not want to stay in a room with 20 girls and Anna.
I hope each of you continues to have a great summer. We have realized lately that in the midst of desiring an easy, relaxed summer that God is still in control. He has a plan and some of it requires hard work, chasing kids, traveling with kids, etc...Mike always reminds me everything is only for a season. Whatever season you are in it will be over with someday and you will realize "Jesus has plans to prosper you not harm you, give you hope, and a future." Jeremiah 29:11