Friday, November 23, 2007

The Best Thanksgiving

We had such a glorious time yesterday. It was our first Thanksgiving where we had family over and it was wonderful. We figured that if we're going to be cooking turkey anyway, we might as well have others over to share it with us. And for the first time, we actually live close enough for family to take us up on the offer. Mom, Dad, Mama, Laurance, Kimberly, and Jonathan joined us for a delicious Thanksgiving feast. What a treat! Ma-Ma had been telling us for weeks now that she wanted to see our new place, and we're so glad she was feeling up to the trip. We made turkey, dressing, giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, rolls, and brownies; Kimberly brought delicious green bean casserole, and Mom brought yummy sweet potato and squash casserole, as well as potato salad and pecan pie. We did the turkey in a bag for the first time and thought it was our best one-much more moist than our previous 2 years. And it was our first attempt at making homemade mashed potatoes w/the skins left on-we used the red potatoes and it turned out great. Our hopes of making a homemade pumpkin pie (using a small sugar pumpkin) were dashed due to time constraints, but we're hoping to attempt it this weekend.

During dinner, Mom broke out singing a couple songs including "I'll fly away" and we all joined in. I think that was my favorite part; a spontaneous, joy-filled family sing-a-long. And I loved not having to feel like I had to impress-they saw our bare walls and sparse furniture and still thought we had a lovely place. Ella gobbled up Mama's attention, especially when she fed her ice cream, and she thoroughly enjoyed Mom pushing her on her swing and Kimberly's chasing her all over the yard. "Imly, Chase Ella!" she'd say over and over. Jonathan was a little angel-he even got a nap in and we all managed to just barely fit around our table (though we did move it into the dining room to have a bit more room). Will showed off his new toys (I mean farm equipment)-namely his 1962 red Massey Ferguson tractor, disk harrow, bush hog, and trailer (all bought used and for a great price), and Dad advised us on starting our own Pick-Your-Own garden for next year. :-)

They all left around 4:30 and then Will, Ella, and I hung out on the hammock for some snuggle time and even had Mandy and Marlo join us. Until Marlo breathed too heavily in Will's face-then they had to snuggle together some place else. And yesterday was a 1st for our little girl. She petted both dogs on her own and she repeated it today. So maybe my goal of her not running away if the animals get too close will be accomplished afterall. We ended our day by watching We are Marshall. Speaking of movies, a recent favorite of ours is Amazing Grace,the true story of William Wilberforce and his tireless fight to end British slave trade.

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. Indeed, we have much to be thankful for. Children who delight us, family and friends who encourage us, spouses who continue to love us, and our Savior, who loves us most of all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Big Girl!

Ella dressed up as Raggedy Ann for Halloween this year and was ever so cute! We went to the Fall Festival at the church we've been visiting-she was a little overwhelmed w/all the people but had fun playing a few games and of course winning candy! She caught us off guard by saying she wanted a "lollipop" the next morning b/c neither Will nor I call it that-we say sucker. But we remembered that one of the game helpers had said "Would you like a lollipop?" after she played a game and it obviously stuck w/her. She doesn't miss a thing!

Ella just amazes us all the time. She knows so many words-headache (Daddy gets these a lot), hammock, eBay (I've been addicted lately!), etc. And if you ever tell her she'll get hurt if she does such-an-such so she better not do it, she'll ask "Cry?" And we'll say, "Yes, Ella, you'll get hurt and cry." To which she responds, "Uh-uh, Big Girl!" If you try to convince her that sometimes even big girls cry, she won't buy it. We "blame" this on Ms. Julia, one of Ma-ma's nurses, who has told Ella before, "Big girls don't cry."

She can tell you her night-time schedule-"bath, milk, read book, brush teeth, night-night." She loves for us to pray w/her too and even has said her own prayer. Her first was "Thank you Ma-ma home." How precious is that! I tell you there's nothing sweeter than hearing your child say "Jesus" or as she says, "De-sus."

She has 2 new favorite books: Emma's Lamb and My Cousin Katie. Go check them out at your library! Ella LOVES THEM-I must read both of them at least once a day and I'm thinking we might just go ahead and buy them for her for Christmas.

And for over a month now, Ella has been diaper-free! Yippee! She was only wearing them for naps and night-time but now she is strictly a "panties girl." I just decided when I got down to 3 diapers that I didn't want to buy anymore so I told her, "Ella, you're a big girl now, and big girls don't wear diapers at night." And, "If you have to go tee-tee, you have to get out of bed and go to the potty. We don't tee-tee in our panties, do we?" "Uh-Uh!"
Her diapers were never very wet come morning anyway, so the transition was smooth. She still nurses at night, but we just make sure she goes potty before going to bed and occasionally she has woken up and gone to the potty at night. And she uses the big potty now. Her old potty chair has turned into a step-stool which helps her reach it. Less mess for Mommy-yay!

Also, Ella now uses adult toothpaste (yes, it's safe for kids 2 and up) and knows to spit it out. We like this b/c now we feel like we're finally preventing cavities (since it has flouride) and it's cheaper!

Now more of Ella's antics. Ever since Ella was a baby, if I couldn't find something, I'd make a game out of it. "Brush," I'd ask, "Where are you?" as I walked from room to room looking for it. Now she's caught on. If I'm in another room in the house, I'll hear, "Mommy, R you?" If we're outside playing, "Dump truck, R you?"
And when I'm pushing her on her swing (which we finally! got up at our new house) she'll insist, "Higher, Mommy, higher!" The other day Spunky, one of our cats was watching Ella swing but then ran off. Soon, Ella questioned, "Spunky is?" Too cute!

And come morning time, my angel will pull me out of bed with an emphatic "Up, Mommy!" If that doesn't work, the sheets come off-cruel girl! :-) That's after she's been nursing off and on for an hour as we both get some more shut-eye (have I ever mentioned I am NOT a morning person!)

Enjoy the pics! The park ones are from September.