Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm baaaaack . . .

It's been almost 2 weeks since I've posted! The reason? Things have been crazy busy around here. We've been having fun, but there's been a lot going on!!! Here are some happenings since my last post - deep breath my birthday, Hope's birthday she's 7!, 1st grade "Poetry for Parents", Mimi came to visit, school picnic, talent show, Aunt Jessi came to visit, Hope's swim party, Brandon's graduation party woo hoo!, last day of school, home search, Hope's 1st sleepover - all in the midst of our normal goings on! The last 12 days, in pictures:

Hope's Birthday

Brandon's Graduation Party Kath - I didn't get near enough pictures - if you have some, please send them my way! :)
Because of the long, long ceremony, Brandon decided not to "walk" for graduation, so we just threw a little party at Mom and Doc's house (even though I put the wrong address on the evite, people managed to find it) with beer and BBQ and, of course, cake!
Going through college in your thirties, with a family and a job, takes a lot of work and dedication. Brandon worked so hard and did so well. I am VERY proud of him for being an example to our girls of how important education is!

Mimi and Aunt Jessi, bike riding, poetry reading, sleepover.

Oh yeah, and we had some fun in the fountains:

I promise I won't wait so long to update next time so my post won't be so long!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baby Signs

EJ's pretty good at baby sign language, which helps us out a lot. She says a ton of words and is even putting words together, but a lot of what she says sounds a lot alike. The signs are what help us figure out exactly what she needs. For example, without her signs, it would be hard for us to know if she was saying "milk" or "more", as they sound almost identical in EJ language. I'm thinking we should make-up signs for Jill's whole family, as EJ's words for all of them sound just the same. With all of those "J"s I get confused sometimes myself! :)

In order for the signs to become a habit for babies, the parents have to use them with the baby a lot. Apparently it's not only the babies for whom signing becomes a habit. It was pretty embarrasing when I signed "thank you" to the clerk at the grocery store yesterday!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Busy Weekend!

We started of the weekend by taking Hope to get her haircut after school on Friday. She got quite a bit cut off and it looks very cute.

You can kind of see the cut here. This is Hope at her 1st Grade Poetry reading - her poems were precious!

We finally had Hope's last soccer game on Saturday - we've had so many bad weather Saturdays this spring, that we had a lot of make-up games and pushed the season out an extra week. She was on a great team this year. She loves playing the defender and booting the ball as hard as she can to keep it off her side of the field!

Hope and her wonderful soccer coach, Leslie, at the end of season party

After the game, we went to Anna's 1st birthday party. Anna was an adorable birthday girl and loved her yummy chocolate cake! It was beautiful outside and Hope and Ellis had a fun time playing in Rob and Leah's great backyard!
Anna loved her cake!
Ellis loved playing with Wil and Anna's toys outside!
When the party was over, Brandon and Hope went to Bandimere Speedway for "Night of Fire and Thunder". Hope earned the free tickets through a reading program at her school. She read over 35 hours in a little over a month! I'm not exactly sure what went on at "Night of Fire and Thunder", but I know it was loud and there were jet engine motorcycles and cars that went over 200 mph. I'm sure Hope and Brandon could tell you much more! They had a great time and Hope was still excited when she got home - at 10:00 p.m.! Ellis and I had gone to dinner with Mom while "daddy and sissy" were gone. Ellis got to have her first experince with Jello, which she liked to eat, at first, and then just liked to watch how it jiggled when she dropped it on her placemat. She kept dropping it over and over and was cracking up!
It was LOUD at the race track!

Ellis with her Jell0
Today, we had Jared's 1st Communion lunch. Jared was very cute in his tie, althoguh I barely got to see him in it because he couldn't wait to get it off! Afterward, Hope and Mom went swimsuit shopping for Hope's birthday while I went and showed some houses. After we were all back home again we all went for a nice long bike ride. Ellis is finally starting to get used to the bike trailer. She only fussed at the very end!

Whew! I'll post pics of these things later, but I wanted to at least post something. Time for bed!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Whoever it was that created Mother's Day was a VERY smart woman! What a great day! Mine started off with "breakfast in bed". As most things are, in this house full of girls, it was a little dramatic - apparently Ellis had wrinkled the present that Hope had made for me, which resulted in Hope screaming and running from the room before I was even able to open my eyes. We got through it, as we always do, and I enjoyed a wonderful pancake breakfast!

Later, Mom, Jill, Leah and I went for pedicures and lunch. We had a great time and enjoyed the relaxation and pampering. To see a pic of our beautiful toes, check out Mom's blog here!

Throughout the day, my wonderful husband did wonderful things around the house. Things like laundry, and vacuuming, and cooking dinner! Not only was this a gift for today, but for tomorrow, as Monday is my usual "laundry day"! I did almost none of my "motherly" duties today - Hope even got Ellis dressed for me:

Not too bad. ;-)

Although it can be demanding, exhausting, and, some days, make me want to pull out all of my hair, being a mother is the best job in the WHOLE entire world. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I feel so blessed to be the mother of 2 such remarkable girls! Big thanks for a great day!

Hope's Debut

On May 2nd, Hope had her "stage debut" as a monkey in a performance of The Jungle Book for Peanut Butter Players, a local children's theater group. She had a great time and can't wait for her summer performance of The Biography of Mark Twain This sounds really boring, but I've been told it's a very fun musical - who knew? I guess we'll find out! The teachers only had 10 practices with these kids. They did a great job of getting them all together for a super cute show. I could be biased, but I thought Hope was adorable!!!

Hope is in the pink outfit near the middle. Her voice was easy to pick out, even in the midst of all of the singers. No one has ever accused this child of being "quiet"!

In "action"

Hope with Anna, her "monkey" friend, after the show

Sunday, May 3, 2009

16 months!

Ellis is 16 months old today. On the 3rd of every month I think the same thing - it goes by so fast!!

Here's an update:

EJ is still a pretty laid back little girl, but she'll let you know when she doesn't like something.

She's VERY into balls, babies, and coloring. She loves balls of any kind - soccerballs, baseballs, footballs, plastic balls, rubber balls. Anytime she sees one she picks it up and enthusiastically say, "ba!". She loves to feed, hug, and kiss her babies and push them around in strollers. She finally says "baby", instead if "di-di", which she's been calling babies the last couple of months. When she colors, she is now getting more of the crayon on paper than in her mouth. Although I still occasionally see a blue tooth smile (or some other color)! The only color she can pick out consistently is brown and she calls most letters "E".

Ellis is a talker! She signs and says a bunch of words, and keeps us laughing with her own little language. Her newest phrase is "Oooo Da Da", which she said when Brandon came home dressed up one day. She got a laugh from us, so now she says it all the time (I'll have to post some video of this another time). The other thing we love is how she always claps and says, "yay!" at the end of prayers - her own version of "amen".

Ellis is a climber. She'll probably be the first of the girls to get stiches. If she wants something that is out of her reach, she'll figure out a way to get it. She's even started climbing up on our counter height kitchen chairs.

Here are some recent pictures of "Ellis being Ellis":