Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ella's Birthday

Remember how Ella had a birthday?  Back in July?  We're a little behind here. . .

Last year we created a tradition of taking the birthday girl to the candy shop and letting her pick out whatever she wants.  It actually turns out to be pretty inexpensive, but it makes that birthday girl feel like the queen of the store. Ella chose. . . . 

Gummy Bear Cubs!  Bonus: these made for the perfect potty training reward a couple weeks later.

During the week we also decorated the house, went to the zoo, and had the obligatory cake and ice cream.  I think Ella was delighted that we were singing for her.  You can see her patiently waiting for the song to finish so she can blow out the candles. 

And then we opened presents!  There were multiple babies involved.  Oh, we love the babies.  Babies and their accessories (diaper bags and bath toys and the like).  So much that taking a break for a picture with the babies is hard to do.

I'm afraid my baby isn't a baby anymore.  Tear.

Blockburgers in Michigan!

Way back in July, the Blockburgers came to town!  When we lived in St George, it felt like we had visitors all the time.  We could offer a break from winter, a short drive away!  Not to mention the red rocks and national parks, and did I mention the short drive part?  Now, we have nothing to offer in the winter (lots of snow, but no skiing), and we're one heck of a drive away.  Or a short-yet-expensive flight away.  The point is, we don't get visitors very often.  So we soaked up every minute of Blockburger love we could get.

Their trip happened to fall over July 4th.  We had a delightful time spending the holiday with family.  Also?  I adorned our home with stars. 

I found this idea on pinterest, just make a star stencil and sift some flour over it.  I thought it was AWESOME. 

You can even do it on grass!  But the grass ones didn't turn out as clear as the sidewalk ones. 

I seriously loved this little project.  And the stars lasted for a month!  I think this is something we'll be doing every year from here on out. 

The rest of the 4th of July was spent being hot.  We took the big B's to the Dow Gardens, and everyone just wilted in the humid heat.  After sweating it out for an hour, we gave up and went home, where we basked in the AC.  But there were fireworks that night, and the rest of the trip was a bit cooler.

We also made a trip to the ice cream shop,

and put Grandma to bed, along with everything she might have needed, ever.

And because the Blockburgers are traveling folk, we headed up to Mackinac Island.  We are now Michiganders, for real.  We've crossed the Mackinac Bridge, we've been to Mackinac Island, we've eaten the fudge, it's in our blood now. 

Also, this trip gave me the chance to stick my toes in two of the great lakes.  Only two to go :)

 On the ferry:

I think my favorite part of the trip was riding bikes around the island.  We hemmed and hawed over whether we should do it or not, and I'm ever so glad we did.  Riding a bike, with the lake air blowing on your face, the beach just to your left, and no cars in sight. . . it was magical.  So was discovering I still knew how to ride a bike - it was a little rocky there at first, but I picked it back up in no time. 

 All in all, we had a FABULOUS time with the Blockburgers, and hope they'll want to come back to Michigan again soon!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

This and That

Now that I've finally finished posting about Utah, we can move on to other things.  This summer has been crazy busy, but if you were to ask me what we've been doing, I'd draw a blank.  Our days are filled with parks and picnics and walks (and the ever-present errands).  Between that and potty training Ella (!), we have been running. And yet it feels like we aren't doing any one thing in particular.

Well, other than the potty training.  That sucks up all your time and energy.

Anyway, here are some random pictures (complete with the stories behind them) from the past couple of months.  They aren't in chronological order, just in the order they loaded up on my computer.

Julia went to Vacation Bible School this summer, and she LOVED it.  She goes to school at one of the Presbyterian churches in town, but their VBS was during our trip to Utah.  So we opted to go to the other Presbyterian church.

She learned bible stories, scriptures, and lots of songs.  The song that stuck (and continues to stick, in our heads, every. single. day) goes like this:

I am a C!
I am a C-H!
I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N!
And I have C-H-R-I-S-T in my H-E-A-R-T,
And I will L-I-V-E- E-T-E-R-N-A-L-L-Y!

Her latest superhero name is, "Super C-H."  I think it's fabulous.

While Julia was away, Ella and I got to play.  It made me so excited for school to start,so I can get some one-on-one time with this lovely girl.  Our library has Touch A Truck day every year, so I thought it would be fun to take Ella.  Unfortunately, it was postponed due to rain.  Fortunately, the fire truck came anyway!  Unfortunately, Ella was less than impressed.

We waited in line for a few minutes, got up in the seat, I snapped this pic:

And then I got an, "All done!"  I guess it was a good thing we didn't have all the trucks there, she was not interested.  We opted not to go back for the real deal.  I think it was a good decision.

We've been loving our little zoo!  Here are the girls, taking a rest on a hot day.

I actually did Julia's hair.  And it involved a braid.  This is big news. 

Ella was walking around the house like this, bringing laughter and joy to all. 

Then she put a skirt on.  Still a great outfit.

One of the rare moments they were playing together, instead of fighting with each other.

One night for FHE I pulled out the old, "Sock Toss Game."  Ball up some socks.  Throw them in a laundry basket.  Repeat.  I remember doing something similar as a kid and thinking it was the best game ever.  I'm pretty sure Julia and Ella felt the same way.

Ella gets quite the handicap.

And finally, we made a bold move and took the front off Ella's crib back in June.  I'm pleased to report that she has only fallen out of the bed once.  And she still won't get out of bed unless you give her the ok, which is great news for us.