Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dog Biscuits

Kevin gets up most weekends and makes breakfast. This morning we were out of our regular Grands biscuits and so he decided to make homemade biscuits. Something went terribly awry. I asked him if he used self-rising flour and he said that he didn't but he did add baking powder. Anyway, after we had a chuckle over them, he was standing over there feeding them to the dog (who LOVED them) and he looked up deadpan and said, "Great, I've made dog biscuits. We both cracked up laughing. Here's the evidence. Bear NEVER likes bread but LOVES the "doggy" biscuits. We laughed even more when Kevin said, "They are pretty good if you cut them with a knife and put some butter on them" With a KNIFE? Give you an idea??? It was the thought that counted, wasn't it?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

Why is it that kids always want to do things and yet when you do it, they get bored and walk off?

Josh has been begging us to carve pumpkins forever so after he got home today we decided to carve the pumpkins. He picked an alien template and he and Kevin got to work. I was the babysitter and photographer to start with.

Ellie was terribly interested in everything about the process.
Kevin said this is where the pumpkin threw up -- GROSS.

This is the final Alien pumpkin. It's hard to see the nose and mouth unless you look closely.
After the boys (um, Kevin) finished the Alien pumpkin, I carved an Elmo pumpkin for Ellie. I offered to carve Josh's little pumpkin but he said he didn't want one -- see why there are not as many pictures of him and his stuff?? The white stuff on the stem is flour -- don't ask.
After I carved Elmo, Ellie kept taking his nose out -- over and over and over.

Then she decided she wanted to eat some of the pumpkin and took several bites of it. YUK.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

19 Months Old

Today Ellie is 19 months old. How is she getting older so quickly?? I think I've already covered many of her milestones, so I won't repeat. To "celebrate" and since we are still just "girls only" at our house, we went to the park to play.

Actually, we went to the park to meet someone who wanted the puppy we found under our shed on Sunday. Craziest thing: Kevin was changing his brakes and went up to the shop for something and heard a dog under the shed. Now, the shed is a prefab built on a wooden frame set on the ground so the poor puppy couldn't have had much room under there. It took the neighbor's daughter to get under the shed and pull him out after we dug out some of the dirt. They were wonderful and agreed to "foster" him at their house until we could find a home for him. After much begging on Facebook and a lot of people working to find him a home, today he found his "mama" and was taken home to lead a life of spoiling. She named him Boots because of his white paws all around. He's such a cutie. In the small world category, the girl who took him is the daughter of one of my former babysitters and one of my former neighbors when I was a kid. Small world.

We did enjoy having him at the park and he played hard with Ellie. It was so sweet that I found myself thinking, "Oh, we should keep him for Ellie." Then, I came back to my senses quickly and realized that it was this kind of thinking that would lead me to a 10-15 year commitment to an animal that I just really didn't want to make. So, I was glad she took him.

Ellie enjoyed swinging on the swings, sliding down the slide (always backwards unless you pull her feet and she comes down forward with your hands on her), climbing, digging in the mulch and playing with the puppy. It was a nice day to do that too.

Kevin called from their camping trip at LBL and said that Josh was having a blast but that everyone there (including -- or especially -- the adults) was ready to get on the bus and come home because they were exhausted. When I talked to him last at 10:00 p.m., they were on their 30-45 minute NIGHT hike. Yeah, right -- not me. He sounded pooped. Poor guy. I miss them a lot. I'm sure Ellie does too. Today, she went into Josh's room and just looked around. I explained to her that they were camping and would be home in a little while. That seemed to satisfy her. I'm sure when Josh comes home he'll be super-tired. Hope he can hold out on Halloween night; I'm betting he will!!

Ellie and I spent a good portion of the day cleaning house. She is a sweet little helper and we did manage to sneak in quite a bit of cuddle and play time. She's gotten to be so lovey to her mama; it's very sweet.

And the mommy is tired. I had SO hoped to have ALL the laundry done when Kevin got home but I added in a lot of blankets and pillow loads so I STILL have two or three more to go (I've been doing laundry since 10 a.m. this morning with several breaks in between for dog shuffling). Oh well.... there's always tomorrow, huh?

A Few More of the Fairy

Just a few more and then I'm going to call it a day -- I'll have to. Ms. Ellie is up and raring to go so I've got to run along behind her, and while she's had enough sleep, her mother has not.

Eating her bribery Milky Way

Playing with her baby
Sitting in a flower pot and playing "peek-a-boo"

I have a really cool idea that I wanted to do, but we didn't have what we needed. Maybe we can do it Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

(S)tinkerbell fairy

Ellie and I went to MeeMee's tonight to take pictures of her in her costume since the "boys" were gone. It was sort of a way to capture her at 19 months as well since the last trip to JCP did NOT turn out so well. I'm clear why now . There is a special place in heaven reserved for folks who photograph children in the throes of "terrible twos". While Ellie is not two yet, it is VERY CLEAR that she has the mindset that she is. She is so terribly independent. We pulled out a gazillion and one props and whichever prop was NOT in the camera spot was the one she wanted to be on. We (mom mainly) took 176 photos. I immediately deleted down to 67. I'm now going back through and editing to see where we can go from there. I'd like to be at 20 or so. Of the 67 there are a scant few of her looking AT the camera. There are likely NONE where she wasn't moving. I'm exhausted. I'm sure my mom is as well.

Kevin reported that he and Josh are having a good time at their camping adventure with the 6th grade class. Josh's group got to canoe this afternoon. They had some team building exercises as well. Bad news is that it is supposed to rain starting tomorrow afternoon at 3-ish and continue on until Saturday some time. Poor kids. I HOPE HOPE HOPE it stops raining for Trick-or-Treating time.

Here are the ones I could get edited tonight. More tomorrow if/when I get some free time.

This is "more candy" please. Toward the end of the "shoot", we were bribing her with small pieces of a Milky Way. Yeah, I know. Don't knock it until you've been there and tried it, though. *smile* We were desperate.

I left her wand at home. This was a pretty good substitute though because it kept her attention. I like that you can see the back of her dress here.

Ellie was trying to feed me her earrings at this point.

Doing the hand movements to "the doors on the bus go open and shut"

This is a very familiar face to me now. She'll just look at you and screech -- for no apparent reason as well as when she is not getting her way. Either way it doesn't every get her anything except in trouble. But, she keeps doing it.

We broke/lost part of her Dollar Tree earrings that match her crown, so MeeMee let her borrow some of hers. She wouldn't keep them on AT ALL and was more interested in pulling them off and inspecting them.

"The Princess" as a Tinkerbell Fairy -- complete down to her sparkly silver shoes (or shoos as Ellie calls them)

Toward the end, she started to get tired and wanted to lay down and rest. I thought this was sweet, sweet.
There are quite a few more I want to post, but it's midnite and I need to get to be before I turn into a "pumpkin" -- yeah, it's lame, but it's that time of year!


I got this in an email today and just thought -- this is SO ME!!! It's a shame I don't live next to someone who decorates like this so I could do this. I'm thinking I could use it for all holiday decorating, for the guilt I feel over my house not being clean and other such things. This just lends itself to all kinds of situations, doesn't it?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Christmas Present Ideas for Two-Year-Old Girls

Thought someone might be searching (like I was) for ideas for their (almost) two-year-old for Christmas this year and you guys gave SUCH great ideas I wanted to share with others. Here's the compiled list of things you guys suggested along with a few other things I've found while searching on the Internet and in stores lately.
  • Baby dolls, bottles, strollers, beds -- ALL THINGS BABY DOLL
  • Stuffed animals
  • Color Wonder and other art supplies
  • Fisher Price Little People sets (of particular interest at our house is "A Little People Christmas" as I've heard it is a great learning tool to tell the Christmas story)
  • Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Say Please Tea Set
  • Fisher Price Laugh and Learn My Pretty Purse
  • Play kitchen and accessories (food, dishes, etc.), including a shopping cart
  • Dress up clothes and accessories
  • Books
  • Table and chair set
  • Ride on toys
  • Fisher Price My First dollhouse or Loving Family (rated for 3+)
  • Medical/doctor kit
  • Preschool musical instruments (like the Melissa and Doug Band in a Box set)
  • Bath toys
  • Puzzles
  • Magnetic dress up dolls (like this one called Maggie Leigh Magnetic Dress Up Set)
  • Fisher Price has a cute set called "Snap and Style" that features plastic dolls and animals with snap on/snap off clothes and accessories. The prices seem reasonable and the pieces are big enough for little hands. EVEN BETTER, they have a diverse selection of ethnicities.
  • Leapfrog toys are always a hit and kids can learn while they play. This link takes you to the section for 12-36 month toys.
  • Melissa and Doug toys are always a hit around our house. I'm really fond of the puzzles.
  • And last, but certainly not least, ANYTHING cute from Etsy -- as my friend Becky reminded me. Visit her Etsy store and help fund an adoption. Can't beat that!

Definitely on the Santa list for Ellie will be: an Asian baby doll, another baby doll, art supplies/coloring books, books, a kitchen set and accessories, Say Please Tea Set, dress up clothes (check out your local Dollar Tree/Deals type stores for some great dress up items at really inexpensive prices), a doctor kit, puzzles, maybe some Snap and Style toys, and bath toys.

Word has it (from Jeanne) that Santa is going green this year, so check out local Craigslist and Ebay listings for gently used versions of these items. I know that Santa is a little green around our house from local consignment sales.

And while it appears I am really endorsing the folks over at FP, I am not. It's simply that they have a large line of age appropriate toys.

AND, finally, mark my words this is going to be one of "the" toys of the year this year: Zhu Zhu Pet hamsters. Get them now, if you can. Rated for ages 4-8.


I think Ellie is about to "cut loose" talking. Well, for her, that is. She babbles ALL THE TIME and things are starting to make more sense. We hear her singing a lot -- she seems to make up her own songs, mostly to do with babies, which is her favorite word to say, I think. Her new thing is to say some "verb" and "me" or just "me" to mean she wants something. She came up to me yesterday and said, "Shoe Me" and handed me her shoes to put on. CUTE!!! When she wants something you have she says, "ME!" "ME!" "ME!" It's clear she means, "Give it to me; do it for me; go with me." She also has taken to grabbing you hand and just pulling you to wherever she wants you to take her -- usually its to a car where she wants to "drive" -- she makes the cutest driving motion when she wants to go drive. At least she is a cautious driver, usually strapping on her seat belt in the front seat before she takes off pushing all the buttons and turning the steering wheel.

Today, she sat up in her high chair saying, "Hey!" "Hey!" Occasionally she says, "Hi Cat" (like Hotdog did when she was our house back in the summer). She still LOVES the cats and petting them, but she's not quite as delicate as she once was so I have to continue to remind her to "pet easy". The cats are pretty tolerant.

She has finally started kissing me on occasion. I can say, "Give mama a kiss" and about 25% of the time I'll get a kiss. The odds are greater for a hug which is is free to give. She still thinks that when you tell her to give someone a kiss THEY are supposed to kiss her. *sweet*

I can't wait to hear what fun things she'll be saying next. I'm hoping she will soon learn to nod her head yes instead of just no. It's hard to ask her a question and get head shaking for no and then nothing for yes. Then it's a guessing game as to whether you've got the right answer from her. I've turned into a head bobbing fool around her lately trying to teach her "yes".

I've tricked her into waving hi. She would only wave bye to people. Now, when we see someone I just say, "Wave bye to them" and she just waves and blows kisses like they are going out of style.

Josh is leaving for his 6th grade camping trip tomorrow. I'm hoping he will have a lot of fun!!! MAYBE we'll get a picture or two -- who knows with a boy; he'll probably be too busy.

I'm really looking forward to Halloween this year!! Ellie is going to be a pixie fairy with a purple and green costume with a tutu and wings (you'll see pix later) with striped purple/green leggings and SILVER sparkly shoes. Now, girl LOVES her some shoes so I suspect we may NEVER get these off her feet. She has a tiara that I'm CERTAIN she will not wear and a WAND that she got at Target. She's fond of it, but I'm not sure she'll care it either. Josh is just super excited that he gets to be a gorilla -- it's the little things, isn't it??

And, in the job search arena, Kevin had an interview on Monday. He felt pretty confident that he did well. They are interviewing one other candidate and will make a decision sometime in the next week-two weeks. Fingers are crossed and prayers are going up that they choose Kevin.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Football Season -- OVER!!!

Saturday was the Joelton Vikings' first play-off game. From this point on it is win or go home. Well, we went home. It was suprising since we were the division champions (see the lovely window clings we got):

And while I love my cling, compared to the Super Bowl rings the boys got last year, they paled in comparison. However, you have to earn those rings and even though we had a good season, we certainly did not earn them this year. *sigh*

There is no one good reason that I can think of that we lost, but maybe a bunch of little reasons all added together. But, as I explained to Josh, it doesn't really matter why you lost, you just did. He and I both agreed that if we had won, it would have been fine, but losing was ok too because basketball has just started and it was about to get crazy. In fact, we sped away from the playoff game headed to the season opening scrimmage basketball game. He literally ran in as the game started.

I got some great pictures of Josh this week (football related) because I just had this feeling early on that this was going to be the last game.

I'm so glad we still live in a community where prayer is ok and appreciated before a football game.

It was a mud fest on the field after rains from the day before. We were also the third team to play on the field that day. Yuck.

And despite some of this on the sidelines:

This was the final result:

And after the game, BOTH teams met at mid-field for a game closing prayer of thanks. Wow!

After the game, some kids were really upset. Josh just doesn't seem so much.

And now, we begin basketball. Practice takes the same nights/times as football did and games will take a later Saturday afternoon slot than football, so rather than gaining time, we are simply trading activities.

Thanks for lots of fun this year, Vikings!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

One Year Ago Today ...

Ellie landed in the United States, became a US citizen and was welcomed home by friends and family at the airport. To relive this sweet, sweet time, the post is here and here. Hasn't she changed a lot since that first day home? I'll never forget thinking that if I could just make it home, Kevin could take over and I could sleep. Somehow, it never occurred to me that she wouldn't know Kevin and wouldn't let him take care of her. HA!

Today, I got to "celebrate" the day with my three favorite people -- Kevin, Josh and Ellie -- at the football field and then at the basketball game. Never mind that we lost the first round play-offs in football or lost our scrimmage in basketball, it was a great day!

We're having pizza and a movie tonight to end a perfect family day!

We had some outside fun this afternoon when we got home. Sadly my good camera's battery was dead so a lot of the cute pix I took were not very clear. Josh tried on his Halloween costume to help Ellie start to get used to it. Funny thing is: she's not nearly so scare of his gorilla costume as she is his radio controlled cars. She freaks out everytime Josh plays with them. Go figure.

I love this stage in her life. She is inquisitive:

Interested in everything because it's all new to her:

Constantly "on the go" -- which is why a large portion of my pictures look like this:

And occasionally even ... HAPPY!!! Look at this face -- how can I not know that God blessed our family beyond measure when He allowed us to be her family??? Fun times!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I found this beautiful poem on a blog I read regularly: Eight Will Be Great

It touched me so much. It's perfect.

Author Unknown
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I plead and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said,
"Child, you must wait."
"Wait? You say, wait!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is Your hand shortened? Or have You not heard?
By faith, I have asked, and am claiming Your Word.
My future and all to which I can relate
hangs in the balance, and You tell me to wait?
I'm needing a "Yes", a go-ahead sign,
or even a "No" to which I can resign.
And Lord, You promised that if we believe
we need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
"I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
as my Master replied once again "You must wait."
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"
He seemed, then, to kneel and His eyes wept with mine,
and He tenderly said "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could vie, and please you would be.
You would have what you want - but, you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power I give to the faint.
You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me;
When the darkness and silence were all you could see.
You'd never experience the fullness of love
as the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I five and I Save, for a start,
but you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The flow of my comfort late into the night,
the faith that I give when you walk without sight,
the depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
of an infinite God, who makes what you have last.
You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that "My grace is sufficient for thee."
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!
So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' may My answers seem terribly late
My most precious answer of all is still,

Ahhhh.... Christmas

Only 63 days -- 9 weeks -- until Christmas.
Please begin to breathe again now, ok?

So, I'm pondering the Christmas situation this year. Obviously we are going to concentrate on just Josh and Ellie this year. My parents and Kevin's mom have indicated they don't want gifts (although I might make them something!! -- don't remember this, mama!!), and I'm sure most everyone else on our "normal giving" list will understand if we have to make sacrifices this year.

HOWEVER, with all that said, I've been browsing the Internet and the local ToysRUs stores and I'm just stymied about what to get Ellie. Really she needs nothing -- seriously, it looks a lot like TRU at our house right now. So, honestly, she will be getting only a few things because there is no room and no need. Josh has told us the one big item he wants. We will try to get that item for him. He understands (although probably doesn't really like it) the situation this year. I had already purchased a few things for both of them and they are "stuck back".

So, the question I pose to you moms of little girls (and moms who've had little girls who might not be so little anymore):
What do TWO-YEAR-OLD girls like to play with the
VERY MOST at your house and/or in your experience?
While Ellie's not two, she will be 21 months at Christmas so two is around the corner. She's not been too fond of baby dolls just yet, although she does love her stuffed animals.

The comments section is now OPEN!! If you can't comment, email me at I'd love to hear your ideas!! I'll compile a "Top Ten" list if I get lots of comments!