Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ellie turns Five

Today Ellie turns five years old.

Ellie is incredibly smart, social, and sweet. She can read at a seriously impressive level, and we're constantly having to go to the library to stock up on more books for her. She likes to make her own "books" out of paper that she illustrates and fills with dialogue and descriptions. (A couple of her recent publications include "The Poop Man" and "The Jungle Games.") She likes dragons, dinosaurs, My Little Ponies, and Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom. She likes to take pictures and videos using our phones and cameras. She loves doing art - using colored pencils, crayons, paint, markers, scissors, glue - everything. She runs, in her words, "as fast as a roadrunner."

Jason and I did a little birthday interview with her this morning. Here are her answers to our questions:

What are your favorite colors?  "Blue and purple."

If you had $100, what would you do? "Use some of them to buy stuff."

What's your favorite TV show? "Ben and Holly."

Who are your best friends? "Zelda and Sue."

What kind of pet do you want? "A corn snake or a worm snake."

Here are some of Ellie's recent art highlights:

I want to post so many more, but I'm going to restrain myself and stop there. 

Ellie is an amazing, amazing girl, and we love her so much. Happy birthday Ellie!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Our Next Adventure

It's been a while since I updated the blog. Multiple factors are responsible for this, the main one being that it's easier to read books and eat cake than begin to sort through the overwhelming amount of pictures from the last couple months. But big things are happening in our lives, and it's high time that I update you and tell you what's going on.

Jason's graduating. In less than a month. He will have finished the Physician Assistant program at Campbell University here in North Carolina, and after taking his boards will be a fully qualified PA.

And because of that, we're moving to Houston, Texas. Jason's been accepted into the pediatric surgical PA fellowship at Texas Children's Hospital; it's a year-long program and he'll be doing all sorts of cool stuff.

We've sold our house; it's currently under contract and we're doing all the stuff that needs to happen for it to close at the beginning of January. And we're looking for a good place to stay in Houston.

So right now we're packing and planning and filling out all sorts of paperwork. It's a crazy time and I'm already missing North Carolina but we're excited for everything that's ahead of us. I'm thankful for the opportunity we had to come here, and for all the friends we've made and experiences we've had, and I'm thankful for this new opportunity.

Happy Thanksgiving; I hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, October 31, 2016

One Dinosaur and One Dalmatian

This year for Halloween Ellie is a brown dinosaur and Zelda is Marshall from Paw Patrol.

Ellie wanted to be dinosaur as soon as she found the foam dinosaur hat at the dollar store. After that I was going to find a brown shirt to make into a dinosaur body for her, but she was insistent that the body be made out of the same material (craft foam) as the hat. So a trip to Michael's and a couple hours of hot gluing later, Ellie had her dinosaur body.

Zelda was going to be a dinosaur too (a green one, because Ellie told her that's what she was going to be, and she was fine with that), until we were at the store and she spotted some Marshall footie pajamas. "I want to be Marshall! I want to be Marshall!" she cried. So Marshall she became. The front of the pajamas has a red fire dog vest and dalmatian spots (that look more like cow spots, to be honest), but the back was just white. So I added matching black felt spots to the back and also a doggy tail.

They are both so excited to go trick or treating tonight. They have been asking every day for a month and a half if it's Halloween yet. And it finally is! Thank goodness, haha! 

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Braden's Wedding Day

On the first Saturday we were in California, my cousin Braden married his sweetheart Maria. 

They were married in the San Diego Temple, and my dad, sister Alyse, and I were planning on making it down there for the wedding. We left with (what we thought was) plenty of time in the morning to make the drive down to San Diego. I was driving in my dad's giant GMC Yukon, and Alyse and Dad were driving in another SUV a couple miles behind me. Traffic was really terrible, though - stop and go a huge portion of the way, adding an extra hour or hour and a half on to the drive. 

We were still going to make it, though, by the skin of our teeth. Until - a car smashed into me from the side.

I was just driving with the flow of traffic (which was pretty slow - probably about 30 mph) in the second lane over from the right when I felt a tremendous "BANG!" and the Yukon shook. I immediately looked to my right, and saw *the underside* of a van as it flew towards the hill that went up from the shoulder. That image will be burned into my head forever - seeing the *bottom* of a car as it flies away from my car. I pulled over as quickly as possible. I was shaking. Some cars ahead of me pulled over too, and came to help.

Luckily, there were no injuries. The van that hit me had only one occupant, the driver. He said that he couldn't remember anything that happened - he thought he must have fallen asleep at the wheel. His car veered from the lane it was in (the far right lane) and hit the back right of the Yukon I was driving; it looked like his front left tire then exploded, which is what propelled his car into the air and onto the hill on the shoulder. Since the hill was going up, his car kind of belly-flopped on it, which was great, because that meant his car didn't roll.

I called my dad and Alyse right after it happened. They got there about ten minutes later (remember, they were just a couple miles behind me on the road). The back panel of the Yukon was smashed, but it was still drive-able, so after we had worked everything out with the other driver and exchanged all the relevant information my dad took that car and I hopped in the other car with Alyse. The car crash took about forty-five minutes before we were on the road again. My dad had already called the family in San Diego and told them what had happened and that we weren't going to make it in time for the wedding ceremony.

So, we finished driving down to San Diego and waited outside the temple for them. It was a beautiful day and it was wonderful to be able to spend some time at the temple.

Dad and Jane (Alyse's baby girl):

Ezra (Alyse's son, three months older than Zelda): 

Something funny is that when everyone came out of the temple after the ceremony, we found that I was wearing a dress that was *super* similar to the one half of the bridesmaids were wearing. Half of them were wearing a knee-length denim-colored dress, and I was wearing the dress you can see here. The other half were wearing a white dress with a large floral pattern, and my cousin Holly happened to be wearing a dress super similar to *that* one. We all laughed about it, and then laughed even harder when my aunt was handing out bridesmaids bouquets a little while later and tried to hand one to me and then to Holly.

My cousin Shelley, her husband Dave, and their daughter Emma:

My cousin Chelsea:

Alyse, Jane, and Ezra:

Maria looked absolutely beautiful, and both she and Braden were so happy:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Baseball with Grandpa

On one of our first days in California we went to an Angels baseball game with my dad. Like they always are, it was a night of yummy food and lots of laughs. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ellie's Pre-California Art

We've got a LOT to catch up on on the girls' art blog, but here are just a few of the things Ellie made earlier this summer.

This is her blue pony:

Based on this one:

These are signs that she made (do you see the popsicle sticks you can hold them by?) that say "Loud," "Quiet," "Slow," and "Fast." She made them after they used signs with a similar concept at church during singing time; sometimes she wants all of us to sing at home so she can hold up the signs and make us sing a certain way. I love everything about these.