Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Clothespin Color Letter Matching

Inspired by a blog I found through Pinterest, I created this clothespin letter matching game with colors. I thought it would be a good opportunity to for Ella to not only practice her letters, but also learn to recognize the words for several colors. I mounted the cards on index cards (simply because it was something sturdy I had hanging around), and laminated them for extra durability. Poor Ella, though, because I didn’t do the best job clearly writing the letters on the clothespins (it was harder to write the letters than I thought it would be!). I’m going to have to go back through a few of the clothespins and fix my poor handwriting!




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baking with Ella

I’ve been meaning to get Ella more involved in cooking/baking for a while, but it has just been one of those things I seem to let slip. I really intend to get her in the kitchen (and Troy as well) starting from a young age for lots of reasons including that I want them to be able to cook. : )

Today I helped Ella make cornbread. She had a blast! She licked her finger once and I thought it had to taste bad (as much as I love cornbread, I can’t imagine the batter tastes good). However, when I asked her about it, she just smiled and said it tasted good. : ) She was very concerned about the flour that spilt outside the bowl. She kept wanting to add it back in (a little at a time).








By the way, Ella’s apron was made by one of the fabulous ladies from Stitches and Such. I love her apron, and I was in no way compensated for mentioning the product in this post.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy 21 Months Troy!

Every month seems to sneak up on me, but I feel like it was just yesterday when you turned 20 months old. In fact, I didn’t even think about you being 21 months old until the very end of your “month day.”120610IMG_3843.jpg 120610IMG_3847.jpg

Although you and Ella can definitely get onto each other (particularly when you are laying on her), you really do enjoy each others company. I love when y’all start doing something goofy together and you make each other laugh. You are really funny when you spin around in circles in the living room together or when you chase each other around the kitchen.


You like to read. Particularly when Ella isn’t around (perhaps because it is quieter), I’ll often come upon you sitting by yourself reading. You also love to come sit in the chair with me or your dad and ask us to read a book. You’ll say, “sit, sit!” to ask to sit with us to read as you climb into our laps. Speaking of climbing, you are proficient at climbing onto just about all of our furniture including our couches and the dining room table chairs.120614IMG_3971.jpg

You’ve always been much more of a hands-on kind of child than Ella. You love to actually play with your toys, like your cars, or your animals. I recently remembered to get some puzzles out (that I’d put away because Ella didn’t play with them much anymore) and you enjoyed playing with them too.120614IMG_3976.jpg

You are not an easygoing child, but you really do have a sweet personality.  You love to say, “no . . o o o” in this super sweet voice with a little smile when you really mean “yes.” When I go to get you up out of bed in the morning (or sometimes from nap) you almost always say either “breakfast” or “couse” (for Mickey Mouse). You love to bring your Mickey Mouse with you out of your bed.120616IMG_4021.jpgYou constantly jabber and it often sounds like you are telling a whole story at once. You say so much at one time, and often we can only understand one or two words of it. You also speak in clear sentences at times, though, including things like “I want to sit” or “I like it” (although when it comes to telling us you like something you usually just say “like it, like it” over and over). You also finally said your name this month (we’ve been trying to get you to say it for a long time now). 120621IMG_4090.jpg 

Signs you do: more, finished, milk, hungry, thank you, please, thirsty, sleepy, bath

Words you say: No way I can even count or name them! You say so many things!

Animal noises you make: chicken, duck, cow, dog, horse (you’ve been loving horses lately), frog

Body parts you identify: nose, eyes, mouth, ears, hair, head, hands, belly, teeth, tongue (you love to point out your teeth and belly)

Favorite foods: You are a pretty good eater, but you can still be pretty finicky at times (although I think it is getter better). Generally your favorites are cheese, peaches, beans, chicken, and crackers.

Favorite activities: walking, running, and tip-toeing to explore everything, especially following Ella or chasing a dog; reading books; watching Mickey Mouse or Finding Nemo or Cars; taking baths; playing with balls (you love to throw any kind of ball); playing outside; playing with toys, especially talking on the phone or putting things over your head or playing with the kitchen stuff; trying get any electronics or drinks you can spot.

Troy @ 20 months

Ella @ 21 months

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Farmer’s Market


My kids love peaches. They love peaches because they get to eat some really good peaches. They are spoiled by these peaches. They are also spoiled to getting to go to the Famer’s Market every week (sometimes twice a week) to get these peaches. We have a friend who grows and sells these peaches, and when Ella was a little younger than Troy is now, my husband started taking her regularly to the Farmer’s Market. It has become a summer tradition for my husband (and sometimes I tag along) to take the kids to get these peaches.  I tagged along a couple of times last week and got a few photos of the kids and peaches.

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Drafting Dinner: Weekly Menu Planning

  • Roast
  • Chicken spaghetti
  • Chicken and sausage jambalaya (didn’t get to this last week)
  • Smoked chicken with grilled veggies
  • Maybe breakfast for dinner? I’m having trouble deciding what else I want to make this week!

For Father’s Day I made the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls (with some modifications to the icing). They were pretty good, but I think I’d change a few things up the next time I make them.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father’s Day!

I’m so thankful for my dad, as well as my husband, who is a wonderful father to our children. And, as proof that it always helps to have daddy behind me getting smiles out of the kids, this year’s D-A-D photos (taken without dad’s help!).



This year, I had Ella answer questions for a Father’s Day questionnaire I found on Pinterest.


Here are Ella’s answers:

What is Daddy’s name? T (then later, “I call daddy Mr. Trent.”)

What does Daddy do for fun? play

What does Daddy do at work? work

What are his favorite things to eat? I don’t know

What does he like to drink? tea

How old is Daddy? I don’t know

Where did you and Daddy meet? At McCarty {where he works}

How long have you know Daddy? I don’t know

How tall is Daddy? raising her hands to the sky she said “that tall”

What is Daddy’s hair like? stuck (patting the top of her head)

How much does Daddy weigh? stretching her hands out she said “that much”

What makes Daddy the best? nothing (giggling) {I don’t think she ever understood this question . . .}

What is your favorite thing to do with Daddy? go to McCarty


Check out previous year’s D-A-D photos!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Life with a 3 year old named Ella


Once Ella turned 2, I decided it was time to stop writing monthly updates about milestones and such, since she had really outgrown many of the things I was documenting. However, I do want to take time to write about some of the things that make Ella, well, Ella. I know that these moments will pass too quickly and I’ll one day forget more of this time than I’ll remember, and I want to remember at least some of it.


Her conversations and speech are too funny. We sometimes joke that Ella is 3 going on 30. She says things in such a “proper” manner sometimes, it really cracks us up. For instance, many times when a simple “no” would be a perfectly fine answer, she’ll say “no, it doesn’t” or “no, I do not need it” or “no, I am not” or something along those lines.


Recently, when I was taking Ella to the bathroom, she popped her head out of the stall, and said something to the effect of “Mom, I don’t need your help. I’ve got everything under control.” It is so hard to keep a straight face when my 3 year old says to me in such a matter-of-fact way that she’s “got everything under control.”

A couple of days ago, she came in from the playroom to tell my husband that Troy was throwing his sippy cups in the trashcan. After talking with my husband about it, she walked back into the playroom and told Troy, “Dad and I talked about it . . .” followed by instructions not to throw the cups in the trashcan. My husband’s conversation with her did not in any way imply she should go back into the playroom with such authority, ha!

Ella really does a great job with her manners most of the time. She’s polite and does a good job saying things like “Yes, ma'am” and “No, sir” as well as “please” and “thank you.”


I already feel like she’s got my husband’s debating skills at times. She can be sly with how she asks (or doesn’t ask) about something in order to try to get what she wants. I’m amazed at her perceptiveness and observation skills. She is a silly child; in fact, one of her favorite words/phrases right now is “silly” this or “silly” that. She loves to be the center of attention, and can put on quite the show if she thinks she is the center of attention. She loves to run, and she can run for a long time. I really wish I could harness all her energy up for myself! : )


I’ve been astonished by her memory skills lately. Ella remembers details of things that happened many months ago – in fact, it seems like sometimes better than I do. It is really intriguing to watch her remember something because her memory has been jogged by even the most insignificant things. For instance, a couple of days ago when she was eating breakfast she commented about a particular kind of cereal that she had when she was at Gigi’s house. She still talks about a princess party she went to more than six months ago (she wasn’t even three at the time).  It is funny to hear her recall something because most of the time it starts with the phrase “the other day when I was . . .” whether it was really just the other day or many months ago.


Ella loves going to Bible class, as well as going to worship services with the church. She’s already been able to memorize several scriptures (and could probably do many more – I need to teach her more!). She does a great job saying a prayer when we ask her to say it.

Ella enjoys playing outside; watching movies (particularly Tangled, Monsters, Inc., Toys (and Toys 2 which she calls “new toys”), and a new favorite, Cars); playing on the ipad or phone; drawing/coloring; and playing pretend. Her “pretend” skills have been kicked up a notch in the past month of so. She’s been able to pretend with things for a while (for instance, pretend to cook with her dishes), but now she’s pretending when she doesn’t have anything tangible to hold onto at all. I asked her to bring me a diaper the other day, and she came into the room pretending to hold a diaper and gave it to me. I was so proud of her pretending, but I needed a diaper, and a pretend one just wasn’t going to work! : )


Ella is kind and thoughtful too. Although I know there are times she wishes Troy wasn’t around (particularly when he’s trying to bite her, ha), she’s always concerned about him. We’ve kind of moved her out of their shared room for naps and nighttime because they kept waking each other up. Many nights I think she still wants to sleep in the room with Troy . . . I think she misses him! She loves to go in and talk to Troy when he wakes up, and they play a game she started calling “socks” (I think where she pulls all of the socks out, puts them in his crib, and he throws them out). Although she has never particularly been the cuddle-type, she can give the sweetest hugs and kisses if she wants.

I feel like this post is so incomplete – there are so many things I could write about Ella. She is such a joy and blessing in our lives, and I’m so thankful for her!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Drafting Dinner: Weekly Menu Planning

  • Breakfast for dinner
  • Taco salad (never got around to this last week)
  • Smoked/bbq chicken with baked potatoes and a green veggie
  • Chicken pot stickers or chicken fried rice with Asian slaw (also never got around to this last week)
  • Chicken and sausage jambayla

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wordlessish Wednesday: Troy’s First Zoo Trip

Although we didn’t plan it this way, when we recently took Troy to the zoo, he was almost the exact same age as Ella when she went to the zoo for the first time. He was quite the trooper - although we had the stroller, he preferred walking most of the day!





And, one of Ella. It is crazy how much changes in just 20 months!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Drafting Dinner: Weekly Menu Planning

Due to lots of craziness going on over the past month, I haven’t had the opportunity to cook much (at least not regularly). I’m thankful that we’re back into a least a little bit more of a regular schedule again. It is funny to me to think about how much I’ve evolved regarding my attitude towards cooking – I used to try to get out of cooking dinner, and now most nights I want to cook dinner – I really enjoy it and thankful for the opportunity to do it!

  • Grilled steaks with a peppercorn cream sauce, grilled corn, and grilled asparagus
  • Taco salad
  • Hobo dinners
  • Fajitas
  • Maybe chicken pot stickers with an Asian slaw salad (still a bit up in the air as to what I want to do for this meal)

I Heart Faces: All Boy