Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mimi's short visit

Mom flew into Knoxville recently and then used Jesse's car to go see my brother and also check on the house in Illinois. SO, she came to our house for 2 short visits before flying back home to prepare for our arrival soon! When Mimi comes, that means time to play the sleepy sleepy game with Ellie so I got a good video of what they do over and over again in "Mimi's room"!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ellie's 1st Haircut

Well, I finally did it. I finally took Ellie to get her hair cut. I was not ready to cut off the cute curls she has, but I was fine with getting a good trim and re-shaping her hair. I was nervous on how she would do, so we went to Jesse's mom's hairdresser who does a lot of kid haircuts and is in a smaller salon. Normally, kids freak out with the water being sprayed on their hair, but Ellie loved it and wanted to do it herself. My key to getting Ellie to sit still was a sucker. She also checked out the lady getting her hair cut next to her first. Her only freak out was when the "green cape" was put on her and she couldn't get to her hands, but as soon as we got her hands out, she was all good. She even had the hairdresser help her do her little Barbie's hair. There wasn't much of a change in the overall look of her hair, but it is falling so much better now. Glad I got that one out of the way without too much drama!

Ellie LOVES Ragdoll

Some of our friends have recently started a country duo called "Ragdoll" that has been in the making for a few years. We are huge fans and so is Ellie! She loves Jason & Lena and gets so excited when we play their cd. She loves to dance to it and say which one of them is singing in the songs. Here's a clip of her getting excited about it in front of them:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Winter Pics & Videos Part 2

Our attempt at taking a picture ourselves

For Jesse: The song that always makes Callie come to us!

Ellie's new bathroom stool that used to be mine as a kid

"I'm a kite" from Highlights (Thanks to Poppi & Pippa)

Snow Day!

Eating Spaghetti & trying to say it

Singing her ABC's

Playing with Kinsley
Exchanging Valentines with Kinsley
Saying our Prayers before dinner at the Schaefer's
Decorating and Eating Cookies with Ellie's BFF Kinsley

Playing with the Balloons Daddy got Ellie

A Short Visit with Mimi

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentines Day

In order to ATTEMPT to get Jesse his Valentines Day presents this year, we had to do it early and get it in the mail at the beginning of February. Ellie and I added lots of personal touches to it, including making him his favorite cookies and Ellie made him a card. We put lots of other treats in the package that Ellie drew ALL OVER so he got lots of love on that holiday.

On the actual holiday, Jesse had already decided he wanted to give Ellie balloons. They are one of her favorite things. He also knows me well enough to know that pretty flowers are nice, but they always die and I would rather have a plant flower that I can put in the ground and enjoy for many years. When he did the research, he found that sending me a hydrangea plant and Ellie one balloon was $75 - NO THANKS! So, with his permission, I was able to go to the store and pick out the hydrangea plant I wanted (blue) and Ellie's balloons for less than $30. I had gotten her a few other treats, but the balloons were ALL DADDY!

Learning what a Heart means (with a message to Daddy)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winter Pics & Videos

Pretty Princess Ellie

Singing some songs

Playing Outside in our warm winter weather
Helping Mommy take out the trash cans
"I hear a horn"
Test Tasting Cupcakes at Magpie's Bakery

The aftermath of eating a chocolate one in the car...

Calling Daddy

Monday, February 13, 2012

Global Planting Initiative (GPI)

One of the things that took up a lot of our time while Jesse was home was the non-profit he is starting as of July 1, 2012. After lots of prayer and counsel, we decided to move forward with this idea of Jesse starting a religious non-profit that contracts services out to churches part-time to be their missions pastor or consultant with the primary intent to plant churches internationally. It was a need that came about in many conversations Jesse had with local pastors when he worked for One Vision International and with the help of Providence Church, we are moving forward and really doing it! So, while he was home, he met with several churches, pitching the idea and getting some feedback. He also spoke to our chuch on the day he was returning to the deployment for exposure and information on what he will be doing. I'm really proud of him for diving in to this and following through. Please pray for us as we are working through the business end of things right now and preparing for this job once he returns from Afghanistan.

And then it's over....

15 days....15 WONDERFUL days of Jesse being home, being my husband, being a daddy, being a son, being a brother, and then he's gone. That was the hardest part of R&R. He had to return to this deployment after experiencing normal life. Going back to the "normal deployment routine" with Ellie wasn't a problem. It was dealing with her separation anxiety after he left and her asking more often about him. Her wanting to be "tickle tickle" by Daddy and hearing a sound and watching for him to come through the garage door. That was tough. BUT, she has adjusted well and had a great time with her Daddy. I had a great time with my husband. Lots of memories were made and we all had quality time with him. We miss him dearly and are ready to kick this deployment in the butt and be done with it! Be safe, Soldier! We love you!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

R&R Cabin Escape

We decided to book a cabin for a night in the Smokies so we could escape email, phones, and family/friends (no offense) and just be a family shortly before Jesse left to go back to Afghanistan. Oddly enough, we booked a night in Gatlinburg the one night we had a snow storm, so it was insanely pretty where we were! Once I finished teaching my first day back for the Spring 2012 semester, we picked up Ellie, finished packing up and headed out on our trip to Gatlinburg. First stop, Jesse dropped me off at the Stride Rite Outlet so I could pick Ellie up some winter boots (haven't had any need for them up until now). Next, we checked in to our cabin and got unpacked before heading back to Gatlinburg to get some take-out for dinner (thanks to Jesse's parents via gift card to TGI Fridays).

Our family rule was once we returned with our dinner, we would turn off all communication with the outside world and we would hole up in our cabin and spend some quality time as a family. We played downstairs most of the time with all the games that the cabin had. Ellie played pool with her Daddy and I hit up the machine games. Jesse and I also played a rematch game of air hockey and we tied by the end of it. Ellie was our little cheerleader.

Once she went to bed, we watched a movie and then got some sleep. The next morning, we showered and cleaned up our mess before checking out and heading to the amazing breakfast restaurant - Pancake Pantry! Oh man, was it good. AND, kid friendly. I had pecan pancakes, Jesse had wildberry pancakes and Ellie had some "bear" pancakes. We walked around the shops in "The Village" behind the restaurant before heading out to go by a few outlet stores before heading home. It was an awesome family trip that gave us some fun memories!

Monday, February 6, 2012

R&R Fun with Daddy

Daddy flipping Ellie

Ellie showing Daddy how she can climb her "playground" now

We joined Jesse's sisters at a gymnastics place for kids and Ellie had a blast!
Playing Chase with Daddy

Date Night with Daddy for some frozen yogurt Tickle session with Daddy


Lilypie Third Birthday tickers