Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ella...and the future

As I start to wrap up this time of Ella's last 3 years, including the rough beginning of her life, I'm reminded about how blessed I am to be Ella's mother. She's mine. She looks like me. She laughs at my jokes. She loves me...and I don't need her to speak the words for me to know it.

(Thank you Katherine Kramer for this picture)

This past weekend we had some great friends in town (more on this later) but they have two daughters (and one on the way). Kaylee will be 7 in July and Reese will be 3 in August (3 months younger than Ella). In some ways it was so difficult to see two healthy and active girls running circles around E, but they were SO sweet to her. Most kids just ignore Ella. She doesn't play with them or do any of the things that they do. I was explaining Ella's gait trainer to Kaylee and how we are teaching her to walk...she asked "Can I take her on a walk tomorrow?" as if it was so easy for her to just walk with Ella around the block, and it made my heart smile. She knew Ella was different and couldn't do the same things, but she didn't put any limitations on her either, I so tend to do that. Reese would hold Ella's hand and play with her, and Ella never protested, I think Reese liked someone who would just LET her play with her, no complaints! Kaylee asked "Why doesn't she play with her Barbie doll?" (Ella has a lot of dolls and toys still in their boxes in her room). I tried to explain to her that Ella doesn't have the same imagination that she does, and when she asked "why?", because all kids do, I tried to explain that when she was born her brain got hurt. She promptly told Ella "I'm sorry your brain hurts". They never left her out. They would always make sure that she was right there. My heart was healed a little this weekend by two little girls. (Picture is of Reese and Ella talking and holding hands after swimming this weekend)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cloudcroft...going home

The ride home was long, but not too bad. We stopped at Hardin Simmons on the way home, where Joe went to college. We even ate at Subway there in Abilene, where Joe worked while he was there. By the time we made it home we were all exhausted...and Joe was sick. We are all much better today after a good nights sleep in our own beds.


Day 4: We all woke up and went to White Sands National Monument. It was WONDERFUL. So much fun and so much sun. We were chilly all weekend in Cloudcroft, so the change to Alamogordo was nice. The sand was amazing and all of the kids (big and little) loved sledding!
On the way back to Cloudcroft we (just the 4 of us) decided to stop by a local burger place. These are some pictures of that drive. However, when we got to Blake's Lotaburger we quickly had a disaster. Will had a BLOW OUT diaper in the high chair. It was the worst place to have one and the grey onesis in this picture is now in a trash can somewhere in the desert of New Mexico...ah, fun...traveling with kids.
Later on Sunday evening the Mitchell's decided to take a scenic tour of the Lincoln National Forest...where we were the whole weekend.


Day 3: Morning at the house was always a little crazy. This morning, Drew Farell found some racoon fun to watch the kids figure this stuff out.

Then a few of the families...Misemers, Kramers and us...went to Karr Canyon for a few hours.

That afternoon we blew bubbles (Will's favorite word) and then there were a LOT of sleepy childrend. Note: Avery tucked inside Collin's jacket...she asked him to zip her in. The Allsup's water bottle will always make me laugh...he LOVES their burritos. And then notice Judah playing with Glen's guitar...we ended up having a praise and worship time as adults after the kids went to bed.