Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Photo Card Photoshop Template

Just in case you missed the Christmas cards...





Download this template by clicking below:


Check back next Friday for a Valentine's freebie.. 

Blessings,



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas of Presence Day 1 Dec. 23rd

Here's the plan for our first day of our Christmas of Presence.  You can definitely see my years of youth ministry coming through on this.. But, there's nothing that Emma likes more than a written plan.. Plus, having it in the plan helps insure that the cleanup happens.  It is either I or Emma who is the first to rise at our house so if I happen to out-sleep Emma in the morning, I will have it posted in a place that I can send her to see that the only fun that will be happening before 9:00 a.m. will be sleeping.. Everyone slept here until 8:30 a.m. this morning.. It was glorious!

If you're totally confused about what this is, check out my previous post where I wrote about our Christmas tradition and Advent Conspiracy.


I'll report back later about how horribly we got of schedule.. But until then, I'll be a little pre-ocuppied until after the story of Mary and the Angel (but no worries, I have a freebie for Friday scheduled ahead of time ;))

May you have a wonderful Christmas as you hold your love ones close..





Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Celebration fit for a King-- An "Advent Conspiracy" Christmas





I'll be working hard today to get all loose strings tied and put away so that we can experience the wonderful tradition that we started a couple of years ago, when we first heard about the "Advent Conspiracy".

We started noticing that as the Christmas season approached, it was accompanied by a feeling of dread and followed by a feeling of relief with it's passing.  We realized that our loss of love for the season was due to the hectic pace, stress and over-commercialization that has come to characterized the season.  This combined with the encouragement we felt from the "Advent Conspiracy"movement, led us to re-imagine the way we do Christmas. We have cut the number of gifts down for the kids to one present from each of us and one present to each other. I carve three days out of Christmas vacation where we do nothing but play. I cook food, I get all of the housework done and I get everything organized ahead of time. Then we have gifts that we open every so often over the course of  three days...but, these gifts are things like cookie cutters with instructions that say: "make cookies for the couple down the street" ... a tub of icing that says: "Bake Jesus a birthday cake"  ... or a book that says: "read this book together". We call it "A Christmas of Presence". We watch movies and tell stories and play hide-&-seek in the dark. We talk about what Christmas means.  On Christmas morning, we do a scavenger hunt that leads the girls to their one "big gift" and then celebrate with birthday cake for breakfast (Don't judge.  It's once a year! ;) ).


So far, the girls have been completely on-board.  They ask a lot more questions about what games we're going to play than what gifts they're going to get.  It's the one time of year that I feel like I get it right. I guess it's like a three day Sabbath.. I've tried hard to incorporate the Sabbath into our lives on a weekly basis. I think there is a great need for us to learn to "be still and know that He is God". But, I have to admit that I haven't had much success with that particular endeavor.

You can read about the events that led up to the start of this new tradition in 2008 and about our second "Christmas of Presence" in 2009. To summarize: We do minimal gift giving, and we use the money that we would have used for all those other gifts (that we didn't actually need) to help someone else. In 2008, we sent money to an organization that builds wells in areas without accessible clean water. In 2009 and 2010, we spread it around to several different needs that we had heard about.  I had gotten to the point that I dreaded Christmas because of what it had become: a celebration of consumerism. Would you believe that I haven't stepped a foot into a Wal-mart or the mall this entire holiday season? Can I tell you how freeing that is? It's renewed our love for the season and Christmas has reclaimed it's place as the best thing we do all year!


This year, we have added a few exciting elements to our celebration.  We have an older couple at church, who our girls lovingly refer to as "Mr. Belton" and "Mrs. Ruby".  Mr. Belton and Mrs. Ruby just decided on a whim to visit to our church one Sunday morning. We have no, (and I mean literally NO) elderly people at our church besides them (though if you ever experience Mrs. Ruby's spunk, you'll have a hard time thinking of her as an 82-year-old).  It shouldn't have surprised me that they chose to stay and call our church home.  You can feel the love radiating from the building upon approach.. But, since we have no programs for seniors, or anything geared specifically towards that age group, I didn't figure we had much to offer them.  I'm still not sure that we do, but they have offered us so much.  It just so happens that they don't have any grandchildren living nearby to love on, and my children don't have any grandparents living nearby to love on them (though they get PLENTY of it long-distance and when we visit Alabama). Mr. Belton and Mrs. Ruby came and shared Thanksgiving with us . They will be sharing Christmas with us as well.  They have added a whole new element of love to our lives, and it certainly doesn't hurt that Mrs. Ruby is the best dessert maker in the world. We have been so blessed by them.


Our church also serves a meal down at the Rescue Mission on the fourth Saturday of the month.  It just happened to turn out that the fourth Saturday fell on Christmas day this year. It  seemed obvious that we should celebrate Jesus' birth best in a place where He would most likely be, and my conscience just wouldn't allow me to cancel a thing like that in the name of celebrating the Savior of the world (who so often spoke of loving "the least of these").  With all the holiday traveling and gatherings, I was a little concerned that I might end up providing a meal to 50 hungry men by myself. As it turns out, I will have no such fate. We're going to have quite a crowd serving down at the mission and afterwards, we'll be meeting back for dessert back at our house. They've left very little of the cooking up to me, which will most definitely will work to the advantage of the men we will be feeding.  Our church didn't have to be convinced that we should spend Christmas night this way.  It was obvious to them as well.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate Christmas, and, I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am to be a part of this family that loves Jesus and His world so much.

Sunday after church, we will be heading over to Alabama to spend Christmas with our families,  and once again I have the same kind of anticipation I had when I was a child, and a I have a hope for a Christmas magic greater than any we've ever experienced before. It is my prayer that we will make memories for our children...of a celebration that is fit for a King.


May you experience true Christmas magic, a real Peace on Earth.  May you be blessed so that you may be a blessing to others. 



Blessings,




Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tennesee-- November 20th 2010

Today was the first day of Christmas vacation.. Last night, I cheered when I turned the alarm clock off of it's normal 6:00 a.m. dreaded beep.. And, after weeks and weeks of groaning at those numbers and desiring just a few more minutes of sweet slumber, I woke at exactly: 6:00 a.m... "It's like rai-ee-ain on your wedding day".. Don't you think?

Anyway, I did manage about 45 minutes to myself before anyone else woke.  So, I decided to try to catch up on blogging a bit..  

Speaking of weddings.. The week before Thanksgiving, we made a trip to Lawrenceville, TN for Adam's cousin's wedding.. I had a fun time shadowing their wedding photographer.. And, I learned why wedding photography can become so pricey.  As I still haven't edited all of the hundreds of pictures that I took.. When I get those done, I'll do a separate post.  But for now.  Here's one of the beautiful bride..




Lawrenceville is an interesting little town in that it has pretty substantial Amish community.. You'll have to forgive the quality of the following picture.  I snapped it pulling out of a parking lot and the cropped it a lot but it's just too funny to me to leave it out.




We stayed in these new "green cabins" at the David Crocket State Park.. And I have to say, they were quite nice..



The place was covered in deer.. We stopped one evening to get this picture.  At one point there were nine deer on this hill.  I was really wishing I had a zoom lens for this one..



Not only did the windows that surrounded the living room of the cabin make for great views, it also provided for a great opportunity for baby pictures...


Meet Baby Braxton-- Isn't he adorable.. I'm so in love


Look for a free  download of this storyboard template next Friday. 


And last, I leave you with sweet memories for my children, visits with
 the grandparents and great grandma.



We had a wonderful time.  But as always, there wasn't enough time to fit everything in before we had to head back for the next thing on the schedule.  


Blessings,


Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday's Freebie-- Multi Picture Photoshop Christmas Card Template Download

I'm so behind on personal posts.  Photo creations are taking up my time right now.  So, I figured I might as well share some of those since I'm finding the time to post other things.  Maybe, it'll give me a few new people to swap ideas with!  If you're interested in photography, graphic design etc., leave me a comment with your info.  I'd love to follow!




Another free  Photoshop christmas card template ..  Click on link to download

Leave a comment if you're looking for a particular kind of template and I'll see what I can do.

Blessings,

Dana

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Freebie Storyboard Template





As promised,  the storyboard template that I used for Katie's blog post.  Full Photoshop template, no clipping masks.  Just insert your pictures.  Click HERE to download.

Are you looking for a specific template?  Leave me a comment with the details and I'll see what I can do :).

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Shrek the Halls

(posted 1/24/2011)

Our children did Shrek the Halls for our Christmas play this year.  It seems an unlikely choice for a church Christmas play on first sight... But, really, it's quite applicable and so our church..  And I love that about us.  We have one couple that devote a ton of time to doing a Christmas play with our children every year.  Aaron and Kristi do such a fabulous job.  And obviously have the patience of Job.. 

Emma was Shrek and Chloe was a baby Ogre.. They make fabulous little green people.  

Family Friday- Steed's Dairy Farm

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Camera Loves You Darlin'..

My parents and nephew came for Thanksgiving.  We had an absolutely wonderful and relaxing holiday with several days of sleeping in.  I was so sad when I heard the 6:00 a.m.  alarm clock this morning.  

I also had the opportunity to try my new camera out doing some Senior pictures.   Katie is the daughter of Emma's first grade teacher.  We have been talking about doing Katie's pictures since last year.  She attends South Carolina Governor's school of Math and Science.  So, we grabbed the chance when she was home to do a shoot.  We had to reschedule from Friday to Saturday due to rain.  And I'm so glad we did because the weather was perfect!  

This may have possibly been the easiest photo shoot I've ever done.  Though I love chasing my girl's giggles for a picture, I have to admit that I enjoyed the opportunity to do a shoot with someone I didn't have to bribe to smile.   And as you can see, it was a wonderful treat to me to have such a beautiful model for  to test out my skills on.  


click twice to see in largest format


And, for you other photographers out there, I'll be posting a freebie of this storyboard template shortly..

Thank you Katie and Mel for a wonderful Photo Shoot!  It was such a pleasure!

Special thanks to my friend Julie at Julie Tyree Photography for being my "set of fresh eyes" and giving feedback on this shoot!

Blessings,

Dana

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Card Freebie

I've been making Christmas cards for months.  So I decided I'd make a little something to share.  This template is in Photoshop format.  I left it in simple layers so that there's no messing with clipping masks and it can easily be customized to fit your personal taste.  



You can Download Christmas Card template by clicking:

  Also, if you are using another program, that won't support PS, you can simply enlarge the card, and do a right click, "save as" and paste your picture into the white box.   Merry Christmas!

Decorating the Tree

Holiday Catch Up
Posted 1/14/2011





Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lights of the South

Posted 1/14/2011

Trying to catch up on my holiday posts.  For the sake of order, I am posting behind posts in the dates that they occurred..

Mom, Dad and Justin came for Thanksgiving.. We had a great time and having Justin with us was a treat.  My girls just adore him.  On Thanksgiving evening we went to Lights of the South.  This was a much improved visit to last year when just the four of us went on a night that was much closer to Christmas and much colder!  A trip to  Lights of the South on Thanksgiving evening to kick start the Christmas season might just be a new tradition.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nature Hunt

November 2, 2010

My kids get election day off of school.. Our city voted to increase our sales tax by 1% to pay for city improvements.  The extra tax money will go toward park improvements and some other things.  While I do agree that we have amazing parks and I'm very proud to be part of a community that is willing to invest in itself to become better, I would have much preferred a tax increase that supported improvements in education.  Especially at a time when our teachers are being fur lowed.. Anyway, no one asked me so, I decided that I was going to use those taxes for education one way or another.  And since another glorious break is upon us (hooray for no six a.m. alarm clocks!), I thought I would share our little activity in case there is someone else as cheap as I that is looking for a cheap way to entertain their kids during Thanksgiving break.  


taken on the bridge that runs through our neighborhood park
I do believe Chloe was spitting a piece of pine straw out of her mouth..


So, we did our civic duty and voted and then armed with a camera and a plastic bag, we took the girls on a nature hunt at the park.. 

 Our "Autumn Nature Hunt List"


yellow leaf
green leaf
red leaf

3 acorns

piece of moss

animal Hole 

animal tracks 

bird 

blade of grass

berries

feather

hole in a tree 

fungus

pine cone

smooth and shiny rock

pebble

squirrel 

something that doesn't belong in nature

y shaped stick

spider web 

unusual shaped leaf

brightly colored flowers


I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to find most things on our list.  

A FEW PICTURES FROM OUR HUNT
click twice to see it at it's largest





On the itinerary for Thanksgiving break:  A visit from the grandparents, Ribbon Christmas Trees, a trip to Lights of the South and did I mention, NO ALARM CLOCKS?

Blessings, 

Dana

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What to Wear Wednesday

The most common question asked about family pictures.. 
 What should we wear?  

One classic option is to dress everyone in matching white, all in black, etc. This option freezes your family in time. It also shows unity.  And, sometimes it's the best choice for a portrait taken when a certain room in the house is in mind with which to hang to portrait in.   If this is what you are going for, look no further, this option is still acceptable!  But, chances are, if you've ever taken a family picture, you already have that "everyone's doing it" white and khaki's on the beach and you're looking for something new and fresh.  


The idea is to coordinate without matching.   And in turn, each family member is given individuality and expression of their own personality without interrupting the flow of the picture.  Lucy can wear her favorite shades of pink while dad can still wear his manly brown.   To help spur you along, I scoured the internet for my favorite combinations.   Most of these ensembles were pulled from Gap and Old Navy's website.   I certainly don’t expect you to run to the store to purchase the items in these pictures. Chances are, there is something in your closets that will work great.   
The easiest way to accomplish the task of color coordination without matching, is to find a print for one family member with a color pallet that you love and then coordinate the other members..  However, this can also be done by layering.. Once, I did a session of a mom and dad and two daughters.  The mom wore a orange shirt with a brown cardigan, the dad wore a brown shirt and the girls wore orange dresses.  They coordinated beautifully.   


Many thanks to the talented photographers that put these ensembles together.  I looked for owners to give credit where credit is due but found them in several different locations with no owners attributed.  If you are the brains behind these wonderful ensembles, please let us know so we can become your newest followers!













   
A Few Tips:
* Most important, choose comfortable styles.  Nothing makes a cute kid grumpy faster than stiff clothes that constantly need to be adjusted.  And for mom and dad, wear whatever it is that makes you feel like you can take on the world!  If you don't feel comfortable in what you're wearing it will surely be reflected in your photos.
*Basic color rules apply.  Wear colors that bring out your eyes and look best with your complexion.  Dark colors make things look smaller, light colors make things look larger..  
*Simple colors and designs work best on adults but sometimes a bold print on a child can bring out a fun or silly personality.
*Choose styles that portray your family's personality.  
*Long sleeves work great pulling the attention to the face.

Blessings,

Dana

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Haunted By Questions

I was excited to get a guest post slot over at the blog of Jason Boyett, author of O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling In his book, Jason  gives a candid and honest account of the doubts that he encounters in his journey to faith as he seeks answers to the questions that many of us have asked ourselves but haven't had the guts to say them out loud.  I love Jason's openness about a matter that so desperately needs discussed in circles of faith.  Not to mention the fact that his quick wit and dry humor keeps me laughing the whole way through.


So here's my post as first seen at "O Me of Little Faith".   Thank you to those of you that left me comments over there.  I apologize if you've already read it.  I wanted to make sure I got it in my "faith" archives over here.   Don't forget to  check out all the other great posts on faith and doubt over at Jason's blog.

Haunted By Questions

The timing of this post is somewhat ironic. When I agreed to write it, I assumed I'd be past the crisis of faith I intended to write about. As it turns out, I'm still shoulder-deep in it, and trying to find a way forward.

It's really easy to have faith as I sit in my own little world, with my loving husband and my healthy children, when my life isn't being challenged and I feel like I've got God all figured out. If I could only find a way to keep my family and my friends from being touched by pain, I think I could keep up that charade. It's easy to do when everything is bright and sunny and we appear to be God's favorites...His "chosen ones."

But today, I'm thinking about a friend with a sick child and a mountain of medical bills that just keeps getting bigger. I'm haunted by a friend who got laid off from his job, a friend who wants a baby but seems to be unable to have one, a friend who is in constant pain with no identifiable reason, the friend who is staying in an relationship with an adulterous spouse for the sake of her children...and the friend who just couldn't do that. Today, I'm thinking about (dare I say it?), the friend who is gay and didn't ask to be. 

Usually, I'm the person I've described in the beginning of that last paragraph, living a bright and sunny life on cloud nine, with a living and vibrant faith in a loving God. However, when that life is disturbed... when I'm in my darkest, most private hours, there is no mistaking how small my faith really is. A few months ago, my family lost a member to a life-long fight with Cystic Fibrosis. It was a long fight, fought by one of the most faithful of God's followers that I've ever known. A fight that looked like was going to be won. Then, in a sudden turn of events, my 39-year-old cousin was taken from us. I sincerely prayed prayers of confident faith that should have moved mountains. But for reasons that I don't understand (and that, in all honesty, probably wouldn't give me any comfort anyway), it appears to me that, at least for now, those prayers were not answered. 

My questions about God and faith may not be those pondered by the average skeptic, but they're struggles nonetheless. I'm not sure that I have ever, in my life, doubted God's existence. Did you know that when an infant is born prematurely, its mother produces a different milk than what is produced for a full-term baby? Did you know that the milk produced in that situation is especially suited for that baby at that age? For me, even the small glimpses that I catch of the complexities of our world point to a Creator much greater than myself, and to an intentionality that isn't explained by chance or chaos. 

Even though I have confidence in God's existence, I'm often plagued by two questions: "Does God know what He's doing?" and, if so, "Is He actually good?" I realize that those questions may appear disrespectful to God, and perhaps they are. But, I have this hunch that He can take it. Besides, the fact that I just admitted that I have those questions and asked them "out loud" doesn't make them any worse. God is already very aware of them. 

In truth, these questions have taught me something. I am learning that my following Jesus is about a lot more than finding an escape route from Hell..or death...or pain. I want to be on the side of what's true and pure and good. When I look at the wonders of this world, I feel as if my choice to follow this God was right. But on other days, when the pain of the world is what I see, I'm haunted by questions. In my heart of hearts, I believe that whatever this is that we're all a part of -- this thing that we're all trying to make sense of -- is going to be overwhelmingly obvious once we are truly able to see the full goodness of God. I think we may even be somewhat amused that we never even entertained an idea that was even close to the reality of how it all works together and how good this God is. But for now, God's goodness is so out of reach from my limited perspective, that I don't think I could comprehend it, even if it could somehow be fully explained to me. 

So for now, I step out and follow Him, admitting that some days, I'm uneasy about it all. In the end, I'm thankful that following Him requires faith and not sight; trust and not certainty; hope and not total comprehension. I'm pretty sure that faith cannot exist without questions, and I've got enough of those to go around.


Blessings,

Dana

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Lift Up Your Hearts With a Smile-- It's Family Time

I think I've been putting this off for fear that someone is going to get mad at me.  .  Emma had a four day weekend not too long ago so we planned a trip home so that we could catch up with everyone.  Well, that four day trip ended up turning into a two day trip since we had a long photo shoot on Thursday night and we didn't end up getting everything ready to leave until after lunch on Friday and we had to get up at the crack of dawn on Monday to get back for a parent teacher conference.  So, as usual, we did not have time to see everyone we wanted to see.  There are some dear friends from high school that I haven't seen in years and I didn't see any of my dad's side of the family this round.

It was the first time I had been home since Tony's funeral in May and I was just sort of longing to be with other people that understood the enormity of how the world has changed since losing him.  The girls had been asking me about Tyler (Tony's son) non-stop and I  felt like we needed to be near them.  All of us getting together was a painful reminder that Tony wasn't with us..  But, it was almost like I could hear his laughter mixed in the conversation in the next room.  So bittersweet.. We have so many precious memories.  But they are still so painful to think of.. I love them all so much.  

My hope is that we'll have a little bit more time when we go home during Christmas break.   Here are a few highlights from our trip.. We made a point to get family pictures as I'm determined to get more acquainted with my tri-pod so that I'm in more pictures. The one  in the middle is my favorite and totally captures who my family is and who we want to be.  I decided to hold on to the rest until we decided what everyone wants to put on their Christmas cards.  



Blessings,

Dana

Friday, November 05, 2010

... AND LOVE REMAINS

The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.  NLT James 1:11


Over the course of my life, I've spent a lot of time studying James 1: 1-8.  It's the go-to scripture when trials come into your life.  I actually have most of that scripture memorized.  Here's the "Dana Ellis Modern-Day-Paraphrased-Version":

 When life does what life does, and gets tough; be happy about it.  When we face trials, our faith is tested.  And when our faith is tested, we develop perseverance and perseverance is the thing that develops character.  So hang in there, and let perseverance develop.  One day, you will look back on those trials and know that you are fully developed and not lacking in anything because you survived them.  

If you lack wisdom, if you don't know what to do about these trials...Ask God.   But, ask without doubting.  Keep hold of your emotions and keep your head on straight and know that God is going to handle this.  When you're unsure, you are like a wave tossed about the sea and blown around like the wind.  Reacting to trials in that way causes a person to be wishy-washy and terribly unstable...and that never helps anything.

It might not be eloquent, but that's how it translates in my mind.  And though I can't say that I've grown to the point that I am happy about facing trials, I have begun to endure them with the knowledge that there is a purpose for them.   But, when I was reading Karen Kingsbury's "Above the Line" series (which I highly recommend) and James 1:11 was mentioned, I realized that I had been stopping short at verse 8.  As it turns out, verse 11 actually validates why we should consider it pure joy.

Since losing my cousin Tony in May and my friend Susan in September,  the past few months have really been for me a time of evaluating the things that I make priorities in my life.  James 1:11 solidified those thoughts for me:

The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.  NLT James 1:11

So often, life gets in the way and I find myself wasting a lot of my time, resources, energy, etc. on things that aren't permanent.  I have really started trying to ask myself: "Am I investing in something eternal here?  When it's all wrapped up and said and done is what I'm worrying about here going to matter?"  And I'm learning that a lot of time, the answer is "no",  I am learning that often, I, my family, my friends and the world will be better off if I turn my attention,f my time and my heart in another direction.  

God, please help me to make your concerns my concerns.  And please give me peace about those things on which I unnecessarily waste my time, effort and heart.

Blessings,

Dana


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rainy Day Activity-- Bathtub Fun


I'm gonna make this quick as my bottom is not enjoying the hard bathroom floor that it is sitting on.  It's a rainy day here in South Carolina.  And though we desperately need the rain,  rainy days leave me looking for activities that won't have us sitting in front of the TV all day. 

 Solution:  Bathtub paints.. So easy to make and chances are, you already have everything you need at home.

What you need:  
Baby shampoo
food coloring
paint brush
small containers for holding paint
camera to capture your materpiece



Simply put five drops of shampoo and five drops of food coloring in separate containers for each color you want.  When the masterpiece is done, take a picture, then hand your child an old wash cloth (this might stain). Have you child go to town washing the walls.  Finally, rinse child and bathtub and you have a clean artist and a clean bathtub.

Caution: While this washes off quite easily from fiberglass or marble tubs, it does not wash easily from grout.  I learned this lesson the hard way when our non-toxic fun resulted in me resorting to bleach for clean up in my bathtub which is surrounded in tile and grout.    




 

Blessings,

Dana

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Meet Lizzy

As in Lizard.  As in the one that Emma caught as her pet and is now loose in my dining room.
Who said I needed boys?  

Sunday, October 31, 2010

And the other side of Sisters..

You might recall the super sweet picture that I posted of the girls a week or so ago.  Well, I have several posts that I need to do but I just couldn't wait to get this one up.  Here are a few of the pictures I snapped before we went trick-or-treating..


This is Emma refusing to smile at Chloe




And this is Emma after Chloe hit her on the head with her pumpkin because she wouldn't smile.  





And what was I doing?  Creating a future in which I will regret the past because I was laughing instead of parenting..  I'm still laughing.. The other picture was posed.. This is truly them..  Just keeping it real.. 

Blessings,

Dana

Halloween


Posted on November 23, 2010

Her First Love

Scene: A mother and two daughters in the car driving through town, passing a church.

Three year old, Chloe: That's where mom and dad got married.

Very old feeling mom: No, dad and I got married in Alabama.  But that kind of looks like where we got married.

Chloe:  I'm getting married

Seven year old, Emma: giggles

Mom: You are, who are you going to marry?

Chloe: I'm going to marry my daddy
.
Mom:  (quickly wipes away tears and reaches for the phone to tell daddy the good news.. )


But  [she] treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.  Luke 2:19


Blessings,

Dana

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thoughts on Life AFTER Diapers...

Can you believe it?  The Ellis house is diaper free!  



Clearly, I didn't have much foresight when I came up with the name for my blog..  But, in my defense, I started this blog  when my oldest was still in diapers.  And, with at least one other child in the plans, it seemed as if diapers would be a permanent part of motherhood...   I never imagined that I would stick with blogging...  But here we are, over five years later...

Oh wait... let me answer the questions I just raised when I said "at least".. As far as planning goes.. We're done.. Though we have not taken official steps to take care of this..  I'm not sure I want to take votes on what should be done about this issue.  However, if your opinion is that my husband should take care of this matter since I birthed the babies, I know he'd be thoroughly stoked to hear your thoughts.    Anyway,  Emma and Chloe have made it clear that they don't want a baby brother.   If we could have stuck another one in the middle of Emma and Chloe, we might have gone for three..  But, they are getting to ages where we're really being able to do some fun things with them.. And I think we're happy where we are... Plus, I'm really nervous about the thought of being outnumbered anyway.

Anyway, despite my refusal to admit that Chloe was old enough to be potty trained, the kid succeeded in potty training herself.. So I waited until we were officially totally out of diapers, even at night, because I didn't want to have to change my blog name.. I know, lame..  But, my clever friend Jay came up with a solution that wouldn't rock my little mommy world too much.  And who knows,  maybe I'll keep this long enough to take that "after" back off when I have grand babies..  It'll be here before we know it!

So to those mommies out there who are up to their elbows in baby poop... It really does "pass".  Pun intended.. And despite what people who have clearly forgotten what it was like to be covered poop say... You might miss the sweet, sweet diaper days when you hung the moon and they didn't have the ability to talk back.. But, YOU WILL NOT MISS THE POOP...

Blessings,

Dana