Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Princesses and the Pea

It is official boys and girls. The tests have been done and they have passed or either failed.. how ever you want to look at it. Both of my girls are real true princesses. This story will be a story that I will tell my grandkids about their mothers. It will definitely go down in history as one of my favorites.

On April the 10th, I went with Emma and her class to see the "Princess and the Pea" ballet. Now Emma's teacher doesn't half do anything.. So the whole week before the ballet, they did activities having to do with the story. Well, the night before the ballet. Emma brought home this:

Emma is all about princesses but we typically don't encourage her to think she's a princess herself other than in a "you're a princess because your father is the King of Kings" kind of way but, I just couldn't resist the chance to play a little trickery on my little darling... Come on, you know that every parent takes some kind of sick joy out of deceiving their child. Why else would millions of parents spend their hard earned money on presents and then spend their hard to come by time wrapping those presents only to secretly put them out on Dec. 24th and give a man that doesn't even exist the credit for their hard work. Don't deny it, you love it too.

So anyway, this was our devious plan...
Adam took Emma to the bathroom to brush her teeth. Emma has an egg crate mattress on her bed so I slipped a golf ball under the egg crate. Adam brought her in and I said, "Now we're going to go ahead and test this out because if you are a real princess, I'm not going to have you laying on this thing all night and not well rested for the ballet tomorrow". So, I had her sit on the bed while she watched me place the pea under her mattress. She then laid back on the golf ball. I wish I had video taped this because the look on her face was priceless. I'm pretty sure that she was fully ready to fib and say that she did feel the pea. But there was a look of pure shock on her face when she actually did (or so she thought). So, I very carefully removed both the pea and the golf ball at the same time and we went on with our normal bed time activities and I thought that was the end of it. Until.... I was changing the sheet on Chloe's bed last night. So I lifted up her mattress and low and behold... You guessed it. There was our little pea. Now it just so happens that Chloe hasn't been sleeping real well due to her never ending teething. So, I decided to seize the opportunity to head of any problems in the future that might result from Emma thinking that she was a princess and Chloe not. So, I pulled my acting skills out once again and this is what I said, "Emma Elaine, look what I just found under Chloe's mattress. I've told you that she hasn't been sleeping well. How long has this been under mattress". Emma very sheepishly replied, "a long time, I forgot I put it in there". To which I said, "Well, don't you ever put a pea under you sister's mattress again. I haven't slept in days. If you ever do that again, you're going to be in big trouble". To which Emma said, "well, I guess now we know that Chloe is a princess too". I just can't stop laughing about the whole thing. Kids are the best!

Now I realize that this whole thing could definitely come back to bite me in the tail. I'm sure that at some point, one of them will probably try to use their royalty to get out of doing some chore. But, it will be at that point that they will learn that I've already passed my test as queen and that the princesses still have to obey the queen. (I hope).

May you sleep well tonight and wake without a backache tomorrow!!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nine Years-- Happy Anniversary Adam

This picture was taken during our first year of marriage in 1999. We were sitting on the couch in our first apartment. It is one of my favorites. We look so happy. I'm not sure that we were having as much fun as it looks. I'm really glad we didn't end up killing each other that year. I think we had a lot more time to fight before we had kids. I would do it all over again even if I did have to re-live that first year. Man we look young!

Next year for our ten year anniversary, we will live close enough to our parents to have a babysitter and we are so taking some kind of trip.

I love you Adam!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

House Update

Things are moving fast. I've been reluctant to post about the house situation. I'm afraid to count my chickens before they hatch. So, I will put this disclaimer on what I'm about to write: BARRING ANY UN FOR SEEN EVENTS: Our house here is under contract and we have a contract on a house in South Carolina. Obviously, in this market, selling a house that quickly is a God thing. But, there is way more to it than that. Things have fallen into place so neatly that I can believe nothing less that it was God's hands putting it all in place. So where to start...

When we were visiting SC, I don't think that I was still quite believing that all of this would be a real possibility. However, I decided to look at some real estate "just in case". I remember thinking to myself that if we did end up moving there, I might just be crazy enough to buy a house long distance so that I didn't have to make another trip. Well, turns out that I am in fact crazy because that is exactly what we are doing. Adam and I both have looked at the house. And this is how that happened... I picked up a real estate book and starting flipping through and saw this house and thought it would be perfect for us. It has three bedrooms on one end of the house close to together. I have found that this is sometimes hard to find in newer houses. But, that is really what I wanted since the girls are so little. Then, there is a totally separate bedroom and bathroom in another part of the house. I have always wanted a place where guests could come and have privacy and feel comfortable. And this area will be perfect not only for people that we know well but also for those occasions that will come up where the church has a guest in that we don't know very well. It will be nice for them not to have to sleep in either our bedroom or in Emma's bedroom where they trip over toys as has happened in our current house. Anyway, I could go on and on about how it's perfect for us but instead, I'll just invite you to come see :). Let's just say that I LOVE IT! So, I thought it would be a good idea to ride around that neighborhood and check it out and low and behold... OPEN HOUSE. That's right, with 8760 hours that are in a year (yes I did use a calculator for that) they just happened to be having an open house for two hours. The girls were asleep in the car and so Adam stayed in the car with them while I ran in to have a look. Now granted my dreams aren't huge (as far as houses go) but it's my dream house and all I ever would want.. And, it was built in 2006 which is fitting because as much as Adam and I would like to be fixer upper kind of people... WE ARE SO NOT!

I still didn't think that we could possibly get this house. I still wasn't sure that we were moving there and I thought that if we did, we either wouldn't be able to afford it or it would sell before we got to that point. Well, we got back to WV and things moved along. Adam went back down to SC for a very quick trip and looked at the house while he was there and fell in love with it as well.

Ok, lets switch to selling our house here... When we moved to WV, we bought a very small house and financed it for 15 years so that we could build some equity and put it down on something bigger later. Now let me say that I have loved our little house and I could be fine living in one like it forever (I do think that love grows best in little houses). But, since we have added another child, we have been on top of each other (especially when we have company) and we'll still be living close because of the way the house is laid out so, I have to say, it will be nice to have the extra room. Anyway, we put our house on the market on Sat. and by Tuesday, we had an offer. By the following Sat., we had all the negotiating worked out and signed a contract. So in the mean time... On Friday, the real estate agent in SC called and told me that we had to get the house here under contract in 72 hours because they had gotten an offer on the one in SC. Not a big deal because I knew we were doing it the next day. But wow, I could but couldn't believe that the house had been just sitting there for months and then it got an offer the day after we made an offer. WOW!!
I did have a moment on Friday when we were trying to settle all the deals and I got kind of stressed out ended up getting a headache and throwing up.. I know what you are thinking.. I AM NOT PREGNANT. I got scared about that too and took a test. NEGATIVE! That is just what anxiety does to me. Even though the payment is just barely more than what we're paying now and this is exactly what we have been saving to do, I had a little bit of hard time believing that we are actually at that point. Anyway, if you would like to see the house. Email or comment me and I will send you a link to it. There is a picture of our "guest suite" that you will be staying in when you come visit us in beautiful, sunny South Carolina ;).

So last week inspections were done on both houses and everything looks good with them. We got a copy of our buyers pre-approval letter so hopefully, things will keep going smoothly... I do have to say that the packing isn't quite so smooth. I can't believe how Chloe is moving. The kid crawls like lightning and she is pulling up and walking around furniture. I'm afraid that she might be walking before she turns eight months old. She's into everything and Emma really never got out of being into everything either. My goal is to pack at least two boxes a day. I did get one box packed this morning but it looks like my best time to get things done is going to be after the girls get to bed. Which means I need to get off of here and get to that.

My parents made a quick trip up here this past weekend. I was going to try to do a quick post on that and the things that the girls are doing but I'm afraid that would get lost in my rambling about the house so I'll try to make that post soon.

Thank you all for your prayers! He's listening.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

Well, I've said many times that I'm pretty good at several things but I think I'll be searching my whole life for the one thing that I'm great at. I stand corrected.. I'd make a great cow! Friday, I started to pack up the milk that I've collected for the milk bank and then I realized that the milk bank was closed on Saturdays so I had to wait until today. That's why Emma is wearing different clothes in the pictures.

My original goal was to collect at least 100 ounces by the time Chloe turns 8 months old (the fat content is the highest before 8 months). I collected 28 bags with at least 4 ounces a piece so that makes 112 + ounces. It took a little longer than expected because I kept getting sick and had to take medicine and it has to be at least 24 hours since you've had as much as a tylenol and then Emma having a broken leg made things interesting too. But, I reached my goal. And I'm super excited about that.

Anyway, we packed it up today and took pictures to commemorate the occasion. I'm glad that I did it but I'm also glad to be done with it! Emma said a sweet prayer for the babies that will be receiving the milk and it's sitting on my front porch in the cooler waiting for fedex to pick it up.

We've got a contract on our house here and a contingent offer on a house in SC. I'll write a post soon with an update on all of that but I can just tell you that God's fingerprints have been all over it.

Here is a link to where I told about the National Milk Bank if you are interested in knowing more.


Monday, April 07, 2008

Moses, the preacher's wife....

We've known for a couple of weeks now that we will soon be making a major move here in a couple of months. Adam is taking a job with a church in South Carolina as their pulpit minister! We'll be moving not only geographically but also be taking a major career move and move with our lives in general. For ten plus years (nine since we've been married and one while we were engaged) youth ministry has been our life. For a few years now, it has been very apparent to me that God has given Adam a gift for speaking. However, I just knew that God was going to entertain my refusal to be a preacher's wife and give Adam another avenue for using that gift. I figured he could be a teacher, a writer, a traveling speaker, I was even fine with him preaching from the back of a garbage truck! But, I was digging my heals in in refusal when it came to being a preachers wife. I should have learned by now not to tell God what I was or wasn't going to do. "God, I'm going to marry a doctor so that we have lots of money" God says, " Nope youth minister". "I'm never moving any further away from my family than I am now" God says, "You're going to move to West Virginia". "I'm never going to be a preacher's wife"..... Guess you know how that one is going to go... Well maybe I've learned my lesson this time... God, I'm never going to be a millionaire!

I'm actually more excited about this upcoming move than I ever thought I could be and I'm going to tell you all about that in a minute but first, I want to say something to the teens that I know that read my blog from time to time.. I have seen more depth in you than I have seen in most adults. I am so proud of the way you have grown. I hear you making comments like, "I want to partner with God to make His dream for the world a reality" and I know that if the Church could get what you already know, that dream would be reality. I know that your faith doesn't rest in us and that though you struggle, you have a faith that is firm.. I know that you are changing the world and that you will continue to do that. Our relationship with you will continue, we'll just have a new address. I love you so much and I am honored to be a part of your life.

Ok, so how did this all come to be. Well, where do I start... About three years ago, we moved to WV. I'll spare you the details of how that all came to be because this post is going to be long enough as it is but lets just say that we were sure that that was God was wanting us to do. It has been one of the best yet one of the hardest experiences of my life. I realize that I still (God willing) have much of my life ahead of me but, so far, up until now... Soon after we moved to WV, I prayed a dangerous prayer.. "God, do to us what you need to do to us to make us who you want us to be". Now granted, if I had realized how much work He needed to do, I might have re-thought that prayer and I'm sure Adam would appreciate it if I would ask him before I pray something like that on his behalf again. You maybe wondering specifics and I'm trying hard to try to put them into words... I guess I would say that God, the vine dresser, has been pruning us for the last three years. I have met some wonderful people and made some friendships that will last a lifetime but I have definitely felt like a fish out of the water... I guess you can take the girl out of the south but you can't take the south out of the girl. There is much more of a cultural difference than we had anticipated. Adam has a very dry sense of humor. That hasn't always gone over so well here. If you get that sort of thing, it's wit and if you don't it's sarcasm. I have found that some people are not big fans of sarcasm. I feel like I have walked around behind him for three years laughing really loud so that people know he's kidding.

I knew that our families had helped us out with our ministry a lot but I grossly underestimated the difference that moving from a 5 hour drive to a 12 hour for mine or 16 for Adam's parents would make in them being able to continue to get to us when we needed them. I longed for my mother's arms many times but I think that was magnified the most last March when after months of me being horribly sick from being pregnant Emma got sick and was hospitalized. At that moment, I felt so much like a child needing my mother myself. There have been many times like that. But always, at times like that, God has made His presence known.

I'm jumping around here... That's why I've taken so long to make this post... I'm still not sure what I want to say. So back a few months ago, the church here did evaluations on their ministers. I will say up front that I'm not a fan of this. I just don't think it's a good idea to give a people a mode to give their opinions anonymously but, no one asked me.. and they were done. Well something that kept coming up over and over was what a good speaker Adam was and how he would make a great preacher one day.. Well, I got to thinking that maybe I was keeping Adam from doing what God wanted him to do. So I came across this little job posting (that's right, I did it). One thing led to another and we found ourselves visiting this little church on the Georgia/South Carolina line. Fully expecting to feel uncomfortable in the "preacher's wife" role. I fell in love with the place.. It is a young church with mostly couples our age with small children. When we left there, people were hugging us and telling us that they love us and at the risk of sounding cheesy, I really felt like I belonged there and would be really sad to never see those people again. So again, one thing led to another and after much prayer (on both sides) they offered the job and we accepted..

Now don't think that I'm not nervous about this at all. I've been having "preacher's wife" nightmares.. I dreamed the other night that I showed up to church in a very inappropriate pair of daisy dukes... I have always feared that I was going to run into someone that I went to high school with and tell them that I was married to a youth minister and they were going to fall on the ground laughing. That hasn't happened yet but now I'm going to be telling them that I'm married to a preacher! I feel so inadequate. But, I know that if God has gifted Adam, then he will equip me to be his mate. I keep telling myself that God's power is made perfect in my weakness and that God as he did with Moses, often choses the least qualified for the job. So anyway, if you've somehow stuck with me to make it to the end of this novel. Please pray for me. Please play for Adam, the church in WV and the church in SC as we make this transition.

I'm sure you will be hearing soon of all the tedious things we've been doing to get things ready to sell our house and move etc..



Friday, April 04, 2008

Congratulations Lindsey !

I recently took senior pictures of one of our girls. Here are a couple of her favorites. Congratulations Lindsey! The Ellis family loves you!

And this is the invitation that I made for her party.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Better eat those Wheaties

So for the first five months of her life, Chloe did not fight me on going to bed or taking naps or anything. I think it would have been easier if she had. Because somewhere, she developed a will and it's much harder for her to learn now than I think it would have been earlier. So I had put her down for her nap determined that I was going to be more stubborn than she. I could hear her crying and was trying to keep myself busy with washing the dishes because it's much easier if I have a task that I'm working on. Well, things got quiet so I went to peek in to make sure that she was asleep and this is what I saw. If you look closely, you can see that she had been crying. But, she was quite proud of herself at this point. And guess what, she won. I can't leave her in there now because the mattress needs to be lowered so that she won't tumble out. No worries, I have a pack-n- play and at the moment, she's safely placed inside and I'm writing this to the sound of her cry. I'm saved from the infant out smarting me for now. I'm not sure if all of this is early or not but it's way earlier than Emma did all of this. I just knew that Chloe would be late moving around because she's so laid back. She's still pretty laid back but she's got some of that strong spirit that is inevitably in her genes. I have no idea where that comes from ;). She's quieting down. Maybe I should go check and make sure she's not in there doing cartwheels.

And kudos to mommy for winning the first battle of the day


PS: make sure you scroll down and see the video of her saying Mama.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Chloe says Mama

I know I'm doing a lot of videos but you probably just need to get used to it. This is the point where I want to run a video camera non stop. She is changing daily. Anyway, I'm sure that some point, I'm going to want a hiatus from my professional job title ;). But, for now, it makes my heart melt. You may need to turn my music off to hear this. Scroll to the bottom of the page and push the pause button that is in the upper left corner of my playlist box.