Saturday, December 20, 2014

My very first birthday post for Ellis


My one and only nephew is one! Happy birthday, sweet Ellis!


Ellis James is a dadgummed delight.  I remember hating nearly everything about 2013, and then he was born and for the remaining 21 days of the year I thought "Well, things turned out pretty okay."

He just makes everything better by being the loveliest little person.  We spent a long, long time looking forward to him and Evelyn was full of plans for him. 


It took her a few months to get used to him, but halfway through the year something clicked and they were best friends.


 He laughs at the sound of her voice and she jumps every time I get a text because she hopes it's a picture of him.  They get into each others business any time they're together and they're absolutely lovely.

Ellis is the best little guy.  I love him.  He reads, he claps, and he's snuggly.  He's so smart and strong and cheerful!  

He makes his family beautifully whole.

It's been so fantastic to watch Laine and Robert be parents this year.  They make a wonderful family and I'm so excited to celebrate Ellis's birthday very, very soon. 

Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

We had another mountain adventure!

We went to Petit Jean State Park. Again!

This time there was fog.

This time Dad came with us.

There was more climbing and exploring.

And we all wore plaid flannel.

We picnicked by the playground and checked out the Rock House Cave.  Here are the Turtle Rocks we saw on the way down.

And here's the cave. Evelyn wore a backpack, too.

We also walked the Bear Cave Trail, which I didn't photograph.  But it was filled with huge rocks and we both held Evelyn's hands to keep her from tripping over all the rocks and roots. She was long overdue for a nap by then.  I think the Rock House Cave trail is about half a mile long, and I think the Bear Cave Trail is as well.  Big day for some little legs!

I noticed Evelyn thinking for herself more this time when she was talking out loud about where she would put her hands and feet when she was climbing a rock.  Petit Jean has a lot of areas that aren't sectioned off, and she's learning more about why she has to stay close to us and listen to us when we tell her to hold our hands. 

But she also loved letting her arms float out the side on the swings, and shouted that she flew higher than a dragon.  She carried the park map in her backpack and was really delighted that she used a restroom that had a hole in the potty (it was an outhouse).  We talked a lot about moss, and trees that have berries.  She felt incredibly big telling her dad about the visitors center.

And she napped when we took the long way home this time.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A visit with Santa and some other good things

Here's today's square.  I used black for the center instead of purple because I wanted the square to look like the design on a can of Surge.

 Levi gave me my birthday present early. 12 whole cans of Surge. I almost cried from excitement. I haven't had one of these in over ten years and now I've enjoyed 2 in less than 24 hours.

 Life is amazing.

Today we went to the library, which was open for a few Christmas programs to coincide with some Christmas attractions. We sat in on a garden program about insects, read to the dogs, listened to a hand bell choir, picked up a few things at the farmers/crafters market (small vendor turnout, but there were good things there), and.....visited with Santa!

We've done this  every year. Santa sits on the trolley, and people come to visit him.  Usually Evelyn enjoys the trolley more than Santa, but this year she was ready to talk to him.  She knew what she would ask for and she knew she wanted to bring Boris to meet Santa. 

This year the trolley was decorated in a fairly crazy-looking mishmash of Christmas and winter decorations. She was pretty into it.

Please notice her Christmas bow. She's very proud of it.

So. Santa! He complimented her boots and she told him her old ones were too small because she was a growing girl.  She told him about Boris and that she'd been to the library.

When he asked her what she wanted, she told him she would like a candy cane. She really likes candy canes this year.  When he asked her if there was anything else she wanted, she requested a cookie.  (A transit worker wrapping garland along the seatbacks had told her there were cookies on a table outside the trolley.)

Santa seemed a little flustered and tried to keep prompting but come on, old man.  Trust the girl when she says she knows what she wants.

There was a discussion about the Frozen movie, but she may think that she already 'owns' it because it lives at her Gram's house.  Anyway, we thanked him for coming to visit our area and wished him a merry Christmas.

And guess what she got when she stepped off the trolley?

Sometimes you really can get everything you want.  Wishes are granted.  Goodness shows up.

We wrote a letter to Santa (I didn't understand that because we'd just seen him, but okay), and thanked him for coming. She likes sending mail right now.

She got some sunglasses from CAT, which was nice.

Then Cody (who was there, but isn't in any pictures) went home to fix some lunch and we went back to the library for a quick craft and to read a few books.

We had lunch, my Christmas-y girl is napping for a little while longer, and tonight we'll run some errands in a desperate attempt to get away from the swarm of concertgoers that will descend on us for the third night in a row. Nothing against Garth Brooks, but oh my goodness.  In terms of feeling trapped in my own home, this is worse than Riverfest. 

Then again, home isn't such a bad place to be sometimes.  We have fun and we have good snacks.

Friday, December 12, 2014

More squares

My square for Wednesday.


 And today:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Some Advent, some nativity

I think I'm 2 days behind schedule in making squares, but I'm pretty sure the world won't end over it. Here are the ones I've made recently, with some pictures of the nativity scene near the Capitol thrown in for good measure. Evelyn really likes Christmas decorations and lights and adventure, so I think we'll be seeing a lot of displays around town this year.  Or at least I hope so. I love driving around and looking at all the lights.