Friday, April 22, 2011

My Little Maestro!

A few months ago at Ella's school they had a day where the kids got to dress up like what they want to be when they grow up. Leading up to this day, I explained this to Ella and asked how she would like to dress up.

She very confidently responded, "Like a director". An orchestra director. I laughed so hard because it is just not one of the more common things a 4 year would choose to be when that 4 year old grows up. She said just like her Granddad and Mr. Will (who is the choir director at our church.)

So we started working on her costume!

She was so happy! Her eyes lit up when we handed her the baton that Daddy went out and got her.

I thought this was so special because music runs deep in Ella's genealogy. I grew up with a Dad who was a music minister my whole life. He also was a trombone major in college!! Have you ever met a trombone major? Ha! And he comes from a family of very talented singers. He has passed some of that along to my sister and I and now to Ella! I love that this passion for music is something we will be able share together, hopefully for a long time.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Zach & Ella's Bday Party

Can you tell I'm playing bloggy catch up? It's been a while since I've posted anything.

I did a bday post from Ella's friends bday party, but I didn't post pictures from Ella's family party. Ella and her cousin, Zach, have birthdays only a few days apart. So we always have a combined party for them every year which is SO much fun!

Here are some pics!

Ella with her Team Umizoomi Milli band on.

Ella and Cousin Ethan

Ella got a Rapunzel blanket and pillow from her cousins. Pretty ultimate for her!

Ella's Great Granddad and Grandma Angel made this lamp for her! We cherish it.

Ella giving her Great Granddad a great big thank you hug.

Her reaction when she turned it on.

Thankful for family!!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ella's Choir

Ella's choir sang a couple of months ago at church for a special night of worship called Night of Psalms. I couldn't resist posting some pictures!

This is Ella and her bestie at church, Karoline!

Silly girls!

My girl is not shy at all when it comes to being on a stage in front of people.

We did have one slight moment of her pulling her dress up above her head, but thankfully it only lasted about .5 seconds unlike last Christmas when she did that and swayed back and forth. And we had no booger picking and eating this time either, unlike last time. Ha!

Here's the video of them singing "This is the Day"!

Ella's Choir Performs 2-27-11 from Janelle on Vimeo.

Love, love, love her and her sweet self!

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Thursday, April 14, 2011


In March, Ella and I got the amazing opportunity to participate in our very first mission trip together! I must admit, I was a little anxious going into it. It was actually a local mission trip, focusing primarily on a mile radius around the church we attend. So myself, Ella and 30 other people slept in our church for 6 nights. Thus why I was a little anxious. However, it ended up being hands down one of the best weeks of my life!

Ella could have not have been more perfect. She loved getting to sleep in our church so much, she wishes it was our permanent home. She never cried, never complained, never threw one fit. Even though we were incredible busy during the days and were all pretty exhausted. I know her mama was for sure! It was amazing. I don't know if we had extra heapings of grace upon us, but it was wonderful! It could not have been better.

MSI (Mission South Irving) was designed to where we would do service projects in the community in the mornings and then in the afternoons and evenings we would split up and go to parks, walk the streets, go to the library, go to starbucks, all within a mile of our church and literally just share the gospel. Our leader wanted that to be our focus. So we didn't pack our schedules with a lot because we wanted plenty of time to be able to just go out and meet with people.

At the end of each day, we would come together and share who we were able to talk with. We filled up a huge white board with names of people w/in a mile of our church that we encountered that are lost and/or have LOTS of hurts. We had about 100 names on the board. And that was just 30 people going out into the community for 6 days right around our church. It was unbelievably eye opening. By the way, moms, having young kids and going to the park is the BEST bridge to be able to meet people you don't know and talk with them about life and Jesus.

This was the first service project we did. We picked up trash at this huge local park.

This is one of my bestest friends, Michelle! And this is what we had to wear to clean the park! Ha!

Ella served in MANY ways that week, and one of the ways was by helping our church sharpen the pencils to go in the seats in our worship center. Such the helper!

Another service project we did one of the mornings was go to our local Salvation Army and clean.

I can not tell you how much I love this precious girl. Her name is Maison and she is the daughter of Michelle (the lady in the pic above). Her two girls, Maison and Logan are the sweetest daughters and they LOVE Ella. They are just so sweet to her. So this is Maison and Ella getting ready to do some cleaning.

One afternoon, we all went to a park and threw a big bbq for the community!

A short break at Sonic! Ella was the perfect balance of needing and wanting to hang out with me, but also thinking she is such a big girl and hang out with the college students! It was precious to watch her hang out with them and they were so precious to let her. She's pretty fun!

This is where we slept for SIX nights. It actually wasn't too bad. I told Heath, I think this air mattress is more comfortable than our mattress at home.

This is Logan, Michelle's other daughter.

Getting some cute braids!

We did a lot of drawing on the board in our room during down time.

The night of our picnic we had a sunburn contest to see who got the most sun. I am the bad mom that let my daughter get a slight sunburn. It was not near as bad as some of the others who were in the contest, but any excuse to get on the stage Ella will take. :-)

Ella and Allison (the sunburn winner)

My husband totally suprised me by giving me these when I was walking out the door to leave for the week at the church. It was an encouraging note for everyday we were gone! Awww! :-)

I am kicking myself for not getting some pictures of the most precious part of the week with Ella...One of our most favorite people in the whole world is the lady who runs the kitchen at our church. Her name is Pat and she's our food coordinator. She is my mom's age and a grandma herself and just adores Ella! Pat was in charge of our meals for the entire week. Ella's favorite way to serve that week was helping Mrs. Pat in the kitchen. Sweet Pat would give Ella little projects like to set out the food or help make desserts. They spent hours in the kitchen together. It was the most precious thing I've ever seen. I am SO grateful for Mrs. Pat and her letting Ella help her. It was also incredible for me because this trip fell under the ministry that I work for at the church, which means I was involved with all the planning of it which also means I had some work stuff I needed to get done throughout the week. This enable me to be free to be able to do some of that work. Thanks to Mrs. Pat!

The Baptist Standard and an Irving newspaper both covered this story. Ella's picture made the front page! Here's the link to them if you would like to read more on what the group did that week.
The Baptist Standard

Irving Neighbors

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