Saturday, February 16, 2019

Ella's Grace Is 9 Years Old!

This amazing girl of mine is 9 years old today! One more year and I'll have 3 kiddos in double digits! That's insane!!! 

Let's talk about Ella....

Ella loves doing crafts with me. This year she helped me make her Valentine's for her classmates. I cut the paper and got ink on the stamps, but she stamped them all herself. She loved every minute of it. 

Ella Grace LOVES her friends! She is super social and she wants to play with them all the time. Kendra and her have been friends the longest since they met each other for the first time when Kendra was 5 months old and Ella was 3 months old.

This is a sneak peek at Ella's super girly clubhouse. It's awesome and I'm sure she's going to enjoy it for years to come! 

My darling girl!!! 

Ella is at a great age where she still tries to outdo the boys. She knows she's strong and she's confident in herself. I love this age! 

Ella started losing her teeth early. She lost her first tooth at 5 years old and I believe she lost 8 teeth during that same year. A few months ago one of her molars was really hurting. I thought for sure she had a cavity and since she wasn't supposed to lose her molars until around 11 years old I figured we should go to the dentist. The dentist did an x-rays and saw that her adult molar was on it's way so that's why her tooth was hurting so much. The dentist encouraged her to eat hard things like apples or carrots to help the tooth loosen more quickly. In January it got super wiggly and it was bothering her so she tried to get it out, but ultimately it took Mommy yanking on it to get it out. She was so thankful since it's no longer hurting. Now the molar on the opposite side is loose as well. 

Celebrating the New Year with friends! 

Ella is in this stage right now where she loves to match Mommy. I got her and I matching slippers for Christmas and she freaked out. Since Daddy got me a robe she now wants a new robe to match me as well. 

Looking so pretty to sing in the Christmas choir at church! 

Ella loves to draw!!! It's honestly her favorite thing! She has really enjoyed having a white board at home. She's also quite the artist! I love this snow globe that she drew for us! 

Ella is not really into normal toys. They just aren't her thing! She does love things that help her play things like school or baby and Mommy. This phone was definitely a winner for her.

This Christmas I found all natural food dye so Ella was able to have Christmas Cookies with colored frosting on them. The only bad thing was they really did make the frosting taste a little funny. I'm thinking this year it will be back to all white frosting! 

More craft time with Mommy...this time making paper chains for Christmas decorations! 

Elena of Avalor! 

Ga-Ga & Pa are always wanting to buy Ella pretty dresses, but last year I knew that her Christmas dress from the year before would be fine. I did have her try it on so we could text a picture to Ga-Ga & Pa. 

More crafts! 

This girl is also full of drama!!! I mean over the brim full! 

My baby girl! 

The sass is strong with this one!!! 

Even though she tries to outdo the boys she still loves all things girly and sparkly! 

Ready to rock 2nd grade! 

I bought Ella's backpack at Value Village last year and she loves it. In fact all of the kids now have Jansport backpacks thanks to Ga-Ga. Let's hope they all last for years and years like mine has! 

Ella still absolutely LOVES school! She never complains about fact she gets sad when she doesn't have school. She did have a little run in with another student in her class bullying her. She was crying and saying she didn't want to go to school. This absolutely broke my heart because I know how much she loves it so it must have been really bad. I contacted her teacher and explained the situation and she was right on it. She moved the student to another table, she had a talk with the student and she also informed the recess teachers to keep an eye on them at recess. There haven't been any major issues since and Ella is back to loving every minute of school. In fact this student and her are now friends and even sit at the same table again. 

Ella loves games...especially the ones she can play without needed help from an adult. She not really interested in strategy games yet. 

This picture fills my heart with joy and hope that eventually my kids will actually love each other. 

At Great Wolf Lodge with her treasures from Mining! 

Finding a rock in Oregon while camping! I really should buy some paints and have Ella and I paint rocks and hide them. I know she would really enjoy that. 

Ella enjoying her ice cream at Tillamook Cheese Factory! 

What she loved more than sweets though was her cute pink pig that Ga-Ga bought her! 

She's a nut! 

When the weather is cold she is just hanging out in shorts. I've long since given up on making her wear warmer clothes. I mean of course if it's snowing out I'll tell her she has to put a heavy coat on, but for the most part I just let her figure it out. 

Hello Captain Ella! 

Yes you can my dear....yes you can! 

Ella does not like to sleep alone! She would love it if she could share a room with one of her siblings. She did love sleeping between Daddy and I while we were camping last summer. We enjoyed it for the first couple of days, but we did not however love getting hit in the face, kicked in the side and being roasted out because she's a fireball when she sleeps. 

Ella loves to be with me and help me. At this particular time I was in my bathroom getting ready for the day and she was hanging out in my closet untangling necklaces for me. 

This was on Pastor Andy's boat last summer and it's honestly one of my favorite pictures of her. I love how the sun is shining on her face. She's such beauty! 

Having lunch at IKEA! 

Getting a picture with her favorite jean shorts since they were too small and worn out and it was time to say goodbye! 

Our girl trip last August was so much fun. Getting to hang out with just my Ella girl was such a treat. I love that Logan and Ella can go months without seeing each other and it's like no time has past. They just pick up where they left off. Such a special friendship that I hope they have for the rest of their lives no matter the distance! 

Back in 2015 I went to MOMCON in Indianapolis where I attended a workshop about raising girls. At the beginning of this year I decided to really get organized and I was going through a drawer and I found the notes from that workshop. It has information on what to do during the different stages that girls go through. The stage Ella is at right now was where I had written down that she should be involved in some sort of sport or activity that can push her body and help her with self confidence. I didn't even remember that when I signed her up for gymnastics, but it most definitely fits the bill and she loves it! 

Owen was so proud of her after her show at the end of Gymnastics Camp. 

Ella with her coach! 

After Ella loved Gymnastics Camp I decided to sign her up for weekly classes starting in September. We did take the month of December off so we could have a restful time during the holidays, but she started right back up in January. 

Ella does still get really worn out when she's had an exciting and busy day. Sometimes she just needs a nap and she's fine, but other times it manifests itself with her having an upset tummy and possibly puking. She still gets headaches every now and then, but since we've discovered that she doesn't tolerate food dye they have been significantly reduced. In fact she hasn't missed one day due to puking this whole year! 

This last summer I taught Ella how to ride her bike and honestly it was the easiest way I've ever taught a kid and I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before, but it's amazing. You know how parents have always taught their kids to ride bikes by holding onto the seat and running along side them? That just was not working for Ella. I could see she did not feel comfortable in her ability to control the bike. That's when I got Owen's bike and decided to figure it out right along side her and I didn't touch her bike at all in the beginning. 

The first thing I did was have us start with both feet on the ground and then I had her just push off with her feet and go down the street like that. The next time around I had her push off with her feet and then I had her hold her feet off the ground for 3 seconds. Doing this showed her that she was in control and at any time she could put her feet down and keep herself from falling. After a few times of doing that I had her push off and keep her feet up long and she could really. The next step was to have her push off and tap her feet on her pedals and then put them back down. Then after that it was push off and try to pedal. If I remember right this was when I started holding her bike. I would get her going and have her pedal, but now she knew she could stop herself from falling over so she wasn't scared if I let go. Once she got to this point she learned the rest so quickly. I did have to push her to get her going and she did have to get the pedals in just the right position, but soon she was pushing off herself and riding like a pro. It was so amazing and it really made her feel so good about herself! 

About once a year I trim Ella's hair to keep it healthy. She doesn't like it though because it always ends up being shorter than I mean for it to be. Her curls make it hard to know how short it's going to be! She was so happy that her hair was long enough to do an Elsa braid! 

Ella had a blast last year at the family reunion. She really took to Michael's brother Steve and he took to her. He just loved the way she talks....some people say that Ella has an accent...I don't hear it though. The fact that she got Uncle Steve to take a picture with her and he sort of smiles speaks volumes about her charm! 

Here she with her prize possession....colored pencils and a coloring books. That's all this girl needs! 

Ella also fell in love with her cousins...mainly Travis! She was SO sad when it was time for them to leave. I know that she will be so excited to see him again this summer! 

My girly! 

Ella loves to do crafts, but she's not really into wearing what she makes. I don't think she's worn her 4th of July shirt since this day! Girl is picky about her clothes that's for sure! 

Ella loves the beach and the water. Last summer was filled with lots of water adventures...

Swimming in Papa's, Ga-Ga's & our pool
Coulon Park
Great Wolf Lodge
Wings & Waves

At the end of Ella's 1st grade year she won the trophy in her class for the most miles ran by a girl during Club Victory. She still talks about this and she is going for that trophy again this year! 

Ella's speech therapist is wonderful and Ella loves her so that's awesome. Ella is doing great and just has one more thing to master and then she'll hopefully be finished with speech therapy! 

Ella's best school friend...Riley. She loves Riley and recently they've been able to have playdates and that makes Ella so happy! 

Poor girl...nothing like waking up on the last day of school with a swollen face. I still have no idea what she reacted to, but thankfully the allergy medicine had it under control by the end of the day. Of course in true diva style Ella was having a meltdown and did not want to go to school at all! 

Ella the Conqueror! 

Ella's first grade teacher was also amazing. We have been blessed to have so many amazing teachers!! 

Girl still gets tuckered out though! 

Jack had his 10th birthday at Laser Quest and we gave each of the kids some change so they could either play video games or get something from the machines. Ella does not like games so she went right for the machines and bought a bunch of chokers. Cute girl should have been born in the 90's! 

My cute strawberry eater! 

 I love that Ella spelled her name with dominos. Owen actually did the same a couple Thanksgivings ago and he did it in the exact same spot he was just facing the other way. 

Look at that sweet soft face! One of my favorite times of the day is going in to wake her up. I kiss on her cheeks and then she takes a deep breath in through her nose, she stretches and she's school today! 

After Ella and Owen had their annual check ups the doctor wanted me to take them to the eye doctor. Ella didn't really NEED glasses, but she did have enough of a prescription that insurance would pay for glasses. She wanted them SO badly! I think she's worn them to school maybe twice. And for about 6 months we didn't even know where her glasses were! 

When I cut Ella's hair last year she wanted me to cut bangs...I did not want her to have traditional bangs so I cut them long enough where she could tuck them behind her ear. Just the other day she asked me to cut them again so I'll be doing the same thing. There's no way I want to cover up her sweet face! 

Ella is not so girly that she doesn't like camping. She is all for playing the dirt, climbing trees, going on nature walks and having fun by the fire! 

Zeke and Ella have a sweet relationship! Sometimes before school Zeke will go into Ella's room and they play Calico Critters until it's time to get ready for the day. Ella is also in a phase where she does not want to sleep alone. She wants to share a room with someone. Of course that's not going to work since she has all brothers, but we do let her have sibling sleepover on non-school nights. She loves it!!! For the most part she sleeps in Zeke's room, but she has stayed in Owen & Jack's room once when Jack spent the night at Hansi's house. 

Look at these sweet friends! Now if only these girls could see each other more....which in turn would mean I would get to see them and their lovely mother more as well....I would be so happy! Ella really went through a leopard print phase this last year!

More face painting! 

At first I thought that Ella's hair looked really straight in this picture, but then I noticed it's actually my hair. I didn't notice that the color of our hair is almost the same. 

Snuggling down on what is her bed when we are in the trailer! 

So proud of her balancing skills! 

Loving on her Charlie! 

Playing in the snow at Black Diamond Camps! 

What can I say I love taking selfies with my girl! 

Eating at Wendy's for the first time! 

Ella really wanted to dye her hair pink so I got some of that dye that washes out after 20 washes, but unfortunately Ella's hair was too dark and it didn't show up at all! There is no way I'm going to bleach her hair so no pink hair for her! 

At Ella's 8 year old pictures she got to dress up as a fairy! I wasn't sure if we were going to pick those pictures so I wanted to take one picture of her with the beautiful flower crown. We didn't end up getting any of those pictures so I'm glad I took this one shot! 

The one and only snow day last year....this was the day that Ella announced that our house was broke because she found the piece of siding that had come off during a windstorm and thus started the whole crazy house mess! 

Happy Birthday balloons! 

Last year Logan was able to come over for Ella's birthday and she got them matching jammies as part of her present! 

Logan is coming over again this year for Ella's birthday and she's going to spend 2 nights at our house. Ella is so excited! 

Ella Grace...Mommy loves you so much! I can't believe this is your last year before double digits. It seems like just a yesterday that I was calling Ga-Ga & Pa to tell them they needed to come up to watch Owen and Jack since my contractions had started. We were all so amazed that you were actually going to be born on what would have been Peepaw's 90th Birthday. GG had always said it would be so fun if you were, but I thought that was crazy since you weren't due until March 3rd! You had always measured bigger than you were "supposed" to be at each of my doctor's appointments so it wasn't a surprise when you were born that you were 8lb 10oz!!! I'm pretty sure they had my due date wrong the whole time. If you had stayed put until March 3rd you probably would have been an 11lb baby! 

My sweet darling girl...I'm so blessed to have you in my life and I'm so looking forward to our relationship growing and changing. I know there will be times that are stretching for both us. I remember those time with me and Ga-Ga, but look at us now. I love Ga-Ga so much and love to be with her and I know that you and I will be the same way. I so grateful that God knew that I needed you! You bring such joy to everyone you meet and I know that He has big plans for you my dear! 

Happy 9th Birthday Ella Grace!