Archive for the 'Ella' Category


guarding their hearts

Every Christmas James and I give our children three gifts each.  These three gifts represent the three gifts the wise men gave to Jesus.  We give them a want, a need, and a spiritual growth gift.  This year, for our girls, (ages 9 1/2 and 8), we gave them lockets for their spiritual growth gift.  These lockets represent our prayer for them-that they would continue to guard and keep their heart pure and dedicated to Jesus.  And James will, as their father and spiritual leader, spend the rest of his life praying and fighting for their hearts.   We are also praying that one day they will find a prince who will do the same.

(We got this idea from this website here.)

I wanted to post the letters on this blog because they are so sweet!  I know our girls will treasure these letters, as he hand wrote each one on special linen paper.

Rilyn’s locket

James reading his letter to Rilyn

My beautiful Rilyn,

Your beauty is displayed through your strength! God has blessed you with strength to love others. I see it in your pursuit of your family, your friends, and even your enemies. You love being with people and you love the people you are with.  I see it in the letters you right to your friends, the patience you have with your sister, the forgiveness you give to those who hurt you.

Your beauty is displayed through your mind! God has blessed you with a mind that loves to wonder and loves to learn.  I see it every night when you fall asleep reading. I see it in all those conversations with your grandpa and oma about nature, and history, and science.  Your love for fantasy and fairy tales is a great display of the wonder God has given you to ponder and think of things greater than ourselves and be in awe of the One greater than our imaginations dare to imagine.

Your beauty is displayed through your soul! God has blessed you with a kind, gentle, and enduring soul. I see it in your kind and gentle responses to the chaos that surrounds at school.  I see it in the kindness you extend to strangers.

Finally, your beauty is displayed through your heart! A new heart given by the Creator of heaven and earth filled with the true and greatest beauty that is our Lord Jesus Christ.   The bible says your heart is the wellspring, the source of all your strength, all your thoughts…all you are!

My prayer for you is that you would continue to guard and keep your heart pure and dedicated to our Lord Jesus Christ.  I will spend the rest of my life praying and fighting for your heart.   Your mother and I are also praying that one day you will find a prince who will do the same.

This gift is a symbol of that commitment and promise. I hope it serves as an encouragement…know that I am for you and I love you and remember the even better news that God is for you and loves you!  So guard your heart, paying careful attention to your thoughts, your emotions, your desires, and your choices.  Guard your heart by giving it along with all your thoughts, emotions, desires, and choices to Jesus…

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ JesusPhilippians 4:7

You don’t need to guard your heart with selfishness keeping you from loving others and you don’t need to foolishly open your heart to chasing after this world that will never satisfy.  But instead:

The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7



James reading his letter to Ella

My beautiful Ella,

Your beauty is displayed through your strength! God has blessed you with strength to love others. I see it in your affection towards your family, your friends, and even your enemies. You love cuddling and hugging your friends and family.  I see it in the sweet and creative ways you pray for and encourage others with gifts you make.

Your beauty is displayed through your mind! God has blessed you with a mind that loves to be creative and dream.  I see it in all the creative games and crafts you create.  I see in fantastic stories you tell and write.  Your love to play make believe and dream up imaginary places and stories that end with happily ever after points to a mind that longs for the ONE who is our happily ever after.

Your beauty is displayed through your soul! God has blessed you with a passionate and loyal nature. I see it in your relationships with your teachers, your friends, and your family.  I see it in your energy and spontaneity.  You are such an exciting and fun young woman to be with and to play with and to live with.  I feel it every time you jump on my lap or hop on my back and every time you give me a hug…even if it’s 10 hugs in a row before going to bed….(the rest of the letter is the same as Rilyn’s.)  🙂



putting the locket on Ella!


our candy corn princess!

Ella LOVES candy corn, so what better than to be a Candy Corn Princess for Halloween this year?!?  She’s so “sweet”!

she wants to eat them all!


Pine Cove Base Camp again!

Our girls went to Pine Cove Base Camp last week.  This is a true camp experience minus the overnight stays in cabins, (which we are planning on sending our girls to next summer!)  This is their second year, and next summer Asher will get to go!  I highly recommend looking for a Base Camp in your city next summer for your kids ages “going into first grade thru sixth grade.”  (Base Camp will be called “Camp in the City” from now on.)

Ella cried on Friday at the closing ceremonies.  Ella always cries at good-byes.  But James reminded her there will be no more good-byes in heaven!  And going to Base Camp this past week was an earthly taste of what heaven will be like:  dancing and worshiping Jesus with joy, laughing, neon colors everywhere…(okay maybe not that part!)  🙂

Ella with her counselor, Wala Wala!

Pine Cove is all about crazy and silly!

At the end of the closing ceremony, the counselors present their camper with a character quality that they saw in them during the week.

Ella’s was, “Ella is virtuous. Her authentic personality is refreshing to those around her. Ella is faithful in her words and actions.”

Rilyn’s character quality was, “Rilyn is nurturing in the way she encourages others. Her enthusiastic attitude inspires others to be engaged. Rilyn is respectful.”

Rilyn with her 4th grade girl group and counselor, Minty.


Ella’s 7th birthday video!

As usual, James created another awesome birthday video!  Check it out.  My favorite part is the last scene!


Ella’s birthday party!

Ella had her seventh birthday at Capital Gymnastics!

Her amazing cake that my friend Jen made!

The adorable plates I found on

flippin’ fun!
playing which team can get the bean bags first!
the pit!
gotta love the sparkler!
dad photo bomb!
opening up her Kindle Fire from mommy and daddy!

Ella turns 7!

Our Ella Bella turned 7 years old on Saturday!  She is street smart and book smart, funny, cries WAY too easily, but also LOVES others easily (which I know I need to work on!)  We believe her love language is touch, and she could cuddle all day long if we let her. She enjoys chaos, and has to frequently be separated from her brother because she makes him wild! (Her and Rilyn are very different in this aspect…Rilyn tries her best to calm down her crazy brother!) 🙂  Her favorites right now are stuffed animals, Barbies, math, reading Junie B. Jones First Grader books, riding her scooter, and making crafts with all sorts of scraps.
Ella’s party day actually fell on her real birthday this year for the first time so it was a busy day!
She woke up to her traditional birthday morning donut!

birthday hugs

Then she got to run through the kitchen to open presents and read cards from her family!

James’ card was very sweet. Ella declared last month that she is now collecting snow globes, and got one as a souvenir every place we went in California. So James made a snow globe for her as a card!

Her reading daddy’s card
Ella reading Asher’s card

After the morning festivities, she changed into her new leotard that she got for Christmas for her GYMNASTICS themed birthday party later that evening. Of course I did a mini fun photo shoot of her!


Fun on the trampoline!

happy to be seven!
Rilyn got in on the fun too!


Cheerleading was definitely consuming this past fall, but Ella and Asher had an extracurricular activity too!  They both were in gymnastics one day a week.  They loved it, and Ella will continue doing it in the spring, but will focus on tumbling.  Here are some pictures!  Ella’s birthday party will be at this very gym tomorrow, she loves it so much!

Ella’s teacher said that she has an AMAZING vault, and said she could move up to the next level class!

Ella LOVED chalking up her hands before doing the bars!
the foam pit!!

Barbie and the Three Musketeers #2!

*Halloween Preview*

Ella will be the pink musketeer on Halloween!  Check Rilyn’s pics out for a link on how to make the duct tape boots!


Ella and the Ags

Ella got to go to the Aggie game last night in which we WHOOPED SC State!!  70-14!!  What a fun game to go to since the tradition at A&M is to give a kiss when the Ags score.  Ella got LOTS of kisses from daddy!
Before the game in her new hat!

Grandpa and grandma went to the game with Ella and James, and they spoiled her with lots of Aggie love. She told me she had an “Aggie Spirit” flavored sno cone!


Pardon the 12th Man towel in your face!

we’re just showing our spirit!
half time lovin’
Ella posing with the SEC

I thought they would want to leave the game early since it was a blow out, but Ella really wanted to walk on the field after the game!

Aggie Spirit!!

somebody’s daddy is a pastor!

After taking Ella, my 6 year old, out on a back to school date, she told me, “Mom, you’re my best girl!  Well, actually, there is one girl I love more than you.”

“oh ya, who is that?” I said, really not knowing who she would say.

“God’s queen!”  she shouted.

My eyebrows definitely raised at that one, and I said, “Who is God’s queen?!?”

“Mom, you know, the church!!”

“Oh, you mean Christ’s bride, the church?”

“Yes, His bride!  I love her more than you, but that’s the only girl I love more.”

Somebody’s daddy is a pastor (of finance-but still)!  😉

me and Ella

My photography business!

January 2022