Archive for the 'Ella' Category


Rockwall climbing!

We went to Main Event that night to have Ella’s birthday dinner celebration!

(cell phone pic) I forgot my camera! ugh.

The highlight of the evening was rock climbing!


Go Ella go!

Can you see Ella in the middle dressed in pink! She is so high!

Asher almost made it to the top!

Rilyn made us so proud through with her rockwall climbing skills! She made it past an overhang with great skill! James even made a video because it was so impressive to watch her!

Get it girl!

Rilyn made it to the top several times! She was on fire!

Ella had a great birthday week which ended with a school celebration!

cell phone pic-Rilyn got to come in the class to join!

Her best friend completed her elephant family collection for her birthday! Thanks Anna!


Ella is eight!

Ella, you have been the best little sister, (and big sister)-bringing extra joy and compassion to Rilyn, and being extra silly with Asher (which he loves)! I promise to slow down, and snuggle when you ask me (everyday!) Love you!

Party night Ella had a sleepover with three of her best friends!

slumber party!

We started her birthday morning with our traditional “wake up to a birthday donut!” Since they had a sleepover the night before, she got to have all her friends watch her!

Not so sure of this sparkler…

Traditional run through the crepe paper birthday morning!

She got to open her presents from Asher and Rilyn!

Birthday girl all ready for church with her American Girl!

After church, her big birthday surprise was a new bike from mommy and daddy!

She was pretty excited, can you tell?


American Girl birthday party!

Ella had her 8th birthday party last Saturday and the theme was American Girl tea party!  We had 14 girls here, and they all were asked to bring their doll!  So fun!

I made this “photo booth” for the girls each to pose in as dolls!

Big sister, Rilyn!

I also used old American Girl boxes and Ella’s picture in one, as decorations along with the magazine pages to decorate our cupboards! To seat all 14 dolls, I duct taped bandanas to the counter, and they worked great as “seats”!

me and the birthday girl before the party

Ella and “Sophie”. I bought doll party goods at Michaels!

Grandma and Ella (with a photo bomb by James!)

Look at that cute cake my friend made her! Designed to look like an American Girl box!

It’s a tea party! I wrapped tulle around the chairs to make it more “fancy!”

All of the special guests waiting to eat! Their owners were busy making the party food for them!

I bought Sculpey clay, and the first thing the girls did at the party was make party food for their dolls! AFter they made donuts, cupcakes, cake, etc. we put them in the oven to bake during the party! 🙂

baking the doll desserts!

Next, the girls got their own doll dress to fabric paint! My sister in law sewed all of these for Ella’s party!

The girls then played American Girl Bingo using candy as place markers!  Click the picture for the link to the free printables!

The doll desserts came out of the oven and were ready for the dolls to eat!

That means it was time for the big girls tea party!

Happy Birthday to Ella, happy birthday to you!  Notice the pink flames on the candles!

Make a wish!

Yummy pink tea (punch)!

Party pic!

present time! Ella got Olaf, from Frozen. Can you tell she’s excited?!

Ella hugged each friend after she opened their present! So sweet!

Love this girl so much! My cuddlebug!

We ran out of time (our party was 2 hours), but I also had bought lots of duct tape so the girls could make their own dresses. See the easy instructions here.

Ella had a few girls stay and sleep over, so they got to make the duct tape dresses!


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!