December 30, 2012

The Gift--98 Degrees

I am so blessed with my church family, but nowhere more than Tristan's Sunday School/Junior Church/Kid's Club (Soon to be AWANA) teacher Helen Arthur. Helen was youth director when I was a kid, but I never dreamed I would call her my friend. To say we are blessed to have her is an understatement. She always has a million ideas for any project, EVER.

A typical lesson from Helen includes a craft and some sort of practical thing a preschooler should know: ABC's, colors, shapes, numbers, etc. the Wednesday before Christmas they read "Santa's Favorite Story." Essentially there's a big storm and the North Pole is in a uproar because Christmas might be canceled. Santa tells them that won't happen because Christmas isn't about him, it's about Jesus! Here are Helen and her "babies" reading their story:


Tristan is kissing her shoulder!

Helen comes by it honest. Her mom, Mrs. Greybeal/Virginia/Mawmaw Jenny was my Sunday school teacher in 3rd and 4th grade (I think). We always had a craft to do every week. From fans made of old greeting cards to butterflies from unused church bulletins to a stone church made of cardboard and rocks. She was one of the sweetest and kindest people I ever met and I like to think she and my Granny are BFF's in heaven because both loved The Lord so much! I remember on her deathbed Mrs. Greybeal didn't recognize everyone and was very week, but I went in to see her and she not only recognized me she told me she remembered when I was in her class and we took a "train trip" to the Holy Land. I promptly told her we couldn't get there on a train. Once she convinced me that the special train could cross the ocean we got to pick our own stops along the way. I picked Hawaii (still my lifelong goal) and Brittany and I got of and did the hula!

I'm rambling. To the point, the Sunday before Christmas, Helen brought me an angel they think her mom made (it certainly looks homemade and like her handiwork). She told me her mom would be so proud of how I've become a worker for The Lord and it was an angel to watch over our new house. I'm not saying this to brag or anything, mind you, just relaying the story. Needless to say, I'm sobbing as she gives it to me and she's crying (if anyone cries more than me it could be Helen ;) and my mom who witnessed it was crying. It meant more to me than probably even Helen realizes. Her mother was SO special to me!

Without further ado:



December 3, 2012

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas--Bing Crosby

Today was Tyler's unit's Christmas dinner. After church my mom, the kids and I headed to Eleanor. When we got there the gym was decorated for Christmas and crawling with bikers and motorcycles. You read that right, bikers! Their chapter of The Brothers of the Wheel paid for, prepared and served a GIANT Christmas feast.

The menu included ham, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, green beans, corn, potato and macaroni salad, cranberry sauce, rolls with butter and a 40 foot dessert table! The portions were so large that the trays were collapsing without 2 hands. Not to fear, 2 bikers helped mom and I get Tristan and Tyler's plates back to the table.

The highlight, as far as Tristan was concerned anyway, was SANTA! Not just Santa, oh no, Biker Santa. Tristan sat on his lap and told him he wanted "Star Wars and candy" 3 times! He keep telling me, "Santa says, 'Alriiiight.'"

The last time he sat on his lap he got a stocking full of treats and a toy!

Scarlett sat on his lap, too. She liked his beard which is no surprise because, as Auntie Alex can attest, she has a thing for hair right now.

I call this picture her pinup look, haha!

November 29, 2012

Movin' On Up--Jefferson's Theme

Wow, have we been busy! Last Monday we moved! We are buying Tyler's mom's house (the house he grew up in) and they bought ours. Tristan is in Tyler's old room and wants it to be a Star Wars room despite his Thomas bed. Scarlett is in Katelyn's old room and we are in the master.

On top of trying to dig our way out of the box forest (haha), last week was Thanksgiving. Add to that the fact that it's time to decorate for Christmas and whew! I'm overwhelmed.

I just realize I only have 2 pictures from the new house. Tristan in his new room getting ready for bed the first time:


And Scarlett in her jumper for the first time:


She LOVES it! She's not a big jumper like Tristan was, but she wants to stand ALL the time.

November 15, 2012

My Girl--The Temptations




I can't believe it! Scarlett was 6 months old yesterday! She's such a sweet baby, always so happy. She never shuts up, haha, and has already figured out the baby games on my phone!

On Saturday she finally rolled from her back to her stomach. I'm fairly certain she could have done this 2 months ago if I hadn't shrieked every time she got close.


She is always so excited to see me, it just makes being a stay at home mom even more special! I wouldn't trade these memories for all the money in the world.




November 1, 2012

Star Wars Theme--John Williams

Tonight was trick or treat! It had been rescheduled from Thursday due to Frankenstorm.

2 months ago I asked Tristan what he wanted to be for Halloween, to which his reply was "Star Wars." I talked him into Luke Skywalker so Scarlett could be Princess Leia. I didn't know how long she'd allow me (and her brother) costume dictation. Plus, they're siblings so it worked for me.

Before it was time to trick or treat at 6, we headed to Memaw and Papaw Ellis' house. It's a tradition I started on Tristan's first Halloween.


Then we went to church for Trunk or Treat. Essentially, several church families get together and pass out candy in the church parking lot. This year their were 9 cars plus the church hot chocolate station.

Tristan was thrilled for he and Addison to get candy and play together.

It got colder as the sun went down so after their initial candy run I bundled them up.


After a bit, Tristan and Addi got cold and went to sit in Britt and Tim's van (and eat chips and candy).

They spent a lot of time hollering at me out the back window.

A great time was had by all!

October 31, 2012

Eat It!--Weird Al Yankovic

Today was a momentous day...Scarlett had her first foray with real food. Ok, it was baby rice cereal. She made the awfulest face with each bite, which is extra funny because she gets cereal in her bottle, but she kept it in her mouth. Tristan even helped me feed her. Great start! Since she already gets cereal, I know she's not allergic, so tomorrow is peas!



Oh, those faces, haha! Pardon the mess in the background, we have some major things in the works here.

The Nightmare Before Christmas(1993)

"Frankenstorm" has hit the eastern seaboard. It is the clash of Hurricane Sandy and a couple of northern lake effect storms. At Snowshoe Ski Resort they got 23 inches of snow. And no, that isn't a typo, 23 inches. Here in Huntington we only got about an inch, but it was enough that Tristan was raring to go out and play.

It's the first time he's really been out to play in the snow. Last year was so warm we barely got any and I can't remember why we didn't go out the year before, but today he was obsessed. He asked me every 20 minutes or so until he finally got to go. I made him wait because Scarlett was asleep in his room and I didn't want to wake her up getting his snow clothes together.

I was kind of bummed I didn't get to out, but Scarlett wanted to eat and Tristan couldn't wait another second. So, his daddy took him out. I checked on them a few times and took pictures. Never once in the hour they were outside did Tristan complain about the cold!


He dug in the snow and sang "Diggin' a hole lookin' for a robot," just like the Man in the Yellow Hat as he digs a hole in the sand on Curious George.





The snow was SUPER wet so they made a castle with Tristan's bucket.

I am normally 100% anti-winter, but I can't wait to take Tristan out the next time!

October 22, 2012

Dry Bones

Tristan woke up this morning with a fever, but by noon he was asking to do another craft. Oh, how I wish I had his energy, especially when I'm sick! Luckily, I had the supplies for another Halloween craft.

This time we made a skeleton. Our supplies were Q-Tips, tacky glue, a paper for the face and a bow for some color.


I put the glue down and he turned and positioned the Q-Tips himself.


The finished product is fantastic!


He followed directions so well! I was super impressed.

The Coffee Song--Frank Sinatra

My first foray into coffee drinking was a Mochaberry from Borders Café when I was in high school. It consisted of a shot of espresso (not expresso, pronunciation is important people, come on!), chocolate syrup, cream, raspberry syrup and whipped cream. SO yummy!

Since then I've had a love/hate relationship with coffee. Depending on the brew it's either watery or a rich mix of flavors, but always bitter. I'm not a fan of hot drinks (yes, you, too, hot cocoa). To make it myself required making a whole pot, which I would never drink in a million years or, ya know, before it turned to sludge in the pot.

So, when I saw the Keurig coffee makers, I instantly wanted one! I could make one cup at a time and K-Cups came in so many flavors! Last Christmas, I got one! Being, pregnant at the time, I decided it was not the time to take up coffee drinking, I didn't want to add caffeine. So it was June or July before I bought some coffee and started working out my taste.

Here's my perfect cup:


Coffee (I'm currently drinking VanHoutte Raspeberry Truffle. It smells very berry and chocolate, but pretty much just tastes like coffee.), sweetener (Splenda for me, but anything sweet) and hot chocolate mix. You read that right! I learned exactly one thing in 2 years working for my former boss, and that was it: an envelope of hot chocolate mix makes coffee AWESOME. Sometimes I add milk or creamer, but it's mostly just to cool my cup. If buy some raspberry syrup and you may never see me again, lol.

Go, right now, and break out the hot chocolate mix for your coffee. You can thank me in the comments!

October 20, 2012

Monster Mash--Bobby "Boris" Pickett

Here's another fun Halloween craft from the Ellis clan. Toilet paper tube, streamers, googly eyes and glue. That's it! Tristan did it almost completely by himself!


October 18, 2012

Grim Grinning Ghosts--The Haunted Mansion Attraction

Tristan and I worked on a little craft yesterday. I saw it on Pintrest, but modified it.

We started with a styrofoam plate (I wanted it to hold up). We added black oval construction paper eyes with white dots for contrast where the original used plain black circles. We gave him a round mouth so he says Boo! (they used an oval) I traced his hands for arms (the original just had mitteny looking hands) and let him tear of streamers for the bottom. We put it all together with glue. I poked a hole in the top, added ribbon to hang it by and viola!

I will say I did all the cutting because all I have is grown up scissors. Does anyone know the best safety scissors for a 2 year old?

Without further ado...Boo!



I think it turned out great! What do you think?

October 12, 2012

Money for Nothing--Dire Straits

I'm broke. It's a fact. We have plenty to live on, but not much for extras. I'm trying to find a way to make money while staying home with the kids, but so far, nothing. 2 years ago I looked into selling 31 bags, but decided not to. It turned out to be a good thing, because by February the next year 31 was everywhere. Now you can't walk down the street without tripping over people selling it. Ok, that's an exaggeration, but I literally have 7 Facebook friends selling it. If anyone knows of any interesting ways to make cash, I'm all ears.
Anywho, on a related note, I'm obsessed with DIY gifts on Pinterest. I've amassed quite a collection of ideas. Now I just need time to go gather supplies and get started crafting. I was going to post some of them, but some of the people who will be getting them may read this blog. Hope you like homespun :)
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

August 3, 2012

The Potty Song--Sabrina Ellis!!

We are still on the potty training trail. Tristan is getting better, especially in the past couple of days. As a matter of fact, I just heard him run to the bathroom as I'm typing! He knows what to do and when to do it, he just doesn't always want to! He will conduct a full on argument about the merits of using the potty. Oh, the joys of a two-year-old.

I come up with little songs for everything. I came up with this one for his potty use (to the tune of Frere Jacques):
I go peepee (I go peepee)
Poopoo, too (Poopoo, too)
I can use the potty (I can use the potty)
How 'bout you? (How 'bout you?)

Any tips for getting the task completed?

July 23, 2012

Confessions Part II--Usher



Tristan is almost 2 1/2. I decided he was ready for an interview. Here are his answers:
Favorite Book: "Grandma, Grandpa and Me"
He LOVES the Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer
Favorite Movie: "Daddy's movie, Star Wars!"
Favorite TV Show: "Mickey Clubhouse"
Favorite Food: after much thought, "Barbecue." This wasn't that surprising. He ate most of the meat from my sandwich yesterday!
Favorite Toy: "My cars and my diggers and my dump trucks and lots of toys!"
Favorite Song: "I Want to Be a Christian"
Favorite Thing to Do Outside At Home: "Chalk! Chalk!"
Favorite Thing to Do At The Park: "Swing and build in the sand...all kinds of stuff!"
There you have it! Ten minutes with Tristan!

July 18, 2012

Saturday in the Park--Chicago

Ok, so it isn't Saturday, but yesterday we went to the park...Camden Park! Tyler, Tristan and I met Tim, Brittany and Addi at Camden Park for a day of big kid fun. Tim's cousin Jason and his son Jackson just so happened to come on the same day. It was a blast!

We walked in and headed straight to Kiddie Land. First they rode the boats.

Then we headed to the Little Whip. Let me just say this alone was worth the price of admission! Tristan squealed and giggled every time the whipped around the curve.


They rode the little cars and then the fighter planes. Tristan made a mean face a said, "Boom, boom, boom!" as he shot his gun.

We headed to the carousel.

Then, Tyler and Tristan rode the Paratrooper. We weren't sure how Tristan would react because it is fast, high and drops, but he loved it!

Next, Addi wanted to ride the haunted house. Tristan, of course, wanted to do whatever she was doing. I told to bury his eyes on Momma if he got scared and it would be over soon.

Here was his face when he came off the ride:

I asked him if it was scary and he said, "A little bit," haha!
Then we rode a different car ride before heading to the train. Tristan loves trains and we all could ride at the same time, not to mention by then it was getting hot so we needed a little break.

Next, Tristan wanted to ride the Little Dipper. It's a roller coaster! I wasn't sure what to think when we got on and he didn't seem to like it much.

When the ride ended he had a mean look on his face. I said, "Didn't you like it?" To which he answered, "I want to ride it again!" He whined until we said yes! This time he rode with his Daddy.

Tyler insisted on riding the Tilt-a-Whirl.

Addi chickened out at the last minute and Tristan wished he had. He got 3/4 of the way through the ride, but hit a particularly hard spin and wanted off. He fussed, but no actual crying and no meltdown.

We couldn't pass the pony carts without a ride, complete with Tristan singing the old song, "Pony Boy" that my Mom taught him.

After that, Tristan rode The Whip (the big one) with Tyler.

We hit the little planes, the Little Whip and the boats again before calling it a day. This all only took 2 hours...no lines!

We went to McDonald's for lunch before heading home.

What a great day! Here's my last conversation with Tristan as he fell asleep tonight:
Tristan: I had a lot of fun at Camden Park.
Me: Me, too.
Tristan: Me, too.

I think that says it all.

July 15, 2012

Down to the River to Pray--Appalachian Spiritual

Today was a special day! My Dad's friend Ernie was baptized! Our church had been praying for him for a long time before he got saved, to the point that when he did there was clapping and shouting! Can you tell I'm excited?!? The spirit is moving in our church.


I love this picture! Those are his grandkids and his daughter getting a front row seat. So sweet!


Coming out of the water. Amen!

The Foxfire Suite--John Denver

Today was unexpectedly great. At about 11am Scarlett fell back to sleep and I put her back in the bed. Tyler and I had talked for a while about showing Tristan Star Wars and today turned out to be the day. Here's how our conversation went:

Me: We're gonna put in Daddy's favorite movie, do you want to watch it.
Tristan: Yeah! I do!
Runs toward the living room squealing and runs back.
Tristan: Yee-Haw, Daddy! I'm so excited! Yee-Haw!

I really wish I had been recorded when the DVD menu came up. He was totally enthralled and it was just the menu!


We watched about 20 minutes of it and got a call from Tyler's dad asking if we wanted to go to a picnic at Foxfire Campground. We said yes, stopped what we were doing and loaded up. It was a blast! We had lunch then took Tristan to play on the splash pad.


He just didn't like getting his face wet.

Scarlett stayed in the shelter with the family. She laid on a towel on the table for a while.


And here she is with Mawmaw Carolyn.


There was even free ice cream!


I wanted to try all the amenities (especially the paddle boats), but Tyler wouldn't leave the shelter area.


When we got home we finished Star Wars. Tristan immediately asked to watch it again.

Super fun day!