Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Week 2 with Ella

For week two with Ella, me and the kids stayed at my mom's house in Glendora. We had a blast. I loved sending the kids to play in the back yard. Actually, I didn't even need to "send them," they found it first thing every morning. They would find sticks and stick them through the slits in the deck, they'd watch insects crawling on the ground, point out fresh dog poop, (or Ian would even try to dispose of it in the designated trash can), and help Poppa feed the dog. All this before I arose to feed them breakfast. ;)
Ian and Ella though....they were like an old married couple or just true siblings with their love/hate relationship. Luckily Ella was very forgiving and accepted all of Ian's apologies for times when he got a little too rough with her. Usually Ella would copy whatever Ian would do and generally the two of them were glued at the hip. Sometimes Ian got tired of being followed or would try to regulate on Ella, so his actions would usually get him into time-out. Also, they occasionally fought over toys. What can I say? They both behaved like adorable 2-year-olds and they kept me on my feet. :) We resolved a sharing dispute by finding them both a car of their own to play with and push around the house. After the possessive two-year-olds each had their own set of wheels, they happily cruised them around the house.
This is Ian's other cousin Lilly. She's my sister's daughter and is about 2 1/2 weeks older than Ella. This scene occurred a day or two before Ella arrived which means my pictures are out of order, but I had to show Ella first, since the post is mainly about her. So Lilly's mom, (my sister Pip) decided to let Lilly paint a piece of wood outside rather than help my sister work on her craft inside the house. My sister often sends her girls to play in the backyard at their own house in just undies or diapers so that their clothes don't get destroyed. I thought I would let Ian run on the wild side and go join Lilly in only his undies. He did not last long. I sat and watched him from inside the house. I could see the wheels turning in his head, 'Something is just not right about this,' he seemed to think. After a couple minutes he came back inside reporting that he wanted his clothes back on. Ian... he's so modest. Good job buddy.
One evening, my brother let his boys have a sleep over with us. In the morning, I took the kids to a park. Here are a couple shots from our park visit.
Ella looks so cute. She kinda reminds me of her Gammy with that cool California smile and sparkly blue eyes and blond hair.
Here's the rest of the gang on one of the climbing structures.
Another day was spent have water fun in Calvin and Carol's backyard. I don't know who had more fun, the kids, Calvin, or Carol and I, the observers.
They had a few slip 'n' slides lined up next to each other. Ideally there were about 2 lanes for the "big kids" and 2 for the little kids. My brother Calvin has never been one to shy away from water games. He was right in the midst, the ringleader and comic relief of it all. I could NOT stop laughing.
My kids were obviously not as experienced on the slip 'n'slides since they were not brave enough to "Superman" it and just land on their bellies. Instead, Brooklyn would first land on her knees, then lean forward.
There were plenty of races, big and small.
Did I mention that Ian had a cute little shadow? I thought I had framed the perfect picture with the two of them, but when I asked Ian to smile, he had to make things difficult and look away/NOT cooperate. He relocated a couple of times and Ella was right behind him following his cues of non-cooperation and no smiles.
A lovely action shot of Calvin
Ian and Ella fighting over a scarf.
Okay, I think I need to start a portfolio. This next one is just too classicly cute and colorful.
Friday evening my parents and I brought a bunch of the cousins to the Monrovia Street Fair. I was at first hesitant, but it was another highlight of our stay that I will never forget.
Here's my Dad holding hands with four of the kids. It was so cute, though not practical of them to walk this way. I thought it was really cool of my parents to treat the kids to some fun activities like horse-back riding.
There were 6 ponies in all, so when we were up, we filled all but one of them. My camera was running out of the batteries so the shots were very delayed. Behind Caleb you can see Ian and Brooklyn on their horses.

Then the two girls (Brooklyn and Ella) went to the petting zoo with me and my mom. Brooklyn was in heaven. Here's a lamb nibbling her ear while Brooklyn's holding a bunny. Their fur was super soft.
Ella would touch them hesitantly, occasionally.
Brooklyn couldn't get enough of the furry little four-legged friends.
Ella wanted to sit in a little blue chair, but wasn't quite so hot on holding the bunnies. She endured briefly though.

Brooklyn with the "BIG" bunny
and a chick
Now we were back home again to attend our own ward on Sunday. This was our last car-ride with Ella. It was so much quieter on the way home...We noticed her absence in the silence and missed her right away.
Ella, we love you and we had A BALL! :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Belle of the Ball

We adopted our niece Ella Badger for a couple of weeks this summer and had more than a few fun adventures with her. We affectionately called her "Ella the Bella the Ball" Here are some pictures for the proof.
Ella was very adaptable to her new environment, thankfully and she embraced having a "big sister" who dressed her up in costumes... and "did" her hair.
Here's Ella's famous monkey friend. P.S. The next few photos were shot by Brooklyn.
While attending a BBQ at one of our friends' house, Brooklyn and Ella were each given a cute flower to take home.
Here are a few bathroom essentials just in case we forget to document things like these...
Brooklyn models her sparkly shoes with Ian's bike in the background.
This is the morning when I had a few extra co-op kids. We took a wagon ride to the mall and played in some water by a statue. Livia thought it was time to bathe, apparently.
Here we are at SeaWorld. The walrus mascot was just about the only stranger that Ella did NOT warm up to.
We watched a pet show there at SeaWorld. At the end, the kids got to go up to the stage and pet all the pets. Brooklyn as always, was the most brave about touching these furry friends.

This is just a funny random pic. of Ian after he polished off a fudgesicle.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

These are the Moments...

I can't stand waiting to publish this picture from this morning's drive to church. Who can't smile when they see this? Love those cuties.Our ride home from church however, was a much quieter jaunt without Ella. Her real mom and dad picked her up during church. I guess we couldn't claim her as our own forever even though we tried/pretended she was part of our family for a couple of weeks. ;)

Courtney's Wedding Reception

The happy couple

Alyssa's first "slow dance"
She was all smiles.
beautiful pastel flowers
the cake
the backyard
the candy shoppe
the vintage photo, inspired by the vintage-themed reception
Ryan and his wife Chantal
The first dance of the evening was sung by Tracy. This was our vantage point. You'll find Tracy way in the background.
During the lovely musical number, Drew was experiencing a major sugar high. He was all jittery. Literally. He could not stand still. Stephen and I were cracking up. Stephen also heard Drew say, about the song that Tracy was singing, "She's been practicing that one in the car." Hilarious.
the happy Badger family
the entrance