Wednesday, December 14, 2011

these days...

Hello Blogger World!  I have missed you!  My blog posts seem to be getting much fewer and farther between...  sorry Mom and Dad (my most faithful blog followers!).  So...  I decided to take some good time this afternoon and try to catch up in one fell swoop.  We'll see how I do.  Above is a sweet collage of my two little loves, as I affectionately call them.  They keep me on my toes each day and if I take my eyes off of them for one moment, sometimes chaos ensues as pictured below.  But I wouldn't trade these days for anything because they are so quickly passing me by...

We have lots of fun, these two girls and I.  We spend most of our days together and we sure love it when Daddy gets to be home to join us!  We play and we color, read books, dance, eat meals, clean up and repeat.  There are baths and naps and fun with students in our home.  We cook (I have TWO little helpers now!) and bake cookies... we mess things up and we clean...  lots of laundry is dirtied by these two little beauties, but there are no clothes more fun to fold as I reflect on the lives of these two little miracles and what a privilege it is to be able to love them and raise them and spend my days with them.   Here are just a few highlights from our last month and more specifically what the girls are doing these days!
 In early November we got to head to Kansas City to celebrate the wedding of two of our good friends, Jordan and Macie Ayers!  It was SO fun to see so many friends...  former and current students.  Joel and I both got the privilege of being IN the wedding, so Ellie and Alexa got some extra good time with students and staff who took care of them through the day!
Over Thanksgiving week, Ellie and Alexa got to stay with Nana and Papa J for a week as Joel and I went on a 10th anniversary trip!  They had lots of fun and made lots of memories together, as did we!  I think it was the first time that the two of us had gotten extended time together as a couple since these little ones entered our lives!  It was a fun getaway, but also so fun to get back to our girls!
Right when we got back, we got to celebrate Daddy's 35th birthday with friends!  It was a really busy but fun day!  Ellie and Alexa made Daddy a really fun card and sign and made him a cake.  Then we got to have dinner with our staff team and a few students at the Little Apple.  So fun!
Early December has been characterized by lots of people in and out of our home.  We LOVE to have our home full of life and laughter!  The girls ADORE the students and love having them here for Bible Studies or parties, etc...  We had about 120 students over for a finals study break and our girls were eating it up!  I could hardly get them settled down to go to bed!

This is also the week that the girls have their monthly "birthdays"!  Today Ellie is 41 months old - almost 3 1/2!  Crazy...  And Alexa will be 19 months on the 17th!  My babies are definitely no longer babies...

More soon on what each of the girls are up to these days...  but the girls just woke up from naps, so out of time for now!  To be continued...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dancing Queen...

It's the day Ellie has been waiting for...  She's finally old enough to start dance classes!!!


As you can see... on her first day, she starts out ALL smiles!
But the nerves kick in right before she heads into the studio...

But she is a trooper and goes in all by herself!

After 8 weeks of dancing, Daddy and Mommy and Alexa get to come and see Ellie perform!  She did a great job!

Way to go, Ellie!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


It was time!!!  Ellie's 2nd ever haircut!!!  I had tried to stay on top of trimming her bangs, though if you look through several of my summer posts, you'll see I never did an excellent job of that.  Ha!

Ellie actually LOVES to get her hair cut!  She sits really still for our hairstylist, Miss Lindsay, who we LOVE!  She KNOWS that if she's a good girl, there is a treat in store for her at the end...  And she also really loves this penguin cape!
Ellie getting the royal treatment!
Something here is making her turn up her nose a bit.  If I remember right, I think that she might have gotten a little hair on her nose and it tickled!  lol...

Daddy had taken Alexa for the first part of the haircut, but then he had to drop her off and head to an appointment.  I was a bit nervous if she would sit still and behave, but again...  Lindsay to the rescue!  She gave her this blow pop and as you can see, Alexa LOVED the haircut as well. :)

All smiles!

Thought I would add a picture from Ellie's FIRST Haircut over a year ago!  Sweet Alexa was just teeny tiny...

Hard to believe how much my little firstborn has changed in a year!  Her face looks so much more grown up now!

Mommy with her girl after her first haircut... 
Fun to watch them grow and change...

Monday, October 3, 2011

September at a glance...

Catching up yet again...  Where has the last month gone???  Thought I would just do last month "at a glance" since I have managed to get myself so far behind, yet again!!!
No worries...  Ellie didn't get glasses!  This is just her new favorite past time...  finding Joel's glasses and wearing them around.  Yes, we are trying to put a stop to it cause we know it's bad for her eyes.  But have you ever seen a cuter kid with glasses? :)  Love it!

 Over Labor Day weekend we got to spend a few hours with some of our favorite cousins in Kansas City!!!  With 5 kiddos this small, it was tough to get too many good pictures!  But here is one we managed to capture!  We spent the morning at Deanna Rose Farmstead and then grabbed some lunch together and part of the afternoon!  It was so fun!  Just wish times like that could last longer...
This has also been a common occurance at the end of our days!  Wrestling with Dad!!!  It's funny cause both of our girls seem to really be "girly girls" but at the same time, they both LOVE to wrestle!  Mom doesn't seem to be able to do an adequate job, so when Dad comes home, Ellie and Alexa love to play hide and seek, chase, dance and wrestle with Daddy.  He is incredible with them!

Another highlight of our month was having our friends Matt and Jana come to visit for a night!  They have a little guy named Cade who is just 2 weeks older than Alexa...  It was fun to see them together, though at this age, they still don't seem to care if the other one is around or not...  But I think they are awfully cute and who knows...  maybe we'll match make them someday... :)

 Alexa turned 16 months old on September 17th!!!  She is now officially walking, running, chattering (though she still doesn't have a ton of words, she definitely knows how to get her point across!).  Her hair has gotten SO long and she broke through her top two teeth to bring her total to a whopping FOUR! :)  She is getting quite independent and always wants to do things herself like feed herself with her spoon and help Mommy sweep up messes.  She has great fine motor skills and always loves to play blocks and figure out how things fit together...  It's fun to see her little mind at work!
Ellie is now 38 months old and is quite the little spit fire!!!  I mean that in the best way possible. :)  She keeps me on my toes, that's for sure...  Her naps are getting shorter (sigh...) and she wants to stay up later at night...  She wants to be involved in EVERYTHING you are doing.  If I'm cooking, it's "Mommy, can I help you?"  If I'm cleaning, she wants you to give her a rag to clean with too! :)  She is still a thumb sucker, though Daddy is now giving her a quarter for each morning she wakes up and her thumb is dry.  She is super observant and doesn't miss a thing!  She is very verbal and definitely converses like a little adult about everything.  Her new funny phrase is, "Okay's the deal.."  She is quite the little negotiator.  If you ask her to do something, she'll try to make a deal with you.  i.e. "how about I watch 10 more minutes of VeggieTales THEN I'll brush my teeth..." :)  She is a ton of fun and we can't imagine our world without her! :)  If you're on Twitter, follow me at JenJohnson11 to hear funny daily quotes from Ellie... :)

 And last, but not least, Sister Love...  These two are just inseparable...  They hug and wrestle and fight...  true sisters.  But one thing that's for sure.  They love being together!  And I just love life with my girls... 
 I already have a couple of October posts in the works, so hopefully they will be coming soon!!! :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beautiful day in the neighborhood...

While we had a WONDERFUL summer, it's also great to be HOME...  One of the things that the girls enjoy the most about being back home is getting to play outside in the neighborhood...  Ellie has just learned to ride a bike, so she LOVES to get out and do that as much as possible.  But she also loves to play with "the kids" as she affectionately calls them, though almost every kid in the neighborhood is older than she is!  Above is one of our cute neighbors named Kinsley...  Here is a pic of El catching a ride with her on one the neighbors electric cars.  She has to enjoy theirs cause we only have ones that she has to peddle herself!  Ha!
Below is Ellie's new pride and joy...  Her PRINCESS BICYCLE and matching helmet...  She is learning to master "bumps" or aka... cracks in the sidewalk.  Her Daddy and I are trying to help her gain a little confidence to peddle up hills and make sure and put on the brakes when she is going downhill. :)  She is getting better by the day!
Alexa has been a little bummed that SHE is not big enough to ride a bike.  She tries so hard to reach the peddles of Ellie's tricycle, and she looks pretty cute sitting on it, but unfortunately for her, her little legs are still just a few inches shy of reaching.  So, for this year, she will just have to be content with riding along in the stroller!
This pic doesn't necessarily fit the theme, but had to add it in there!  Alexa got her hands on Ellie's priness crown from her birthday and had to try it on for size.  Isn't she a little doll?
And last, but not least, this is usually how we end our days...  In the bathtub!  They play hard and have the dirt to show for it at the end of the day, that's for sure!  But the good thing is all that playing makes them champion sleepers at night as well! :)  Loving the summer days and being back home in the neighborhood!

St. Louis Zoo!

"On the road again!"  This was Ellie's theme song through the summer months as we would pack up and hit the road!  From Manhattan to Kentucky to Alabama to Florida and through many other states on our summer adventure down to our summer KALEO project!  She would often burst into song when we would pack up the suitcases an get buckled into the van...  Well on the final leg of our trip back to Kansas, we decided to make one more pit stop before we reached home...  or our "green house" as Ellie calls it. :)  We were about 6 hours from our final destination when we passed a sign for the St. Louis Zoo!  The girls are at a really fun age for field trips like this, so we made a last minute decision to stop!  We are so glad we did.  It ended up being a fun family memory!  Here are a few pictures from our 2 hour tour of the zoo!
Family Photo Op at the Zoo!

Mom and Alexa Joy
We had to get a few pics at this statue!  It actually brough back some fun memories.  My brother Joe and I took a spring break trip to this zoo together the year after I got out of college and he was a junior.  We have a couple cute pics right at this spot!  Unfortunately, Alexa wasn't quite so fond of it.  You might not be able to tell from the pictures, but she was stiff and trembling!  Scared her to pieces!!!  And can you find Ellie in the above pic?  She was hiding. :)
Ellie looking at a cool frog!
Ellie is turning out to be a lot more like her Daddy than her Mommy in the arena of loving animals!  I am okay with animals, but Joel and Ellie LOVE them...  So, she is always enthralled with every exhibit and wants to tell me ALL about each one.  Pretty cute, actually.  :)
Playing Vanna - showing off the huge snake!

Gotta take time to cool down at the mister!
It was a very warm day, and our girls are definitely hot blooded!  So they would take every opportunity to run through the misters that were strategically placed throughout the zoo!!! 
Daddy and his girls!
Though we didnt' have time to make it through the whole zoo, it was a great place to stop and stretch our legs and get out of the van for a while!!!  Lots of great memories at the St. Louis Zoo! :)