Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ellie is 3!

Here she is!!! Ellie Hope on her last night of being TWO! This girl couldn't be more excited for her third birthday!!!
We got to spend the day celebrating in Niceville, Florida where we were spending a couple of weeks between summer training programs! We had a fabulous day! We had a party where Ellie got to blow out her candles!

Ellie and Daddy even got to hunt for hermit crabs together!

Alexa wasn't going to miss out on the fun! She helped herself to a birthday cupcake!

And we even had a few of our Oklahoma friends come to help us celebrate the occasion!

When we asked Ellie what she wanted to eat for her birthday, she emphatically said "CUPCAKES!" So, cupcakes there were! And in abundance! Big cupcakes, small cupcakes, chocolate and white cupcakes... Whatever your heart desired!

Ellie definitely got to be the princess for a day and I think she would say it was a great birthday! We got to spend the evening as a family in Destin going to a fun Mexican place for dinner and she even got a free birthday Sundae there! She got to run through fountains, play outside, have a party, be with friends... who could ask for more? She is one blessed little girl and we sure are blessed to have her in our lives. It's been an incredible three years, sweet girl. You definitely bring light to our lives!

Here are a few fun facts about our THREE year old!

  • She is 36 1/2 inches tall - just over three feet and we started measuring on her closet door!

  • She finally reached 30 lbs!

  • She LOVES numbers and letters and colors. She can count to 60 and will gladly do that for you!

  • She can spell and write her name. (tho - like her Momma, she is a lefty and so sometimes will write in mirror images - we're working on that!)

  • She can spell her name in sign language (thanks to a kid we met on a sailboat this summer who taught her! ha!)

  • She can count to ten in spanish (cutest thing in the world to hear!)

  • She loves Barney, VeggieTales and Dora the Explorer. She has also recently become a fan of Sid the Science Kid. I think she's gonna love science like her Daddy!

  • She has a mind that just doesn't stop. She remembers details of things that happened months ago - remembers locations she's seen before, makes and models of cars, you name it, you're not slipping one past this girl. (i.e. "Look Mom, that car is just like Papa Barry's car! or "that van is exactly the same as our van!") She will also let you know if you miss your turn or which way you should turn. I experienced this several times this summer!

  • She LOVES to sing and can carry a tune really well! Often on road trips she will just sing and sing in the back seat. It always brings a smile to my face.

  • She has become quite the nurturer. She is SO good with her dolls and often tells me that I need to be quiet cause they are sleepin'! Or that if she leaves her baby, that the baby will probably cry... :) She loves her baby sister, too, and it's so fun to watch her teach Alexa things and help her out. They are quite good buddies!

  • She's a helper and oh so fun to have around.

  • She loves her tricycle.

  • She is incredibly expressive.

  • She is full of incredible one-liners.

  • And the list goes on...

So GRATEFUL for THREE wonderful years with our beautiful Ellie Hope!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Catching up...

I have taken so many pictures this summer that there is no way I'll ever get completely caught up on blogging! But here are a few snapshots of our summer thus far!

First...Nanny Gentry!!! I think I may have shared a bit in another post, but our friend Gentry came down for about 5 weeks to help out with the girls and it couldn't have gone better!!! The girls LOVED having Gentry around and so did I. What a huge help and it was just so fun to have her around!!! Thanks for a great few weeks Gench! We miss you already!!! Father's Day 2011! We had a fun day all together... Church in the morning and then an afternoon playing at the park... We love you Daddy!!! I am so grateful that my girls have such an amazing Dad. They just adore their Daddy and I know as they grow older, they will appreciate more and more the GIFT of a Daddy who loves them and sacrifices so greatly for them... Joel, you truly are a one of a kind! So thankful for you!
In June, Ellie turned 35 months (pictured above) and Alexa turned 13 months (the two pics below!) These girls just keep growing and changing like crazy. I wish time would slow down cause they are getting big TOO fast! But it's so fun to watch them become better friends by the day and they interact so well. We're just entering the "don't mess with my stuff" phase as Alexa gets more mobile and into all of Ellie's projects. It's actually quite hilarious and provides for some good teachable moments as we help Ellie understand the importance of sharing and helping Alexa learn to do things... It's a fun and very hands on stage for both of them.

Yes, LOTS of baths down here as it's been very hot and humid and the girls play hard! But, it tends to be the favorite part of each of their days! :)

I'm so thankful for the creativity of grocery stores. This makes getting groceries a lot more fun for the girls and a lot easier for Momma! :) Don't they look adorable in their little car? And they each have their own steering wheel. Genius, I say. :)

Ellie and Alexa had their first boy babysitters while we were down here in Gulf Shores. A team of guys offered to watch the girls for a couple of hours so Joel and I could go and get some time together. It was SO CUTE! The guys arrived with a huge coloring book and box of 64 colors... Alexa did GREAT. Ellie actually was the one that took some warming up and kept trying to run to the girls rooms. Ha! But all around, I think they all had fun! They took Alexa on tricycle rides, colored and played hard. Great job guys! Thanks for taking such good care of the girls! And we even got this sweet little picture. The students have been INCREDIBLE at loving our girls. I am so thankful that they get the chance to grow up around such wonderful college students. We are all very blessed, for sure!

Just another cute shot of Alexa wearing big sister's sunglasses one afternoon while we were out visiting students at work! :)

Ellie and Alexa just LOVE our staff girls... Here is a pic of our two Ellie's... These two have a very special bond. I think part of it may be because Miss Ellie (as we like to call her :) lets our Ellie get away with quite a bit... She has a very high patience level and just loves this little girl to pieces. Again, we are very blessed. :) Ellie is bound to go Greek one day. She has learned the sign to almost every sorority this summer and she usually flashes an ADPi diamond or a PiPhi arrow or one of many other sorority symbols. It's adorable how the girls have adopted her. It will be interesting to see which house she actually chooses one day!

Another one of Ellie's favorite pasttimes has been running through the fountains located close to our hotel. She used to be a little leary, but now she is quite bold and blazes a trail through them! It's a lot of fun to watch. Next year I am sure that Alexa will join in the fun once she is running!

Ellie decided to jump in the back of the stroller with Alexa when she was all wet... This is actually my favorite face that Alexa makes. Isn't it cute? :) She scrunches up that adorable little nose! Aaah... I could just eat her up!

Remember those colors that I was telling you about earlier? Well, Ellie LOVES to color with them! But notice how the colors started... out of the box and all lined up...

Then she progresses to dividing them into color groups. She did this all by herself, but wanted to show Daddy...

This tells you a ton about our firstborn's personality. Everything in order and color coded. Ha! She will do this with her bath letters, too. I go in and she has the letters up on the tub, separated by color. It's hilarious!

Well, there's a random little update! It's been an incredible summer. I'm sad it's moving by so quickly... We're all going to go through withdrawals once we don't have the students down the hall and around every corner. But we're really thankful for the time we've had. One more month and it's back to Manhattan!

The world of questions...

This is a question that we have been hearing about 20 times a day over this last week... It doesn't matter how you answer her, she will ask it again and again and again... I'm guessing that this will be the theme of the 3's. Bring it on...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Alexa turned ONE!!! (on MAY 17th!...a little behind the times!)

Alexa Joy Johnson is ONE!!! Woo Hoo!!!

Okay, Okay... I know I'm about a month and a half behind on my blog posting! No excuses...but here she is! Our little ONE YEAR OLD beauty! :)
Alexa Joy Johnson... what did we ever do without your bright smile in our lives? You truly have added such JOY to our every day...

Aaaah... we just can't get enough of that face! The pics above are just a teaser to Alexa's real one year pictures. A student here at KALEO was gracious enough to take our family pictures, as well as Alexa's one year shots! We haven't gotten to see the finished product yet, but we did get a few snapshots on our little camera and those are the ones that I posted above! The picture at the very top and the one below are of Alexa on her ACTUAL one year birthday... We spent May 17th in the van all day travelling from Murray, KY to Gulf Shores, AL. Thankfully, Alexa didn't seem to mind! So the photos we took that day were few and far between, but we did capture a couple of pics of her in her "Birthday Girl" shirt! She was pretty sleepy by the time we actually got the pictures taken, but I thought they were cute anyway!

Here are some of the things that we are loving about our ONE YEAR OLD these days...

* Alexa LOVES to EAT... Anything and everything. There are not many things that I have found that Alexa will not eat. And she is so funny. Whenever food is around, she will grunt and point and not let you forget to feed her! Especially if ice cream is involved! She is absolutely passionate about food.

*Two bottom teeth! That's right...she is FINALLY getting teeth. I was starting to wonder if there were any in there. :) About a week after her first birthday, her two sharp little bottom teeth started popping through!

*She's found her VOICE... yes, she may be small and petite, but BOY does this girl have a VOICE! She can outyell anyone that I know of. She definitely makes her presence known, whether it's first thing in the morning or when her sister is picking on her or if she just wants your attention.

*Almost walking!!! Okay, so this is actually more of a 13 month thing, but she is just starting to take her first steps. About 2 weeks ago right before she turned 13 months, she started walking behind her baby stroller. She can now blaze a trail that way, but has taken about 2 or 3 steps in a row unassisted! Way to go Alexa!!!

*Alexa can hold her own! against her sister, that is! Ellie has a habit of picking on little sis (and loving her a ton, too!). Alexa is quickly catching up to Ellie in size and so she is not to be dismissed. She will wrestle with the best of 'em and I keep warning Ellie not to be too mean cause Alexa will soon be able to take her down. Lol! They have a ton of fun together, but believe me, you don't want to mess with Alexa! :)

*Hi and waving - this is absolutely one of the CUTEST things that Alexa does! No matter where we are, she waves and says "hi" in the the most precious little voice! She will wave to every passerby, at WalMart, in the van, on the TV, in a picture, on the computer... it's adorable! She also loves to pick up the telephone or one of our cell phones and say "hi" into it. I wish you could witness it. It's absolutely adorable.

I am sure there are many more things and as they come to mind, I will add them. But those are just a few for now. So grateful for our two little girls and thanking God for this last year with our sweet baby Alexa!