Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Jack had to come hang out with me tonight at church because he had a little misunderstanding with a nursery worker.

Ok. What really happened? He bit her.

I told him he could not go to Cubbies until he learned to act right.

So. We packed up his bag and he came and sat on the floor, in the corner of our room where I was teaching... he sat there for about an hour. He did pretty good. Stayed in one spot and was quiet.

I told him AFTER church we would go apologize to his teacher (the one he bit). I wanted to give him some time to think about it.

He was pretty somber for the rest of the evening until we got in the car. Then he started talking to me. He said:

"Mommy, if you say 'stop biting the people, I will stop biting them.'
If you say, 'Stop biting the cars, I will stop biting.'
If you say, 'Stop biting Ty, I won't bite him anymore.'
If you say, 'Stop biting the teamwork, I will stop biting it.'
If you say, 'Stop biting the airplanes, I will stop!'
Is that cool Mommy?"

-every word is true.

I told him that I preferred if he would just not bite anything but his food --period.

Teamwork? Where did he get that?

On a serious note, it is really cool to see the change of heart he has. He's really a very sweet boy. Sometimes he just loses it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Mike!

Hope you are having a relaxing day!

There's nothing like spending your birthday in Jacksonville, Arkansas... nothing.

Here are a couple of pictures from yesterday. We celebrated Mike's birthday at Mom and Dad's house. He said he wanted cupcakes so I made him some.

There was quite a flame on top of that cake!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall is coming!

It's almost here! We've had several days where the high temp for the day was in the 70s. That's right. It was 52, Fifty-two! This morning. I love how this plant is changing colors. I don't know what it is, but it must be hardy cause I kept it alive for about a year in a pot before moving it to the flower bed. Now it's thriving.

Our driveway has recently become a street. Ty's vehicle of choice seems to be a matchbox car travel case... whatever works.
At least I don't have to push him.

"Hi Mom!"

He must have been tired...

I'm pretty sure his last words were:

"I do it Mommy!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Praying makes me hungry

This evening, after bath time, the boys and I laid down on my bed to read books. Reading to my boys seems to be the best way to kill a little time before bed on days when neither one can be good any longer. Today Jack didn't have much nap at MDO. He has a stuffy nose. He gets one every time he sleeps cold. The first night in Little Rock I neglected to check the thermostat before going to bed. Poor Jack will pay for that for a couple of weeks.

Ty is always tired on days he goes to "school." His teacher, Mrs. Amanda, might possibly accept a teaching position at a local elementary school. Please pray for her and her husband as they make the decision. I am confident that Ty and the other children will get yet another exceptional teacher for their class. Mr. Irvin, the MDO director at First United Methodist Church, has done an excellent job getting teachers for their program. I love how they love my kids. I am thankful for the way they minister to my family.

So, tonight, lying on the bed. We finished 5 books, my voice is tiring. I tell the boys that the next thing we are going to do is to pray together. I tell them of so many things that we can give thanks about. I ask Jack what he wants to tell God.

Jack, without much thought, starts praying a routine prayer.

"Dear Jesus, thank you for the food. (pause)

Umm... (short pause)

How about we go eat somethin?"

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Earlier this week the boys and I found the remains of an ancient park. What a discovery! We're assuming it was from the 30s... It has all the characteristics of one made by the CCC after the depression.

And yes, We did make it out without any major injury.

Probably won't be going back to visit that one any time soon...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Trolley

Little Rock had a trolley that runs from North Little Rock, across the river, around the river area and over to the Clinton Library. It's a pretty cool deal. The kids were free and for a dollar (each way) adults could ride. How fun does this look?

The river crossing was the main attraction for the big guys.

Don't you love how Mike is sitting in the next one? How cute is that? It's like he is eight. He doesn't know I took this picture. It will be a surprise to him when he reads the blog... surprise Mike!

We stopped at the River Market and had a snack. I have some EXCELLENT coffee. The boys ate cupcakes (with sprinkles) and Mike and I split a cookie.

See these bright eyes? Yes. The cupcakes were glorious.

Jack looks like he needs a booster.

This is the River Market. If you ever come to Arkansas, this is the place you need to stop at. They have little stands with all kinds of ethnic foods. Aunt Nancy and Uncle Robert and a few of my cousins came here last time we were here. Hutchins, notice how they have new tables and chairs? It looks much more contemporary and clean in here now.

Eyes up front

Change is something I don't do very well. You know, stuff like packing up and moving.



No. Not really. Not really at all.

I'd probably say that this is one of the areas I most need God to work on me and change my heart -that sort of change is OK with me.

Funny that I'm a military wife and just the thought of moving makes my neck tighten and my jaw clench. I've literally had a tight back for a couple of days after Mike and I talk seriously about where we would like his next duty station to be.

It is probably because of my resistance that God has me moving all the time.

I hate to do it, and I hate to talk about doing it. But I love God and where he leads I will follow. Mike's in charge of seeking God and finding out where he would have us move.

"I don't wanna to talk 'bout it."

I watched Jack follow Mike across the street today.

It was a CLEAR picture of how I follow God. Seriously. I think God had me bring up the rear in our parade across the street just so I could see this.

We had just stepped off of the trolley and Mike tells us to cross the street in front of the car.

First comes Mike, the wise, strong, loving Daddy. He was holding on to Ty --carrying him across the street. Another picture of how God will make a way for us to get through situations that we are not yet mature enough to handle on our own.

Jack was about two steps behind Mike. I was about two steps behind Jack. Jack steps off the curb and is looking to the left. -I don't think he has much idea what is in FRONT of him. But I saw everything: a manhole with the cover protruding from the street a little, the trolley tracks, the little round bumpy reflector things stuck on the road so you can drive at night and see where your lane is. Then there is the curb on the far side.

There are all these obstacles that could trip Jack up if he doesn't see them. But Jack wasn't focused on these. He was looking out for cars. We've trained him of the dangers of the street and how he needs to be VERY careful every time he goes into the street.

We are also working on training him something else. When his Daddy or Mommy give him a command, he is to obey --without question.

We work on this when he is crossing the street (especially on bike rides). If we say "GO" then he doesn't need to stop and look both ways for 15 seconds.

He can go.

It is safe.

His parents who know more than him and who love him have already checked out the way, and it is safe.

So Jack is acrossing the street, looking at the trolley car and looking out for other cars that could potentially hurt him. He knows to get out of the street as quick as he can, so he runs. As I watch Jack I tell him:

"Look at your Daddy, watch your daddy, Jack follow your Daddy."

I'm trying to get his focus off of the things that harm him and onto the one who will protect him.

Wow. It hit me almost instantly.

No, not the trolley.

The realization that Jack's actions while crossing the street are the same ones I display when change comes up.

I cross (follow), but as I cross, I make sure I am watching out for the dangers. I have my face turned to the left. I don't want to get blindsided. I don't have my eyes on my Daddy. I will listen to his voice and when he says cross, I will cross. But I don't do it with the faith of one who looks ONLY to their daddy.

When I choose to look only to my Dad, I will be able to see the things that could have potentially tripped me up (manhole, reflectors, tracks). I should be able to avoid them.

When my eyes are focused on my Dad, I don't see all the things that the world says I should be worried or "concerned" about --and they definitely don't have my attention.

I want Jack to follow Mike without any reservation. If Mike says, "Come," I want Jack to come, quickly, happily, without fear.

That must be what God wants of me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Yard of the Month"

This is us, home sweet home, for now.

Maybe I can do something to spruce up the yard.

Problem is, these houses are either about to be torn down or about to be remodeled. I vote for torn down. Either way the flower bed will be toast, so no point working on them now.

I couldn't help but notice the sign in the front yard of this house down the street. No, not the one in the window that reads "Future Tenant parking." The one shaped like a green thumb, stuck in the front yard.

How about a close up?

Wow... what a yard...welcome to Arkansas!

I REALLY want to steal that sign. But I won't. Maybe I will ask someone if I can have it.

We are now in Arkansas.

Little Rock AFB is located about 20 minutes away from LR in the town of Jacksonville. It's....


The housing is somewhat different than I had remembered. Now that I am here and seeing it, I know it is very similar to the house we were in two years ago.

I walked into the house, worn out from a much longer drive than I had remembered, and wanted collapse on the couch. Labor day lived up to it's name. The boys were ok on the trip. It could have been way worse had we had a screaming newborn with us -- which is what we had the last time we made this drive regularly. Not sure what was up. Could be... And here's something we might could all benefit from thinking about... that I was just so grateful to have a place to stay last time. Now, I have a wonderful home in Abilene, already set up, full of the things I use everyday. Maybe I am not fully appreciating what has been provided us.

Thankfulness. It's not overrated. I am going to utilize it more.

Last night I was sitting on the couch watching the boys play with a toy that Uncle Grant let us borrow (thanks!). Jack pushed Ty away when he started messing with the toy town that he had just built. Then jack lied about it. The last thing I wanted to do was deal with little boys needing to be disciplined. But, a lie is a big deal. It can't be ignored. I called Mike in and explained the situation to him and asked him to deal with it. He's such a good husband! He took care of it. He took Jack to the other room and disciplined him. Five or so minutes later Jack came out to find me. He his little eyes were red and swollen. It was obvious that he had been crying. I'm sure it was his sin that had broken his heart....

He came up to me. I knelt down to his level. I love it when Mike will take the kids out and discipline them because they come back to me refreshed and with innocent hearts --as they had just paid the price for their disobedience. I get to hug them and encourage them to be kind to each other.

It's so nice to have a fresh start isn't it?

So Jack came over and said: "Mommy, I am so sorry I lied to you." I got to hug him and tell him I forgive him. Next thing, those sweet little blue (and red) eyes looked up into mine and he said. "Mommy, can I go tell Ty, 'I'm sorry'?"

"Of course you may," was my reply. Jack walked over to his little brother, lowered his head so as to look him in the face.

Jack said: "Ty, I'm sorry YOU wrecked my town."

What do ya do?

Ty, realizing it was yet another "apologizing session" told Jack sorry. He does this every time, no matter who is in trouble. He's just trying to cover his bases I think. He doesn't understand everything we tell him yet, but he does understand tone of voice. He knew something was up and just in case his head was on the chopping block (no, not literally), he was going to apologize.

Life with boys.

Maybe one day I will figure out how to guide, train and communicate with little guys. But by then, they will all be out of the house.

I'm so thankful for God's grace that covers all of my shortcomings will pick up where I fail my children and my husband.

God is good.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bad to the bone

Really. If this doesn't scare you, nothin will.

Who needs a gaurd dog?

We don't lock the doors if this guy is home.

Ok... so I might have set up his poses... but for real. This man is scary!

Change of address

Mike is leaving on Sunday for instructor school in Little Rock, Ark. He will be taking a six week course at the base.

We are going with him, at least for the first couple of weeks.

He has been offered a house on the base where all of us can stay.

I'm a little unsure of what all the boys and I will do while Mike is at work, but am excited about the task of coming up with things to entertain little ones. I'm thinking we'll spend a good amount of time at the gym (Little Rock AFB has a great Mom and kids area), we'll visit the base library several times a week, probably spend many hours at the Halderman house. Lisa and Matt Halderman are good friends of ours who are stationed up there. I have really missed morning coffee with Lisa. We haven't done it in 2 years!

We will have lots of free time without Mike around. He will not have much free time. So if anyone wants to come visit us we've got a bedroom for you!

Don't know when I will be back home. I think we will come back (at least for a few days) in two weeks. We'll see how it all works out.

If any of you out-of-towners wants to come visit the great city of Abilene, forget the hotel, come stay at "Casa de Ellis" free of charge! I'll get a friend to sponsor you on base. Seriously. Just clean the kitchen again before you leave.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ty's first sentence

Ty Ellis:

"Catch the truck, Mommy!"

(this is important because it is one of the first times he has put four words together to make a phrase.) What he meant by it? Ty is in love with Trucks. If Ice Road Truckers is ever on, he will ask to watch it. And be upset when it gets turned off. Jack has been asking me to catch up to the trucks when I'm driving on the highway. Something fun about passing 18 wheelers. Ty has joined Jack in his mission to persuade Mom to drive by the big trucks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kids dressing themselves #3

I picked out the outfit, gave it to Jack and he put it on CORRECTLY.
Then he had to poop and took all his clothes off.
Here is him trying to get it all back on.

Ty's first: bloody nose, bloody tears, black eye

Ty, you had a rough week. Here is the story in pictures of what you went through:

Scene 1:

Playing on the bed in my room. You throw your head down on my stomach and laugh (it's soft and mushy). You continue to do this till you land on my hip bone (not soft and mushy).

See photos of bloody nose:

Jack feeling bad about Ty's hurt nose...

Scene 2: Two days later.

You get mad that I won't give you one of the "three little piggies." You start to cry. You get over it. I look over a minute later and you have BLOOD running out of your eye. Looked like bloody tears. I called my doctor friend and she took a look at you. She said you were ok. Left over blood from bloody nose.

**Pictures were taken AFTER I ran him to the hospital. Most of the blood is gone, but you can see where the "tear" ran down his cheek. **

Scene #3:

What is left of Ty's black eye. Also a result of bumping into my hip.
Poor guy. You'll be alright.