Ella Brooke is BLOOMING...and Carter is too!

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support! Trust in the Lord...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Pappy

It is my dad's birthday today. He is one of Carter's FAVORITE people!! We made him brownies, even though he is in Newton and we are in Overland Park.
We love you and hope you had a great day today, Pappy! Carter called and sang to him on the phone. :)

bath time

I thought I would get bath time done faster--and do them together. They both had fun! We sang, " Row, Row, Row your boat"... and kicked in the water. Carter liked helping me "wash" Ella.

Ella in stripes

Looking cute in stripes!!
So happy!!

She has had a great week! She is getting to be a slower eater, but healthy!

Touch a Truck

Touch-a-Truck was sponsored by The City of Overland Park in honor of OP's 50th birthday. My Nana told me about this activity that would be perfect for Carter--and it was!! He got to "touch" all different kinds of trucks. It was so much fun!! Jenny, Darrell and Brody joined us for the fun!

In the firetruck
In the ambulance
Racing a race car with daddy!
In a school bus
In the combine tire (He said this picture was for Pappy)
And the highlight of the trip....the TRASH TRUCK!!
Driving the trash truck

Sitting with Brody on the back of the trash truck--a little boy's dream!!

A future baseball player

Daddy teaching him
working on getting his "elbow up"
He loves his new baseball tee and likes to go practice with Daddy!
Then, he was tuckered out from all the practicing!

Shopping with Ella

Shopping with Ella...in the cart! She fit perfectly and Carter was laughing so hard...he thought it was so funny!! She did not even cry. She thought it was fun, too!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tomorrow is the day....

We start school tomorrow. The kids will be at HTS. It has been pretty quiet over there. I am excited to meet my 26 students. My classroom is ready and looks great.
I am sad and will miss Ella and Carter. They have done great at Debbie's this last week...it is hard leaving them, but I know they are in wonderful hands.
Carter and Ella had their pictures taken tonight. Thanks, Mom, for the gift certificate and cute outfits for the kids to wear! I cannot wait to see the pictures. Ella wore this cute "bandanna" style dress.

playing at the park

We are blessed to have a little park at the end of the block. We are also so lucky to have so many kids on the block who are always able to play and have fun!

Carter and Walter (a neighbor down the block) had fun on the swings and slide Monday night.

            Ella had fun chatting with me in her stroller. What a great smile she has. I love her so much!!

Carter and Ella

They have so much for together. He is such a wonderful big brother! He loves getting me things for her, talking or singing to her and making her smile.
The other day, Ryan and I were in the kitchen and Carter was playing with Ella in her room. Ryan went up to get them, and Carter had put Ella's Easter/pink bunny purse on her arm. So cute and thoughtful!! (Look real close at the picture below and you can see her purse).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Special Event

Mike Barrick is an HTS parent, and has three kids at HTS this year. His youngest, Sam, will be in my class this year and I cannot wait to get to know him beginning Wednesday.
Mike was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer in November 2008.

Their  friends have planned a special event in honor of Mike. They would like to invite you to "Batting for Barricks" Aug. 27 at  6pm in the Fr. Quigley Center at HT. To learn more, please see the link below:

Please keep their family in your prayers. As Mike's wife, Angie, says--God is great and continues to give them strength and hope.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Carter in Green outfit (June, 2007)
Ella today (Aug. 2010)

Ella and Daddy
Ella is wearing her first hand-me-down from Carter. She looks just as cute as Carter did in these green polka-dot pj's!

Lunch with Uncle Kyle

Carter LOVES his Uncle Kyle!! We went to a late lunch with him on Tuesday. Carter had a hard time eating because all he wanted to do was play with Uncle Kyle. Kyle even took us to his new place so Carter could meet his fish, Heathcliff.

Fun day at Crowne Center

Looking cute (Yes, those are flip flops on her shirt!)

We went to Crowne Center on Tuesday-my last day off-with Meg, Will and Lydia. It was a nice day and we did not get too hot. We went to the Clifford exhibit, where Carter put on the post-man attire to mail the letters to the characters. We also went to the fountains outside to get wet and play.


At the splash park with Eli

Ella and Caden

Drubers Donut Shop with Guh Guh and Grandma Deb

Jay and Carter after swimminh with thir Toy Story towels

Riding Rides at the fair

Farm Bureau red shirts before the sno cones and turtle race

Go Willie (Carter's turtle)

Friends, Family, Turtle Races, swimming, park, good food=NEWTON

    The kids and I went to Newton last week for a great little mini-vacation. It was so fun to see our family for an extended time. (My parents, Ryan's parents, Ryan's sister and her family and my brother Ryan and his family all live in Newton or close by). We LOVE my parents pool! In fact, Carter and Jay (my nephew) even went swimming in the rain with Guh Guh. We met my friend Shannon and her boys at the splash park on Thursday. It was fun, but next time we will have to find a cooler spot where the boys can actually play together. It was fun to see her and have our boys play! We went to the Harvey County fair and saw the 4H animals and rode a few fair rides on Friday night. Then on Saturday, my dad's business had a stand and gave away free Snow-cones at the kids activity time. Carter and Jay each had a few too many snow cones. Then, it was time for the turtle races which were sponsored by both of Carter's grandpas! Unfortunately, Carter's turtle, Willie, was not the winner.  (We drove all around Newton looking for turtles, had a handful of farmers looking for turtles, looked on the highways to Newton...and no one could find a turtle for Carter. So, grandpa Ranny bought Willie at a pet store in Salina. Willie was a salt water fish and could not be released to a pond, so Willie went back to him mommy and daddy at the pet store on Monday morning). My nephew Jay won his heat and even had his picture in the Newton newspaper.
     It was fun to relax in Newton and enjoy the turtle races. I have very fond memories growing up with turtles at house every year. One year my brothers had 21 turtles at our house...It is very fitting for my dad to now sponsor the turtle races.

7 months old

My mom's friend Dot gave Ella this adoable dotted outfit!!

Our big girl....she is getting so big and verbal! She is about 12 and a half pounds. She had gained over 10 pounds since she was born! She still has special formula in her bottles and I am still pumping for her other bottles. All her milk is fortified for extra calories and thickened since she is still aspirating.
When Ella is hungry, she is starving and is screaming! She loves suckind on her fingers and whole hand in her month. She makes the cutest coos and giggles. She now rolls over and pushes herself up in the push up position to look around. She rolls front to back and back to front. Daddy just recently found her tickle spot under her left armpit and can really get her giggling. She loves sitting up in her bumbo, music sung by her brother and playing on her play mat. We love you , baby girl!!

Back to the Real World

Daddy leading to Debbie's house on Wednesday. Carter was excited!!

Yes, I am back at work. I started meetings on Wednesday the 11th and the kids come this Wednesday the 18th. My classroom is coming together and I seem to have a good class. I am excited to see my previous students and meet my new ones.
It has been hard letting Ella and Carter go...I have been with them non-stop for months. I know they are in wonderful hands with Debbie, which does make it easier. I cried putting them to sleep on Tuesday night. Ella smiles as soon as she hears my voice when I go to pick her up. Carter is always playing and having a good time when I am there. We are so blessed to have Debbie and her family!!!

Ella's appointment

Ella's appointment went great! They were pleased with her weight gain and the amount of "food" she is eating. The NICU doctor that we saw, Dr. Claflin, said that we will schedule her swallow study to see if she is still aspirating for late September. If at that point she is not aspirating, then we will be released from the NICU follow-up clinic and transfer all of Ella's health to our pediatrician. (We will continue to follow-up with the NICU developmental clinic). She weighed 12 pounds 3 ounces and her blood pressure was great at 88/50.

Monday, August 2, 2010

In the morning...

In the morning, I go into Ella's room and she has usually rolled over to her tummy and
is "chatting" up a storm!
Then I roll her over, and she coos and smiles big at me! I take off her "sleep sac"- much safer than a blanket and keeps her feet covered-and change her pants. She is a happy morning girl, like her mommy!

Pretty Girl

Such big, beautiful eyes
What a BIG girl!!
Ella is doing great!! She is growing, changing and blooming so fast. We love her so much!!
She has a NICU follow-up appointment tomorrow. I am excited to hear what they think.