Sunday, August 31, 2008

Piano Time

Ellie has really been into playing the piano lately. She sits down and plays and sings and it's adorable. Or she takes my hand and leads me to the piano and asks me to play "ABC song" whatever it is that she wants to sing. Then I play and she sits next to me and plays at the high end of the keyboard and sings. I love it! Yesterday she even sang (and played) the ABCs for my mom over the phone, and she can sing the WHOLE thing correctly! She did it twice through, but of course as soon as I pulled out the video camera to capture it forever she stopped. So you'll just have to take my word (and my mother's) that it's true.

These pictures are from the other night when we were playing together:

You can see her singing in the last one. Somewhere there are pictures of me playing piano with my grandmother. I have always loved music and I really hope that this is the beginnings of Ellie's love for music, too! I would love to share that with her!

ETA: Look what my parents sent me!! These are the pictures of me playing with my grandmother... very similar!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I don't think that word means what you think it means...

Lately Ellie has been using the word "perfect" a lot. I'm not sure where she picked it up, but she doesn't know what it means, so it's funny when she uses it. Just now I heard her say...

Don't perfect me, Mommy!

when I think she was trying to tell me not to shoo her out of the room. I have also heart her say...

I don't want a perfect!

That's not perfect food.

She likes perfect, Mommy?

It cracks me up. I think it's the first word I've heard her misuse, and misuse so profusely!

Our little WHO

What Leif is REALLY doing when he says he's washing Ellie's hair...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Well no wonder I'm cold!

I was sitting here thinking I'm cold, so I went and peeked at the thermostat. Well no wonder I'm cold! It's 56 degrees in our house! Sheesh! It must be getting down into the 40's at night. It's supposed to get up to 90 today, though, so maybe by this afternoon I will be glad for the chilly house.

Raspberry Picking

Last Thursday we went raspberry picking at Rocky Creek Farm. Here are some pictures of our little family outing:

(I love this picture!)

... and the fruits of our labor. Ha ha! (I know... terrible pun.)

Monday, August 25, 2008


I just listened to Ellie walking down the stairs, counting as she went. It appears that she can count to twenty! I didn't listen carefully enough to know whether she actually got ALL of the numbers or not, but I know she got most of them and in the correct order. Who knew?

Door Opener.

I'm pretty sure Eliana learned how to open her door today. I put her in her bedroom and shut the door so I could take a shower (and leave her with limited space to destroy, which she did!) and when I got out of the shower and dressed I heard something in the kitchen. Lo and behold, it was Ellie! I'm thinking that means it just got a little harder to contain her or keep her out of rooms we don't want her in.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Ellie just picked a shirt up off my bed and held it up. Then she looked at me, very seriously, and said, "I going to put this away. In the closet. It's clothes stuff." And then she walked over to the closet with my shirt (which she had kindly wadded up) and threw it on the closet floor. It cracked me up! Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kayaking with Eliana

When we were camping in Yellowstone we decided to take the kayaks out on the lake for a little family paddle. Leif got Ellie all dressed up in rain gear and a life jacket, so as to keep her dry if she stayed out of the water and afloat if she fell in. I'm pretty sure there's no fashion statement quite like the one she was sporting:

And so we went on a kayak ride. Ellie was in my boat, sitting in front of me. And she was cranky. And wiggly. And I was sort of afraid that we'd tip over. But we didn't, and we paddled out a ways before figuring out why Ellie was so cranky.... she was tired. Oops. She eventually settle in and fell asleep on my arm. It would have been terribly cute if it weren't for the fact that kayaking with only one arm is rather difficult. It basically rendered me useless in the paddle department, so we tethered ourselves to Leif's boat and he proceeded to drag us around the lake while Ellie and my arm slept. We went quite a ways, and Leif got a good workout. The wind picked up a little and the waves got choppy, so we headed back to shore and Ellie eventually woke up as we neared the beach. I'm not sure it was the kayaking adventure we looked for, but hopefully we can take another kayaking trip when Ellie is not so tired and it will go better. We'll never know unless we try, right?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Camping in Yellowstone...

So last week we decided to go camping in Yellowstone. It's the first time we've ever camped down there, and only the second time we've camped with Ellie, so it was an adventure for us! We got to see several things we've never seen before in the Park, and we had a good time. We camped Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at Grant Village and decided that as far as car camping goes, Yellowstone is a nice place to go. Most people who camp in Yellowstone aren't there for the camping experience, so the campground pretty much empties out during the day, leaving it nice and quiet for you to relax in if you want to. Grant Village is right near the lake, too, so we took the kayaks and got to do a little exploring, which was fun. We don't get to kayak very often any more, so it's always a treat when we get to.

The new places we went will probably get their own blog posts, but here are just a few pictures to give you an idea of our weekend escape...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sweet Pea, continued...

We didn't take many pictures at Sweet Pea this year. I'm not entirely sure why that is. Perhaps because we saw mostly musical acts and they're not as interesting to photograph. Perhaps because the things we *really* wanted to see this year we ended up missing. Perhaps because we were too busy keeping an eye on the quick little girl who could easily get lost in a crowd if we weren't careful. Whatever the reason, we don't have many pictures from the weekend, but I suppose it's just as well...

On Sunday we arrived to the Festival in the afternoon, after church, and after Ellie had a bit of a short nap. The excitement from the previous two days' activities had worn her out and we didn't want a cranky girl on our hands, so we put her down to rest. She slept longer than we expected her to, which may have been good for her mood, but meant that we missed the two acts we really wanted to see. Bummer.

But we loaded up the stroller anyway and headed in to feast on cotton candy and kettle corn, since no one was selling pulled pork sandwiches this year! (I was seriously disappointed about the lack of pulled pork sandwiches... I look forward to them and eat one at Sweet Pea every year! Really... whose idea was it to cut them from the menu? It was a bad idea, I tell you...) Alas, though, as if by some evil twist of fate, no one was selling kettle corn this year either! Really?! How can it be???!! So I looked forward to my bag of cotton candy, my one splurge for the festival, and waited for Leif to return to me with it. But no. They were out of cotton candy. Gone. And no more to be made. Bummer.

Fortunately, the festival didn't end with a bummer as we got to rest under the trees and listen to a Zydeco band, and a pretty good one at that, I might add. The weather was nice and cool, so it made being outside nicer, and Ellie was happy to practice climbing in and out of her stroller on her own. I still haven't decided if it's a good thing or a bad thing that she can do that, but whichever it is, she is proficient at it now!

So... the moral of the story is to eat cotton candy and kettle corn at the Bite of Bozeman instead of waiting until Sweet Pea. Just get all your splurging done at once, because it might not be at Sweet Pea if you're looking forward to it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sweet Pea

Every year we go to the Sweet Pea festival and we ignore the "children's activities" area. But not this year!! No, this year Leif and Neal took the kids to go build birdhouses in the activity area. I had to admit that the birdhouses turned out quite nicely! Then they admitted that the kiddos did very little to help with the construction and instead had fun just tapping the wood with nails instead. Still, it looks like they all had a grand time.

They stashed the birdhouses in some dense shrubbery so they didn't have to carry them around during the festival, but I am sad to say that when they returned to retrieve them at the end of the day, someone had taken them! We spent a good while looking for them, but they were no where to be found. How sad! Ellie didn't seem to notice though, so I suppose all is well. There will always be next year to build another!

(Oh, and I should add that Ellie and Zach and Neal made it into the video segment on the news about the Sweet Pea children's activities! It was just a quick little shot of them, but it was there! Or so I'm told... I didn't actually get to see it, but the Richters did. Sigh... My little girl's moment of fame... and I missed it. Oh well!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dressing my Daughter Badly

I have a proclivity for dressing Ellie badly, or as I like to think of it, expediently. Elizabeth can tell you horror stories. Our recent trip to Yellowstone, which Elizabeth will soon post about, gave me a chance to demonstrate that again. During that marvelous journey, we went kayaking. When she rides in our kayaks, Ellie dislikes having the myriad forms of airborne water alight on her. I figured if we were going to have any chance of her enjoying the trip, we'd need to keep her dry. We felt pretty dumb when we realized that we'd forgotten bring a rain coat for her. Really we felt quite foolish because we'd forgotten to bring any kind of coat for her, which is always a bad idea when camping in the mountains in summer. I had brought a rain coat for myself. Ellie got the honor of wearing it.

It reminds me of another time I dressed her in my clothes.

Look, Mom! I have pockets!!

The other day I pulled the laundry out of the dryer and I found some little treasures... a pinecone (a very CLEAN pinecone, I might add!) and a quartz rock. It seems my daughter has discovered the art of collecting things. She has also discovered her pockets. I think it started Friday night at Sweet Pea...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bite Of Bozeman...

Ah... the Bite of Bozeman. Our annual trip downtown to fight the crowds for a tasty turkey leg. It's the only time of year you can get one, so you know we didn't miss it!!

Because Eliana has been short on naps, we figured she wouldn't last for long at the Bite. So we headed downtown a little early (before the Bite actually started) and proceeded to wander around with Ellie in the stroller. This was nice for a couple reasons... First, because we were early there weren't as many people, so maneuvering with a stroller was a little easier. Second, because we were there early, we were able to survey the different vendors and stake out our spot and...


Oh yeah. Wanna see?

Sorry... we were too excited about eating the turkey leg to take a picture before we started digging in! But there it is, in all its devoured glory. Mmmm. One of the few things at the Bite that is worth every penny of what they charge for it.

Oddly, this year Ellie wasn't really interested in the turkey leg. It did mean more for us, but we thought for sure she'd attack it like she did last year. Not so. Instead, she spent her time sitting in the stroller drinking a frozen chocolate beverage.

Apparently, it was good to the last drop. I'm pretty sure she drank practically the whole thing by herself.

This year the Bite wasn't nearly as hot as it has been in years past, and it was enjoyable! We saw quite a few people we knew, which is always fun. We heard a little music (though not much, because we were only there for about an hour and the bands don't start playing right away) and ate some good food and headed on our way so Ellie could get to bed. All in all it was, again, a good way to start off the Sweet Pea weekend.