Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Bible Says...

Well, it has started already. The other day I had a lippy little 3 year old on my hands, so I told her to go to her room and I would talk to her when she had a better attitude. She pouted and huffed all the way to her room. After about 3 minutes, I heard her calling to me from her bed...

"The Bible says, 'Be kind to everyone!!' You're supposed to be kind to me, Mommy!"

It cracked me up, especially since it's the exact wording of the verse she's been learning in Sunday School. We had a good talk about being kind to everyone, and other things the Bible says, like "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." which is another verse she has memorized. I do love that she is processing what she is learning and trying to put it to use, though!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Detective Ellie

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At the Children's Museum one day Eliana decided she was a detective. She went around examining everything she could find with this little magnifying glass. It was fun to see her investigating everything, making observations. All I had on me was my Droid, so the pictures aren't the highest quality, but I think it's cute. I also got this little video of her examining some rocks:

Friday, February 26, 2010

I wasn't made for bitting for!

On Super Bowl Sunday we went to friends' house to watch the game. The kids all played fairly well together, for the most part.

The least part included a bite, and Eliana was on the receiving end. Not only was she in pain (it was a pretty good bite!), but she was confused, too. As I was trying to calm her down and giving her a sympathy bandaid, she told me the following:

"I was not made for bitting for! I was made for being nice to everyone!"

I loved it! She was the oldest of the kiddos there, and couldn't understand why a younger kid would bite her. She didn't try to retaliate or anything, but I loved her reasoning - that she wasn't made to be bitten!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Bellibow

I took this video in January, and I still can't believe that they put swimsuits out that early in MONTANA, of all places. It doesn't even start to thaw out here until June! Yet there we were, browsing the sweaters on the clearance rack, with Ellie in the cart parked right next to the bikinis. I looked over and saw her playing with something, and decided, just for fun (because I love my new camera and its useful video features!) to record our conversation. What followed was absolutely hilarious, and I'm glad I got it on camera! Here it is...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Somtimes I forget...

While browsing around some old pictures on our computer, I came across these. Sometimes I forget just how BIG I got with Eliana. This is in February (4 years ago today, actually!)

From 4.February Belly

February. She wasn't born until July. She was only 6 lbs 12 oz. How on earth was I that big that soon?? I was 4 months pregnant here. Crazy. It's no wonder I outgrew all of my maternity clothes by the end. Here I am a month before my due date...

From 8. June Belly

Now that she's 3 1/2 I kind of forget what it was like before she was born. Sometimes it's fun to go back down memory lane through photos and remember! I'm pretty thankful for that little girl and the last few years with her!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Elizabeth often surprises folks when she tells them she's from Texas because she doesn't use the expected accent or idioms. (Mightcould fixing to, ya'll?) I'll admit, I've never found the Southern manner of speech particularly becoming.

Imagine our amazement and dismay when Eliana started drawling her vowels. The most common instance I can think of is Ellie's dragging of the 'a' in "What is thaaaaaat?" She's also switched from calling Elizabeth "mommy" to "maaamaaaa."


Monday, February 22, 2010

Yurt Dinner, take two

Last year we took my parents to dinner at a yurt in Big Sky. The food was DELICIOUS and it was a really fun evening! So this year we took 4 of our friends up there, to celebrate their upcoming marriages.

The evening starts at one of the hotels in Big Sky where everyone loads into a couple snowcats (some people inside, and some people riding on top!) and we take a trip up the side of the mountain to the yurt. It's about a 20 minute ride up and it's unheated, so by the time we get to the yurt we're ready to be warm! The yurt is nice and toasty inside, and there are bowls of hot french onion soup waiting for us. This is where the gloriously delicious food begins, and this soup is to die for. SO GOOD. After the soup, the waiters (otherwise known as the 4 guys who run the whole operation, wearing plaid flannel shirts and headlamps) come around and ask how you'd like your tenderloin. Then they go off and cook it, leaving a little break in the meal and time for sledding.

Yes, sledding. They provide sleds and a little run down the mountain a ways and people are encouraged to go out and play in the snow. We went with Colt and Susie and Kevin and Noelle, and while Noelle took one run, it was mostly the guys who had fun sledding. And boy did they have fun! I'm thinking they tried to max out the weight limit on the sled when they piled three grown men onto one sled and took it down!

From Yurt Dinner

You can see how much fun they had, though, and they worked up a bit of an appetite just in time to come back in, warm up, and enjoy the rest of the meal.

The rest of the meal is served family style, with large bowls of local vegetables, mashed potatoes (the BEST mashed potatoes you will ever have, by the way.) and the meat. Mmmm... the meat. When you make your reservation, you have the option of Salmon or Beef Tenderloin. We go for the tenderloin. I get mine well done, and it is still SO tender. It's amazing. Plus, they give you Montana sized portions. And then they come around asking if you'd like seconds. Always take the seconds. It's so good. And then, they come around asking if you'd like thirds. Seriously. It's like an all you can eat meal of the best food ever. I don't know how food this good comes from ski bums in plaid flannel shirts wearing headlamps, but it does. It's incredible.

About the time you can't eat any more, they clear your plate and you get to spend some time visiting and listening to the music played by a local musician. We took a little time to toast Colt and Susie and Kevin and Noelle on their upcoming weddings, in March and September. Cheers!

From Yurt Dinner

As you can see, dinner is by candle light, so it's hard to get good pictures, but makes for a nice atmosphere!

From Yurt Dinner

All in all, the evening is great, and just about the time you think it can't get any better, they bring out dessert... fondue. And not just any fondue, but fondue made from melted down Toblerone, so it is just as smooth and delicious as could be. Dipping choices include pound cake, bananas, apples, and oranges. I recommend a cube of pound cake paired with an orange slice in the chocolate. It keeps the pound cake from falling off the skewer, and it's a yummy pairing. We ate until we were pretty sure they were going to have to roll us down the mountain to get us back home.

The pace of the evening is very relaxed, and perfect for spending some time with friends. Many of the people who go to the yurt dinner are visiting from other places and book through the hotel, but we met some local people as well, and, obviously, we are local too! It's a really fun evening, and we recommend it if you're looking for a nice evening out, and something out of the ordinary.

From Yurt Dinner

Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Family Snowshoe

On Presidents' Day we went for a little family snowshoe, our first time snowshoeing all together! We bought Eliana some used children's snowshoes and have been looking forward to teaching her how to use them and getting out into the snow as a family. She wasn't sure about walking in the deep snow at first, but we let her walk along a packed down trail and she was much more excited about it then. She did a great job!

FlickrDroid Upload

FlickrDroid Upload

FlickrDroid Upload

Along our walk, Eliana was very excited to find a bug in the snow and she wanted it to play with her. We tried to convince her that bugs don't really like to play with people, but she wouldn't hear of it and carried the poor thing around for a while! We finally convinced her to put it back in the snow and let it go find some food and shelter.

FlickrDroid Upload

FlickrDroid Upload

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The back yard....

I'm SO glad our back yard doesn't look like this any more.

From Yard Leveling

Sometimes I forget just how far our yard has come! We how have grass, a deck, a hot tub, a flower / herb garden, a swingset... It's a great place to relax and I'm quite fond of it. It always startles me when I come across pictures like this and remember what it was like when we bought it! Leif put a lot of work into our yard to make it what it is now. Thank you, honey! I appreciate it!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A picture of Mommom

From Eliana's Picture of Mommom

Ellie and I were talking on the phone to my mom over the weekend when she decided she was going to "take a picture of Mommom" with her camera. I have to say, I'm impressed with the picture she took, considering most of them are just blurry dark images! She thinks all phones are like Skype and you can see the people you're talking to. What a world of technology this kid has been born into!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ellie's Eye Mask

Eliana got an eye mask in her stocking for Christmas. One night she decided she needed to wear it to bed. It cracked me up!

From Ellie's Eye Mask

From Ellie's Eye Mask

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"What'd you say? I didn't hear you!"

This is one of Eliana's phrases lately. Most of the time she only says it once, so it's not a problem. The other day, however, we had this conversation...

I was in the other room and could hear Eliana eating something. I called to her.

"What are you eating, Eliana?"
"I'm eating these really cold peas!"
"Are you eating frozen peas?"
"You're cute, Eliana."
"What'd you say? I couldn't hear you."
"I said, 'You're cute, Eliana.'"
"I didn't hear you. What did you say?"
*louder* "I said, 'You're cute, Eliana!' Come in here!"
*coming into the room* "What did you say? I didn't hear you."
"Why do you keep saying that, Ellie?"
"Because I like to hear you say to me, 'You're cute, Eliana!'"

Crazy child!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Leif has been taking Eliana and her friend Corinne sledding several times over the past few weeks. It looks like they have a good time!!

From Ellie and Corinne Sledding

From Ellie and Corinne Sledding

From Ellie and Corinne Sledding

From Ellie and Corinne Sledding

From Ellie and Corinne Sledding

(This picture cracks me up!)

From Ellie and Corinne Sledding

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

This December Leif and I celebrated our 9th anniversary. Crazy how fast time has flown!! While we were down in Texas, my parents watched Eliana for a day so we could go out. We saw the movie Avatar and spent the afternoon in Shreveport, LA, where we had several outings while we were in college. In fact, we have pictures from our freshman year of college with some friends taken at a statue, so we found it again and took some new pictures, minus the friends. =D It was fun to see how the area had changed and how much was the same after 13 years! It was also nice to get away and just spend a day together.

I love you, Leif!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Last night Elizabeth and I took some friends out to dinner to celebrate their upcoming marriage. Ellie got to have a sleep over with one of her friends. (Thank you, Taylor!) This morning when Elizabeth brought Ellie home, she asked to watch a movie. I told her we could go sledding together instead. Despite being really excited about sledding, she said she wanted to watch the movie. I asked her if she needed some time by herself. She said she did.

Come to think of it, I did, too. After a really fun evenings with friends that both of us enjoyed, we both needed a morning by ourselves.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More with the Christmas Recap: Texas

On Christmas day we flew to Texas to spend some time with Elizabeth's family. We kicked off the 26th with gift opening and dinner at Robert's house, then went on a Christmas Train ride through the bayou in Jefferson. It was sort of crazy riding a train through the dark so near all the water. In some places the water was right up against the tracks. But it was pretty to see the lights reflected among the trees in the water, even if it was hard to get pictures of them.

This is Eliana's new kitty. Her name is Black and White Kitty, and she replaces Little Kitty. She was unable to go anywhere without Little Kitty for several months, even after the stuffing was all out of her middle and her tail had been pulled off! I wasn't sure how she'd react to a new kitty, but as you can see, she loves it! In fact, the next day she threw Little Kitty on the floor and said, "I don't like THAT kitty any more!" and proceeded to snuggle with Black and White Kitty. We have a new favorite!

This is Eliana's reaction to anything sparkly. She LOVES shiny things! In this case it is a set of shirts with sparkly designs on them. =D

Eliana's first real experience with Santa Claus happened on our trip to Texas, as we were loading into the train. We have taught her that Santa is not real, so her reaction was priceless...

"Mommy? Who IS this crazy man dressed up like Santa Claus??"

"Okay, I'll try to look natural for the picture.... I won't relax my fist, though!"

"Alright... I'll give you as much of a smile as I can muster, but I still don't trust this guy!"

The train ride itself was much better!

We managed to sneak in a few family pictures before the week was over, too!

From Christmas in Texas with Bitikofers

From Christmas in Texas with Bitikofers

And with that I say, "Merry Christmas" and call our updates done! =D

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Christmas Recap

Okay... so now that we're almost a month and a half past Christmas, perhaps it's time to put up some pictures, eh?

We spent Christmas Eve day with Leif's family in Roundup, including his 104 year old great aunt Lillian.

Christmas Eve with Aunt Lillian

Eliana chatted with her and helped her open her gifts.

Christmas Eve with Aunt Lillian

Christmas Eve with Aunt Lillian

Christmas Eve with Aunt Lillian

Then we opened gifts with the family. Eliana got quite a few gifts, including a pretty dress from South America from Uncle Eric, and some toys, and a volcano science kit, and some markers / art supplies. We were all very blessed to get to spend some time with the Wickland family before heading home that afternoon.

Christmas Eve with Wicklands

The next morning was Christmas, and we had our own gift opening, followed by a big breakfast and a trip to the airport to fly to Texas! I think those pictures will have to be in another post, though, so this one doesn't get too long!