Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer Reading Program Finale!

Ellie's been reading lots of books from the library this Summer and has been involved in the Reading Program that they have. They had a Grand Finale for the kids, and Granna and Papaw took Ellie for us. We've had a crazy week around here... too many things to even mention!! We were thankful for a little bit of time to catch up on things. Despite the heat and the hundreds of people there, I think they had a fun time. Here are some pictures that Dan took of the event.

Yummy Blueberries!

We were so excited to take Ellie on her first berry picking adventure! Her Uncle Tim and Aunt Leslie have oodles and oodles of blueberries on their property and invited us to pick some! Ellie didn't quite manage to get any into the basket to take home - she probably ate a quart while we were picking!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Phelps Family Reunion 2008

What a blast we had at the 2008 Phelps Family Reunion. Unlike many family reunions, we spent more than just one afternoon together! Chris' Dad and his three brothers (and all the children and grandchildren that go along with them) had a special get together before the extended Phelps Reunion on Sunday afternoon. We had a huge cabin and spent Thursday night, Friday, and Saturday together and did so many fun things! Lots of really yummy food, continuous playmates for Ellie, chatting and catching up from the year, and enjoying a wonderful mountain view. Ellie enjoyed swimming in the hot tub (it was actually cool though!), playing with all her cousins, a fun hike to a waterfall, swimming at the "beach" (actually the creek, but she thinks it's the beach!), a trip through the Forbidden Caverns, mining for Gems in Pigeon Forge, hearing the Tee-de-Tah song (which she is still singing!) and so many other fun memories!! We look forward to next year already! Here are a bunch of pictures from out trip.

Nana and Poppy's House!

We started our journey to the Phelps Reunion by driving up to Bristol, TN on Wednesday afternoon. We stayed the night there, then headed the rest of the way to Rural Retreat, Virginia, and were able to spend part of the day Thursday with Nana, Poppy, and Jennifer. My cousin Carmen was there, too!! Elliana especially enjoyed seeing their rabbits, and was even able to hold one. Nana is working on scrapbooking her pictures (she has soooo many!) We were able to sit and look at a lot of old pictures and hear stories from past generations. What a great time we had together!

Elliana's Very Own Playground!

Elliana loves the swingset ("playground" is what she calls it!) that Papa John and Mimi got for her. Chris did such a great job putting it up - a little more difficult than it looks, I might add! :) She asks everyday to play on it. I know this will be something that will get lots of use in the years to come!

July 4, 2008

The highlight of our July 4th holiday this year was going up to see the firework display on Signal Mountain. We went with mom and my sister Shannon, and a family friend - Pari, and had such a fun time! Elliana was scared of them at first and kept saying "Don't like those fireworks", but warmed up to them a little bit towards the end - just in time for the grand finale! We wished we could have had a video tape of her facial expression when she saw all the fireworks at the end - still not sure if she was absolutely terrified or what! They made quite an impression on her - she talked about them for days after!!


We got out paints one day and had a great time.... a messy time, but a great time! Ellie wanted to paint a picture for Daddy using blue paint. While she was painting it I told her that it looked like a blue ocean to me. She responded in a very matter-of-fact way and said, "No... it's not blue ocean, just blue water." She was so proud to show Daddy the blue water when he got home!!

Beautiful Flowers

We have greatly enjoyed the beautiful flowers we have growing in our backyard! Elliana and I set out one day to make a centerpiece for our kitchen table. We thought it turned out great - fresh flowers add such a special touch to a home.

Discovery Museum Visit

We enjoyed a fun time at the Creative Discovery Museum with our friends John and Jesse. Ellie loves to see the "the boys" and had such a fun time with them!

Ready for the Pool!!!

This was a day that Ellie was going to spend the afternoon with her Mimi at the pool!! She was so excited and couldn't wait to get out the door.

Tea Party

Despite her love for dirt and tomboy activities, Elliana loves having tea parties with her Mama. One evening Daddy even joined in on our tea party... too bad I didn't get a picture of that!!

What an Imagination!

Elliana Joy has quite an imagination. She has a set of Bible story felts and loves to sit and put the pieces on her felt board. The cross scene is the most fascinating to her. She likes to talk about how Jesus "has lots of blood." We pray that at an early age Elliana will come to understand exactly what that blood means.

Making Bread - the easy way!

Ellie loves to help in the kitchen. One of our favorite things to do it make bread dough in the breadmaker, then bake it in the oven. It works out great that way - saves a lot of work, too!

All Dressed Up for Church

These are a few pictures we took one Sunday morning before church.

Visiting a Chicken Farm!

While we've been looking for a church and visiting around, we've really made some wonderful new friends! We were invited to Brian, Rebekah, and Tori's house for dinner and to see their chicken farm - what fun we had!! I was so excited to get to see behind the scenes of a commercial farm - I always thought I would love to do something like that. Seeing all the work that a farm involves, we've decided that we don't think commercial farming would be so much fun. Maybe one day we'll have some land, chickens, cows, goats... Until then, I'm perfectly content not having 100,000 or more little chicks to take care of!!

A Little Dirt Won't Hurt!

Dirt... Sand... Rocks... describe Elliana's favorite toys right now! She is perfectly content to sit and dig and pick up interesting rocks. She's also developing quite an interest in insects. She was digging in the dirt the other day and pulled up a worm. She brought it to me - in two pieces!! She had a wiggly side in both hands and said "Mama, look... I broke this bug!"