Friday, February 25, 2011


Ella and I just got back from a great week in the south…specifically Louisiana and Texas. I didn’t take as many pictures as I wish I had, so I don’t have too many to share.

My paternal grandmother lives in Shreveport, LA, and Ella and I have been trying to get down for a visit. Luckily my parents have been spending the winter down there (who wouldn’t trade below zero temps with snow for sunny 70+ degree weather?), so we were able to spend some time with the whole family.

Yes, Joe was up here in VA being a bachelor, but don’t worry, he didn’t starve. He did lock himself out of the house, but that’s another story for another time. Needless to say, the screen door that is supposed to be on the front of the house is now resting peacefully in our living room.

We left Thursday night and arrived very late. Ella slept on the plane and was less than social when we arrived. She did, however, perk up when we arrived at my brothers house. His twin sons were already in bed, but with a house full of toys Ella suddenly got her second wind. I will say that walking into a house with twin boys is VERY different than our house with one very girly girl. Most of Ella’s toys are pink and have to do with cooking, princesses, etc. Sam and Nate have a house full of race tracks, cars galore, ships, etc. There were 2 dolls which they call “baby sister” (is that a hint to mom and dad?) but other than that it was all boy toys. Ella didn’t care and played with the toys anyway.

Friday morning we headed to Shreveport to spend the weekend with my grandmother. It has been way too long since we’ve been able to spend time there, so Ella and I were both excited to hang out in my dad’s hometown. Of course when we arrived GiGi and Paw Paw had a very special present all the way from Florida. Ella got an authentic Cinderella dress direct from Disney World. It is complete with a puffy skirt, glitter, puffy sleeves and even a huge bow in the back. It was so puffy that Ella claimed she couldn’t sit down. It was even so puffy that it wouldn’t fit in out suitcase on the way home, so GiGi and Paw Paw had to mail it to us. Ella is anxiously awaiting its arrival.

We had so much fun spending the weekend with Maw Maw, GiGi and Paw Paw. Uncle Curby, Aunt Gina and the boys, Sam and Nate, even came over to spend time with the family. It’s always so much fun having everyone together.

Saturday Maw Maw had a little party and invited several of her friends to come by and meet Ella. They have all heard a lot about Ella, and several of them have even sent her special presents. One woman attends a church that prepared prayer blankets for people who are struggling, and they made 2 for Ella. The blankets are so precious and Ella loves to snuggle in them. It was wonderful to meet all of these women! One of my good friends, Jenny, even stopped by. Jenny and I served as missionaries together in Boston and have remained friends. A few years ago she and her husband moved to Shreveport, so whenever we get there for a visit we try to connect.

What shocked me the most was how social Ella was during the party. She decided that it would be best for her to wear her Cinderella dress…it was a party after all. She greeted each person that came into the house and talked to them without a problem. She even gave several of the women hugs, which is HUGE considering she hadn’t met any of them before. And in true Ella fashion she put on not one, but 2 concerts. Ella is so funny. She’s the shyest kid in the world until she’s asked to sing, then suddenly she’s ready to stand in the middle of a bunch of strangers and belt out whatever song comes to mind. Saturday she performed at the beginning of the party (I think she sang You’re a grand old flag, Twinkle Twinkle, and Jesus Loves Me), then toward the end she performed again. She would have continued singing after 3 songs, but her mean mom decided that 3 was enough (if I didn’t limit her she would sing forever). Ella had a great time meeting everyone, but by the time the party was over she was definitely ready for some down time with her Veggie Tales DVD.

More on the rest of our trip tomorrow. I try not to get too long for my loyal readers.

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