Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Card

Holy Family Religious
Modern greeting cards and party invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ella's First Christmas

This past weekend we celebrated Christmas with the Norberg side. We had quite a blast. Watching the kids play with their new toys was so much fun.




Ella received a wooden kitchen set with lots of food, pots and pans, a tea pot set, lego blocks and her first Cabbage Patch Kid-which we cannot leave the house without now. Here are a few pictures of Ella playing with her toys.




Friday, November 5, 2010

Walking!

So we are embarrassed that our last blog was when Ella first crawled. However, we can't promise that we will do more going forward. Chasing this little girl takes a lot of time, and we think it just got harder.

Check out what Ella learned today:


video

Monday, August 23, 2010

I can crawl!

This past weekend Ella started to crawl! At first it was one or two "steps" at a time, but by the end of the weekend she was having no trouble crossing a room.

Here is a quick video of her doing what she loves best: chasing Gracie and her tail.

video

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Say Green?

Today Ella entered the world of vegetables. She had her first taste of green today and did not seem too fond of the idea. Here is her first time with green beans:


video

Cloth Diapering

So, it has been just over a month that our family has been cloth diapering. And, I have to say that we have enjoyed it (and yes, even Jared did come around). One tool that we have loved having while cleaning the poopy diapers is our bumGenius diaper sprayer. It makes cleaning the poop not so disgusting!

We have enjoyed the benefits of cloth diapering. The biggest benefit has been that Ella no longer gets diaper rash-which has to feel good for her. It is also a good reminder that natural is better. Disposables have so many chemicals in them that it cannot be good for babies skin. We have also enjoyed putting fun colors on her rump!

This past week Elegant Mommy (a locally owned store in Sioux Falls) had a fabulous sale on bumGenius 3.0. They were only $12, which is a great deal! They sold out incredibly fast. We wished that we would have bought more but were not sure if we would like them. But, we did!

The two types of diapers we have tried are FuzziBunz and bumGenius 3.0. I have to admit, I wish that we would have bought more bumGenius' than FuzziBunz. They are trimmer, more light weight, and easier to put on because of the velcro. This may not be an issue for some people, but Ella is a mover and a shaker so it tends to get a bit tricky at times when you are trying to snap her up and she is rolling around.

To any of our fellow blog readers who are going to have babies, we would suggest cloth diapering. The laundry isn't much more and it helps keep your baby rash free. It is an investment at the beginning, but the great part is that you can use the diapers for all of your kids and so it pays off in the end and within the first year.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Morning Devotion

Awhile back, my mom gave me a devotional, Moments with the Savior: A Devotional Life of Christ by Ken Gire. I have began to make the devotional part of our morning routine. I know that Ella is too little to understand but she does have ears to hear :). Anyways, I was really struck by a devotion. It was the type of devotion that made the hairs on your arms stand up and that sent a shiver down your spine and that gave you goosebumps.

The scripture that we were richly blessed by was Luke 1:26-38. (This is the passage where Mary answers God's call to be Jesus' mother.) The devotion focused on Mary's response to God: "I am the Lord's servant." What an incredible response! As Ella sat in my lap on this particular morning, I thought very hard about Mary's response to God. And I have to admit, as much as I would like to say I would have had the exact response-I can't say with 100% confidence I would have. It made me think and reflect...a lot.

It is truly amazing how easily those words can come out, "I am your servant," but do I mean those words with all of my heart? What would happen to my life if that was my daily prayer and I meant it whole heartedly? Not would it change how I treated people, but how would it change the way I treated people? Not would it affect my thoughts and feelings, but how would it affect my thoughts and feelings? How would life be different if I truly gave God everything and abandoned my own desires and said, "I am your servant."

At the end of the daily devotions, there is always a prayer and this is where God spoke to me-arm hair standing, goosbump giving, and shivering words that went right to my heart. I would like to share the words of Ken Gire with you (hopefully it is legal to copy this down-but I did credit his book and the page numbers :) ...

Dear Jesus,
What a remarkable person she was, your mother. So highly favored. So greatly blessed. Mary, Mother of God. Help me to hear beyond the liturgical familiarity of those words to their far-reaching implications. Mother of God. Who could be equal to such a task? Who, in any stretch of the imagination, could be qualified
The honor bestowed on her was staggering. So was the responsbility. To be the one not only to bear you but to protect you, raise you, teach you.
I pray that even across so many centuries she could teach me too. There is so much I could learn from her. What wonderful things would be birthed in my life if only I could learn to pray, "I am your servant. May it be to me as you say."
If that were my prayer, how would it affect the thoughts I think, the plans I make, the words that come from my mouth? If I read my Bible this morning with such a response, how different would this afternoon be? How different this afternoon would I be?
"I am your servant." The words seem so religiously correct. But are they really true? Am I really your servant Am I willing to submit to whatever plans you have for my life, regardless of the risk, the cost, the consequences?
"May it be to me as you say." I can say the words so easily. But can I say them honestly? Say them and mean them? Live them?
For years she taught you, Lord, with so many word and in so many ways. It's sad so few have been saved for us. But thank you for saving the words, "I am your servant. May it be to me as you say." If I learn nothing else from her, those words have given me a model not only how to pray but how to live...
(pg. 27-28, Moments with the Savior, Ken Gire)

An Unexpected Phone Call

If you are like me, when the cell phone rings and an unknown number shows up, you ignore it. I hate answering phone calls of unknown numbers because it is usually some sort of solicitior. Now most people would probably have no qualms with listening to a complete stranger on the other end, but I do. I am not good at saying no to unwanted things, or saying no to making donations, or meeting with people for whatever reason.

Today was an exception. I had decided when the number showed up on my phone that I would call the unknown subject back if that person had left a message and today a person did. So, when I listened to the message I was super excited to find out that Robbi was in town and I was lucky enough to get to spend time with her.

Robbi and I have many memories together which began with being co-RA's together in beloved Grand Island Hall. One memory, that will go down in hisotry is when we had to do our first write-up. However, we never could actually do the right up because we could not find the male who was hidden in a GI closet. It's amazing how that door was jammed! Anyways, today more memories were added. We had a few good hours of conversation and then time at the pool with her and a few others.

I love knowing that even though Robbi and I haven't seen each other in at least a year or so that it was like we had never been apart. We just picked up where we left off and it was wonderful. So, thank you Robbi for calling and spending part of your day with Ella and I. Thank you for being the person I was lucky enough to get to call back. It was a delight and you made my day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

Sunday was Jared's first Father's Day. His one request was to have a relaxing day at home and so that is just what we did.

The day started off with Jared and Ella looking at the Sunday Ad's online. He is already teaching her the importance of frugality and she too seems to enjoy it.



After the ads had been looked at we got ready for 8 o'clock church. It was nice to make it to the early service and see friends and family. When church was finished, we headed to Kaladi's to get our favorite breakfast: waffles and a carmel steamer. Then, we headed home and watched Ella jumparoo, which she thoroughly enjoys! The afternoon then consisted of a family nap and a trip to Lowe's and Sonic (happy hour from 2-4) and Jared reading his newest Lee Child book.

It was a wonderful day for a wondeful husband and father!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zoo Trip

This afternoon we met some of our good friends (Allison and Eliza) at the zoo. It was a beautiful day to be out and to enjoy the weather. Our trip lasted almost two hours. It was filled with great conversation and enjoyment watching the kiddos interact with the animals. Well, I guess you could say Eliza did most of the interacting and Ella chimed in a time or two at the goats. Those seemed to be her favorite. They also wore her out because she spent the remainder of the trip sleeping!

Here are a few more pictures!













Monday, June 14, 2010

Fire in the Hole

This summer one of our goals as a family was to not go out to eat-especially on the weekdays. We are on a frugality kick to accomplish some goals we have for the future. Every week, we cut coupons and plan out lunches and dinner for the nights.

Tonight, we were having marinated chicken, rice, and vegetables. So, I started making the rice on the stove. I added my two cups of water and was waiting for the water to boil. I walked out of the kitchen to check on Jared and Ella. From the living room, I thought I heard the water boiling over. I was thinking that was not possible since it was only two cups of water. It is a good thing I walked into the kitchen when I did, because I managed to start a fire!

Out of habit, I turned on the front left burner. Unfortunately, that was not the burner with the rice on it. Instead was our wood cutting board - which had burst into flames. Luckily, I had a pot of water right next to the flame and was able to douse it out!

I've decided to make the rice in the microwave tonight.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

This summer, one of our favorite things to do has been to take an afternoon nap together. However, on this particular afternoon, I could not sleep because I was too busy watching her sleep!

McKennan Park

This week, Ella had her first outdoor swimming experience. We went to McKennan Park with Jenny, Logan, and Grammy. She loved the water and loved playing with everyone as well as watching all of the other kids. I thought I would post a picture of her in complete swim gear. I am biased, but I do think she looks pretty cute!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Visits

Jared and I have discovered an interesting fact about our daughter: she loves to visit the same place every Sunday. You would never be able to guess what place it is she likes to visit, because most kids hate it. Yep, that's right the doctor's office.

Every Sunday, Ella somehow manages to convince us that she needs to go urgent care. Mostly, it has been for her ears. But, not today. Today when we came home from grocery shopping Ella had decided to throw up. It was not just a little bit-it was an enormous amount. It soaked her clothes, my clothes, and her floor. So, of course we naturally bring her to the doctors office thinking it is something serious. All of the baby books say if your child is throwing up you need to take them to get checked out. So, we load up the car and head to the doctor's office. However, once we get there she is completely fine-giggling, talking and smiling.

We are convinced she knows when the on-call doctor is working because he has seen us the past three times we have been there which has been three weeks in a row. He kindly told us with a smile he could tell we were first time parents!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Strike A Pose...

This one is for you Aunt Christin! "Doesn't my rump look cute in my FuzziBunz?"




Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day and Firsts

This weekend we were able to go to down to Sioux Center to visit Chris and Christin. It was a ton of fun (minus the car ride where Ella decided to scream like she was being tortured almost the ENTIRE time)! Chris, Jared, and Christin were able to get a lot of projects accomplished. Ella and I tried to help when possible. I think Ella's favorite thing to do was lay on the bathroom and tell Christin and I stories as we worked in the bathroom. Christin, Ella, and I also had the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather, and great conversation on our walks around Sioux Center. It was picture perfect and wonderful spending time with them.

It was so fun to share Ella's first swimming experience with her aunt and uncle. She loved the water and the hustle and bustle the pool provided. She did not cry once! Unfortunately, the video does not show her giggles and smiles like we were able to enjoy in the pool. I will post videos later. We will defintely be heading to the pool a lot! I think she will become a water bug.

Also, Christin and I experimented with our FuzziBunz cloth diapers. They worked really well and her rumped looked really cute in them. I ordered more because we are going to switch to cloth diapers. Yes, some may think we are crazy but it really isn't that much more work. At least Christin and I have each other for support :) It will also save money and help the environment by not filling up the land-fills. We also found another way to save money: making your own laundry detergent. Jared and I made some last night and tried it out. It works well and was easy to do!

More pictures to come with Ella and her FuzziBunz!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gimme Some More of That...

Today was another first for our family... Ella tried rice cereal for the first time. It appeared that she enjoyed it. You can judge for yourself! It is crazy how fast time has gone. She is already almost five months. We are SO in love with her.



video

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Paver Patio

Angie and I have been wanting a patio in back for some time, and this month we finally accomplished the goal! With the help of family, we now have a paver patio and fireplace to make our backyard experience great.

We've always had a brick grill in the back yard, but the grill portion was so rusted it was unusable. I don't have any true before pictures, but here are some pictures from early in the process through the completed project. We were able to find some flagstone that matches well with the stain we used on the bricks, and used that for the hearth and mantle.





After I had rebuilt the grill into a fireplace, we started on the patio. My dad Stan, brother Tyler, and uncle Paul Ritter were able to help me out, and I would not have been able to finish it without them. Digging out 6+ tons of dirt and replacing it with 6 tons of gravel and sand is a lot of work!





We have finished all the stone work, and just have to finish setting up the furniture and planters. I will be sure to get up a completed picture when everything is finished!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I Am A Big Girl!

Some of you are probably amazed that we have written more blogs in one week than we had in over a month! Believe us, we are too.

Any of you who know Ella, know that she is a mover and shaker. She loves to look and discover new things. Lately, she has been working on standing when we hold her, so we decided it was time to break out the exersaucer. Here is some footage of her playing with her new toy!

video

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend

Due to an extended break for Angie, and some PTO days for myself, we've had an extra-long weekend. We were able to squeeze in a picnic, a trip to Iowa, lots of walks and time with families

Our weekend started on Wednesday with us getting a lot of projects done around the house. One project we've wanted to do for a while is to sew a nursing cover for a friend. With Angie hard at work at that project, I decided to use a scrap of the fabric to give Ella this sweet headband. It slipped a bit, and had to be removed. She could deal with the headband, but not the blindfold.


On Thursday, we were able to have a picnic at McKennan Park with our friends Allison and Eliza. It was great fun! After the picnic we headed down to George. Aunt Christin was there scrapbooking with Grandma Fluth. Ella got plenty of attention all day.


On Friday, I went back to work. My Aunt and Uncle, Paul and Jan, offered to watch Ella after work so Angie and I were able to go out on a date. Unfortunately, we didn't have the relaxing time we had dreamed of. Our first mistake was going to Joey's Seafood Restaurant during lent (long wait). That wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the awkward seating arrangement, loud people next to us, and angry people waiting for our table. We ended up going to B&G for dessert, so the date was definitely salvaged.

On Saturday, I really wanted to get caught up on some yard work. Luckily I was able to get a lot done because Angie took Ella shopping with Angie's Sister, Nephew, and Mom. Here is Ella ready for her first "Girl's Shopping Day" (Sorry Logan).


After shopping, Ella was so exhausted! In fact, she fell asleep while Angie had her sitting on her lap. Literally she went from looking around and smiling to a deep sleep in a matter of five seconds.
Today was Easter Sunday and Ella had a beautiful Easter dress. This picture doesn't due the best job of showing the dress, but she does have a cute smirk so we thought we should share.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Explosive!

We do not have any pictures, but you wouldn't want one anyway.

Up until this point, we have been fortunate not to have been pooped or peed on...until today. As I was chatting on the phone with my sister, Jared kindly decided to prepare Ella for her bath. As he was running the water, I heard a yell from the bathroom. I was wondering what was happening. Figuring it wasn't all that bad, I went to the bathroom 5 minutes later. I should have came sooner! Ella decided her tummy was full and need to make room. So, what'd she do? She pooped on the counter, the sink, her dad, and basically the entire bathroom. To make things better, Gracie decided she needed to join in on the action to try and help clean it up with her tongue. She was quickly shooed out of the bathroom. So, we got Ella in the bathtub and started the process when we began to see bubbles come from the water. At first, it was just the toots, but was shortly followed by the real thing. So, we had to repeat the process again.

Ella did not seem to mind; she smiled through the whole ordeal.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Want A Horsey!

For Christmas, Ella's uncle Chris made her a beautiful rocking horse. We can't wait until she is big enough to ride it, and we think she feels the same!


Milestones

Well...we were talking this morning and decided we were either going to quit our blog or get on the stick and start writing. We have realized there are so many things that we could write about! So, here you go!

Ella has:

-discovered her tounge and now chews on it

-discovered that her smile melts her parent's heart

-discovered she can use her voice, so she has been busy cooing
-discovered it is really fun to grab things and put them in her mouth (her favorite is her toy elephant)
-discovered it is not fun to get her nose sucked out
-discovered it is not fun to be in the hospital

We have had an amazing time watching her grow and learn new things. We could sit for hours and just watch her, and sometimes we do. Thankfully, our families do not expect a spick and span house!




Friday, February 5, 2010

Precious Moment

Well, it has been a few weeks since we updated our blog. Ella has continued to grow strong and healthy. She is a very good eater and is putting on some weight. Her belly is defintely growing and she is getting chubby cheeks! We think she is pretty precious.

This past week our family had a scare. We found out Tuesday morning that Grandpa Eben had a stroke. Thankfully, he is recovering well. He was able to regain movement in his right side very quickly which was a huge answer to prayer.

We went to the hospital Tuesday afternoon. It was Ella's first trip to Iowa and she did quite well. The key is to make sure she is fed and tired before putting her in the car. It was very important for us to have Ella go visit Great Grandpa Eben because he has only seen her one previous time. He was able to hold her and we were able to capture a precious moment. We hope and pray that she has many more precious moments with her great grandparents!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Week 2

It is hard to believe that Ella is 2 weeks old. It is crazy how fast the time goes! Jared returned to work this week and did half days. It has been nice to slowly ease back into days by myself. Jared has been such a great help and I am so thankful he has great work flexibility and time off to take. I do not know how I could have done this by myself the first weeks. We have said a lot of prayers for single mothers. I do not know how they get through the days.

A glimpse into our daily routine goes like this: wake up, change diaper, eat, some awake time, then sleep time...repeat this process continually.

Ella still has been a good sleeper for us, which we are very thankful for! If you know us, you know how much Jared and I love our sleep. God was watching out for us! In fact, we have a hard time taking our eyes off her when she is sleeping because she is very expressive! Here is a short clip to show you...We hope you enjoy as much as we do!


video

Here are some random pictures we hope you enjoy as well!

Sometimes it is very difficult to wake Ella up. Here is one morning feeding where Ella wished that we would just leave her sleep!




Relaxing in the bouncer.


Time with Grandma Fluth.



Time with Grandma Norberg.



Cousin Logan getting his first peek at Ella.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week One at Home

We've survived our first week at home! It seems unbelievable that Ella is already 9 days old, but we have done our best to treasure each moment as it arrives. We've also tried to capture as many of them in photos as we can, and we'll try to share them as well.

On our way out of the hospital we discovered that Ella's bilirubin numbers were too high, so we have spent some time this past week on the lovely "Wallaby 3" system. While a bit cumbersome, I think it actually soothes Ella as she sleeps (something her parents greatly appreciate). It also makes her look like a pretty cute glowworm.


We have also enjoyed the many faces of Ella, it seems her expression is constantly changing!

We've been blessed by the fact that Ella is a good sleeper. We have been waking her up during the night after 4 hours so she can eat. We are really praying that her sleep continues in this manner, it has really helped us as we try to avoid exhaustion. This is Ella this morning as she was having a difficult time waking up for breakfast.


We were thankful today that Ella's sleep/eat schedule aligned well so we could attend church this morning. Here is Ella and Daddy after getting ready for church.


This afternoon some of us are watching the Vikings/Cowboys game, and others are napping. Clearly 3/4ths of the family has decided to nap!