Wednesday, November 25, 2009


We took the kids to a friend's birthday party today and they got to go bowling.  For Madilyn and Jacob, it was their first time.  Benjamin had been a couple of times when he was younger while we lived in Kentucky, but, of course, he doesn't remember.  Here's some pics of the fun they had:

What a fun time!  It was hysterical watching them pick up the balls...we couldn't find any that weighed less than 10 lb, but they didn't want any help.  They did pretty good...better than Mommy and Daddy did, anyways.  Thanks for inviting us, Dayton!  We hope you had a great 6th birthday!
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Need Your Opinion...

I just tried my hand at creating my own blog layout.  I had been using pre-created ones from The Cutest Blog on the Block, but decided to try making my own.  I even did the banner at the top of this page.  What do ya think?  There's still some things I need to tweek, but I'd say it's not too shabby for being my first attempt.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

End of an Era...

About a year ago, I went to a "paint-your-own" pottery shop here in Abilene and painted my first-ever ceramic platter.  For those of you who have been to my house since then, you might have seen it up on my fireplace mantle.  It has "The Ellerbrook Family" written in the middle of the platter...with each of our names written around the edge.  And, if I do say so myself, it looks pretty darn good for my first time. 

But, ever since I made that platter, I've always had this "secret" fear that I might accidentally get pregnant, again, even though we hadn't planned on having more kids...which, if you know our history, you know that's not an unreasonable fear (do I need to remind anyone that both 3 & 4 were not planned surprise blessings from God?).  Then, if I did get pregnant, I would have to paint a new platter (the first one took me over 15 hours and going to the pottery place 4 times to finish...which is not an easy feat with small children at home). 

Well, it's the end of an era for us Ellerbrooks.  As of this past Thursday, our family has been firmly established as a family of 6.  This "baby-factory" is closed, assuming the procedure Lou had done is effective at preventing what it's suppose to prevent (more Ellerbrook children).  While Lou is recovering from this, apparently, very traumatic procedure (probably wouldn't be quite so traumatic if a stomach bug that has been passed around in our family hadn't been so lovingly shared with Daddy), I have been having mixed emotions about the whole ordeal.  Do I really want more kids?  No, but then again, maybe...sometimes.  Does Lou want more kids?  Heck, no.  So there you have it, folks. 

I get to enjoy my platter just the way it is...with 6 names.  I finally get to shop for coordinating Christmas stockings without the worry of trying to find one or two more (or however many subsequent children we had) two or three years down the road.  I can start sorting through baby and kid's clothes and giving them away/selling them after Noah outgrows the boys' clothes and Madilyn outgrows the girl's clothes (my garage and storage shed are going to thank me!!).  I get to throw away all my yucky, extremely-worn maternity clothes (seriously, if I had to look at those for one more pregnancy, I really think I was going to scream).  And, most importantly, I can enjoy all of these milestones that my four kids are reaching, able to fully appreciate them because I know that they pass by way too quickly and they will not be babies for long.

It may be the end of one era for us....but the beginning of an exciting, new one.  One that we will get to journey on together...just the six of us.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Family Pics

For those of you who don't Facebook, I thought I'd post a couple of pictures that our good friend and photographer, Jamie, took of us about a month ago. Some of these were taken at the zoo in Abilene. Some of them were taken at Hardin-Simmons University. And we even got some good ones at Rosa's, after dinner with Robert, Jamie, and Maddie Jane. Don't look to close, though, because you'll see food on the kids' shirts. Well, except for Jacob. We made him take his shirt off (yes, he was sitting in Rosa's shirtless). What can I say? I didn't really wanted the cheese nachos he ate for dinner to make the pictures.

My lovely husband bought me Photoshop when we got our new computer and I have been playing around on it, lately, trying to learn the program. Here are some black and white pictures that Jamie took that I edited. All of our kids have gorgeous blue eyes, so I wanted to make them "pop" in these black and white pics.

These last three I edited to make them look old fashioned.

This last one is my very favorite that Jamie took. So sweet!!!

Just wish there was some way we could have gotten Noah in there. Oh well! He wasn't very cooperative that day anyway. It was getting close to bedtime and the kid LOVES to sleep (his favorite activity right after eating).

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Would Someone Please Stop This Boy?

You see this boy? So cute, such a "baby", still.

And he should be...he's only 9 months old.

So why in the world has he already been doing this....

AND this....

for over two months?
And can somebody please stop him before I turn around and he's asking for the keys to the car?

Ok, so this last picture deserves an explanation...the kids were playing dress-up and didn't want Noah to feel left he got what little part of a costume he would let me put on him before he was "off" doing what all crawlers like to know, crawl. And for those of you wondering...he's a pirate, not a thug.
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Our Comedian

This boy right here, our 3 year old, is quite the comedian.

Stubborn, yes. Hard-headed, absolutely. Whiney, you bet. But he is HYSTERICAL. Case in point...

Let me just preface this dialogue between Jacob and I by saying two things: 1) When the kids are fighting with one another and they come tattle...if there is no blood or no broken bones, I will often say, "I don't want to hear guys go work it out," and 2) Lou and I are pretty sarcastic people, for those of you who didn't know when one of us asks the other to do something, let's say like, "Would you please run out to the car and grab my purse?" or "Can you please go grab me a towel?", etc....the other one will often, jokingly, respond with, "Seriously?!!?" So now that you have a little background info, here's how the conversation went:

Mommy: Jacob, you really need to finish your dinner. If you don't eat, you'll go to bed hungry. Mommy is NOT going to cook anything else for dinner. This is what we're having, so please eat. (This is about the 50th time I've tried to convince him to eat what was on his plate...mind you).

Jacob: Mommy, I don't want to hear it....SEWIOUSWY! (That would be Jacob-talk for Seriously)

Ok, now tell me how I'm suppose to "discipline" him for talking back when he's so darn cute (and believe me, we are firm believers in our children respecting and obeying us). But, shoot, that was so darn funny!

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First Day of School

Ok, I know....I'm a little behind on the postings. Here's pics of Benjamin's and Madilyn's first day of school:

Our First Grader

Our Pre-Kindergartner

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Love This Girl!!

Couldn't resist posting this pic...isn't she just beautiful? Of course, I'm not biased or anything.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Pictureless Update

I promise....I will post pictures soon. But, for now, wanted to give a "quick" update (yeah, there is such a thing with a family of 6). We have one week of "summer" left...which I can NOT believe. It seems like just yesterday that I was picking Benjamin up on his last day of kindergarten and thinking, "What are we going to do this summer to keep this inquisitive, energetic, inquiring little boy from being bored out of his mind and keep his love for learning growing?" And now, two months later, I'm thinking "What in the world did we do this summer to keep this inquisitive....?"

Well, we certainly were not bored!! Each of the three older kids took swim lessons (Benjamin even got to take them twice, taking private lessons for two weeks and class lessons for two weeks). We saw some movies, went to story hour every Thursday at the Clyde Public Library. Spent a total of about 25 days in Lubbock (not all at once, but, still, that's a LOT of time in L-town!). Benjamin got to spend even more time than that there since he got to spend an entire week-and-a-half there by himself with Nana and Papa and Mom-mu and Grandad. We were able to see some great friends from Amherst and catch up. We got to celebrate my grandparent's 60th Wedding Anniversary, celebrate the birth of two new cousins (Welcome Hallie and Lucas!), and celebrate the dedication of the new Fellowship Hall at our church that my husband has been working countless hours on (he's such a trooper). We celebrated Lou's 31st birthday, my 32nd birthday, and our 9th Wedding Anniversary. And, probably one of the most exciting things is Jacob has started making some progress in being potty-trained (baby steps but, hey, these baby steps are getting us one step closer to having one more kid out of diapers/pull-ups and more money in our bank account). He has definitely not been in any kind of hurry...and we still have a ways to go before we can declare him "potty-trained", but it looks like he may NOT be starting kindergarten in a couple of years in a diaper afterall.

And one week from today, we will be celebrating two of the kids going to school! Benjamin will be starting 1st grade and Madilyn will be going to Pre-K. Jacob will be king of the crib (well, except for his little brother who, with each passing month and reached milestone, will definitely be trying to dethrone the current "reigning" king). Our family will definitely be adjusting to these new "normals".

Our family has also struggled with health issues this summer. Our little Noah has had ear infections since January. He had 9 or 10 infections (I lost count) before he had ear tubes put in just a little over a month ago. Poor thing has lived in pain for most of his life. I don't remember having ear infections as a kid, but not long after Benjamin had his 1st set of tubes put in (back in Nov. of 2003), I had an ear infection. It was MISERABLE! I can NOT imagine living with that pain for months. But now he seems to be pain-free! And enjoying life like every 8 month old should. He's been crawling and pulling up for over a month. And he is quick...the little booger can crawl in circles around the house before I can even manage to fix breakfast for the kids (and when I say fix breakfast, I mean pour a bowl of cereal for each of the three older ones and mix baby cereal for Noah).

And then there's the health issues of my "biggest kid"...that would be Lou for those of you who were thinking I was talking about Benjamin. He has had issues of fainting, light-headedness, dizziness, nauseousness, etc. After a few days of this, he finally let me take him to the doctor only for them to tell him they didn't know what was causing this. But while there, they did find that he has some swelling in his colon. So he gets to experience his first colonoscopy this Friday. Hopefully all will come back normal and we can breathe a little bit easier.

Fall is definitely closing in on us...not only with the start of school just around the corner, but with a calendar full of activites. Madilyn started ballet tonight and sometime in the next couple of weeks Benjamin will be starting his fourth season of soccer--this season, he moves up to the next age group. MOPS will start in a couple of weeks, as well, and I will try to juggle Monday MOPS meetings for me and MOPPETS for the kids and weekly playdates, as well as being on the leadership team. Church activities/Bible studies will start soon. Lou's calendar will soon fill with nightly meetings occurring 3 or 4 times a week (an indication that charge conference is just around the corner). Softball started back up tonight and will occupy his Monday nights for the next few months.

May the start of Fall commence...then, maybe I can take a vacation from my summer vacation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Breaking the Silence...

I know it's been over three months since I've posted anything. Sorry...I've got to be better. The kids and I leave for Lubbock tomorrow while Lou is in Chicago at a conference on Developing Congregations. When we get back, I promise to post some pictures of the kids and an update on what's been going on in our crazy house.

But, for now, I'm breaking the three months of silence (at least from my blog) by asking you to please pray for Stellan McKinney and his mom, Jennifer, and his dad, Israel (along with his three siblings). To read his story, go to his mom's blog (whom I've been following for over a year now). This precious baby is truly a miracle, but is not doing well right now at all. As a mom, who has experienced the fear, the questions, the horror of not knowing for sure if your baby is going to pull through, I know, to a degree, what it's like to watch your baby fight for his/her life and not be able to do a darn thing about it. You, our dear friends and family, were there to lift us up in prayer and carry us through that difficult couple of weeks with Madilyn (only a TINY fraction of what the McKinney family has gone through). Please, please pray for him and his family as they are going through this trying and difficult time. They desperately need our prayers. Thanks, friends!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter 2009

Easter was alot of fun this year. Benjamin and Madilyn are really starting to understand what it is all about--the real reason we celebrate Easter. We had Nana and Papa here--as well as Aunt Rachel, Uncle Jeremy, Cousin Pacey, Aunt Abigail, Uncle Alex, Cousin Blake, and Cousin Jadyn.

Jacob did not mess around when it came to finding eggs--he was on a mission.

Madilyn is searching....

Benjamin is looking for eggs that are actually "hidden"...we told him to save the ones on the ground in plain sight for the little kids, and he did. He actually did a good job of helping them fill their baskets, too.Nana with Noah.
Here's the kids after they found all the eggs.

I was not able to get all four kids in one picture. Noah was napping while I took the older three kid's picture. So he got his own picture.

Smiling for Aunt Rachel.

Random Pics

The kids were in our bed one morning watching cartoons while Daddy made pancakes.

Catching Benjamin and Madilyn in a sweet moment with Noah. What a sweet big brother and big sister!! I'm sure Noah wishes they would stay out of his face.
Madilyn and Jacob were suppose to be in bed (their own beds), instead we catch Jacob in Madilyn's bed and Madilyn is reading a book to was too cute!! So cute, in fact, it was hard to discipline Jacob for getting out of his bed.

Jacob was at church with Lou watching the construction trucks work as they build our fellowship hall...and he had to play with his excavator (or, as he says, 'ecabator') as he watched the "real" thing.