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Our Ella Joy is 8!!

Can you believe that this beautiful young lady is MY daughter?!?! I can’t. We are SO SO blessed by Ella.  Yesterday we celebrated her 8th birthday here in sunny, rainy, cloudy, snowy, BEAUTIFUL Colorado Springs.  Her birthday wish came true. Daddy was out of Iraq and we were all together for her birthday! We had a simple, fun day together as a family.  I loved it.  I asked her what she wanted for all her meals, as usual.  She got the day off from homeschooling, but read 2 short chapter books anyway :)–that was what she wanted to do…Read, come along to Riah’s PT appointment with me, wrestle with Daddy, snuggle and watch a movie! I love this girl.  On Saturday, we did a birthday outing with Erin and her kids to the Focus on the Family Headquarters!! IT was so fun!! Ella, Caleb and her Daddy got to do their own Adventures

in Odyssey recording in a real radio studio…super awesome!  We even got our own copy of the CD with Ella’s voice in the story! Ella got to pick out her own Bible for her birthday gift and we had a super sweet day.  We started a new Bible curriculum once we arrived here in CO…I LOVE IT and so do the kids….check it out

here. It is a fabulous, no frills, in depth study through the Bible!! The author is a homeschool mom of 6 and has come up with the BEST Bible study for multi-age levels that I’ve found so far.  It makes my day, every day.  The kids are loving it too! Last night as Ella had a little reading time before bed, she was reading out of Genesis 22:5   …God showed HER through HIS WORD this verse…”WE will worship and then WE will come back to you…” This was from the story of Abraham and Isaac…when Abraham was called to take Isaac up on the mountain in obedience to God…The LORD helped her to see this…that Abraham spoke out of faith, saying WE WILL come back.  She said, “How did Abraham know they would both be back??” Dave and I were SO encouraged to see how faithful the Lord is–how powerful His Word is and that He desires to reveal things to His children.  (Dave and I didn’t catch that awesome fact in Genesis until we heard it in a sermon a few years ago :)!)

Back to my awesome Ella 🙂

Ella is a strong and gentle leader in our home.  God has given her such a heart of compassion and nurturing.  She has a love for learning and especially for reading!! She loves to study the Bible with me and has memorized SO much Scripture this year through our home and mostly through her AWANAS group at church!! She is an observer and LOVES to make friends…she has the gift of making friends with almost anyone at any age.  She loves to teach and help!  I remember when I was pregnant I had a couple of other older moms tell me how BLESSED I

would be to have my oldest be a daughter…Now I see why.  She is like a second mom in our home. She has a sweet servant spirit and sees many needs and simply fills them, especially if it involves helping with the younger kids! Today we started something new. Ella will be a big buddy to Riah each day.  She will be spending maybe a half hour doing preschool type activities and some activities to encourage Riah to use her left hand more!! Ella lit up when Dave and I asked her if she’d be willing to be Riah’s teacher during the day.  She tackled it today with such JOY and she worked with her for over an hour!! This is such a gift to Riah, who adores Ella –it is so fun for Ella to get to have freedom and responsibility with something like this, and it is a HUGE help to me too!!

Since we’ve arrived here in CO, Ella’s spirit is more at peace again.  She is so so happy when our family is together and when her Daddy is here.  She has always had such an awesome relationship with him…which I am SO thankful for.

Ella is our natural athlete! She is totally incredible.  It was fun to watch her excel this year and within just 6 weeks of swim lessons be moved up to the YMCA Homeschool Swim Team.  They really swam laps for nearly an hour!! I couldn’t believe it, but she is STRONG.  I found this year in my search for some outside the home activities that

the Y has great Homeschool classes!! IT was incredibly awesome for us and something that helped us through the deployment and long days in our rainy land 🙂  Check out your local YMCA…it is so much more affordable than all the other ‘extra curricular’ activities I looked into…it’s especially affordable if you’re in the military!!  Ella also LOVES her dance parties, and most especially WRESTLE time with Daddy!!

Last night as we sat around the table celebrating Ella, telling her what we loved about her, I recounted her birth story!! (Something I love to do on each of my kids’ birthdays…)  I was in awe of God’s grace in the last 8 years.  This one came out yelling–ready to tackle the world…she was the initial ‘fire’ of parenting that the Lord chose for me.  She was strong willed from the beginning.  She was NOT an easy baby, but by God’s grace and love in her heart, she is following Him, desiring to obey and learning what it means to pour out day after day in an awesome, but demanding family role.  I love seeing how God is using her to lead the other kids…I love seeing Him grow her heart…I love seeing her natural gifts with babies, animals…anything living.  She has a heart to serve others as a nurse…she loves anything involving medicine and the human body!! I wonder who she got that from?!?!

I often think of how the Lord chooses our children for us. I could not be more in awe of His choosing.  I love my Ella Joy…she is our ‘deep Joy’ just as the Lord spoke to our hearts when she was still inside of me.  I praise Him for His gracious hand in her life and for blessing our lives with her spirit!!

I love you, Bug…you are beautiful to me…inside and out!! And, you’ll always be my Little One!



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