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YOU MONKEYS YOU! You give me back my caps!

November 9, 2009
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Mom and Dad went to Pennsylvania to Beaver Stadium for the OSU game this weekend. They said it was awesome, and probably even more fun than home games because the traveling fans are all HXC Bucks fans. Mom said the Buckeye crowd stood up and cheered the entire game. My parents had a really great get-away weekend and I’m glad for them.

Meanwhile Les house-sat (because of Great Grandma Ginny). She is awesome and took Adry overnight on Saturday so that Ben and I could have a date, and then the next day she prepared Sunday lunch for all of us. She is so great, I love her.

Well, it was honestly a rollercoaster of a weekend for me- lowest of lows, highest of highs type of deal. But in the end everything was more than okay. My heart is so full. My life is so full. I’m holding on to that.
On Sunday night, I don’t know how it got started, but we began going through my dad’s case of keepsakes and memories in the family room. You’ve probably noticed it in pictures before. Here’s a cropped picture of the case:
It was really neat to rehear a lot of the stories behind those items because I’d forgotten many of them. My grandpa (my dad’s dad who passed away when I was 11) brought back all sorts of awesome stuff from other countries he’d been to. At the top of the case (cut off at the right side) is an authentic (as in not touristy– grandpa didn’t want touristy items so he got a man to sell it to him) drum used for dancing and celebrating in New Guinea. Then, up on the fireplace mantel (top center of picture) is a real ice age stone axe head. Dad said it wouldn’t be unlikely that it was used to kill a person. A Mayan calendar is above that. There was also a Chinese calligraphy brush, a pretty letter opener from Argentina, and many other things.

Dad also has stuff in there from his personal life memories like his own grandfather’s barber straight razors (he had a barber shop), and a smurf figurine that my mom got for him when they were teenagers; he’d set it up by his drum set when he’d play shows. And Matt about had a heart attack when dad pulled out our all time favorite childhood book CAPS FOR SALE! He’d been concerned about finding it for months, and you should have seen his face when dad pulled it out of the case- he seriously flipped. All three of us distinctly remember how dad used to read the book to us every night. He must have read it to us hundreds of times. Matt and I simultaneously broke out into a fit of shaking our fists and exclaiming, “YOU MONKEYS, YOU! You give me back my caps!” the way dad used to. Gosh, we had such a great childhood.

Anyway, it all gave me a renewed appreciation for that case and all of the things dad has in that family room. It was fun to look through it and hear all of the history and stories connected to each little treasure.

And, on another note, I HAVE to share this video with you. My parents have a boom box in the family room by the fireplace, and of course Adryel has discovered how to turn it on and turn it up. He’s not satisfied until his music is LOUD. So, in this video he is groovin’ and gettin’ down to the music and he keeps turning up the volume. As he is dancing he bumps the station tuner so the music turns to static and it startles him so bad he about jumps out of his pants. So funny.


We ended the night with the greatest game of Uno ever in the history of Uno. Throughout the entire game I laughed so hard my belly hurt, and I needed that. We learned that my dad might be the greatest strategist in the world, but luck is definitely not on his side. The man cannot win a game of luck to save his life.


Oh the fun that ensues weekday mornings at the Ellwood household:
They have fun zooming around the house at breakfast time.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Seventeen Again. Er, for the First Time

September 28, 2009
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Sometimes people tease Jacob for resembling Zach Efron. I don’t see it. The hair maybe? But J is so much less dweebie than Zach Efron, bleck.

And, as of September 25th, he is SEVENTEEN! So, since I spent all of his birthday weekend doing wedding things, we all went out for a celebratory lunch at Spaghetti Warehouse on Sunday.

Becca, J The Birthday Boy, Sean

Meredith is starting a new business called The Cakecupery. She is making delicious (homemade from scratch) cupcakes for delivery. I believe she is targeting the OSU campus market and wants to be on the Buckeye ID card swipes. Each cupcake comes in its own little box with a napkin included, and for events like birthdays she includes balloons and such. So, mom put in an order for Jacob’s birthday:
Eventually the Chinese boxes will be replaced with white boxes with her logo on it. I think it is SUCH a cute idea!! And they were DELICIOUS!!!!! Not kidding, they were excellent!!! Seriously– if you have a birthday or a kid’s birthday coming up, I WILL GIVE YOU HER CONTACT INFO! πŸ™‚


Singing Happy Birthday to MATT! Hahaha. (Mom accidently gave the waiter the WRONG name, LOL.)

See how festive Mer’s cupcake boxes make everything?! (Seriously- I recommend it πŸ˜‰


Becca is so cute πŸ™‚

Later that day Adry fell in love with the cupcake balloons.
He kept saying, “Whoooaa!”




He is looking so toddler!




I don’t know why I love this picture.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

SHINE! Make ’em Wonder What You’ve Got.

September 25, 2009
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Sometimes God picks up a band and carries them straight to my heart.
This time it is Relient K.
Good old Relient K.
This isn’t the first time they’ve been the vehicle by which God brings me to Him, to be quiet and listen.
Thanks, guys, for being raw and honest.

Speaking of bands and music and God…

You know what days I truly miss to the core of my soul? The epic Big Christian Band days (Newsboys, Audio A, DC Talk). The Kings of Christian Rock, the Jesus Freak Movement.

I mean, DCT took a derogatory label and turned it around so Christians wore it as a badge of honor– they propelled the CRAZY, huge, influential Jesus Freak movement. I mean, stuff like that just… doesn’t happen anymore.

I miss standing in a sea of 80,000 people throwing Capn’ Crunch in the air. Things felt so different– everything fostered community; everything brought people together to the same battlefront to fight a common enemy.

***In the middle of a quiet and cool summer night, one boy felt the spirit moving so he began skanking down a gravel path to the music in his head. He passed a group of kids that felt the magic and followed suit behind him. And then another group. And then a lonely girl lined up, too, and felt like she belonged. Before long people were being passed left and right by the exponentially growing train of silent skankers. And it wasn’t just about the skanking; it was about belonging to something bigger than yourself, it was about stepping outside the box of restrained praise and worship and giving a new and wonderful shout out to the creator God; it was about joining hands with brothers and sisters and saying, "you’re not alone- we chose the straight and narrow, but we will unite and rejoice."***——– That skanking boy was my brother, and I miss those kinds of experiences.

And now I feel like everything is so whiney and isolated. We are either "casting first stones and killing [our] own" or we are so morally lazy because we are devoting our energy to appearing accepting, tolerant, and non-judgmental. God forbid we stand up for something controversial, God forbid we offend anyone. God forbid we come down with a case of the Christian Crazies, aaahhh!!!

We are DULL. Our light is fading. We are growing neautral and passive and lukewarm. "I know your deeds; you are neither hot or cold! I wish you were one or the other. Because you are lukewarm I will spew you from my mouth. […] Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repentant." –Revelation ch. 3.

Dull as dirt, you can´t assert the kind of light that might persuade a strict dictator to retire, fire the army, teach the poor origami.
The truth is in, the proof is when, you hear your heart start asking, "What´s my motivation?"

And try as you may, there isn´t a way to explain the kind of change that would make an Eskimo renounce fur,
that would make a vegetarian barbecue hamster,
unless you can trace this about-face to a certain sign…

Out of the shaker and onto the plate;
it isn´t Karma,
it sure ain´t fate that would make a Deadhead sell his van, that would make a schizophrenic turn in his crayons.
Oprah freaks and science seeks a rationale that shall excuse this strange behavior

When you let it shine you will inspire the kind of entire turnaround that would make a bouncer take ballet (even bouncers who aren’t happy).
But out of the glare with nowhere to turn, you ain´t gonna learn it on "What´s My Line?"

Make ´em wonder what you´ve got,
make ´em wish that they were not
on the outside looking bored.
Let it shine before all men,
let´em see good works, and then
let ´em glorify the Lord.

And THIS has always been one of my most FAVORITE videos from FIF because it depicts lifting the boring, dull constraints we put on PRAISING GOD and then getting out and living on fire for Him. … it depicts celebrating differences, and how you don’t have to be a TREND ZOMBIE in order to be free and have FUN. It depicts UNITY, not UNIFORMITY. At least, that’s what I, personally, take away from this video:

Yep. Those are the days I miss with ALL of my heart.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Good Weekend

September 21, 2009
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First of all, my baby boy turned 18 months this Sunday. That’s a year and a half. I will officially be the mother of a toddler in six months. And, no lie, it just keeps getting better.

Friday night I stayed home with my boy and for a while we just cuddled on the floor together while watching TV. He turned into zombie boy and would not move a muscle when I rubbed his back– I could tell he was so incredibly relaxed :). I remembered when his tiny back used to be the size of my hand and marveled at how it doubled in size in a year. I trailed his tiny spine with my finger, and thought about how, in a few years, I would miss his soft baby skin. Ya know, it still amazes me that he was so perfectly formed inside of me less than two years ago… that the crazy little boy running around my house, babbling up a storm, is the same precious baby that Dr. King took from my body and laid on my chest– I remember how his skin was the softest and silkiest thing I’d ever felt in my life, and they had to pinch him to get him to cry and use those lungs of his, haha :).

That was 18 Months ago. *sigh* Motherhood is the best adventure.


Also, my dad informed my brother on Sunday that thirty years ago this month he and my mom started dating. I thought it was really cute that he’d remember that. They’ll be married 27 years this December. Good for them.


Aaaand, under the cut below you will find a video and a few pictures I took this weekend: a couple of Adry and a few I took while on OSU campus. We were there for the 2009 Move-In Day, seeing Taylor J. off to college. I happened to not be able to get any shots of Taylor as he was trying to get to know other college kids and I didn’t want to embarrass him. But OMG!– TAYLOR moved out of his parents’ house and is LIVING ON OSU CAMPUS IN A DORM! I feel like he is only a kid but he’s not- he’s a college student. And next year my littlest brother will be a college student, too, AAH!
Video: 15 Seconds of Adry. He discovered that his voice sounds funny when he yells in a fan, and he takes it very seriously.

My mom bought some cheap Roseart markers, and so here are two of Adry’s very first marker art creations:
He also takes his art *very* seriously.

Mom, Jacob, and Matt walking down to Mirror Lake, the site of the famous Buckeye Football “Mirror Lake Jump” tradition during which OSU students literally jump into the water the Thursday before the OSU Michigan game. Usually it’s November and freezing cold, but hey- it’s a Michigan week tradition so it must be done, haha.

Here’s a pic I found of a Mirror Lake Jump:

(Click to enlarge)








Matt taking a picture of a wall stencil that we got a kick out of:
We heard a crazy statistic about the chance that OSU dorm students have of catching the H1N1 virus– there’s been an outbreak on campus. The stencil made me giggle anyway.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Rock N Roll Baby

August 26, 2009
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A typical car ride with Adry consists of music and head banging:

He gets camera shy, but he just can’t help himself- he’s gotta wiggle! πŸ™‚


Ben and I usually put Adry to bed between 8:00 and 9:00PM, and then crash between 11:30 and midnight. Every night before we go to sleep, we both feel the need to check on Adry in his crib. I guess one parent checking up on him isn’t enough, lol. Basically, by midnight that kid usually has at least 3 to 4 tuck-ins and β€˜I love you’s. And every once in a while Ben or I will gently lift him from his crib and cuddle with him in bed for a few minutes before tucking him back in. Last night we decided we both wanted to cuddle with him, which hasn’t happened since he was a little little baby. Oh, man- when he realized he was between both his mommy and his daddy on a big bed he got the hugest, most content smile on his face and just looked back and forth between Ben and I.

Kids not only need to be loved by both their mommy and daddy- they feel safe and stable when they know that their mommy and daddy also love each other. Just a reminder to myself πŸ™‚

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Watch This

May 30, 2009
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I saw this at church on Friday night. (My dad was playing for music night, so I went to see him.) Anyway, it got to me! I love it. You should definitely watch all of it πŸ™‚

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Helpful babies.

April 30, 2009
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These clothes were once folded neatly and ready to be put away:

And I had to stifle a giggle at this:
“Don’t worry, mom. I’ll clean it up!”

My favorite part is that when an item poses a challenge he just tosses it to the side.
*Edit*- OOOH, nevermind, I changed my favorite part. Upon watching the clean-up video again I realized that that blue, round little thing that he actually managed to put in the hamper was not a clothing item at all, but one of his bath toys! hahaha! baby toys EVERYWHERE, I tell you!

I’ve learned that when a mom takes three steps forward, her baby pulls her two steps back.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Adry Videos

March 1, 2009
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Ben was sick on Saturday and so he stayed home from work. We never have an event-free morning together as a family to just hang out, so it was actually kind of nice :-). Adryel enjoyed it- (Adryel WHO, by the way, had TWO tooth break-throughs this week! The kid has 6 teeth, now!)

I think Ben screamed at something randomly (at a video game? I never asked) and Adryel mocked him by screeeching back really loud and long. OMG it was hilarious and caught us totally off-guard, so I grabbed the camera and caught him doing it again at least once more:

Adry Dances on Command, now (that is, if he feels like it):

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal