Jesus Likes to Swing

Did you know Jesus likes to swing? I didn't until today. Riley told me so. We were at the church playground (which kind of feels like our own because it's directly behind our house) this afternoon. He ran around for a while, climbed a ladder, went down a slide, played with some rocks and then wanted to swing. He loves to swing. After he had been swinging for a couple of seconds, he looked up at the sky and said, "Thank you, God, for the sun!" and then the rest of the conversation went something like this...

Me: It IS a beautiful day, isn't it?!
R: Yes, it is! God is going to come swing with me. Well, actually, Jesus is.
Me: Oh really?
R: Yeah, did you know Jesus likes to swing?
Me: I guess so, because Jesus loves you, so if you like to swing He'll like to swing with you!
R: (Turning to the swing beside him) Jesus, are you having fun swinging? (Relaying His response to me) Jesus said, "Well, surely, I am!"
Me: (trying to contain my laughter - I just love the way Riley articulates things sometimes!) Awesome! I'm glad you and Jesus are having fun swinging!
R: Yeah. (Talking to Jesus again) Do you like to come to my house? Do you like coming to the church playground? (Again sharing His response with me) Jesus said, "Well, surely, I do" again!
Me: (taking advantage of the teachable moment) So do you think Jesus likes it when you throw fits?
R: No!
Me: What about when you obey Mama and Daddy? Does He like that?
R: Yes!
Me: Okay. What about when you're mean to your friends?
R: No!
Me: What about when you're sweet to Ella?
R: Yes!

The Lord used my son to speak to me in such a powerful way this afternoon. How often do I forget that Jesus IS right there?? All too often, I can tell you! And I'm not just talking about resting in the peace He offers by always being with us. I'm also talking about the moments when I lose control and allow the flesh to take over my mouth and actions. The times when I throw an adult "fit" over something not going my way. The times when I use words to hurt those I love. Jesus isn't just there when we're having fun swinging. He is there every second of every day. Thank you, sweet son, for the reminder! And, thank you, for your childlike faith that taught your Mama so much more than she could ever teach you! You are one special little boy, Riley!

4 months

Little Miss turned 4 months this past Monday (3/26). At the doctor's on Wednesday, we found out she's:

14 lbs and 24.5 in.

The doctor said she's very healthy and doing great! Praise God! She had to get 3 shots, which, of course, were no fun, but she did pretty well. She was a little fussy that night when I picked her up from the nursery, so I gave her some tylenol and she slept great.

Fun Facts about Ella:
*She's sleeping through the night! I give her a bottle at 8 pm and put her to bed. At 11 pm I feed her 3 oz in her sleep and she sleeps until about 7:30 am! Love it!
*She's rolling from side to side. Hasn't rolled over yet, but I think she's close.
*She hates tummy time, but has a very strong neck and back. This week I started putting her in the Bumbo seat for a little while and she's doing great.
*She eats 4-5 oz every 3 hours during the day. At this age, Riley was eating at least 6 oz, if not more. She's just a little lady. :)
*She loves to smile, and I love to see her smile!
*She's a true Bramlett...jabbering her way through the day! :)
*As I've said before (and pray I will say for the rest of her life), she absolutely adores her brother. If he is in the room, her eyes are fixed on his every move. So precious.
*She's a great napper. So blessed!
*She does NOT like to be scared. From a very young age, Riley loved to be surprised and scared. He still does. If you want to hear a hearty laugh come out of him, just hide behind a door and pop out when he least expects it. Ella does not! I tried to play peek-a-boo with her one time (and my m-i-l did too), and she started crying the most heart-breaking cry!
*She's a thumb-sucker! I love watching her suck her thumb. Such a tiny thumb, but she goes to town on it!
*She is such a content and happy baby that it's easy to forget she's in the room sometimes.

So thankful for sweet Elizabeth Grace! The past 4 months have brought us complete joy. 
We love you, Ella!!!



For the longest time, Riley has been riding his tricycle by using his feet to walk it around. We tried many times to teach him how to pedal, but he just wasn't interested. About a month ago his interest for pedaling grew and we were able to show him how it works. Since then he's been practicing on the back porch. Today I took him out in the driveway to see how he'd do, and he took off!


Reading to me

Riley loves books. I'm so thankful! I remember when he was younger I was so concerned that he wouldn't end up enjoying books because he wouldn't sit still long enough for me to read one. That is no longer the case! He will sit for quite a while if a book is involved. The other day I was reading "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" to him before his nap (one of his favorites) when he began reciting just about every word I would say. I handed him the book and let him go to town. I was able to catch it on video, thankfully!

"Vacation" to Hope

For the past month or so, Daniel's been coming home several times a week saying, "I really need a vacation! I don't care where we go or what we do, but I need to get away." So, we began discussing our options. We didn't want to spend much money or go too far away because we didn't want to use too many of his vacation days (he gets 2 weeks, and they're priceless!). We finally decided on heading to his Dad's house outside of Hope, AR for about 4 days in the woods (he lives on a deer lease). Daniel worked that Monday so he could tackle his sermon for the next Sunday, and then the plan was to leave as soon as he got home and not return until Friday night sometime.

Side note: the week before, Daniel came down with a nasty stomach bug that came and went for about 5 days.

Monday morning (of the day we were to leave), I began feeling a bit queasy, but I tried to ignore it while I worked on packing everything...and I do mean EVERYTHING! I worked all day to get us ready to go, so when the time came to leave, I was exhausted! I usually like to drive because we get places quicker, but I asked Daniel to drive this time because I wasn't feeling well. A great start to a vacation, huh?! We made it to Hope and unloaded the mound that was in the car. Once we were all settled it was time for the kiddos to go to bed. Daniel's brother was spending the night that night, also, so we were short a bedroom, so all 4 Bramlett's bunked in one room the first night...can you say, nightmare?? :) When Ella woke up at 4 am Tuesday morning to eat and Riley woke up because of her crying and refused to go back to sleep, I definitely felt like I was in a nightmare. And then on Tuesday, my stomach bug hit. Yay for vacations!

Once we were able to move Riley to his own room, things got better, but there were still challenges. For instance, Ella decided she needed to wake up and eat every 2.5-3 hours DURING THE NIGHT. What in the world? I was alright when I was sleeping, but when I woke up, I had to head to the bathroom, so that meant both Daniel and I were up and down many times Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Like I said earlier, we were supposed to stay until Friday, but when I was up multiple times with Ella and my stomach Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I insisted we pack up and leave as soon as everyone was up and fed Thursday morning. So, we did just that and headed home from our visit (I just can't bring myself to call it a vacation) to Hope. Poor Daniel came home more exhausted than before we left. Thankfully, God in His mercy, provided some good rest for him that weekend.

So the "vacation" may not have gone as we planned, but there were definitely still moments of fun. Those moments I captured on my camera, and I'm thankful we'll have these pictures to look back on and not pictures of the not-so-fun moments. :)

Riley loaded up and ready to go (amidst the floor-to-ceiling stuff!)

Baby girl's ready, too!

We love Chick-fil-a, so it was a must that we stop at the one in Texarkana and carry it the 45 minutes to his dad's house!

My boys on the 4-wheeler

Riding alongside Pa Son

Family of 4 on the 4-wheeler. Wondering where Ella is?

 Tucked away close to Mama in the baby bjorn :)

Pa Son teaching Riley about how deer rub their antlers on trees.

Sweet little hand that will one day (in the not too distant future) be driving this 4-wheeler alone!

Big girl sitting in Pa Son's chair

Daniel's mom just happened to come to Hope for a meeting, so we were able to meet her for lunch and some touring around Historic Washington State Park.

Meeting the horses that would be our tour guides

The building behind us is where our wedding reception was in 2008. 
(Notice we're not only both wearing stripes, but the stripes line up perfectly in the pic!)

Our own little Daniel Boone

Ready for a carriage ride!

Sweet girl's face when the carriage started moving. She wasn't a huge fan of the ride...ok, really, she cried almost the entire time.

Riley loved it, though!

And Daniel was freezing

Our family with the beautiful jonquils (and our car in the background...)

So for Daniel and I, it may not have been the best vacation ever, BUT I wouldn't trade it for anything because of the time Riley got to spend with his grandfather. He had a blast and made memories he'll cherish for the rest of his life. That made each sleepless night and multiple trips to the bathroom worth it. :)


Get it

I adore our baby girl. I remember when I found out I was pregnant I wondered how I could ever love another as much as I love Riley (I'm sure you've heard plenty of other parents say the same thing). However, the Lord has given me an incredible love for BOTH of my children. They are both so unique and special in their own ways. Anyway, I was just sitting on the floor playing with Ella when she started laughing every time I said, "Get it!" I'm not sure what's so funny about those words, but she got a kick out of them! See for yourself...