Start your engines!

Riley loves anything with an engine. Cars, motorcycles, trains, tractors, lawn mowers, bulldozers, 18-wheelers (Mack trucks, as he calls them - thanks to CARS), trash trucks, etc., etc., etc. So, when Ya Ya surprised him by taking him to a local equipment store (I really don't know what else to call it), he was in heaven! Ella and I stayed home while they went on this adventure, but we definitely heard all about it when they got home!

This was the first thing he saw when they walked in, and Ya Ya told me later she wasn't sure if they'd get to walk any further.

 You think he's happy? Pure joy on that face!

The men and women who worked there were so sweet. They allowed Riley to sit on every piece of equipment they had.

No pun intended (note his shirt), but he really was in hog heaven!

Apparently this one started beeping when he got in, so it kind of scared him. He was afraid it was going to start up, and while he loves seeing these big pieces of equipment, he's not a fan of loud noises.

Ya Ya said as soon as he saw the lawn mowers he immediately went over and started pretending to crank it. Sound effects included! Apparently, there were sound effects with all of the machines, and this gave the workers a good laugh.

A Riley-sized tractor! He got to drive this around the store.

We had a lot of fun adventures while in Little Rock, but I'm pretty sure this one ranks pretty high up there! Thanks, Ya Ya, for giving our little man such a fun surprise getaway!

Down by the river

Every time we go to Little Rock, Riley requests a visit to the Arkansas River. The city has done an excellent job of creating a very nice area along the river for locals and tourists to enjoy. There are lots of great photo spots and plenty of room for an energetic 3-year-old to run around and bask in the beauty of God's creation.

So, last Sunday afternoon, after naps (by all!), we loaded up and headed down to the river. It was a perfect night - temps in the 70's and a nice cool breeze. In fact, while we ate dinner out on the patio of a riverside restaurant, I put a jacket on Ella. We had a lot of fun, saw some interesting sights (you never know what you'll see in public places!), and enjoyed good food/good music. The live entertainers even sang "Route 66," which, for my son who is obsessed with the movie CARS, was the best thing that could have happened! He's still talking about it!

And now for the pictures...

This is a fun splash pad - a little too cool for it this time, though!

Riley and his Ya Ya

We were ready to move on from this spot, so I said, "Come on, Riley. It's time to keep walking." His response: "But, I'm preaching!" So we stayed a bit longer. :)

My little thinker!

And he found another spot where he could preach! I bet the city doesn't realize it set up so many preaching points along the river! He really got into this 'sermon.'

Love this shot and this boy! He certainly keeps me on my toes!

Because there are so many beautiful backgrounds, I naturally thought it a good idea to do a little photo shoot of the siblings. Normally, I get a few pics out of the 30 or so I take that turn out good. This time didn't quite work out that way. Here we have the "confused brother and sister."

And here's brother kissing sister...super sweet!

Sister looking at the camera (for once), while brother looks away uninterested.

Sister looking up at my assistant (Ya Ya) while brother gives the cheesy smile.

And that was just 4 of them! Oh well. I did get a great pic of little miss while brother played in the background (and Ya Ya kept saying, "don't get any closer to the water!").

This one makes every one before worth it! Definitely going to frame it!

Ella loved the live music at the restaurant! The louder they got, the louder she got. And y'all, this girl's got some lungs! We were waiting for our food here, so she and I did some dancing.

Fun times, fun memories. Just wish my other half could have been there with us!


10 months

Tomorrow Ella will be 10 months. I wasn't sure if I'd have time to post tomorrow, though, so while the kids are napping and the house is quiet, I thought I'd go ahead and do it today.

Happy 10 months, sweet girl!
At your appointment last week (9-month check-up almost a month late), you were:
18.14 lbs (40%) and 28.5 in (75%)
You got one shot and did pretty well with it. Although, you looked at the nurse like she had completely betrayed you by sticking that long, pointy thing in your leg without any warning! You were also scared of the doctor for the first time. Separation anxiety, here we come! He said you are very healthy, though, and for that, we are SO grateful!

I'm not even sure where to begin when it comes to updates on this little lady. Her personality is jumping out of her skin in so many ways! I told my mother-in-law the other day that gone are the days of quiet little Ella who some people didn't even realize was in a room. The first few months of her life, I really would forget sometimes that there was a 4th member of our family at home. She was always so content and rarely made a peep. Miss priss is definitely making up for those days now! I adore our sweet girl, but I'm pretty sure we've been blessed with not one, but two, strong-willed kiddos. Yippee!!!

A few weeks ago at dinner we witnessed Ella's first tantrum. I honestly didn't know 9-month babies would (or even could) throw tantrums! She screamed at the top of her lungs (HUGE lungs, I might add), banged her fists on her tray and threw her head back against the chair over and over. Why? Because she didn't want to eat jarred baby food first. She wanted her bottle. So, I gave her a 5 oz bottle, and it was in her belly in no time. I proceeded to pick up the spoon again in order to feed her the baby food and she started screaming again. The next thing that happened was literally a miracle. Daniel simply looked at her and said, "Ella." She immediately quit screaming and dropped her mouth wide open so I could put the spoonful in. Wow! Daniel and I looked at each other in amazement! Somebody already respects her daddy's authority, and I pray it will always be that way!

Baby girl still is not crawling. Riley started crawling a week or so before he turned 10 months, so I'm kind of surprised she hasn't started. But, I can tell when she does she will be into EVERYTHING, so I'm cherishing the days of not having to chase her around the house!

As you can see, she still loves her thumb, and even though she's not crawling yet, she's quite creative in how she gets where she wants to go. You'll see in just a moment.

She's great about getting into the crawling stance, but...

when she ends up on her belly, she gets very angry. She's never been one to enjoy tummy time, and she's really no different now. Also add in her strong-will and stubbornness, and you get a very frustrated baby who doesn't know where to go from here!

So what does she do to get where she wants to go? Well, I noticed a few weeks ago what an incredible split she could do. This picture really doesn't do it justice. If she's bending forward, she can pretty much do a complete split. Or is it called a stradle? I forget. Either way, her legs go in opposite directions.

So I guess it occurred to her to use this talent to her advantage! She now scoots herself along while sitting in her split (stradle) position. I'm wondering if she'll ever see the need to crawl now that she's invented this new way of moving across the floor.

Here she is in action...just be warned that the scooting doesn't occur until almost the end of the 1-minute video.
Pretty clever, huh? Who needs crawling when you can just scoot?!
She certainly still has the funniest facial expressions! 


The other night I decided to try her out in Riley's car. She LOVED it! She couldn't quit smiling and laughing. She even knew how to honk the horn and that she was supposed to put her hands on the steering wheel.

Mama's car & baby's car!

She loves to clap! We took her to a junior high football game the other night and it was so cute - when the crowd would yell and clap, she would clap with us! Riley definitely loves football...I hope Ella will, too! 

As always, her brother is her favorite person, and I'm pretty sure her biggest fan. He is very protective, which I am thankful for, and she already wants to do everything he does! She watches his every move, and I'm praying if that continues, they will be good moves for her to watch! :)

We're so thankful for another month with our precious girl. It's hard to believe that just one more month update and then she'll be the big 1 2 months (ie. a year old!).


The weekend

Friday morning this crew headed to Houston to catch a plane to Peru. They are our 8th team in the past 2 years to go. So thankful for their obedience and willingness to go!

As soon as we prayed with the team, got a picture and said our goodbyes, the rest of the Bramlett's loaded up in our car and hit the road for Little Rock. I'm so thankful my mother-in-law was willing to open her home to us for the week while Daniel's gone!

After an interesting 3-hour drive with my two difficult precious children, we made it to her house, and all three of us were grateful to be out of the car! Riley could NOT wait to get to Ya Ya's house! Daniel asked him to walk down to the church with him Friday morning before we all left, and he said, "Nope. I can't. I'm going to Ya Ya's house!" :)

He knows at Ya Ya's house there will be lots of playing and laughter! And there definitely has been. Both kiddos have adjusted pretty well to being in a new place, and they're having fun playing with new toys (and some of their own I brought with us).

Saturday we woke up, enjoyed the beautiful weather some while Ella was napping and then headed to a local park for a picnic with Daniel's grandmother and aunt. It was a perfect day for enjoying lunch outside, and of course, there was lots of running around and swinging post-meal!

I'm so thankful for these two! There's just one person missing! Miss you, Daddy!

He loves the bubble baths he gets at Ya Ya's house!

We woke up Sunday morning to rain and very cool temperatures! Little miss wore a sweater over her dress and Riley-bo had on jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. We're not in Texas anymore! :)

Playing before church - all the toys around her, and she's playing with a paper towel roll.

We went to church with Ya Ya and GiGi (Daniel's grandmother) at Geyer Springs FBC, which also happens to be our partnering church for our Peru trips! In fact, I saw a couple Daniel went with to Peru last September. We took Ella to the nursery (which was massive!), but Riley decided he wanted to go into 'big' church with us. I was a bit nervous because the last time he sat through a church service was Christmas Eve 2011. If you've forgotten what happened then, click here to refresh your memory. Luckily, this time his father was not going to be the one on stage preaching, so I had high hopes that he'd stay in his seat. And he did just that! He was absolutely precious! He loved the music, and during the sermon he sat on the pew and did this...
He looked at his Jesus Storybook Bible for a long time, and any time I would verbally agree with something the pastor said, Riley would mimic me. It was adorable! He can stay in our church's nursery until he turns 4, but I'm not near as apprehensive as I was about his soon-to-be sitting in church with me. Of course, his daddy will be the one preaching...

So far it's been a great visit to Little Rock! I have some more stories to share, but it's getting late and my eyes are starting to get droopy! Ella girl has been waking up extra early since we arrived, so I know I better get to bed soon in order to be halfway aware of what's going on in the morning when she decides it's time for a bottle! I'll share some more soon! Blessings!