Thursday, December 8, 2016

November in December!

Oh Ella Girl, you are awesome. We attended your parent-teacher conference with your beloved Mr. H. You got straight A's in everything but more than anything you are kind and you give 110%. Just today, we learned you are reading at a fourth grade level. Squeal!!! We are so proud of you and your busy little brain.

We are also stoked at how you're finding your groove with Brownies. These little women are a full force of energy. We spent 4 hours at our zoo for a special event with other Brownies from our area. You earned two badges along the way.

 You got to vote with us on Election Day at 6:30 in the morning. You had your mind made up on who should win the election and who should not. We spent the next few days licking our wounds...

Autumn in our neighborhood will never get old
 We spent an evening on stage together during a Spoken event. We were asked to share our story of adoption and what led us to fostering kittens. Ella, let me tell you something, you were not excited about doing this. Up until the very last second we were called up, you demanded that you were going to sit in the crowd.
 But you and Panda found your place on that sweet little couch and I on the stool. It was great fun and even you surprised yourself by participating in the story!
 "Your Grandma really made all this food for you when you were growing up?" That was what you asked me the week leading up to our annual Donna Ruth gathering that brought the whole family together for our tradition of celebrating Grandma on what would have been her birthday. There were 40 of us and with every burner going, oven on, hot plates piled, there was virtually no time to take photos. But I did squeak out one of her infamous sandwich loaf and our group shot.

Because we are all pulled in so many directions at this time of year, it really is our Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's all in one. Every year it is a ton of work; every year it is that much more meaningful.

Ella, you grow good babies. I know I have a lot to do with the behind the scenes work with our fosters, but it is your dedication and ease that makes these babies such wonderful beings. And so it goes that we were on a mission. We broke ranks from our 'fostering during summer break rule' and headed to the Humane Society a day after our big gathering. Our mission was to foster a litter of kittens so that GRANDMA AND GRANDPA COULD ADOPT ONE OF OUR BABIES.

Barry, Leonard, Kevin and Snowie

 We took home two brothers and a sister and one baby who had been brought in all by himself. You and your BFF Roz had big fun naming the four kittens. I had to veto a few and add some leverage to a few. This little guy below was the single kitty and I got to name him Barry. Within hours, I was worried about him.

 He came to work with me so that I could watch over him. He was back at the Humane Society for an IV of fluids. The other three were thriving and loving. Ella, you were working your magic on them as you could hear them purring from the next room.

 At your request, all four of them made a trip with me (not at the same time!) to do school pick up.

 Barry made it back to our arms after showing some improvement. We were thrilled.
We spent extra time snuggling him. The following morning, I found him snuggled in his blanket gone. It was our first loss of this kind, Ella. This group counted as our 24th in kittens fostered. Telling you was hard but in your logical, practical fashion you took it all in and started asking questions that only YOU would. We cried. I spent the next week looking for him.

Snowie was chosen as THE one to become part of the family and boy did you ever kick into high gear on spoiling her.

 For the first time, I found forever families for all our fosters. Leonard now Felix and Kevin now Rocky are settling in wonderfully. We will get to watch them grow up!

You made your first pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving Day, Ella and it was yumm-o!!

 You were such a good helper on Thanksgiving morning at Ahmen as we prepared meals to be delivered to those in need...800 meals! You, Roz, Ava and Addy were excellent gravy prep cooks. Your mamas were super proud of you.

Kevin the food jerk

A night out for just US.

The first of many years of this tradition.

 We made the adoption official just last week you were so stinkin' happy, Ella.

Ahmen morning with these two!

Thomas, keeping it real.

One of your biggest surprises for us was the book your second grade class did.

 You appear to be yelling at me in your illustration but I'm smiling so maybe you're singing. I love how the windows show blue skies, sunshine and a few clouds. I'm a little bummed at how drab our house appears, however!
Today flurries blew around almost the entire day. Our first storm is going to blow through on Sunday. You will be ecstatic and will do your solid best to will a snow day for Monday.
 Tonight, you made your first batch of Christmas cookie cut-out dough with virtually no help. You followed that recipe, sipped hot cocoa while I sipped my coffee and chattered non-stop. I'm here to tell you the cookie dough is perfect, because I taste tested more than I care to admit. You, on the other hand, said no to the offer to lick the beaters. How are you my kid!?