gynaskicks party. . .

Ellie had her gymnastics party and had a great time!  Ms. Brandi can’t get over how good Ellie does cartwheels.  I got some good pictures of Ellie having fun and some goodies.

Ellie Bellie finishes her first semester of gymnastics.

My no fear kid.

Look out below!!

“Bye Mama!”

“Slow down Ellie!!”

Ellie and Ms. Brandi

Strong arms Ellie

Ellie loves Ms. Brandi.  Emma was in her class almost four years ago.

Ellie was showing me all the different things they do during her gymnastic’s class.

Ellie Bellie


Thanksgiving with my family. . .

We recently started switching Thanksgivings each year with Dustin’s family and my family.  Five and half hours to Jess Tuesday after school and work, started our Thanksgiving 2009.  Next came my and Jess’ road trip to Grandma’s that involved a stop at The Cheesecake Factory, doing a little off roading off the highway to get out of the road construction and then finally looking to see that I was on empty.  How long had I been on “e,” I’m not sure.  However, Jess, the boys and I and the girls arrived at Grandma’s making good time!  The five day mini vacation was a lot of fun and we look forward to another one in two years!!  Happy Thanksgiving!

This was the turkey bow I made this year.


The kiddos were having fun with Uncle Dust.  I’m pretty sure Ellie’s saying, “Say Uncle!!  I’ll get up, but not til’ you say Uncle Daddy!”

We got Nana a Kindle for her birthday/Christmas.  Happy Birthday Mom!

Jackaroo, Nana and Emmernoodle

G-G got all the great grandkids and great-great grandkids toys and had a little party for all of them.

I love being the youngest grandkid.  Yes, I’m 28-years-old and taller than all of them, but I’m still getting picked on.

Me and my big sister.

Ohhh yah, you’re scary.

Dustin taking his frustrations out on my sister/his sister-in-law.  We were playing around with my camera and trying to take some action shots.  Dust came up with punching Jess. . .what a great idea!!

Jess performing the ever so popular clothesline.

I said for Dust to get on the ground and Jess get on top and hog tie him.  She said no.

This photo prompted the Charlie’s Angels pictures.  Nice Farrah hair.

Jess and my “favorite” cousin Christi. . .wait, did I get a picture of Chase yet?!?

Ohhh yah, we’re are so hot.  And this was before the drinking started!

More action shots of us beating up Jess.

Poor Jess.

Playing spoons while the others played poker in the other room.  We were so much louder than them.  I only went on the table once for a spoon.  This particular game is where Mom walked by talking alot of smack and then sat down and won.  Yah, that so wasn’t cool!

My favorite picture!  Christi couldn’t find a lighter.

Ellie and her chocolate pie. 

Emma and her chocolate pie.

Emma taunting Ellie with more chocolate pie.

Ellie licking Emma’s face because she was trying to get the chocolate pie.

Ahhh, time to wake up and head home.

Okay, so we carry our own potty.  Needless to say, we had to open a window. . .

Ellie hiding in Nana and Papa’s car.  Nice try, but you’re coming with us!

meal fit for a king. . .

Only Thanksgiving pictures left to go. . .okay, then there’s Christmas which I don’t even want to think of all the pictures I’m going to take with my new camera this year. . .

We had a great a day on Friday.  Two out of four Tows celebrated their birthdays in a way I would never had imagined.  Dustin chose King & I for dinner.  Mind you the only times Dustin has ever choose King & I or any chinese eatery for that matter has been when I am pregnant.  Maybe that’s why the last two nights I’ve had dreams that I am great with child?!?

Anywho, documentation of such a night had to be made which lead to Dustin being embarrassed that I would bring my huge camera into the restaurant, but alas pictures (only four) were taken of the event.  Much to my shock and dismay, Dustin did agree to going to the mall and Wal-Mart which scares me to think, “What happened to the man I married?!?”  Never has Dust agreed to Wal-Mart AND/OR the mall and definitely not on his birthday.  Apparently change is inevitable in your 30s and you more or less just go with the flow. . .or wherever your wife tells you to go.

He was in true form Saturday night however when I asked (more like told) him to take off his shoes and good pants.  No, it was not Tuesday or his birthday, but I had already done the laundry and wasn’t going to until Wednesday and I am the shoe nazi at my house.  If I could have a NO SHOES sign placed on my door, I would be the happiest person in the world.  I swear I vacuum just about everyday because of the crap that gets brought in. 

Needless to say, he said he was “fixing to” take out the trash.  Four hours later when he “took out the trash” which involved stepping three feet into the garage to put it by the back door to take out tomorrow I asked him, “You kept your shoes on for that???”  Without missing a beat, Dustin responded with, “I did it more out of defiance.  I’m going to go take them off now.”  My family is filled with one and two liners that keep me on my toes day in and day out!


This is me asking Ellie,  “Let me see what your shirt says?” and Ellie saying, “Here’s my belly.”

So cold.  It was like 19 degrees outside.

Silly Ellie


Us at King & I. . .am I pregnant???  That would be a definite NO!

Totally buffet food. . .notice Ellie’s chocolate chip cookie while she’s eating my egg drop soup.  All we need is the buffalo wings and we’ve really hit an awesome all-you-can-eat buffet!

Dustin’s first plate of chicken fried rice with spicy relish and soy sauce accompanied with lemon chicken.  I still can’t believe we are eating here.

Yep, that’s my husband smiling while eating chinese food.  In case you didn’t know, Dustin loathes chinese food.  Hate is not a strong enough word for his feelings about chinese food.

Ellie and her new chicken slippers.  Thank you Grandma for the birthday money.  It lasted two and half minutes in my 3-year-old’s hands before we set our eyes on the chicken slippers that crow.  Do chickens crow or is that just roosters?  Don’t even start asking me the difference between cows, bulls and hefers.  We’ve had that conversation way to many times.

Emma’s monkey slippers that have been around for a while.

The Birthday Duo.  31-years-old and 3-years-old on December 11th.

Due to the early birthday party and hospital stays my children have aquired in the last month, we have been opening presents for awhile.  I saved Aunt Jessie’s gift to Ellie so she would have something to open up on her birthday.  This is actually the next day because we got home too late the night before.

A new cabbage patch baby Roselyn Wilhelmina (I love the middle name and keep saying it at random moments throughout the day.  It’s kind of like Stella, you can’t say it normally can you?  STELLA!!)  And our new rocker dress that will soon be joining the rest of the ensemble that Ellie will get as part of her Christmas from her hip and trendy Aunt Jessie.


hopping good time. . .

We had Ellie’s birthday party a month early because December gets so busy and the weather is a little unpredictable.  Looking back now, it was a really good idea because of Emma having her tonsils out.  See, planning ahead is a good thing!  We decided to invite only Ellie’s little friends and then close family.  We would not do another 50+ people in our 1,100 sq. ft. house again.  Dad figured that each person had 2.7 sq. ft. to move around. . .needless to say, it was a little cramped last year!

It was nice having a smaller party and I didn’t have to clean my bathrooms!  I mean right before the party.  Only Ellie would choose  kitten plates and napkins and her party favors were filled with monster tattoos, witch fingers, spider rings, noise makers and fish straws!  Ellie had a blast, and we got there an hour before the party started so the girls would have plenty of time to play.  We were one of two parties, so the kiddos didn’t have to wait to climb up the huge slides and jump in the bounce houses.    Ellie already said she wants to do this for her next party!  Sounds good to me!

Ellie’s “party dress” was a Harley-Davidson mechanics shirt and Harley pants.  She looked so cute! 

My (one month early) Birthday Girl.

Ellie by Daddy’s Harley.

Dustin doesn’t have a chance to talk with three women in the house.

Emma’s best friend Emi.


Chelsea and Ellie.  We love our cousin Chelsea.  Everywhere Chelsea goes, my children follow!

Ellie and her best friend Ady.

All of Ellie’s friends have older siblings that are the same age as Emma.

“Happy Birthday to you.  Happy Birthday to you.”

“Happy Birthday dear Ellie, happy birthday to you!”

Make a wish!

Yes, I’m still too cheap to buy a cake from a bakery and I make my girls’ cakes!  Thank you to my best friend Amber (who ironically is Emma and Ellie’s best friends’ mama) for taking all the pictures!

Meme, Adyson and Ellie

Me with the Birthday Girl

Ellie and Daddy

Ellie and her boyfriend James.  James is Emma’s friend and Ellie has really taken to him.  She’ll ride his old tricycle and ask him to help her.  James will show her how to peddle her feet and spend time pushing her so that she can have fun.  What a sweetie!

TORNADOS!!!  This is what Ellie calls play-doh.  We love play-doh at the Casa de Tow.  I’m one of those weird moms that let their kids play with it!  I really like playing too!

The Paparazzi doing what he always does. 

I love the boys’ faces in this picture! 

Ellie got Spike (or as Ellie calls him, Spikey) the red dinosaur.  Funny how we thought she would love playing with this because she loves her cousin Lukey’s Spike. . .apparently a giant remote controlled dinosaur that roars and seems like it is chasing you because you are three and are randomly pushing buttons is not the best present.  So maybe we didn’t think this one through?!?

Ahhh, Papaw doing what he does best.

What a cute family. . .wait, those are my kids?  Aunt Katy and Uncle Wes with their neices.

I personally believe birthdays and Christmas are cruel for little kids.  It’s like, “Open your present, okay we can’t play with it because you need to open the next one.  No, no, we can’t take any of them out of the box because you need to go eat cake and play.”  I’m surprised any small child makes it through a party without tears of frustration!  Needless to say, we got every present out of the box and played with each one that night.  Not for too long because Emma had school in the morning, but Ellie got to play with her new gifts.

Our little princess!

Ahhh, party over, bring on Christmas!


ode to Ellie. . .

It was like one day Ellie would only stand behind me burying her head into the back of my knees and then the next she was talking someone’s ear off.  Where did the time go and when did she become a big girl?  She hasn’t quite figured out if she wants to be a baby or a big girl. . .or a puppy.  Apparently acting like a puppy most of the time is part of a 2-year-olds DNA.

The funny faces of Ellie have definitely developed this year.  Her “cute” little grin that only her Mama knows is the start of an idea forming in that creative mind that usually involves a sword, a sequin mask and a sippy cup.  Many items in our house have been in a fencing match with Ellie the Musketeer, but nothing has been broken. . .yet.  Why the sippy cup you ask?  I think she sees me drinking all the time. . .okay that totally didn’t come out the right way.  Ever since the year long breastfeeding (I’ve lost most of my audience now haven’t I?!?) I endured for the sake of my children (and my boobs being in the location they should be as a woman in my 20s. . .really lost my audience now.), I constantly have a 32 oz cup of water with me I refill at least four times a day.  I don’t know many people that drink more water than I do, but drinking so much water while I was breastfeeding has just stayed with me.  Ellie has her drink right beside mine, so I guess that’s why she’s always got a drink with her!   

It amazes me that three years ago today, Noelle Cambryn was brought into our lives.  I guess when Emma was born and was a little clone of her Daddy, I wanted a little clone of myself.  God does have a funny sense of humor doesn’t he?  My little bull in a china closet is a handful and a blessing all in one.  She keeps me on my toes and makes me constantly apologize to Mom weekly.  History does repeat itself and I think I was maybe 3-years-old when I got my head stuck in the kitchen table chairs.  Note to safe:  Really keep an eye on Ellie when she’s sitting in the kitchen about to eat.  Making sure she’s not eyeing the chairs with that “cute” smile she does so often.

What I love the most about Ellie Bellie is at the end of each night, no matter what has happened throughout the day, no matter how many times she went to the corner or cried because I wouldn’t let her play with her “tornado” (play-doh) when it was naptime, or made her wear pants to take Emma to school (what is it with little kids and not wanting to wear clothes??), she always tells me she loves me.  Occassionally, she’ll put her arms around my neck and squeeze so hard that some of my hair gets pulled out while she says, “I love you so much Mama.”  But that’s okay.

The last 1096 days have been an awakening.  Once I had a second child, I laughed about any of the times I thought days were hard with one child.  Before we had kids, that brief moment after the “I do” and before the honeymoon, I wanted four kids.  Dustin wanted three.  We always say Ellie’s not the reason we stopped at two, but I think she is.  I have my delicate, sensitive Emma and I have my little bull in a china closet Ellie.  Two girls that looked identical when they were born and still look a lot alike now, but have two very distinct personalities. 

On December 11, 2006, I got everything I could have ever wanted and more.  I look forward to the next year of challenges that Ellie gives me and especially the achievements she’ll be experiencing on that long list of “firsts.”  If anyone saw her today, you know she can scratch off snapping her fingers on her list!  Ellie’s working on whistling now.  And after her chicken flew out of her mouth and in my face when she was showing me how she puts her tongue down and blows really hard, we have now learned to wait until dinner is through before practicing our whistling.  Ahhh, memories.

Happy Birthday Ellie Bellie!  Your Mama, Daddy and Emma love you very much!


pumpkins. . .

I don’t think I put this in an email, but Dustin and I got creative one night after watching pumpkin carving on tv.

Dustin did the spider and I did the cat.

He made the skin on the pumpkin so thin that the candle can illuminate the spider.  It was really cool.

I got tired, grabbed a knife and just cut out my cat the old school way!


Trick or Treat. . .

Pretty much as soon as I post this, I’ll be starting on my Thanksgiving pictures for the blog.  Amazing how two months has just flown by!  Happy Halloween. . .a little late!

Ellie’s new smile for pictures.

Ellie and I took “monster cookies” up to Emma’s class for Halloween.

The boy cookies.

The girl cookies. . .Emma wanted the girls to have bows.

Emma’s class told me thank you for the cookies, “Thank you Mrs. Tow.”  I am now known as Mrs. Tow or Emma’s Mama.  I’ve only got maybe 15 more years of that!

After much indecision (on my part!), the girls settled on Barbie’s Three Musketeers for Halloween.

Emma the Musketeer.

Ellie the Musketeer.

I was the unofficial third musketeer because I ended up holding the swords.

“All for one and one for all!”  Which was repeated about every 30 seconds.

Emma and Ellie’s friends Justin and James.

House no. 12

The first and third Musketeers. . .I must have left my sword in the truck!

It was a race to see who could get to the next house to ring the doorbell.  I don’t think they even thought about the candy, but rather who got to ring the doorbell.

Trick or Treating the easy way.

One tired Musketeer.