Monday, October 26, 2015

O's Baptism & Birthday Bash

My Baby Boy's Baptism
October 25th, 2015
This most sacred day has arrived in the life of the Ruley Family. My little boy, my almost 9 year old boy, has decided to profess his Faith in Christ in front of his church, his family and his friends.
He has asked about Baptism for about two years now, but we felt like he had finally reached the age and the level of understanding that is needed to make this decision heartfelt and eternally lasting.
His passion for life and for this event is contagious. That is probably what reminds me most of myself in him ~ his passion. He takes nothing lightly. He's all in or all out. So grateful he's "all in" for Jesus!
Greg and I loved being there with him this Sunday morning...getting to witness a Holy transition from Owen to "Owen 2.0" as Jon lovingly nicknamed him. :-)
Here are some pictures big sister Abby captured that morning:

*My Favorite Pic of the Day* 
Aunt Teresa and Uncle Mark are amazing role models and servants, not only at our church, but in our family at whole. So thankful for their presence in the life of our family.
Oma and Grandpa were there along with Mimi, Nana and Grandad, Aunt Gayle and Paige, Brad and Matt and Zoe, Uncle Cal and Aunt Cindy, Aunt Lynn, Aunt Amy, Aunt Kim and Emma as well as Aunt Kerri. HUGE Blessing to have them all there!! 
(still kicking myself that we didn't get a big group picture tho) 
This precious friend showed up on this special meant the world
(love you Christy Tolar!)
My People with our Newest Believer
Abby asked for a pic with her lil' bro. These two have such a special bond that I thank God for. Not only do they look just alike, they share a heart connection.
Our Family with our wonderful Pastor Jon Odom
Following the church service, we, along with around 30 family members, met for lunch at Marzio's to celebrate Owen.
Owen's Jewish Mimi is so full of love for my children that she bought Owen his 1st Cross Necklace to symbolize this special occasion. I am so grateful for her support for our family's faith.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Courageous Ella!

I received the below e-mail on Monday, October 12th:
I’m excited to tell you that Ella is the ‘courage’ character trait recipient for the month of October. Each month, the school focuses on a character trait and each homeroom teacher looks for a student who especially exhibits this behavior.
This is a surprise; students will not know who is selected until the assembly.
Ella definitely does a wonderful job demonstrating this month’s trait. She will be honored with a medal at the next school assembly this Tuesday, October 13th from 1:30-2:20 in the gym. You are invited to attend and you may check in at the gym.
Thanks! Kyndall Thomas
The 6th Grade Courage Winners
Her friend Teagan also got the Courage award for her class
My Angel Girl
Ella with her 6th grade homeroom teacher, Mrs. Kyndall Thomas
"Thank you!!! I love it and adore you daughter.. she is kind and sweet, and oh so creative! Takes a lot of courage to stay original!!
Thank you,
Kyndall Thomas"
Proud Mom and Dad with their Baby Girl
A great example of Ella's courageous creativity: 
a plain, brown bag she dolled up to take her lunch in one day for school

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ella's Night In

Our Marvelous Mimi took each of our children out for a one on one dinner on a Sunday night throughout the early Fall months. When it came time for Ella's turn, being the creative cat that she is, Ella asked to instead go grocery shopping and make Mimi dinner at her house.
So, of course, Mimi, being the easy going gal that she is, said "Sure!" :-)
Ella made Mimi a lil' flower vase - of which all the flowers (freshly cut from our rose bush), died on the route to Mimi's home b/c Ella added scented hand lotion to the water to make them smell even better. :-)
Ella's planning menu and recipes:
La Cheese Dip
Turkey and Avocado Salad with Berry Smoothies
Joyous Ella with her Happy Mimi 
~ so grateful for sweet relationships and for special time with each of my children
(FYI: Will chose Pei Wei, Abby chose Cheddars and Owen chose El Chico as their nights out)

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Big Apple Surprise

Revealed Abby's Big Surprise with the below after pom practice one afternoon...just 4 days before departure 
Sunday, August 30th, 2015
And we're off!!!!
Such a site!!!!
Westin, Grand Central
our lovely abode for the next 3 nights...

Double Decker Night Tour
3 story H and M right smack in the heart of Times Square...did I mention it stays open til 1 am?!
The Brooklyn Bridge

Grabbed a midnight snack on our walk back to the hotel 
Day 2
Plain bagel w cream cheese

Time for our Hornblower Cruise around Manhattan!

Ellis Island ~ this was super cool to see because Abby did a big report on it just last year
Loved watching my girl take it all in...
This is by far our funniest pic of the trip...the Gangham Style dude is staring Greg down behind us..haha!!! :-) 
Freedom Tower - breathtaking...and do you see the Cross shape in the middle?
9-11 Memorial...still mind blowing to think about. 
Abby was just 4 months old the day it happened. I remember watching the Today Show while nursing her when it all went down. I have never held my children so tight as I did that day.
Hungry Hungry Ladies after a super action packed day
wine came free with lunch...wasn't gonna argue ;-) 
(funny side story: the waiter brought Abby a glass of vino too...he thought we were cousins and that she was 21!)
Our Italian waiter "Franco"...he was such a character and so fun to visit with!
Our lasagna, bread and salad hit the fact, this is one of our best memories of the trip!
Our 1st Dessert stop of the Evening: George's Cupcakes in Soho
the recommended peanut butter chocolate was seriously TO.DIE.FOR!
2nd Dessert Stop: 
The famous Eight Turned Crepe - only in Japan and NYC
We got the Matcha Truffle Chocolate and Strawberry one...umm umm
Our 1st Subway ride - from Soho back to Grand Central
NYC Day 3
Our 1st event of the day was a stop at the Today Show.
Not only did we get to shake Al's hand and meet him, but we also got to get Ab's pic with him!
The funniest is that we were on t.v. and didn't even know it! Nana sent us the video clip. 
 Country stars Maddie and Tae were there in concert that morning ~ super talented and darling girls!
I loved seeing all the hosts walk out to the surreal 
Jumped off the double decker for a stop at Central Park and Columbus Circle
Funny enough, we hit a NYC TJ Maxx where Abs found her fave lil Michael Kors purse
and then picked up my "You are Here" NYC Starbucks mug 
(I collect them from all my trips - Paris, Nashville, etc.)
Speaking of Starbucks, I had a jumbo sized iced coffee each day to make it through to late's a must do in the city that never sleeps
Had to cab it to the flagship NYC LV store after getting lost and walking for far too long...
Richard was THE coolest salesman evah! 

Ran my lil' lady through all the high end stores ~ Tiffany's, Bergdorf's, Chanel, etc. However, after a few views of the hefty price tags, we were ready for some more realistic shopping!
So we subway'd our way back down to Soho since there was so much more we hadn't seen the day before. After stopping in a plethora of shops, we then took the subway back to Grand Central Station where we shared a Falafel Chicken Kabab Platter - Abby's 1st time to try this type of food.
Quick change of clothes and drop of bags and we were off for a long-awaited night of *BROADWAY!*
Times Square never gets old to look at...truly fascinating!
We spot the Palace Theater!
A theater selfie before it's time to leave...
Time to say goodbye to the Big Apple...but first a run through Buttercup Bakery for some yummy treats for Oma and the sibs