**I just found that picture of the gas pump at the end of this post online - I don't know where it is or when it is from. Gas here is about $3.92.**
I have had a few people ask about our camera...and here it is :-)! It is the Kodak Easy Share Z812 IS and we have really been pleased with it so far. I know some people thought we got a "real" camera, and although it will be exciting when we do someday, this little guy has been perfect for right now. It is still small so I can carry it with me easily (which is a must for me...I bring it pretty much everywhere) but has the 12x optical zoom that I was really excited about. You can read about it's other features, but I think for the price ($209 at Sam's club) it is a great bargain. I know some people are a little down on Kodak cameras, but our last one was a Kodak and it withstood some big beatings so we decided to stay with them this time.
I know some of you also noticed the lack of Ella's clothing in many of our recent pictures and in answer to that question...I guess she does prefer to be without her clothes. I don't really notice at home until I go to edit pictures and think, "hmmm, that would have been much nicer had she been clothed." I think the heat is only a small reason for her underwear only outfits. Her top two reasons: her love of dressing up and her love of staying clean. She does not like to get her clothes dirty - especially her favorite shirts and since she is "too big" for a bib she will tell me she is going to take off her shirt so it won't get dirty. Usually she just doesn't end up putting it back on :-). As far as dressing up, Ella doesn't think you can do that without first taking off the clothing you have on. When her friend Johnny was over playing a few weeks ago I heard her tell him to take off his clothes so they could play dress up :-)!
On a random note...the rising gas prices have caused Mike to get more serious about teaching me his gas-saving driving techniques. He has long told me I should accelerate more slowly and coast in to stop lights and stop signs when possible and I have always listened and then sped along on my way, usually running late to get somewhere. Well, now that it costs over $40 to fill up our little car I have really been focusing on implementing my Mike-techniques and I think it has really made driving less stressful! I think I am in a much better mood as I drive around because I'm not always trying to get everywhere in the least amount of time possible. I just coast around town accelerating slowly and I think the whole process is really quite relaxing...maybe I should take his advice more often :-)!