Saturday, December 29, 2007

Boys and Christmas!

Christmas is different around our household these days. I remember when the girls were Elijah and Noah's age there were princess dress-up outfits and barbie dolls. This year we got camo (and of course Clara had to join in on the fun).

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Eve Eve

This year we had an impromtu gathering which the girls dubbed "Christmas Eve Eve". Hannah's friends Katie and Emilie came over to hang out for a bit. We even went Christmas was a beautiful night. We may even celebrate Christmas Eve Eve again next year!!! Of course the highlight of the evening was catching the Christmas culprit!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Twelfth Day of Christmas!!

Twelve drummers drumming!! Our Christmas culprit delivered the final gift of the season. Twelve frozen drumsticks. Yum, Yum!!

When this happened we had a FULL HOUSE. We have relatives in town. And, our daughter had a couple of friends over. The kids were fixing their plates for dinner when a knock was heard at the door. Let's just say plates dropped to the's a good thing they were paper. And they ran as fast as they could.

The Christmas mystery has been solved thanks to Clara's training...even though her surveillance skills leave much to be desired. We say a hearty "THANK YOU" to our friends who have blessed us SO MUCH this Christmas season. They have invested much time and energy and have poured out their love into our family.

It reminds me of the love Christ lavishes on all!!!

Almost Done...

Well....we have not caught our Christmas culprit. On the tenth day we set up surveillance, both in the front and the back. The kids sat and watched for about five minutes before they were TIRED of looking at nothing. Actually, they kept at it for about an no avail. They went to bed at 9:30 and the culprit came later that night.

Ten Lords a'leaping....a DVD of Lord of the Dance. The funny thing is that this is one of David's favorite shows. We saw it live when we lived in Dayton.
Eleven Pipers Piping...a cd of Scottish pipes and drums was on the doorstep when we woke up in the morning.

We are still waiting for twelve drummers drumming. Right now we have twelve people in our home. Certainly someone will be able to catch the culprit.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Who Needs Toys?

Really, there was no need to purchase toys for my boys. Here's the tent I made for them to try my best to keep them from creating chaosville. They are having a blast!!

Tough Guy

Elijah (our almost three year old) was trying diligently to look at some ornaments. When I walked into the room, I saw the chair topple over and Mr. Man himself hang suspended by his fingers on this ledge for at least a minute. Actually it was a second or two and then he just couldn't hold on any longer and fell on the floor. But, I was pretty impressed by his ability to hang by his fingertips. He's one tough guy. By the way...he's okay. He's currently on the chair behind me looking at the computer saying "It's me!!".

I have nothing better to do than blog right house to clean, no gifts to buy, no presents to wrap, no groceries to purchase, no food to cook. Oh, I just woke up from my daydream. It was a beautiful dream where my house was sparkling clean and my children were sitting quietly reading book.
Reality has set back to clean, cook, corral, coax and then collapse!!!


Eight maids a'milking...the ladies left in a hurry, but they left their pails filled with milk (one even had chocolate milk) on our front sidewalk!!
Nine ladies dancing...this is the aarrgghh part. We are READY to solve the mystery of the Christmas culprit who is spreading all this cheer. Clara and I were sitting on our love seat a mere eight feet from our back door. We heard the tale-tell knock on the back door. Clara (who is faster than lighting) ran to the door, threw it no avail. I ran to the front door to look for no avail.
We have two more days to solve this mystery!! This is getting SERIOUS!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Having a birthday party for Jesus is one of our favorite things to do. This year our neighbors hosted a fun gathering for the kids in our neighborhood. The children had a wonderful time.

Research Project

Here are some pics from Hannah's latest research project. She did a study of the Olympics and presented her findings using a poster as a visual aide. Elijah is learning along with his sister!!

Candy House

Look at this awesome chocolate house Hannah received today at work. Hannah volunteers in a classroom of two year olds. One of her favorite little ones is Molly. Molly's grandmother made this amazing house as a gift for Hannah and the other teachers. Isn't it beautiful?

Seven Swans and Six Geese

The Christmas culprit strikes again. Last night while changing an extremely poopy diaper, I hear a knock, knock, knock on my back door. Unfortunately I could not get to the door quickly because I was surrounded by poop. After lathering down with antibacterial soap, I ran to the door and found six eggs with a note telling us that the geese had flown south. The irony is that David was outside on a ladder hanging Christmas wreaths. He saw a girl run past. Who is this girl? We do not know?

Today when I arrived home from work, we found seven "swans" a swimming. This time the note explained that they are still in their "ugly duckling" phase. Elijah is enjoying the water play with the swans!!!

So, we still have not solved the mystery, but tomorrow we are on a mission. The Smiths are reading a little Sherlock Holmes tonight to prepare for our investigation!!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Elijah's Preschool Program

Here are some pics from Elijah's preschool program last week. You will notice in many of the pics he has his hands in his pockets. He is such a little man!!!

The program was adorable...It started with reading of the Christmas story. Then, each class sang a song. His class sang Jingle Bells. He actually sang. And, finally Santa came and handed out candy canes.

Hint for my on the picture so it will bigger!!

Happy Birthday to Jesus.

Friday we had a neighborhood birthday party for Jesus. This picture of Elijah really caught me. He is into blowing out the birthday candle. It is difficult to believe that Elijah's third birthday is coming up in just a few weeks. This is just a warm-up for him.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Fifth Day of Christmas!!

This morning we were all snug as a bug in a rug, when to our wondering ears did a doorbell sound. Alas, our fifth day had arrived...FIVE GOLDEN RINGS.

I have a confession to make...David and I may just be enjoying this more than the kids!!! This morning we were giggling like little children. It's been a rough year in our household and this is a nice treat.

And, we appreciate the effort more than our children do. We know this is a busy time of year. Someone is going to great lengths, taking precious time to bring us the little gifts. We appreciate the sacrifice and the love being shown. The kids just think it's cool!!

We'll let you know what tomorrow brings!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Fourth Day of Christmas!!

Day four, lo and behold four calling birds. Creative!! My kids are having the best time with these daily surprises that keep showing up on our front door.
Until tomorrow....

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Days of Christmas!!

Two nights ago, there was a knock on our door and we found a partridge in a pear tree on our sidewalk. The next night another knock on the door and we found two turtle doves (two packages of turtles and two dove chocolate bars). Of course you will notice that we took pictures of wrappers. That chocolate was consumed rapidly!!! This morning another knock at the door and we found three french hens. Needless to say our children are ecstatic with the Christmas cheer being spread through someone sweet, creative souls. Enjoy the pics of the Smith's being Christmas'd.

The Dentist!!

This week I went to the dentist (the first time in six years). My mother is reading this so I know, I know, I know I'm supposed to go to the dentist. I chose this particular dentist after a friend who abhors the dentist had in her words "a fabulous" experience with sedation dentistry.

Tonya is right..this particular dentist does a nice job of NOT making you feel guilty because you haven't been in a while. They also do not make you wait. They give a free consultation where they take X-rays to determine what work needs to be done. And, get this they don't seem to find EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN that needs to be done.

So, I was pumped up as I went into my appointment. The decision had been made to NOT use the sedation because it saved over $300. It seemed like a good decision at the time. My appointment went fairly wasn't terrible anyway. But I guess I was tense the whole time because the next day I literally felt like I had been run over by a mack truck. The moral of this story is this....if they offer you drugs at the dentist take them people!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Quiet Denied!!

This morning I woke up at 5:15 expecting some peace and quiet until 6:30 when we wake all the children. However, my boys had other things in mind. At 5:30 Noah came happily out his bedroom, ready to start the day. While I was trying to convince him, to no avail, to go back to bed, here comes smiling Elijah.

So, me and the boys spent a few minutes looking at the half decorated Christmas tree..clad only in lights. Thank goodness for DVR, I just turned on Adventures in Odyssey and they are quiet as mice. Well, Noah just loudly invited me to please, please, please come watch the movie with them. So, I'm off to Odyssey with my coffee and then off to work!!

My "quiet time" may have been interrupted, but God must be pleased as I hang out with my little men...they will not be little for long. Quiet denied, but LOVE LOUDLY DECLARED!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Around the World

Last week Hannah participated in a Christmas Around the World event at our church. Students each picked a country, researched the Christmas traditions in that country and created a visual representation of what they learned. Then, they gave a presentation on their country and shared food they prepared. We made fried rice which is now our new favorite meal and a Christmas cake. The girls also folded many origami swans which they passed out to the children as a treat. It was a fun, learning experience with friends and family. Here's some pics from the evening.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Noah loses first tooth!!

Noah came home from school yesterday with his tooth in his hand and not in his mouth. He was so excited!! And, he pulled the tooth out all by himself in the hallway after music.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Rite of Passage

Yesterday Hannah went to the orthodontist and had metal put on her teeth. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I cannot relate because I never had braces. The silly thing is when I was in middle school I desperately wanted braces, why? Because everyone else had them!!

Recently when Hannah went shopping with her friend they bought the same coats. That brought back many memories of me and my best friend in middle school who wore matching everything. Then it was Izod shirts. We would make sure we wore the same color shirts (layered of course). And, wear mismatched socks the same colors as the shirt (you got it, one blue sock and one yellow sock...bunched over the jeans which were tucked into the socks).

Pondering all this made me realize that the craziness of middle school really is a part of growing up. My baby daughter Hannah is growing up before my eyes. And there is nothing I can do to stop it (nor do I want to). I really just need to enjoy the ride. It is normal for her begin to move away from us and explore the world.

Back to the braces....she did remarkably well and looks cute. My favorite quote of yesterday came from Noah when he saw her braces for the first time, "Ooohh you look ugly". How about that for a confidence builder. Noah has no polite filters yet, but we are working on it. Which could explain his conduct grades!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hannah's B'day Celebration

Yesterday we celebrated Hannah's birthday. It was a good day for all the Smith's. David invited some friends over to watch the Georgia game. It was testosterone-ville, so me and the girls headed out of the house. The dawgs won!!

Hannah's wish for the day was to go shopping with her friend Emilie without Clara. So Clara went to her friend Molly's to play for the day. (not so disappointing for her)

Hannah and Emilie had MUCH fun touring the mall and making their purchases. I must admit it was pretty fun. They made some good purchases and enjoyed making their own decisions. I also got in some shopping myself.

Then, our friend Libby came over to watch the boys so we could go out to dinner. Dinner was a blast!! (Clara was invited to join us for dinner). Currently Hannah is studying Japan in geography. So we decided to go to a Japanese steak house. We got there before 7:00 and got the early bird special. It was entertaining and the food was wonderful. Definitely a repeat!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

So grown up!!

Elijah is officially settled into his new bed. This is a process we tried months ago and then we took a break. His pack and play broke so we had to move him into a big bed. The first few nights were torture, but last night he went and got in bed without being asked.
Yesterday he also let me work on a project ALL day and really played well with his sister and by himself. It felt like we were turning a corner, like he really is growing up. Last night I was watching a movie downstairs and the kids were watching a movie upstairs. When it was time to go to bed he gave me a hug.
He smelled like sunscreen and perfume. He was quietly and steathily getting into stuff. He may be growing up, but he is still a mess!! You may notice in the background of the picture the black permanent marker artwork he drew on his walls. THE JOYS OF CHILDHOOD!!
Now I just need my aunt and my mother to come over for a couple of weeks to potty train him!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reliving High School

Recently my friend Jana wrote on her blog that she was thankful she was not in high school anymore. This morning as I ponder my out of control life I realize that I FEEL like I am in high school again. Let me explain.

I'm a mom of four children. Two are in school and one is homeschooled and my two year old walks around seeing what kind of chaos he can create. Keeping up with the mounds of paperwork is a challenge for me. It seems like no matter how hard I try something always gets misplaced or I forget to send in an important paper. I have been trying to explain my disorganization with profuse apologies to teachers. (With excuses like my dog ate my homework or it was sitting on my desk and disintegrated in the night)

When I was in high school these were the stunts I pulled on a regular basis (it's a wonder my mother is still sane!!). I remember clearly turning assignments in late. I remember clearly my locker NOT being organized, but being a mass of papers that looked rather pig pen like. (My daughter Clara takes after me!!)

Here's the silver lining in the cloud. When I was in high school I did not really care. Now, as a mature (well sometimes) adult I care!! So, even though I've been struggling, I continue to seek God's guidance for improvement. Right now I think He is saying that I need a secretary!! Actually He's telling me to SLOW DOWN and take time to do what is important if not necessarily urgent.

So, today I am thankful for the upcoming holiday and the much needed break from school. By the way homeschooling my middle schooler is teaching me so much. I had forgotten that organelles were tiny bodies in the cytoplasm of a cell. I'm sure I never knew that the difference between smooth endoplasmic reticulum and rough endoplasmic reticulum were ribosomes.

I'm thankful for this time in my life where I the teacher am certainly the student!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fall Party Pics

Here's some additional pics from the fall party that we attended with Clara's soccer team. Clara didn't bob for apples she submerged for apples.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Rare Priviledge!!

This past weekend was full of many activities, but one stands out above the rest. Clara's soccer team (and families) were invited to the country for a fall party. It sounded like fun to me...getting away for a while from the busyness of life. What I did not realize is that I would be going to a place so rich with history and so filled with beauty.

We drove up and were instantly wowed by this gorgeous civil-war era antebellum home. This is the home of Molly's grandmother. She lives here and has lived here for 52 years. It is unbelievably dreamy!! Really I could have spent days here just exploring and listening to all the stories.

What I appreciated most is that my friend India and her mother shared their life with us. I've been in houses like this before and have always been fascinated. It was the first time I have been in a home like this. The first time I have known the occupants. History is real to them because it is personal. It has shaped who they are and it will shape who their children will become. I used to think history was a bit dull and more!! Yes, the home was beautiful, but the stories of the lives lived compelled me the most.

That leads me to a different topic seemingly unrelated, but which comes directly from their stories. India's father was adopted by India's grandmother. She had never married and had no children, so she adopted this young boy. (Certainly I would like to learn more about her). This young boy's life changed. He grew up in and inherited this amazing home. He married a lovely southern belle. They had children. Their children had children. What might his life have looked like had he not been adopted!!

This young boy was adopted. He was loved by his mother. She gave him an amazing inheritance. Yet, it pales in comparison to the inheritance that we receive when we are adopted as God's children. We are orphans. We have no hope. We are separated from God. He chooses us. He loves us. He gives us a rich life. And the rest is history.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

City Champions

Hannah's soccer team completed the year undefeated. Tournament play was tough, but they came out on top and are the city champions. We are very proud of Hannah and her team. We were quite impressed with her coach and his unfailing commitment to teaching the team and challenging them to get better. This was a great group of girls!!