Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wonder of Wonders!!

I know...I are all going to get tired of hearing about my Eureka optima!! Last night Hannah decided that she would like to vacuum her room. Keep in mind that she has NEVER decided to vacuum her room. Usually it is like pulling teeth to get her to vacuum.

She carried our new, lightweight cleaner upstairs. Vacuumed her room. Brought it back down and asked where she should put it away. ALL WITHOUT BEING ASKED!!! Of course she might have been stalling a bit so she could stay up late. But hey, I'm not complaining.

The cleaning revolution continues!!! Hannah is my newest recruit and I think she might just be very instrumental in the changes that will occur in our home.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Please Pray for Mary Kay!!

My friend Mary Kay had surgery yesterday to remove a tumor from her salivary gland. The prognosis is good. They believe they were able to get out all the cancer. They are still waiting for word from the pathologist whether she will need to have radiation. Please pray for Mary Kay's recovery and for her family as they serve her during this time.

Details on Vaccum Cleaner

My friend Amber asked about the cost of the vaccum cleaner. Here's the scoop. It was around $50 at Costco. I will recap my usage over the last few hours (yes, it's like a new toy)
  • The floor after breakfast
  • My back porch rug which I thought I would have to replace with the addition of the sandbox. It is chocolate brown and our sand looks real obvious.
  • The potato chips Little E found and dumped on the couch (used the handy attachment)
  • The Living Room floor (it seems to work just as well as my heavy vaccum)
  • The sugar spilled while someone made tea
  • The Hearth Room floor after the children came in from the sandbox
  • The floor after lunch
  • Little E's booster chair

Then, I tucked it neatly in my pantry (which is by the way quite small) where it is handy to grab. Tossed the nasty dust pan in the garage. Put the boys down for a nap. Enjoyed a relaxing bath knowing my floor is CLEAN!!! And a special bonus, my friend Virginia called and we had a great talk!!!

BTW--I timed it and it took me six minues to do the floors in my kitchen, breakfast room and hearth room. I'm not really willing to time how long it would take me to sweep, but I imagine it would be longer than that.

Elijah Joins the Revolution!!

Elijah exclaims "Try It Mommy!!!". In this picture he is checking out our new revolutionary product (details in posting below).

Elijah cries "Scare me Mommy!! This picture is taken after I actually turned on the power. (The captions for these pictures were written by Elijah as he viewed the pictures while they were loading on Picasa). I'm not sure my new recruit for the Cleaning Revolution will be very effective, but hey he's pretty cute.


Last night marked a revolution in my life. Sounds impressive huh? I bet you are excited to hear what this revolution is all about. Here goes. Housecleaning is not one of my favorite tasks. Especially considering I can clean my guts out and one little person can walk across the room leaving toys in his wake, food all over the floor. Not to mention the fact that I have four little people (Hannah's not so little anymore...she lost her last baby tooth this week). Anyway, my housecleaning woes are a reality in my life.

Through an innocent conversation I have discovered a product that will (hopefully) change my life in the housecleaning department. I'm sure by this point you are anxious to hear what it is. Well, let me tell you what my friend Michelle shared with me AND then showed up on my doorstep last night to take me to purchase. It's a Eureka Optima slim line vaccum cleaner. As I write I realize that doesn't sound all that revolutionary, but in my life it is!! Michelle looked at me like I had three heads (and no she had not consumed any alcohol) when I told her that I swept my floor. Her response was, "you mean like with a broom with bristles."

This handy little product works like a charm to get up all the stuff on my hardwood floor and my linoleum. I really hated to sweep. It took me so long before and it really didn't always look so good. Last night as soon as I got home, David and Clara put together my revolutionary machine. Clara was excited to try it out. The cool thing is the handle can adjust for little people to use it. It really looks like a little toy vacuum cleaner, but it actually works. My little vaccum cleaner weighs twelve pounds and it sucks that dirt up!! Wow, it is amazing!!!

Anyway, I learned a valuable lesson in all this. We can learn so much from one another. When I am weak in something, I desperately need to seek advice from those who are smarter, wiser and successful in that. The problem in the past is that I get defeated because I am not like the smarter, wiser person. For example, my friend Michelle has impeccable floors. I realize I will probably never have impeccable floors. However, I can see improvement in my floors because of a simple change.

Revolutions do not always require big events, sometimes they come as result of a series of small changes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Birthday!!!

We got this e-mail this past Friday from our friend Andrea in Florida and thought some of you might find it interesting...

"Shavuot (sha-voo-ote) in the U.S, is the silent, unknown Jewish festival - the Jewish calendar's forgotten stepchild."-Herb Keinon

The Feast of Weeks, The Latter Firstfruits, The Feast of Harvest, Pentecost or Shavuot, comes 50 days after Passover or 7 weeks (hence the name feast of weeks). It was the time to present an offering of new grain of the summer wheat harvest to the LORD.

In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), it is believed that it was then that Moses received of the 10 commandments.

In the New Testament, Jesus would instruct His disciples to wait together until Pentecost/Shavuot, the 50th day, following Passover. According to Acts 2 this was the occasion which the Holy Spirit would indwell believers inaugurating the existence of the Body of Christ (Messiah) The Church, harvesting for Himself a people that would be mobilized to make more disciples. So, Happy Birthday CHURCH! We're over 1,900 years old!!!

Blessings to everyone over the holiday weekend!

Andrea's R.P.M's: Reflective-Personal-Moments:

"So much to do, so little time to do it, such a BIG God to rely on!"

"Faith is Action, Based upon Belief, Sustained by Confidence in God's Word and His promise to perform it"-Rev. Gene Scott

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Boys are Back!!

The boys arrived safe and sound from their grandparents house. They were EXCITED to discover the completed sand box David built for them (pretty impressive). Elijah still has a bit to learn about sandbox etiquette, but he'll learn. The cool thing is, it feels like we are living at the beach...sand on the floor, sand on the couch, sand in the bathtubs. I draw the line at sand in my bed!!! Oh, the days of summer!!

The Boys Return from Camp Grandparents!!

The boys are on their way home from Camp Granparents. I'm relishing the last few moments of quiet, drinking a cup of coffee. It's VERY quiet. The girls are excited about the return of the boys. They really have missed their brothers.
We are trying hard to instill in our children that family is a gift from God to be cherished. God has given my children three siblings to play with, laugh with, fight with, learn from and of course vent about the ineptness of their parents with one another!! Sometimes they take one another for granted. I hope this time apart has given them a new appreciation for one another. I'm off to tackle a project before the kids return!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Meet the Watsons!!!

Here are our crazy friends, Kurt and Michelle Watson. They are recreating their wedding in this pic!! We've had a fun weekend with them. They live in our neighborhood and are in our life group at church.

An Evening Out!!

Friday evening we went out to dinner at Texas de Brazil. It was a fun evening. We went with our friends the Kurt and Michelle and Libby. We ate until we could eat no more. Then we went over to the Watsons for a while. Party animals that we were we fell asleep watching Seinfeld. We drove home at 1:00 am and discovered that the police patrol our neighborhood (no they didn't pull us over). The girls had a great time spending the night with their friend, Emilie. Camp Quiet is almost concluded. The boys come home tomorrow. We are all VERY excited to be together as a family!!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Clara goes Glam!!

Clara attended her friend Bailey's birthday party yesterday. It was at a place called Sweet and girlville. All the girls had an absolute blast. Clara enjoyed being all dolled up like a princess. As I watched her get her hair mind flashed to the future...prom, college formals and eventually wedding. It was a little frightening to realize it will all happen so fast. But for now, I'm going to enjoy nine year old Clara!!

End of School Party!!

We live in an amazing neighborhood. These are pics of our end of school Sonic party.

Camp Grandparents!!

On Sunday we sent the boys to Camp Grandparents. Around our house it has been Camp Quiet!!! We miss them, but are so appreciative to my parents for letting them come to their house to play.
Of course I had grandiose plans to get major projects done. Little did I know how busy this week would be. We've had so many end of year activities.

Amazing Teachers!!

Hannah with her homeroom teacher, Ms. Small. Ms. Small was also her math teacher. She was such a great teacher for Hannah.
This picture is a great example of how sometimes mistakes work out for the best!! Hannah was to receive an honor roll pin in her graduation celebration. Her name was omitted. But the cool thing is we got a picture with all her teachers and her principal. Much better than the far away shot during the ceremony would have been!!

Clara and her teacher Ms. Fortner. We were pleased to discover that Ms. Fortner attends our church and it turns out one of Clara's good friends from church just so happens to be Ms. Fortner's daughter.

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Seriously this is my third attempt to blog re: my birthday present. The first two ended up somewhere in cyberspace. Anyway, my husband listened carefully to the voice of God and gave me a priceless gift for my fortieth birthday. With the help of my friend Laurie Hare he compiled two scrapbooks with letters, cards and pages from friends and family. Certainly as I read it and enjoyed it for the first time, words failed me. Words still fail me!!!

Thank you to all for your heartfelt words, your creativity and your love that was poured out in the pages. Truly it is a gift I will cherish all my days!! What struck me is that the books really weren't about me, but really they were about Jesus. He has poured out His love into my heart. He has given me the abundant life that He promises. He has brought amazing people into my life.

Also, I need to say thank you to those who were my husband's little mom for coordinating my pre-David life. Nikki Hill for taking amazing pictures of my children. Robin for pulling together my neighbors. I'm sure there were many others who helped David with this project. Thank you All!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Congratulations Hannah!!

Congratulations Hannah!!

Today was the last day of school at Bon Lin Elementary School. Diane and I had the privilege of attending the 5th Grade Recognition Ceremony this morning. Here elementary school ends after the 5th grade and the kids then move on to a number of different middle schools so the end of 5th grade is treated somewhat like a graduation (processional, recessional, presentation of awards and certificates, reception, etc.).

This is a picture of Hannah and the principal of her school, Mrs. Kay Williams. We're so very proud of Hannah and the success she has enjoyed in school. We celebrate with Hannah today in her achievements, including the President's Award for American Educational Excellence, the American Citizenship Award, a school award for achieving Honor Roll, and a school award for Citizenship.

It was a bittersweet day for all of us. Hannah was quite emotional as several of her closest friends are moving on to different middle schools...with Hannah moving on to the Smith Academy. Hannah had a great year, participating in her school's yearbook staff, book club, and being a member of the Beta Club and APEX. We're so proud of her and thankful for her and we celebrate with her. Seems like yesterday she started off in the Early 5's program at Centerville Kindergarten Village, then a couple of years later on to Cline Elementary in Centerville, Ohio, then on to Oak Elementary School here, then as the city grew being moved into a brand new elementary school near our home at the beginning of 4th grade, Bon Lin Elementary.

I'm sure there will be several other posts about today...not to mention so many other things we need to catch up on to keep all of you friends in the loop (for example, yesterday we celebrated with Clara as she finished up the 3rd grade). It's been a busy time for us (busy day, busy week, busy month, busy semester, busy school year...). Tonight we spent some time just relaxing on the back porch and enjoying the peace of our back yard.

More later...yes, I know it's been a long time since I've posted and that Diane has done most of the postings...I need to get back into the habit...

Big D...

My friend, Mary Kay

Here's a picture from the Ladies Weekend I went on several weeks ago. I have a special request for my blog friends today. Mary Kay is the woman next to me wearing the denim shirt. She is a dear friend of mine and one of the sweetest people I know. Recently she found out she has a tumor on her salivary gland. Today she meets with a doctor in Nashville to discuss where they will go from here. Please pray for God to move powerfully on her behalf and bring healing to her body. Thank you!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Package Has Been Delivered...

Many of you will know what this means. The results of the special project have been presented to Diane. She'll be in touch with several of you soon. My thanks again!!!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thoughts on Turning 40!!

My husband gave me a sentimental card that made me cry. I thought I would share it with you. It said, "Turning 40 is like peeing in the pool. If you're lucky, no one will notice." That pretty much sums up how I felt yesterday. And yet, so many people called to wish me a Happy Birthday that it was hard to fly under the radar.

Thank you for all the cards and phone calls. Truly I am blessed beyond measure with rich friendships!!! As I reflect on my life and look back on the chapters of my life, the pages are filled with people. Certainly I do not have the space here to write my recollections, but please know that I have thanked God for my friends and family.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hannah has a new "little sis"

Meet Hannah's new sister, Madison Hagen. No, we haven't adopted her yet, but she certainly looks like she would fit in with the Smith's. She really resembles Clara and also looks like Hannah.
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Elijah and Josiah

Elijah has a new best friend and his name is Josiah. Last weekend we went out to Steak and Shake during Clara's soccer tournament with some friends. Every time Elijah sees Josiah, he has a hug for him. Josiah plays on Noah's T-ball team. You can never have too many friends!!!
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Clever Marketing Strategy!!

My idea of shopping for my kids is to go to consignment sales or to go to goodwill. This spring I missed my favorite consignment sale b/c I was out of town. So, yesterday I went shopping with Hannah and Clara. Hannah desperately needed some shorts!! My aunt had given the girls gift cards to Old Navy for Christmas and I had put them away for spring shopping.

So, off we went. Let's just say the gift cards were generous, but I still ended up writing a check for a very large amount!!! Now I know why I don't go shopping. Clara did a pretty good job spending her gift card and picking out her outfit. But then she found really cute shoes to go with her outfit and a very practical beach dress to go over her new bathing at it's finest.

Then, came Hannah. It was a rite of passage for me...the first time shopping with Hannah in the women's department. 24 hours later I am still freaking out. I miss the girls department!!! I am thankful that long shorts are in now. I am thankful that shirts are long because they cover the belly. What I don't get is the really thin shirts with the plunging necklines. Then, you have to buy a tank top to go under the plunging neckline. (Another clever marketing strategy). And still, the tank top is too low. Hannah was adorable...she said...I just want a shirt with the collar. So, off we went back to the girl's department and found a collared shirt.

I'm not really ready for my eleven year old to be wearing clothes that are fashionable to teenagers. Someone needs to develop a line of clothes for young girls, that are no longer little girls and not yet young women!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Favorite words

Some of my favorite words...

Albeit...sounds so much better than although makes me want to go to Ireland and drink beer (btw..I don't drink beer)'s a great way of complimenting someone while making it seem like you are going to call them a curse word.

Fabulous...way overused in my life

Huh? means I have no clue what you are saying or I know what you're saying and want to play dumb (Elijah uses huh well.)

Seriously...great emphasis word

Friend...last night I talked on the phone with a good friend for two hours...I miss my Dayton friends, but am thankful for the phone and internet

7 Things about me!

Jana tagged me for "7 things about me " meme. Okay, for all my readers I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, but I'm moving past my comfort zone in the world of blogging.

1. I believe baths are a gift from God and when I say baths I mean an hour long soak reading a book or magazine while drinking my favorite beverage.

2. My favorite past-time is travel planning. My last trip was a weekend away with six friends to Hot Springs where we stayed at this fabulous house . It is always a challenge for me to find the "perfect spot". Currently I'm plannig a trip to Florida in June.

3. I played Bass Clarinet in High School and was first chair in the state of Georgia (of course there were probably only 3 people who played that instrument).

4. In high school I hit my neighbor's mailbox because I bent down to pick up a drink that had fallen. It smashed into the windshield. I drove to work, then called my parents and said I hit a dog. (This may be a real revelation to my parents...even now)

5. When my daughter's were 3 years old and 6 months I was in a car accident where I flipped my car three times and landed on the roof. We were all injuries (at least not physically).

6. I'm mental when it comes to driving on the interstate and I'm a terrible backseat driver. It's really better if I just close my eyes in the car (unless I'm driving, of course).

7. I'm a "Lost" junkie and I'm going to really be mad it they are dead!!

That's enough about me. So I guess I will tag Amber, Kim, and Jill. You're it and I look forward to reading all about you.

Tough Parenting Week!!

David and I certainly have much to learn when it comes to parenting. We are moving into a different era of parenting...parenting pre-teen/tweens. And, some days I feel like a moron. Especially if I listen to my children. Instead, I am choosing to listen to the voice of God and seek Him.

This week we had a couple of tough parenting issues I thought I'd share. Wednesday night our daughter Clara played soccer and scored her first goal of the season. YEAH?...not really. She scored for the other team. It wasn't intentional, it was an accident. She got pulled from the game immediately. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, I didn't see it happen. I was at the car changing Elijah's diaper. As I walk back toward the bleachers, David walks toward me and shares the news.

The game is tied at this point and it is halfway through the second half. As a parent, it was agonizing sitting across the field (the players have their bench on one side of the field and the bleachers are on the other.) Boy, how I wanted to go comfort her, but instead I'm sitting on the bleachers hoping our team will score a goal, so it will not be a tie. And then our friend Ellie made a beautiful pass to Katie who dribbled down the field and scored a goal. We won 2-1. That helped.

The tough parenting moments came after the game...Clara valiantly tried to hold it together, but she was devastated. We learned after the game that Clara's coach pulled her because she seemed lost. She was tired and it showed. Many lessons were learned. We learned to make sure Clara gets a good night's sleep. Clara learned that sometimes you mess up. Clara learned that when you're on a team you stick together in good times and bad times. We learned that children will suffer disappointment and they need lots of hugs.

Second parenting lesson comes from Hannah. She plays piano beautifully. She came home a few weeks ago saying she wanted to enter the talent show at school. Very cool because she has this thing about not wanting to perform in front of people. However, every day when she comes home and we ask if she has tried out, she says "No". She has been dragging her feet about trying out. Yesterday was the last day to try out and she came home informing us that we didn't fill out the paperwork so she can't do it. Keep in mind we NEVER saw such paperwork. Oh, how I wanted to scream. I realized that in her mind it's my fault and I'm realizing that everything for the next six to eight years will be my fault. Lord, help us. The truth is she is frightened of performing in front of people. I wish I could change that, but she is the only one who can.

Preteen parenting tips anyone? Really we need lots of prayer.

And, we are dealing with preschool and toddler issues.
Noah found his temper. He likes to stomp his feet and throw things. Elijah found his ability to hit. We have started calling him Bam, Bam.