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!!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Halloween Pics

We had an enjoyable evening in Westbrook Farms on Halloween night. Elijah REALLY liked the concept of going to our neighbor's houses, looking cute and getting candy. Then, even better eating said candy.

David and I enjoyed a relaxing evening. Rather than going to the door every five seconds, we built a fire in our outdoor firepit and sat outside to pass out candy. It was like camping!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Zoo

Noah's class took a field trip to the zoo. It was a beautiful sunny day.
The boys had a great time and most of my time was spent behind the boys. They were conquerors...see and move on was their motto.