Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's been a long week!!

I will spare the details, but let's just say I've spent the week getting well acquainted with my bathroom. The result has been an intense desire to simply hang out and relax. It really is amazing how many habits fly out the window when I don't feel well. No blogging, no time alone with God, no exercise, no hanging out with friends, no cleaning my kitchen, no cooking (so how on earth did my kitchen get so dirty). Oh yeah I have five other people in my home.

Even though it has seemed like an eternal week and my accomplishments are tiny. My laundry piles has reduced. My kitchen counters can finally be seen. I have spent a great deal of time this week hanging out with my youngest. So much so that yesterday I really felt like he might seriously be physically attached to me. He's growing up so fast that I for the most part enjoyed the attachement.

So, my question this morning is should I eat or make a cup of coffee? Or should I just drink water?

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Yesterday we were sitting at the soccer game. It's almost the end of the game and our team was down 1-0. We were all realy focused on the game. If the girls either tied or won, then we would be first in our bracket.

At that moment, my oldest son loudly asked the question, "How are movies made?" Everyone just looked at him incedulously and waited to hear my answer. Then before I had a chance to formulate a coherent thought, he asked "How are channels made?" I really don't know where these questions came from. Maybe he thought it seemed like a movie at that moment.

In the movies our team would have shot and scored in the final seconds. Life is not a movie. We lost 1-0.

On Hold

Our blog renovation is on hold for a few days. This week has turned out to be CRAZY. It was the first week of the new semester at the school where I work and I worked a few extra hours.

Plus, it's soccer tournament weekend. Seriously, I'm getting OLD. Yesterday I sat on my tush and watched my daughter play two games of soccer (and watched my son practice soccer..that was entertaining). This morning I'm sore and tired and really just want to go to bed.

Clara busted her tail and worked really hard even though she is fighting an ankle injury and she's been hacking up a lung for the last few days. Hopefully she will wake up refreshed and ready to go for her game(s) today. I'm realizing she is an all or nothing kind of gal. Nothing by half measure. I wonder where she gets that?

Never in my wildest dreams did I think our life would be so full of soccer. My children seem to love it. It is becoming a large part of our life. What I am so thankful for are the families on Clara's team.

We've been together for two years now and are building strong friendships. Each family is special and unique and we are enjoying getting to know them. I realize that it takes time and intentionality to build friendships. It takes effort.

The whole concept of friendship is on my mind because I got a phone call from a dear friend last night. We were neighbors for a season and then she went and moved someplace exotic and we've lost touch. It was great to talk with her and hear about her life today.

We all need people in our lives. We need to know and be known. We need to know that someone cares. So, no matter where we are in life, what season we are in, we need to make the effort to be a friend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Power of Advertising!!

Elijah was watching some TV this morning. He just came to me and said "Next time am I going to have light up Sketchers?".

New Look

It's time to give Chateau Smith a facelift. She's looking pretty tired these days. It will just be a little tuck here and there, nothing too major. One of the areas that I want to update is the blogs I read. It would be helpful to me if you could post a comment with your blog name so my "blog administrator" aka my husband can easily make the adjustments.

Thanks!!! I love the blog world. It makes me smile every day to read blogs. I love seeing pics. I love keeping up with the lives of friends far away. Maybe one day I'll get a facebook account.

Fresh Peach Pie

This is my FAVORITE peach pie recipe. We usually only have it during the summer when we pick fresh peaches. It's so YUMMY and EASY. This comes from the Southern Living Annual Recipes Cookbook.

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 TBL brandy (don't usually have this, use vanilla)
1 baked 9 " pie shell]
6 large fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
3 TBL lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 TBP powdered sugar
1 TSP vanilla extract

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar and brandy (or vanilla), beating well. Spread in bottom of baked pastry shell; chill.

Combine peaches, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of sugar, cover and chill.

Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy adding 3 TBL powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until soft peaks form. Cover and chill. (I suppose you could use the canned stuff if you're in a pinch for time)

Drain peaches; arrange over butter mixture in pie shell. Dollop whipped cream mixture over peaches; SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Morning Ramblings

Here's my thoughts that I don't have the energy to collect this am.

  • It is possible to have too much of a good thing.
  • 100 pounds of peaches is almost, (but not quite) too much of a good thing.
  • 5:30 is too early in the morning.
  • Coffee is a cherished gift.
  • Is it really only Tuesday?
  • Why are there so many barbecue places in Memphis?
  • This winter I'm going to LOVE making peach cobbler!!!
  • My friend's daughter asked me if I was decorating my house with peaches
  • I'm not sure where she got that idea.
  • Could be that EVERY surface in my house was covered with peaches.
  • My husband loves his job!!!!
  • I love my husband!!!!
  • He's making breakfast as we speak.
  • I love my job(s).
  • I love my children and think they are incredible.
  • Yes, I'm stalling and now I'm off to get ready for the day

Monday, August 18, 2008

Peach Pics

This morning we took a field trip to the orchard with two other homeschool families. The kids enjoyed their time. I love the pics of the girls hanging out in the trees. I'm sure they are discussing their school lessons for the week.

Friday, August 15, 2008

'nuff said...

The Individual

Educating my oldest daughter at home is a challenge and a joy. The unexpected surprise is how much I enjoy reading the books she is reading. It sharpens my mind and I'm learning so much in the process. Yesterday I read a biography of Mother Teresa.

To say I thoroughly enjoyed it would be an understatement. Here's a quote by Mother Teresa that I love and that I pray will impact my life.

"I believe in person-to-person; every person is Christ for me, and since there is only one Jesus, that person is the only person in the world for me at that time."

How many times am I talking to someone, but thinking about something else? What would happen in my home, my world if I adopted this philosophy?

Thursday, August 14, 2008


This past year our youngest began to show signs of the same finicky eating that his older brother displayed. I was committed to avoid making the same mistake twice. Keep in mind I have two girls who eat great, so I'm not a complete failure as a parent.

Well several months ago I decided to draw the line in the sand with my youngest. Over the years I've heard many people recommend that if a child doesn't eat dinner you hold it over to breakfast and so on until they eat. While I had never tried it, I thought okay, I'll give it a shot.

Enter the infamous peaches. My youngest was given some peaches with his dinner. He decided NOT to eat the peaches. I firmly explained he couldn't have anything to eat until he ate his peaches (After all he'd eaten peaches before, so I knew it wasn't a matter of dislike). I put the peaches in the fridge and told him he could eat them for breakfast.

At breakfast, no can do, he would not eat the peaches. Again, line is drawn in the sand. I got firmer and said he had to stay in his room until he ate the peaches. I'll make a long, painful story short and say my willful young man spent the day in his room coming out periodically to look stubbornly at the peaches.

We were at war. Neither would budge. Although I did lose a little ground by giving him some milk (my mistake).

Finally, by the evening I could take it no longer. I put those blasted peaches in the blender and made him a peach milkshake. Technically I won. He consumed the stinking peaches, but it was a hollow victory.

Why do I tell you this story today? My husband and I took two of our kids to pick peaches and yes my youngest was one of them. He was pretty pumped about picking peaches.

It was a lovely morning in the peach orchard. The ultimate moment was when I heard Elijah who was walking slightly behind me, holding his basket muttering to himself...."I don't like peaches, I don't like peaches, I don't like peaches".

Clearly I have scarred him for life. By the way we picked 75 pounds of peaches.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ignorance is it bliss?

I'm loving the comments about camers and realize that my friends are really so much smarter than I am. I know this will make some of you laugh, but I've been genuinely trying to figure out what in the world SLR means. It's a term that's been flying through my comments section.

This morning I finally did a google search and read the information. Can't tell you what it means, but I realize it might be important to me in my search. One day a long, long time ago I actually had an interest in photography in college and remember my Pentax camera from those days.

However all that is a distant memory replaced by years of ministry to students and now the day to day ministry to four children. But, since I'm homeschooling my oldest, I'm committed to learning with her. I've decided ignorance is not bliss and my goal this month is to learn about cameras and photography. While I may never be a professional, I do want to capture these wonderful moments with my family.

Facing the Giants

Our daughter plays competitive soccer. Last year she played in a tournament with the team that is a year older.
This pic was taken with the infamous Sony camera. She may be little, but she's tough and she's hanging with the big girls. She has been known to hunker down low and send girls flying over her back.
By the way, I'm loving the helpful comments on cameras and realize this research phase may take a little longer than expected. Thanks for the comments!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Camera

Our camera has been on a slow decline this year and we've been limping along with it, not really wanting to spend the money on a new camera. The camera was a gift from my parents and it was very nice. It has served us well. However, I'm realizing it is time to purchase a new camera.

With three children playing sports, we would like to upgrade a bit. We need to be able to get a shot from a decent distance and we definitely need to be able to get the action shot. While we will not be getting the $1,200 Sony camera that we previewed at the soccer tournament last spring, we do want an amazing camera for a low price.

So, I research. Any suggestions on the best way to get a great camera and save money at the same time. I figure I've been saving pennies on groceries (which certainly add up to big-time savings over the long haul), so I should apply the same principles I'm learning with groceries.

These are my specific questions:

Where is the best place to get a camera? When do they go on sale? Does anyone know if they offer rebates? What cameras are the best while also are reasonably priced. I'm not looking to go professional here, but I am hoping to improve my picture taking capability. Is a camera worth purchasing used or should I go for a new camera?

Monday, August 11, 2008


Watching the Olympics inspires me. It makes me want to be disciplined, to be the best, to reach for greatness. There are some movies that also inspire me...Chariots of Fire, Hoosiers, the Bad News Bears, Field of Dreams, Cool Runnings, The Karate Kid, Facing the Giants and Rocky just to name a few. I remember vividly Nadia Cominici winning the gold medal in the olympics. It made me want to be a gymnast even though I had never taken a single gymnastics class.

As our family sat and watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics Friday night it was one of those freeze frame moments, when I wanted to stop time. I wanted to get inside the minds of my children. I wanted them to be inspired. I wanted them to dream big dreams. I wanted them to be moved to "go for the gold" so to speak.

Tonight my six year old son is participating in the "Field of Dreams" where he gets to run on the field with the professional baseball players and stand while the National Anthem is being performed. I imagine that is pretty big in his world. Unfortunately, my girls had soccer practice and they are learning the hard way that in order to play on a team you have to make sacrifices.

Speaking of Olympic athletes...what is it that causes some people to excel? While I doubt seriously any of my children will be Olympic athletes, I do want them to do their very best. And I want them to do it all for the glory of God.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

School Starts Tomorrow!!!

School starts tomorrow. Those words both sadden me and make me smile. They sadden me because summer is already over. Although here in the south that statement is not even remotely true. More accurately, the lazy days of sleeping late and going to the pool are over. They make me smile because a new year brings a fresh start, new clothes and supplies, new teachers and subjects, new lessons to learn.

My kids are eager and I'm excited!! The hard part will be getting them to bed tonight. And, the hardest part will be dragging my hiney out of bed at 5:30 am!!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Play Pics

Here's some pics from the play the kids were in last week. So fun!!


Last Friday the Smith kids took the stage (well three of them) for the final performance of their drama camp. Their grandparents decided to surprise them and show up for the performance. It was a fun night and the kids did GREAT!!

Thanks for grandmommy and grandaddy for your extravagant and sacrificial love. We were glad you were here!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bargain Boot Camp

My foray into couponing has occupied much of my time and attention. I feel like I'm in bargain boot camp. Day and night, hour by hour I'm training and there seems to be no end in sight. It is hard work to go from being a flabby spender, to a frugal fighting machine. Recently I was reading a book by John Piper, "Don't Waste Your Life" and he used a phrase "wartime lifestyle".

That phrase has been knocking around in my brain and haunting me. Why? Because it is foreign for me to think that way. Because it is necessary for me to think that way. Because it is right for me to think that way.

In the book an illustration is given about the Queen Mary, in the harbor at Long Beach California which is now a museum. The Queen Mary was used as both a luxury liner in peacetime and a troop transport during WWII. Currently as a museum it is set up as a contrast. One side shows the peacetime dining room with a table setting with 15 plates and saucers for the wealthy. On the other side the dining room reveals one metal tray with indentions. In peacetime there were 3,000 passengers. In wartime there were 15,000.

What would change about my life if I thought in these terms? How would this affect my spending? As I continue to ponder, let me share an excerpt from Piper's book.

"It is more helpful to think of a wartime lifestyle than merely a simple lifestyle. Simplicity may have a romantic ring and a certain aesthetic appeal that is foreign to the dirty business of mercy in the dangerous places of the world. Simplicity may also overlook the fact that, in wartime, major expenses for complex weapons and troop training are needed. These may not look simple and may be very expensive, but the whole country sacrifices to make them happen. Simplicity may be inwardly directed and may benefit no one else. A wartime lifestyle implies that there is a great and worthy cause for which to spend and be spent (2 Corinthians 12:15)."

A wartime lifestyle....what does that mean in practical every day life?