Saturday, January 31, 2009

I believe....

Recently I received an email that began with the statement, "I believe..." At first, I was intrigued - I wanted to see what the content of this forward held. What would be the theme, what would be the message, what would be the one thing people would choose to write as what "I believe". And you know what? I got fired up. Not one single line in that forward reflected what I truly believe. There are many things that I believe.

I bet that I would have a list of hundreds if I had time to write them all out - maybe I'll take that to task in a journal entry somewhere. But the one true tenet, the one belief that I try to let guide my life, my actions, my words was not a part of this email. So, being as the kind of person I am, I hit "reply" (it took restraint not to hit "reply all" :) and I let be made known my #1. Now, I must say that the person that sent me this email is a friend of mine and I love her dearly, but it got me thinkin. So, here goes and I want you to leave a reply as to what "I believe..." I want to hear your opinions. And we let anonymous comments on our blog for now, and we let the kind where you just put your name. So please, indulge me, and let's see what list we get....

I believe.....
That Jesus Christ is the Son of God, died for my sins and rose again on the third day. Because of His sacrifice I am privileged to be called a daughter of God. Salvation is a gift that must be received, for it is freely given - grace beyond all measure - for no matter the darkness in my life, Christ has made me acceptable to God through his loving sacrifice.

I'm not saved by works. I can't earn my way to heaven. It's not possible. But, because I love God and the free gift that was given to me, I show that love in tangible ways.

That a loving word and a gentle hug can make any day brighter.

That when my children are asleep they are truly angels!

That my parents did an awesome job teaching me and modeling to me what love between a husband and a wife really is. And what it means to work through the tough to get to the great.

That 'sticktuitiveness' is an admirable quality.

That innocence is a beautiful thing.

That teaching someone something new (in the classroom, home or workplace) makes all the hard work worth it.

That sometimes peanut butter will make just about any situation seem better.

That letters in the mail are a precious gift.

That my husband knows me better than I know myself. And, he's totally hot.

That girlfriends bring humor, sisterhood, laughter, tears, and understanding into daily life and its' struggles.

(I could keep going, but I want to see what you think....)

What do you believe?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kinda Wordless Wednesday

Can you guess what is gonna happen as you scroll down?

Did you guess right? :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Farm Show

We ventured into uncharted territory, Marion and I. We took 4 children under 3 to the Farm Show. Those of you who aren't from the area are thinking, "What the world is a farm show?" And I must tell you, I don't even remember ever going to the farm show, and I grew up in the area! A farm show is basically as it is named. There is a large complex with every kind of agricultural product and bi-product you could imagine. Animals to pet, food, clothing made from a freshly shorn sheep, tractors, play areas, horse shows and animal contests. We had a good time with the kids, but we had to convince ourselves of that fact while we waited for a bus in 15 degree weather for 15 minutes! By the time a bus arrived (that wasn't too full or actually took strollers and screaming children because they were frozen to near the point of us almost leaving and going to the local mall for the morning), we were wondering if we really should've entered into this brave new world of agricultural bliss. Once we saw Hudson and James enjoy petting the cows (Sam and Anna weren't too into getting close to the huge beasts - see below), and all the children enjoy seeing the varied animals, and eating the yummy food (fresh fruit slushees!), we realized it was worth the experience. We think. Next year we may wait for a day that is at least 40 degrees though.

That's what Anna thought of being placed close enough to the cow to pet him.

These guys are in a tractor wheel...and lovin' the slushee.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fun in the Snow!

Yes, I took my kid out in the 15ish degree weather (yea, that was the high) while Anna was napping. We had just enough snowfall the night before to cover the grass and make it perfect for sledding with the disk. It was has first time really by himself, and after a few pushes from Mommy, he got the hang of it. It was cold, but I braved it because the joy of seeing his face was all worth it. We also ventured down the yard to the meadow (there's a meadow right behind our house) and went "sploring" in the area. Then I asked him if he wanted to take one more ride and he said, "No Mama, I'm cold. I want hot cocoa!" It was truly a ton of fun. Enjoy the slideshow!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

glimpses of things to come

Really, there are just those moments, those few fleeting moments for a few seconds when I see the loving, compassionate, caring, little people my children are growing into. Moments that I cherish when days like yesterday happen. Moments that I cling to when I feel like I want to run out the door (ok, yes, stay at home mommies like to run from their jobs too sometimes....just in case any of you were in doubt.) Glimpses into the future of sharing and caring, loving and protecting - I try to savor each second. These two beautiful babies love each other. They really do. I know it. They know it. They can't go to bed without saying good night and blowing kisses - or have one leave and the other will search the house for the missing buddy - or pull each other by the hand to go play. But they are 3 and 1. Both at the peak of "me-ness" and sharing is not always easy. God love 'em - they try, but sometimes it's just downright hard to let someone play with your favorite Thomas train, or let your big brother ride in your favorite pink push along buggy car you got for Christmas. They are best friends, yet arch enemies.Recently they were playing nicely in Hudson's room together and they were giggling and enjoying time together - ahhh....peace, for a few minutes. I heard a sudden cry from Anna, and I let her go for a few seconds before I quietly walked down the hall to see what happened. It wasn't urgent, it sounded like a "I'm hurt but not too bad" cry. As I peeked around the corner, my heart overflowed with mommy proudness. Hudson had sat on the train table and Anna had laid her head in his lap while she cried. She was whimpering and he was patting her back saying, "it's ok banana, it's ok. You'll be better soon." (I can hear the collective "awwww"!). And yes, it was at this moment that I imprinted on my brain, a moment I will try to never forget in the next few months, because assuredly those days will come when someone will push all my buttons (oh yea - my buttons get pushed - and I'm patient, but everyone has their point)....I'll savor it, pull it out of my "favorite memories movies" in my head, and I'll play it to myself. Man, I love these glimpses of things to come....I just hope that it doesn't come too quickly.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Daddy's proud moment

Chris' recent proud moment with the Philadelphia Phillies World Series trophy. It came to our town and he had to go see it, touch it, bask in its' luster and sense its' goodness.

Movie Star and Rock Star

My children have recently become obsessed with their sunglasses. Maybe it's because I make a big deal when they wear them. Maybe it's because Hudson misses the 13 pairs he used to wear when we played outside (sigh....) in AZ. Maybe it's because they know they are too unbearably cute when they wear them. Maybe it's because Daddy wears his everywhere, all the time, every day....he claims people with light colored eyes need them more - can anyone else attest to this? Either way, they look cute - here are a few I captured of the Movie Star. The Rock Star was not available for the paparazzi that day.

The Rock Star was recently available for comment concerning his passion for cooking. This little man wants to be "a pilot so I can fly in a plane whenever I want and it will have 2 seats on each side of the aisle and room for me to fly mommy and daddy and Anna wherever we want to go." Dream on little man, dream on - I'm all for that goal in life! But, in addition to that love, he has always enjoyed helping in the kitchen. In fact, for the past 2 Christmases and birthdays, he has been getting cooking utensils, play food, a kitchen, an apron, etc. I take full advantage of my little helper; he even does clean up with the dishes!!!! (He's mine ladies, all mine.) One recent morning Anna chose to take an AM siesta again and we made a chef hat for Hudson - he loved it. And then, we had to make something while in full chef regalia, so we made low fat chocolate cupcakes with full-fat peanut butter icing (yes, that's how I justify my indulgences). :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Communication is a beautiful thing

Communication is a beautiful thing - really. Anna has been a little speech delayed because of the number of ear infections that she had over the past year, so since the tubes, she has been babbling more, and beginning to say more and more words. Her receptive language is honestly right on target, well, actually, I think she's pretty phenomenal in what she understands - she's quite intelligent ;) By this time, Hudson was ahead of his game (expressive language-wise), and it has been an adjustment for me to realize that it's ok that there is a reason that she still only says a few distinguishable words - the sounds are all there, and she's getting more everyday....but here is the beautiful realization of today.

She signs more than 6 signs. Just like Hudson, I've been simple signing with her from birth and she's regularly used two for the past couple months. But I just realized that within the past week I can really understand her wants (most of the time). She can tell me when she's thirsty (hand stroking throat), or when she's hungry (fingers to lips), wants more, wants up, is "all done", and no. Of course, she does the cute baby things too like waves bye and blows kisses, but she just looked at me a few minutes ago while we were playing, and instead of crying or whining, she signed "eat".... I verbalized, "You want to eat? You want a snack?" and she did it again....and I realized I can communicate with this little person - and it makes me so proud of her, because she's trying her darndest to show and share her life with us. She is such a precious joy...a precious gift. Communication is a beautiful thing.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Festivity recap

(This is subtitled: what was wrong with Beth's ghetto eye and varied maladies).... WARNING: this is a looooonnnnngggg post :)

Christmas morning was eventful - yes, that's right, eventful. Not the typical relaxed, let everyone lay back and just go with the flow morning. Although, we did manage to go with the flow pretty well. Considering there was an eye swollen shut, broken glass, deep lacerations and exploding glass pans....oh, and that was all me. None of the other Smith family members (I'll gladly take that all since they all remained healthy and blood-letting free).
Hudson woke at 6:45 and we managed to keep him occupied in our bedroom until Anna woke up at 8. Hudson is addicted to Muppet's Christmas Carol and thoroughly enjoyed some cuddle time with Daddy and Mommy in bed while watching his movie....this is one of our faves too, so it worked well for all of us to start the morning like this. During this time I popped our breakfast into the oven to cook - the day before I had whipped up our traditional sticky buns and egg/sausage/green chile yumminess. Anna awoke and everyone was allowed to come out to the tree. In our house, Santa brings unwrapped presents that satisfy everyone's excitement until after breakfast. They get a toy and a book from - Hudson was excited about his Thomas Track for his metal Thomas Trains (they're kinda like GeoTrax, but they are for Take-Along Thomas Trains) and a Merry Christmas, Curious George book with George himself. Anna got a play vacuum, a dr. kit and Katy Duck Dances. (Ok, so Santa brought 2 toys for Anna, but when Santa came, he realized there were three things for Hudson, so he had to make it even!) They both loved the vacuum cleaner -and still do. I'm thinking ahead to days when they can really push the vacuum for me! Side note: we do have one of those Dirt Devil Kurv things, and may I say that they are quite an excellent investment. Hudson cleans up the crumbs from his own messes and cleans the floor after lunch and dinner under the table! All mommies - get one of these!
While the kids and Chris played, I began the berry washing and preparation. I had Chris come in and help me while I pulled the sticky buns out of the piping hot oven. I flipped them onto a serving tray and just as we were about to scrape the gooey goodness from the pan, I set it onto the sink. The moment I placed the pan on the sink, it exploded. Not cracked, shattered - it exploded. Think mini glass bomb in our kitchen. One of the shards went directly into my foot - down to the bone, but luckily only about 3/4 of an inch wide. Chris was untouched, mainly attributed to his big ugly man socks that he wears to bed when it is cold out (this is a whole other post). I started bleeding pretty heavily and my husband did his best to follow my directions as to what to do - since the kids came running at the sound. He managed to patrol them, help inspect and bandage my blood and clean the glass from the floor....after this, we all sat down to a lovely Christmas breakfast - with Mommy's foot in the air to stop the bleeding and my swollen shut eye.

(Skipping ahead a moment here: I ended up having a CT Scan on Friday afternoon to see why my eye wasn't healing or getting any better - I was still having severe pressure and migraines as of Friday, so I saw the Dr. again. The results came back negative - for what I'm not sure - but that was good news. It is now Thursday, and I wore my contacts again for the first time yesterday - that was a beautiful thing - my vision clarity was so much better. And, my eye has healed, all antibiotics are completed and I haven't had any headaches since Tuesday. Praise the Lord for good doctors who helped figure out what was going on.)

We then had fun opening our family gifts - still clad in our jammies. I love this age of my kids - I think that every Christmas, but they were really fun this year. Anna liked opening presents, and they both would open a gift and play with it. Hudson is really fond of his Lincoln Logs and his Daddy Guitar (complete with gig bag, strap, extra strings and picks - thanks EBAY!). Anna really likes her Leap Frog Alphabet singer, new books and her Melissa and Doug princess puzzle. The teacher in me, and the English major in my lovely hubby can't but help get our kids books for all occasions. Plus, our kids love to read!
Later in the day we ventured over to Grandmom's for dinner with Uncle Bryan and her. She, being the consummate Southern woman hostess, prepared enough dinner for 25 people...and, there were 4 adults and 2 kids. We ate til we were stuffed and then the adults opened our presents to one another after the kids were asleep in their beds. We've really enjoyed the past few days. A relaxed pace with lots of family time. We were even able to get to journey to Chris' side of the family and have the kids revel in some Mom-Mom and Poppy time...and Caleb, Naomi, Ruby, Uncle Jim, Aunt Jenny, Aunt Steph, Grammy May, and Grandmom Smith time.
My son and husband are about to give me a dueling guitars concert, so this lengthy post must end - that, and I am sure you are tired of reading and are probably skimming by now. Either way, Thanks Christmas, and Happy New Year!