Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Anna’s first real haircut

Yes friends, mommy finally gave in, and got Anna’s hair cut.  I was a bit worried.  Or shall I say, I didn’t want her to look back someday and say, “You did what to my beautiful caramel-ly curly locks?”  So we went for a trim.  I think she took off about 3 inches – she kinda evened up things, put in some long layers to show off those curls, and finished off with a nice lollipop. :)

Anna sat in my lap – this is a picture (forgive the quality – we used Daddy’s cell phone camera…I can hear it in years from now, Anna all upset because Hudson had tons of pictures of his first real haircut with a nice camera…..poor second child.)

Anna long hair precut

Look how long her hair is!  It had been in a ponytail for the morning, and you can still see it was well down her back when kinda straightened out.

Um….wait, is Grandmom watching me?

Anna haircut in chair

Ok, this is pretty cool!  Anna kept saying, “Me get a haircut too!  Me get scissors!  Me get a haircut too!”

Anna haircut

She got to pick a lollipop for her great job sitting still.

Anna pick lolli   Anna haircut lolli 

Yup, she looks gorgeous….and she knows it!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Why is it that when your kids are both sick you find yourself counting down until they take a nap?

And then when they get up (several hours later), you find yourself calculating and counting down until the earliest possible moment they can go back to bed? (not even caring about the possible ramifications of early rising the next morning?)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Skiing with my bro


For Christmas this year, my awesome bro got us both passes to ski together for a day at a resort within driving distance for both of us.  The real gift?  I got to spend a day with Bryan, just us, having fun. IMG_1514

Now, you must remember, while we both grew up skiing, my little stint on the west coast left my skis sitting in the garage in a corner and I am sure that my boots have dry-rotted by now.  All this information to say that it has been what I approximate 13 years since I have been on skis.  I wasn’t nervous, because skiing is like riding a bike.  Once you know how to do it, you don’t really forget.  You may be a little rusty, but it comes back pretty quickly.


My skills had to return faster than I anticipated.  Much faster.  On our first run, we skied over to the lift, got on and rode to the top….only to find the only way down was BLACK DIAMONDS!!!! (For those of you who don’t ski, that’s almost as hard as it gets – there is double black diamonds and those are sheer drop slopes with moguls usually.)

Needless to say, not what I was anticipating on my first run in 13 years.  My skilled and kind brother figure “eighted” in front of me so I could follow his path…and that worked, for about a minute until we got to the first drop.  Then I wiped out.  A nice man stopped and helped me gather my poles.  I didn’t lose my skis, so it wasn’t a class 5 wipeout :)


That’s me, a little later in the day after I had gotten my feet back under me again.  After I made it to the bottom by the grace of God, we went to the green beginners for a few runs, then the intermediate slopes, and then back to the black diamonds.  Yes, before lunch I was back on the infamous wipeout slope and felt confident again.

IMG_1515   After a delicious leisurely fireside lunch at the bar and grill, we headed back out to the slopes for the afternoon.IMG_1524My wonderful brother stuck with me the whole day, barring one 10 minute interval when he navigated a seriously difficult double diamond and then convinced me I could manage the bottom part of the slope.  (It connected to a single diamond).  IMG_1517

All I can say is that I am so grateful, so blessed, and so overwhelmed to have such a great brother, who happens to be one of my best friends in the world.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hudson is amped up….

Can you tell he’s excited? 

IMG_1549Want to know why?  Daddy found a preview from the actual movie of Toy Story 3 that is due out in theaters this summer.  Hugs is a Toy Story mega fan.  You know, most kids go through phases with movies.  And Hudson does too.  But Toy Story has always been that movie that he goes back to – he literally can’t get enough of it (much like his current obsession with Polar Express).

A while back we decided that Toy Story 3 would be Hudson’s first movie theater movie.  We know without a doubt that it is a movie that is worth the money and that he’ll sit for the duration of the film.  I think we were pretty right on, considering the amount of times he watches this trailer in a 24 hour period.  I am just waiting for the moment he tells me he wants a countdown calendar until the release. :)

Watch the trailer here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

the results are in….


14 people prefer strawberry.

5 people prefer grape.

Beth wins ;)

PS.  My sub-theory was pretty well proven as well, although we did realize that there are many other questions that we could pose in this scientific research. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

that’s how my jelly rolls…

So you know right off the bat what this post is to bring to you, here’s a preview.  (Oh, and this is a bit tongue and cheek – in more than one way! :)

pbjIt’s the age old question: Grape or Strawberry Jelly?  Chris and I have a theory on this debate.  And really, it’s a debate in our house.  Our theory states that your personal preference for grape or strawberry on your delightfully spread peanut butter bread goes back to the days of ole – the days when Mom made your pbj for you.

When Mom pulled the jam out of the refrigerator, be it a jam jar that was canned over the summer or a glass jar of Welch’s from the market, was it strawberry or grape?  Or, gasp, did it come from that disgusting goob stuff that was peanut butter and jelly mixed together?  (Ok, for this purist, that mixture makes me gag when I see it in the store…really.)

You already know our preference for Skippy Natural (all natural, no gunk, no separation, and oooooh, so yummy).  But know I am about to reveal our jelly preferences.  Chris is (drum-roll please) a grape lover.  I, the strawberry fan.  And, yes, it came to our mothers.  We asked, and it aligns with what they made us. 

My other theory is that people that are from more rural regions of the states prefer strawberry jelly because that is what their mom’s canned and “put-up” summer after summer and the more urban-ites like grape.  But that’s a sub-theory.  No need to fully examine that one at the moment.

So here is what we pose to you…

       please help us solve our dispute.

Take a minute, hit the comment button and tell us -  what jam do you prefer? :)  Because then maybe, just maybe, we’ll have an answer.  But I’ll keep on giving my kids the choice – I mean, it is a democracy, right?  And they should have the right to experience the heritage of their father despite the fact that I am the one making the sandwich….and that’s how my jelly rolls.

Friday, January 8, 2010

12 Christmas pictures for 12 Christmas Smiths


Poppy and Anna reading a good ole Richard Scarry book!  I love how she is all snuggled up against Poppy.   IMG_6879

Anna and Ruby helping Grammy May clean off the kids’ table after “Christmas” Dinner together.  How wonderful to all be together at one dinner table.

 IMG_6890 IMG_6891

After dinner, we had worship time together (Uncle Jim, Daddy, and Aunt Steph all took turns with the guitar) and then exchanged family presents.  Hudson accompanied all carols on percussion of stacking blocks and Play-Dough bucketry.IMG_1486

Ruby was all dressed to cheer on the Eagles for their big game!


Grammy and Caleb playing Wii baseball. IMG_1484

Naomi lost her first tooth!


Cleaning up and helping to do dishes with Aunt Jenny.IMG_6900 

Bathtime with the cousins…they love Mom-Mom’s big soaking tub.  Ruby still takes a ringside seat on this show!IMG_6910

On Tuesday, we drove to visit Grandmom Smith and had the privilege of eating lunch at her place.  Much to our pleasure, Uncle Kevin, Aunt Jane, AJ and Alli were all home too….and Hudson and Anna got to meet their pets.IMG_6917

Hudson took a particular liking to this “little girl”. :) IMG_6918

Time with great-grandmom Smith.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Day in snapshots

 IMG_6764 A flurry of activity in opening puzzles and fun gifts from Aunt Cindy, Uncle Tommy, Alli and Will before breakfast…and Santa brought a King and Queen Potato Head to entertain.IMG_6776

Yummy, sticky buns!  While sitting down for breakfast, Daddy read us a book called There was No Snow on Christmas Eve.  It is a great book that tells the Nativity story in beautiful pictures and simple words.  We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and enjoyed our meal - for breakfast, we had fresh fruit salad (kiwi, strawberries and bananas), sticky buns and a yummy egg/country ham bake.  Of course, the sticky buns had red, white and green sprinkles on them too!


Can you tell he’s excited about his Duplo horse stable?  Hudson loves Duplo legos and builds all kinds of awesomely creative things.


Anna was thrilled to get a new baby stroller – a pram.  Purposely chosen so that she can’t crawl in with her babies. :)IMG_6789

Yup, he’s way excited that Daddy got him The Polar Express DVD.IMG_6794

Daddy and Anna watching the Disney Parade.  I think she just saw Tinkerbell!


Awe, yes, Hudson liked what Uncle Bryan got him – a Duplo Firetruck.


Surprise to Daddy – Grandmom shocked him with this one.IMG_6828

I was lovin’ this pressure canner – a surprise that made me feel slightly old – yup, I got excited about a pressure canner.  On the other hand, I don’t care – I got a pressure canner! :) IMG_6832 IMG_6834

Playing with Grandad’s trains.  A tradition continues…as Hudson got geo-trax and he loves trains like Grandad!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas Eve traditions

IMG_6759  IMG_6761 


For us, Christmas Eve traditions are strong, and possibly rare – as they revolve around the fact that Daddy is busy at work with four of the five Christmas Eve services our church has.  We always open Christmas stockings on the morning of the 24th.

Our stockings are handmade – a project that I begun back in the days before children, as a tradition I made handmade quilted stockings for friends that got married.  So, of course, when our brood began to grow, our children got their own as well.  Theirs are a bit different, as they are stripe-quilted and ours are patchworked. IMG_1466 Daddy leaves early afternoon and heads to church.  The kids and I hang here together, make our New England Clam Chowder and dance to Christmas music :)  This year, Uncle Bryan and Grandmom joined us for dinner and then we headed to church for the candlelight service.  This service is one of my favorites of the year…the celebration of Christ’s birth is worthy of praise – and hearing the story woven into God’s amazing plan culminating in Christ’s gift on the cross – it’s always a great reminder of why Christmas IS, and WHO it is about.

Sidenote:  Daddy rocks the Christmas Eve service with awesome music…this year, he opened with an incredible version of Ring the Bells, by Travis Cottrell.  Chris’ gifts shine in these kinds of services; they centerpiece his giftings of arranging familiar songs in new and fresh ways…yet still singable and memorable.


After the service, Daddy has yet to stay on for one night service, so back to the house for cookies and more soup for the rest of us…and jammies, the Nativity story, and bed for the little people.IMG_1474 IMG_1475 Daddy arrives home after the little ones are all snug in their beds…and Mommy and Daddy catch the end of It’s A Wonderful Life while unwinding from the day.

Merry Christmas Eve!