Friday, May 16, 2014

Bubba is NINE!

Our Bubba is nine.  Did you get that?  Nnnnniiiinnnneee.  Like, the last year in single digits.  1) That’s outta control for this mommy to fathom.  2) There were a few times in his life I was pretty sure we’d never make it to this point as a result of his, shall we say, adventurous-ness?


(Thanks to the magic of FaceTime, Uncle B even got to join in on the party – and made his day!)


For Hudson Christopher’s ninth, we decided to change it up a bit and do a family outing.  He loves the Phillies – it’s something he can connect with Daddy, Poppy and Uncle Bryan on.  So, all clad in a new birthday Phillies’ shirt and an awesome hat from the Birthday Crew at the park, Hudson was off to go stand in line for the #1 reason he loves baseball stadiums….the food.  Particularly, the cheesesteaks.









Armed with a foot long to himself, he sat down to enjoy the game.IMG_1816

Little did he know, the birthday crew didn’t just give him a hat, they came to his seat and had the whole section sing Happy Birthday to him.  He was smitten!


A cheesesteak, water ice, peanuts, and a soda later, his stomach may have been full.  Good thing it was his birthday!


Unfortunately, the Phils went down in the 8th and never recovered – but it was still a fun evening!  The next day (his actual birthday) was spent at Poppy and Mom-Mom’s celebrating his joyful life.  Aunt Steph and his two great Grandmothers also got to attend to sing to him and wish him well.


(So I don’t get in trouble, these are his Grandmoms, not his greats…)


Happy Birthday Bubs!  We are so blessed to have you in our lives – your life is truly a gift and you teach us something daily and challenge us to be better parents every day.  We Love YOU!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sister twins

"I wanna be sister twins today, Mommy!"
 Ok, Anna Banana!

Friday, April 25, 2014


Hadleigh knows her Bubba is home from school. She also knows her Bubba will read to her. Mama know that Bubba loves it and loves his Leigh-Leigh. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

slides, towers and dotting eggs

I don’t know about where you are, but this has been one of the coldest, longest, winters/springs that I can remember.  The fact that even in April we haven’t been outside all that much (more than others, I am sure because I refuse to be stuck inside all the time) calls for desperate measures.IMG_4254IMG_4255

One day recently (and a few since, subsequently), I drug the baby Little Tykes slide in from hibernation in the garage and set it up for Hadleigh’s own little jungle gym.  Soft carpet in the living room and lots of pillows to climb on equaled the perfect spot to expend some energy!


Little Miss is also growing fond of the camera.  As soon as she sees it she will often pose and then say, ‘See?’.  We’ve also been busy dotting and painting and coloring. 










And Anna?  Sweetness and smiles and sugar and not a whole lot of spice (unless Hudson is bothering her).  She is into building card towers when she has a quiet moment to herself.  She is getting pretty good at it too!  Two levels and no help from Mommy!



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rub-a-dink in a sink


Sometimes it’s just easier to do a quick bath in the sink and play with water while we clean up dinner….especially with a 20 month old that loves her food and loves the full body experience.


We keep a bottle of baby soap under the sink for emergencies like these.  The menu on this night was yummy chicken pasta and veggies.  And who doesn’t love a cute baby in some bubbles?


Wednesday, April 9, 2014


A few of our loyal readers (that would be 2 or 3 family members) have commented how I’ve been behind.  I will blame that on a few things, and not my own laziness.  Although, that is to blame as well!  Our computer has been down for a while.  My ah-maz-ing and talented husband recently discovered the problem, opened up the computer, ordered a replacement part and fixed it.  And now it works again!  Wahoo! 

SO to make up for an absence (and until I can back post a bit for important events), here’s a few pictures to feast upon…)IMG_1600IMG_4209IMG_4217IMG_4222

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Artists at work

Artists hard at work this morning. The creative tension is thick in the air - so is the smell of recently consumed breakfast. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Child dedication

Smith Family

February 2nd our family participated in Baby Dedication at our home church.   Baby/Child dedication is not to be confused with some churches that do infant baptism, or christening.  Child dedication is pure and simple.  It is a public declaration in front of your family, friends and church family that you PROMISE to do your best to raise your children to know Christ, love Him and to serve others.

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Chris was able to share a little about each of the girls and something special about each of them….we chose to talk about their birth songs (the songs that were playing when they were each borth – like a gift from God to remind of us the present we were receiving oursevles.)  Anna was born to “Great is thy Faithfulness” by Chris Rice and Hadleigh was born to “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman.

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Pastor Steven then gives each of the children a gift of a cross necklace and prays over each of them and the family.

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Hadleigh was a little more interested in chewing hers….Anna wore hers to school for the next week so she could tell her teachers about her special day.  (And we are so abundantly grateful because both of her teachers understand and love the same God that Anna does Red heart.

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It’s important.  For us.  For the parents.  It’s a reminder that we were given these children and they are truly a gift.  Our gift back to them is to share with them the life and love that only comes through knowing Jesus Christ intimately.  That’s not an easy task at all – in fact, wow, I feel kinda heavy just thinking about it.  But knowing that our family and friends pray for us a parents and to know that God is always by our sides?  That makes me smile again.

We are so fortunate to have had our grandparents at the kids’ dedications.  Hudson’s took place in AZ at our church there and it was 2006 Super Bowl Sunday.  (Look at that adorable little munchkin!  Who is now 8.5 – what?!?!?!)IMG_0215

Without thinking about it, Anna and Hadleigh’s Child Dedication was 2014 Super Bowl Sunday!  My lovely Mom Smith reminded me of this fact….and she is the talented photographer as well.

1 Samuel 1:27-28 – May we always remember that they are ours for a short time, but His for eternity….

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.”

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

mystery orange crayon

You know it.  Yup, YOU mama.  That moment when you pull all of your nicely laundered sweet smelling clothing from your dryer and you realize

ORANGE CRAYON!!!!  Melted.  All over your clothes.  And oddly enough, that mystery orange crayon came from a load of mostly adult clothing and while you are crying on the inside, you are wondering, "How in the world did that get in our clothes?"

Frustration.  Because it'd been one of those weeks.  One of those weeks.  A puking kid, a semi-broken dryer (that has to be replaced...urg), an exploded pipe in your basement that flooded the walls and ceiling and floor, dealing with home owner's insurance, another puking kid, the coldest temps in years.  Come on!  Can we catch a break?

Yet, on the same hand, I am grateful.  We have insurance, we are warm, dry, and well fed.  We have a home (one of my best friend's home burned on Christmas Eve) and we have a vehicle (another friend had her's stolen this past week out of the drive).  And God gave me extra grace and extra energy, and an EXTRA, EXTRA amazing husband.  He helped clean puke covered floors, picked up pizza when I couldn't make dinner, helped around the house, and loved (loves) on all of us.

My brain kept singing this song (and yes, I know this is about an orange crayon...I'll get there):  Matt Maher's "Lord I Need You".  While I rocked in a chair with a baby girl several nights in a row for long periods of time, while I "slept" on the floor next to another little girl while she puked every 15 minutes, God gave me these words through this song.  "Oh I need you, Lord I need you.  Every hour I need you.  My one defense, my righteousness.  Oh God, how I need you." 

Oh, I need Him.  To fill up the darkness in me.  To overflow the top of my cup and fill in all the cracks.  I need Him to infuse me with Him, so at some point there will be no telling where I end and He begins.  And in that night, when the hours seem long but the "babies" need Mama,  I need Him.  And the best thing? 

He never fails to show up.  Never. 

Because when I need Him, and even when I don't think I do, He's there.  Ahhh.Maze.Ing.

(So because there's no sweet transition that I can think of, that's my transition...a line of equal signs.) 

So things got better.  Kiddos healed, restoration company is helping us with drying out the basement, dryer is functional, it's still cold (but hey, I can't get everything).  So now I get to move on to more trivial things.  Like trying to figure out how to remove orange crayon from an entire load of our clothes.
And I happened upon a little site after a "Google" search that promised the miracle working of a little bottle of cleaner found at the Dollar Tree.  L.A.'s Awesome Laundry wash.   As you can imagine, I was skeptical.  Until I read the mass amount of comments that all praised the stuff and the simple method of a bottle of cleaner that cost a dollar.

What did I have to lose?  I grabbed a bottle, followed the recommendations on the site and laundered.  IT WORKED!  How?  No idea.  But it worked.  I sprayed a bit all on as a pre-wash to the crayon-ey spots, worked it in with a little scrubbing and a toothbrush, sprayed it with Spray & Wash and then threw it in the washer.  I then emptied half the bottle into the wash, put detergent in and washed it on the hottest setting possible.

56 minutes later I gingerly pulled each item out and they were clean!  2 of the items required a bit more scrubbing and another wash, but it worked.  Apparently you can use the general cleaner too, but I chose this one.  I had to share.  I know that I'm not the only one who gets crayons in their dryer (albeit, a wonky dryer).  Best wishes and best washing now that you don't have to cry when you pull out a load with crayon.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

18 things for 18 months

A full year and a half have passed since your beautiful smile giving, joy bringing self entered this crazy, chaos of a Smith family. 18 months with you has flown by, and we don't want to forget all the little things we love about you right now. At this very minute.

I'm a little bummed because we have some super super shots of you at this age, but they are on Mama's good camera and we can't get the cord because the basement is flooded - that's another story. You're so cute though that the phone camera loves you too. 

1.  You love your "nacks". You are an expert pantry opener, and not many lids can fool you!

2.  You had tubes put in your ears at 16.5 months. You had bi-lateral conductive hearing loss from all of the fluid in your ears and infections. Your speech has taken off since then!  Everyday brings a new word, a new discovery, a new sound. It is SO EXCITING! 

3. You love food. And if someone has something you want, a little birdie appears. 

4. My favorite words, "Mama up. Rock. Book."

5. You adore your sister and brother. When we drop Anna of at school you say , " Nana? Nana?"

6.  You unfortunately are in an "I don't like my car seat" phase. You love books and love to read in the car, but when you tire of them, you scream. A high pitched ear splitting headache inducing scream.   

7. You are an expert cuddle giver and saying good-byer!
8. You love your bug-bug. (Your butterfly buggie lovey). 

9. You are very polite and say please. 

10. You are a music lover. When Daddy or Hudson play piano, you run to join in. When mommy and Anna sing, you clap your hands and dance. 

11.  The bathtub is one of your favorite activities and you've begin sticking your face and ears in the water. 

12. You love to color and play with play dough. 

13.  When you really want my attention you say "Mama Mommy! Mama mommy!"

14.  You love playing and we can see the beginnings of an amazing imagination!

15.  You also love playing soccer and rolling balls. As well as you have a fascination with fire trucks!

16.  Your favorite animal sounds to make are a bear, lion, monkey and elephant. (Pretty exotic! Maybe you'll be a travel bug!)

17.  You giggle at yourself and it makes us giggle too.

18.  You may possibly be the world's largest cuddle bug.

We love you Hadleigh bug!!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lost it!

Persitence. Keep at it. Never lose focus. Unless you are losing teeth. Then you can lose it.  And she did! Anna's second tooth finally came out and she is so excited for the tooth fairy to visit. She had to wait 6 long months between the first and second tooth - that's a veritable eternity to a kindergartner!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Share the love

We have a tradition. We spread the love of Christmas far into the deep dark winters of the North. I'm pretty sure it started after we moved here, becomes in AZ it was bright and light and warm and we didn't (I didn't) feel like I needed some extra lights to make it bearable. 
Thus the love tree was born. The Christmas decor is mostly down, minus a few snowmen here and there, because we will get snow through April. But this little beauty brings some light warmth when it seems like the sun goes to bed so early!
The love note mailboxes have been hung with care and St. Anna has been filling them with care.  

There's just something so right about seemlessly moving from the season of light and the greatest gift of love to the season of commercialized love. (Hear my sarcasm?)  The chintzy foil hearts and rows of sappy cards. Whatever, I will take advantage of it and make it into something for our kids to look forward to.   Because sharing love is a year round act of love, but it's ok to have a little fun with it and brighten a dreary winter month with some kitsch.