December 31, 2009

One Little Word

I love new beginnings. Don't you? Sometimes they are scary. But usually, it's refreshing. Like a blank notebook or a new outlook. I sometimes call them do-overs.

I always make New Year's resolutions. Do you? Mine are usually very boring....ordinary.
A couple years ago I made a resolution to bless someone every day. It didn't have to be hard. A thank you card, compliment, phone call, or smile. I renewed that resolution last year. I like to think that I've been successful. I purposefully think of it often. I also plan on doing it again this year. No harm in blessin', right?

However, I think I'm up for a bit of a challenge this year. I'm going to up the anty. I'm also adding a second resolution (suggested by fellow blogger, Ali Edwards) I'm picking a word for the entire year. A word that has meaning to me. I am going to put this word on my inspiration board in my craft-room. I'm going to try to blog once a month about how I am using this word in my life.

I challenge you to join me. Pick your own word. It could be any word. CHANGE...... ORGANIZE..... LEARN........ ENJOY. Whatever tickles your fancy. Put your word where you will see it. Let's see how this changes us friends.

My word for 2010 is: THRIVE I nearly chose GROW, but I certainly don't want to pick a word that will make my pants even tighter. I thought thrive was very appropriate.

according to Webster's Dictionary it means:
1: to grow vigorously
2: to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.

I hope that your New Year is blessed and happy. Please be safe my friends.
This is my inspiration board in my craft room. I've been busy as a beaver organizing. I hope to show you photos of it next week.

December 29, 2009

Ian plays guitar at the Baptist Home

Ohhhh....isn't this fun!!!

Ian has been taking guitar lessons for nearly two years. His teacher is Joyce Stark, she is an angel. He goes to her house every Tuesday from 5 to 5:30 pm. I thought that you would enjoy seeing how much he has improved. (this new tricked-out guitar that Santa brought isn't bad either)

Click and enjoy!!!!

December 28, 2009

sleddin'..... Smith style

Snow, snow....... and more snow!!!!
Do you remember me asking for Christmas snow?........ well someone must have a sense of humor, because snow I GOT!!!!!

There are different types of snow in my opinion.
1: wet snow- this is when the heavens cannot decide whether it wants to rain or snow....... so, it does both. This snow usually makes DELIGHTFUL snowmen! (and snowballs)

2. dry snow - this snow falls from the sky like baby powder. It won't stick together, so snowmen and snowballs are out of the question.

The snow that came last weekend was a 3rd type. I call it.........

3. crazy snow - this snow likes to fly. It comes down sideways, then does twists in the air, somersaults, and backflips. It doesn't want to lay on the ground all by itself. So it joins the other flakes in "the drift". "The drift" can have so many flakes in it that it covers small-ish bulldogs and children. "The drifts" around our house were up to my knees.

I love crazy snow!!!!! Crazy snow has attitude!!! Personality!!!
Rick agreed to pull the kids on sleds behind the 4-wheeler. We did this when the kids were much smaller. Ian hit a bump, flew through the air and landed on his nose. His nose bled. Ian doesn't like blood. Blood confirms that there is an injury. It has been a few years though and he has (mostly) forgotten. So he agreed to do it again.

My man is under all those layers. Do you see him?

Ian fell off the sled. No bloody nose this time. He wants back on. Yeah!!!!!!!

There was only one minor injury this time.
Ian and Gracie flew off their sled during a sharp turn. Ian landed on Gracie and her face was smashed in the snow. It wasn't really an injury, but more a discomfort. There were tears, but they were short lived.

December 24, 2009

Our Christmas Eve

It amazes me every year..... you spend months and months planning, then it's over. Things go back to normal. Is that weird to anyone else but me?

Santa, as always, was WAYYYYY too good to us.
Rick is reading our last Bible passages for the nativity.
I thought you might enjoy Gus from a new angle. This is, "I'm about to pounce on you angle, because you are on the floor and accessible to me".
This is the, "Does my breath smell okay to you angle?"
Congo is trying to figure out what Santa is searching for. Cat nip? A furry mouse? What is it?
Are you lost Santa? Do you need my guidance?

.....or do you just need some love?
Daddy is reading "The Night Before Christmas".
Ian always has trouble falling asleep on Christmas Eve. Santa knows if you are sleeping though. So, he didn't come to our house till all the kids were tucked in and asleep. Do you see him in this picture. Ian, not Santa....... Look very closely!!!
We have made reindeer food since the kids were wee lil' ones. This isn't ordinary reindeer food because Santa's reindeer aren't ordinary!!!!!! We add glitter, chocolate chips, carrots, and oats. In case you're wondering...... glitter is like magic to reindeer. It helps them fly!!!! Did you know that?

If you want to totally blow any sort of diet you are attempting. Try these babies!!!
I got this recipe from a dear soul. She doesn't seem to mind that I already have a "tight jeans" situation. Or that I am going to Florida in THREE MONTHS and have to wear a swimming suit.
If you are too thin and need to put on a few pounds, this is your recipe. Because I care, I will share it with you. NOTE: if you are going to be laying beside me on the beach in Florida, please eat a double batch. I need all the help I can get. (wink)

Alicia Early's Sticky Buns

Buy a package of Rhodes frozen (jumbo) cinnamon rolls
Follow the package instructions

When they have nearly doubled in size, you will begin the gooey deliciousness.

In a medium saucepan mix together:
1/3 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup of white corn syrup
Cook on low heat until sugar is combined and butter is melted.
Pour the gooey heaven into the bottom of a 9 x 13" pan. Sprinkle at least a cup of pecans into the mixture. Put the rolls on top. Bake at 350 degrees until rolls are done. Invert into another pan (the sticky gooey love will be on the top). Enjoy......... but be warned!!!!! People have been known to do crazy things for this sort of goodness. For instance, my husband danced on his tip-toes the first time I made them.

It's a wonderful life ending

As Clarence says, "Remember NO man is a failure who has friends".

Merry Christmas dear friends!!!!!!!!!

December 23, 2009

It's the Eve of Christmas Eve

Gracie had a classroom party yesterday. Since the boys no longer have classroom parties, I am fully aware of how few parties I've left. It makes me sad. This Santa is what they used to count off the days before Christmas. I thought it was precious.

Gracie's teacher this year is Mrs. Scott. She has a gruff exterior but a very tender heart. She made all 24 of her students a stocking and a santa hat. Let me say that again. SHE MADE 24 STOCKINGS AND SANTA HATS!!!! She also bought them each 2 books, crayons, markers, a checkers board game and candy. I need not say how much she loves these little monkeys.
I made all of them little favor bags. Inside the bags were push pops and fun dip. I made tags for the outside of the bag and attached a snowman ornament.

24 is a lot of children!!!!!!! I cannot manage three children. How on earth, do you manage 24. It's a gift...... a calling. A gift that I do not possess.

It is raining here. The weatherman is saying that it might be an icy Christmas. I sure hope not. Snow....... yes!!!!! Ice...... NO!!!!!

Have a merry Eve of Christmas Eve.

December 21, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Hello fwends.......

I'm going to be in a tailspin all week. This, I'm afraid, may be the last post until after Christmas. I have school parties, basketball games, wrapping (oh the wrapping), baking, and just normal Christmas busyness.

I was listening to the weather-man yesterday. There might be a slight chance of snow for Christmas. Wouldn't that be nice. A fresh, white blanket to cover the ground. I happen to believe that Christmas snow is magical. Burl Ives says it is anyway. Who's to argue with Burl? Certainly not me.

I wanted to show you some of our family traditions. Things that we do every year.
This is our elf named Buddy. He is spending his third Christmas with us this year. He always comes the day after Thanksgiving and leaves Christmas Eve. The kids aren't allowed to touch him. He simply watches how they behave throughout the day, then flies to the North Pole while they sleep, gives a good/bad report to the big man, then flies back to a different spot in our home. The kids love finding him every morning. You never know where that elf will be. Gracie is sure that he moves things around in her room. She even wonders if he moves his head sometimes.
The seven days before Christmas, we add a piece to the kids nativity. After all these years, the kids can recite the words of the companion book. It's special to them. They never let us forget. The angel, Gabriel, is first. Then Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Shepherds, the wise men. Then Christmas morning, we open the last box, which is empty. This represents what God wants most for Christmas, YOU!!!!!

A friend of mine named Karen adores my sweet Gus. She adores him so much that we call her Gus' Grandma. She babysits him sometimes and buys him bottled water, cooks him vegetables, plays with him, buys him toys, ect. So, I wasn't really surprised when she thought it unfair that Gus didn't have a stocking. Thanks to Karen, he now does. She tied milkbones on the outside, filled it with goodies, and embroidered the cuff. How funny!!!

Now our mantle is NEARLY complete. (Congo and T-bone need a stocking!!!)

Christmas Eve night :
Rick reads "The Night Before Christmas" to the kids. He has done this since Ryan was a baby.
We go to church
Make reindeer food and set out cookies and milk for Santa
Refresh the Santa tracker every 15 minutes
Make breakfast casserole for the next morning.

My Grandma gave me this nativity. She made it a long time ago. You have no idea how much this means to me. I cherish this almost as much as anything I own.

We aren't the type of folks to tear into the packages all at once. We do it one at a time. Clockwise. This is because my husband likes order. He likes organization. He likes to stretch Christmas out as long as possible. (Shhhhh...... I do too)

I hope that your Christmas is super special.

Merry Christmas fwends!!!!

December 17, 2009

Our Christmas festivities at church

(yawn) I'm feeling a little under the weather today fwends. It started yesterday afternoon. A few aches, a tinkle in my throat and an occasional (ahhhh-chooooo). It cannot get me down though. Too many things to do. So, I'm going to pop four Motrin and click my heals three times.

In the Fall of 2008, I was asked to co-lead a 6th grade girls group with my friend/sista, Nancy. Her and I accepted. Neither of us have children in this age group and that was the deal maker for me. I believe that it is easier to mentor these girls when I don't have the instinctual "motherly nagging" attached. We wanted them to feel comfortable coming to us if they needed advise, help or spiritual guidance.

This is our second year with these girls. I have learned as much as them. We meet every Wednesday evening from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. I'm so glad that I accepted this mission. I thought that you might like me to introduce you to the girls. So, without further a-do.............

Miss Morgan is funny!!!! Sometimes Nancy and I's jaws drop to the floor after she says something. We look at each other for a few seconds, then bust out laughing. Morgan is full of surprises and drop-dead honest!!!!! Like it or not.
Miss Heidi is so funny. Her and I share a few things in common......
1. We both love taking pictures
2. We are both animal nuts
She has a quick witt. I like that about her.
Miss Bailey tells it like it is. I admire her boldness and fun nature. She is never afraid to try something new.
Ali is our princess. She loves designer purses, clothes, and shoes. She is our fashion-ista and dancing angel. I relate to Ali because I am a fashion wanna-be.
Miss Carly...... my super sweet Carly. Carly sings like an angel. Her eyes sparkle when she smiles. She is smart and kind. I {heart} Carly!!!!

Sydney....... she says "like" 20 times in each sentence and talks super fast. She is high energy and she makes me feel young again.
Miss Kayla is super sweet. I would describe her as very serious. She loves reading and I could certainly see her writing a novel someday.

Last night we drove to Carly and Heidi's grandma and grandpa's home. The house was decorated with 120 + santas. I know this because we played a game where we had to count them. They let us use her gorgeous Christmas dishes. Then we ate her wonderful fondue. Oh my. I ate waaaay to much fondue. I seriously could have ate the fondue like soup. Yummo! The girls all loved it too.
Left to right: Carly, Morgan, Kayla, and Ali

Ali and Sydney
Heidi and Bailey

Carly and me.
With all those personalities, do you blame me for enjoying my Wednesdays? What a fun mixture of girls.

I told you guys the other day that I would post photos of "It's Not Your Birthday". Here they are.......
Each "host" had to decorate their own table and invite their guests. You cannot believe all the beautiful tables that filled our church. Nearly 300 people filled our Christian Life Center. It was an amazing, God-filled night of worship.
The Mitchell's, were our guests
as were my Grandma and Grandpa
Ryan and Carter are being goofy.