January 30, 2009

Hi Ya,

I have been feeling very creative lately.  Scrapbooking and card making mostly.  Surprisingly, I'm pleased with the end results.  Sometimes I'm not.  I'm so hard on myself.  It's 9:45 p.m. and my creative juices have finally stopped flowing.  I am overwhelmed with all the things that I want to do.  Sometimes I just don't know where to begin.

I finally finished Ryan's science project yesterday.  I HATE doing those.  I'm already dread having to do 2 of them next year.  I always put it off till the last minute.  I finished it this morning.....it was due this morning.  I drove it to C.M.S. bright and early and met Ryan in the hall to give it to him.  Long story short.  It was about grass.  I wasn't interested in the subject AT ALL.  Next year, I will also pick that.  If I'm going to help, I'm going to at least be interested in it.  Fair, right?  

Ian has Brett Clark over tonight.  They are having fun.  Giggling like girls.  Funny.  They said something about Ryan pretending to be drunk and shooting sticks out of his gun.  Hummm!!!  I could barely understand them they were laughing so hard.  We went to Carrollton tonight.  Rick is working AGAIN in the E.R..  I hadn't seen him since Wednesday night.  I barely saw him then.  I knew that I would see him in the morning, but I couldn't wait any longer.  We ate at Pizza Hut.  A little hard on my diet.  Rick and I ate salad bar.  Still not great for me, I'm sure.  I will make up for it tomorrow.  

I will wake up early tomorrow for Gracie's basketball game.  She is staying the night with her Grandma and Grandpa Howe.  I have to pick her up at 8:30 because her game starts at 9:00.  

Another busy Saturday awaits me.  Looking forward to having family time with Rick and the kids.  

January 27, 2009


Another day, another 10 loads of laundry.  That's what I did almost all day yesterday.  It feels so good to be done though.  Ahhhh.  Love that feeling.  I'm sure tomorrow will have another load or two ready for me.  I know that I am on a soapbox, but I cannot figure out where it all comes from.  I think that we have little monsters that dirty clothes in our house at night.  Couldn't be my kids.  
I worked in Gracie's classroom as I do every Monday.  I seem to dread going but I'm always glad that I went.  They are just such cute lil' rascals.  I enjoy Shane (so ornery), Austin (love the glasses) and Westley (so smart).  But my favorite by far is my precious Gracie.  She always hugs and smooches on me in front of her friends.  It's like she's saying, "ha ha, my mom is here and yours isn't".  Of course I accept them gladly.  Yesterday was especially special because she was awarded Terrific Kid while I was there.  They announced her name over the intercom.  She pranced down the steps with a big grin on her face, then pranced back up holding a packet of goodies.  A bumper sticker, certificate, coupon for a free ice cream cone, a pin (which she proudly showed everyone she crossed yesterday evening.  Then wore sported again before school this morning.  Those poor people who nominated her will never hear the end of it.

So, the big deal of the week happened last night.  I humbled myself before many and graced the doors of Weight Watchers.  It was hard and so embarrassing.  I am not the typical attendee.  I don't need to lose a gross amount of weight.  I just don't want to get there.  I haven't been able to do it on my own.   I knew that I needed a little push.  My goal is to lose 10 to 15 pounds before my trip in April to Las Vegas.  Doesn't sound like much but it is a oh-so-big-deal to me.  I am going to the swimming pool while I'm there.  Fat or not.  I would so much rather be comfortable in my skin.  I will post weekly of my progress.  Anyway, I bought a little 3 month tracker while I was there and a points calculator.  I plan to be faithful about using them.  Nothing can enter my mouth unless it is entered in the book.  This will hopefully cut out my mindless eating.  It adds up, ya know?  I love the quote on my tracker book.  It says, "Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels."  This will be my motto for the week.

It's Tuesday and I have ironed for 3 hours.  Thought that laundry was done, huh?  Never!  I had to sit down for a little while to rest my achy-brakey back.  So, it made sense to me to write another post.  Till later..........

January 25, 2009

Ahhh, finally, a relaxing day.  The hardest thing I did today was teach Sunday School.  I took a little siesta on the couch while Gracie watched Spongebob.  Then I made a few scrapbook pages. Did a little laundry, but nothing too exhausting.  Basically, a perfect day.

Rick is working in Carrollton.  We decided that he could work more this month than others because we didn't have many plans.  (besides basketball).  He is able to work around most games with the help of Greg Stafford, Rick's P.A., we call him Shrek.  He has called a few times and said that it has been steady but not busy.  Usually when he works in Carrollton we go to visit him.  He doesn't have to stay "in house".  We can eat out, go swimming, or hang out at the office.  But today, I just wanted to kick up my feet.  After I get the munchkins to bed, I plan on heading back downstairs to do a little more creating.  So much fun to me.

I am working on making Valentines.  I plan on sending out a mother-load of them.  Maybe as many as I sent Christmas cards.  I don't know though.  I only have 5 made so far.  I spend way too much time on each one.  I just cannot seem to relax unless I'm creating or cooking.  Both of which feed the two vices that I mentioned in the last post.  Spending and eating.  So I guess I'm doomed unless God amazes me with a new talent.

The kids have been down each others throats constantly today.  They began fighting in the car on the way to church.  With ironically always happens.  It seems like the devil needs me to be in a bad mood before I grace God's doors.  So, I have had to break up and mediate a few arguments today.  Not the favorite task in my job description.

I'm anxious to start a new week.  Most people don't like Mondays,  I don't mind them.  It seems like that's the day that I get the most done.  I'm usually energized and have very few distractions.  

I found a really cool recipe that I want to try with the kids this week:

Soft Pretzels
3/4 c. lukewarm water
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. e.v.o.o.

In a small bowl, stir together the lukewarm water, yeast and sugar.  Let stand until foamy, 3 to 5 minutes.

Using a standing mixer, mix the flour and salt at low speed.  Mix in the yeast mixture and olive oil until a shaggy dough forms.  Change to the dough hook attachment and mix at medium speed until smooth, about 6 minutes.

Quarter the dough.  Roll into four 18" long ropes, twist each rope into a pretzel shape and place on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 25 minutes.  Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with pretzel salt or chopped rosemary and bake @ 400* until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes.

January 24, 2009

"Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?  Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare."
Isaiah 55:2

I was trying to find a scripture to put on my facebook account.  I opened my bible and this sort-of popped out at me.  Strange how that happens sometimes.  Especially since it's two things that I really struggle with.  Spending and eating.  It was so funny.  I was trying to explain this concept to my 6th grade girls group last week.  I gave a topic and opened the bible.  The scripture that first caught my eye was about menstrual cycles.  Not quite the result that I wanted.  Oh, well.  We got a lil' chuckle out of it.   Anyway,  the scripture was important to me today.  I really needed encouragement from the Lord, and I got it.  So, I wanted to record His faithfulness by writing it down.

Another crazy day.  Are you surprised?  The boys did really well last night.  I think that I was asleep by 1:00 a.m..  They were asleep by 1:30 a.m..  Not too bad, I didn't think.  I rolled them out of bed this morning around 8:00.  I don't think that they were too happy about it, but they didn't complain much.  We headed off to the Y for Gracie's game (which started at 10:00).  They are all so cute.  She is so tall that she ends up with the ball quite a bit.  But she is afraid to dribble or shoot.  So she always passes it off.  She did take one shot and almost made it.  At this age, it's all about the cute.

Ian's game.....oh my goodness.  What a nightmare!!!  I wanted to get on the court to rough and tough some of the opponents.  We FINALLY got a score before the game ended.  I'm not sure what the final score was.  All I know was it was bad.  Really, really bad.  Ian seemed to take it in stride and I was proud of him for that.  He is so non-competitive.  Just like his mommy.  He will even by a new video game and make Ryan play it because he "likes to watch him play".  So cute.

Ryan's game.  Waaaayyyy better than last week.  Not enough to squeak out a win, but close.  Susan Rucker and I were sure that the other team had octopus arms.  They caught and rebounded everything that we threw up.  But the end score ended up only 6 points spread.  Not as bad as it looked.  Ryan played well.  I think that he was a little frustrated though.

So, I committed to going to weight watchers on Monday.  Not real excited about that, but I need the push.  I only want to lose 10 pounds for now, but I cannot do it without humiliating myself in front of many others.  So strange, huh?

So, gonna go visit with Rick's parents.  They just walked in the door.  They came to give Ryan his birthday present.  

January 23, 2009

Whew!!!!  Another very busy day.  I think I could go to sleep now and not wake up till noon tomorrow (I know that isn't going to happen).   Lately I haven't been sleeping well.  I wake up at strange hours of the night.  Wide awake,  just laying there.  Sometimes I get up, but other times, like this morning, I just closed my eyes and relaxed.   My internal clock is off and I wish it would get back on, I'm too old to lose my beauty sleep.

Anywhoo, Ryan has three friends over tonight.  Carter and Cameron Mitchell and Trent Putnam.  They are having so much fun.  I made Ryan's cake this year.  I offered to buy him one, but he really wanted me to do it.  I was really excited about it.....until yesterday.  I panicked because I had so many things to do today.  So I made the cakes before bed last night.  Chilled them in the fridge today.  Then without much effort, decorated them this evening.  I really wanted it to be more special than it turned out.  But I just couldn't come up with any extra energy.  I don't think that he noticed though.  

We made homemade pizzas (big hit)!!  Carter put extra cheese on his and it overflowed in the oven.  I needed to clean them anyway.   Then they decided that we needed to go to the redbox and get a scary movie, nerf bullets and an ice cream cone from Dairy Queen.  When we got home, they asked if I would play nerf war with them.  I told them "maybe later".  Secretly I know that maybe later means maybe another day.  I'm just too tuckered out.  

Rick is working in the E.R..  He came and got Ian and Gracie earlier, they are going to stay the night with him in Carrollton.  So a little peace and quiet for Ry and his friends.  

Well, I know this post is short but I need to kick my feet up.  We will have another busy day of basketball tomorrow.  So, I need to get the rest while I can.  Besides, I'm not sure that I will sleep much with these crazy 13 year olds in the basement.  Scary, huh?

January 22, 2009

I really not sure how it is possible that Ryan is 13 today.  I think back to things that I did with him when he was a baby.  It really feels like just yesterday to me.  I remember when we first brought him home.  I didn't even want to sleep because I didn't want to miss anything.  (that didn't last long).  I soon craved sleep and couldn't get any.  He was a lil' red-headed bundle of joy.  My life purpose was defined in those moments.  I knew that God created me to be a mommy.  There was nothing else in life that would ever be so fulfilling to me as that.  

Now, Ryan is beginning to show signs of independence.  Not in a bad way.  He really has been a good kid so far.  I guess what I mean is that I "feel" him growing up.  He doesn't need me as much.  Part of me is scared by that.  My whole identity is wrapped up in being a mom.  I wake up and go to bed thinking about how I will be needed that day for my kids.   Between volunteering in classrooms,  youth groups, holiday class parties, making supper, homework, hair-cuts, dental appointments.  It is who I am and what I do.  

So today, Ryan has requested that I eat lunch with him at school.  I still am "cool" enough to be with him around his friends.  The McDonald's fish sandwich didn't hurt either.  Then he has a hair cut after school.  We are going to take him to Applebee's for supper, then go to the Y for Gracie's b-ball practice.  His actual party is Friday.  He will invite Carter and Cameron Mitchell, Trent Putnam, and Dylan Rucker over to spend the night.  Fun, fun, fun times.

January 6, 2009

January 6th, 2009,

A new year means new beginnings.  I've always tried to keep a journal.  As a matter of fact, I have 30 or 40 laying around the house.  I usually write in it for two or three days.  Then I forget and start a new one.  I always called them do-overs.  I made the joke that God lets me have a do-over as often as I start a journal.  Which was often.  So, it is my hope that this can be the last do-over for a while.   But I will be honest.  I'm not sure how often I will write.  I have good intentions.  I want to write everyday.  But life is busy and this probably isn't top priority to me.  

So, if you get a link to this, it must mean that you are pretty special to me.  I'm crazy private about my thoughts.  So forgive me if I hold some things back.  

I am a wife of 15 1/2 years.  I don't feel like I could be old enough to be married that long.  But basic math tells me I have.  I married Rick Smith 7-3-1993.  I was a mere baby.  17 years old.  Soon to be 18.  We waited until I graduated from high school.  Rick was in his last year of medical school.  I found odd jobs in day care centers and preschools until we had a little one of our own on 1-22-1996.  That was the last day I worked outside of the home.  That lil' bundle of joy is almost 13 years old now, his name is Ryan Christopher.  I had his lil' brother, Ian Michael, on May 19, 1998.  Then his lil' sister, Emma Grace on Sept. 14, 2001.  Life is crazy and busy.  We have had lots of ups and downs, but mostly ups.  

I hope to be able to fill you in on my life through this new, modern medium.   To think that I didn't even know what internet was (and I'm not sure most people did) when I married.  Now we can communicate almost entirely virtual.  I even did most of my Christmas shopping without leaving my home this year.

With Love,
Mandy Smith