April 27, 2009

My Bucket List

A friend came over yesterday and we were talking about our "Bucket Lists".  I mentioned that I wanted to see a tornado before I died.  So I thought it would be interesting to come up with a list of things that I want to do before I die.  There are probably many more that I could add.  I thought, however, that I would start with 25.

1.  See a whale and a great white shark.  (not in captivity)

2. Run a 5K

3. Ride a gondola in Venice and take a picture of myself in front of the Eifel Tower

4. Parasail or bungee jump

5. Read the bible in a year

6. Grow a beautiful vegetable garden

7. Spend three months getting my body in optimum shape

8. Go deep sea fishing

9. Visit the Holy Land

10. Find out my ancestory

11. Swim with dolphins

12. Take a cake decorating class

13. Learn to crochet or knit

14. Write a letter to everyone I love

15. Paint on canvas, then hang it in the house

16. Watch a tornado

17. Go skiing

18. Attend a major sporting event.  (World Series, Olympics, Super Bowl, ect.)

19. Meet a President of the United States

20. Watch a sea turtle in the wild

21. Get a massage on the beach

22. Read the top 20 classic books of all time

23. Go on an African safari

24. Give my testimony to a large group of people

25. Plan my funeral

April 23, 2009

Gus, you stink!

Have you ever found something so gross in your fridge that you threw it away, Tupperware and all?
Have you ever found your kids sippy cup in the car, curdled and smelly?  Then figured it wasn't worth the trouble of cleaning,  and tossed it?

I could go on and on.

Well, all I can say is.......you shouldn't throw your dog away.  That is exactly what I wanted to do this morning.  
I woke up, picked clothes out for Gracie to wear.  Ian comes into the bedroom with a look of disgust on his face.  I wish I could describe how his face was twisted and his eyes were wild.  Without a picture of the event, there is no way. I knew immediately after looking at him that something was really array.  He says seriously...VERY SERIOUSLY, "MOM, something really bad stinks in the living room, I think it's poop.  It seems like it's coming from Gus' cage!"  

UUUGGGHH!  My heart dropped.  I'm not ready for this already.  Is this how my day is going to go.
Gracie had just told me minutes before that she wished that she was a mom, " because you can rest when you want to".  Does she want to be a mom now?  I doubt it.
I try to muster up the energy to face yet another life crisis in the Smith home.  "GUS, GET OUTSIDE, NOW!!!!!!!  Gus is sulking.  He is nearly stepping on his lower jaw because he is so ashamed.  Usually he takes his sweet time waking up.  He will stretch, walk a little bit, sit down.  The whole time, I'm waiting by the door.  Hollering for him to hurry.  Have I mentioned that Bulldogs are stubborn.  Not today, he ran to the door.  It was almost like he was trying to get away from the smell that was on his butt.  

Ian hadn't exaggerated the smell.  It was horrific!!!  It permeated the entire east side of the house.  Bad....bad....bad!!!!  I'm gagging.  How in the world am I going to wash that dog.  Outside, definitely!!!!!  And a brush with a very long handle.  A gas mask could come in handy. ( I also haven't mentioned that I have a weak stomach. )
The dog is now clean.  The cage isn't.  It's sitting in the driveway....waiting.  Waiting for me to brave the second round.  It's going to have to wait a little bit.  Or maybe I could just toss it like an old sippy cup?  At least I didn't toss the dog.

April 22, 2009

I'm getting ready to head to the church kitchen.  I cannot for the life of me remember what we are making today.  I am going to be gone next Wednesday (yeah!!!), so I only have one more week until I am done for the summer.  It is always bitter sweet.  I am going to miss my girls.  We just don't seem to get together much when we aren't cooking.  However, I am going to be sooo glad to have that extra day a week.  Looking forward to May.  Especially a little warmer weather.  I am tired of the wind and chilly days.  I want some 80's and 90's.  

The hospital in Carrollton has a super nice indoor pool.  The kids love to go there when Rick is on call in the ER.  My kids are like fish, I think that they could live in the water.

I had to beg to get them this close to each other.  I kept saying closer.....closer......Closer.....CLOSER!!!!
I only got a couple sighs and eye rolls.
Rick and I bought a membership to the Carrollton Country Club.  They have a private pool.  I'm also looking forward to using that this summer.  I'm hoping that they kids and I will use it often.

April 21, 2009

Yesterday morning I went to Gracie's classroom.  Just as I usually do on Monday mornings.  But today was excitedly different.  They were going to honor me with a "celebration"!!!  I got an invitation in Gracie's backpack the Friday before and I was anxious to see what they had planned.  Gracie was good on her word to Mrs. Gutshall not to tell me anything.  

When I walked into the classroom, they were all sitting at their tables.   When they saw me, their arms sprung into the air, they were bouncing around, obviously wanting to get Mrs. Gutshall's attention.  Mrs. Gutshall greeted me and pulled out a seat (a small seat) right next to Gracie.  Gracie was proud that her mom was the center of attention in a classroom full of her friends.  She hung on my arm, hugged me, kissed me, showed me her desk (as if I hadn't seen it every Monday since October), I thought her gestures were sweet.  I went along with it.  Oooing and Ahhing at everything she showed me.  After-all, this was really about her, not me.  I wouldn't have worked in this classroom had it not been for her.  They served me powdered doughnuts and Doritos with a Kool-aid drink.  
Then, the best part of all.  They each read me a poem that they had written about me.  After they each read, they would hand it to me and give me a big hug.  Some of the boys were a little embarrased to hug me, they were a little stiff.  But most of the girls, squeezed as hard as they could.  
I was proud of each and every one of them.

This was Gracie's poem to me.  She informed the class that hers would be the best because she knew me the most.  

In case you cannot see it, it says.....


Always loveable.
Marvleis (marvelous)
Always nice.
Not mene. (mean)
Dose (does) help us.
Always says you love me.
Love, your little gril (girl) Gracie.

Mrs. Gutshall presented me with a flower to plant, a candle that smells like chocolate chip cookie, and a certificate.  
All those mornings when I went when I didn't want to go.  When I felt like I had other things that I could be doing instead.  I'm so glad now, that I did it.  I have now volunteered in each of my children's classrooms.  I hope that they know that I did it for them.

April 20, 2009

We were graciously invited to attend the YMCA Y-pals fundraiser last Friday.  Y-pals stands for "Young People Actively Learning Success".  The program is for children who need a positive role model, more self esteem, and self-confidence.  Y-PALS helps kids build social skills, develop a friendship, and provides them with someone who will listen.  Y-PAL volunteers share their free time with a youth about four hours per month.  I believe that it is a worthwhile and admirable organization.  Rick and I were happy to support it.  Besides, they made the giving part fun by hosting a murder-mystery party.  We were to come in costume according to our part.  I was Angel Roni, Rick was Bo Jalais.  Other characters were... Rocco Scarfazzi, Mama Rosa, Marco Roni, Tara Misu, Father Al Fredo/a.k.a. Kelly Poling, and Clair Voyant/a.k.a. Angela Poling.   Clever names, ay?  We played the parts course by course, had lots of fun and most importantly, met some new people.  

Marco and Mama Rosa
Marco played the part of my brother.  A wanna be soccer player who had a complicated relationship with our father (the deceased).
Mama Rosa (who is Marco's wife in reality), played the grieving widow.  Who wasn't really mourning too much as she was shacking up with her husband's twin brother.  Marco won the best costume in the men's category.  Congratulations.  His prize, a large piece of fruit.   How appropriate.  He was a fruit.

Angela and Kelly Poling were the hosts and our long-time friends.  They bought the table and graciously asked us to join them.  Angela played the part of Clair Voyant and Kelly was Father Alfredo.  Angela even brought her crystal ball and gave us readings.  HUMMMM!!!

This was our entire group.  When Kelly called and gave our costume assignments, mine was to be similar to a "GREASE" girl.  Bright red lipstick, mini-skirt, scantilly dressed.  Rick was supposed to be french.  He sported a beret from Wal-mart, a sportjacket, jeans, and loafers.  My handsome Bo.  We were engaged in the script.

Ronni and Tony Clark were at another table.  But I couldn't resist the incriminating picture.  She was dressed as Clair Voyant and Tony was Father Alfredo.  

The murderer..........was Bo.  My real-life husband.  Rick, how could you?

Saturday was crazy.  Rick had Relay For Life in Carrollton.  I was helping with our soroity's fundraiser for Relay For Life in Chillicothe.  Between us, we divided and conquered.  I felt like I chased my tail all day.  Whew, glad it's over.

Sunday was uneventful.  We visited Rick in Carrollton.  He was on call in the ER until 6:00 p.m..  So we let the kids swim at the hospital pool and ate lunch at Pizza Hut.  

Can't wait to post what I did today.  Since I have to get the roast in the oven, it's going to have to wait until tomorrow.  

April 15, 2009

Wrote at 10:00 p.m. 4-15-09
Ryan told me at 8:30 p.m. that he volunteered me to bring doughnuts for one of his MORNING classes.

Ian forgot his backpack at church this evening.  With his homework inside.

Gracie forgot to take her D.S. game out of her pocket before she put it into the laundry.

I wish that I could snap a picture of a sunset and it look as beautiful as what my eyes see.  I've just never been able to capture the beauty of them on film.  This is what my Uncle Mike calls "A Painter's Sky".  This was the view that I woke up to this morning.   It has to be a good day!!!
Gracie, Clayton Walker, & Walker Graves at Ryan's second track meet.  His first home meet.  They were rooting on the home team.  
The meet started at 4:00 p.m..  I was able to watch Ryan run the 100 meter hurdles.  Then I had to run Ian to guitar at 5:00.  So I missed his mile.  Bummer.  I was disappointed but proud of how he did.  His time was 5 minutes and 45 seconds.  Whew!  It would take me twice that long!!!!  He is an all-round athlete.  I know that it especially makes his Daddy proud.  I'm proud too, but more importantly, I'm proud that he loves the Lord and he is just a good kid.
Not many of the other kids come to sit by their mom and dad after the event is over.  Most are running around doing who knows what.  But every time Ryan comes to see if we saw him.  Run through all the things that he did right or wrong and tell us his times.  It always boost my ego to know that he still doesn't mind being around us.
Let me be honest....I could care less if Ryan ever jumped another hurdle again in his life.  I think that I have expressed my opinion about this in previous posts.  But, he's pretty good at them.  He got 1st in 7th grade and 3rd out of 7th and 8th.  Pretty impressed.  I hold my breath the entire time he runs though.
This is Ryan's girl.  They have "went out" for two months.  She is a sweet girl and she has a sweet family.  I've taught her three years in Sunday School, so I feel like she's one of my own kids.  I think that they are quickly approaching their two month anniversary.  Big stuff!!!

So, I took the kids to school this morning.  Stopped by Casey's to pick up three dozen doughnuts (which I wanted to eat, but didn't).   Went to church to get Ian's backpack, then took it to Central school.  Went to the YMCA to register Gracie for baseball, worked out while I was there.  Went to tan.  Came home and made myself an egg beaters breakfast.  Hummm....that may be as productive as I am capable of.  Guess I should scrapbook the rest of the day.  hehe.  I did get the May issue of Card magazine in the mail this morning.  Plus I have a BIG SHOT calling my name.

April 14, 2009

Happy Belated Easter

Good morning, ya'all.  It's a soggy mess here.  It's rained day after day and I'm so tired of it.  I'm ready for some sunshine and heat.  
I hope that everyone had a blessed Easter.  Ours was nice.  We bought clothes the Saturday before for the kids.  (except for Gracie, of course)  I think that they looked handsome and "Springy".  That was my rule this year, it had to be pastel.  Ryan's was borderline, but it worked.  We headed over to Rick's parents after church service.  Aunt Alta Lou, Brenda & Josh & Brody, Crystal, and Aunt Katherine & Debbie and all Rick's sisters + their families were there.  Quite a crowd.  I would have to say that we were extremely lazy this holiday.  Several naps were taken (including me).  
Isn't she precious!!!  I regret to say that the dress was ripped during Children's Church.  She was on the ground and someone stepped on the dress.  That's OK.  She had her moment of glory.  It was chilly Easter morning, so I put a white button-up sweater over the dress.  She looked like a little angel, if I must say.   I kept her home from school on Thursday.  She has been battling a small cold.  It isn't getting her down but you can just tell she isn't herself.  Her eyes tell all.  There are lots of sneezes and drippy noses happening right now.

Here are the three musketeers.  Actually I had to make a crude comment to get them to smile.  They are all sporting their fave. colors.  

Ryan has another track meet this afternoon.  He is running the same events as last meet.  I will try to post the results in the morning.  I'm praying that he does well in the mile.  That is his best event.  We bought him track spikes and compression pants last weekend.  I'm sure that will make all the difference ;)  (joke)

I'm beginning to get super-duper excited about my Las Vegas trip.   I am going with a couple of my girlfriends.  a.k.a. Nancy and Michelle   However, those won't be the names when we go.  We are choosing alter-egos.  I haven't officially decided, but I think I'm going to be a set designer for Martha Stewart.  I'm still choosing my name.  I'm not sure that is radical enough though.  It needs to be more dangerous.....daring.....exotic.  I will let you know the official decision beforehand.   

Undercover agent?
Lion tamer?
Romance author?

If you have any suggestions.  Leave me a comment on the bottom of this post.

Well.  Gonna have to check-out.  Lots to do today, not much time.  Adios amigos.

April 8, 2009

I loved this picture, it's from THIS website

I bought a Jullian Michaels workout DVD yesterday.  I'm pretty sure that I'm going to look like her in a couple weeks.   (hey, the DVD made a promise to me)

I finally have my washing machine back!!!!  Yeah.  The repair bill was a whopping 175.00.  Seriously, the machine needs to fold and put away my laundry now.  I realize that I use it more than the average consumer, but it really shouldn't need repaired once a year.  Do you think?  Maybe my expectations are too high.  My philosophy is that the machine should last a llllooonnngg time.  For one reason.....I don't like to buy things like that.   It isn't fun.  Now, a dining room table, ok.  A new Lexus, alright.  A trip to Hawaii, I'm there.  But a washing machine.  NOOOO!   I should seriously take a picture of the heaping piles of clothes that I have waiting for me.  It may swallow me whole.  

I am supposed to get Gussy-poo groomed today.  But Gracie-loo is home sick, so I'm not sure what's going to happen.  She woke up this morning with the sniffles and the drippies (she even had a bloody nose)  Poor lil' girl.  She probably could have made it through the day.  But I know how I feel when I have a cold.  It's just no fun.  She had only missed one day this year.  So, I said, "It's ok hunny, you can stay home with mommy."  

Gracie wrote a note to her teacher, Mrs Gutshall the other day.  I wanted you to read what she said.  FYI: This is direct from her note.  No edits have been made.

Dear Mrs Gutshall                              

I want you to come over sometime!  You are a good techer in the world.  Do you have a plan on ester?  yes or no  I want you to come on ester but we have plans!
Wat day can you come over!  I relly want you to come on ester. 

love, Gracie

Ian has a pizza and electronics party today.  He is PUMPED!  He brought his PSP (he made sure that it had a full charge) and all his games.  I'm so glad that they get a whole four days off.  Whoo-hoo!!!!  Par-tay.

April 6, 2009

Walker, Ryan and Maggie after a tough day raking leaves and walnut shells

Ryan has this crazy obsession with gross creatures.  

Rick's first crappie of the season.  For some reason, our pond is full of big crappie.  This is actually a small one for us.  
Ian is preparing to blow up a toy dinosaur with a bottle rocket.  

This is half of a scrapbook page that I made this weekend.  I'm gonna have to figure out how to get the whole thing in.  That would be so fun to share my creations on my blog.  

I am getting ready to head to Gracie's classroom.  Not much happened this weekend.  

Before I sign off, I want to share a joke that Gracie told me this morning....

Gracie says:  "How many squirrels does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

Mom says:     "Two?"

Gracie says:   "You're right, two!"

April 3, 2009


These are pictures from years past because I am feeling reflective today.

Mornings are not my forte.  I can't seem to get this ole' body moving yet.  

I was beginning my devotional this morning and found something that I wanted to share with you.  I try not to get too deep in my blog.  I think that is mostly because I write in the mornings and I'm not feeling it yet.  But this caught me....

*Don't hold on to your children so tightly that God can't move them.

*As your children get older, the best mothering involves less smothering.

*It's a mother's job to raise her children to be independent and self-sufficient.  She is to be praised when that happens (although she will later regret that she was so good at it).

*"Letting go" is difficult for a mother-but if it doesn't happen, it is disastrous for the child.

*Some of the greatest joys of motherhood can only be experienced from a distance.

I am noting some signs that I need to "let go" a little.  Especially with Ryan.  Since he has a girlfriend now.  I am constantly drilling him every afternoon.  Poor guy.  When I say girlfriend, I mean that very loosly.  They hang out between classes, at Sunday School and Youth Group, and they also text each other.  
This is how a conversation might go when he gets home from school.....
"How was Maggie today?, Did you sit with her at lunch?, What did you talk about?"    I understand that while I'm doing it, I'm driving him crazy.  But on the other hand, I just cannot stop.  

The joys of motherhood are some of my life's sweetest rewards.  But the uncertainty of motherhood are some of mys hardest "stuff".  I guess that I need to find a balance with him.  Before I get any phone calls from you....I do understand that he is only 13.  I know that I cannot "let go" completely.  I just need to do more "let God".

So, I found this poem on the Internet, and I love it.  I know that I'm not there yet.  But in some ways, it feels like it could be as close as tomorrow.

Side by Side

It's happened, my friend
They're almost grown
Out the door
On their own

Needing us just
As bad as before
Sometimes we'll think
We need them more

Unwelcomed change
Strangely true
This is what
We raised them to do

Empty rooms
Then they'll come home
Friends to see
Talk on the phone

A minute here
A minute there
Still we'll know
We were there......

Watching them play
Watching them grow
Breaking up fights
Bandaging toes

From Sunday school
To Mother's Day Out
From Kindergarten
To Brownies and Scouts

From Big Wheels
To souped-up cars
From sleeping bags
To football scars

Cried 'till we laughed
Laughed 'til we cried
One moment proud
The next horrified

Dobson's books
On dusty shelves
It's time for them
To try it themselves

Oh, my friend
It's been fun
In many ways
We've just begun

So much ahead
Mothers confide
Let's stick like we started:
Side by Side

-Beth Moore

April 2, 2009

Gracie's diorama

Gracie had a little project to do for school.  We had to make a rain forest diorama.  My friend, Nancy, helped me pick out some of the creatures to go in it.  This picture is of the top of the box.
This picture is of the inside.  Ohhhh....ahhhhh.  She was proud of it.

And I discovered a new feature on my computer called photo booth.  My computer will take pictures of me.  Then it has like a million things you can do with it.  I took this picture after I took off all my makeup.  So I didn't want to do anything where you could actually SEE me.  So, I choose this Andy Warhol pop art.
I can take my picture and place it in front of any background.  Soooo kuullll.  Instead of "pimp my ride", it's going to be "trick my pic".  

I have some MAJOR housework to do today.  I have decided to take one room at a time.  Scour!!!  Gracie's room was first.  I don't cringe when I walk in there now.  It looks like a little girls room instead of a pig pen.  Next is the spare room in the basement.  We call it Zach's room.  Because, that is where Zach lived when he stayed here a couple summers ago.  (he is spending the night with us next Friday and we are all stoked!!!!)  I talk to him via e-mail and text but I haven't seen him since early summer when he stayed with us. )  

Did you see Idol yesterday.  Buh Bye, Megan!!!  So glad she is gone.  She was like 6" nails on a chalkboard to me.  I wouldn't mind trading her face with mine though.  Gotta give her that.  The girl was beeeutiful!!!

So, tootles, friends.  Off to clean the house.