May 31, 2009

I'm noticing that my blogging has suffered some since the kids are on summer break.  I love complete silence and concentration when I'm writing.  Well......that doesn't happen with kiddos around.  That's OK.  I'm going to do my best.  This has become a very important outlet for me and I'm determined.

I'm not going to give a play-by-play, but several things have happened around the Smith home.  
First of season has officially started.  Ryan has been playing for a few weeks.  They are doing well.  We aren't traveling quite so far this summer (which has me stoked).  All the other teams are within a hour from us.  They are also traveling here.  That didn't happen last summer.  Tonight we are playing a home game.  

Gracie is also starting her softball career with her very FIRST season.  She has been to a couple practices.  Their first game was rained out last night.  :(  I went to the city yesterday and bought her PINK batting gloves, shorts to match her team shirt and new shoes.  We are official now.  

Rick's dad had his shoulder surgery the day before our Colorado vacation.  He says that it is going to be a painful recovery.  We are hoping that it was worth it.  They kept him in the hospital since he had his heart attacks last November.  The latest in the saga is....he now has a hernia.  He will have yet ANOTHER surgery on the 10th.  This will be, by far, the least invasive of the 3.  They predict that he will be coming home within the day.  (sigh)

I finally finished the Twilight books in Colorado.  It's probably a good thing that there aren't anymore.  My love of the books were bordering on UNHEALTHY.  Is it weird to read them again?  I did that with Harry Potter.  I'm so weird.  No need to tell me.  I already know.

On to the pictures.  I must ask a very serious question.  I made a bucket list not long ago.  I mentioned bungee jumping or parasailing as one thing I must do before I die.  Do the pictures below count as bungee jumping?  I sure hope so.  Otherwise I'm revising the list.  Because I am not bungee jumping!!!!  This was up there with the scariest things I've ever done.

Actually BLOGGER loaded these pictures backwards.  Ryan and I were almost done at this point.'s the story.  
We went to Royal Gorge.  Rick and I had been there before.  It wasn't the highlight of my day because I'm a little nervous around heights (ironically).  But in all the pamphlets we read that they expanded the park.  There was a old, faux western city where you could buy collectibles. (We later found that it was all junk), there was a sky box to ride over the gorge.  It almost looked like a single cable car suspended over the gorge.  It started pouring, so we couldn't do that.  So you get the point, several different things to look at.
When we got there, Ryan saw THIS thing called "sky coaster" and that is all we heard about.  We walked up to check it out.  It wasn't quite open yet.  They were still "testing" it.   The ribbing began.  "Are you going Mom?"  "Mom is chicken", "I bet you can't do that".  Normally teasing like that gets the teaser nowhere.  I'm not caving.  I guess that they caught me in a moment of weakness.  Before I knew it Ryan and I were paying the $42.00 and strapping ourselves in.  The fear didn't hit me until they were cranking us up to the top of the contraption.  I knew then that I had made a very bad mistake.  Ryan was trying to comfort me.  It wasn't working.  
One of us had to pull a rip cord.  I knew that if I pulled it, we would never fly.  So, I gave it to Ryan.  Once we were at the top, they said 3, 2, 1, fly.  You pulled the cord on fly.  I was hoping in the back of my head that he wouldn't pull it.  I was suffering from a moment of insanity though.  This is Ryan we are talking about.  King of "I'm not afraid of ANYTHING".  He pulled it and we were sailing.  
I was so afraid that I couldn't shut my eyes.  It wasn't the strangest feeling.  I wanted to, but I couldn't.  I remember feeling relieved when we were flying over the landing of the ride.  Then being scared out of my mind when we flew over the gorge.  I guess I never calculated how this dude would work.  To most of you,  this would be a no-brainer.  But I thought the initial fall would be the worst.  It didn't occur to me that the natural pendulum movement would make me do this again, and again, and again, and again.  After the first time, I wanted down.  After the tenth time, I was frantic.  Ryan was trying to calm down his mother.  Saying, "It's almost over, We are almost done".  Poor guy.  You have heard the saying "scared stiff".  I always thought that stiff meant dead.  I have a new theory now.  It means your scared stiff.  Can't move, can't talk, can't function!!!!

This was the beginning.  They were cranking us up to the top.
Strapping us in before they cranked us up to the top.
We were flying and I'm crying.

Rick and Ian had no worries while their family soared over a 12,000 ft. drop.

May 29, 2009

Lots of pictures from vacation but not much time till tomorrow.  I am mowing and playing catch up.  I will give a play by play.  Promise. 

Here are a few pics to wet your appetite.  This was my favorite part of the entire trip.

May 20, 2009

I really have the best neighbors ever.  Dwight and Renee Jones are constantly bringing me pies, soups when I'm sick, flowers, you name it.  Frankly, I will never be able to compete.  She is super sweet and has become quite precious to me.
So, when we returned from Ryan's ballgame last night at 10:00 p.m..  These were waiting for me.  She knows that peonies are my favorite.  So stinkin' nice!!!!!

Speaking of the ballgame.  We won.  The end score was 6 to 13.  That was only because in the last half we played the boys in off positions just to give them experience.  Ryan pitched the first two innings and did well.   

Ian's birthday was kind of a bummer for him I'm afraid.  He will get his official party when we return from vacation.  But last night was a whirlwind of everything else that we had to do.  He did get a camera and I'm afraid that no one is safe anymore.  He clicks when you least expect it.  I'm sure that I have some unflattering pictures on there.  Oh well.  I'm glad that he is enjoying it.

Tomorrow morning we leave for Colorado.  Rick's dad is having surgery today on his shoulder.  So we are going to stop by the hospital on our way there.  I won't be blogging while I'm gone.  This is a family vacation.  So I'm not going to take the time to do this while I'm gone.  Just going to enjoy being together.  We will be back on Wednesday (a week from tomorrow).

Well, I'm off to pack and tie up loose ends.  Million things to do.  

Last day of school today.....yippee!!!

May 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Ian!!!

I cannot wrap my brain around Ian being 11 years old.  It seems impossible that much time could have passed.  It seems like yesterday that I was at North Kansas City hospital anxiously waiting to hold him for the first time.  

Ian was breach until the morning I had him.  Rick was on call at the hospital and Ryan and I were home together.   In the night, I started having sharp pains.  I was sure that it was labor but I didn't bother Rick until 6:00 that morning.  The pain, we later found out, was Ian turning around.  I still wonder how a nearly 9 pound baby did a flip in the womb.  He did.....and boy did it hurt!!!  We realized that it had happened only just before heading to the operating room for a C-section.  (we had planned on that since he was breach).  They did a last minute ultrasound, and.....baata-bing, lil' Ian was head down, ready to enter the world the "proper" way.  
The feeling was a little bitter sweet.  I was prepared for a quick c-section.  Instead I was in labor until 5:30 that afternoon.  On the other hand, I was excited that I was going to deliver him.  There is something about that experience that is magical.  I guess it's the anticipation.  Or maybe we need a little work and pain to appreciate the result.  :}

Anywhoo, he was a healthy beautiful 8 lb. 15 oz. boy.  Chubby in all the right places.  So kissable and gorgeous.  When I first saw him, I remember being amazed at how different he looked than Ryan.  Even after the first day, I knew that he would resemble his Daddy.  Maybe that is why we have such a close bond.  Because he is so much like his Dad today.  He walks like him, talks like him and he is even as smart as him!!!  Thank goodness!!!

Well Ian Michael, I love you so very much.  You make my every day special.  I'm so thankful that God gave you to me because you are an incredible blessing.  I pray that I can raise you to be a good and Godly man.  You are well on your way.  Hugs and kisses from your momma (even if you don't like hugs and kisses).

May 16, 2009

A Blissful Saturday!

Michelle and Nancy at Jimmy Buffets "Margaritaville"  This was our first night in Vegas.  We sat in the sun and enjoyed cool girly drinks.  

Happy Saturday!!!!  I am so excited because I have NOTHING to do today.  That is rare beyond words in this house.

Sooooo.....I'm going to read a little of "Breaking Dawn".
   I'm going to watch "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"
           I may create something in my craft room
   I'm going to snuggle with the kiddos
           I'm going to miss my hubby because he is on call this weekend

I'm beginning to look forward to our Colorado trip.  Rick booked our hotels and we are going to take off the day after school lets out.  Which is the 21st.  We have no definite plans.  But we hope to go to the mint, 7 falls, Pike's Peak, and the Alpine Slide.  We will be gone a full week.

May 15, 2009

Steamboat Arabia

Rick and I have another baby besides, Ryan, Ian and Gracie, T-bone.  He is such a good dog.  (I just wish that he didn't slobber)
Another picture of my flowers.  This has become a lil' hobby of mine for the last two weeks.  I wish that my flowers were as pretty as the pictures showed.  

I LOVE THUNDERSTORMS!!!  So I was pretty excited when I woke up this morning and the sky was dark and rumbling.  Last summer, Rick, I and the kids sat on the front porch and watched a lightning storm for probably a hour and a half.   We would talk until a bright lightning bolt would light up then sky, then continue to talk.  It was a special time to me, enjoying my family and the storm.
I'm torn, however, because Ryan has a baseball game in Brookfield, MO tonight.  I am so excited for baseball to begin.  It is my favorite sport by far!!!  I am also excited that we are going to eat afterwards with dear friends of ours.  

Not much on the agenda today.  I cleaned and mowed like a crazy lady yesterday.  The house is in pretty good shape.  I always wonder why we decided to mow 6 acres.   But when it is mowed, it looks so good.  In about six days, I will be complaining again.  ;)

I told you that I would post pictures of Ian's field trip the other day.  This is Ian at Penguin Park.  He looks thrilled, doesn't he?
2/3 of the artifacts recovered are on display at the Arabia museum.  The other 1/3 is still being cleaned.  I believe I recall them saying that it will be another 15 years before the exhibit will be finished.  Most of the objects were dishes, boots, tools, etc.  I wish I could take a few things home to my kitchen. Here is the link to the official web-site.  I suggest you click on museum info, then click on the Arabia's video.  It's very interesting.  
The buttons in this picture are porcelain.  Wouldn't they make a fabulous scrapbook page.  Somehow, I doubt that they will let me buy them.

This is the original founder of the Steamboat Arabia, Bob Hawley.  

May 13, 2009

Babes, Bouquets and Buddies

The following pictures are just a few of the reasons that I love volunteering in my church kitchen.  During the school year, this is where I am every Wednesday.  Usually from 9:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m..  We talk lots, offer shoulders when we are down, and laugh at each others "kitchen mistakes".   I truly treasure getting to know each and every one of these special ladies.
Jen is mixing up a lemon pie.  She is Alicia's daughter.  We don't get to cook with her much, but it's always fun having a young mind in the group.  
Pat Reed joined us this year and I love getting to know her.  She travels to exotic places and the stories she tells are amazing.  
This is my kitchen momma, Alicia Early.  I have truly grown to love this woman.  I've never met any other person so giving.  I once told her that I liked her cookbook.  She wouldn't back down until I took it to my car.  She is such a devoted mother.  I'm getting teary thinking about her.
This is the comedian of the bunch.  Little sweet Marcia.  I always thought she was quiet and loving.  Well, she is loving, but, I didn't know that she was onery too!!!  
We have finished cooking until this September.  I told the girls that I am always glad to be done and I'm always glad to start back up.  

Not pictured:
Sherry Thomas
Lynn Boyles
Terri Willard
Karen Thomas

Fairy tales are more than true: not because
they tell us that dragons exist, but because
they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
-G.K. Chesterton

I volunteered at my last God Squad for the 2008-09 school year.  Ryan hung out and helped me.  It just occurred to me as I'm writing this that I won't have God Squad again for two years.  Wow!!!!!  Gracie will go when she is in 3rd grade.
I went with Ian on a field trip to Steamboat Arabia.  It was interesting.  Probably the best field trip that I have been on.  I even rode the bus with him.  I will post pictures of the museum later this week.  This was a picture of Ian, being goofy, at Penguin Park.  We went there after Steamboat to let the kids run off some energy!!
Ronni Clark, a friend of ours, says in her next life, she wants to be one of my cats.  Congo is enjoying sunshine and the warm blankets in the living room.
Gracie Lu, cheesing it up for the camera.  I'm surprised that this kid doesn't have permanent red-eye as many pictures as I've taken of her.

I've been doing lots of gardening lately.  Actually, that is why I've been a bad blogger.  There is only so much time in a day to be creative.  Since I am also reading the Twilight series like a mad woman, I have very little time for scrapbooking, card-making or blogging.  I promise that this is only a short season.  I will return ;)
As a wife, a mother and a wanna be artist, I find that my thoughts and creative ideas seem to swim around in my head.  I'm constantly thinking, this would make a gorgeous scrapbook page. In the Spring and Summer, I find the easiest way to collect my thoughts, is to head to the flower garden.  I dead-head the petunias and water the geraniums.  It relaxes me and helps me forget that I have a million other things pressing for my time.  Digging in the dirt works for me.  Hummingbirds buzzing, my dog, T-bone laying in the grass beside me.  I think about many things, talk to the LORD and chill out.  As a child, gardening meant picking green beans in the squeltering heat and getting stung by sweat bees.  Not fun to me.  But as an adult, I discovered flowers.  My first garden was a small square bed that Rick built for me.  I planted impatients, salvia, petunias (all annuals).  That small garden went crazy and I quickly saw the fruit of my labor.  Now when I'm finished in my garden, I feel refreshed and ready to begin the tasks of the day.  It is amazing to see the growth and beauty happening right before my eyes.

The blooms on this baby are the size of a dinner plate.  Gigantic!!!  So pretty.
I always think of my Aunt Pam when I see a columbine.  She is the one who introduced it to me years ago.  She had lots of purple ones in her garden.  I've bought lots of these plants.  Since they aren't blooming when I purchase them, I never know what color I'm getting.  I like the whites, creams and yellows.  But I really wanted a purple one, just like Pam's.

I planted a snowball bush last Spring.  This is a beautiful picture (if I do say so myself).  No credit to the photographer, I have an amazing camera.  I remember my Grandma having one of these bushes under her kitchen sink at the Woodend house.  The blooms were enormous.  That is when I fell in love with this plant.  


May 7, 2009

Thursday's top five

Good morning all.....

When Ryan was younger, he loved being in costume.  That's not especially surprising, most kids do.  The funny thing with him however is......when he was in costume, he thought he WAS who he was dressed as.  If he was dressed as Batman, he WAS Batman.  If he was dressed as a monkey, he WAS a monkey.  So on and so on.  He wouldn't answer us if we asked RYAN a question, because he wasn't Ryan.  He also thought that when he was in costume that others thought he WAS that character.  
Sweet memories.

I think that I am finally adjusting to the "normal" routine again.  I bounced out of bed this morning.  Haven't done that since before I left for Vegas.  

I am so busy today.  I cannot believe that I'm writing at all this morning.  So, it's going to be short.  I wanted to give you something to think about today.......and I promise tomorrow, I'll write more and post lots of pictures.  I took a million yesterday!!!

Thursday's top five:

1. Spring flowers and green grass
2. my church family and the comfort I feel there
3. good hair day ( I cut my own hair two days ago....and I like it)
4. slightly melted vanilla ice cream and Alicia Early's cheesecake
5. knowing what all my pals are doing because of status updates:)

May 6, 2009

Here is a little blog candy.  I planted yesterday.  I've been itching to do it for a while.  The weather has been very uncooperative though.  I have loads of pink and purple in every shade.  My favorite flower colors.  I hope that I don't get tired of watering them.

Sweet peas

OK, I have a blasting headache.  You know, the kind that makes you want to stick your head in a vice grip.  Not pretty.  I would LOVE to crawl back into bed and sleep it off.  However, there is work to be done!!!!  

Today is the last church dinner until September.  I am ready for it to be done.  I love all the girls, I love cooking, I love having something to keep me busy on Wednesdays, but mostly I love our lunches together.  That is our tradition, we all go to lunch.  School is winding down and I'm ready to sleep in occasionally.  

So, I have a ton to tell you since the last post.  I doubt that I can do it though in the ten minutes I have until I need to jump in the shower.  

First of all, I am in love with Edward Cullens,  Jeez, he is amazing!!!  I am on book three.  Almost finished with it.  I thought the guy that they cast for Edward in the movie looked familiar.  He was also cast in Harry Potter as Cedric Digory.  Another hottie.  By the way, Rick absolutely knows about this.  I don't keep it a secret.    (just in case you were feeling the need to tell on me)


Nancy, Michelle and I had a super time in Vegas.  I'm not sure that "we country girls" fit in there though.  We happened to visit during Gay Pride, which was interesting.  WEIRD-O's!!!!!!!

We saw Cher, who was amazing!  She can shake it like she is 25.  She had a flawless voice too.  I never have been too interested in her voice, but I must say, I was impressed!!!

It is fun to be with friends, especially since I love these girls like sisters.  

Ok, it took 20 minutes to upload these pictures.  I'm not going to get it all wrote.  Gonna have to finish tomorrow.