Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On the Twelfth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...

BLESSINGS ABOUNDING
Just when you all thought I was going to leave you all hanging on the 11th day...

I honestly did not have any specific thing planned for the 12th day of our "First Annual Smith Family 12 Days of Christmas" as I did the others. As the days of celebration came and our family enjoyed so many wonderful moments together: nothing to do, nowhere to go, just time to spend as we wished, I was reminded that my family is one of the greatest gifts God has given me. The blessings of Christmas are bountiful, and for each one of them, I am thankful.

11 stickers sticking
10 strings of lights
9 more doors to open
8 Christmas outfits
7 verses memorized
6 snickers santas
5 days of searching
4 overloaded branches
3 men a hunting
2 fibbing salesmen
and
a missing baby Jesus
(12 days of consecutive posts (well, 11 anyway) ... whew... we made it folks!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

On the Eleventh day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...
11 STICKERS STICKING

Ethan found these sticker gift tags the other day. I quickly told him, "those are not stickers that you play with so please go back to my room and stick them on my bed." ... and that is just what he did! 10 strings of lights
9 more doors to open
8 Christmas outfits
7 verses memorized
6 snickers santas
5 days of searching
4 overloaded branches
3 men a hunting
2 fibbing salesmen
and
a missing baby Jesus

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the Tenth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...
10 STRINGS OF LIGHTS!
3 strings on the house, 3 mini trees,
and 4 candles in the windows
(the basement has no outlets
boo hoo! Maybe next year)
Thank you Ben for your Christmas spirit!
Nothing says "WELCOME" like a trip wire!
We're still working on this!
Gotta love the Dollar Tree!!
9 more doors to open
8 Christmas outfits
7 verses memorized
6 snickers santas
5 days of searching
4 overloaded branches
3 men a hunting
2 fibbing salesmen
and
a missing baby Jesus

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On the Ninth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...
9 MORE DOORS TO OPEN

My mom always got me a chocolate advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas when I was a little girl and I loved it! I wanted my kids to love the suspense of the season as well, but we wanted to teach them, along with the fun, what exactly they are so impatiently waiting for . I found this little box last year after Christmas, at the local grocery store of all places, for a few $$ and grabbed it. I "tweaked" it a little as you can see. Where the "J" is now, there was another star that said "let it" and then the letters "S N O W" went in the other spots. Very cute, but again, we wanted to take the opportunity everyday to talk about how we are waiting for Jesus to be born. I got these letters at Michael's, painted and glittered them, and glued them into place. The boys love it! Every night after dinner, they take turns opening a door and getting out a piece of chocolate. I also found these sweet little nativity ornaments that we are hanging on a tiny little separate tree. These little ornaments show up every few days in a door. 8 Christmas outfits
7 verses memorized
6 snickers santas
5 days of searching
4 overloaded branches
3 men a hunting
2 fibbing salesmen
and
a missing baby Jesus

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On the Eighth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...
8 CHRISTMAS OUTFITS
I was given a big bag of little girl clothes for Kate and part of the lot were these adorable Christmas outfits! I had to start dressing her in them as soon as we ate our Thanksgiving turkey to make sure I got them all in. A few of them are a little...snug, but I'm stuffing her in - hey, she only has to wear it once, right?
1st up: BIG collars
This one is so sweet! Embroidered wreaths (sleeves a little short - hee hee)

The classic velvet and plaid
One of Santa's little elves!
I wish I had this dress! So comfy! (This was a trial run for a family "torture" photo shoot that nothing came of, but I got a cute fb profile pic out of it I guess!!)
Candy Cane Sweater!!
And it just wouldn't be Christmas without...
an ANGEL, complete with her wings and halo of course!!7 verses memorized
6 snickers santas
5 days of searching
4 overloaded branches
3 men a hunting
2 fibbing salesmen
and
a missing baby Jesus








Monday, December 15, 2008

On the Seventh day of Christmas, my

children gave to me...

7 VERSES MEMORIZED

video

This is indeed a gift to me!

Luke 2:8-14

6 snickers santas

5 days of searching

4 overloaded branches

3 men a hunting

2 fibbing salesmen

and

a missing baby Jesus

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On the Sixth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...
6 SNICKERS SANTAS This post does nothing but highlight my chocolate weakness,
lack of self control, and pure gluttonous behavior:
My mom sent our Christmas box, full of presents and OTHER wonderful Christmas delights! I was arranging all the pretty wrapped presents under our tree when I caught a glimpse of chocolate. At the bottom of the box was this package of Snickers Santas. I took the Snickers, along with the other 10 lbs of candy my mother sent, back to our bedroom to put with the other stocking stuffers. In the hallway on my way back I had this thought: "Holiday chocolate is soo yummy because it is so fresh! I think I will try one of those little Santas. I'll open the pack and then I'll put the other 5 Santas in Ben's stocking. Well, I had to break the news to Ben that he would never get to try one of those wonderful, fresh Snickers Santas because
I ATE THEM ALL!!
5 days of searching
4 overloaded branches
3 men a hunting
2 fibbing salesmen
and
a missing baby Jesus

Saturday, December 13, 2008

On the Fifth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...
5 DAYS OF SEARCHING Baby Jesus returns after spending 5 days in a dark, dusty, hid away corner under the china cabinet. He was welcomed back into the loving chubby little hands of Ethan and Luke who were very anxious to play with him again.
4 overloaded branches
3 men a hunting
2 fibbing salesmen
and
a missing baby Jesus

Friday, December 12, 2008

On the Fourth day of Christmas, my
children gave to me...
4 OVERLOADED BRANCHESThe boys had the greatest time decorating our beautiful tree. Ben and I noticed that they were especially drawn to one little spot. ANY and EVERY ornament (broken and ugly included - as pictured) was included in the decorating. Needless to say, I did a little rearranging after they all went to bed!! Where was Kate in all of this merriment??? She was busy eating the glittered and lacquered cinnamon ornaments! She knows food when she sees it!


3 men a hunting
2 fibbing salesmen
and
a missing baby Jesus

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the Third day of Christmas, my children gave to me...
3 MEN A HUNTING
"If a first you don't succeed, try, try again!"
Determined to brighten our Christmas spirits, the very next day we went to a little church selling trees and paid $25 for a beautiful tree! We decided to leave the "cut you own Christmas tree" to the country folk this year!
2 Fibbing salesmen
and
a missing baby Jesus

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On the Second day of Christmas, my children gave to me...
2 FIBBING SALESMEN
Last year, our family cut down our own Christmas tree. It was such a fun little excursion that I thought it might be a happy little family tradition to keep. The farm we went to last year had ponies and donkeys to pet, a candy cane hunt in the trees for the boys, free hot chocolate, and of course the fun of picking and cutting the tree that would adorn our home for the Christmas season. The farm was quite a trip out and a little pricey, so before we loaded in the car this year I decided to do a little web surfing and see if I could find a place a little closer to home and perhaps a little cheaper. I FOUND one!! 35 minutes away according to Rand McNally. When I called, I was told $3-5/ft for a pine tree!! Close to home and very economical!! The perfect place. After a very long day raking leaves with the teens (Ben) and grocery shopping/errand running with the kids (Carissa), we piled in the car for a "happy" family time. 1 hour in the car, sludging through BUSY traffic, we get to "COX FARMS". The "farm" where we were to CUT our own tree. SEE PICTURE ABOVE - Rink-a-dink, piddly little, city person's Christmas tree stand. Traffic streaming by, not a tree to cut down in sight! I showed the man running the place (a big old guy-a tough frame a round gut- he looked like he had not left that stand since he opened it the day after Thanksgiving) the page I had printed from the Internet where it said it was a "farm" where you CUT the trees... he smiled and chuckled as he said..."well, we kinda already did that part for ya!" What I heard in my mind was "This is DC lady, CUT you own tree, are you kidding me?" I told him it would be a good idea if he changed that information because we have a piddly (I didn't really call it piddly to his face, but I sure was think'n it) little stand like this across the street from our house!! Ben was giving me that "woman, where did you bring us look". We swallowed hard and decided to leave the kids sleeping in the car, pick a tree and get out of there. We started walking through the rows of pretty little displayed trees and noticed the price tags - certainly not $3-5/ft. They were at least double that! I went back to the man and explained that I was quoted a much different price on the phone - he exploded now - very irritated with me! "TABLETOP TREES are $3-5. We told you on the phone the list of prices and you only heard $3-5!!!! Ha pointed me to his wife who was the one who I talked to. She did not even seemed phased..."what are you looking for, Mame?" I responded " a nice little tree, you know, 6-7 feet." The man storms past me asking me to follow. He brings me to this tree which is barely taller than ME. He flicks the price tag up and says "here ya go!!" The tag on this gnarly, twisted, crooked, holey, dead tree was $29.99 and it was labeled "CHARLIE BROWN". I said "thank you" and with tears in my eyes walked to my van with my sleeping children and annoyed husband waiting to begin our long journey back through the traffic home. I assured him I would tell all my friends.
and
a missing baby Jesus

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

On the First day of Christmas my children gave to me...
1 MISSING BABY JESUS
The boys have been LOVING their Playmobil nativity this year. A few mornings ago, baby Jesus went missing. A search and rescue team went out and came back empty, so the manger was empty for a few days. This morning, I noticed the manger was no longer empty! A little dog is now playing the role of baby Jesus.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quiet?? NEVER a Good Thing!!

I think the "experts" call this LEARNING! I find it kind of aggravating!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Optimus Prime: A DIVINE toy?????
Ethan is playing with his transformer:

Ethan: ...you little (some name that sounded a lot like "Jerk")!




Mommy: What did you say, Ethan?




Ethan: (pause w/guilty look in his eye) ...the transformer said a bad word!




Mommy: no Ethan, YOU said it. Can your transformer talk?




Ethan: ...Yes




Mommy: Ok, Ethan...(think, think, think) who MAKES your transformer talk?




Ethan: (pause)... GOD




Long Pause - Start the discussion again from the top

Baby Bottoms... and other things!
This last weekend, our family went to the mall for no reason at all except to window shop, enjoy the premature Christmas decor, and let the kiddos play in the great play area there. We had a great time. Daddy, mommy were in great spirits, the boys were obedient and cooperative, and Kate rode in the stroller with no clawing to get out. These kinds of outings are rare and I cherish them when they happen. We were casually watching the kids play amongst the bazillion other children trying to keep tabs on our own. A great place for people watching - cute little toddling babies, mean kids that try to bully all the other kids into moving out of "their" spot, the spaced out little girl dressed in her Tinker-Bell Halloween costume singing and twirling amongst the craziness as if she were the only one there. Then there are the parents - even more entertaining! Some there just for a place to sit down so they can rest and wonder why they decided to bring their kid to the mall in the first place. Others busy on the phone or texting (all the while some bad guy comes and takes off with their kid knowing the parent won't even notice for a good 5 minutes!) Then there are my personal favorites: the hyper moms! Not 3 inches separates mother from child. Her hands always poised out and ready to catch her child from taking the deadly 2 foot fall from the plastic banana. Ben and I were enjoying our time and each others humorous comments about these goings-on. I looked up and the hyper mom was walking straight toward me (hands still poised) with a hysterical look on her face. All she could say was "POOP"!!!! She pointed to sweet little baby Kate who, by the way, was so pretty that day still dressed in her outfit that we had her pictures taken in earlier that evening. Kate was happily playing at the foot of plastic snoopy with a volcano of hot poop rolling up and out of her new velor pants. The poop volcano could not be stopped and was spilling out onto the floor. Ben and I looked at each other knowing that we were now the topic of everyone else's people watching. We both jumped up and ran over there. At least that is what I thought. When I got to her I realized that I was going to need some major wet wipes, so I looked to Ben who was now back where we were sitting trying to sit down. He had his mouth wide open and a look of pure disgust on his face (much like every other parent in the place). I looked at him and had to snap him back to the reality that this was HIS baby and HE needed to bring me the diaper bag. I scooped up the pile of poo and scrubbed down the crime scene, trying to be as discreet, quick, and thorough as possible -trying to act as if this was "no big deal... how funny...this happens all the time...silly baby! I tucked a few wipes down her back to try to contain the "lava" and rushed her off to save HER from HER embarrassing moment. We directly left the mall, this being the final memory of our cherished family outing. I congratulated Ben on the way out for all of his quick help in our poop crisis. What a memory! I hope all you readers got a little chuckle at baby Kate's expense! I thought I would spare you a picture and let your imaginations do the work!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy Birthday to the man I love!

I love you because:

you are my protector
you are my provider
you are my friend
you help me see myself in a true light
you make me laugh
(even at times when you should
not be trying to make me laugh!)
you gently lead me in the life God has given us together

Happy Birthday to the BEST daddy EVER

We love you because:


you are our favorite playmate
you are our example
you are our guide
you are our provider
you are our "best friend in the whole world"
you are our teacher
you are our fan
you are the best bug catcher
Happy Birthday from your family!
We love you!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

OCTOBER FAMILY FESTIVITIES! Ben drove the bus for a field trip to the pumpkin patch and took Ethan along!
Fun day with daddy!



Another pumpkin patch trip with daddy!


Time to carve our pumpkins!
side note on the word "OUR" pumpkins:
RIP Smith family pumpkin vine!
Better luck next year (or never again!)
We BOUGHT our pumpkins like everyone else this year.
BOO HOO!!Back to the carving!
Ethan helped Kate get the seeds out!

YUM!

Ethan's favorite part was carving (stabbing) the "hair".

Ben's Spider Man creation!
Random picture of sweet Kate her cool, flashing Halloween shirt from granny Hatch!

ETHAN'S FIRST SHINER!
collision: Ethan's eye meets the back of Luke's head!

Making rice crispy treat pumpkins (and friends)!

TRICK or TREAT!

Meet Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee, and...green bug of some sort!

Whatever she is, she sure is cute!

TORTURE, this is TORTURE!
Do I feel bad? How can I? Do you see how cute she is???
She won't remember, right?!

Pounding the door down!
The Loot!
WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?? Really, like I am going to let my 3, 2, and 1 year olds eat all this?? No, of course not. I will give them all the kiddy, yuck candy and eat all the chocolate right out of their bags as soon as they go to sleep at night! Why?? Why, I ask??
Is it bedtime yet??

A job well done!!