Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's 3:00 a.m. Do you know where your Elmo is?


Here is a true Monday Moment – it happened just last night. I was up last night (or this morning) at 2:00 a.m. with HORRIBLE pregnancy heartburn. I took as many Tums as I could and drank a few glasses of water. I was flipping thru some informericals and had just turned them off to settle down with some of my Bible reading when I heard it.

The voice.

It took me by surprise and I jumped, causing my unborn son to wiggle and kick inside of me for the next few minutes.

I heard it again – a high-pitched voice, somewhat faint, but very clear.

“Let’s try and use the potty! Hee,hee,hee,hee!”

I realized then what it was. We had bought K-Bug this Elmo potty book with the push buttons when she was potty training last year. We had started to use the book again for Lorelin, and had left it placed by the training potty for her easy access reading.However, K-Bug had an unfortunate pee-pee accident on Sunday, which left the Elmo book, shall we say, drenched. Not being able to save the book, I had thrown it in the trash. Apparently all of the dampness had now caused the book’s batteries to go crazy, so that Elmo’s voice was speaking without any of the buttons needing to be pushed.

I laid on the couch, hoping it would stop.

“Let’s-try-and-use-the-potty!Let’s-try-and-use-the- potty!Let’s-try-and-use-the-potty! Hee,hee,hee,hee!”

Now determining that Elmo wasn’t going to stop, I waded through the trashcan until I found the book. Here I was, almost 3:00 a.m. with a endlessly talking Elmo book. I examined the slimy book and thought through my options.

The batteries on the book were button cells, with a screwdriver needed to access them, and lots of warning about mercury contamination (how did I not notice this before…this is a children’s book!) Anyway, I figured that a pregnant woman dealing with mercury in the middle of the night was NOT the way to go.

So, I placed the book directly outside the kitchen door inside of the garage. No good – I had planned to go lay down on the couch for the rest of the night (my pregnant back sometimes does better that way) and I could now clearly hear Elmo echoing throughout the entire garage.

What to do? What to do?

Thinking quickly, I grabbed up the book, opened the front door and heaved Elmo far out into the night. It landed somewhere in a bush in our yard. Closing the door, I could still hear Elmo’s voice, ringing through the night, “Let’s try and use the potty! Hee,hee,hee,hee!”

Going back to the couch, I began to laugh, and then belly laugh, about the whole episode. I could just imagine some poor person going for their morning jog being surprised by the small muppet voice coming from our yard.

I am happy to report that this morning the batteries seem to have made their final push, and the book is silent. The book will go back in the trash, and I made it through the rest of my night in peace (and even with some sleep!).

Beware the Elmo…
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Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Questions...

Happy Friday everyone! I decided to take a a few minutes to answer this fun questionairre about Christmas traditions and preferences.Enjoy!
1. When do you put up your Christmas tree? Usually a day or two after Thanksgiving.
2. Favorite Christmas Goodie: Hmmm…that’s a toughie. I LOVE all of the homemade breads (especially my friend Brandie’s banana nut bread!!), but I also really love things made with peppermint. I really like peppermint bark – a combination of white chocolate and peppermint candies. YUM!!!!
3. Favorite Christmas Carol/Song: “Breathe Of Heaven” – it’s a beautiful song that is sung from the point of Mary as she contemplates being a Mother to Jesus.
4. Least Favorite Christmas Carol/Song: Ok, I’ve already blogged about this one. “I Want A Hippopotomus For Christmas” Nuff said…
5. Do you like egg nog? I LOVE the stuff! My dear hubby and I used to buy it by the gallon when we were first married – we’ve since slowed down a little. I also like the Egg Nog Lattes at Starbucks….mmmmmm
6. Oddest Christmas Present You’ve Ever Received: This is a very tough one, as my lovable Meemaw (my Mom’s Mom) never fails to disappoint in this area. Last year, she gave me multicolored granny panties (that were WAY too big) and some powder from Walgreens…definitely an odd combo
7. Best Christmas Present You’ve Ever Received: From the same woman, no less, a large amount of money (I won’t say how much…let’s just say it was jaw dropping) written in a large check – it was such a blessing to my hubby and I that Christmas. There was also a year that my hubby did a princess theme to all of my presents – it was so fun and special!
8. Most Memorable Childhood Christmas Present: Probably my rollerblades or my Debbie Gibson “Electric Youth” perfume!!
9. Favorite Color of Christmas Lights: White/Clear
10. Tree- real or artificial? My family had always done artificial, then when I married Bri we did real (like his family always had). Then last year, my Mom bought us an artificial tree with the lights on, so we’ve used that last year and this year. So, I guess my answer is I’m using artificial, but I prefer real. Love that smell!
11. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? We open just our immediate family’s presents (us and the girls) on Christmas Eve and then do dual celebrations with both sides of the family on Christmas Day.
12. One of YOUR family’s favorite Christmas traditions - past or present Hmm….
Past - it would have to be making gingerbread men. My Mom would let us decorate them with all kinds of candies, raisins, and icing and then we would spend one whole day delivering them to family and friends. I LOVED it!
Present - Spending time with just our own immediate family on Christmas Eve, always eating chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese for dinner that night (that’s what my dirt poor hubby and I did our first Christmas Eve together – and that’s what we’ve had every year since…) and reading the Christmas story together as a family. There are several other traditions that I’d like to start as the kiddos get a little older too.
I am tagging ALL of my bloggity friends - Carmen,Jen,Tabitha,Lindsay,Tracy,Andrea,Jen,Brandie,Scott,Crock-Pot Mom, Nickle-Pickle, and Jules (and EVERYONE else) to post their answers to the questionairre on their blogs - can't wait to hear about your own Christmas traditions!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Smiles

As I started to sit down to type this post this afternoon, I could hear K-Bug out in the hallway (she often naps there in the afternoon) reading books to herself. She had opened one of our books about The Christmas Story, and was re-telling in vivid deatail about Mary,Joseph, baby Jesus, the sheperds, and the angels (she especially likes the angels). I had to smile to myself as I heard her telling the amazing story of Christ's birth through her preschool mind-set.
My Mom blessed us with an AMAZING Nativity set this year too - it's Fisher Price, and all the pieces are bright and fun and most of all, NOT breakable. Both girls spend time each day playing with their "Na-tivvy set" (na-ti-vity set is kind of a mouthful...:) Somteimes the baby Jesus ends up riding in the back of a wagon pulled by a sheep (when Lorelin's playing), and sometimes the Wise Men will spend large amounts of time asking Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus if they'd like to come and play.....
of course, AFTER the wise men give baby Jesus their gifts of "gold, grain, and fur" (as K-Bug called it tonight. K-Bug has taken the "na-tivvy" story one step further though. After she saw a DVD telling the Christmas story a few weeks ago, K-Bug has asked me almost every day if I can help her "be Mary"

This task is accomplished by getting one of her blankets and placing it fully on her head (this was ALL her idea, not mine!) I found a little clip that works well for holidng the blanket in place. Then, we must wrap her "baby Jesus" in swaddling er....blankets...:) She will then carry baby Jesus from place to place lying him in various places around the house. I've even found her on her knees with her hands folded in front of her in a most reverant position. :) I love, love, LOVE the fact that my preschooler with the vivid imagination is using it to place herself in the Christmas story - it has made the story come alive for me in new ways this year.
Putting up a Christmas tree has long been one of my favorite Christmas traditions. This year the girls helped me take the ornaments out of their boxes and place them on the tree. No-one loves the Christmas tree more than Miss Lore-lin though! She absolutely ADORES the fact that there are so many different types of ornaments hanging from the branches. A few days after the tree was up, we also noticed that the ornaments seemed to keep finding new homes - moving from place to place. We've since had to keep a closer eye on Lorelin and the tree, but it's been so incredibly fun to see how much Lorelin loves this Christmas tradition. :)Here's a picture of Lorelin in front of the tree with an amazingly huge smile on her sweet pixie face (she's probably thinking about which ornament she'll try to move next! :)

For those dear friends and family so far away, we miss you and wish you could be here to help us make Christmas smiles in person. Until then, we hope you enjoy this pics of the smiles we've been making at home!
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Dry-Part 2

It was a December morning (2006) at Compass Church, and our daughter was playing a sheep in the Christmas program. A chain of events had led to our pastor stepping down for what I thought was just a few months, and although I was looking to transition out of my church job, I was still currently loving every minute of it, and loving in every way my church family, and my place inside it.

I remember doing the announcements that morning with genuine excitement and joy. I remember announcing that we were having a church family meeting that evening to discuss the situation surrounding our Pastor’s current step-down and return.

The evening came, and as the meeting progressed I watched for one of the first times in my life as a few sheep of God’s family proceeded to verbally rip to shreds the man who was my co-worker, my pastor, and most of all, my friend. Something crumpled in my spirit that night, and I will not grace the months that followed with many comments except to say that it was one of the more miserable experiences of my life.

Please know that although I questioned God as to why this was happening, I didn’t blame Him ever, at all, for what happened. I didn’t even realize that I was allowing (and would allow) this wound to distance me from my Heavenly Father.

The months that followed that meeting were full of my husband and I seeking new direction from God. Some of our oldest and best friends had felt the call of God to start a church plant sometime in 2007, and they asked if we would come and be a part of it. They wanted my husband to help lead worship. We weren’t sure though, since we were strongly considering a move out-of-state to Oklahoma, where my sister and her husband both lived.

We felt like our family was ready for a big change, and so on our anniversary, March 2007, my hubby and I flew out to Norman to visit my sister and brother-in-law, look at houses, and spend some time in prayer about what then next step would be for our family. In short, we loved it, but after a LOT of prayer, we both felt that God was asking us to stay in Phoenix for now and be obedient to help start the church plant.

I can’t say I said "Yes" to the church plant with joy, though. In a way, although I knew we were obeying, I was angry at God for saying “No” to Oklahoma. Most of you who know me well know that I desire a smaller, slower pace-of-life outside of Phoenix, and have for some time. I couldn’t understand why God said “No” to such a big desire of my heart.

The river drained dry just a little more, as I allowed more distance to develop between my Lord and I.

So, in September 2007, we helped open the doors for The Way Christian Fellowship.

And my heart has been stuck in a muddy, dried-up place ever since. I am currently doing children’s ministry, which I really, really, really, don’t feel called to, and am struggling with guilt over because I just don’t enjoy it at all. I won’t stay there forever, I’m sure, but with a church so small there really is no-one else to do it. The core families’ wives that helped to start the church plant are the ones working nursery/kids right now (including the pastor’s wife) because it has to be that way. And my husband is leading worship again, but I have struggled with all of the time commitments that means – including worship band practices, extra church meetings with the pastor, and not getting to see and/or go to the church with my husband on Sunday morning.

And, looking back, I can tell you this – I MISS my church family at Compass. My original, beautiful, vibrant church family. Where I watched church softball games, and had my girls dedicated, and listened to the truth being spoken, and singing “How Great Is Our God” at the top of my lungs with both arms raised high. I miss it SO much, and pockets of my heart still ache for it.

And most of all, I miss the JOY and INTIMACY that I have always had with my Heavenly Papa.

.......I want it back.

Please pray for this season of spiritual dryness in my life.

Dry - Part 1

So many of my blog posts have happened lately while I’m on the run – running to do my errands, running to finish my grocery shopping, running to finish my housework (or start it, such as the case may be..), running to birthday parties, or Bible studies, or baby showers, or Christmas shopping… as I stay busy, I sadly often stay too busy to really even feel the impact of what effects my spiritual walk with God day by day

So, finally, on Thanksgiving, as our family was up at the cabin – away from all of my daily obligations of cleaning, laundry, etc… away from even the computer (which I admit can be a distraction), with a couple of free late hours on my hands, I found myself sitting on the back porch of our cabin, watching the moon rise over the forest, and really talking to God and allowing myself to take stock of where I am spiritually right now.

The answer.......dry

Dry as a bone. Dry like the desert….dry

And maybe for the first time in months, I allowed tears to fall about the state of my deeper heart. This is where my husband found me, on the back porch, crying.

Poor guy - he was probably thinking that the hormones were running strong in his big, pregnant wife (which I'm sure is true)

It was good though, because he grabbed a blanket too, and we were able to have a really long, and probably overdue, discussion about where both of us were spiritually.

My revelation came as we were heading back down the mountain, driving along in the van, when my hubby turned to me and asked, “So when WAS the last time that you can remember feeling vibrant, excited, and joyful about where you were with the Lord and what you were doing for him?”

And I could remember EXACTLY, down to the day, that I felt that way, and also saw for the first time the chain of events that had led me to this spiritual state of dryness. It wasn’t all at once – like pulling the drain on a sink. Instead, it was more like a river, slowly drying up, without me really realizing that it had happened.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I Want A Hippopotomus For Christmas...

I don't have a lot of time here, but my friends Scott (who cares not to listen to one more line of Feliz Navidad) and Nickle-Pickle got me to thinking about annoying Christmas carols. My own personal vote is for "I Want A Hippopotumus For Christmas" When I use to work at Hallmark, our manager made us turn it to the All-Christmas music station the day after Thanksgiving, which for you Phoenix people who know what I'm talking about, doesn't it seem like they play the EXACT same versions of every single song every single year??!! Well, that one RIDICULOUS hippo song would play over and over again and get stuck in my brain at the oddest times (like now....)


Anyway, in my own little search on the web for annoying Christmas songs, I found a writer over at a site called Platypus Comix and his own take on my friend Nickle-Pickle's personal pick of all-time annoying Christmas song, "The Christmas Shoes" I thought it was very funny...


The newest and absolute WORST entry in the Christmas Song Collection. I can't stand it and I won't put up with it. If it comes on the radio, the radio goes OFF. If it comes on the supermarket PA system, I blow up the supermarket. No one is going to subject me to this wretched thing without a fight.

See, when you're making something Christmassy, what usually works is keeping the sentimentality subtle. This wasn't the approach when they were making "The Christmas Shoes. They were setting out to smash the audience with an emotional anvil so deadly, you'd have to be a cheerleader in Texas to have any hope of survival. "Okay, his mother's dying. No, we have to make it worse! Okay, she's dying AND they're dirt poor! NO! WORSE! They're so poor they can't even afford a lousy pair of shoes from K-Mart! And the kid is at the counter, crying because he sweetly and naively thinks she needs nice shoes to get into Heaven! Hoooo, terrible! Now we got a winner!"

As Christmas carols go, this isn't the one you'd pick to sing at your neighbor's door. It's not exactly "jolly." Many people can't make it through this song; some even break down crying whenever they hear it begin. This is a problem for all of society.

"Billy, you stay close to me and don't wander off....oh no, it's that song again....sniff, I never make it through this....OH IT'S SO SAD! BWAAAAHH HAA HAAAA!! Okay, it's over....wait, where'd my son go?"

"All right, this next part of the heart surgery is very delicate, so we have to be very fast and precise once we open this valve.....oh, The Christmas Shoes is coming on the hospital music speakers! Oh no, this always makes me cry! BWAAAAHH HA HA HA HAAAHHH!! ....Oops.....

"The Christmas Shoes" is a threat to our health and safety, and the only solution is a nationwide ban. Join me in the struggle, and together, we can make a difference.

What's your vote for most annoying Christmas song of all time?

Friday, November 30, 2007

More Holiday Fun!

This actually happened a few days before Thanksgiving, as the Phoenix Zoo hosted a preview night of their annual ZooLights attraction for zoo members. My parents graced us with a zoo membership a few months ago, so we decided to take advantage of this special night. Although the girls were a little confused about why they couldn’t see the “real” animals, they definitely enjoyed looking at all of the lights.
We’ve gone the past few years to the Wild Winter Nights hosted by the MUCH closer Wildlife World Zoo – it was a treat to be able to experience new displays and places to explore this year. My sis and her hubby are coming down for Christmas this year – maybe we’ll have to go back with them to experience ZooLights again!



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Thanksgiving Pics - 2

Our family hanging out in front of a fireplace - lit with an actual fire!! Hee,hee....sorry..we just don't see many fireplaces down in Phoenix.

Getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Notice the pink sippy cup and the bowl of mac and cheese for Miss Lorelin.. :)

A shot of Bison Ranch's main lodge - this picture doesn't really do it justice though. It's really a very beautiful place. The main lodge has a wood-burning fireplace, with beautiful stone-work that takes up almost all of one wall.

Girlies being silly! (on the front porch of our cabin!)
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving Pics 1

Thanksgiving was FABULOUS this year!! For the first time ever, we went away for Thanksgiving. My very generous parents rented a cabin at the Bison Ranch Retreat Center up in Heber/Overgaard and invited us up to spend three nights with them. :) My Mom and I pre-packaged (and froze) most of our Thanksgiving sides, and took up turkey/ham to cook in the kitchen in the cabin. The cabin was very nice - two bedrooms, two baths, full kitchen/dining room and a living room with leather couches and a gas fireplace that flipped on and off with just a switch. :) AMAZING!! The weather was cold, which was a nice change of pace from all of the warmth we've had here in Phoenix lately. The days were still sunny though, and we took advantage of all of the great space and let the girlies run and play to their hearts content. When we weren't outside, we took adavantage of the fireplace (and hot chocolate) inside, while playing LOTS of rounds of Candyland with K-Bug and coloring in colorbooks with Lorelin. My dear hubby and I got LOTS of reading time in, as well as a late night conversation or two on the back porch, where we sat (wrapped in blankets) watching a full moon rise over open forestland. I'm going to post the pictures here in two sets -

Here's Lorelin and her Daddy relaxing on the back porch...so cozy!

Hanging out outside (with coats and mittens..) - what fun!

The pond in front of the Bison Ranch Retreat Center lodge...pretty!

My pine branch is bigger than yours!!
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We're Going On A Trip...

"In our favorite rocket ship..." My daughter Lorelin LOVES the Little Einsteins and will walk around singing this song. The other night we took a little bit of our own trip...to the Good Night Pediatrics.

The night after our return from our Thanksgiving trip (which was AWESOME, by the way...pictures to come) Miss Lorelin started to run a fever.

I watched her all the next day...and that night the ear tugging began.

My Mom offered to come over and stay with K-Bug, so my dear hubby and I opted to take Lorelin in to the pediatric urgent care (called Good Night Pediatrics). By both of us taking Lorelin together, we were able to help juggle the responsibilites of check-in and entertaining a sick child in the waiting room (we actually didn't wait inside...too many coughing kiddos...my hubby waited inside while I walked around outside with Lorelin).

Lorelin has never actually had to have antibiotics for anything up to this point, and really has not had many trips to the doctor at all, so she was a little cautious about having the doctor looks in her ears and listen to her heart.

We had taken one of her favorite books, called "How Does A Dinosaur Get Well Soon?" to read to her in the waiting room, so we kept reminding about how she could be a "good little dinosaur, just like in the story".

I'm sure she thought her parents were a little goonie, but she was Ok as long as one of us was holding her.

A quick examination of the left ear found a bulgy, infected eardrum, and after some eardrops, Tylenol, and a presciption we were on our way! :)

Oh, and one pink lollipop....can't forget that! Thanks Doc!

24 hours on the antibiotics and I'm happy to repor that she is back to her bouncy, Tigger-like self..able to help set-up the Christmas tree, and running around outside. :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday Moments

The other day we got a Sharper Image catalog in the mail (couldn't tell you how we got on THAT mailing list) Anyway, I was looking at all of the gadgets and gizmos and this clock caught my eye. You'll see from the picturet that ahem...."Clocky" (you really shouldn't name your alarm clock, by the way)comes fully equipped with wheels. Here is the description of Clocky from the magazine and website...

Clocky® is the alarm clock that runs away and hides to make sure there is no chance you won't wake up!
After you hit the snooze button, Clocky rolls off your nightstand and wheels randomly around the bedroom, looking for a hiding place.
After one to 9 minutes (your choice), Clocky's alarm goes off again — and it won't turn off until you get out of bed and find him!

My dear internets, I laid my head down on the table and laughed so hard I cried. I suddenly had thoughts of my husband running around in the morning chasing dear-ol-clocky with a baseball bat. Let's just say that a gift such as this would not be considered a gift of love in the Smith family - we are NOT exactly morning people (except for Lorelin...a trait she obviously got from my Mom, the orginal perky morning person)

I hope you get a kick of this alarm clock as much as I did (speaking of kicking, I wonder how far Clocky would fly when my foot finally found the alarm hiding under the bed..hypothetically speaking, of course...)

Marvelous Monday to you all!!!!

P.S. Who thinks of this stuff like this??
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Bring Back Thanksgiving!


I love Thanksgiving! I think next to Valentine’s Day, which is hands down my favorite holiday ever, it is a close second. I love the fall season (although if it is still 90 degrees outside, does that qualify as fall??? ) , the fall colors, and the wonderful fall decorations (which I have to say, by they way, my friend Andrea has the cutest Turkey decoration on her mantle that I just noticed this past week at Bible Study...didn't tell you how much I loved it then, but that little gobbler was wooden cuteness....:)

And yes, I love turkey dinners, and I really DO love football!

But,most of all, I love a day that is set aside simply to be thankful. No presents expected, no big glitz and glam, just a step back to notice all of our blessings....

So, imagine my surprise when I went into Michael's a week or so ago to find some Thanksgiving crafts for the girlies and I to put together to send to relative, and I found nary a turkey or pilgrim ANYWHERE IN THE STORE!!!!

Gone, I tell you. Flown the coop (Ha..I crack myself up!!). The ship had sailed (the Mayflower ship, get it??? O-K, not quite at funny)


Even all of their clearnance items (which I'm all for paying 75% off, believe YOU me) was eitheir general fall stuff or Halloween leftovers. Of course, they had every nook and cranny stuffed with ornaments and garland and snowmen and large metallic trees (come one, people, what does one REALLY do with a pink metallic Christmas tree?)

I finally found a bag of feathers in fall colors that the girls and I glued to pictures of turkeys I downloaded off the internet.

Now, I know that I'm not alone in my rant of the Christmas season seemingly coming earlier and earlier and every year. And for budget reasons, I started my Christmas shopping a few months ago, and I understand that people might want to buy Christmas decorations early too.


I don't want to forget about this amazing holiday season called Thanksgiving. You can look up and read online Lincoln's Thanksgiving proclocmation, and there are many wonderful children's books out there that you can get for your kiddos too (my Mom found a great board book for the girlies at a used book store that tells the story of the first Thanksgiving in age-appropriate pictures and language)

Most of all, you can stop and be thankful, and encourage everyone around you to do the same! So, go ahead, what are you thankful for? In the days ahead, I will take up the wonderful example of my friend Tracy, and end each blog, with a short list of my "thankful-fors"

1. My amazing God - He loves me endlessly, has saved me from my sins, and fuels my life with purpose!
2. My countr - This truly is the land of the free and home of the brave!
3. My family - my husband, my girls, and all of my extended family too!
4. My house - backyard or no backyard (I really do want a backyard0, I am thankful for my beautiful house and neighborhood!
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Fall Ya'll!

From me and my pumpkin sized belly....in this pic, my belly is bigger than the pumpkin!

I had my twenty-two week (well 22 1/2 week) appointment today, and everything looks good. I have one more four week appointment, where they will do the ever so fun glucose test, and then I'll start scheduling appointments every two weeks after that. Wow! Where has the time gone??
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday Tales (a.k.a. Monday Moments on Tuesday)

So I thought of this story the other night because my husband got pulled over the other night for a crack in his windshield. As it so happens, he ALSO forgot his wallet, so he was driving without his license too (although he didn’t realize it until he went to try to find it to give to the officer). The officer, however, was amazingly graceful and kind, and only gave my hubby a warning and work order to get the windshield fixed. Whew!

We were thanking the Lord for His grace in this situation. It made me think of another time I received grace instead of a ticket…

“That Poor Lady”

In the days before our 2+ kids and minivan, my dear hubby and I carted our one Miss K-Bug around in what we affectionately call our “Grandma-mobile” – our 96 Oldsmobile Ciera. I will admit it’s nothing too pretty to look at, but it’s paid for and runs well. And at the time, it was the “family” car.

This story takes place when K-Bug was around 9-10 months old, and I was around eight months BIG with Lorelin.

Our nephews and niece (hubby’s sister’s kids) had spent the night at our house while their Mom and Dad went out on a super-late date, and the next morning, we all woke up early so I could drop the kids back off at Jen’s house on my way to a play-date.

Now, here’s the scene – Me in the drivers seat, Alison (our niece) in the front seat with me, and then our two nephews in the back on either side of K-Bug’s car seat. A totally full car. Thankfully, I like to be a legal-eagle, so everyone was safely and securely buckled.

However, that did not apparently stop me from speeding a few miles above the limit, or that motorcycle officer from pulling behind me with flashing red and blue lights.

As all of the little eyes in the car watched, I gently pulled over, got out my license and registration, and waited for what I was sure was going to be my very first ticket.

The officer came to my window, and as he peered inside, his eyes grew larger and larger. The site of this very large pregnant woman driving with four other children seemed to completely throw him off…

“In a hurry to get the kids to school, maam?” the officer asked me

“Yes-sir, I guess I was.” (our nephews/niece are home-schooled, but I didn’t tell the officer so)

“Well, just remember to please slow down with all of your children in the car. I’m just giving you a warning. Have a good morning.”

And with that, he smiled, waved, and was gone. I sat there for a minute while it sunk in that the officer thought that everyone in the car was MY child! Then, I started to laugh.

And, as the days went on, I laughed some more. I’m sure that the officer felt that the least he could do for this poor harried mother of four (soon to-be-five) was to let her off easy.

Thank you officer. I am now the sometimes harried mother of two (soon-to-be three) children. Your act of kindess and grace hasn’t been forgotten.

May your day be full of laughter (and no speeding tickets)!

Thursday, November 08, 2007



Ok, so it’s not that I don’t want to post about deeper things, but I will be honest and tell all of you that most of my times of deep reflection lately seem to end in sleep.

Being pregnant this time around has taken a great deal of my energy, and I find myself using most of my spare moments of actual “alone time” to nap. I fall into my bed at night to read only to end up asleep a few minutes later. 

So, that being said….when I do get those moments
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Ten Things I Forgot...

About Being Pregnant Until I Got Pregnant Again
1.That total strangers will ask me how many months I am only to respond with a surprised “Wow, you’re really big!” And I will smile and say, “Thanks, I know” (what else can I say?? Ok, that's nice...:)
2.That getting into a comfortable position on the couch or in bed will *definitely* mean that I have to get up and go potty – over and over again
3.That I will miss not being able to see my feet when in a standing position- As a matter of fact, I'd like to take a moment to say "Hi!" to my feet right now - "Hi feet!"- they probably deserve a pedicure for all the extra weight they carry right now!
4.That I will crave Mexican food every day for nine months straight....mmmm.....salsa....(especially Pastor Trev's homemade stuff!!)
5.That pregnancy hormones will make me weep because my kitchen floor is dirty. Then my husband will ask me why I'm crying and lift his eyebrows into that "That's REALLY why you're crying?" pose..and then he'll sweetly clean it for me
6.That the thought of bending and lifting will seem like a monumental task – and that I will end up kicking the shirt from one side of the room to the other and then picking it up with my toes so that I don’t have to bend and lift anymore
7.That “being tired” when you’re pregnant is can’t–move-a-muscle-will-you-carry-me-to-bed tired. Thank you Lord for the magic that is my body pillow!
8.That a baby’s foot stuck in your rib-cage really hurts!!
9.That feeling that baby move inside is still one of the most amazing feelings in the world
10.That you can love your unborn child (in this case, my son) so instantly and intensely before you ever see them face to face

Please continue to place your hand over me and this little one Lord. Thank you for this life growing in me! :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Chili Party - Part 1

This was our third year to attend the Chili Party that my friend Christy's parents always host at their house every October 31st. It's actually a block party - the police barricade off the block, and almost every house in the neighborhood participates. Most homes host individual parties similar to Christy's parents. Her parents live in a lovely neighborhood in central Phoenix, and they have a beautiful home and HUGE backyard packed with toys for the kids to play with. It's the same little group of families that come each year - it's so fun to see how our kids have all grown, and to watch them have such a good time!
Here are our two little princesses - all dressed up and ready to go. They were both SO excited to finally wear their costumes. Their wands were the light-up kind, and as the evening grew darker, there were flashes of green and red all over that backyard. :)

We've taken a group shot of the kids every year on this couch in the livng room. Of course, we can never get them to all look at the camera at the same time, but we get some fun shots. :)

As the evening draws to a close, we always change our girlies into their PJs before we head home. Here they are reading with "Grandma" (Christy's Grandma who lives with her parents) She was SO sweet to all of the children..even though she kept giving them candy even after we had brushed their teeth...:) She tends to be VERY forgetful..:)Our girls adore her though, and so do we!
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Chili Party - Part 2

Here are just a few more shots from the Chili Party. I hope that YOUR own October celebration was memorable, safe, and fun!

There is always a "craft" table where the kids can decorate their own trick or treat bags. The girls were actually SO busy playing that I had to pull them over one by one to sit down long enough to decorate their bags.

Lorelin wanted to use ALL of the stickers, but we had to limit it to just a few. She was especially excited about the "happy punkin" stickers! :)

After we have dined on chili, cheese dip, and cookies, our little band of families heads out to trick or treat up and down the street. Everyone on the block has big parties just like Christy's parents, and there are big groups of people sitting outside with tubs of candy. My Mom bought the girls some cute little buckets to use to gather candy in - K-Bug's was a lion and Lorelin's was a turtle.

Lorelin stopped long enough to take this shot with Daddy. My dear hubby was so wonderful. He juggled the girls, wands, flashlights, and treat bags while I waddled along beside them. :)
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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Monday Moments...on Thursday

Let me just say up front that I have always had wonderful baby showers, but this video (it's actually an advertisement for Enfamil) made me laugh out loud. So here is is - a Monday Moment on Thursday..www.badbabyshower.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

RETREAT - Part 1

I know, I know...seeing as how it IS the 31st, I should be writing about the Chili Party that I just got home from, and posting pictures of my girlies in their adorable costumes.. :)
However, I am not organized enough to do that quite yet. I did, however, finally get some pictures posted from my Women's Retreat. This was year four for my friend Christy and I - four years of attending the North Phoenix Baptist Church Women's Retreat together. It's so amazing to look back and see what God has done for us in the past four years. Although we've gotten to know some of the other ladies from previous retreats, the focus of the retreat remains primarily time with God and time with each other. We stayed up until 2:30 a.m. talking the first night, and 1:00 a.m. talking the second night (cmon' now...how often do I get uninterrupted time to talk??)
When we weren't enjoying the amazing food (the I didn't have to cook - thank you Lord!) or being refreshed by the speaker and Bible study sessions, we were talking...and occasionally sleeping (we took an hour and half nap on Saturday)
It was SOOO wonderful, but so fast! Before we knew it, our weekend was over and we were heading back down to the Valley. I am thankful to report that my Braxton contractions remained at a minimum and that the weekend was indeed a retreat.I'll post a little more about the speaker in my next post.. for now, enjoy these pictures! :) - P.S. A HUGE thank you to my Sisterchicks for all of their prayers that covered the weekend.

Here's Christy and I spending some of our afternoon free time with our friend Christina.:)

And here is an o-so-attractive shot of me looking like a small brown cow with my big ol' belly - still having fun though!

On Saturday night there is always a Theme Party. This year it was a Princess Party based on the retreat theme "The King & I" :)I actually found a dress that fit me (one of my sister's old prom dresses that *expanded* in the back) and Christy borrowed this beautiful Renissance dress. Christy's Mom, Jan, took the cake though, dressing like the jolly Queen of England herself!

Last,but not least, here's a picture of Christy and I with our "host" of the evening, one of our ladies dressed up like Yule Brenner - the KING of Siam
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Nineteen Week "Hiccups"

Just a quick prayer and praise update. On Monday night, I had a few hours of Braxton-Hicks. I didn't do an *immediate* freak-out, as this was something that I had experienced when I was pregnant with Lorelin (and around the exact same time) With her, I actually did end up on medication on an as-needed basis for the remainder of my pregnany, just to make sure the Braxtons stayed under control.

So, overall, not worried....

I DID worry a little bit though, when I woke up on Monday night around 1:30 a.m. with MORE Braxton-Hicks, which continued for another hour or so. I prayed and wondered my way thru that hour, debating if I should be heading down to the OB triage to get checked out. Thankfully, the contractions stopped on their own and I was able to get thru the night with no other "hiccups".

I placed a call in to my OB on Tuesday morning, and she asked that I come in for an appointment this afternoon (Wednesday) just to make sure things weren't shaking and baking were they weren't supposed to be.

The appointment was actually a big relief. There is NO dilating and my cervix is completely closed.My doctor did say that I'm probably pushing my body a little too much, and that I need to make sure that I'm drinking LOTS and LOTS of water.

The doctor also cleared me to go on my Women's Retreat this weekend, which is up in Heber/Overguard area. This is the same retreat that my friend Christy and I have been to for the last three years now. I would really love prayers for a safe weekend, and little to NO Braxton-Hicks. Also, please pray for my hubby as he stays here with the girls.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Moments....

Hello All! I hope that your weekend was wonderfully refreshing. Ours was B-U-S-Y! Today for Monday Moments, I thought I would just share some of the things that make my two and three year old so fun to live with! These are just some "cute" moments that I hope will make you smile! :)

Creative excuses that K-Bug has given me while trying to "stall" her bedtime:

1."Mom? My water (in her water cup) is too crunchy!" {Crunchy? I was perplexed by this one too, but that's what she said...:)

2. "Mom? My wrinkles hurt and I can't sleep."

3. A few times K-Bug has just strolled out of her room into the living room or bedroom, etc. just as if she's supposed to be awake and walking around to ask,
"Mom? Whatter you doin?"
{I answer her and tell her to go back to bed}
"Ok! Good Night!"

You Might Be A Two-Year Old Named Lorelin If You.....

1.Open and shut a door a dozen times just so you can say “Hello!” and “Goodbye!”
2.You fall off the big-girl swing twice in a row at the park and, after brushing yourself off, still declare, “No, I do it!”
3.Can go from throwing a fit to having a giggle fit in the space of two minutes
4.Spend an entire morning with Mommy’s socks on your legs, pulled up to your thighs, pretending that you are a cat (LOTS of meowing and purring sounds...)
5.Run into a room just to give a hug and kiss and then run back out
6. You stand in any doorway and push your finger on the wall while saying “Ding-dong!” over and over again.
7.You eat three bowls of Macaroni and Cheese and still ask for more!

Have a marvelous Monday friends!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Happy Little Pickle - BLUE!

Yup, K-Bug (and most of you) were right all along...

We got the definite evidence in the ultrasound today that it is indeed a little boy Smithlet that is shaking and baking in the oven. :)

I will admit that I am still in a state of being shell-shocked, as I know nothing of having and/or raising little boys. My Mom has told me not to worry - it's just like having girls, only totally different. :)

We are very excited, and thankful to report that the ultrasound showed everything looking healthy and the baby looking strong.

Now...to pick out a name....and find some clothes that AREN'T pink!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tommorow Tomorrow, We'll FInd Out Tomorrow


Well,hopefully anyway, unless the little pickle decides to be too shy to show us his/her gender-related parts...:)

The ultrasound appointment is for tomorrow afternoon, and yes, I will post on the blog (as well as send out a mass e-mail) for everyone to check on and check-in..

Is it a "brudder" or a "sister"??

God has known all along...now we'll get to see into the ultrasound "window" and find out too!

Pretty Pumpkins and Dream Dinners

I have always enjoyed trying new recipes, and while I haven't always enjoyed the clean-up part of the process, I love being able to provide healthy, home-cooked meals for my family.

But lately.....

Lately my motivater to cook has been de-funct. I stopped cooking almost completely for the first three months of my pregnancy, as the very *thought* of stepping into a kitchen full of smells left me running for the toilet. And while I'm back on track with feeling good, my desire to plan, shop, put togther, cook, and then clean-up meals just hasn't been thre.

So last month, while talking with my best friend Christy, she introduced me to Dream Dinners. "Dream what?" I asked....The concept is familar to most of you - there's a host of places out there now that have different names, but a similar layout(My Girlfriend's Kitchen, Entrees Made Easy, Let's Do Dinner, Etc.)

You go online, pick out the dinners you want from their menu, and then show-up on the night you pick to put your dinner together. It was fast, it was fun, and the dinners have been DELICIOUS! They provide you with sides for several of the meals, and the rest is as easy as throwing in some bread and salad of your own.

The night I went to Dream Dinners to assemble everything, I left my hubby at home with the girlies for the second time that week. I was feeling a little guilty about going so much, so I left out a craft project for him to do with the girls, in order to help pass the time in a fun way together.

He was a little skeptical about it at first, as he has never fully attempted a craft project so completely on his own. But, after he saw that I had fully laid out everything (except the art smocks....whoops! That's OK...he improvised) he agreed to give it a shot.

The results were these very cute wooden pumpkins, painted and crafted all by my girlies and sweet hubby! I think they were all very proud of themselves... Good job everyone!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Latest Pregnancy Craving...

Is chocolate milk. I could drink it every day....ok,ok....I have drank it every day for the past week.
Here is my process for liquid goodness in a glass -

1. Fill a large glass almost completely to the top with ice.

2. Fill up the glass 3/4 of the way with regular (white) fat-free milk

3. Fill up the rest of the glass with a small amount of pure chocolately wonderment(I prefer the O Organic Chocolate Milk from Safeway)...:)

4. Stir it all together and DRINK IT DOWN TO THE VERY LAST DROP!!!!!