Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vote, Vote, Vote!

And I'm not talking about the upcoming election. This Reece's Rainbow ministry has just really been on my heart. Please visit their website, check out their ministry, and then PLEASE vote to help them win money for their Adoption Grant Project!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our Trip, - Part 2, Day 2

One would think in a house of nine children that bedtime would be chaos. This is not true of the Presley family. Now while there was still a good deal of kids being kids, bedtime moved in waves, with the younger children going first (the oldest child is sixteen and the youngest is seventeen months). There was also someone assigned to kitchen duty who was cleaning up the dinner remains. The next morning (Friday) moved in waves as well – the younger kids woke up first, ate breakfast and started on their schoolwork (they are home-schooled). The older kids slept in, but then followed the same routine.

It was delightful to spend time with all of the children. We had a great time asking them about their hobbies, their favorite subject in school, and what they had been doing over the summer. They brought out drawings to show us, books to share, and performed their favorite tricks for us on the trampoline.

We would have loved to spend more time with the family, but we didn’t want to interrupt their school day, and also wanted to spend more time out and about in Norman.

Funny thing was, we weren’t exactly sure what that meant.

Although we had a set appointment with the realtor on Thursday, we hadn’t really planned anything concrete for the next morning. So, Friday morning found us on our knees together as a couple, asking God to literally guide our steps.

We decided to start with a cup of coffee for my dear hubby at Starbucks (he was starting to have withdrawals without his usual morning cup). We had thought to ask my sister the night before about where the closest Starbucks was, and we managed to find it without many problems.

It was, of course, over-run with college students, and as my hubby ordered his grande black coffee, I sat and watched all the different types of students as they came in for their morning cup-o-Joe (do you Starbucks workers ever call it that, Nickle-Pickle?)

With phone book in hand (the realtor had given us an extra one from his office), we looked at a few different churches and places of interest.

Before we had taken the trip, my dear hubby and I had looked at a few different churches that had advertised a need for a worship pastor. It turns out that one of the main ones we had looked at was only a block or two away, so we offered a quick prayer and headed over. We weren’t sure what to expect, with Friday being a day off for many ministers and office staff in Norman. To our surprise, we did find a very sweet secretary who offered to show us the church. She then spent time chatting and visiting with us about our trip to Norman. She asked for a resume’ and we sheepishly went to get the only thing we had. We had brought an incomplete resume’ with us, meaning only to spend some of our drive time with a pencil in hand, updating it in order to make changes once we returned to Phoenix. We gave it to her, and left with the words that we would pray about sending an updated resume’.

We then set off to try and find one of mine and my dear hubby’s old college ministry leaders that we discovered was working as a college pastor at one of Norman’s Baptist churches. Jeff Jimmerson was the director of the Baptist Student Union at Grand Canyon University when my dear hubby attended there, and he was also involved in the North Phoenix Baptist college ministry, where I was involved in my earliest college years.

We stumbled around a little before the church literally found us, and upon entering the building we were VERY surprised to find that Jeff had just arrived at his office (again, very rare for a Friday). He was also VERY surprised to see us, and after hugs and handshakes all around, we sat down to a great visit with this solid man of God. It was so incredible to hear his heart for the college ministry there in Norman, and we shared our hearts about how we felt drawn back to Norman, our own passion for working with students, and my dear hubby’s giftedness with worship. We ended our time together with Jeff’s praying with us and over us.

I will unpack that moment a little more in a later post – it was one of the most special parts of the trip for me.

With an exchange of e-mails, we filled our car with gas, our tummies with food, and headed down the road to Texas.

Here are a few pictures that we took while we were “on the road” (literally). ;) Just more countryside...




We made it safely to my Meemaw’s house around 6:00 p.m. that evening and enjoyed a home-cooked meal of roast, potatoes, gravy, squash, fried okra, jello salad, rolls, and more!
(If that sounds like a lot of food…it was.…..I ate WAY too much!) Here I am helping to fry the okra (under my Meemaw's watchful eye..:)


My Uncle John and his friend were also able to join us for dinner, and after a night of visiting, we headed to bed.
Posted by Picasa

Ding Dong! The Microwave is Dead..

I read my friend Brandie's blog today and as she was talking about the death of her beloved crockpot, it reminded me of our own appliance issues....

The last few weeks, our microwave has had some "scary" moments of trying to fry itself and the contents inside with some supercharged surges of power.

In a moment where I thought the microwave was SURELY going to go up in smoke, we decided it was time to throw the eight year old microwave out.

We surprised ourselves by deciding NOT to get a new one just yet. One of our goals for 2008 has been to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n, and we thought that, besides possibly being healthier, that not having a microwave might force us to think of alternative and somewhat slower methods of meal preparation.

It's only been a couple of days, but I truly am surprised that we have adapted and overcome in most areas of cooking.

Just because the microwave is gone though, doesn't mean that I don't still enjoy modern convenience. I might need to invest in a bottle warmer now that I am having to heat up most of J-Boy's water for bottles on the stove. I think the bottle warmer would be easier and use less energy.

Also, we'd like to have a new toaster oven, as our old one is definitely on it's last leg, and having the smaller oven would, again, use less energy.

Right now, I'm enjoying the counter space and the slower pace with which I find myself moving around the kitchen.

Who knows...maybe the microwave is gone for good???

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Trip - Part 1, Day 1

We set sail for our trip to Texas/Oklahoma this past Thursday at the o-so-lovely hour of 4:30 a.m. My Mom came over to start her time with the kiddos, and after kissing all of their sweet, sleeping heads (and choking back a tear, I admit), we left the house with my Dad driving us to the airport.

We quickly rushed through security, and found our gate to await what I had thought was a 6:00 a.m. departure. Looking again at our boarding passes, I found out that it was 6:45 a.m. I DON’T know how I had been wrong about our departure time for all of these weeks, but at least we were early instead of late for our flight. 

The flight to Texas was smooth and wonderful. Our plane wasn’t even half full, and I got to sit by the window (my favorite!). I watched as Phoenix became nothing more than a sprawl of houses, swimming pools, and desert sand below me as we lifted off and away.
For much of the flight, we flew above fluffy white clouds that stretched in every direction like a sea of cotton balls.

Two hours later, we touched down in a world of lakes, trees, and GREEN grass as we entered the Dallas/Forth Worth airport. We easily departed the plan and boarded a shuttle bus that would take us to the rental car facility. Our first clue that we really WEREN’T in Phoenix anymore happened when the shuttle bus doors opened and our bus driver greeted us with a loud “HEY! How are ya’ll doing today? ”

Arriving at the rental car facility, we confirmed our reservation and picked out our “compact economy” car from a line of cars available. We decided on a spiffy Chevy Cobalt with a spoiler on the back…..I know, I know….we are SUCH rebels!
Within minutes, we were loaded and on the road to Norman, Oklahoma.

The three hour drive from Dallas to Norman was in-a-word……FABULOUS!!

The day was sunny and the world was green, green, green!!! Once we were out of the city of Dallas, we sped down the interstate past acres of trees, ponds, rivers, cows, and horses.

My dear hubby and I talked and laughed the entire way like two best friends (that are also parents) who understand the gift of being able to have an uninterrupted conversation.

We arrived in Norman around 3:30 p.m. My brother-in-law’s family still lives in Norman (even though my sister and brother-in-law do not) and they graciously offered to let us stay the night in their home. We checked in with them first and said “Hello!” to all NINE…yup…NINE of their kiddos….more about that later, and then headed out to keep our 4:00 p.m. appointment with the realtor.

Some of you know that a little over a year ago, my dear hubby and I came up to Norman, Oklahoma with the intention of seeing if it was a place were we wanted to move and live. My sis and her hubby were living there, and during our visit with them, we also spent time with a realtor looking at houses.

This was the same realtor from over a year and a half ago, only this time we just stayed in his office and visited with him about current real estate markets (in Norman and in Phoenix) and talked about Norman in general. The realtor is a great guy – very supportive and easy to talk to. After visiting with him for about an hour, we left in search of some food for our tummies.

The last time we were in Norman, we ate at this GREAT Mexican food restaurant that my sister and her hubby took us to. We couldn’t remember the name, but we could remember their phone number, so we called them and asked how to get there. Turns out we were right around the corner from it (not that anything is really too far away in Norman).

It’s called Tarahumara’s ( know…say that five times fast, huh??). They have an excellently large menu, are ALWAYS, always busy, and make their food fast, fresh, and with large portions. They give you fresh tortillas and a special cheese sauce along with the chips and salsa that are oh-so-good!

We asked a nice lady outside to take our picture. Unfortunately, it turned out a little blurry, but here it is.


After dinner, we took the time to just drive around Norman, mostly on the outskirts of town. The weather was around a calm 80 degrees, and as the sun went down, we drove and absorbed all of the wonderful countryside that we could. At one point, we pulled over and took these pictures.




We headed back to the Presley family house for a relaxing night of watching the Olympics, visiting with the kiddos, and falling into bed exhausted.
Tomorrow I’ll post more about the amazing Presley family and tell you all about the second day of our trip! Stay tuned!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Leaving On A Jet Plane......

Tomorrow morning, my dear hubby and I will board a plane at 6:00 a.m. in the morning (which means we roll out from our driveway at above 4:30 a.m.)

We will be flying into Dallas, Texas and then renting a car and driving up to Norman, Oklahoma.. My sis and her hubby don’t live in Oklahoma anymore (they currently call South Carolina home), but my brother in-law’s family were kind enough to let us stay with them.

We’ll then drive back down to Texas to stay one night with my Meemaw in Weatherford, and then one MORE night in Dallas with my Godparents.

My parents are staying here at home to watch ALL of our kiddos (with some help from my dear hubby’s Mom as well). I must admit, I am already missing my baby boy, and I’m not even gone yet. My girlies will handle it a little better, I think, but I am going to miss all of them so much!

Does this trip have deeper implications for my hubby and I than just “time away” together?


Do I know exactly what they are yet?


I’ll hopefully have something to tell when we get back.

I’ve been super busy getting ready to go. Although I don’t count myself among the super organized, here is a list of things we’ve been doing to get ready to go.


5.Get Medical RELEASE FORMS for Kiddos
6.Get CHANGE (for tolls)
7.Get CASH (to use during trip)
8.Call in PRESCRIPTION to Safeway
5.Get ROAMING MINUTES added to our phones
6.Call Brandon – ask how to get to Mexican Food Restaurant
7.SHOP at Grocery Store
Sprouts –
Yogurt tubes
Mac N’ Cheese
Fresh N’ Easy –
Lunch Packs
Granola Bars
PB Pretzels
-Stacy –
white pants/ black shirt (wth pattern)
khaki capris/ black shirt
black kapris/pink shirt
long black skirt/shirt
bathing suit??  underthings 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Moments - Everyday Life

I LOVE to smile at everyday those moments when I dial a number wrong for a third-time-in-a-row (thankfully the young man who answered each time was patient in telling me, "There's STILL no Kathy at this number" .
I also love to hang out and laugh with my hubby - his off-the-cuff one-liners make me laugh ALL the time (his sense of humor was one of the first things I noticed about him...well, that and all of his totally shredding talent on the guitar! hee,hee!) Here is an example of one of our conversations that makes me laugh - he had an extra day off from work today, and this morning we were laying in bed when the alarm (and all the kids) went off shortly after 7:00 a.m.

Me: OK, who's going to get up, you or me?
Him: I vote both of us.
Me: No, I think since I got up with J-Boy at 3:00 a.m. and again to change his diaper at 6:00 a.m. that you should be kind and let me lay here.
Him: Well, since it's my day off (he's smiling wickedly at me at this point), I think poor Daddy should get to sleep in
Me: What about poor Mommy?
Him: Poor Mommy is rich in Christ....
Me: {SMACK} - that was the sound of me hitting him with a pillow

Just to let you know, he was kind and let me sleep an extra 20 minutes or so.

Life with preschoolers is also an adventure. Sometimes you have to remind yourself of the funny moments when you're cleaning up pee-pee accidents or being spit up on 10 times a day, but God definitely gives us unforgettable moments of humor with our precious little people.

K-Bug has a favorite library book right now called "Double Pink". I personally find the story to be rather odd, but she of course loves all of the bright pink artwork.
She has taken to saying she's "double-hungry" or "double-tired" get the idea. Last week at swim lessons we were talking about her swim coaches, and she asked if her Coach Adam (a nice young man in his late teens) was young or old. I told her he was older than she was, but younger than Mommy or Daddy.
She replied with, "Wow, that means Daddy is DOUBLE-OLD!!!!"
Some days he just might feel that way.... :)

My last moment comes from Miss Lorelin. The other day the subject of Christmas came up, and as we were talking about what happens at Christmas, etc. I asked her, "What would you like at Merry Christmas time?"
I expected her to talk about a fireman costume (she wants one SO badly after wearing one around at friend's house) or a Barbie doll.
Instead, she looked at me, and with a very serious expression in her blue eyes, said the most obvious three-year old answer -


Of course, Mom! :)

Well, I hear my son fussing, so I'm going to wrap-up for now. Blessings and Merry Monday to everyone!


Yup, that's me....:(

The road to you-know-where is paved with good intentions, and truly I've had every intention of getting to my blog and updating everyone with the always thrilling moments in the Smith family. :)

So, no more broken promises. Just lots o' blog posts - coming your way.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm Back!

I'm back and I'm blogging!

Check in often as I'll be posting a LOT over the next few days to try and get caught up!

The Olmypic Dream

I LOVE the Olmypics! I meant to do a big ol’ post about why I love the Olympics, how I’ve always loved the Olympics, and how inspiring the games and the atheletes always are to me BEFORE the games started, BUT alas I did not, and the here the games are, in full swing.

We watched the Opening Ceremony, something I wasn’t sure I wanted to do, due to the fact that I have issues with the IOC’s decision to let China host. Still, my hubby and K-Bug both wanted to see, so we popped popcorn and watched the first hour as a family. For anyone who saw the Opening Ceremony, you have to admit that it was VERY impressive! It was artistically beautiful, and extremely unique in its presentation.

And, just like my Sisterchick Jen, I have stayed up late each night rooting for the USA.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

I love watching Michael Phelps, and I really appreciate that he’s just a real person (with some extraordinary talent) with a BIG dream. And the 4x100 relay that Michael was a part of had me screaming at the TV for the Americans to beat the French.

And then we did!!! (by a mere fraction of a second) It was AWESOME!!

My hubby and I both stayed up late last night (really Jen, you should call me and we can compare notes over the phone) to watch the American Men Gymnastics team compete for a medal in the Team Finals. I really think they had a shot at silver, but they had two team members who almost killed their chances completely with some really horrible pommel horse routines (not that I could even sit on a pommel horse without losing my balance...) I was bummed out for them before the last guy came in and did an INCREDIBLE routine, which secured the team with a bronze medal.

Since they weren’t favored to win a medal at all, it was really great to watch them celebrate!

Although those have been some of the highlights for me, I have pretty much loved every second of every sport I’ve watched (I’m a bit of a sports fan anyway).

I think every person on the planet can relate with having a dream. Watching these people who have sacrificed so much, and are giving their all - not only for themselves, but their country - is deeply inspiring.

And then watching a dream come true for those individuals.

That…is incredible.

And I love that it’s people of ALL ages. There is a gymnast on the Women’s German team who is thirty-three! That’s right! Thirty-three! Thirty-three isn’t old, but for gymnastics it’s almost unheard of.Dara Torres, on the Women’s Swim Team, is forty-one.

And, probably my favorite, is Laura Wilkenson, on the Women’s Diving Team. I watched her win a gold in the 2000 games, and I’ve never forgotten how exciting that was. She has the sweetest smile, and the greatest attitude. Here she is, thirty years old, at her third Olympics, diving with woman who are half her age.

And she’s smiling and loving every minute of it.

All I’ve got to say is – YOU GO GIRL!!!

The Olmypics always make me ask myself what my dreams are.

What are yours?