Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ringing in the New Year!

This will be my last post of 2008!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! We are ringing in the New Year in a way we never would have imagined. Brad went to go down to the basement last night only to find that the basement had flooded. We had 3 inches of water in the whole basement. Brad immediately went to Menards and bought 2 new sump pumps and some other odds and ends that we were going to need. We got most of the water out of the basement last night. Now, it's like a parking lot after a really good rain. What we found out was that the drainage pipe that goes from the sump pump burst under our back porch and the water was coming in through the basement window. I ordered a dumpster this morning and it was delivered about an hour or so later. We have brought a lot of stuff up for the trash and then another fair amount for Goodwill or Amvets. We still have a bit to go as well. It was really sad seeing so many of our possessions being thrown away. I know that most of the stuff we didn't need, but there were some keepsakes that brought tears to my eyes. Years ago I had packed up a bunch of Brad and Dawn's stuff from their wedding for the kids when they got older. Well, it was sitting on the floor of the basement and all but a couple things were trashed. It killed me having to throw all that away. I brought the girls down and showed them the stuff before we threw it away. I think it meant a lot that I had tried to save stuff for them. This is definitely not how I envisioned us starting out the new year.

I love the author Neta Jackson. She wrote the Yada Yada Prayer Group Series and to say that I enjoyed them would be a HUGE understatement! I love them. Love. Love. Love. I have all of them and I've probably read each of them at least five times. She has just started a new series called the Yada Yada House of Hope. The first book in the series is "Where do I go" and I bought it yesterday. I started reading it last night and had it done by about 6 this evening. I cannot put her books down! Her husband, Dave Jackson, has wrote "Harry Bentley's Second Chance" and that just came out. A snippet from their website says: "We're trying something new! Not just for us, but something completely new in Christian fiction: "Parallel novels," two stories taking place in the same time frame, same neighborhood, involving some of the same characters living through their own dramas and crises but interacting with and affecting one another ... just the way it happens in real life." I am anxious to read "Harry Bentley's Second Chance". Hopefully I'll be able to get that sometime in the near future. I am also going to start reading "The Power of a Praying Wife" tomorrow. I really want to do better about praying for Brad. Anyone want to join me??

I should really get off of here for right now. I'm so exhausted! It's 10:30 on New Year's Eve...Brad is alseep next to me on the couch, I want to be asleep and Haeley, Jasmine and Gabe are still up playing Wii. When did Brad and I get so old???

Monday, December 29, 2008

Home, home on the range

Sing with me...

"Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day..."

I don't know why that song is stuck in my head, but it is. I had my appointment with the Neurologist this morning and he confirmed that I have nothing at all in my head. =) Okay, all joking aside, I have congestion in my ears (which I had *no* clue you could get), a cyst deep in my sinus cavity, and he thinks I have chronic sinusitis. Sounds like fun, huh? I think now he is going to send me to ENT so that they can look into this further and get this all figured out. I also talked to the Endocrinologist's office today and they said that the nodular goiter appears to be a benign condition. I go in on Monday to see her and talk about whatever the next move is. I am SOOO thankful to FINALLY be getting some answers!!!

Alrighty...gotta run...the kids are driving me batty!

Oh my word.

Why do I bother to clean this house? Will someone please answer that for me??? I had the boys room oh, about 90% done. I spent SEVERAL hours in there on Saturday. I went up there about 15 minutes ago to see that they had DESTROYED it!!! GRRRR!!!!!! It is so frustrating!

Okay...got that out....I'll update more on my appointment this am later.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Well, as always we've had a busy couple weeks. I am so exhausted lately and the last thing I want to do it put 2 thoughts together on the blog. Hopefully we'll get all this mess with my thyroid figured out and then things will be better! Last Sunday I had a good 40 ounces of coffee before church and I was still falling asleep in service! It was ridiculous!

I did manage to get all of my Christmas shopping done. Although I was out on Christmas Eve trying to get finished up. We had a really nice Christmas. The kids were thrilled with everything. Legos were a HUGE hit for the boys and Haeley *loved* getting Mall Madness. I think Jasmine is really digging her flexible pogo stick thing. She's been using it in the house the past couple days...Spring can't come soon enough so I can send all the kids outside to play and burn some energy! BUT until it does, I just have them do the Wii Fit for a little while and get some of that energy out. =) They are really cute with it too. Benjamin even has his own Mii character and does several of the activities. We didn't have a big Christmas dinner because I forgot that I didn't have my roaster pan! Instead we had chicken, mashed potatoes, and cresent rolls. And the big news was that Benjamin ate some of it all! He can be such a picky eater so this was WONDERFUL! We got the kids to bed and then Brad and I went outside and sat at the bonfire with cups of hot chocolate. It was such a nice way to end a wonderful day. Before we opened presents that morning Brad read the Christmas story and then he played his sax and we all sang Christmas songs. Brad was praying and I happened to look up at the kids and saw Jasmine with her hands high above her head outstretched in praise. I teared up watching my little girl. I'm so thankful for my God sending his Son to take the place of my sin.

Our weekend has been a nice one. Yesterday it was absolutely gorgeous! We got up to 67! In DECEMBER!!!!! I opened windows and aired the house out. Brad installed ceiling lights in the kids rooms and replaced the alternator on the Neon. I started cleaning the boys room and then my girlfriend Corrie from GA came over to visit. It was so great seeing her. Before she moved to GA she would come over once a week for dinner and we were able to visit and become very good friends. I loved getting to see her. We also all went out to lunch today at Panera.

This evening Haeley and I went to Target and had coffee and did a little shopping before meeting Brad and the kids at Kroger to go grocery shopping. All in all it was a great night!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

5 Years Old...

Monday Justin turned five. I still can hardly believe it. He is turning into such a sweet little boy. I can't find any pictures on here from when he was born. I know that I have some cds with pictures, but these will do. Last week I was coughing and he came into the living room and said, "Mommy, are you okay?" I said, "Yes, Justin. I'm alright." He then says, "Okay. Well God Bless you......and God Bless your heart." That same day he told me that he didn't want to grow up and be a parent. When I asked him why he said, "Because when I'm big like a parent you and Daddy won't be able to pick me up anymore. Because, Mommy, Papa can't pick you up anymore." And how my heart aches when I think of the day when I can't pick him up anymore. I want to cherish and hold onto all the moments that I have. I know some days won't be pretty, but all too soon they will be gone.

6 months old


19 months old


3 Years old


4 Years old


5 Years old


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Recap

Since it's been over a month since I last posted I could make this really long. BUT, I'll really try to not bore you with all the details. :)

The Monday before Thanksgiving I had a doctor appointment with Endocrinology. My TSH levels had dropped from my last test. In October my levels were .02---it is supposed to be between .3 and 4.5. When they rechecked me the TSH had dropped to less than .01. I have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, but as of right now we aren't sure exactly what type of hyperthyroidism I have. Apparently there are several different types. This coming Wednesday and Thursday I have an "uptake and scan" scheduled to figure those out and then on Friday I have an ENG and MRI scheduled to try and figure our the dizzy spells. I feel like I'm falling apart! Hopefully by the New Year I will know what's going on.

Jasmine got sick right before Thanksgiving and I thought that was going to potentially derail our after Thanksgiving VA trip, but it didn't. In fact, I thought that we would just have a very low key Thanksgiving with my husband and kids. Little did I know, my sister had been in cahoots with Brad and she flew in on Wednesday to surprise me. It was DEFINITELY a surprise. I had NO clue she was coming. Wednesday night the sickness continued with Justin and Haeley. Justin threw up all on Brad as he was going to carry him up to bed. Then during the night Haeley woke me up because she had thrown up too! Then on Thanksgiving Gabe ran a 102 fever all day. Whoo hoo! We had ham, mac n cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and apple crisp pie. It was delish!

We did leave out of here on Friday and low and behold Friday night on the road Justin started with diarrhea. Poor little guy. And he felt the need to share it with me. Lovely. We made it to my folks Saturday around 5 pm. It definitely took longer than I would have liked. Jenn then got sick on Sunday and Brad followed suit Monday night.

While in VA, Brad was able to go surfing twice. I know that he really enjoyed being back out in the water again. He and I also got to go on a lunch date to the Cheesecake Factory. MMMM! It was our first time going there---why did it take us so long??? We also ran into some old friends, Robb and Shaula, in the Cheesecake Factory. What a nice surprise! Then we went shopping at Kohls and visited for a couple minutes with our good friend, Lettie. That night we went to see the lights on the beach with my family and that's when Brad really started feeling sick. I felt awful for him!

Tuesday Brad was still not feeling well and Mom wasn't feeling all too hot either so I loaded the kids up and we headed down to the mall. I let them ride the carousel and they loved it! I wish we could have done it a couple more times. Riding that with them brought back memories of me taking Cullin and Matthew on it. I took the kids to the food court and we had lunch and then browsed the mall. I was going to get their picture taken with Santa, but he wasn't going to be there for a bit yet. :( By the time we got home Brad had gotten up and showered and appeared to be feeling a bit better. He even ran some errands with Dad that night.

Wednesday wad Brad's birthday. He and the kids went down to see his step dad for a bit and I wasn't feeling too hot that morning so I stayed back. As the morning went on I started to feel better so Mom and I headed to run some errands. We went to the mall and I got a couple new bras from VS. Amazing how when I was fitted a month ago the woman put me 2 cup sizes above where I should be!!! We got some Christmas presents and then we also picked up some stuff for our Japanese dinner we were doing that night. We had yakisoba, sushi, and miso soup. It was so good! The kids loved the sushi! :) :) I have raised them right! ;-) We did a couple presents, cake and then it was time for the kids to go to bed.

Thursday we headed to Brad's brother's. Mickey and Joyce have 4 kids and we were bunking with them for a couple days as the whole Smith crew was beginning to descend upon their house for a get-together. Brad's Mom got in that afternoon and then Dan and Summer and their 3 kids arrived that evening. That night Joyce, Sue and I headed out to go shopping...at 11. Kohls didn't close till 12, so we hit there first and I got a fabulous hat and scarf and some jewlery too! By the time we made it to Wal-Mart I was exhausted, but we browsed, and bought stuff and had fun. :)

Friday we hung at the house and Brad, Mickey, and Dan put up a gate across the driveway so the dogs could go out without leaving the yard. That evening the fun was about to begin. Luke, Melissa, and Kayla were getting in that evening. We had 22 Smith's in the house and then there was extended family also. My dad, mom, sister and nephews came. Brad's cousin Pam and her daugher MacKenzie, and then Brad's Aunt Marilyn and three of her children came. It was a full house (33 to be exact) but wonderful! I loved every second! We did Christmas that night. The kids got presents from Mickey and Joyce, Sue and then my folks. Mom and Dad bought us a Wii for Christmas and I love it! We all do!

So since we've been back we've been trying to get back into the routine of school and juggling life. Next week will be tricky as I have my appointments, but we'll make it work. We also haven't done ANY Christmas shopping yet, so I've got to get that done! There are some funny stories that I've got of the kids, but I need to get off of here and tend to my Christmas tree and decorations. I really will try and do better updating this...and yes, I know, I've said that before...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wordle me.

My friend Ainsley over at ChattahoocheeMama introduced me to Wordle today. I guess it takes the words that are on your blog and puts them in a random placement and whichever words you use the most are the largest. So, here's mine: =)



Sunday, November 09, 2008

Prayers

Saturday night at supper Brad was getting ready to pray and Benjamin said, "No Daddy, I pray." So Brad let him. Benjamin's prayer went like this:

"Thank you Jesus for the food......and.....thank you for dying on the cross. AMEN!"

I about cried listening to him. It was so sweet and special. It was one of those moments when I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are doing something right. My sweet little boy.

Technology is grand!

Saturday afternoon and evening provided us with so much fun! John and Erin hooked up their webcam and we got to have online chats with them and see my nephew Joshua too! It was great. Joshua is the cutest little thing and they are such a good looking family. God has blessed me so much with my family. Jenn didn't want to be left out so she hit up Yahoo Messenger and we got to have a chat with her too. The girls sat and talked with Jenn for quite some time. I loved getting to watch them talk to their aunt. Later that evening I decided to get Melissa, my sister in law, in on the chat action. It was so much fun! Brad, Haeley, Justin and I got to talk to Melissa for a bit. Then it was off to bed for the kids.

Brad has bought some movies a couple weeks ago that we needed to review before letting the kids watch. We put on the first one, "Happily N'ever After". We watched it for about 15 minutes---if even that. Within the first minute of the movie we both said no because of how seductively they had one of the cartoon characters. It was bad. We turned it off and chucked it in the trash can. Then we put on Dr. Doolittle 3 (I think). It was cute and we gave it a yes. The kids loved it when they watched it today!!!!

Morning with my girls!

Saturday morning Brad took the boys to Karate and to get hair cuts and the girls and I split too! We had a really good time. We started our trip at Meijer because they are now selling Webkinz and I wanted to see how much they were there. On sale they are 12.99 which isn't too terrible. But the girls and I made a discovery that was a great teaching moment. You see, we were looking though all the Webkinz and found that people had been stealing the online codes off of them. We found over 20 Webkinz where the codes had been pulled or clipped off. The girls were appalled---as was I. One of them said, "Mommy, we need to tell the people who work here." So we did. And the gal says, "Yeah, we know. We moved them to this other display because of that." I then asked, "Well, what is management doing?" She says, "They are trying to keep an eye out, but they are still going to sell the ones without codes. Those just get marked down."

Haeley and Jasmine couldn't believe it! They both kept asking the same question, "Mommy, why don't they just buy them? Why do people have to steal them?" I had a really hard time answering them, because I honestly don't know why people steal. But I did tell them, "Girls, it boils down to this---the Bible tell us that men's hearts are evil. Sin is why these people are stealing. No matter how you look at it, they are stealing and that is wrong." They talked about this for quite some time after!

After Meijer we headed to Starbucks. Yes, I know. You are surprised. ME? At Starbucks? Never! ;) The girls got Peppermint Hot Chocolate and I had a Venti Nonfat Misto with 2 pumps of sugar free Hazelnut. =) It was oh so yummy! I wanted to go and get my eyebrows waxed after this, but we were running out of time so to Kroger we went! I *hate* grocery shopping. But what I hate more than grocery shopping, it's grocery shopping on Saturday. Grrrr! However, it was either grocery shop or we don't eat...I suppose grocery shopping was the thing to do. The girls were great through the store and they enjoyed it too. I forgot that Saturday was Kroger's holiday kick off day. There were sample tables all over the place. The girls had fruit, crackers, egg nog, chocolate covered cherries, cookies, ham....they loved it! And I got almost everything I needed. The store was PACKED! By the end of the trip I stood in line and as I remembered things I forgot I sent the girls after them. I still wound up standing in line for a solid 15 minutes though.

I relished the time that I got to have with just the girls. It's been a long time since just the 3 of us have gotten to do anything. I think we need to make that more of a priority.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I can't think of a title....

I heart DonnaYoung. I now have a word processing program that is worth something! AND, I have a whole set up for grades, attendance, lesson plans...the whole nine yards. All from DonnaYoung. I've been trying to figure out what I was going to do for quite some time and I'm *thrilled* that I've found something.

Benjamin has been sick for the past two weeks. He's had a cold and I've just dealt with that because it is the time of year for colds. But Monday night he started having drainage from his left eye. I figured it was sinus-y. Then on Tuesday he decided to spike a 104.7 fever! I got a hold of the doctor and she told me to try and keep it down the Tylenol and Motrin until morning. She said, if I couldn't keep it down or if he started complaining of his head hurting or if he started throwing up to take him straight to the ER. I was a little on edge, but knew thing would be okay. Yesterday morning we went in and saw Dr. Hensley and she checked him out and said that he indeed had a sinus infection. He's on augmenten but he's still got fever whenever the Motrin or Tylenol wears off. And I have to hide the augmenten in chocolate milk, because he doesn't like it otherwise. Little booger!

I'm going to hit the sack, but I'll update more tomorrow. G'nite!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

GO VOTE!

This is one if those elections that will change our nation period. Go Vote. Let your voice be heard.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homeschooling the kids

Yesterday in school the girls had to take Psalm 1:1-2 and translate it into a modern day version. They had to use the three rules of translating which are:

1. Nothing must be added.
2. Nothing must be left out.
3. The original meaning must not be changed.

So the passage was this:

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. "

When Jasmine gave me hers to read I laughed out loud. This was Jasmine's translation:

"Blessed is the peep that doesn't walk in the place of the bad peeps, or that is standing in front of sinners, or that sits where the refusers sit. But his happiness is in the words of the Lord; and in his words does he think day and night."

So, if you were grading this, what would you give it?

The journey to potty training

Benjamin successfully potty trained completely over Labor Day weekend. I was thrilled! But apparently my being thrilled was not enough for him. After about 2 weeks of pooing and peeing in the potty consistently he decided that was for the birds and his pants were a better place for all that mess. It has been a long month because I have REFUSED to put him back in pull-ups. It has been so frustrating for me because I know that he has known what to do and he has just chosen not to. And he wouldn't just poo once a day either. On average twice a day he was pooing in his underwear.

I was ready to scream. In fact I think I did on a couple occasions. ;) About 2 weeks ago every time he would poo in his underwear I made him clean up the mess himself. He had to clean his underwear out and then I would give him a shower. This still didn't seem to get through to him. I have been at my wits end. We have tried bribery (I am not above bribing my kid to poo in the potty). Bribing didn't work. I told him he could have 3 Hershey's Kisses if he pooed in the potty. He told me he didn't want Hershey's Kisses. Brad told him he would take him for a ride on the tractor if he pooed in the potty. Benjamin said, "I don't want to ride on the tractor again."

I had finally accepted that my child would never poo in the potty again. I was feeling terrible for all of Benjamin's future relationships because my son was not going to poo in the potty again. I tried Saturday night to get him to go. Our conversation went like this:

"Benjamin, you need to go poo poo in the potty."

"I don't want toooooooo...."

"Benjamin, it will be okay just tell your poo poo it's okay to come out." (What a mistake it was to say that.)

"...poo poo you can come out now. OH! Mommy! My poo poo said, 'okay sure!' It's putting it's socks and shoes on."

"What????"

"The poo poo is putting his socks and shoes on because it has to drive out."

"What?!?!?!"

"Vrrrooommm....(and more car noises)....Oh no! It crashed! The poo poo crashed."

I'm speechless at this point and don't know what to say.

"It's okay Mommy....Poo poo, do you want to go to McDonalds?...The poo poo said, "Sure, we can go to McDonalds!"

"Ohhh...great?"

"Oh no Mommy! There's a rock in the poo poo's way!....It's okay. I moved the rock out of it's way...But the poo poo still won't come out Mommy."

"Okay, Benjamin, you can be done."

Fast forward to yesterday. Benjamin was holding his bottom because he needed to go poo poo. I sent him into the potty and he was just crying his eyes out because he didn't want to go. I checked on him and he kept crying and I told him that he needed to be quiet and try to go poo poo (I was not about to tell him that he could tell his poo poo to come out again.) Well he sat there and tried and tried and I told him I would come check on him in a couple minutes. Jasmine heard her baby brother crying and went into the bathroom to check on him. She stayed in there with him for about 20 minutes or so and then she came out and said, "MOMMY! BENJAMIN POOPIED IN THE POTTY!!!!!" Ient flying into the bathroom and sure enough he had gone. So we hooted and hollered and praised Benjamin for his poo poos and then he got to pick any piece of candy that he wanted.

He was a happy boy. So after Gabe's karate lesson last night we had to stop at Walgreens for some milk. Benjamin saw the display of Webkinz's sitting there and says, "A WEBKINZ MOMMY!!! I WANT A WEBKINZ!!!!" Now usually I don't let that bother me and I tell him no, but a plan was formulating in my mind. I let him pick out a Webkinz. And I gave it to him when we got home. He loves his Webkinz. It's a little black and white cat and he has named it "Kitty." I told Benjamin that if he poo pooed in his pants that I was going to take Kitty away. He said, "Okay Mommy, I won't poo poo in my pants. I WILL poo poo in the potty."

We got home from running around this morning and I sent him in to try and go potty...He came out of the bathroom unsuccessful, but he did tell me why he couldn't go potty. His words to me were, "And MOMMY, the poopie won't come out. He's in bed and he won't wake up. And MOMMY, the poopie just won't come out..."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Clothes

I went shopping with my girlfriend, Sarah, on Sunday. We had a blast and I got several things for the kids. I was so pleased with the deals that I was able to get. So Monday morning I was pulling all the clothes out that I got for the kids. Gabe came in and says to me, "Oh Mommy! You got us more laundry!!!!"

That kids cracks me up!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weight Loss and Dunkin Donuts ;)

Okay, so I know that losing weight and Dunkin' Donuts shouldn't be in the same schedule, but here they are. ;) I'm still on my journey to lose weight and where it's not always going as fast as I would like I have dropped 9 pounds so far. I'm anxious to see the scale on Thursday. I have about 13 pounds to drop before Thanksgiving. I know I can do it, I just need to get back to exercising. Exercising (and blogging for that matter) went on hold for a couple weeks as I've been battling dizzy spells again. The long story short is that they still aren't sure what's causing them but I go in tomorrow to get a holter monitor to wear for 24 hours. It will monitor my heart to see if anything is going on there. Then on the 21st I have to go to ENT and see if they can tell me anything. And finally I have to have more blood work done on the 7th to see if my thyroid levels have changed. I have felt like one big mess the past couple weeks! Hopefully I'll have some answers soon.

On to the Dunkin' Donuts part of my post. =) They have finally opened a Dunkin' Donuts!!!! We don't have any donut shops around here at all so this has been a huge thing for our area. In fact I went Saturday morning to get donuts for Brad and the kids and I was blown away at how many people were working at 6:30 in the morning! There were 8 people just behind the counter. That didn't even include everyone that was working in the back. Crazy I tell ya, crazy! So while Brad and the kids ate their donuts, I had 2 whole grain, low fat Eggo Waffles, 1/2 a banana, 4 large strawberries, and 2 scrambled egg whites.

Mmmmm....It was yummy, but those blasted donuts were tempting! And I did so good staying away from them. Until about 3:30 in the afternoon. I hadn't had lunch. Brad and I had been outside chopping, splitting, and stacking wood and I was starved! I went in for a drink and there they sat...All of a sudden the box gracefully opened, there was a light that was shinning directly on the oh so delicious smelling and looking devil chocolate cake donut. I tried to resist. I tried really hard. And then it started floating through the air. I stood with my mouth hanging open in complete amazement. At once the donut was in my mouth, and try as I might to spit it out, I swallowed the donut and promptly felt it growing on my right thigh. I succumbed to temptation. I am so weak. =( However, I was working my tail off outside. Yes, I was using the chainsaw and the axe on the firewood. So hopefully I worked all of those nasty calories and fat grams off!!!

Sunday we actually were ready to leave the house early so I had Brad take me to Starby's so that I could get a venti, nonfat, 2 pump sugar free hazelnut Misto and a Reduced Fat Turkey Bacon breakfast sandwich. That was so yummy! He and the kids had their usual Sunday breakfast. Donuts and juice. I know, I know. We get the medal for healthiness! ;)

I'll update more tomorrow, I gotta hit the sack!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Jealous much??

We were driving to church last Sunday night and I was telling Brad about an article I read on Kirk Cameron here. Basically Cameron has resolved not to kiss any woman besides his wife---even with acting. That started a conversation between Brad and I and he said that he thought that was very wise of Cameron. He told me about a time in high school where he was in a play and had a kissing scene. He said that the girl he had to kiss was his girlfriend but that he could only imagine how uncomfortable he would have been if it wasn't his girlfriend he was kissing.

And let me tell you...My stomach started flipping and my heart just started a going...and to be honest, I was getting a little mad. How dare he kiss a girl in high school!! ;) I was thinking that had I dated in high school I probably, maybe, wouldn't get so jealous when I hear about the past relationships...but nonetheless the jealousy reared its ugly head. But as we continued driving I let my mind wander a little more and God hit my upside the head with a 2x4. If I get so jealous over a petty past relationship that my husband had, then how jealous does God get when we put things before Him? I'm telling you 2x4 upside the head. And a big 2x4 at that! I don't want to live my life in regret over the things that I have put before my Heavenly Father. It's my goal to put Him first in all things.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Complete

Here I am, Oh God
I bring this sacrifice--my open heart.
I offer up my life.

I look to You, Lord
Your love that never ends
Restores me again
So I lift my eyes to you, Lord

In Your strength will I break through, Lord
Touch me now, let your love fall down on me
And I will be complete in You.

Here I am, Oh God
I bring this sacrifice--my open heart.
I offer up my life.

I look to You, Lord.
Your love that never ends
Restores me again
So I lift my eyes to you Lord

And by faith, I will walk on, Lord
Then I'll see beyond my Calvary one day,
And I will be complete in..

I look to You, Lord
Your love that never ends
Restores me again
So I lift my eyes to you Lord

In your strength will I break through Lord
Touch me now, let your love fall down on me
I know your love dispels all my fears.

Through the storm I will hold on Lord
And by faith I will walk on, Lord
Then I'll see beyond my Calvary one day
And I will be complete in You


***I want to be Complete in Him.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Has it been 4 days since I last posted?

Wow, time sure does fly!!! Tonight is my First Place meeting! I'm anxious to see how I've done this past week...I know that I haven't eaten the best, but as long as I haven't gained I'll be happy. It's been a busy and somewhat of a difficult week. I started having my dizzy spells again and they have really kicked my butt this go around. I went to the doctor and she pretty much blew me off and put me on medication that I'm supposed to take 4 times a day. "It may make you sleepy though." Hello??? I have 5 kids. Being sleepy during the day is a luxury I can't afford! I've been monitoring my blood pressure and pulse and they keep doing funky stuff so I made an appointment with MY doctor on Monday. I told them I want a COMPLETE physical. I'm going to find out what's going on.

We've had revival at church this past week too. I wasn't in service Tuesday or Wednesday night because I had nursery, but Sunday am, pm and Monday pm was awesome. We had several decisions for Christ too! God is good! I want to go and see "Fireproof"...that was very random. I must be losing it!!!

We didn't have anything to eat for breakfast today so I took the kids to Bob Evans. We had a nice little math lesson sitting in Bob Evans. I totaled up how much the kids food cost and then we looked at how much it would cost if we just made it at home. It was a bit of an eye opener for the kids. We have all of our homeschool material minus our math! YAY! I'm working on lesson plans now and we will start with this new material Monday morning! The kids don't know yet. We've been doing little stuff, but we are really going to do a lot this coming week. I'm excited! Alright, I gotta go get ready for First Place! I'll try to update this tonight. =)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Not that Brad reads my blog, but Happy Anniversary Sweetheart! =) It's hard to believe that six years ago I was in the bridal suite sweating like a pig and getting all "dolled" up for my wedding. I was looking for a CD that had pictures from the wedding and I can't find it anywhere. But once I do, I'm going to take a trip down memory lane and post some of them. I do need to go to the store and pick up something for my dear one, so while he and the kiddos are napping, I'm gonna run out.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, September 26, 2008

My weight loss journey

So we've started First Place 4 Health at church and I'm pumped! We are in week 3 now and so far I've lost 7 pounds. I know it's not a whole lot, but it's a start and it's got me determined. I was looking back at pictures when I was pregnant with my now 4 1/2 year old and I was amazed to see that I looked better at 3 months pregnant than I do now!! It's a shame that I have let myself get to this point, but I'm not letting myself get any farther and I look forward to seeing numbers fall weekly. The plan is not difficult either. It's a matter of portion control and paying attention. On my daily calorie level my food gets broken down like this:

Fruits: 1.5-2 cups
Veggies: 2-2.5 cups
Grains: 5-6 oz equivalents
Meat: 5 oz
Milk: 3 cups
Oils: 5tsp

Everyday we have to write down what we have eaten and how much of each category we've had daily. Then we have to write whether we need to increase, decrease, or stay the same. I think that part of the journaling has been huge for me! My second week on the plan I did 27 miles on my elliptical and seriously messed up my knee, so I haven't gotten back on it yet. I'm gonna do my pilates and see how that does and I think I'll get a knee brace because that may help give me just a little extra support. My knee was hurting so bad on Sunday that I about cried going up and down the stairs at church. It doesn't help that the stairs are STEEP. It was painful!!!

My goal is to be at least 17 pounds less than I am now come Thanksgiving. I'm gonna get there and I'll keep ya updated along the way. =) And maybe just maybe I'll post a before, during and after picture....but until then....happy trails to you...until we meet again...happy trails to you...

The Bailout

Okay, so I'll admit that I hadn't really stayed up to speed on the whole bailout deal. Then I started reading articles and listening to Dave Ramsey. If you were like me and didn't follow the whole bailout here's the quick summary from Ramsey's website:

Companies that had billions in subprime loans were feeling the effects of their stupid decision to make those loans in the first place, and practically gave them away for pennies on the dollar. But since no one wants these loans, and they've had to mark them down to market value, it has frozen the market. If we temporarily change the rule that forces companies to do that, that will free the market up.

Go here and see what Ramsey has to say about shaking things up with our Congressmen. Merrill Lynch was sitting with $30 billion tied up in sub-prime loans with houses. Personally, I think they were stupid to do that, but I'm just a stay at home mom so what do I know right? Granted, I would rather see the bailout of some sort than everything going topsy turvy on us. Ramsey says:

Why don't we just take the FHA insurance program and extend it across these sub-primes? What that means is that you and I are guaranteeing the lender that they're not going to lose as much or any money on those mortgages. Now I don't like guaranteeing them, but I like it better than buying them. In other words, instead of $700 billion in tax-payer debt going out there to bail out these companies, just extend the insurance out. You could probably do that for less than $40 billion. It's like a 95% savings!

I gotta say...I agree whole-heartedly with Ramsey on this. Only time will tell what's gonna happen. The next couple weeks will be interesting.

Presidential Debates

Hmmm.... I really don't get into politics on my blog. It's just not something that I do, but I'm sitting here watching the Presidential Debates and thinking, "What is happening to our country???" We have 2 presidential candidates that I don't like. I don't like Barack Obama and I don't like John McCain. But my question is who is the less of the two evils? John McCain is talking about accountability and how in his cabinet there will be accountability. Obama responds with, "Yes, there needs to be accountability but not just in times of crisis...." I can't type as fast as they are talking. bummer. McCain has a fundamental belief in the United States of America and under the right leadership our best days are ahead of us.

McCain---get spending under control. It's completely out of control in Washington. (I think Dave Ramsey would say, "It's this simple, SPEND LESS THAN WE MAKE!!!!")

****side note***WHAT???? We spent 3 million dollars on DNA research on bears in Montana??? WHAT?!?!?! Are you kidding me? Can someone tell me why?

Obama---McCain is right, earmark spending has been abused. Tax cut for 95% of working families. Hmmm...interesting. Do I like that?

I do find it kinda funny that McCain won't respond directly to Obama.

Hmmm....where will November lead us?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A day with the fam

Last night we set the tent up in the backyard and had a little camp out. Brad and I were both exhausted and the kids of course didn't want to go to sleep. =) They kept giggling and teasing each other. Brad and I couldn't stay mad at them! We were driving down the road tonight and our 4 year old informs us, "I want to learn to burp my ABC's." That's just what I wanted to hear. My 4 year old want to lean how to burp his ABC's. A lot of good home schooling is doing, huh? I guess any way he learns his ABC's will work. He cracks me up.

I told Brad tonight, "You know, if it weren't for you that my life wouldnt' be so chaotic." At that point the kids were all going crazy in the back seat so the comment seemed to fit. ;-) On a serious note, God is so good. He has truly blessed me with Brad and our kids.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Homesick

We've been here for well over 4 years, but still I get homesick. The past couple days have been some of those days. I miss VA and I miss my family like crazy. I do love it out here and if this is where the Lord wants us then this is where we will be, but there's that rebellious part of me that says, "I don't care what the Lord wants, I want to be with my family." And I know that on one hand that's understandable, however, on the other....Being in the Lord's will is so important to me. And who knows, maybe His will will lead us back to VA.

Oh, how I wish that would be His will.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Moving back and forth

We (I use that term loosely) started homeschooling the kids last week and what an adventure it has been so far! To start with I got part of the original curriculum only to discover that I *hate* it. So I have been "writing" our curriculum up till now while researching a new curriculum. And oh what I've found. First I've found that I really don't see one complete curriculum that really speaks to me. BUT I have found several different ones that put all together is perfect. We'll order some tomorrow and hopefully we'll have some curriculum sometime next week. I got The Oregon Trail, Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego in the mail today. I was so excited. The kids have enjoyed them so far. =)

What else. Hmm....Oh, I've done my elliptical 6 days in a row now. I've gone 25 miles since last Friday. I'm really proud of myself. I want to be healthy for myself and my family. But more than that, I want to take care of the temple that God has given me. God is so good. He has blessed me more than I can imagine. Brad and I will celebrate our 6 year anniversary on the 28th. Life has changed A LOT in 6 years.

Okay, off to bed I go. More later.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Moving On....

Alrighty everyone....I'm leaving the blog world and moving on to a website. You can find me at www.babyhomepages.net/castle-in-chaos There's a slight catch though. I will have this website password protected. SO, if you want to come and see the new site and updates on the kiddos, email me at (smith_mom_of_5 at yahoo.com) I hope to see you there!!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Good Friends

Today we invited some friends from church to go out to lunch with us. We went to Los Rancheros and had such a good time. The kids all got along (they have 2 boys) and ate well. Brad and I enjoyed the adult conversation. Benjamin announced that he had to go potty and Daddy took him in to go. Benjamin came running out all excited, "I PEEPEE IN DA POTTY!!!!!" (I later found out that he didn't.) The bill came and I was waiting for Brad to get back so I could go and pay our bill. Little did we know, our friends had decided that they were treating our family to lunch. I cannot even tell you what a blessing that was for us. I'm so thankful for the fellowship and friendship that we have developed with this other family.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Redneck Surfing part 4

Redneck Surfing part 3

Redneck Surfing part 2

Here we go again.

In the midst of the storm....

In the midst of the storm this is what we saw:

Redneck Surfing

Enjoy.

Redneck Surfing


Okay....so we got a ton of rain again. The creek was overflowing and raging pretty good. Brad and I walked out so that we could take a look at Smith Lake. While we were out there, Brad says, "I think I'll tie a rope to one of the trees and see if I can surf in the creek." My intial thought----"You are stupid." So here are a couple pictures of the creek and the "surfing".







Friday, June 06, 2008

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

:)

How does your garden grow?

Our garden is really starting to take off! We were able to pick some strawberries from it over the past couple days. Here's a picture of some of the strawberries and then a cake that I made with some of the other strawberries. :) Enjoy.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Gem?"

Justin's had a pretty rough night. Honestly, he's had a pretty rough couple days. Everyone was eating dinner and he was being a bit difficult. He came into the living room and asked if I would feed him because his hands hurt when he has to feed himself. I told him that he was a big boy and that he could feed himself. He protested somewhat and then asked his sisters if one of them would feed him. Jasmine went into the kitchen and fed my perfectly capable son his dinner.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Till the Storm Passes By

My kids do not like thunder storms. They are very fearful of them. My mom would sing "Till the Storm Passes By" to them when it would storm and then I had to learn it. I downloaded it tonight---gotta love iTunes.

In the dark of the midnight
Have I oft hid my face
While the storms howl above me
And there’s no hiding place
Midst the crash of the thunder
Precious Lord, hear my cry
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
Till the storm passes over
Till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
Many times Satan whispers
He says, “There’s no need to try
For there’s no end in sorrow
There’s no hope in the by and by”
But I know Thou art with me
And tomorrow I’ll rise where the storm
Never darkens the sky
Till the storm passes over
Till the thunder sounds no more
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand
Keep me safe till the storm passes by
I had to sing this several times tonight. All's well though. The storms have indeed passed by and all the kiddos are asleep.

Monday, June 02, 2008

How Can I Keep From Singing?

This song has been very encouraging to me. How can we keep from singing? With everything that He has given us, don't we owe Him that much?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Lord is Good.

I can't get into specifics, but I can say that even when faced with what seems like the unthinkable, God is still in control.

Psalm 34:19-20 says, "The righteous face many troubles, but the Lord rescues them from each and every one. For the Lord protects them from harm---not one of their bones will be broken."

What an encouragement that has been to me today. I know that MY God can handle and is already handling everything. I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt the prayers and the way that Brad and I are raising our children has protected them. I praise God for His hand is on every portion of our life. God is so good.

Father, I thank you for your continued blessing of faithfulness on my family. I thank you for protecting my children and instilling in Brad and I the importance of a Godly upbringing.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What's for lunch?

Tuesday we were out running errands and Brad asked the boys, "Do you want a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets for lunch." Benjamin thought about it for a minute and said, "Donuts." Brad said, "Benjamin, do you want CHEESEBURGERS or CHICKEN NUGGETS?" Benjamin thought about it a minute more and said, "Mmmm...My want donuts." He got a cheeseburger and was not too pleased by it. BUT, I redeemed us and all the kids got donuts for breakfast yesterday. :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

****This is a bit disturbing****

Oh my, oh my. That's all I can think to say right now. Whenever you get any of the Smith brothers together 'disturbing' is probably the only way to describe it! ;) The drive was not too bad. We stopped in Charelston, WV and stayed the night. From there it was only 3 hours to Sue's house. Sue only thought that Brad, the kids and I were coming...little did she know Luke, Melissa and Kayla showed up Friday night. And then Saturday morning there was a knock at the door and Sue 'knew' that it was us....BUT, it wasn't!!!!! It was Dan, Summer and their three kids. I don't think that Sue will ever trust us again!

Saturday afternoon I took Benjamin to Dan and Summer's hotel so that we could get him, Dory, and Reese to take a nap. We had a breakthrough moment---Benjamin ate a chicken nugget from Chic-fil-a!!! I was so excited...Benjamin doesn't eat meat. The only meat (if you can call it that) he will eat are hotdogs. And you can't be guaranteed that he will eat those. And then Monday morning when we had breakfast he actually ate a corn dog type thing---sausage and pancake on a stick---and he ate the sausage too!! Now yes I know that the sausage is a lot like a hot dog BUT he normally won't even eat breakfast sausage.

We went to Brad's cousin, Lois and her husband Mark's house for a barbeque Saturday night. She has a beautiful piece of property and an assortment of animals that the kids were able to play with. Sue's brother Randy came out also and we got to talk and visit with him too! We had a great time of fun and play. =) The kids played with the chickens, pet the goat, and watched the cows chase the billy goats too. They ran and ran and ran that evening. When we left Justin was alseep before we had been gone for 5 minutes. They all slept great that night!

Sunday morning Melissa, Sue, and I went to downtown Roanoke to market street. It was really cool. Roanoke has a ton of old buildings and it was just beautiful. There weren't as many vendors out as usual but it was still neat. We did get some homemade soaps. Mine is a lemon scented soap. It smells like the candy Lemon Heads. :) There were so many cool shops. We wanted to go to the bakery but it was closed on Sundays. After that we headed to the flea market and looked around at some stuff. There wasn't anything there that interested me and all of us were getting a little tired of walking so we headed out to the final destination---Wal-Mart. We picked up the groceries we needed then hit Starby's!!!! I was a little upset though because the barista made my Iced Carmel Macchiato wrong. You are supposed to layer the drink and he didn't. He mixed it all together and it's just not as good that way. I was going to take it back, but we had already been gone for quite some time and I didn't want to stay gone much longer.

Melissa and I made a yummy pasta salad (compliments of Dacia's recipes) and then sat down to relax with our computers for awhile. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed my laptop until this past weekend. I was able to download a bunch of stuff at Sue's house and I have greatly increased my iTunes library. It was mainly with free podcasts but still, you take advantage of that high speed while you have it. (side note: Brad likes high speed too. In fact, he got to talk to a VA state trooper about it. We are now a 2 ticket family!) Brad, Dan, and Luke went to the movies Saturday night and the kids got their baths and watched the "Bee Movie". Melissa and I wound up staying up until 2:30 talking.

SO, here we are driving back to Indiana and the kids aren't doing too bad right now. we've had a couple stops along the way but overall we are making good time.

While I'm thinking of it I will tell you of a couple "funnies" from the kids:

Brad says to Justin, "Hi there sleepy head." Justin says, "Don't call names Daddy. Mommy will put vinegar in your mouth."

Friday night in the hotel room Benjamin had his bug jammies on. He was laying in the bed and started to giggle. He pulled his feet out from under the covers and put his legs up in the air while wiggling his toes and saying, "Look at my lady bugs!!! I got lady bugs!!!" We think he was referring to his toes as his lady bugs. He's so funny!

Haeley was very concerned about the size of Sue's house. Haeley knew that Luke and Dan and their families were going to be at Sue's and wanted to make sure that Sue didn't have a trailer anymore because there wouldn't be enough room for all of us.

.....I'm sure there are more and as I think of them I will add them. :) I hope everyone has had a safe and blessed Memorial Day weekend!

Bathroom Break


Hope everything came out okay! =)

Luke is stupid

video

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Speedy Gonzales visits....

Well, today was a very busy and eventful day! We got up and headed to church for praise team practice. That lasted about an hour and then we had a couple errands we had to run. We did that, got home and Brad cut the grass while I picked up inside. Then one of the little girls came over to apologize and we visited with them for a little bit. After they left we got the boys down for thier naps and then Brad had to leave to start getting stuff set up for the church picnic thing we had going on. Brad took Haeley and Gabe with him. Jasmine had to work on her science project. Justin woke up and then I had to wake up Benjamin so that we could get on the road. We had to run to Kroger and pick up some potato salad and beans.

I was mentally running through the list of things I had to get when I checked my rear view mirror and saw red and blue flashing lights. I glanced down at my speed and I knew. I quickly pulled to the side, rolled my window down and tried to remain composed. The officer came to the window and said, "Ma'am I need your license registration." I thought, "Crap...I'm not even getting the option of a warning...he's gonna give me a ticket." He asked me if there was a particular reason why I was going over the speed limit. I was honest with him---I said, "I was on my way to the grocery to pick up some stuff for our church picnic and honest to goodness I just wasn't paying attention." I was going 50 in a 40...We have to pay $150. I was/am so upset. I have *never* gotten a speeding ticket---not to say I haven't deserved one. But it was just un-nerving. Brad didn't realize how upset I was. As much as this bugs and upsets me I know that it will make me more cautious in the future. Oh I should mention that Benjamin didn't want to stop talking about the 'powleece man'....and Justin feels it's up to him to tell everyone as well. Great.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker

Open mouth insert foot. I feel somewhat stupid. I called Brad today and asked him if I could go to Kohls and get the waffle maker that I had been wanting. He immediately shut me down and I was crushed. Not just that, I had kinda planned on having bacon, eggs, and waffles for dinner tonight. I didn't want to do pancakes because I wanted something different. So back to the drawing board. Brad called and told me to order something for dinner tonight because he still had to stop at the grocery and he was going to be a little late from work.

I order Pizza Hut for dinner. We are anxiously awaiting our pizza. All of us are starving. I had told the kids that the pizza would get there around when Daddy got home. Well Daddy got home and still no pizza. He gave me the milk and peanut butter he bought and then had Justin give me a bag with 2 boxes of pancake mix. Then Brad gave me another bag...from Kohls. Yes, Brad went to Kohls and he bought me the Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker that I had been wanting. =) =)

And then the phone rang. It was Pizza Hut. Apparantly they don't deliver to my house. But wait, they've delivered here before. I told them that I would come and pick it up. I went outside frustrated and told Brad that I would be back. He told me to call and cancel the pizza and we would order from Papa Johns. I told him that would take at least another 1/2 hour and I would just go to Pizza Hut. He said, "No...cancel the pizza. We'll make waffles!"

I did just that. I called Pizza Hut and told them that I have 5 kids and I was not about to drive up there and pick up pizza that was supposed to be delivered. I canceled the pizza, made waffles and the kids were thrilled! Belgian waffles are so yummy. And I love my waffle maker!!!!

Blackmail


'Nuff Said.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Little Punks part 2

Okay, so here's the latest:

-teacher was furious
-principal was livid
-4 little punks, not 3 =)
-must write letter of apology to my daughter
-must write letter of apology to me and Brad
-must replace water bottle
-ISS on field day and Slime the principal day

One of the parents called and apologized and we are going to meet in a couple days so that her daughter can apologize face to face. It will be hard but definitely a life lesson. I'm still upset, but happy that this isn't being swept under the rug.

Gotta run...more later

....edited Friday morning....

All the parents were horrified and said that there would be consequences at home as well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Little Punks

Just when I start to doubt home schooling I'm faced with something that confirms in my heart and spirit that home school is the right choice for my family. This evening as I was making dinner, Jasmine told me that some girls at school were being mean to Haeley again. About a month ago I found out that there were some girls that were making fun of Haeley because when she gets really mad she cries. I was so upset and I gave the girls some 'coping mechanisms'.

Apparently today while Haeley was in another class 3 girls took her water bottle off of her table space. Then they put rubber cement on the top of it. Wiped it off. Took it into the bathroom and dropped it into the toilet, pulled it out and 'cleaned' it off. Then they dropped it in the trashcan. After that they put it back on her table space and waited for her to come back to class. She came back and took a drink and then they told her what they had done.

I am so furious. I'm calling the teacher 1st thing in the morning. I'm not putting up with kids treating my children this way. I'm very angry though and I'm trying to sort through my anger because I know that I need to keep my focus on Christ in all of this. I'll let you know how it turns out.

April Showers bring May Showers

I'm just ready for Spring to be here...but no. Yes, I do have some flowers so I guess the saying "April Showers bring May flowers" could be true and accurate, but what I'm finding is that we just have more showers. I'm tired of the rain. =( I know I'm whinning. So sorry.

We head to Roanoke VA in a couple weeks for Memorial Day. I'm hoping for beautiful weather and a peaceful drive. I'm also hoping that gas prices will drop...please...please...I know that I'm fooling myself, but I can still hope, right?

Emma has really fit in nicely with the Smith crew. Benjamin is amazing with her. He will tell her to sit, lay down, and come---and she listens! Justin looks at her and says, "Crate" and she goes straight to her crate. She is going to go with us to Roanoke. I'm so happy that we are able to take her and that we don't have to board her. When we boarded her for the VA trip she peed all over the floor when I picked her up. It was kinda funny. She was so excited to see me. She's definitely my dog. Emma follows me everywhere. =)

Okay...so I'm going again...I'll try to blog better.

They are driving me crazy!!!!

My kids are driving me crazy. I called the mental institution and they're going to put a room on stand-by for me.

Let's see.....

Today, Justin told me that Benjamin 'cracked the knuckles in his head'. They were wrestling around and being themselves...I'm hoping for a GOOD nap time today. I've got laundry to fold...fun fun fun. Speaking of that, I'm going to go and put the boys down for their naps, make some lunch for me and then fold laundry. WHOO HOO!!!!!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Catch up

Okay....so yes, I'm dog meat once again. I'm so bad about updating this!!! In my defense, my internet connection continues to be terrible. I called AT&T and bugged them again today about DSL. I told them that if we didn't get it soon that they were going to lose us as customers to Brighthouse Cable. They didn't like that very much but I don't think that will really impact how quickly they get me high speed internet. Alright, so I'm going to try and do a quick review of the past couple months.

March----

Hmmm....what happened...I had to go and pull up my pictures folder so I could see what was going on...that's sad. We had some really nice spring like weather the middle of the month and then it all decided to change and by Easter it was COLD!!!! As a matter of fact, we had snow flurries on Easter. It was CRAZY. Brad tiled the kids bathroom so they now have a nice new floor. It is beautiful. Jenn flew on the 22nd and she was here until we left to drive to VA on the morning of the 27th. We had fun, but it was a really short visit. We left early on the 27th and had a pretty uneventful trip. We had packed breakfast cookies, bananas, and OJ for breakfast. Then we had PB&J's, fruit, Capri Suns, and other "snacky" foods for lunch. We did have a Benadryl stop though. Benjamin was getting car sick and we had to get him something to help him. So everything was fine until we hit the exit by Busch Gardens...traffic then slowed to a crawl. It was pretty miserable for awhile. We got through it and made it to Mom and Dad's by about 10:20ish (I think).

We went to the beach on Friday and had so much fun. The kids played on the jungle gym and then went down to the water. It was so nice being back 'home'. Daddy and Momma know how to spoil my kids---Starbucks after the beach and ribs for dinner. The kids love Papa's ribs. I was listening to them talk while they were eating and it was really kinda neat. They were saying how Papa's ribs were so good that they should have ice cream for dinner and the ribs for dessert. One of them said, "Yeah, cause we've gotta save the best for last." I thought that was really cool of them. We hung around the house for a couple days and just chilled together.

April----

April 1st is always a special day because it is Matthew's birthday. He turned 8 this year. I can't believe that he's 8. We had a little party for him on the 3rd. I got to see Granny, Grandma, my cousins Lillie and Ginger. Brad got into town that evening. His flight was delayed (of course). Friday morning we got up early and went over to Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Tim's where we had a wonderful pancake breakfast! It was wonderful getting to see them. We didn't get to stay too long because Mom and I had hair appointments. This was our first time to actually spend by ourselves together. It was really nice. I cherished that time with her. We had to leave the next day.

We headed down to NC to see Brad's brother and family. They had a new baby and we got to visit with them for a day...while there Gabe decided to fall off the stairs and gash the back of his head open. He was taken to the ER and got 3 staples put in. Fun. (I'll add now that Brad pulled the staples out 5 days later---much to my objections too.) We had a LONG drive back to Indiana on Sunday. We didn't leave until late and it made for quite a long day. The kids did relatively well. I can't complain too much.

So we got back in town and Brad had the next day off...that was nice. We took the older kids to school and then spent the next morning running around together with the boys. I should mention that we took the new car---1969 Ford Galaxie LTD. Surprisingly it fits all 7 of us. Brad had been working on my kitchen while I was gone. We've now got a new floor, counter tops, sink, and some new cabinets. I'll take some good pictures and post those later.

My birthday was on the 9th...I'm 27...The kids made me a birthday cake. I told Brad I didn't want anything since we had just poured so much into my kitchen. My girlfriend Dana called me on my birthday and wanted to know if I wanted my birthday present now or later. Me being me said, "Ummm... both." On the 27th Dana and her 3 kids flew in from Okinawa Japan to visit me! As much as I would like to believe that I am so special that she flew all this way to see me, that's not entirely true. She was coming back this way to visit family but stopped out here for a couple days. It was great. We hadn't seen each other since we were pregnant with our now 4 year olds! My how time flies.

May---

Okay, so this month so far....not too much has happened. Benjamin and Justin continue to tickle me with the things they come up with. There's only a couple weeks left of school for the kids. They are excited and so am I. We are home schooling in the fall so these will be their last couple weeks at White Oak. I've got to get off of here because my battery is dying, but I will charge it and try to add more tomorrow---I'll do pictures too!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Today has been another typical day in the Smith household. Busy, busy, busy! Brad was having a pitch in at work and I didn't know about it until last night. We got up and got my little peanuts off to school and then off we went. I took my onion chopper thing and my slicer knife too. I bought everything for the taco salad and threw it together in the truck once I got to Brad's office.

Next we went to Cookie Cutters and I got the boys' hair cut. I'm kinda excited, because there was a sign there that said "Family Tuesday". On Tuesdays if you have more than 3 kids you can take them all in and the first is regular price, 13.95 and the rest are 10. That's so worth it for us.

By the time we left there it was late so we went to the drive thru Subway and I got a roast beef sub and water. I'm trying so hard to be good! And it's so hard. I've lost about 5 pounds so far and I'm really determined to lose more. We've made some really good changes in our eating and I'm looking forward to the future changes too. I didn't have any Coke or soda at all yesterday. I've been drinking lots of water. :)

Okay, well off I go. I'm going to jump on my elliptical!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Theresa Jane Smith

I'm so blessed! Not only has God blessed me with a nephew today, but also a niece! My bro in law, Dan, and his wife, Summer, had their 3rd baby today. "Reese" was born around 3:29 ish this afternoon. She was 7lbs 10 ounces. I'm not sure how long she was, but she is BEAUTIFUL! Today has been a day full of blessings. I'm so thankful for family. This is a picture of the proud new Mommy and Reese.

Joshua Scott Schreck

My brother and his wife Erin had their baby this morning. He was born at approx. 1:53am, 8lbs and 19 1/2 inches long. I think he is beautiful and I can't wait to get my hands on him!!!!


Here's a picture of the little guy.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I needed to add this...

I was making Jasmine some hot tea for her throat and tending to her...I went to check on the boys and this is what I found....


Sickies

Jasmine came home from school yesterday with a headache, sore throat and fever. This morning she still has fever. She is missing school today and she'll be out tomorrow. Poor thing. Justin went over to her and was stroking her head and singing her a song that he had made up. He was trying to take care of his big sister.

Monday, February 25, 2008

From the trenches of toilet training....

Okay, so I really don't have any tales today. Jasmine forgot her book talk at home and I had to take it to her. Since we were out we wound up having lunch with Brad. On the way home I was sooo exhausted that we stopped at Starby's and I got a Venti Nonfat Misto with 2 pumps of Sugar Free Hazelnut. :) Then we came home and it was about time for naps. The older kids got home and we did homework...fun. Fractions. I felt fraction stupid. I had to go to a website to freshen up on my fraction skills. Wow. It had been a long time. BUT I remembered. Jas came home with a headache, sore throat and fever. We won't be going anywhere tomorrow. Maybe we will attempt potty training again.

I want to hire someone to come in and potty train for me. I don't like potty training!

....My hair....


Here you go...pictures of the hair...enjoy

Sunday, February 24, 2008

".....and I think to myself...What a Wonderful World..."

I have no clue why that song is running through my head, but it is. We are watching "Oceans 13" and I'm multi-tasking. :) I'm supposed to post a picture of my hair...but I don't have a good one yet. I'll post it later today.

I headed to Target to pick up diapers and I was side tracked by Dress Barn. They had huge sale signs and I was intrigued! So I went in and was so frustrated by the time I left there. You see, I can never find clothes that fit me, but today was different. Everything except for one dress that I took into the dressing room fit me and was flattering. That *never* happens. I was then faced with the difficult decision of what items to buy. I walked out with a couple things that can be interchanged to make 6 outfits!!! WHOO HOO! I was excited. I told Brad and he just looked at me and didn't say a word. =) He'll like the outfits. I'm sure of it.

Pink eye is running through the Smith household. Gabe had it last week and then Justin decided that he wanted it too. Now, Benjamin has it. Great....This could be a bit of a blessing in disguise though. I need to potty train Benjamin and this will be as good a time as ever. I won't be able to go anywhere for the next couple days so we are going to hit potty training full force Monday morning. AHH!!! Pray for me. I'm going to need patience and perseverance for this.

Well I'm off to bed. I'll post potty training progress later.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sitting a top my lap....

Is my new LAPTOP!!! I know, I'm a dork. The little things in life that excite me. I'm still getting used to the whole laptop deal, but having a blast with it. I *finally* got it all configured for the internet and I have my email accounts set up...granted, I haven't transferred all my email addresses over, but that will come in time.

Hmmm....what interesting things have happened lately....I know that a ton of things have happened and I keep saying that I'm going to post them, but I forget...oh well. Mom, if you remember anything that I was supposed to post shoot me an email and tell me. :)

Oh I remember some!!! HEE HEE HEE!

I think having Emma is going to open up so many areas for laughing! We got Emma a couple weeks ago and Benjamin has become obsessed with being a puppy dog himself. Two days after we got Emma I took her in to be groomed. The groomers gave Benajmin and Justin half a milkbone to give to Emma. Justin tried giving his to Emma, but she really wasn't interested. Benjamin then starts thanking the man profusely for the milkbone. I don't think anything of it and I turned around to finish conducting business. And then it hit me as I turned back to Benjamin....he was thanking the man and was so excited because he thought that the dog bisquit was for him. Yes, that's right. He was eating the milkbone. Only my son.....It gets better though.

I had bought some snausages for Emma and I had her sit and then praised her and gave her one. Benjamin starts jumping up and down saying, "Me!! Me Mommy, Me too!!!!!" I said, "No Benjamin, these are for dogs." Benjamin then dropped to his hands and knees and barks at me.

Here's another Benjamin and Emma story. I was in the kitchen doing dishes when I heard a noise. I turned around and there was my adorable 2 year old in all his glory---drinking out of Emma's water bowl. I cried out, "BENJAMIN NO!!!!" He then proceeded to turn around and growl at me.

Benjamin is great with Emma. He will get her dog treats and tell her to sit and lay down....and she listens to him. It's really neat watching them play together. Emma's a good girl. We are so blessed to have her.

Alrighty, I'm gonna get off of here. I'll try to put some more updates on here tonight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh Mr. Weatherman

I woke up this morning just knowing that it was going to be a Winter Wonderland. After all, before I went to bed I was assured that we would still have a snowfall. But, I was let down again. Not that I'm terribly upset by this---I don't really care for the snow. I'll put up with it, but I prefer to not deal with it. I do get to grocery shopping with no kids and no snow today; I'm excited!

Until next time. =)

Emma

Last Wednesday our family was blessed with an addition. Emma. She is a Golden Retriever and German Shepherd mix. She is a wonderful dog! She's a little over a year old and crate trained! And potty trained! WHOO HOO! She's amazing and gentle with the kids. Benjamin keeps wanting to ride her and just this evening he tried getting on her from the couch. The kids didn't know that we were getting a dog. We told them that we were visiting a couple because they had just had a baby...When we got to the couple's house we were able to see the kids interacting with the dog and they had a blast! Brad and I gave the "nod" to each other and he closed the deal while I got the kids in the truck. After church I took the kids home and told them that Brad had to go to the "store". They were in complete disbelief when Brad walked through the front door with Emma. They could not believe that she was our dog. Jasmine gave Brad and I hugs all night thanking us for Emma. Jasmine has wanted a dog for so long this was a bit of a dream come true for her. I'm so glad that we were able to make it happen.

Originally we had thought about giving the dog to Jasmine for her birthday, but after careful thought we decided against it. I told Brad that I could just hear the fights and arguments...."Don't touch her, she's my dog.......We don't have to clean up her mess, she's Jasmine's dog....I want my own animal too...." There would be too many complications. And as it has turned out, Emma seems to be my dog. She follows me everywhere. She's a great guard dog and I feel safer having her in the house. She is such a sweet thing! And yes, I'll give you some pictures of her too!


Art Gallery 1215

I've come to love the Crayola Wonder products! I got one of the paint sets and Justin went to town with it! Here are some shots of my little artist!