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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Picture Perfect

This is our Christmas picture. We planned it for weeks.

My mother-in-law bought us all coordinating clothes. Part of my Christmas gift was having a picture of our little bunch.

We discussed it, talked about it and planned it out. How we would be sitting in the grass, looking all happy with the lake in the background.

We got dressed, made it to the lake, took a gazillion pictures and ended up standing outside in front of the house.

We are all looking at the camera...
What more could a mom want?

This picture makes me want to bite the bullet and upgrade my blog to the new version which is no longer new.

Do you lose anything? I want my pretty family in the header.

On another note, my choices were to post this as a late Christmas or early Valentine's day photo...We are wearing red!


In order to maintain the type of order I need at home, I haven't been able to find the time to post. I'd like to. I have it written in my head. I think about it.

I promise, as I have time, I'll post.

All I need from you, dear reader, is to put up with the abundance of Christmas and wintery memories we have and enjoy reading delayed news. That is news which ceases to be news because by its very definition once it makes it to this blog it is probably no longer new...

This is my virtual excuse for not scrapbooking so it has to be filled with family memories and pictures. I think just using the word scrapbook causes me to freeze up. I have about five years of not recording our events. Ugh! It stirs up the mother guilt. It stirs up the inadequacies that I battle. It reminds me that I am imperfect. That fact tries to mock me but I turn my head reminding myself that the pictures are in a box, organized in chronological order waiting to be delicately and lovingly displayed on pretty paper for future generations to enjoy. This is the year that I will wade through it. Cry tears over it. Make a difference in the box. 2008!

Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD Psalm 102:18

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Celebrating '08 in 80's Style

We brought in 2008 in retro style, eighties style with some friends. We would have been such a stylish family...
Such a cute couple...I couldn't help but think as I was getting ready, "I am so glad I was a teenager and NOT a mom during the 80's. How would I have ever teased my hair and remembered to put on red lipstick every ten minutes with four little kids?"
Would we even have been a couple in the 80's?
I definitely was much more of a valley girl preppy mix than a big hair, tight leather jeans rocker type girl. Sing it Tiffany...
Aaaaah girlfriends.
Here our men represent the three social groups that dominated the 80's for me...the prep, the rocker and the kicker.
Go Sarah!
The Butlers: Aren't they cute? David rose to a very high standard in my book this day. He came as J. R. Ewing. Being the mature fifth grader that I was, I never missed a Friday night episode of Dallas. I mean if I had thought of it I would have come as Crystal or Lucy or any of my Dallas, oil money socialite women heroes of youth. Who shot J. R.? The Moores: I was so proud of Jennifer who put together amazing costumes considering she doesn't save anything she is not currently using. Good job, Jenn! And, Brooks, we'll take you again at 80's Trivia!
And our sweet kids. They not only willingly donned flashback style clothing, they put up with our silly jokes they didn't understand all night long! Julia said that in the 80's they had good music...That's my girl! Bethany said that in the 80's it took a long time to get dressed. So funny.





Our little men, being the champs that they are, hung in until after 10:00. Being three little guys under two, that was a monumental achievement. We sure had a great night. Happy New Year...that is we hope you're all having a happy new year...or happy year...or something like that.



Monday, January 21, 2008

Christmas Past

Our wonderful Christmas was spent with many of our loved ones. We had a fun time celebrating with the Smith's at Lake Conroe.
We played games, visited, ate food, posed for pictures, exchanged small gifts and played the white (or blue as Julia says) elephant game...But mostly...



We sat around and...
cooed and stared at Hazel Claire. And you can see why.




We laughed at Palmer's antics a little too.
Gramma gave really good and kid-friendly white elephant gifts!



At home we had our annual gingerbread making contest.



Some of the kids ate more than they built.

The goal-oriented eldest child built.

Christmas morning brought lots of smiles.
I'm not quite sure how we manage but each year Andrew and I put together a pretty sweet lay out displaying the kids' toys and gifts. It's so much fun for all of us!
Some other things we enjoyed were our annual trip to the movies as a family (I hope Palmer can pay attention next year...), our yearly shopping outing to the dollar store where out kids shop for gifts for the whole family...
Let me just say the dollar store trip is one of my favorites. I love to listen to each child work themselves through the gift picking process. Julia is going to spend it if it equals a dollar. She might buy everyone else four gifts each but she will definitely spend all of her money and try to talk everyone else into spending theirs. Alyssa took only five dollars. It took her three trips to the store to spend five dollars. This is where Julia spent all of her money. Three trips is a lot and she has to spend at least one dollar each time. Alyssa finally settled on a Chicago Bears calendar from 2001 for Andrew. Seriously, three trips. The "perfect" gifts they buy are so funny. I like this tradition a lot.
I also like our Christmas dinner tradition. We cook a prime rib, Greek potatoes, green beans and homemade rolls each year. Yummy! The kids ate and ate and ate and asked why we don't eat this all the time! That made me feel really warm and proud and good and well, like a mom. It was a pleasure to see them eating, licking their lips and asking for more! I can post recipes later if anyone is interested. And, Albertson's always puts prime rib on sale for $5.99 a pound the week before Christmas for people who like good food at good prices.
And, of course singing Happy Birthday to Jesus is one of our favorites. Through all the hype we pray our family will never forget to focus on Jesus, the One whose birth we celebrate.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Honesty

If I were being totally honest I'd have to tell you that part of the trouble I'm having with keeping up with my blog right now (I'm officially a month behind on m posts...Christmas Day and New Year's Eve pictures are still forthcoming.) has to do with Lost. We started watching it on DVD over the break, are on season two and I'm addicted.



We watched 24 on DVD right after we brought Palmer home from the hospital after he was born. Watching seasons of TV shows like this is awesome. You don't have to wait a week to see what happens. There are no commercials to watch or Tivo through at all. We would watch like four 24's a day since Palmer didn't sleep anyway. Awesome.



Now we're addicted to Lost. Palmer's not sleeping so well again...What a crazy familiar routine! Lost.



It gets the adrenaline pumping. Love it! I love watching this show and trying to figure out who I would be the most like. Would I be like Kate, the brave, fearless one? or Jack the doctor, helpful, leader one? or Sun, the gardener, nurse one? or Claire, the mommy? You guess.



I can't wait for Andrew to get home and homework and dinner to be over. I can't wait to jump on the couch and watch an uninterrupted episode or two of Lost, my new best friend and new favorite show.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

For Your Enjoyment (and mine)

Here are my kids looking cute as postcard running straight for Lake Conroe. I love pictures that show children walking from behind. I love how their chubby legs, jubilant bounce and zest for life can be shown from their stride and without their cute little faces.
I also love this because Grampa is everybody's favorite person. Period. Andrew's dad is such a great grandfather. Alyssa even says how he's number one on her list of favorite people. He ranks right up there with her favorite dogs and that's a compliment!
Aren't our men handsome?
And our ladies silly?
At least Goo Goo thinks so. Here is Andrew's grandmother with all her great-grandkids. Everyone was kind of tired of posing for pictures at this point. I like how all the fussing made Googs chuckle. Priceless.
And all the Smiths from the matriarch Hazel Anderson to baby Hazel Claire Smith we are all here including Chloe the beloved family cousin/dog to my children. (We're missing Moxie Holiday, Wolf and Foxy. Alyssa was worried about that. The kids want everyone to know that even though they're not in the picture, they are no less members of the Smith clan.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Palmer Jett and Growing Up

This is our baby! Not so much a baby anymore.


Christmas was so much fun with his squeals of delight, careful investigation of each present and boyful delight at ripping up pretty wrappings.


A highlight was watching him taste every Christmas goody and say "Mmmmmmm!" The way to this boy's heart is truly his stomach.


He climbed and ran and laughed the whole season. My New Year's gift from my baby was him climbing out of his crib on New Year's morning with a big self-satisfied grin on his "I'm so proud of myself" face! Much to my chagrin we have yet to tie him down or hold him back.

As a matter of fact, when he demonstrated his newfound ability of saying new words related to sports like "basketball" to a friend of ours last night, she responded with, "That's pretty impressive. I didn't even know he could talk!"

When I returned home recently our babysitter told me she found Palmer in the refrigerator with an open egg carton dropping the eggs on the kitchen floor one by one. I mean, really. It's not that it's an original trouble-making stunt. It's that he only does junk like that when the other three children are pulling attention-getting stunts of their own. My children are not quiet, calm or sedate, ever. They even talk and walk in their sleep. Palmer fits the Smith mold completely.

Our quiet little man, our baby, is developing quickly and mastering new talents each day. Talents such as talking, climbing and throwing. Looks like it's gonna be a busy year, 2008.

My baby's all growed up!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Christmas Angel

Here is our animal angel on Christmas Sunday, yep, it was a month ago. We celebrated at Lake Conroe. We have some amazing pictures. So even though it may closer to Valentine's Day, I will indulge you with Christmas memories. Hey, we are all wearing red. I will post more later and that's a promise I intend to keep...Soon!

Alyssa loves animals. She was concerned about our family picture because our dogs weren't with us. This is her aunt's dog, Chloe. She loves Chloe like a human cousin. Chloe tolerates our Animal Angel like a pro.

I love this picture of Alyssa because even in a beautiful dress, she can find a dog to love!

She kept telling us how her beautiful, fluffy dress made her shy. (She is anything but shy.) When I asked her why she said, "Because I don't like to look at people when they tell me I look beautiful." She really doesn't like to be the center of attention, even if she looks beautiful. She would rather blend in or hide. She shares this with her dad. I don't quite understand it myself but I've learned to respect it in my angel. I think this is one reason she loves animals so much. They don't make such a big deal out of things!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Obligations




I'm feeling obligated to post something.

Once hobbies become obligations, they lose their fun-ness. And without fun, I have a really hard time. Of all things, hobbies should be fun.
It's not that I have nothing to say. I've got plenty. Trust me. I've written it all in my head...a million times. My fingers just don't feel like typing any of it out.


Oh, I have pictures to post. I'm even currently charging my camera's battery so that I can download 91 pictures of Christmas plus to my computer. That means 91 photos of uploaded entertainment to you.


I just don't feel like doing it right now.



Why?



Who knows.



Maybe it is because I am currently unmotivated.



Unmotivated to go to the gym, make my bed and spring clean my house. Unmotivated.



Usually my New Year's goals and resolutions bring on energy, excitement and purposeful duty for a few months.



Not this year.



I liked my break.



Staying up later watching movies.



Sleeping a little later.



Drinking a little more coffee.



Playing games and sharing more.



Just hanging out with my family.



A husband, four kids and two dogs.



It doesn't get much better than that.



Darn new year.



The great 2008 just had to come. School had to start. Life with a hectic schedule is back for awhile. ***Sigh***



So, please excuse me for a minute while I mourn the passing of a good break.



Time. Good times. They slip through our fingers like air. Days becoming the past just as quickly as they were the present. Experiences becoming memories before we're ready to quit experiencing them. ***Sigh***



We really enjoyed our Christmas vacation...chicken pox and all.