Wednesday, December 31, 2008

MIA

Yeah, we're kind of missing in action right now but for good reason. We are currently visiting the in-laws (Paul's family) who live 12 hours away. The ride went surprisingly well! Both Collin and Ronnie did great. We stopped midway to let the kids run around and have a picnic. There was no whining -- they stayed entertained w/ what we brough and the times we drove. It overlapped with nap time and bed time so they actually slept a lot of the car ride. YAY!

The kids have already gone fishing, boat riding (a paddle boat) and gone to a children's museum. The children's museum was our favorite so far. Collin loved a bunch of it... he even touched a snake and an alligator. Ronni's favorite thing were the grub worms. I have no idea why but she stood on the stool in front of the aquarium and just laughed and stared. lol! It was pretty cute.

Tonight, Paul's brother is returning from his 2-year mission for the church. Everyone left to go the airport dressed in jeans and camouflage (sp?) shirts. I am staying home w/ the three kids but it's almost 9:30pm here so all but Collin are asleep so it should be pretty easy. I thought I'd take this down time to log on and update everyone on what's happening. Don't worry... I have pics but they'll have to wait until we're back home.

Everyone have a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Whoo! What a day!

Our Christmas Day started at 5am when Collin woke up ready to open gifts. LOL! Of course I got up w/ him but did not allow him to open gifts until the rest of the family woke up. We made our Christmas tradition breakfast -- butterscotch pull apart bread. Collin had fun helping. Ronni finally woke up at 7am so I let them jump on dad to wake him up. At 7am we were opening presents and eating fatening pull apart bread... yum!



Santa brought them each a lollipop, a bath scrubber thing (lion for Collin and duck for Ronni), animal shaped soaps, peppermint sticks (3), books, orange, and a truck for Collin and a doll for Ronni. These were all their stocking stuffers. The big family gift from Santa was a DVD player for the car. Hopefully this will come in useful for our upcoming 12 hour drive to visit Paul's family. =D




Of course the kids also received gifts from mom and dad. They only receive three gifts from us for the 3 wise men and the gifts are categorized. Precious: they each received a homemade sock monkey. Practical: they each got two outfits and a pair of pjs. Fun: Collin got a drawing thing -- it's markers and the back lights up and makes it glow (below)... I dunno how to describe it. Ronni got a piano (above) .


Collin's favorite gift was the easiest and last minute. One of the books Santa brought was a little boy wanting a star and he had a paper spaceship. Collin decided he wanted one too so Paul used a wrapping paper roll, scotch tape and some paper and made this (below). Silly kid!




After Christmas at home we went to Mimi's house and met my sister and nieces as well. This is where the extreme spoiling took place. Collin got a racetrack, marble run, clothes... oh the list goes on. His Aunt Dee and family got him a toy yellow camero. =D Great grandparents Smith got him a police truck that has all the sounds -- it even plays the song "Bad Boys". hehe Great grandma Nunn got him a dart board (no sharp points -- don't worry ;).


Ronni lucked out over there too. She got blocks, a jungle thing that sings and has balls and all kinds of things (Collin likes this one too), clothes, and lots of other things as well. Aunt Dee and family got her a toy car w/ balls in it that pop around. Great Grandparents Smith got her a bunny that sings and talks to her. Great Grandma Nunn got her a tea set and some little foam books.




Here's Hanna Montana and a Princess... aka... my nieces!! hehe!




And Princess Ronni trying on one of her cousins wigs. hehe

I've had some requests for a pic of the sock monkeys so here they are! Don't look too closely... I'm not very crafty. =D


We had lots of yummy food and family w/ us so it was a great day. Just exhausting... =D









Thursday, December 25, 2008

Best Wishes

Taken from the Bits and Pieces website.

In our continuing effort to be non-offensive Bits & Pieces would like to make you this offering:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious, secular, persuasions and or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.
Also have a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make the United States great, (not to imply that the U.S. is necessarily greater than any other country), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual orientation of the wisher or wishee.
(Disclaimer: By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher who assumes no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.)

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! I'm copying and pasting the Christmas letter we sent out with Christmas cards... I'm just editing it for the internet. ;) Collin has me up at 5am wanting to see what's in his stocking and go visit his cousins so I'm cooking and trying to entertain him until the rest of the family wakes up. hehe


Dear Friends and Family,

It is that time of year again. I love Christmas! It’s Christ’s birthday and people always seem kinder now. I love Christmas music and the yummy treats that everyone always makes. It’s so much fun having the decorations up and wrapping presents.

We have had a few changes in our family this year. The biggest is we have a daughter now. Well, she was placed with us in July 2008 but her birthfather’s rights still aren’t terminated. If everything goes well then by February we will be able to start the finalization process. YAY!!

We’ll start talking about Ronni since she is our youngest. She just turned one in November. She is a total ‘daddy’s girl’ and she LOVES music. She likes to dance, sing, and play the piano. Anytime I’m playing the piano she has to be sitting next to me playing, too. She has beautiful long eyelashes that catch the attention of strangers in the grocery store. She has a very high pitched squeal and you’ll hear it if you have something she wants. She has an attitude that we are going to have to find a way to channel for good before she enters her teenage years. We love her and are so glad she is part of our family. We just can’t wait until it’s all legally on paper, too.

Now for Collin – total goofball! He turned three this December. I can’t believe the little man he’s becoming. He says he’s going to be an astronaut and fly to Jupiter. He wants all his friends to go with him too. He loves learning science right now. He asks questions and wants real answers. He can tell you about the molecules cooling off and making thunder or how radio waves go through your antennae and out your speakers. He sounds out words right now but he’s having trouble realizing that if he squishes the sounds together he gets a word. He’s a normal boy – loves trucks and blocks. He wants a race track for Christmas – I think he’s getting it from a grandma. ;) He is already picking up some of his parents’ sarcasm; he keeps us laughing. He even says his own jokes. When we laugh he tries to come up with more. It’s pretty funny.

Paul – he stays pretty busy. He is still in school full time, majoring in business management and working full time at the same place he's worked since high school -- just a different location ;). We’re getting close to the end though; only eleven classes left. In October our ward was split and Paul was called as executive secretary to the new bishopric. That, obviously, takes up more of his already limited time.

Me! I’m still working part-time as a vet tech. I get off at 10am so I’m still able to be with the kids most of the day. When the ward split I was called to the primary presidency. So far I have really enjoyed it but it has definitely challenged my fear of public speaking. I think it’s been good for me though.

This holiday season, as we go about our business fighting the traffic and the commercialization that Christmas has become let’s remember the words of a very wise man; Howard W Hunter.
"This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again."

Happy Holidays!
Love,
Paul, Linda, David, Collin, & Ronni Smith

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Music Game

Stole it from a fellow blogger... =D
Step 1: Put your iPod on shuffle.
Step 2: Post the first line from each song (20 songs).
Step 3: Let everyone guess what song and artist the lines come from.
Step 4: Star (*) the songs when someone guesses correctly.Step 5: Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is CHEATING!

1. Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
2. Heavenly Father, are you really there? (this one is super easy... you guys better get it. LOL! Yes, this is actually on my mp3 player. hehe!)
3. Maybe it's intuition; some things you just don't question.
4.I only speak the truth! I only speak the truth! I only speak the truth!
5. I've had my share of heart ache. I've felt the sting of pain.
6. There are stars in the southern sky.
7. Sun gone down, daylight saying goodbye.
8. Saying I love you is not the words I want to hear from you.
9. Never knew I could feel like this.
10. So this is love.
11. So no one told you life was gonna be this way.
12. Why drink the water from my hand contagious as you think I am?
13. If I could reach the stars I'd pull one down for you
14.When the rain is blowing in your face and the whole world is on your case.
15. I follow the night
16. Every time our eyes meet this feeling inside me...
17. Ok, you win. You caught me daydreaming again...
18. I was standing all alone against the world outside.
19. Wouldn't it be nice if we were older.
20.Can I talk to you a while?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas and sloppy joes

Tonight we had sloppy joes. Each kid has 1½. WOW!! I thought their faces were so cute that I had to post a pic.

We lit a fire in the fireplace today. Yes, it's real wood, not gas. They were so excited! Both kids sat there by the fire and watched the flames for a while. And in case you're wondering... yes, my son is naked in almost every picture b/c he hates clothing. I need to figure out a way to keep him in clothes but I haven't figured it out yet. lol!


Paul here, just posting a great throwback. Me and a friend at work were quoting this all night last night.

Monday, December 22, 2008

sleeping

Last night Collin laid between Paul's legs watching Backyardigans and this is what happened. We thought it was super sweet.
Last Sunday I came home from choir practice around 8pm and found Collin and Paul asleep on the couch. I took Collin to his room, checked my e-mail, did the dishes and some other small thing until Paul finally woke up and noticed I was home. LOL! =D





Sunday, December 21, 2008

Catch-up

Okay... I've gotten a little behind. My life has been crazy. We are on a budget so I'm making Christmas presents for a lot of the family and I've been trying to catch up on those. I only have 1½ sock monkeys left. I can't mention the other things I've been working on b/c the future recipients of those gifts read this blog ;).

Collin has seemed to have trouble w/ the whole "giving" thing. He's three years old so I guess that's to be expected but I didn't like it. I decided he should make stuff to give to people so he could experience "giving". I made some playdough and we made thumb prints and poked a hole through it so his cousins can use them as necklaces. I hung them on yarn and they're under the Christmas tree. He also made 'works of art' from the play dough for g-parents and painted them. He's so excited about them and keeps saying, "my friends are going to love them, Mom."

Today was the Sunday before Christmas so that means big stuff going on at church. I had sharing time which was fun but I was busy planning the past few days. I also made 45 cookies to pass out to the kids. Yikes. Not all of them went to the kids, some stayed here and we're saving some for Santa. I also sang in a duet for the Christmas program which caused me, being terrified of being in front of people, to have major butterflies all day. I sang for almost an hour today (not as a solo but w/ the choir). Sacrament meeting went a little long.

Today is also our sixth wedding anniversary. We have the traditional pizza rolls and sparkling grape juice ready. I know, we're weird. Our first anniversary we had no money so to celebrate we bought pizza rolls and sparkling grape juice so it has now become a tradition. We eat pizza rolls, drink sparkling grape juice and watch a movie.

oooh! Look at the time. I'm going to get kids to bed then pizza rolls and hubby, here I come! =D

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Organizing the food storage...

Ug! What a task... while Paul and Collin were building the "wall"... the blog below.... and Ronni was napping I decided to tackle the daunting task of organizing the food storage. I had no idea how much room we had for more. It's still not perfect but so much better than before.


This is the BEFORE picture... pretty bad, huh?
This is one of the after pictures. All that empty space to the right of the bookshelf now has these and they are labeled too. I'll figure out something better later but for now this is going to have to do.
This is a close up of my shelves after organization took place.


Here is a pic w/ full view of most of the closet. Hopefully we'll be able to get some shelves soon so we can put themin there. Look at all that extra space we have! So much better than that first pic... huh?






Our new wall!

Part of Paul and my Christmas gift was to be able to sleep in our own bed again. YAY!! We live in a two bedroom house and Ronni isn't allowed to share a room w/ Collin until the adoption is finalized so she has to share a room w/ us. The problem w/ this is that when she wakes up and sees us in there she wants to be held and it's very hard to get her to fall back asleep. Paul and I have been sleeping on the couch and love seat in the living room so she would sleep through the night. Our couches aren't that uncomfortable but after several weeks/months, they aren't exactly what I look forward at night. Honestly, I miss sleeping next to my hubby too. =( We decided that we needed a wall. Below are the pics taken of the divider Paul and Collin made today. We will paint it later; once it warms up. We want to do chalkboard paint on one side and footprints on the other. We wanted the kids to walk across it but we would have to do it outside and probably strip them down and we thought December wouldn't be the best month to do that in.



This is the view from behind the divider looking out towards our bed... this is how small our room has become ;)
This is behind the divider... Ronni's room!

This is what it looks like!


Here is Collin! =D




video This is a video of Collin helping dad make the wood, "smooth and soft" w/ the sander. hehe!

Happy Birthday Collin!

Today he turned THREE!! Oh my goodness --- my children are getting too big.
For breakfast we had pancakes -- he LOVES pancakes and said that was what he wanted.
Later, he and dad worked on a project outside (I'll give more info on another post) while I organized the pantry/food storage area.
Then we went to Ruby Tuesday for dinner and Collin got a free ice cream sundae for his b-day. It was big enough that all four of us ate off of it.
Afterwards we went to an open house for friends visiting from UT.

Collin's b-day presents:
-kid's camera
-gears farm
-airplane
- Scooby Doo truck
-another gift is pending from Nana and Papa. He'll get it when we go there for Christmas ;)

Yay! Happy B-day Collin!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Potty Training


Well, it's day 2 of potty training. He still wears the diapers when he sleeps or when we go out (we left for about 30 minutes today and I had him wear a diaper). Other than that he's been wearing his big boy underwear and he's only had one accident. I have all the necessary supplies, kid, candy, underwear, potty, and pennies for the candy machine. Yeah, he's using one of those cheap little gumball machines from Wal-mart. I put m&ms in it too... he's not so good w/ gum yet; he swallows it. (yes, he needs a haircut -- I know) =D When he pees in the potty I give him a penny and whatever he gets is his reward. He loves it! The gumballs even go around and around on a little ramp and he loves that. I'm so proud of how well he's doing b/c the first time we tried this it didn't go so well. I waited a few months and this time it's going soooo much better! YAY! Maybe he'll get the hang of it this time. *crossing my fingers*

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Treats... mmmmm

What kinds of Christmas treats do you make? Here are some I made today. I only do the easy stuff b/c I normally have some rugrats attached to my legs while cooking. =D


Chocolate covered spoons. I use the leftover chocolate from the popcorn (below) for the spoons. The kids like them. They think they're suckers.
This is chocolate covered popcorn. One of my faves! This is white chocolate and semi-sweet---- YUMMY!

We also like dog chow which is just chex covered w/ melted peanut butter kisses and then powdered sugar. Another one we make is a mix of chex mix w/ karo syrup and stuff. It's very yummy too but I haven't made these yet. One thing at a time! =D
Share your recipes w/ me!! =) We like to eat around here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Specta-rama-jingle-icious-tinsel-ribbon-istmas

How do you "de-commercilize" Christmas?

This is what we try to do to take the "commercialism" out of Christmas.

We have an advent calendar book. Each night starting Dec 1 (we start tonight) it has an inspirational story -- normally about a child or family learning the meaning of Christmas -- a song, and a scripture. I love doing these! I made them as gifts for everyone two years ago.

Also for Christmas everyone in our immediate family only receives three gifts : something precious, something practical, and something fun. Santa does come but only brings one family gift and stocking stuffers.

We have a stocking for our son David who died five years ago. We fill it up w/ good deeds we do throughout the month of Dec (we write them down and paper and slip them in the stocking). We're hoping as our family grows one day we'll be able to fill up the stocking before Christmas. =D

Christmas Eve we read the Christmas story while throwing in songs periodically to keep the kids entertained.

We have a $5 gift limit for extended family so we have to get creative and put real thought into the gifts.

There is a song my sister and I used to sing when we were little:
Specta-rama-jingle-icious-tinsel-ribbon-istmas
It is about the commercialization that has happened to Christmas. Great song but I can't find it anywhere! If anyone knows where to find it let me know. I can only remember 1 verse and the chorus.
Specta-rama-jingle-icious-tinsel-ribbon-istmas
Things we do this time of year to take the place of Christmas
It's a fact the birthday of the King has somehow missed us.
Specta-rama-jingle-icious-tinsel-ribbon-istmas

We shop for cards and trees and such in snow and sleet and ice.
When Santa says be good we try to take his sound advice.
There's traffic at the shopping malls that no one can believe
and packages that must be wrapped in time for Christmas Eve.

Anytime I go shopping and see all the traffic this song pops in my head.

This Christmas let's all remember the words of Howard W Hunter in Christmas '02 Ensign:
"This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an emeny. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas is here!!!

Collin and I decorated for Christmas during Ronni's nap. She looked so excited when she came into the living room afterwards and found a Christmas tree w/ the lights. Woo-hoo! What excitement!

Here is Ronni examining a snowman a little more closely.
These are our stockings. I had to buy Ronni's today so hers doesn't have a gingerbread girl on it but from L to R they are Dad, Mom, David, and Collin's. We'll have to get the gingerbread girl from my MIL to sew on for Ronni's. =D

Here are all the stockings lined up from L to R they are: Dad, Mom, David, Collin, Ronni, the cats (they share one), and Arwen (the dog). Ralf (the fish) doesn't get one. ;)


Here's our living room... ignore the toys and bean bag... lol!




Kenzie's B-day

This weekend while my sis's family was in town we celebrated her second daughter's third b-day!! Woohoo!




Here she is w/ her older sister guiding her in the proper ways of blowing out a candle.
Here she is blowing out the candles!!

Doesn't the b-day girl just look so proud??


Here's the three older kids -- yes, mine's the naked one. Goofy streaker boy! He likes running around in his diaper all the time.



Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving/Turkey Trot

Well folks! I did it!! I ran in the Cyber Turkey Trot. That basically means I ran the 5K and then posted it on a site w/ other moms doing the same thing. The closest Turkey Trot to us was 3 hours away and I had to be at work at 1 and just didn't want to. Since I'm a newbie anyways it just wasn't worth it. This was much less pressure and still provided the motivation I needed.

Anyways.... my time was 33:33 which wasn't great but not too bad either. My pace was about 11:11... still not great. My goal is 10:00. The first mile I ran in 9:42 but I started slowing down from there.

After I ran I hung out w/ the family for a little while before going to work. Work was rough -- we had a really sick dog there and we ended up having to euthanize him.

After work we ate at my mom's w/ my sis and her family too. I definitely ate too much! How was everyone else's Thanksgiving??

We learned that Ronni LOVES sweet potato casserole and Collin really only eats mac and cheese and rolls. Silly kid!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twi-hard Goes Crazy!!

Yeah, so I'm referring to myself. =) I got this e-mail a little while ago. They're going to film New Moon!! YAY!! Yes, I'm such a dork that I am on the mailing list for Twilight The Movie. haha!



Birthday presents

She loves her new phone. Oh! Just so you know... her hair isn't really that big.. that's the shadow on the fridge behind her. =D


Part of her b-day loot


Ronni got:




2 dolls

Tad (the frog -- he sings, dances, lights up, and all kinds of stuff)

clipos (the lego things but they're for younger kids)

a thing that plays music, lights up and the gears spin in circles (not pictured)

of course her favorite of all --- a phone... LOL!

She also got several outfits. All in all -- I think Ronni scored very well. =D

Friday, November 21, 2008

TWILIGHT -- the movie *spoilers*

There may be possible spoilers in this so if you haven't seen the movie and are planning to you may not want to continue. I'm going to try not to give too much away though ;)


Overall... I thought they did a really great job. It was done as a low budget film and you can tell. When I read the books I saw Bella and Edward as happier people then they are portrayed in the movie. Also.... they left out some of my favorite scenes... the blood typing scene in the biology room and the scene after they meet James and Bella is formulating their plan of escape and Emmit decides he really likes her b/c she's "diabolical". LOL! That's just a few. They shortened her hiding out time w/ Alice and Jasper by... a lot. You didn't get to know them as well as you do in the book --- in fact, you don't get to know a lot of them. It does show Edward playing Bella's Lullaby but if you didn't read the books and don't know that's what he's doing then you'd never know. They never say "I love you." The day that Bella is asked out by three different guys is barely touched on and really only is asked by Mike... Eric starts too but is interupted and Tyler never even tries so of course Edward doesn't get to act all sneaky and stop him. hehe

Stephenie Meyers plays an "extra" in a cafe scene. Oh! that's something else. Bella doesn't cook for Charlie in the movie, they eat at a diner all the time. The guy who plays Charlie is awesome -- I loved him. Alice is JUST like a pictured her. Just like a pixie! There are several direct quotes in the movie but they did have to combine a lot and the movie felt rushed (similar to how a lot of the Harry Potter movies went). As I said earlier.... I totally think it was worth seeing and I recommend it to any Twi-hards out there. They have to make 2 million dollars in order for Summit to approve making New Moon so go see it and if you have the money then go see it again!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

First B-day cakes!

Yes, she has gifts... We are waiting until tomorrow to open them when Paul will be home so expect more pics tomorrow! ;) This should be enough to get you started though. =D

I thought I'd throw this in since we didn't have a blog for Collin's first b-day... this is his. =D
Here's Ronni stuffing her face... notice her nose... yeap... it's blocked w/ sugary goodness. =D hehe! Don't worry -- she sneezed it out later.

No... don't touch the camera w/ that sticky hand!! Aaaaaahhhh! In case you're wondering... yeap, she at the whole thing and another piece about half that size. She's quite the little eater. hehe!



This is another thing we did for her b-day. I haven't let her have any popsicles for a little while b/c it's been so cold. When she eats them her little chin quivers b/c she's cold. Since it's her b-day I thought I'd give in but I made her wear her coat. I only gave her half of one -- normally she can eat an entire one all by herself. Isn't she so cute. I handed it to her in that spot and she didn't move until she was done. She was concentrating too hard. hehe!



What is that face??!!! LOL!!



Birthday Cake!!


So... today Ronni is 1 YEAR OLD!!! Woo-hoo!! I wanted to make her a cake and I knew Collin would want to help somehow. I decided we would make a large cookie and cover it w/ cool-whip and M&Ms. I baked the cookie and let it cool. Collin then spread the cool-whip and put the M&Ms on it all by himself... I mean all by himself. I stood there and watched, determined not to intervene. It was messy but he had fun and he's so proud of it. He keeps saying, "Ronni will love her birthday cake, Mom." He keeps checking on it to make sure it's okay. She's sleeping right now ;). More pictures later once gifts are opened... yay!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

BBQ Wings... mmmm mmmm


Isn't this just the face of someone you want a big kiss from?? hehe!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Autumn play

Collin was having fun collecting berries from a holley bush -- they were all squished in his pockets... hehe!