30 January 2008

The Process of Putting One's Coat On:

Josiah is now 2 years old and putting his coat on to go out of the house is exhausting if nothing else. Here is a picture journal of what this process looks like on a typical Sunday morning when we are rushing to get to church on time. Well, everyone except Ali who finds time to take pictures.

First things first: Get your hat on boy!

This is Maine so we need a nice, warm, bulky coat.

If he would stay still we could make it to church on time.

One arm done, now the other.

Finally! Now I have to get Andrew done, thankfully he's easier, and Ali, she's not.

Don't forget to wear your coat everyone and be thankful you don't have to get Josiah ready to go outside.

28 January 2008

Alison's Pre-Birthday Game Night

On Saturday we had a game night for Alison. It was a well-planned evening filled with fun and adventure. Okay, it wasn't that well planned, but it was neat how people kept showing up at different times and leaving; almost like I planned it that way.

Other than eating lots of pumpkin pie, visiting, laughing, and playing great games not much really happened. Although, I don't think any of us will forget the card in Balderdash that read "New Alligator Leg Girls". I suppose that would make it an unforgettable evening.

Apparantly the whipped cream was more delicious than the actual pie.

Needless to say it was a fun time.

Except for when Tyler tried sticking a pencil in my ear. He is a strange one.

Happy Birthday Alison!

25 January 2008

Give Her the Product of Her Hands

Josiah helping me with the frame of the new desk. It is almost done now, I just need a top, and I need to sand and poly it.

On Wednesday of this week I was at "the chicks'" house. This is not a house full of little yellow puffy chickens, although they are cuddly and loveable, but rather they are a wonderful family with the name of Chick. Anyway, I was there with my fun and rather odd friend Alison. I don't know if you have met Ali, but she is the kind of woman who played with GI Joes, and Tonka trucks as a girl, but still embroiders, knits, cooks, sews, and etc. She is one of those weird type of anomalies, but when you think of it we all are. I have met women who engage in all of those feminine hobbies, but would never wear a dress or be considered a delicate feminine lady.

Then there are women like me, I hardly like calling myself a woman even, which tells you something about myself. I would rather think of myself as a lady or a little girl. Anyway, I listen to these incredible ladies discuss sewing and I don't know whether I should feel guilty for not being interested or if I should be pleased that I am not stuck sewing clothes for my children. They enjoy it, it is one of their hobbies, but I cannot seem to get myself to enjoy these feminine past-times. I don't understand how they can read a book on how to make a particular knot and then duplicate it in their work, how do they even understand those books?

I like to do what most would call "man's work" I sometimes get sad over the fact that my husband always fixes the car and I don't get a chance to rotate the tires, or replace the spark plugs. Please don't get me wrong, I love the fact that he does these things, but sometimes I want to do them. I have boys, it makes sense, as when they get older I will be outside with them blazing trails. I could never teach a girl how to sew, or knit, I don't even know how to do that. In fact, I am not even that fond of cooking. I like to work with wood to build things, I love yard work, and my job growing up was dump runs. But in spite of all of this, my friend, John, called me a romantic. He is right of course, I may like to do these manly things, but I love a good love story, or a good song. I am a sucker for a chick flick and Jane Austen.

I know so many women who aspire to do great things. It may not seem great at the time, but all of those countless hours spent working on something that blesses the family is worth it. It is still cheaper to make your own clothing, food, or furniture, and that pleases me. On Wednesday, I saw some ladies take an interest in something that I do not understand, embroidery (I think), and I thought, "that is such a noble feminine hobby," and you know what? They are working with their hands!

Now where have I read that before? Oh yes, the very popular chapter in Proverbs... 31. You know this chapter it tells of a worthy woman. I don't know a single woman who reads this chapter and thinks "Oh yeah! I am doing it all, I have got this Proverbs 31 woman thing in the bag!"

Have you seen this woman? She works with her hands, and you know what is great? She doesn't just sew or cook or embroider. She buys land, works out, does yard work, feeds the hungry, makes her own clothes. Okay so the words "she works with wood" or "she works on cars" is not in there. But who cares? "She works with her hands in delight". I work with my hands, it may be "man's work", but it is work and it is with my hands, and it saves my family money. I am not even going to mention (or maybe I am) that when I work with my hands, my boys help, and I would rather be teaching them "man's work" than how to embroider pillows.

I am not yet a well-accomplished woman, but hey if that means I need to spend hours at a machine, or cross-stitching (which I did as a kid), then I would rather not be "well-accomplished". What do you do with your hands? Is it something that will praise you in the gates?

Elijah making a coat rack for the closet

24 January 2008

Supporting the Pro-life Position

"The Pro-Life position is true" – Scott Klusendorf

Focus on the Family had an absolutely wonderful program today, and it continues tomorrow. Scott Klusendorf is speaking on abortion, truth, and morals. If you want to learn how to argue then you should listen to him, it is absolutely incredible to me that he can speak on a topic like abortion and defend the life of the fetus without bringing the bible into the conversation. Why is that good? Because most of the pro-choice (pro-death: hey if you are going to do opposite sides use opposite words) people that we talk to about abortion do not accept the bible as the absolute truth. Anyway, he uses an acronym to help us remember what to talk about when we meet someone who supports abortion. Whether you "know" that abortion is right or wrong; please keep reading. All are welcome to read here, and hey feel free to leave me a mean comment if you want to. (It doesn't really matter, I only have two readers anyway.)

SLED: size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency.
1 Peter 3:15 tells us to give an answer for the hope that lies within us: we need to know how to argue intellectualy with someone.
Below is a synopsis of what the acronym sled means, and how to discuss it with someone (this is taken from the family.org website). If you would like to see more please visit family.org and get the free podcast for today and tomorrow and listen to Scott yourself.

Here's how to use the SLED test

* The unborn is smaller than the toddler, but toddlers are smaller than adults.
* The unborn is less developed than the toddler, but toddlers are less developed than elementary school kids.
* The unborn is in a different location than the toddler, but toddlers can change environments without changing their value.
* Finally, the unborn is more dependent than a toddler, but toddlers are more dependent than adolescents (even if some parents would deny this). And many other born people depend on medications, caregivers, and spacesuits to sustain their lives. They are more dependent than those who don't need these things.

So, there are only four ways the unborn differ from toddlers, but many toddlers and other born humans differ in exactly the same ways. So how can we justify killing the unborn on these grounds, when we protect born humans who have the same deficiencies?

I hope that this information has given you a reason to research more about the immorality of abortion. No respectable person could say that abortion is morally right when they analyze it through the eyes of even their own morals, or better yet, through the eyes of an unborn child.

20 January 2008

The Joys of Being a Homeowner

The Chiquita Banana Baby!

Like many homeowners our Saturday was filled with projects around the house. Considering that we built our house ourselves we don't mind these types of projects. Although, part of me wishes that the house had waited to be finished before projects emerged. Anyway, sometime last summer the bathtub started to leak. Being the conservative minded people that we are; we got to it straight away, that is, within a year. It is now winter, which I am convinced was created by God to keep the husbands inside the home long enough to fix things like leaky faucets, and as a result Tyler and Elijah (who is now old enough to help) fixed the bathtub. I am very thankful to not be hearing that constant drip drip drip... of the tub whenever I walk into the bathroom (although it did help one to pee).

On a side note we currently have two projects in the woodworking shop going. Tyler and I set out last weekend to build a chest that would hold the geotrax and double as an end table. Yesterday, I was able to get the sides installed on the box, and Tyler will be working on the top tomorrow. The second project is a desk that I designed when we first moved into the house. I now have part of the frame built and should have the whole frame done soon. I am currently looking for ideas on what to do for the desktop, so speak up and let me know what you think. Below is a picture of the desk so far.

Everyone does their part in the Smith house, below Josiah takes a break from his pursuit of art to pray for the tub situation, among other things.

16 January 2008

A Boy's Talent

The picture is deceiving: Andrew cannot crawl yet, but...
He does have three teeth! It is very exciting to have a baby with teeth. Josiah didn't have teeth until this last Spring; he was almost a year and a half old. What is more exciting than Andrew having teeth is that they are now big enough for me to get a picture of them. So here he is smiling (as always) with his late Christmas gift: two front teeth.

On another note... Josiah is an aspiring drummist. Unlike most 2 year olds who aspire to be a drummer; Josiah actually gets in practice time. Tyler has started teaching him how to control his hands when using the drumsticks, and he can almost count off (Elijah taps the sticks together 4 times when he starts, too cute.). So to all of you other 2 year old drummers out there: Get a move on and start practicing or Josiah will be the leader of your generation's drum pack. (Is there such a thing as a drum pack? I hope not).

15 January 2008

Not Clear: Logical

Elijah using a compass; if you don't know what that is: look it up.

There exists a logical side to us all. Now, I know that some people hate math, while others may wonder how Math is related to logic. Math in itself is logical, and as so factual, and completely built off of the laws of this world. God created this world, I have no doubt of that fact. Not five minutes ago I had a visit from two of the "elders" from the Church of Latter Day Saints, in other words, Mormons. I know that this day in age we are all so politically correct, and we don't want to judge people, and we don't want to give offense. Let me tell you that I would rather be concerned with offending God than offending a person, not to mention they aren't a violent group of people so it is ussually safe. I am sorry, that was a bad joke.

I have a hard time to relate these kids who come a-calling (do they have anyone in their congregation over the age of 30?). They state that their hearts tell them that the book of Mormon is true, but I know from fact that it isn't. Face it, I am a logical, mathematical person, if it doesn't make sense: it isn't real. I am also one of those ladies blessed with a tongue that speaks my mind, not ussually a good thing, and I apologize in advance to all of you that are already put out. The fact is that the Bible makes more sense than anything else in this life, it is consistent with itself, and no matter how many times people try to disprove it, they always end of failing and in the end defending that which they started out to disprove.

The struggle that I have is that I don't know what to say to these young men that would make them rethink their religion and turn to Jesus. I told them today that "I am a logical person, and I don't trust my heart to tell me anything factual, my heart tells me emotions, which are not always true." All they can tell me is that they believe because they feel in their heart that the book of mormon is true. All I can think of when I hear that statement is the verse in Jeremiah that says, "The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?". Alas! I have no idea what to do with them. How do you convert a person who keeps repeating themself, because they weren't trained on how to convert a bible believing Christian woman who speaks her mind and is logical to boot.

It is rather interesting that they came today, because on Sunday Pastor Sam was talking about Jacob when God first spoke to him in Bethel and how he was terrified. Pastor Sam stated that their was not a single person in the bible who was confronted by God and not terrified. So I ask myself, Joseph Smith, a teenager with a criminal record, wasn't reported as being terrified, what does that mean? Logic again would conclude that he didn't really speak to God.

Needless to say, I scared those boys away, quite by accident I asure you. But I will pray for them; that their mind would again take control of their body. At the very least I must admonish them for their efforts to reach the lost people of this world, after all that is how the preachers converted the families during the Great Awakening: through the moms at home with their children. Now only if they had the right message...

Praying for the lost,

12 January 2008

Fun in a Bag...

There exists no doubt in my mind that children love the simple things in life. I am so thrilled to see my child discover something new, even if it is just a bag. I often wonder at how we look at our children in relationship to how God looks at His. Does He look at us discovering a snow clad hill just right for sledding; does he smile and think "Wait until you see what I have up here"? much the same way that we look at our children discover a hole in the ground and think, "wait until you see what's inside."Just remember that these simple things in life are part of what God created for us to discover and enjoy. Maybe just something to keep us busy and thinking about Him until we are taken up to see what He has for us to discover somewhere beyond. The next time you see a bag you may contemplate what the equivalent item is in heaven, but isn't that all part of being heavenly minded?
Until next time: find joy in the little things, and see God through his creation.

I go to think of heavenly things...

09 January 2008

Happy Birthday Tyler!

We celebrated Tyler's birthday last night with the Valles, John, and Alison. What a great time! David, Kim and the boys stopped by and brought Tyler some buffalo wings which I hear were very good (I didn't try one, I was putting the boys to bed). For Tyler's birthday he made himself dinner. I am not kidding, Tyler made some very delicious chicken marsala with fettuccini and steamed broccoli, and then for dessert he taught Elijah and Josiah how to make root beer floats. So when you see Ty; wish him a Happy (belated) Birthday!

Elijah steals Tyler's birthday hat and poses for a pic. We made Ty the hat from newspaper, and he wore it all night.

Tyler is a pro in the kitchen! Here he is cooking his own birthday dinner.

01 January 2008

Bienvenue 2008!

Happy New Year Everyone!

We had a get together last night, and it was great! For all of you that didn't come, I am sorry that you missed out on a great party. If you weren't invited, then I am sorry... blame Tyler. Anyway, after getting quite a few calls from people saying things like: "I don't want to drive with all the drunk people"; "I have a tupperware party"; or "I am washing my hair"; I thought we weren't going to have that many people. But lo and behold! We had quite a crew. We all played games, talked, ate dessert, and just had a good time. Then we watched one of the best movies ever... Meet the Robinsons. Seems appropriate for a future thinking party. I hope that everyone else had as good a time as I did. I actually won at Othello, but I won't tell you who I was playing. So here are some pics from our great party last night. I am sorry that you missed it. Maybe next time you will wash your hair earlier and come out to have fun all clean and smelling good.

This is us playing games, eating and having a good time.

This is my brother, Joshua, whom is super tall especially when he is next to Alison and Samantha.