22 August 2008


Come and meet the new member of our family...


At first I wasn't sure if ole' Sarge would work out with us. Considering his catastrophic behavior and attitude upon his arrival to Maine. But once he got here and learned that he loved the great Maine woods he started to fit right into our family. We took Sarge up to the dirt roads above Greenville and did a lot of driving around searching for good hiking spots, campsites, and moose.  Needless to say, he loved every minute of it.  Not only were we able to find one of each: the trailhead to Big Spencer; a remote campsite on Blood pond that boasts 30 moose sightings in one week; and one big lady moose whom we named Big Mama, but we also were able to traverse some roads that only certain vehicles could have survived on (sorry minivan lovers, the North Maine Woods are not for you).  

The boys and Sarge's first official moose sighting. Tyler and Simon have seen moose before.

Despite our initial setbacks in relationship this new guy on the block has redeemed himself by falling in love with the things that we love. He totes our canoe, boys, dog, and puts up with our bumpy road driving (as Eli calls it). All of this, and he didn't even get a flat tire* while we were up there. 

Welcome to the family Sarge my boy!

* our previous 4 runner and explorer both got flat tires on the goldren road. They are some funny stories now that we are past them.

19 August 2008

Camping: the Beginning and End

Camping, canoeing, hiking, and fishing. These are all activities that both Tyler and I enjoy. Spending any large amount of time doing any one of these with children, however, is not that enjoyable. This past weekend we ventured up to Lily Bay State Park to camp with my family in celebration of my father's birthday.  Overall the trip was better than I expected in some ways and worse in others. Let me shed some light on the subject...

The presence of my family in a campground as a group was actually not as bad as I thought that it would be. We weren't that loud, and we managed to get along quite nicely. So what was the bad part of the camping trip you may ask? Well, of the four activities listed above I was only able to do the camping part for any real time. 

On Saturday Tyler and I had planned on taking our boys off-roading, and hiking up Big Spencer Mountain. Now I don't know if you have ever hiked Big Spencer, but it is a wonderful hike with a most glorious view of Lobster Lake.  Due to us getting a little bit lost on the back roads, which is fun, we weren't able to make it to the trailhead in time for a hike, which is not fun.  Not only that, but this pregnancy has been very hard on my physically and I could not have made it up that mountain, I know now that our not finding the trail earlier was God's grace. I can now blame the absent hike on the tardiness of our arrival instead of on my painful hips, legs and back. 

As far as canoeing and fishing go we were able to do a little of both on Saturday.  During lunch we stopped at Ragged Lake to eat and fish. All in all I was able to spend about 15 minutes casting into the lake from the shore and getting my line stuck in the little sticks. When we arrived back at the campground we decided to take the canoe out onto Moosehead lake.  I have never actually been on Moosehead in a boat, which is surprising considering that I have been to Greenville and surrounding areas numerous times.  After getting the three boys into the canoe and out onto the lake Andrew was happy long enough for us to go out into the bay, circle an island (if you can call it that), and return. I think that we were actually on the water for about 30 minutes. 

So all in all, I spent 48 hours camping (i.e. no showers, no bed, no privacy), 30 minutes canoeing, 15 minutes fishing, and no time hiking.  It could have been better, but it could have been a lot worse.  The boys seemed to enjoy the different experiences and I think that we got Eli hooked on driving on bumpy roads looking for moose!

Our one and only moose spotting this year: Big Mama! ( I don't know if she was a mama, but she was huge) This picture was taken with a 300 mm lens and I also zoomed in on her in iphoto, so we were a long ways off.

I declare this post my public declaration of the beginning and the end of: camping with a child who doesn't yet walk, camping in a campground when better options exist, and camping while in physical pain. Other than that, bring it on baby!

12 August 2008

A Job Well Done!

Finally, one more project that has been laying around the Smith house is finished. I am not talking about Andrew, but rather about the desk that Tyler and I started building in January. Last night the last coat of polyurethane was completely set and the desk was moved into the study. I have long awaited this moment when the old dining room table would step up from being a makeshift desk and back into being a beautiful table. 

Isn't it beautiful? We figured that if I had to buy the materials to build another one it would cost me just under 100 bucks, and I could probably sell it for 300.   In case you are curious the actual desk is built of pine, but the top is birch. That is why the top is slightly lighter in color than the rest of the desk. I myself like the contrast, and the birch top is a better choice for a desktop than pine would have been. 

Now that this project is finished I am going to breath a sigh of relief and take a break from woodworking. If I can control my desire to work in the shop that is. 

*don't miss the fact that the bookshelf in the back is Alison's built by the lady herself and yours truly.

08 August 2008

Oceanic Adventure

We have a car! Yay! It runs and gets us places that we need to go and best of all... It is green! (Tyler likes green). Can you believe that Ty almost lost walk away power just because the car is green? That's okay though, everything worked out in the end. 

Because of our great car that we now have we were able to do something fun.  After more than a month of our summer adventures being contained in our own backyard: We went to the beach! Somewhere in these weeks of rain God decided to give us a break. So last Saturday on the beautiful cloudy day we ventured out to Morse Mountain and were able to not only get in a hike, but also a beach trip without any rain and no chance of sunburns.

Needless to say, the boys had a great time.  We chose to ignore the mosquitos and the lack of eternal sunshine and enjoy the fact that we could do a day trip.  Tyler and the men spent their time on the beach running from the waves; even Andrew wanted to be brought into the surf for a good soak. 

In the middle of all this rain the Lord blessed us with a family adventure, and I am so thankful for days like this: Imperfect and wonderful all at the same time. 

Thank you Jesus!

04 August 2008

FPU Picnic

The little man can get ahead! I feel like the little engine that could.  Everyday whenever something happens that negatively impacts our finances I start to doubt our plans and our goals.  I keep telling myself that the little man can get ahead; with enough control, and a lot of faith in God I know that we will persevere. I have learned so much from our FPU class that I just wanted to share with you how incredibly blessed we are by God. He has given us everything that we hold dear, and he will help us to manage it all well. We are learning to be good stewards and it is quite the adventure. 

Please feel free to join us.  To celebrate the conclusion of our first FPU class held at EWBC we had a BBQ at the Cates' home. We all had a most wonderful time; here are some of the pictures of us and our fellow classmates celebrating our financial peace!

To say that the Cates' horses were a huge crowd pleaser would be an understatement. Everyone of the ladies and some gents too wanted to be around these gentle giants.

You couldn't have gotten Betsy off of a horse if you wanted to; I think she partially regretted riding so long the next day and the next and the next...

While some ladies and children enjoyed the horses, the men stayed busy by playing some good old fashioned volleyball.

John and Steve did more than just smile at this picnic, but alas I don't have any pictures to prove it.

Don't they look happy?!

You too could be a part of all of this fun; join us for the next FPU class and we will end with a big celebration much like this one. Although, I am not too sure how you would feel about playing volleyball in November.  But hey we can always have a hunting party or something.

01 August 2008

The Lord is Good to All

So many people quote Romans when they are in despair. You know the verse that I am talking about: "For the Lord causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him". 

I often wonder, though, if they leave off that last part in their mind.  I have heard non-christians bring that verse up when they are going through tough times. They look at me and ask: what kind of good can come of this? Well, I wonder what makes them think that God will cause everything that hits them to work towards their good if they aren't willing to love Him and serve Him with their lives. I am a blunt person, and I have been reminded that I would make a horrible President because I am too straightforward; to be frank, I don't care what you think. Truth is truth, there is only one.

Of course, that verse applies to the people that love God and it would be painful to confront that fact to a non-christian during a crisis.  Even I would shy from doing that, but there is nothing wrong with talking to them about it when doing so wouldn't result in a severed relationship.  This is a great verse, nonetheless, because it does apply to those that love God. So now whenever I am struggling I am reminded of that which brings a comfort and a thought: Do I truly and honestly love God?  
Do You?

My prayer is that someday not only will I, but my children, family and friends will also be able to answer with a resounding YES!