22 December 2010

The Tale of the Snowman

Once upon a time there was a snowman.  The world was dark, little snow on the ground, but there was hope as long as the snowman stood.

Then the rain came, and the earth warmed and the rain drizzled the snowman until he was no more.  In that day there was wailing.  It was a sackcloth and ashes season.

Do not despair in the night for there is joy in the morning!  For the world became white as snow, and behold he was alive!  He had come back from the depths of the earth to bring hope to all.

He lives so that others also may have life and have it abundantly!

Does it not amaze you how a simple true story of a snowman at the beginning of Winter can focus us all on the birth, sacrifice, and hope of Christ?

14 December 2010

Smith Basement Makeover!

After 2 months, we have finally completed the basement renovations.  When I say completed, I really mean the two rooms are ready to be lived in!  Aside from the few odd and ends to completely finish this project we now have a completely new basement.  The "dungeon" now contains a large "neutral zone" (game room), and 2 small dorm like bedrooms that the boys each share.  Even though Caleb is but 2 I love the way that this situation looks like a College dorm, though it is cleaner!

The "little" boys: Andrew & Caleb have a soft floor, bunk bed, and 2 very bright windows.  This room gets the most light in the morning.  It is probably the best basement bedroom I have ever seen.

The big boys only have 1 window, but it faces South and brings in some of the greatest afternoon light.  They love having a spot where they can save their toys from the others. 

Eli & Si also get the area under the stairs.  The ingenuity of Tyler was great as he constructed a door that connects the big and small boys' rooms from under the stairs.  For a while, the boys made every visitor go through the tunnel!

11 December 2010

Happy Birthday Josiah James!

He may be short, but rest assured Josiah is 5 years old in every way.  He is learning to read, adding, and working more and more everyday.  It certainly makes us feel old to see that our little "turtle head" Josiah is a whole hand!

He received his new orange vest just in time for hunting season.

01 December 2010

Christmas Card Creating: Long, stressful, and generally unproductive

But hey, At least we get some great shots of the boys, right??

I know, I know, this doesn't sound like me.  I love taking pictures, especially of the boys.  I also happen to think that I do a fairly good job at it.  Unfortunately, I have found that attempting to get 4 young boys to stay still, pay attention, and smile while operating the manual controls on a camera can be nothing short of frustrating. 

 Fortunately, I have a great husband who helped me with the second photo shoot, but by my standards it wasn't much better. The sun was so bright and genius Lori was wearing her tinted glasses so it was impossible to fully see the camera's settings.  To make a long story short, I tried my hardest to adjust the camera multiple times to guarantee getting at least one that was 1 stop overexposed while attempting to get the boys to look good.  Looking back, I see there was probably a 1 in 20 chance that all of these factors would prove successful and I should be happy that we were able to capture what we did. 

Oh well, maybe next year I will be able to find someone to help me get a whole family picture who will do more than just click the button.  If you are curious as to which one I spent 2 hours with putting on a Christmas card then you are just going to have to wait until your card arrives in the good ole' snail mail. 

12 November 2010

2 Yr. Olds Have so much Fun!

Caleb loves the garage that Eli made for him.  Now he has a place to park his tractors!

Sometimes I think that I would like to be 2 again.  I watch Caleb play, run, laugh, and even cry, and I am envious of his freedom to have so much fun and express so much emotion over something.  Watching a person experience everything for the first time is one of the benefits of being a mom.  I love to see his excitement over something that he has never done.  If the boys are excited so is he.  

The Whoopie pies were a hit, as was the birthday hat.

We try to have some fun on birthdays around here.  Instead of one simple day we tend to draw out the celebration.   In a matter of one week Caleb had a small family gift time, the grandparents came over for cake and presents, and Tyler and I took him to Red Robin just the three of us.  He had no idea what to make of all of the ladies at Red Robin singing to him, and serving him ice cream.  

Grampa & Grammy bought him a rocking horse which has rocked its way right into the Neutral Zone.

Of all the things that his birthday might have been this year; I would say it was a year of Firsts for Caleb.  First embarrassing moment in a restaurant; first time actually blowing out candles, first year to have 4 different birthday celebrations, first year he turned 2...  

02 November 2010

Autumn Breezes

I love Autumn.  Obviously, if you have been reading my blog, you know that.  Tyler and I were hoping to steal a day away to go for a foliage drive.  We both love driving, orange leaves, mountains, and fall walks; so a day together foliage hunting is always a real treat.  Unfortunately, our own stubbornness with home projects prevented us from this journey.  We did, however, manage to get in a wonderful hike up Monument hill with the men to see the beautiful color laden hills in Leeds and Turner.

Eli climbs everything he can find these days.  He is quite the monkey!

Eli took this great photo of us.  He took a couple of great artistic ones, but this is my favorite.

My men all made it to the top!  

Caleb walked up, but needed to ride down.  His legs are just a little too short.

26 October 2010

What us Ladies find on our Decks

I am continually finding all these manly items on my deck in the most unorganized way.  Sticks, rocks, gloves, rubber boots, tools, you name it, I have found it, tripped on it, cursed it, and put it away.  You can imagine how comical this can get when you climb the stairs to head inside only to find that the rapture has occurred. 

Now if I could only find the culprits who keep leaving their stuff on my deck.  You'd think it wouldn't be hard since at least one of them is walking around naked!

24 September 2010

Family: Big or Small we are still Family!

Dialogue from this morning as Tyler was leaving for work:

Lori: "Give Eli and Siah an extra hug, they are going to gram's and won't be here tonight to see you."
Tyler: "It is good I don't have to go to the dump tomorrow, I would have to go alone."
Lori: "You would have Andrew and Caleb;  The average family has 2 kids.  For those men that is all they have."

I found this quick exchange to be quite interesting on many levels.  It is not because Tyler doesn't think of the little guys, because he does.  It is just that he equates having just two of his boys as not really having a full team.  We obviously have a different perspective on family size than the typical American.  Definitely something to ponder on a rainy Friday...

I have always viewed family size through different eyes I suppose.  As a child I was one of four, sometimes three.  It always seemed as though we were average size, even a little small for a family. Completely contrary to the supposed National average of 2.3 or something like that.  

I have complete strangers come up to me in the store and express that I have a lot of boys, and wonder if I am done.  I am sorry to all of you nosy people, but I don't see 4 boys as a large family.  In my mind we are barely average size.  If anyone asked me I would say that 1-3 children was a small family; 4-7 children was average size, and 8+ constituted a large family.  With that said,  I do not see myself ever being a mother of a large family.  

Size is relative of course;  and whether your family has 2, 6, or 13 what matters is who your family serves.  Even a "family" of 1 who serves Christ is important, maybe even more so than the family that doesn't serve Him.  

17 September 2010


150 posts is a lot of blogging, at least form my perspective.  A pictorial nod to the past 4 years is definitely in order...

The story continues...