30 November 2011


The turkey knocked out Matthias just as it does old men.

I realize that Thanksgiving has come and gone, but that is no reason for us to not continue to reflect on the Lord's blessings.  Especially as we journey closer to the celebration of the birth of His son.

Tyler and I started a new tradition on Thanksgiving this year.  Something that we hope to continue to do every year with our boys.  We started a thankfulness journal.  In this journal on Thanksgiving we write a list of events or memories that reflect that year and then we each state what we are thankful for.  I am excited that this journal is helping our boys to reflect on the Lord's blessings throughout the year instead of just in November, and also that as the years pass we can look in the journal to see how our family has grown.  

We went to Randy & Lisa's for Thanksgiving.  The sledding was great!

I thought that I would share this year's entry with you as I feel that it is simple and reflects how young the boys are.  I know that as they grow our entries in our journal will as well, both in thought and length.

24 November 2011
"Snow filled Thanksgiving"
2011 Recap

- winter skiing
- sold the ranch house - moved
- announcement of Matthias
- Easter on the lake
- Summer at Cochenewagon
- Tyler to Ghana
- House - building the colonial
- Popham beach
- visit to the van Achterbergs
- Sturbridge village
- birth of Matthias Brian
- move into house
- hiking Step falls

Doesn't Ansel look right at home here?

Tyler- " I am thankful for the birth of our fifth son, Matthias, whom fits so well into our wonderful family"

Eli - " I am thankful for days trips to Sturbridge, fairs, waterfalls, and wrestling with daddy."

Si - " I am thankful that we got to help build this house and that we got to move into this house.  And for the baby"

Drew - "that I have another birthday soon"

Caleb - "thankful that we got to go to a skiing place"

Lori - " I am thankful that the Lord gave our family the strength to endure a year of moving, pregnancy, living in a camp, building a house, labor, safe arrival of Matthias, and living in an unfinished house."

What's in  your thankfulness journal this year? 

18 November 2011

Look Who's 3!

Like Josiah; Caleb is incredibly tiny, so tiny, in fact, that a person would guess him to be 18 months maybe 2 yrs old.  Numbers don't lie, however, and on October 21st he turned a wonderfully prime 3.  Tipping the scales at 24 pounds and as short as ever he hasn't let those slow him down.  In fact, it is when he opens his mouth that you realize that he is much older than he looks.  It must have something to do with fall birthdays.  Regardless of the reason, it is a wonderful fact that Caleb is growing up to be a stubborn leader.  One day, I know his stubbornness will help him succeed, but right now, it makes our days a little challenging.  After all, who's in charge anyway? 

Grampy and Nana Lisa hosted his birthday get together this year as our house was still under construction.  The Smith clan all gathered to wish him luck in his fourth year.

07 November 2011

I'm Floored

Who knew that Tyler was so good at laying tile?  We sure didn't, not until he tried anyway.

Flooring and Cabinets.  That is what has been on my mind these past few weeks.  Let me tell you it is a whole lot easier to finish a house when you don't have to commute.  Course, having a clean well dusted place to come home to at night can be nice.  While Tyler and I have been frantically working on the floors  a crew of finish carpenters have been focusing on the exterior siding.  The only question now is... will we be done by Thursday?

I don't know.  But what I do know is that what we have gotten finished looks simply FABULOUS!!

Can you find Matthias?  He is helping mommy and daddy by being a good watcher.

Drew and Caleb love walking on the new floor.

We have had some great help with this house.  John especially has continued to help us with anything that needs to be done. 

 This is how the house was left in preparation for our big snow storm.  It looks good no?

26 October 2011

"Can I Paint?"

The cry of the day was... "Can I paint?"  So, attempting to be a good mom and not say no again.  I cleared the room of everything, even the floor was just plywood.  I thought, "there is nothing in this room they can mess up."  Then... I let them paint. 

this outlet looks a lot better than the other 2 painted ones.  I actually kind of think we should now do them all like this.  Doesn't the outlet man look surprised!?

It was a stressful, hectic, kind of day, but the room got painted;  along with 3 of the 4 outlets, part of a window and heating unit, and even part of the bathroom wall (from cleaning up I guess?).  The next time "can I paint?" comes up, I think we will stick with paper, watercolors, and lots and lots of newspaper.

17 October 2011

Any Given Afternoon

Now that we are a little settled into our home.  This is what my bedroom looks like on any given afternoon. 

14 October 2011

Siah-lopolis the Italian Football Player

A couple of years ago Tyler nicknamed Josiah "Siah-lopolis the Italian football player", and with Siah's long curly blond hair, and short stick like build he looked the part.  This fall Josiah has had a chance to show his skills as an Italian football player.  Unfortunately, Josiah's skill of not paying attention has made its way into the active sport.  While everyone is running after this small ball, Siah looks like a man lost in a field looking for a place to go.  While he sometimes does in fact run for the ball, he mostly spends his time looking around and wandering aimlessly around the field.  He reminds me of a certain young boy I once knew who used to sit down and play with the flowers in the outfield.  I guess that is what I get for naming my son after that flower picking boy.

Elijah the Goalie making a great save!

Elijah is also playing Soccer with Josiah and although he pays better attention and is a great goalie: He is no (insert famous football player name here).  With that said, both Eli and Si have enjoyed playing and not playing Soccer this fall.  Maybe, just maybe,  they will want to do it again next year and help nourish those wonderful sport skills.

Josiah paying attention to the ball, but not running.

09 October 2011

An Explosion of Color!

Painting the kitchen.  The ceiling beams, wall sconces, and lone shiplap wall have earned my kitchen the term "Smith's Tavern".  I like it!

The upstairs hallway is a blue-grey wall.  It changes from blue to grey depending on the lighting and is accented by the brandied pears color.  (fact:  The brandied pears color is what ties my house together.  You can find it in almost every room and it goes well with every color we chose)

Elijah and Josiah's room is a nautical harbor blue with a very large magnetic chalkboard.  The boys have great plans for their room and I will share all that we do to make it especially theirs when the time comes.

The view looking out of the laundry room in to the hall.  That yellow is not that canary yellow, but rather looks more like the representation in the picture below.

Looking into the laundry room from the hall.  The laundry room doubles as the boys' water closet.

A very messy Master bedroom looking into the bathroom.  The walls are a country green.  Please be advised that my room does NOT look like that anymore.  I have organized it, because having an unfinished house is no excuse to be a slob.

Andrew and Caleb's room is the brandied pears color with a couple of brown accent walls.  It is hard to see, but can you make out the light fixture?

The beautiful hallway.

I will obviously post more pictures of the rooms as they are finished, and the main floor painting is just getting underway so stay tuned for those pictures too!

30 September 2011

Moving Right Along

These days have been all about moving. That is right, after just 18 or so weeks of building the house we are now moving into it.  As a result of moving, however, my cable for my camera is never in the same place as my camera so I have no uploaded pics for you.  But I do have some pics of Matthias.  Seeing as you haven't seen him since he was first born these can be new to you!

19 September 2011

Mowing the Lawn

We have lawn!  Unless you were incredibly aware of our lack of grass and difficulty in growing it at our old house you will not understand my joy in our lawn now!  Some of it is crabgrass, but you know what? It is green, and therefore beautiful!

15 September 2011

Apparently, I like Color

Today is a different sort of house building post.  For one, I don't have a picture of the house to share with you.  Mostly because I am usually holding an infant now which makes documenting the house with tons of pictures challenging.  Between that little tidbit, the fact that it is dark early, and raining today, I haven't taken any great pictures of the finished drywall in the house.  It truly is, just as I said it would be, a transformation!  

Finished sheetrock obviously, gets me thinking about painting.  Tyler and I are planning a painting work party for the 24th of September.  You, if you are reading this, are invited.  Come help paint.  This upcoming party has me busy trying to confirm paint colors for our new house so that I can have most of it purchased for the work day.  Today, the boys and I stopped at Lowe's with one goal in mind:  Collect various samples of the colors we think we want in the house.  Well, we came home with colors from every color group.  Why?  Because apparently, our new house is going to be very colorful.  What can I say?  We like color.  


Alas,  we did not get enough red and brown samples.  I need to go back to Lowe's to find the correct shades.

09 September 2011

Housebuilding: Week 16

This week concluded the inevitable "crunch week" to a close as we finished our preparations for insulation and sheetrock and got ready to watch the transformation.  We had lots of great help with this preparation.  My father came and helped our builder finish the last door and window; not to mention helping me with transforming the stairs.  John and Tyler were able to wrap up the electrical in time for Ty to take the big men camping. Even Caleb pitched in by helping me run those last couple of wires in that itty bitty crawl space.  

Can you see the difference a door makes?

The pocket door studs are in now, thanks to the help of my brother.

Tyler and Randy installed this ceiling in one Saturday morning.  Isn't it a beauty!

All wrapped up and ready for sheetrock.

27 August 2011

Housebuilding: Week "who is counting anyway?"

I think that we are officially on week 14 of this housebuilding process, but seriously.  Who cares?  What matters is that progress is being made over here at the Smith plantation.  Tyler keeps referring to it as Dozen Acre Farms, but honestly, it doesn't look anything like a farm.  Okay maybe a little, it is just missing the huge gardens, berry bushes, fruit trees, and any animals of any kind.  Other than that, yeah,  we can call it Dozen Acre Farm.  Hey!  We have a woodshed!!

I am pleased to announce that the weathertight shell is one door and one window shy of completion.  Just in time for the hurricane.  As some of you may know, our biggest window was damaged in shipping, and after a very long stressful week the company has finally agreed to replace it.  It is scheduled for delivery this coming Tuesday.  The final door is a second story door and was ordered 2 inches too tall, so I had to order a new one.  Which is now on site and will be installed this coming week.  After this week our stressed builder can move onto being stressed somewhere else while we continue the battle with others.  

 Barry the Plumber started his engineering this past week, and as long as you don't mind that swiss cheese look the work is coming along nicely.  Our insulators should be here soon which has Tyler in a tizzy trying to wrap up the last of the wiring and other odds and ends.  When we built the other house; this last week before insulation and sheetrock were called crunch week as Tyler, John and I (some nights), were at the house until 10, 11 or midnight.  At this moment, thankfully, it doesn't look like this week will be that bad.  Actually, I just thought of a couple other things that need to be done before the drywall so I will get back to work and let the pictures speak for themselves.

The workshop/mudroom/kitchen ell

the upstairs hallway looking through the walls to Eli and Siah's room.