Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Christmas was wonderful! The girls both got into it so much and it was awesome to see the excitement on their sweet little faces! It was great having family over and being together-the only thing that could have made it better was a little white on the ground.

Well you all know that this mama had the camera out in full force and got tons of pictures. The overall "look" for Shiloh in all her pictures was this crazy little gritted teeth, closed eyes smile. She has never done that for pictures before but it was like she realized that it was Christmas and she had to step up her picture game.
Here are a few samples from the fun:

*This is the look!

*And here it is again! I wanted her to show me her present here but she laid it down and turned to strike "the look"

*Here is a case of the little sister rubbing off on the big one. Waiting for daddy to sling a skillet for Christmas breakfast!

*Grandma Cindi got Gracie her Christmas wish with this little ipod shuffle(pink of course). Ever since her Aunt Rachel won a shuffle at church and we loaded some songs on it for her, Gracie has wanted a shuffle. I know she is only 3 but the girl loves her music and knows how to operate the thing!

*Shiloh also loves the shuffle now. Look at this technique. Shiloh on the balance beam that my dad made for the girls, while jamming to some tunes on the shuffle, all the while manipulating a monkey yo-yo. Christmas just brings out the best in us all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My brain is out of batteries...

Today was a great day for the Smith gals. I had a 2 hour delay at school and needed to take the girlies with me to kindergarten for the day. Our already short day gets even shorter on 2 hour delay days- we only have the kinder friends for 1 1/2 hours. By the time they get there and unpack we are basically packing them right back up and bundling them out the door. It is crazy!! Gracie and Shiloh joined us for the day today and they had a blast. Gracie latched right onto some friends and they just ushered her around the room and took care of her every need. Another little boy really looked out for Shiloh. I looked over at one point and he was cuddling her. She was just lounging back on him and he was holding her with a giant smile on his face. Too cute! I wish I had my camera. It was quite a full day because we then headed off to Gracie's gymnastics class. Gracie has been working on a move at gymnastics called skin the cat. It is a little move on the bars where they put their legs through and flip their bodies over while hanging on the bars. It is kind of tricky for these little ones. She does it with her coach by her side all the time but then struggles when she gets by herself. She wasn't able to do it today. On the way home from gymnastics class I gave her the whole speech about giving it her best and really trying even when she thinks it will be too hard. I then asked her why she thought it was so hard for her and she replied:
"Mama, it is like my brain is out of batteries when I hang on the bar. I think it needs some fresh ones."
She really replied that way to me. I just looked in the rear view mirror and smiled. I feel like that all the time but never had the ability to describe it quite the way she did!
She loves asking if things need fresh batteries. She really is thinking about how things work and what things are made of. It is very cool that she translated that thinking about batteries to her little brain.
Yes-I did explain that her brain doesn't work on batteries but sometimes it would be nice if it did. Right around 5:00(if not earlier) I could just pop a couple AA's in and freshen myself right up.
Don't you find it interesting that I only required my brain to work on AA? I should of dreamed bigger-maybe C cell?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Pictures

Every year I try and snap a few pictures of the girls for Christmas cards as well as Christmas memories. Gracie's first Christmas she was chilling in her little boppy gazing up at the tree and we were able to catch the twinkle of the light. I would bust that one out for you but that was still pre-digital time for me. I was still old schooling it with my canon rebel 35mm. Loved that camera but sure wasted some film!

Gracie's second Christmas my sister and I decided to doll the girls(Gracie and my niece Natalie) all up and take them down to the Franklin Park Conservatory with the big Poinsettia tree. We did their little hair, switched their naps all around and put those scratchy little tights on them. We drove ourselves all the way down there only to find that they were closed on that particular day of the week. Why? Why do we do these things to ourselves?

Last year came and it was the first Christmas with both the little sweeties and I managed to squeak one or two pictures out but spent most of the time managing tears. We arrive to this year and we had some fun. Things are getting a little easier but they still get pretty fed up with me and the camera pretty quickly. Here is what we managed:

*One of the first ones we did-they are still fresh loving on one another. They don't stay this fresh for that long!

*Shiloh is seriously up to something here. I do love this picture but I do see this face often and let me tell you she is up to somthing here!

*This is the potty face. It is accompanied by a groan of some sort, an attempt to say potty, and then movement towards the bathroom. If you could see down farther in the picture you would see her finger is pointing to the "region".

*And Shiloh runs! Losing focus here people!

*Gracie is airing out. You can tell these girls don't wear dresses often. Time for a mama intervention complete with picture pep talk!

*Back on track-or so I thought! Shiloh's relies on her quick reflex because she really never can tell what her big sister is going to throw her way. Gracie leans in for the kiss but Shiloh retreats. Gracie then can't understand why. Shiloh has just learned at the ripe old age of 19 months that she "must protect her house"!

*Trying real hard here not to give me the pirate eye picture! So beautiful Gracie Bella!

*And we are now in tears!

*Totally and completely finished with these shannanigans. Mama has lost picture control.

I ended up getting some good ones here but I could help but think back to the olden days of the 35 mm camera. How did I do that? I must have taken 3 rolls of pictures only to manage 2 or 3 good ones. My new digital rebel is justified and we are all happier for it!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Shiloh Loves the Potty!

Shiloh(my 19 month old) loves the potty!
Shiloh has recently demanded to be potty trained. Now, I thought Gracie potty trained pretty early and pretty easy but Shiloh definitely has her beat. The crazy thing is that Shiloh doesn't have near the words that Gracie had at her age but can somehow quickly "tell" me when she has to go potty. She just groans or grunts and pulls at herself and then takes off running for the nearest potty. This all started a few weeks ago when Shiloh decided she was done with diapers. She whined about having it on and would go and find Gracie's underwear wherever she could and bring them to me to put on her. She would grab them out of dirty clothes hampers and baskets and come whining to wear them. I put them on her one time just to let her feel and see how it went and sure enough she kept them dry.
One day at nap I went in to kind of start waking her up and I saw her laying there with bare bottom up in the air. Immediately I figured I was going to have a big pee mess to clean up because the kid had been sleeping for almost 3 hours but when I searched around for the diaper I found that the bed was completely dry and so was she. She had taken her diaper off and stuffed it between the crib and the mattress. Completely dry! From then on I decided that it really isn't about me here-it is about her-and if she wants to potty then by goly-she is going to potty. She pretty much wears her little underwear at all times when we are home and for the most part stays completely dry. She even recently has started telling me when we are out and we just go right into the big public restrooms. It is crazy because I am lining the potty with toilet paper for my baby. She gets both me and Gracie barking orders of "hands off" from the time we enter until the time we leave. She is just a baby still!! I guess she is just a baby who is sick of wearing a nasty, wet diaper stuck all around her little rear end!
We haven't mastered "the deuce" but she is just 19 months old.
Crazy little girl!
I guess just one more cool thing about second children. All Shiloh wants is to be like her sister and I know that is her motivator on this one. Now you all know why it has been so long since I last posted-I am busy dropping everything when she tells me she has to potty like 20 times a day. I sure do love her spunk!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


So proud of my "cousin-in-law"(I am sure that isn't really the term but you get the idea) here and wanted to give you all the video premiere of Jeremy Camp's new song. My cousin's husband directed this video in Nashville and I think he did an amazing job! They were over last Friday night for pizza and Andy showed us this video clip along with another that he did for some friends from their wedding. The wedding video almost brought me to tears and I do not even know the couple and the Jeremy Camp one was just awesome. Andy, of course, had to go into how he just directed and edited the video and he didn't actually shoot it this time. He was trying to give all the credit to the camera guy who had to figure the lighting out! I guess that is what truly cool, talented, and humble people do. Ashley and Andy-I am so proud of you guys! You are definitely the coolest in the family!(Nic just thinks he is)Enjoy!
(**Turn my playlist off before you click this one on)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friendship Bread

So I do love to bake and have warm homemade goodies around the house but these past couple months I have been baking my tail off because of a little thing called FRIENDSHIP BREAD. If you don't know what I am talking about you probably shouldn't tell me because I will just have to give you a starter bag that will have you trapped as well. I don't know if any of you have ever been blessed with an Amish Friendship bread starter bag of batter but I sure was. My sister gave me this starter bag with the little sheet of directions on how to make my own Amish bread. Now I do not know what makes it from the Amish or where it originally came from but I did it because my sister had baked her bread and it was oh so divine. It is kind of like a really bad chain letter thing but you get to have this delicious tasting bread every 10 days and it smells the whole house with ooey gooey goodness. You have to do something everyday to your bags of batter, sometimes just mush the bags but other times you add some ingredients. On the day of baking-watch out-you have crap everywhere. Especially when you allow your 3 year old and 18 month old to join in the fun! Each time you get to the baking day you then create 4 more starter bags of batter to pass out to all your lovely friends. I never pass these bags out because I now wish I never received one in the first place. When am I going to stop the cycle? I don't know. I can't answer that one. Every tenth day-I think about it but just can't bear to not have that batter. What if I wanted to make some next month for Christmas? I need the starter bag. You see how this is a vicious cycle. Really vicious-I put like 2+ cups of sugar in this stuff and then sprinkle the top and sides with cinnamon and sugar. Sounds good, doesn't it? And that is why it is vicious. This has been the fall of the Friendship bread in the Smith household. Look at all the fun from one of our bake days. Check the clutter of ingredients on the counter-why don't I just do this when the girlies are asleep?? I have my mom trapped too! We try to do a lot of our bake days together and switch each houses so we don't each have a mess to clean but rather one huge disaster. I really don't know if it is all that helpful doing it this way because we are just doubling our work at one place. Oh well-it is more fun that way!!

Now really Shiloh? I have tasted the batter-I don't get it!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Future Help Is In Training

Lately I have been catching Shiloh trying to do daily household chores and I have been loving it. She seems so much more interested in cleaning than Gracie ever was! Whenever I signal to clean up toys or help with something, I can always count on Shiloh to come running in ready to help. I HAVE to make sure I DO NOTHING to DISCOURAGE this behavior! Every time I want to speed through something and take it out of her little hands-I MUST be Reminded that my FUTURE HELP IS IN TRAINING. AHHH-how refreshing a thought! Now I do realize that any real help is still miles away but I am just savoring this whole help idea.
Shiloh is especially interested in helping unload and load the dishwasher(once again a task that I have to take care not to spoil her interest in-I try to be so patient as she helps which makes the task 20 minutes longer than need be)
She loves flipping the lid and helping to add the soap. One day I flipped the lid open to add the soap and start the dishwasher, which I thought was interesting because normally the lid is already opened when the load is dirty and needs to be cleaned. Well anyways, I flipped that lid up and inside was a soggy, old vanilla wafer. Shiloh was near when this was all happening (because she is always near when I open the dishwasher) and I just looked up at her to see her big dimples. She was grinning from ear to ear almost as if she was saying "don't get too ahead of yourself on this future help thing mama!"

Yes, I did actually take a picture of the vanilla wafer. Cracked me up for sure!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lessons learned from Nanny

Today marks 2 years that my sweet Nanny has been in Heaven. She died of Ovarian Cancer and was only 64 years old. ( She was a very young mama-16 and only a 36 year old grandmother-Crazy, isn't it?)
Yes I called her Nanny until the day she died and will forever continue to call her that because saying Grandma just isn't right. She always wanted us to call her Nanny and we all loved it.
There truly is not one day that goes by that I don't think of her in some capacity. I think about her when I am making my sweet tea and remember that little beat up pan she used to always use even though she had a million others that were in better shape. I think about how she used to make the best tea but never even liked it herself! I can still remember Sunday after church at her house for meals and how there was always someone new she had over at the dinner table. Thanksgiving meals with extra families that we didn't even know. She loved to cook and loved to serve! She would sit at the table and tell stories about people she knew or had visited in the week and tears would well up when she talked about their circumstances-she was so sympathetic and she had a heart for people. It was the gift God had given her and she had His awesome annointing on her life.
Nanny was the best giver I have ever known. At her viewing and funeral we had so many people come to us telling stories of what she did for them. Random people who we don't even know and never will were touched in remarkable ways because of my Nanny's life. People came to tell us how they were living in an empty apartment with no furniture and she and my grandpa brought them beds and mattresses. Another person told of how she bought the church a van and nobody knew but him. Now I must stop to tell you that my grandparents are blessed yes, but not wealthy by any means. They both grew up with nothing but God blessed them because of her giving. I want to be more like that-the biggest lesson learned from her life.
I don't know why it seems like you need someone more when they are gone. I feel like this time of my life would have been so fun with her. I know she would love being with these girls of mine and dolling them all up. They would have loved her too!
She was a true example of strength, poise and beauty. She was the strongest woman I have ever known. She was so sick at the end of her life and she had more strength than anyone around her. Half the time we would all be walking around moping but she spoke life to all she came in contact with. She visited and prayed for other sick folks just weeks before she died herself. She was really cool and really bold. My prayer is to be more like that. Another song lyric here but one that has really been speaking to me lately-it's so true-"God let me have just enough strength to live for today so I never have to worry what tomorrow will bring because my faith is on solid ground-I am counting on God." She lived each day with strength and she lived it for God. What a legacy!
Shiloh Jean was due on her birthday(May 6th) but ended up coming 2 weeks early. What is cool is that my aunt and my grandma share the same b-day and Shiloh would have made three. I know Nanny would have wanted me to get out of my misery rather than go to the due date. She was just that way. Shiloh Jean is named after her(Bonnie Jean) and it is so cool because she really favors her a lot. I do miss her greatly but I do love the memories I have of her. The memories I think of most are the ones that revealed what her true character was and those memories in turn then teach me more about who God is and who He wants to be for us.
God is good even in times of pain!

*I don't know her exact age (probably 20's) in the picture above but I absolutely love this picture.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Things that made me smile..

Here are some goodies that God allowed me to think on or remember today that made me smile. I just thought I would keep a record for myself because God is so good to meet us where we are EVERYDAY! A little pick me up so to say!
1. My hope is not in any idea, in any possession or any person in this world. My hope is in a good, loving, and merciful God! (That is really powerful-just keep saying it!)
2. God's love is so much bigger than any fears or anxieties. His love never changes-it never fails!!(loving this song I recently downloaded-"Your Love Never Fails" by Chris Quilala-been playing it constantly) When the oceans rage, I don't have to be afraid because I know that YOU love me.
3. God truly makes all things work together for my good. That seems so simple but I have been thinking on this one for awhile now and God keeps giving it to me. In even the little things God works things out and I need to give credit where it is due more often. I always catch myself saying that something will just work itself out. No way!! Stuff doesn't just work itself out-God is moving and plotting and changing and working daily for us. I always feel like a crazy woman running around juggling a million things but He is the mastermind. Just Be! Just Be!
4. This verse(now I wish I could say I knew more scriptures by memory but I just don't-but this one was planted in a beautiful song by The Promise movement that I played over and over a few years ago. Because of that I memorized it but God helped me remember it today)
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchman wait for the morning. Put your hope in the Lord for with Him is unfailing love and full redemption." Notice the trend! All God given in my quiet moments today!
5. God uses my babies to make me smile all the time. I absolutely love the cool things they say and do. Seriously, it is my entertainment. I don't really watch a lot of TV-just them! I probably should back off that-center of attention thing- maybe not the best idea all the time! But I kept thinking about something Gracie said a couple weeks ago after church. We were driving home and I wanted to let her know that I thought her worship was really beautiful that day. She was just spinning with her little arms out and it was really cool. After I told her that I thought it was really beautiful the way she was dancing and worshipping and I know God loved it so much she just smiled and said "yeah I know He did-He was doing it with me". (Me)-doing what?
(Gracie)-"Jesus was dancing with me! It was really cool!"
Smiling as I am writing this one! Isn't that what it is about. Teaching our babies that having a relationship with God is not about what you can not do-it is about meeting with Him in lots of cool ways. The Father was dancing with my 3 year old and she knew it-Awesome. Nothing-No Nothing is too small or too big for my God!

Just a few cool things God gave me today. I hope they make you smile too because they are really His promises for us all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Many fellow Americans and friends did the time saving task of sending in their absentee ballot. Now I could have done this and given myself a little extra sleep this morning but there is something about election day that just motivates me to get up early and stand in a line that moves absolutely too slow! It has to be the whole democratic process thing because I was up bright and early at 5:45 this morning so I could get to my polling location before the doors even opened. Yes, I was waiting outside in the cool crisp morning air at 6:15. I was loving it! Smiling to all my fellow line waiters who didn't feel the need to send in an early vote either. I struck up a conversation with the man in front of me to pass the time and found out that he had just jumped off his local waste trash truck to get in line. I looked over across the parking lot and sure enough the truck was sitting there still running with headlights on. I figured a guy like that had to be Country First!! I only ended up waiting a total of 1 hour because I went to the paper ballot line. It was kind of cool sitting there filling in those little bubbles. It felt Old School!
I was definitely a people watcher today as I passed the hour wait time. I just kept looking at people wondering if they were thinking like me when it comes to voting. What drives people's decisions-what truly matters to people? The whole process is so interesting to me!
I left proudly with my little sticker!
I have tried to really guard myself today as to what I should or shouldn't hear. The last few months as well! I don't want anything tainted that I believe in so strongly. I have found myself turning my music louder today and praying more persistent. God bring healing to this land, let us truly humble ourselves and Pray and seek God's face! That is my prayer on this election day!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dress Up Fun

Every year brings the dilemma-to dress up or not?- for the little kiddies at school for their Harvest party. I often go with the old firefighter routine because I can just borrow a pair of Nic's bunker pants and slap on a helmet. It is pretty easy and the kids think it is cool-I guess! Sometimes I switch it up and throw a Red Sox t-shirt and hat on and become a baseball player for my favorite team. I have to admit that it is a pretty lame costume. The kids really don't care though, they just seem to love anything we do! This year's costume tops it all. I raised the bar and now I don't know if I will ever attain such greatness again in the costume department. I can't take one bit of credit for my attire-my fellow am kindergarten teacher and wonderful friend is 100% to blame(did I say blame?) for the get up this year! She called me a couple weeks ago and said she had our costumes under control for the kids-she wanted to do something for the boys in our groups this year-something they could relate to. Now I am never one to create more work for myself so I just went along with the plan. BATMAN and SPIDERMAN! Yes, the big puffy chested costume just like the little boys wear! My only stipulation was that I would wear the bigger of the 2. Yeah, I am not quite into the spandex on the rear end look(bike shorts came and went in the 80's and I moved on) so I ended up with the huge spidy costume!
Yes-I did it! I really didn't want to at all but I did and those kids had the time of their lives. My cohort was darting off everywhere with her cape trailing and I was leaping around like a true superhero would and throwing my fake webs out. I hesitated to document and share but it was quite a stellar performance!
The best was when a few of our kids came in and saw that they had a costume just like their teacher! Now how many kindergarten students can say that their teacher dressed up as Spidey and Batman? Not many-no not many!

And now to my little beauties! Dressing up is always fun to do and I try to grab things here and there for them to play in at home. Our hayride pumpkin patch trip for the night had to be cancelled so we decided to pass out candy and go to a few neighbor's houses and both of these costumes were in their closets ready to be played in! Jake is an oldy but goody(the dalmation) and an obvious choice for Gracie and Shiloh is truly a little Pocahontas. I don't think she could look any more authentic! We had so much fun! It is crazy because Gracie keeps trying to have a piece of candy from the basket but she never ends up liking them. Most of the candy she just one bite wonders and then throws away. Give her the cheap and ever faithful SMARTIES and she is good to go. All that chocolate stuff is just not her bag! I wish I had that problem!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Go Bucks!

Because the main numbers of the game were not exactly pleasing to Buckeye fans, I thought I would give you some other numbers from the big game! Nic and I had a blast at the game despite the 13-6 loss. We tailgated with some awesome friends and woke up sore in our ribs from laughing all evening! Here are some fun stats from our time together!

2 - free tickets in the student section(South stands) thanks to some great neighbors!

50+ - high fives(yes, some with random strangers)

8 - Tailgaters at our friend's Chevy Tahoe (Thanks Sam & Jen-we had an absolute blast!)

8 - The number of times Nic cornholed Sam! (Sorry Sam-Nic made me!)

5 - The amount of money that 2 of our tailgaters spent on one bag of peanut M&M's EACH (Nic and Luke really believe they were helping keep kids off drugs by handing over a five spot for a vending machine size bag of treats! Bless their hearts!)

1 - great pair of Buckeye tube socks (Sam revealed on the walk to the Stadium as he heckled every PSU fan he found)

9 - layers Luke had on including 2 hoodies (he texted Nic during the game saying "I'm hot") I can't even tell you a number for how many times he asked if any of us needed another layer!

2 - #1 fingers to go with


2 - the number of Costello's Nic submitted during an impromptu wrestling match (sorry guys-once agin Nic made me!)

1 - Awkward side hug that Nic shared with a stranger during Carmen Ohio (still laughing) As the stranger approached Nic for the awkward side hug I heard Nic say, "Oh Yeah buddy, get in here".

18 - number of times we booed PSU (now these were combined boos from Nic and myself but only 2 of those were mine!) I know it isn't nice but I got caught up in the moment!

13 - total dollars spent on the whole evening (not too shabby, huh?)

1 - Heck of a good time had by all!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


London firemen’s rescue efforts are cat’s meow
(by Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor - October 11, 2008)

In this time of bank bailouts, job loss, and unpredictable gas prices, it’s nice to know there’s something—and someone—on which you can still rely.
On the afternoon of Oct. 6, Amber Collins went out to check her mailbox on Sheffield Boulevard in London. She heard the cry of a small animal coming from the yard of the unoccupied house next door.
“It sounded like a kitten and it was coming from a pipe sticking out of the ground,” Collins said.
The pipe measured six inches in diameter and went down five or six feet before making a turn. Collins retrieved a flashlight from her house to investigate further.
“I shined it down there and, sure enough, I saw two little eyes,” she said.
She attempted to rescue the kitten with a rope. When that didn’t work, she tried calling on a neighbor for help, but he wasn’t home. That’s when she decided to call the London Fire Department.
“I felt so stupid calling them about a kitten stuck in a hole, but they came right out,” Collins said.
Lt. Mark Foster said it isn’t unusual for the fire station to get calls about stranded animals.
“We go out as long as we’re not tied up on an emergency. We have helped several people with cats or dogs stuck in tough situations. We even got a pet parakeet out of a tree once,” he said.

London firefighter Nic Smith holds the kitten he rescued from a six-foot deep drain pipe.

While Collins’ call wasn’t unusual, the kitten’s particular predicament was.
“We wondered how we were going to get to it without digging up the yard,” Foster said. “At one point, Firefighter Nic Smith was on his stomach and had dropped one of our rescue ropes down in the pipe with a loop on one end.”
The kitten was stuck at the bottom of this cleanout pipe in a yard in London.

Just as with Collins’ attempted rope trick, Smith’s didn’t appear to be working either. Foster was so sure Smith’s approach was doomed to fail that he promised to buy his fellow firefighter dinner if he managed to rescue the feline.
While Smith toiled with the rope, Foster started making calls to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office with the idea of gaining access to the house, which is in foreclosure and up for auction. Foster’s idea was to see what could be done from the other end of the pipe which serves as the house’s cleanout for the sewer drain.
“As I came around the corner of the house on the phone, Nic was saying, ‘Never mind, never mind. We got him.’ And there was Nic holding this kitten. It was so little it was barely past the stage of having its eyes open.”
As luck would have it, the kitten had climbed up a stick stuck in the pipe, then tried to climb the rescue rope. Smith pulled on the rope, and the kitten wrapped its front arms around it, Foster said.
“The odds of that happening are slim to none. That little kitten acted like he knew what he was doing... I guess I owe Nic dinner,” he said, adding that after the rescue, the fire department sealed off the open end of the pipe.
Collins was thrilled with the happy ending.
“The moral of the story for me was that they were kind to me and so gentle with the kitten. It was just a good community feeling. It warms your heart,” she said.
The gray and black tiger-striped kitten has a new home. Named after the firefighter who rescued him, “Nic” now lives on a farm in London with Collins’ best friend. The friend’s two young daughters have already become quite attached to their new pet.
So, yes, while the big world is in turmoil, you can still count on the little things in your hometown—like firemen rescuing cats out of trees... or drain pipes.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Some fun from Round Town

This past weekend brought the annual Circleville Pumpkin Show. We try and go down every year-it is some of the best people watching fun ever! Good greasy fair food, crazy expensive little carnival rides, and some of the biggest pumpkins on the planet. Sounds like a recipe for fun to me! We went with a couple new friends and really had a great time. Gracie wanted to ride every big ride in the place. She doesn't quite understand that she is only 3! I did let her get on one that was really cool and she was just barely big enough to ride. I thought she might get terrified but I didn't want to hold her back. She got on and loved it. The only one crying was Shiloh because she wasn't big enough!

You never know what you are going to see and do when you get to these small town festivals-here is a little photo journal of our day!

Where can you go to see a 1375 and 1/2 pound pun-kin? Round Town Babies!(get it-circle-ville)

Nic can smell this Bourbon Chicken from miles away. It is the one and only reason he allows me to schedule these festival days! He loves that stuff-and I do too! HE knows exactly where the stand is located and we honestly make a direct path from the car to the stand(not allowing the children to stop for any fun sights on the way). We return to the fun later but I guess you gotta make daddy happy!

Paying $4 for the girls to ride the merry go round-well worth it to see this smile!

Gracie had to ride this motorcycle like daddy-she came around one time singing "I'm a Crindall-set to swipe and steal" How does she learn that stuff? Oh I know-Daddy turns that song on the ipod constantly. Crindall is not really crindall-it is criminal. Yeah I know the girls sing and dance to "I'm a criminal-set to swipe and steal. I think it is the song they played on that Dr. Pepper commercial when the guy was sip stealing. Please don't think we are bad parents. They know so many more worship songs!!

Gracie is all the way to the left-you can barely see her over the harness. She screamed and laughed the whole time!

Okay-I probably shouldn't chuckle and God may not want me to find humor with this but I just couldn't help taking a snapshot of this one. This sweet little old man was just walking around by himself and stood by us for a little bit when we were watching the parade. He was talking with Gracie and told her she looked like she belonged on Charlie Brown-we all didn't get it but we chuckled anyway! We just made some small talk with him and then I saw it-the hat was priceless! It was like a homemade hat and when I made mention of it he was so proud of himself. He told me about some of the others he has also. I had to take a picture-it was part of our journey for the day. He posed with pride!

Near the end of our trip our friends bought their little boy and the girls a big pumpkin cookie. It was a bit of bribery on our part to get through a few more things. They were all pooped. Do you other moms bribe out there? I sure do. I always keep a sucker in my bag for the girls. You never know when you need 20 minutes at the store!
Okay-the funny part about this picture is that I still don't exactly know where this cookie went to. I distinctly remember Shiloh eating a little bit and then handing it to me. I think I wrapped it up and tucked it somewhere but I really don't know. Now I know what my friend Kristen S. would suggest-and yes girl I did check the washing machine. Thankfully it wasn't there but I just know I am going to find that nasty cookie somewhere I really don't want to find it! We will see! I will keep you posted!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Little Girls in Leotards

Well Gracie has been in gymnastics for the past couple months now and she has been having a blast! I managed to talk my way out of my first purchase for Shiloh to be in that parent tot class (that was a whole other blog issue from way back when!) Anyways-they credited my account so I signed Gracie up for the next session! Wednesdays at 1:30 have been the best for Gracie! I decided after the first couple classes that Gracie needed to have a little leotard. All the other little girls were jumping around in their suits and I knew it was just a matter of time for Gracie to ask in her super sweet little voice, "mama, do you think I could wear one of those next time I come?" Of course I melted-I mean I guess we both just kind of fell into the peer pressure of having to have a leotard for gymnastics. Why? They can do the same thing in little t-shirts and shorts! I went into the little store at the gym and pulled a couple out to look at the sizes and prices and quickly realized that if we were going to purchase a leotard-it was not going to be there!

$35-40 for a 2T/3T leotard just doesn't seem right. Here I am analyzing what I can do with $40 the whole way home. You guys know what I mean-just having that conversation in my head! For a leotard!! $40 is probably not that much money but that is just the way I am built! You remember my blog a while back about me picking up a $10 shirt and analyzing the heck out of it. Should I buy or not? Of course I should buy it!! CRAZY!
Well, the quest was on. I went to our local thrifty nifty stores, went to red dot boutique(target), meijer(where the largest Smith family I know shops for everything-really everything!), and finally landed at once upon a child. I found a sweet little purple leotard that I am sure is like a ballerina suit or something because it has little short sleeves, but who cares? It was $3! I can really live with $3! Didn't analyze that one once!
Gracie loved the suit. Wears it faithfully every Wednesday! She puts it on and becomes super gymnast in her little mind. She strokes her little stomach feeling the material and in an instant performs a forward roll-I think to test if it is working properly!! She looks so cute-there is something about little girls in leotards. We are all shapes and sizes from day 1-some fill the little rear ends out, some hang baggy. I love it!
Well now I know I need to get used to the idea of paying for a new leotard. She sure loves gymnastics and is going to keep doing it for the next 10 weeks. The time is coming-I know I will break-a new leotard is in our future! Here is how goofy I am-on the way home today I was thinking about how a new little leotard is really just like $4 a class session. I was seriously breaking down the cost of the leotard per session. I think it is time I stop listening to the woes of the economy. I mean price per session for a leotard-
Just a little Crazy!!
And what is up with Gracie the pirate? All of the shots I got of this day were one eyed!(3rd pic)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

A few days ago my sister and I took the girls to Circle S Farms to pick some pumpkins right off the vine! It was a beautiful day and the kids had an awesome time. Nic was on his way home from an extra shift and got to stop in to play for a bit and that made it especially nice for the mama!

Through all of these fun and games I have learned something. SECOND BORN children are CRAZY! I really mean this in a great way-I am a second born! I honestly thought that Gracie was quite adventurous and dare devilish but she is not even close, really not even close to Shiloh in this arena! Last year when we went to the farm Shiloh was strapped nicely into a little front carrier and Gracie ran around and played and attempted things but never fully engaged in the haybarn like I saw from Shiloh this year. Shiloh was going down these pretty big slides and fussy for us all to leave her alone. There was one time when the child hit both her feet on the side of the slide and she literally tumbled over sideways staright into the hay. Did she cry? Oh No! The chick was laughing it up with hay coming out all over her head! I love it! I love their little differences! To Gracie's credit-she talked way more and way earlier this miss Shiloh! Shiloh says forget words, who needs them? Give me the action!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


So Nic is the king of firefighting stories, he loves telling of all of those crazy cat rescues and everyone seems to enjoy listening!(or so they act like they enjoy because they are all too kind) He has been working a bunch lately and had to drive to and from London almost everyday last week. He spotted this great sign at one of the local churches in London and I made him take my camera to snapshot it the next day. We loved it! Nic says that even Jesus needs a right hand man!! Well Nic, I am sure if he really did need a right hand man you would be on that list somewhere! He is truly a legend in his own mind!!!
I also have to share this video that someone shot from across the street when the Rax in London recently burnt down-yes, I know, I didn't even know that the Rax chain was still around! You can kind of see the firefighters across the way and you can definitely see the fire. The people shooting it are quite entertaining. I love it when the girl says that she thinks they should turn the car off because she doesn't know if they have enough gas for this!! They are just chatting it up while they watch this place go down in flames. The very best part is pretty much right near the end when the girl asks her man how these firefighters are going to put the flames out! (Enjoy but go down and pause the playlist before you start this up) (This is Nic's unit fighting the fire but I don't beleive you can see Nic hard at work-it is kind of far away) have fun-it's just a short clip but has now become the phrase of our household!
They gonna do what they do!
**I think you may have to turn it way up to hear them talking!