Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween




  • I wanted to share a couple of pictures. Gabriel - as in several years past - dressed up as Buzz Lightyear for Halloween. He was so excited to go trick-or-treating but the poor thing has been sick since early Friday morning. All signs and symptoms are pointing to H1N1. We aren't taking him in to the doctor to know for sure as really there is nothing they can do for him. So we are keeping an eye on him and working to keep his fever at bay. He felt much better this afternoon and we thought letting him get a little fresh air would probably be ok. So we got all dressed up and basically went down 1 side of 1 block and he was done. He was at home out of the costume and asleep in the recliner by 7:30 and we didn't go out until sometime after 7pm. But as we went home Gabriel told me that this was "the best trick-or-treating ever"!
  • I found this cosutme for Elijah at a garage sale for cheap - less than $5. And it is warm and soft and most likely will fit him again next year. It is a 12-24mo outfit and was a bit big on him. But I had to try it on even though he wasn't out hunting for treats and took a few pictures of how cute he looked!!
  • The last picture was taken last Saturday when Dominic and I went to a little Halloween event where we each had an opportunity to share about how God has moved in big ways in our lives/marriage. It was fun and the best part was making Dominic's costume together. His whole costume was made from scratch. If you can believe it the breastplate, leg guards and skirting deal that he is wearing is an old rug covered with a fake leather material! Dominic had the idea and we spent several hours together making it. The white "tunic" was sewn by Dominic's mom out of some fabric I found at Saver's for $2.99 and the burgandy sash was 2 silky pillowcases I also got at Saver's for $0.99 each! He made the arm bands out of an old ice cream bucket and covered them with the same fake leather. The amount of time we put into it is really pretty sick but it was good bonding for us so it was worth it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kids Against Hunger

I have to share how proud I am of my dad. I blogged before about the Kids Against Hunger packaging site that he worked so hard to start here in Sioux Falls. So far he has been very successful at getting it off the ground and people from all over are coming forward interested in packings!

Recently he did a packing with some University of Sioux Falls students and both Keloland news and the Argus Leader came out to do news stories. I wanted to share the links to those stories and incourage you to read about the impact that my dad, along with many willing volunteers are having on starving kids locally and worldwide.

Just click on Keloland and Argus Leader above and it will take you right to the stories!! Dad my desire is that one day I can make an impact like you are on the world around me!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Preview....





Last weekend a very talented friend from church, Anna, met us and took our family pictures. She gave us a CD of her work and I have to say it is AMAZING. I can't share everything because I still haven't decided what we will send out in our Christmas cards but I wanted to give you a little preview! Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What is it??



Any guesses what this might be in the picture?? If you guessed pancakes you are right. But theses are no ordinary pancakes. Tonight was "red" pancake night!!

Now I have to admit this is not an original idea. My friend Amanda gave me the idea. Check out her blog and see all the amazing cooking creations that she comes up with.

A few days ago she posted pictures of her rainbow pancakes and I knew that my boys would enjoy that. We made blue - Gabriel's favorite color - first. Tonight was red and we decided that green is next. Maybe we will go crazy and do all the colors on a Saturday morning!!

And I know it sounds crazy...but tonight the red pancakes tasted better than the "regular" ones usually do! So go check out some of Amanda's tasty treats and be inspired!! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday Gabriel!!

Today is a very special day for us….specifically for Gabriel. 6 years ago today at 12:10am Gabriel Dominic Smith was born into this world. With a head full of dark hair he looked just like Isaac did. He was healthy and perfect and we were so excited to have him as part of our family.

We have been counting down the days until Gabriel’s birthday for awhile now. He has been SO very excited! Every morning for the last week he comes up the stairs and the first thing he says is “Hi mom it’s October___”. “How many days until my birthday mom?”

Gabriel has really grown this year into such an amazing little boy. He started kindergarten with his teacher Mrs. Kropuenske and really enjoys going to school. We drop him off at his class in the mornings and he is always excited to go. Apparently they told Dominic this morning that they heard about Gabriel’s birthday all day yesterday. Today he gets to wear a "birthday crown" all day and be the class leader so I know he feels pretty special right now!

This morning Gabriel came up while I was getting ready and I sang Happy Birthday to him. He then told me that I HAD to call him “Birthday Boy” not Gabriel and then he proceeded to tell me that he now needs to count until the next October 16.

Oh Boy!! This could be a LONG 365 days! :)

But in all sincerity, we feel so blessed to have spent the past 6 years getting to have Gabriel as a part of our family, watching him grow and change into the amazing boy he is today. Gabriel we love you and are so proud of you!

Mom and Dad

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Three years ago....

Three years ago today my world was falling apart. My marriage was in shambles, I had given up hope that anything in my life could be good again and in all honesty the thought of living was painful to me. When I would look in the mirror at my reflection I didn't recognize the woman staring back at me. I was hollow, empty.

Three years ago tomorrow Dominic and I started the journey of restoration that has brought us to where we are today. It didn't happen over night and it hasn't always been easy. In fact bad attitudes and habits are hard to break...and I had a lot of them, we both did.

But God is patient and He kept prodding us in the right direction. Putting people in our lives that would have profound impacts on the way we would choose to view life. God knew long ago that things in our home would get as bad as they did. And He knew that He would redeem our situation.

But we didn't. And at the time, three years ago I was in such a different place. Today I can't hardly believe how far we have come. We are not the same two people we were 3 years ago. And I am grateful for that. But I wouldn't be who I am today, I wouldn't have the relationship with God I do today if I/we didn't have to walk through the fire like we did.

Several years ago during one of our more difficult times Dominic and I went to see a marriage counselor. I don't remember much of what he had to say except that he had never seen a couple so much in "contempt" for one another that weren't already divorced! He told us that if things didn't drastically change that we were headed in that direction for sure.

And although he was probably right - God had something different planned for us. Like I said before it wasn't an easy time. It started really with Dominic. He started treating me with respect - even when my actions didn't deserve respect. He showed me love when I didn't deserve it and he forgave me when I was disrespectful and unloving. He started doing things for me even if he wouldn't "get" anything in return.

One day he asked me to pray with him. This was something that I had desired in my husband for years and I was finally getting that...and yet because of the "history" between us I couldn't trust that this was a change I could rely on. So although I agreed, I had a terrible attitude about it.

But something happens to even the hardest of hearts when a family kneels together each morning to pray for God's hand in all that we do. God has the power to heal the hurts. He has the power to soften a hardened heart. He has the power to wash away resentments and He has the power to restore what had been lost.

God did that for us. Three years ago Dominic and I started a new journey together. One in which we invited God to be a part of our family. One in which we both had willingness to be better people, and not just for our own benefit but for others as well. One in which trust was restored, love was rebuilt and family was healed.

My heart's desire is that I never go back to the way I was living back then. But that doesn't mean that I can forget about it completely. It is important for me to remember where I was and how far we have all come. Because today I have nothing but gratitude for the journey.

I am a better wife because we struggled. I am a better mother because we struggled. I am a better daughter, sister and friend because life got hard...really hard and God took what were the ashes of our life and made something beautiful out of it. Today, three years later, I am truly grateful.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A few photos to share...

One of the dress up days for Homecoming week last week was "Circus" day...so we tried to dress Isaac up as a goofy clown! And yes that is a bulk package of paper towels in the background. One of these days I will learn how to better crop the "mess" out of my photos!

Gabriel wanted to join in the fun of course and decided to try out Isaac's clown nose. He looks adorable!

Elijah just keeps growing and as of his 4mo appt a few weeks ago was over 19 lbs! He is a chunk - maybe it is all of those nighttime feedings every 2 hours! Oh what I wouldn't give for babies that like to sleep!

Dominic and Isaac spent a couple of long days putting in new flooring in our bathroom, kitchen, entryway and laundry room. Here are a couple of pictures showing how it looks! I am THRILLED with how it turned out and it was a fairly cheap update to some pretty awful floors we had before. Now we just need to steam clean our carpets again because the new flooring has made the old flooring look even more dingy! :)

We will be getting our family pictures taken a week from Saturday and I am so excited. Anna - a young woman from our church is doing it and I can't wait. I am praying that we will see a warming trend next week though because this Saturday the forecast calls for a balmy 37! I am NOT ready for winter so help me pray for a few more nice days!! Have a wonderful rest of the week!




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