Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beauty all around

The view this morning from our house...

These photos don't do the trees justice...they are shimmering from the ice storm we had this weekend.  Although I am not a fan of ice on the roads, they sure make the trees look amazing in the sunlight!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Special Day Coming!!

This precious daughter of ours has a special day coming up and we wanted to invite you to join us to celebrate if you are able!

On Sunday March 27th we will be dedicating Karlena at our church service. For those of you who are new to our family, this is a time where as parents and family we stand before God and the church and make a public commitment  that we will bring her to church, teach her the truth of the Bible and lead her on a path where she can one day make a personal choice to ask Jesus to be her Savior. In addition the church then dedicates that they too will be active participants in the raising of our daughter in the church.

These services are always very meaningful for us and we have since watched Isaac make the choice to be baptized and make his public profession of faith and we are now talking to Gabriel about it as well. Gabriel loves Jesus and can tell you why he loves Him but is trying to understand the real meaning of baptism in the way that only a 7 yr old can. 

But this dedication is the first "step" if you will in that journey for each of our children. We know that Karlena is God's daughter first and He has entrusted Dominic and I with her care here on earth. As sinners and people with many faults we know that we can't do it alone!! And by standing in faith with a community of believers we commit to keep seeking out God's will for ourselves and our family, looking to His Word as our guide and dedicating to keep God in the center of our family.

So if you are able we would love to have you come and celebrate not only Karlena's life but the eternal life that is found through Christ when we trust in Him. If you need directions to our church in Parker leave me a comment or send me an e-mail and I will get those to you!

Monday, February 14, 2011

What happens when you clean closets??

What happens when you spend a majority of your day cleaning out a few closets??

Well for starters you throw away a TON of garbage. I think I had at least 4 garbage bags full and that didn't include the things that I am saving to give to Goodwill etc.

The feeling of such a sense of accomplishment afterwards because it felt so much less cluttered. We still have way too much stuff but it is much more organized...and I was able to put our vacuum away in a closet for the first time in YEARS!

The other thing that happens is you sometimes come across a few gems like the photos I am going to share below.

This photo is dated March of 1995. I am digging the big hair and bangs. But what is my absolute favorite about this photo is my matching outfit...right down to the burgundy leggings.
And I will be honest with you....this was my FAVORITE sweater and I wore it all the time! :) The snowflakes were this soft fuzzy mohair. I bought this whole outfit at Maurices...probably put it on layaway until I could pay for it, I did that a lot there!
Karlena - what a legacy your mom is leaving you! :) I hope my fashion sense has improved with age!

Let me preface this picture by apologizing to my husband....I am sorry but this was just too good not to share!
This was shortly after Isaac was born in 1996. What I love about this picture are the glasses that were the style in the late nineties (trust me I had some too!!) and the mustache that Dominic was apparently trying to grow. :)
Dear - what can I say you have definitely gotten more and more handsome..and much more hip with age! :)

This photo is Gabriel at 11 months. When I saw it I could see Elijah in the photo so much!

And this is Isaac with Gabriel. Except for the colic in his hair...Isaac then and Gabriel now share a striking resemblance!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

3 little lions...

The top little lion is Gabriel. I bought this outfit for his first Halloween.

The second little lion is Elijah. Because they looked so similar I had to put him in the outfit too. The day I took this shot it was probably 90 degrees outside and he was sweating when we were done...but I wanted to compare with Gabriel's picture! We can see the similarities - can you?

This last little lion is Karlena! The only real difference I see is that she is a little less "orange" than the boys but I think they all have the same noses, lips and chins - don't you?  Sure makes me wonder what our girl will look like in a few years if she looks so much like her brothers at this age! :)


I thought that I would take a moment to fill you in on what has been happening at the Smith home recently...and also share some photos with you! This time though - upon request of my grandparents :) - I am including some of the boys!

I have been terrible about taking pictures with my camera of them because I am using my phone all the time instead. I try and text photos of the kids to Dominic often and sometimes forget that I need to take some with my camera too!  That and in all honesty I go into an almost survival mode once all the kids are at home. Most nights are complete chaos and taking photos of their sweet faces is last on my list!!

This is how I find Gabriel most of the time...working on his Bible Word Find.  We got it as a gift from Kerry and Kaleb (Karlena's husband and son) and Gabriel has been hooked ever since. It is that or his flashcards...he loves his flash cards!

Gabriel had a great report at conferences on Monday and excels in math, reading and spelling! He loves going to school and his teacher commented that he often makes her day just by his enthusiasm that he has for everything they do!

Isaac also had a good report at conferences. Because he is in 8th grade he is starting to think about what he might like as a career. He has decided at this point he is interested in being either a PA or a Pharmacist.  Based on this he will be taking lots of math and science throughout high school but he enjoys both of those classes so I think he will do just fine.

Isaac is a HUGE help with Elijah in the evenings....I am so blessed. Last night Isaac was at a quiz bowl and his absence was really felt. When Elijah and Karlena are both screaming and I have to nurse Karlena, poor Elijah has to wait and for an almost 2 year old that is difficult!

This is how you will find Elijah during many moments of the day....let's just say he likes to use his voice to express how he feels..good, bad, happy, angry...whatever it is it is LOUD! He wasn't a fan of getting his picture taken and told me "NO" many times when I asked him to look at me.

I had a cute picture of Elijah brushing he teeth this morning but as I was working to finish this post my computer decided to go on strike and stop uploading photos. So there you have it...the boys in action this morning!

I do have another post planned for later too. I have some comparison photos I want to share...I just have to get a shot of Karlena in this little lion outfit we had for both Gabriel and Elijah.  I think you will agree when you see it that all of our kids are definitely related! Stay tuned for that later!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rose Cake

So I have to start this post out by giving credit where credit is due with this one... My sweet friend Amanda is a fabulous baker (among other things...wife, mother, daughter of Christ)and recently posted at her blog this beautiful rose cake that she made for herself on her birthday!

I couldn't believe how lovely it was and woke up the following morning dreaming of its yummy goodness....I just had to try one out myself.  My version isn't perfect by any means...but it didn't turn out half bad if I do say so myself!

Oh and it isn't just a cake out of the box this time...I actually made a from scratch chocolate cake. I can't wait to see how it tastes!

I had a little trouble making the roses and they aren't as clean looking as the example I went from...but Amanda is the expert so I leave perfection up to her! :)

And just because I love this little sweetness so much...an updated photo of our ever growing, changing daughter! Enjoy your weekend...I know that I will! :)

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