Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 at a glance

Lilyann--New Year's Eve 2008

I'm not really sure if I will remember everything....but let's see if I can give the highlights of the past 365 days of 2009.

We rang in the New Year at Aunt Samantha and Uncle Jerry's house...celebrating Jed's birthday. (He's a New Year's baby). Dakota turned 3 yrs old...and had a Captain Hook pirate ship cake.
Lilyann took her first steps.

Both kids got the flu, but we made it through that rough patch. The warmer weather started for this East Texas area. We flew kites with the kids for the 1st time. We finally bought a new vehicle (well, at least new to us). We became proud owners of a Dodge Caravan. And....Grandad went home to be with the Lord. A sad month but we know "that all things work together for good."

Lilyann is walking...and all over the place. She is finally at the 20 lbs mark. We all go to Dallas to see Disney on Ice. A little commercial here....*Definitely a must see for all who have kids or love anything Disney. You won't leave disappointed*

I finally get to meet my online friend, Sharon. We take the kids to Chuck E. Cheese. Kota is getting better at going potty. Lilyann celebrates 1 yr since her open heart surgery. We take our annual trip to the Zoo. Our first girls' night at Boo's house....and we find out that Lilyann LOVES guacamole. Spring arrives. Lily's first Easter that she participates in. The kids and myself attend our first Rodeo ever!! Lily finally has enough hair for "pretties". Oh! and I have another birthday.

Jed and I go away for my birthday and our 5 yr anniversary (1 month early). Sidewalk chalk and "Happy Mudder's Day, Mommy." The name "pretty girl" has been given to Miss Lilyann. My brother and Sister-in-law become parents. The kids and I go camping (in a tent...because that's the only way you can camp) for the 1st time...and celebrate Great Uncle Leonard's 80th Birthday.

We pull out the slip n slide...what FUN!!! Kota and Bro. Bob (our pastor) wear matching shirts to church...The Blue Buddies. Water Balloons and summer fun make up this month.

Celebrated the 4th of July weekend. More summer fun. Hubby and I go fishing; and I catch more than he does!! woohoo!! I notice now that I haven't really been fishing with Hubby since that trip...hmmmm...makes me wonder.

Lilyann goes to the cardiologist. He puts her on the every 5 years visit list!! Awesome! We visit the Dallas Nature and Science Center...Lots of fun for all. I meet another online friend on our trip to see Brittiany (my Sister-in-law and her family). We spent the day at the Waco zoo with Jenn and her kids, Grace and Liv. Kota learns to swim (with a life jacket on).

Labor Day at Beaver's Bend, Oklahoma. My mom falls and breaks her hip; we later find out that she will need hip replacement surgery. But she has pulled through...and doesn't even use her cain to get around now. Kota learns why he needs to use brakes. Downhill bike rides are fun, but can get scary. Fall is in the air. We make a trip to West Texas to see Great Aunt Gloria and Great Uncle Wayne. We saw cows, heard coyotes, went fishing, saw the Wind farms, and fed the cows.

Jed and I went to see the Virsky Ukrainian National Dance Company. It was amazing. Kota has to do breathing treatments. Lilyann becomes fond of my childhood teddy bear. East Texas Yamboree...we all rode the Ferris Wheel!! Halloween and Trick or Treating. My 1st pumpkin carving.

Lily learns to do her silly face. The tragedy of Fort Hood. Keep our troops overseas and here in the United States of America in your prayers. Learning to find the good in everything...even a sinkful of dirty dishes. Thanksgiving Day spent in Stamps, Arkansas at Great Uncle Millard and Great Aunt Sue's house. And last but not least, Lilyann's 2nd birthday.

Christmas photo shoot with the kids. Boo's surprise 70th birthday party in Dallas. Seeing the Ice exhibit of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The smell of coffee brings back memories of way back when. Christmas lights and seeing Santa. Gilmer Buckeyes win State Championship. Lily is officially "Pretty Girl Smif". My sisters come visit for Christmas. Kota gets his "darth vader sword". Spending time with family.

That was our year in recap....140 posts later...and here we are getting ready to welcome the new year in. We all get to start with a clean slate for 2010. I guess what matters is what we put on that slate and have to look back on this time next year.

What makes me Happy

One of the blogs that I follow was given this award...Carrie encouraged us all to play along.
The rules are simple:

So, I decided to play along....with #1
  1. My loving husband
  2. Dakota's vivid imagination
  3. Lily's sweet voice
  4. The smell of the Spring and Fall
  5. Seeing Dakota's excitement over the smallest of things
  6. Hearing Dakota tell his sister that one day he will be 5 and when he is 5, he will get to go and practice football at that field with the other boys.
  7. Hearing " I love you, Mommy."
  8. The love our family has for each other...nothing can come between us
  9. The smell of coffee brewing
  10. An uninterrupted bubble bath
My list could go on and on...2009 has been a blessed year for us here at the Smith house. Our family is healthy...what more could I ask for? Hearing Lily talk...and giggle. She tried to tickle me today..but couldn't stop laughing herself to tickle me. It was a sight.

No matter what happens in the new year or has happened in the past years...
remember Romans 8:28
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

We claimed this verse when Lily was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Defect and claimed it through her open heart surgery....and are still claiming it.

What a wonderful 2009...looking forward to all that God has in store for our family in 2010.

Happy New Year's Eve!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas weekend 2009

Christmas Eve their new Christmas pajamas
~Lily, Kota, and Lexi~

♥The picture of the season♥
~Like Father, Like Son~

The tree is down, the decorations are put away....and our guests are gone. And the kids are already missing them. Dakota wakes up and asks for cereal in a cup which gets spilled..and he quickly starts picking it all up saying, " I have to pick up this mess before Aunt Tammie, Cafie, and Debbie see this when they get here." I had to explain to Kota that they were on their way home to Florida where their house is. That in about 6 months, we would go to their house to see them. Which he is already excited about.

Now, Dakota is sitting having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and watching Annie. Lilyann is laying down for an early nap (they were up early today of all days). So, I thought...let's catch up on all that happened this weekend....Christmas all around. I took a massive amount of I will share a few and then make a slide show of most of the other pictures.

I loved having my sisters here. They helped me out with the kids, cleaned my house, and did the laundry...I should have insisted that they stayed!! What was I thinking, letting them leave last night and head back to Florida...1000 miles away?? Oh well, I guess I can cope for the next 6 months until I see them again.

Christmas for us started when my sisters arrived. We were under a tornado watch...the sirens were going...Kota runs to the front door and says, "Aunt Tammie is here! now, we can open our presents!!" So, it was like the Wizard of Oz....they came in on a tornado and then clicked their heels together and went home.

Now this picture needs a little explaining. Pastor Gray has been talking about the 3 G's during the month of December. The Gift, The Giving, and The Grinch. And on Sunday before Christmas, he said from the pulpit that he didn't believe in the reindeers, Frosty the Snowman, Elves, and Santa Claus (I know...shock of all shocks!!) So, these guys dressed up for the Christmas service and had their picture taken with Pastor Gray....just to show him that we all believe!! It was a sight to see..and definitely picture worthy.

We all got together for Wednesday church...which was our Christmas service. It was fun. Our pastor closed down the nursery that the audience was quite noisy...makes me thankful for all the wonderful nursery workers. Then he read the kids a story and then we all ready Luke 2 out loud. It was nice catching up with friends after church...seeing people that were in town with their families for the holidays.

Lily and Aunt Tammie...they weren't singing...they were playing around during church.

After church on Wednesday night, we did our Christmas with the kids. Kota and Lily were excited...finding out what was in their stockings and opening the presents under the tree. Now, we do believe in Santa Claus....but here, Santa visits Grandma's house...always has. Thursday evening, we headed to Marg and Sam's house (my sister and brother-in-law's house) for Christmas at their house. We had fun. Pizza, yummy hot chocolate, and opening presents. And then we were on to Grandma's house to bunk down for the night and wait for Santa's arrival.

It was funny, this year, all the adults were awake before the kids were. I wake up to find Jed, his sister, his mom, and Jed's grandmother sitting in the living room chatting. It was nice having that quiet time, listening to Brittiany talk about not sleeping due to the harmonious snoring from those who will remained nameless to protect the innocent.

We had wake Kota up this Christmas morning...last year, we had to wake Lily up. It is so invigorating seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. Lily loved opening presents. And by Christmas evening at Boo's house, she was opening any unprotected present she could find. Aunt Samantha used the kids as little elves to pass out the presents and Lily was opening Boo's present as she carried it to her Boo.

Kota got his "Darth Vader Sword"...which he hasn't put down and won't let anyone touch. And we got Dakota his Star Wars which he wasn't all that excited about. I was in shock...but it's okay...he will love it more when Spring comes and we start out walks around the neighborhood again.

What's gonna work? TEAMWORK!!!

the kids out in the woods on the swing during our walk
~Lexi, Lily, and Kota~

The day after Christmas (Saturday)....we went out to Aunt Samantha and Uncle Jerry's house...and set out on a trek across their property. It was a long walk...but fun. We used Teamwork...getting everyone across the creek and back. Nothing like working together to make sure no one falls into the cold water. After the walk, we sat in front of the fireplace and watched movies while the White Chili simmered.

Comfort food and a fireplace with family makes for a wonderful holiday.

Aunt Cathie and you think they favor each other?

I'm sure there are a lot of stories missing from this Christmas 2009 anecdote...and they will come to me as I browse through the picture folder from Christmas as I make the slide show.

Kota and Aunt Tammie

It was truly a Christmas to least until next year when we make new memories.

Myself and my sisters, Cathie and Tammie
This was before they left town last night...leave it to the oldest sister to ham it up for the camera!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Under Construction

The kids with Aunt Tammie (my older sister) on our walk to the pond to see the ducks
Jed had told Dakota that the ducks go South to Mexico for the winter...nope!! they were still there.

Blog is currently under construction...taking down Christmas decorations here and in my house...check back soon for a new look...hopefully.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve

No more sisters are here...woohoo!!

They made it just in time. We were under a Tornado warning as they pulled into town. And as they got to our house, the sirens were going. We were in the hallway, reading books with the kids waiting for the all we welcomed my sisters in...and Kota says, " Okay, Aunt Tammie is here..we can open the presents now!" Only Kota could lighten the mood at that time.

We got the all clear downgrading the tornado warning to a watch. And we found out that 2 tornadoes touched down on the other side of town. The exact area my sisters drove through not even 20 minutes before....scary! But thanking God for keeping my sisters safe.

So...Merry Christmas to all! We did our Christmas last night with the kids...they had fun...tonight is Christmas as my other sister's house...and then on to Grandma's house...that is where Santa visits!! so excited. Can't wait to see the kids' faces this year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Way Back When-esday: 1st Buckeye game

Date Taken: October 13, 2006
~Aunt Samantha, Dakota (8 1/2 months old), Alexis, and Uncle Jerry~

I finally found the picture that I have been looking for since Kota went to the Gilmer Buckeye's State Championship game.

Here is Dakota at his 1st Football game ever! Gilmer's Homecoming game in 2006.

Playing along with Cheryl at Twinfatuation for Way Back When-esday.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2 more sleeps

It's only 2 more sleeps until my sisters will be here!!

I hope you enjoy the video of Lily jumping on the trampoline. She is getting pretty good at. The other kids in the film are Kota and our neighbors, Leslie and Alexis.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

4 more sleeps

Lulu sleeping away

We are now down to 4 more sleeps until my sisters arrive. I mentioned to Kota that Aunt Tammie might be bringing some presents with her...and he quickly informed me that Aunt Tammie doesn't bring presents, Santa does. And Santa is going to bring him a "Darth Vader sword". He is stuck on that sword.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

5 more sleeps

It's the last Friday before Christmas!! Only 6 more shopping days!!
And now for Kota and Lily, only 5 more sleeps until Aunt Tammie and Aunt Cathie arrive!!! YAY!!!

I am so a kid at Christmas. My older sisters are coming to spend Christmas with us!! I can't wait!

This week has been spent at a Dr's appointment for Miss Lily, doing some last minute shopping, and working on Christmas presents. Nothing is better than a homemade which kid would you like!! haha...just kidding.

Lily had her 2 year check up yesterday. She is doing good. The Dr is happy with her progress on speaking. Though she isn't talking our ears off, she is doing better than 6 months ago. She is recognizing animals, and people. She does alot of whisper talking. And she is still sticking with her infamous "not know" phrase for EVERYTHING!!
Lily is now weighing 24.8 lbs putting her in the 23rd percentile for kids her age...remember when she was off the charts??!! She is doing great! And she is 32 inches tall..which puts her in the 8Th percentile for height.
The only sad part about Lily's visit to the Dr was her shot. Lily got the flu shot, but she seems to be handling it pretty well.

So, all is good on our home front...except for that roll of wrapping paper! I can't find it anywhere!! Maybe it will turn up before all the presents need to wrapped...6 more days...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Way Back Wednesday: Sleeping buddies

Here is Myself catching some much needed sleep with my little guy, Dakota. This picture was taken February 8, 2006...almost 2 weeks after Dakota was born. He was so tiny. Born 4 weeks early weighing 6 lbs and 2 oz.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Who were we to name our kids what we did???

Lily playing outside today...yes! we had warmer temps for today...which called for Short sleeves.

All of our local family know that Dakota calls Lily, Pretty girl. He has since Jed started calling her that soon after she was born...and the name has just stuck with her, thanks to Dakota.

On the way to the gym today....

Me: "What is your name, Kota?"
Kota: "Kota Smif"

Me: "I thought you were Dakota Wyatt Smith?"
Kota: "No, I am Kota Smif...Kota Wyatt Smif!"
Me (pointing to Lily in the rear view mirror): "And what is her name?"
Kota (so matter-of-factly): "Pretty Girl Smif"

Me (holding the laughter in): "Pretty girl smith?? I thought her name was Lilyann Jade Smith??"

Kota: "Ha ha! that's a silly name, Mom"

We should have just let Kota name her sister!!! ha ha!!

Makes My Monday: Party Fun and State Wins

Definitely a Fantastic weekend makes my Monday....because as the new weeks starts, you are still basking in the glow of all the fun you had over the weekend. Our fun starts with Friday evening and Katie's birthday party!! Katie is Jed's cousin who turned!!
♫Happy Birthday, Katie♫

It is always fun going out to the Davis' eat, laugh, and sit around the fire. And even more fun, when there is cake involved. The kids had a blast...Lily pulling off decorations on the table centerpiece while Katie opens her presents and Kota eating the chocolate covered strawberries and watching movies with Brooke.

Saturday was my day to get more of the Christmas shopping done...I attempted to do some Christmas shopping on Friday...and wow!!! that was a shopping trip for the record books. We hit 3 stores and the gym in about 4 hours. Overwhelming!! The first store was okay...until Kota saw a Darth Vader sword and threw the biggest fit because I would not buy it for it right then and there. I tried to explain that Santa already had one and was bringing it to him for Christmas...that didn't work. Kota is a here and now kinda boy!! The next store was a bit easier...Lily was starting to get antsy...but Kota was content...because I found a disk shooter for him to keep him occupied...and with the hope of actually walking out of the store with in sight...Dakota was well behaved.
Then we headed to the gym for the kids to have some running around time at Stomp Time...and for me to get things in, I made a list in my head while I worked out on the elliptical.
Then we headed to Target or the ball store as Kota calls it...since they have big red balls in front of the doors. We didn't even make it inside...Kota started throwing a fit about who was going to ride in the buggy. So, I just decided...we are done..Let's get back in the van...and then all chaos broke out! Kota started running around where you put the carts back. Then this older lady walks up and says to Dakota, "Santa is watching you and he's not going to bring you any presents if you are bad." Well, that set Dakota off more...but she distracted him enough for me to snatch him up and get him back in the van. What a shopping trip!!

So all that to say....Saturday, I took Lily with me and we went shopping. The guys went to the State Championship game for the Gilmer Buckeyes!! They got home late but Dakota had a great time. This was Dakota's 1st State Championship game....I think the last game he went to, He was small.

Gilmer Buckeyes

At the game: Uncle Jerry, Aunt Samantha, Boo, and Jerilyn

Kota cheering on the team

And then I HAD to share this picture!! Lilyann finally has hair...well, hair that is long enough to put up in pigtails. I took this picture because it was the first time ever that she had pigtails. She wasn't upset because of the pigtails. I had just woke her up to get ready for Katie's party...and she was upset because I wasn't holding her.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas lights with Video

We took the kids for a drive on Thursday night to see all of the Christmas lights. They loved them. Lily would point and say, "Wow!" As you can hear from the video. Lily loved seeing the lights and still enjoys them.

We took the kids down a street (pictured below) that goes all out for the season. This was 2 houses all decorated. And Santa Claus was sitting outside. Kota got to talk to Santa and ask for his "Darth Vader Sword" from Santa. Then Santa asked Kota what else he wanted and Kota said, Nothing else. So Santa said that he would just send some surprises. Lily just waved at Santa and enjoyed her candy cane.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Thursday

Dakota...trying to see his nose...It was cold and windy today (well, for East Texans, it was cold and windy--45 degrees). So, I was trying to convince him it was warmer inside. Then I told him if we stayed outside too long, his nose would turn red like Rudolph's.

And then Miss Lily...just having fun at the park. We went to the park after going to the gym today.

Miss Lilyann...getting all ready to watch a movie after her bath the other night.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Way Back When: Coffee Memories

Definitely a way back when for me...This picture was taken one holiday season...In the picture is (from left to right) myself, Christy (my cousin), and Marg (my sister).

The time stamp on the back of the picture says January 1987. So, I was almost 5 yrs old. I was currently the youngest child. My little brother was due in less than 2 months.
The one standing memory from way back when Christy and her parents would come down to Florida to see us was the smell of coffee. Mom and Dad rarely drank coffee..If they did, it was instant. So there was no rarely the smell of coffee in the house.
Nothing like waking up to the smell of fresh brewed coffee...which meant that Uncle Mark and Aunt Sarah had arrived in the night. And our wonderful cousin Christy was at our house!! yay!

I still think of my Uncle Mark and Aunt Sara when I smell coffee brewing. This is one of my earliest memories that I relive everyday. Now, I don't know if smelling coffee brewing and associated it with time spend with family is what causes me to brew a pot each day and have a cup or two. But I do LOVE my coffee!!

Thinking of family this holiday season. My Uncle Mark passed away a while ago...but the memories still live on....triggered by a morning cup of coffee.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Our Weekend

Everyone who went to the ICE Exhibit with us

Saturday was quite the LONG fun-filled day.

The agenda for Saturday was: Visit Grandma GG and Grandpa Frank, Meet up with family for a surprise Birthday party for Boo (while keeping it all a surprise since Boo was riding with us), and go to the ICE exhibit at the Gaylord Texan.

We started out early and headed to Great Grandma GG. She is Jed's great grandma and the kids great great grandma. It was a great visit. GG was up and about showing Kota how to use her exercise equipment. Grandpa Frank is still looking great.

After our visit, we headed out to "meet up with Brittiany, Andy, and Lexi" so we could see the ICE exhibit. We stopped at a restaraunt for a potty break...and the hostess walked us back "to the restrooms" which was really one of the back rooms for parties. Everyone was waiting!! And Boo was surprised. We found out later that she knew that there was a party being planned but she didn't know when. And she was clueless that the party was today. Boo's birthday is on December celebrating it on December 5th...yes! a complete surprise.

I hope I look as great as Boo looks at 70! Oops! did I just give away her age?? Hope she doesn't mind.

There were lots of family there.
And we took lots of pictures of the's one of my favorites...even if Kota was being a little stinker and hiding for the picture.

Boo and all her grandkids and great grandkids...Kota was hiding behind Jed

After the party, we all headed to the Gaylord to see the ICE Exhibit of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It was all made of ice. If I am correct, 2 million pounds of ice was used to make this exhibit. The handiwork and talent was self evident. Truly amazing.
We all had to wear glorious blue parkas. The temperature was 9 degrees inside the exhibit.
When you
Our family at the ICE Exhibit

Lilyann with Cindy Lou Who

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Festive PhotoShoot

Lilyann Jade
~December 2009~

Dakota Wyatt
~December 2009~

The above photos were taken by me and edited by my good friend, Allison, from back home. She did a great job for me! Thanks, Allison!

It's December!! and it's starting to feel like Winter. I would say starting to feel like Christmas...but some Christmases (for me) have been spent in short sleeves. I come from the land of tourists...Central Florida. And now with East Texas weather...the temperature can change 40 degrees in a few hours, here. Fickle weather!

But it is cold...and snow is in the forecast for Friday!!! Wowzers!!

We actually had to already pull out more blankets...we don't usually run our heat on, we bundle up!

Well,, yesterday (I forget what day it is when I do this late night blogging), I headed out to my sister's house to take pictures of the kids in front of her Christmas tree. We did them last year and they turned out wonderfully.

So, it started out with the guys being goofy!! Dakota here with his cousin, Cash!

Then my sister finished doing Lily's hair...and we told Lily to go stand with Kota for a picture...and this is what she did...I'm glad I was able to capture this Kodak Moment. Definitely priceless!

Lily was playing with the trains while I was trying to get her picture done..and she wouldn't look at I called out to her to look at the birdie on Mommy's head...and this is what she did..she put the train on her head...Silly Lily!! But it made for a fun day of pictures!

And these were last year's Christmas pictures:


Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to our Lilyann Jade

Lilyann is 2 yrs old today!!

♫Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Hap-p-p-py Birthday dear Lily Lu, Happy Birthday to you!♫

Today, November 30, is Lily's birthday...We celebrated her party yesterday with family. Lily did great! She LOVED her cake...maybe a little too much, she kept grabbing fingerfuls (is that a word?) of icing. She ate her cake like a big girl and loved getting to drink some soda from a big girl's cup. Now, the blowing out of candles and the present opening are definitely things to work on. She knows how to blow bubbles, but can't seem to get the blowing a candle out. She kept blowing her bangs up in the air instead of blowing out the candles. We got a video of it...I will post it once I get it loaded. So, check back soon!

Those who have followed from the beginning know that each birthday we count our blessings. Lily's 1st birthday was a big milestone for us.

Lilyann Jade
~November 30, 2007~

Lilyann with Mommy and Daddy
~April 15, 2008~

Lilyann and Daddy in Florida
~June 2008~

Lilyann's 1st birthday
~Thanksgiving Day 2008~

Because at 7 weeks old, Lilyann was diagnosed with a heart murmur. She had a hole in her heart. She had a medium to large Ventricular Septal Defect. We were devastated. She wasn't gaining weight, she was so tiny...and not eating very well or at all on some days.
At 4 1/2 months (after a 2 week hospital stay and an NG tube for her feedings), Lilyann had open heart surgery to repair her VSD. She did great!! After her surgery, she was growing by leaps and bounds. She is still on the small side...but her heart is perfect. All fixed.

Seeing how Lily started out makes each birthday that much sweeter!!

She's our Little Amazer....fighting from the beginning and still fighting (with her brother) today.

Lilyann with Daddy
~November 29, 2009~

Wearing her party hat for all of 2 seconds

Helping herself to some of her birthday cake
~made by Grandma

So, what makes your Monday??? Mine is the Miracle of Life!
♥Happy Birthday, Lilyann Jade♥

Joining Cheryl today for Makes My Monday at Twinfatuation.