June Life According to my iPhone

Back when the boys would still let me take walks we’d go to the fitness area near the middle school. Lydia loved the balance beams because she could ride them like a horse.

We all attempt to read books to Lydia, but she seldom sits still long enough to make it through the whole thing. I loved it that Jon laid down on the ground with her and tried to read.

I hate it that this one is dark and blurry. Abbie bought some doll furniture at our church yard sale and brought them all out the living room to play. Lydia couldn’t pass up an opportunity to try them too. That didn’t make Abbie very happy until I reminded her that all she’s ever wanted was a sister to play dolls with. Now she’s got one and she wasn’t being very gracious. She ended up giving Lydia a little chair and a doll. Turned out Lydia liked the dog better than the dolls. :-)

This is my 26 week baby bump.

Remember a few months ago we discovered how much Lydia liked to hold the flag? This was the first time she put her hand over her heart while she held the flag. It made everyone smile!

I think they were watching a math video for Caleb’s school.

The rest of these pictures are camp prep. Jon taught the 7-11 year-old class this year. He went through the 6 days of creation with a military kind of focus because our theme was “Free To Serve”. One of their activities was this cannon he built…actually two of their classes involved the cannon. They launched paper rockets and water balloons. It was a hit around here too! We had to test it out before he took it to camp.

Loading up a water balloon.

The launch.

This is what was left of the balloon.

The rocket launches were great too. We did them in the dark. A couple of them made it to the back fence or almost to the back fence, but one made it all the way over. There was a lot of laughing!!

Here’s Nathan prepping a juice carton to make a boat with a soda can boiler motor. Unfortunately they were never able to make the boat work.

The dining room table was covered with soda cans, glue, tape, knives, straws, popsicle sticks, and sawdust for two days. And I had company coming in on Monday morning. I finally gave up and decided that they were just going to have to pretend that they didn’t notice the mess. :-) It worked out fine. Janis said they were here to see us, not the house. Of course it helped that we were also packing for camp…everybody’s house looks rough then, right?

But we’ve still got Luke’s and Abbie’s birthdays to cover before we get to camp…stay tuned.

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Craig and Andrews Visits

Talk about two extremes. These back-to-back trips couldn’t have been more so.

The drive to Craig is one of our all-time favorites…just gorgeous!

When we got to town we checked into our hotel then went to the church and looked around a bit. Then we headed to the Loudy-Simpson Park and let the kids fish for an hour or so.

Nathan didn’t actually fish. He napped in the van. Guess he’s decided he’s not a fisherman, but he did hop in and help clean everything us.

No one caught anything, but it was pretty windy so that might be the cause.

After fishing we got dinner at Taco Bell and went to the park to play for a while. Then we headed to Gerald and Janis’s house and visited for a few hours.

We had service with them on Sunday morning and headed home in time to get to the church about 45 minutes before church started. I took the kids to the park to burn off a little energy.

The trip to Texas was not quite as pretty, but it was easily as much fun!
We drove to Andrews on Friday and spent the weekend with Aunt Sue, mostly. The kids fell in love with her immediately. More than one of them came to me that night and said, “Aunt Sue’s GREAT!!!”

Jon had been having tooth issues since our trip to Craig and it only escalated during the trip to Andrews. He did mostly ok on the drive down, but was in bed all day Saturday. It didn’t slow the kids or Aunt Sue down. They (Aunt Sue, Luke, Abbie and Zeke) were up bright and early Saturday morning and headed to the park while it was still kind of cool-ish. When they got home they indulged in one of the many ice cream treats in the freezer. The rest of the afternoon was spent playing on the iPads, taking baths in Aunt Sue’s big tub, throwing balls in the backyard, spraying each other with the hose and just generally hanging out. It was GREAT! We also made a trip to Aunt Sue’s store and the park after it cooled off.

The kids were always trying to teach Aunt Sue how to play a game she introduced them to.

Lydia managed to get wet while Zeke was filling the birdbath.

Abbie found these scarves and Aunt Sue showed her how to tie them to make vests. She thought she looked like an Indian woman.

Here’s one just for fun! Love the washcloth on Zeke’s head.

Jon did get to feeling better that evening and sat up and visited for a while.
He was fine all day Sunday, thank the Lord! He was able to preach both services.

The kids also got acquainted with “Aunt” Stacey. After church Sunday morning we all went back to Aunt Sue’s house and had lunch then Jon and I headed over to visit with Sam and Tammy. We left the kids with Aunt Sue and Stacey. They all fell in love with Stacey too! I’m not sure what all went on but I do know that there was a bottle of spray whipped cream involved. :-)

We headed for home Monday morning, not quite as early as we’d planned, because of staying up to watch one of the NBA finals games. We’ve noticed over the course of the last several trips that the kids are traveling better. There are far fewer bathroom stops which makes for much quicker trips. Woohoo!

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May Life According to my iPhone

May was the end of co-op for us. In art, Abbie and Luke spent about 4 weeks leading up to the end, making puppets. That was a messy but fun project.
Here’s the class with their puppets.

Aren’t they cute?!

Lydia found Abbie’s sleeping cap and, of course, had to try it on. Speaking of cute!!

We still try to incorporate memory verse scrambles into our schooling. It seems to be a good way to help the kids learn their verses.

This is my 21 week baby bump picture.

Our last Mom’s Night for the year was in May. We had a painting class. Our instructor, who was one of the moms, gave us step-by-step instructions and all we had to do was try out best to replicate what she did. That’s a tall order for this perfectionist girl. When it came time to paint those trees, I was super intimidated. But in the end, I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out and it’s hanging on the wall in the living room next to my chair.

The best part about the story was the next morning. As Jon was getting ready to leave I asked if he’d even noticed the painting (which at the time was sitting on top of the coffee pot in the kitchen). He said he had and asked where it came from. I told him I painted it. “Nu-uh…you did not!” Makes me laugh every time I recall the story. :-)

On the very last day of co-op the kids made “food art”. They had a blast!!

This one’s Luke’s. I should have rotated it…there’s a tree in the middle.

Toward the middle of May we had District Convention in Fountain. I was flooded with memories of District Convention there last year. It was just a few days later that Lydia was born. And now here I am pregnant again. Wild! But not nearly so close to my due date this time.


You’d think I like this guy or something, as many pictures of him as I have. :-)

Yes, I took Lydia to the park in her jammies. Ok, maybe you didn’t notice, but that was the first thing I thought when I was looking through these pictures. Shameful! She loved going down this little slide and there were plenty of helpers.

This picture still cracks me up…first, that Grover “photo bombed” it and second that Lydia just absolutely insisted that someone put a pair of her brother’s socks on her. She’s a mess!

We’ll end with Lydia’s first time eating corn. We must use the term “eating” very loosely though. She just kind of gnawed on the cob and got a few random kernels.

Oh wait…that wasn’t actually the end…I found this pictures and it’s too cute not to share. Lydia loves to imitate Zeke.

Whew…we’re making progress.

Homeschool Field Day

Field Day was our last big event for the year with our homeschool group.
It was a cold and windy day, but there was still a huge turnout…amazing!

The kids were broken up into age/grade groups, basically like they are for their classes. There were all kinds of games to play and activities to compete in. My kids really enjoyed it, in spite of the cold. I kept Lydia bundled up, and covered up, in the stroller most of the day. She did fine.

Here’s Luke getting ready for the gunny-sack race.

Abbie’s in the pink sweatshirt kind of in front. Poor Luke crashed.

Abbie and her friend, up a tree. They didn’t want to participate in the soccer game.

Here’s the junior high/high school crowd getting ready to race. Can you spot Nathan and Caleb?

Abbie testing her agility, I guess. She didn’t fall.

Luke doing the tire toss.

We took a break for lunch. There are seldom pictures of Caleb and he doesn’t look very happy in this one. C’est la vie!

After lunch was the mile run. Whoever wanted to participate ran 4 laps (or as many as they could) around the park. At the end of each quarter mile they got “painted”. You’ll see…it was fun!

Waiting to start.

It was powdered paint and because the wind was blowing it went everywhere. Thus the reason she’s covering her mouth and nose.

Here’s the crowd of runners.

We were all exhausted when we got home, but it was definitely a fun day!

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Youth Convention

For the second month in a row we made the trip to Hatch, New Mexico. This time for Youth Convention.

There was lots of good preaching, singing and fellowship.
These pictures are for you transplanted Westerners who I thought might enjoy seeing some folks you don’t get to see regularly anymore. ;-)

Brother Doran’s message the first night was about things that can keep us in bondage and how it affects us and those around us. He used Nathan and Robert for an object lesson. He duct taped them together to see what would happen when one of them tried to pull away from the other. Ouch!

Rebekah Clark sang a beautiful special song. She’s come a long way in the last year!

Each local VLB band was given a few minutes to tell about what is going on with their youth. Not sure how Brother Sam got nominated to do this, but there he was!

Albuquerque has the biggest VLB/gleaner band in the region...they just had to show it off! ;-)

Sister Rachel Soto from Hatch. They’ve lost quite a few of their youth this last year. It’s been devastating to them…keep them in prayer.

Miss Aleah singin’ a special.

More preaching…

Family Camp boost by the Albuquerque church.

Sister Marcia used Nathan along with a few other boys and Brother Hector for another object lesson. Poor Brother Hector was nominated by his wife to be the devil. He grinned a lot!


If I remember correctly she was telling the young people that they are better able to fight off the devil as a group and when they are spending time in the Word.

Sister Sara also sang a beautiful special song. Wait…maybe she led us in songs. I don’t remember now, but either way…she’s come a long way, as well, in the last year.

None of my VLB march pictures turned out very good, but I sure enjoyed watching them all march around that building. :-)

Before Brother Doran preached he had his wife and girls come up and sing a song with him.

We had a really good altar call that night. It was neat to see Sister Marcia and Sister Galaviz working with the kids in the altar.

We got to stick around for service on Sunday in Hatch, along with the Garcia boys (Robert and Andrew). It was really nice to visit with the folks there. Sister Erika kept us well-fed. :-)

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Easter Sunrise Service

We were privileged to gather at Brother and Sister Van Deventer’s home at 6:00 AM for a sunrise service on Easter morning. It was a little overcast so we didn’t actually get to see the sun rise, but we were blessed to be reminded of what Jesus did for each one of us. We had excellent attendance for that hour of the morning.

After the service we enjoyed a yummy breakfast and great fellowship.

When breakfast was finished and things were cleaned up we had Sunday school. The adults stayed in the house while the children headed outside. The children’s class was reminded of the true meaning of Easter with a set of resurrection eggs. The kids enjoyed opening each egg and talking about what the different objects represented. Our lesson went much more quickly than I’d anticipated and since it was slightly cool and windy the kids were able to keep warm by playing on the toys Brother V keeps around his yard.

When we got home we had a little egg hunt around the house. Nathan hid the eggs while I prepared lunch. Some of the eggs were pretty tricky to find. Lydia was super excited to find candy in her egg.

And finally, my girls in their matching Easter dresses.

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April Life According to my iPhone

It’s a little dark, but I think you can see Luke’s tomato “lips”. Sister Clarkson brought a box of tomatoes to church and the kids all grab them up as fast as they can. Luke scored this one and was pretty happy about it!

Here is Lydia’s “oooohhhhhh!!” face. She used to make it all the time.

Ah yes, the torturous piano. Nathan insisted that Lydia needed this awful noise-maker from the basement. She kept trying to play the real piano when anyone else was playing. He was getting tired of her interrupting him. :-)

Just for fun…here are some shots of the kids for the covers of our homeschool yearbook. They did small thumbnail type shots. The front was serious faces and the back was funny faces. These are the ones I liked best.

He almost never smiles like this. Love it!

Naturally Lydia would have a bump on her head for the picture. Seems to be the way things go with little people.

Lydia decided to “help” me with Sunday school prep.

She kept stealing Abbie’s Bible bag and dragging it around so I figured she needed her own purse. Abbie was nice enough to give Lydi this one that is just her size.

I think one of the boys helped her into this box.

She has discovered that she likes to “draw”…and she’s just too cute!

One afternoon the boys were trying out their new (to them anyway) golf clubs in the front yard. Looks like they’re lining up their shots.

Lydia would love to be out there with them all the time, but none of them are very good about watching her all the time.

This time Abbie was teaching her about the flowers.

And I guess that concludes April. Yes, there was a birthday too, but that’s going to require its own post…some day.

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Ok…I’m gonna bite the bullet

And try to catch up my blog.
These are mostly going to be “life according to my iPhone” posts because that’s really all I’ve got going for me right now. My memory is going downhill fast with this pregnancy.

Without further ado…here is March. Looks like it was mostly about Lydia. :-)
She loves her babies…this is one she got for her birthday.

We were finally able to get her to leave Nathan’s glasses on. Normally she rips them off the second they touch her face.

We did make a trip to Hatch, New Mexico early in March for District Convention. I only took two pictures…this one seemed to be the best recap/memory jogger. :-)

Back to Lydia…just chillin’ with Penelope (her giant pig) and talkin’ on her phone.

This was one of our last classes with the apostle Paul…he decided to sport Nathan’s glasses too.

Lydia discovered that she really likes to hold the flag during our flag pledges.

Abbie left a bag of sunflower seeds on her dresser which apparently is just within Lydia’s reach when she’s in bed. They worked together to get them all cleaned up. No telling how many she downed before I realized what was going on.

And finally…the queen of the Smith house. Yes, it’s soooo true! Shameful.

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Miss Lydia’s First Birthday

I don’t know if I’ll go back and blog the last few months, but this absolutely cannot go without blogging. :-)

Yesterday was a busy day so we saved Lydia’s party for tonight. After dinner it was time for cake…and she was SOOOO excited!

She almost grabbed the lighted candle.

The candle did keep her contented until I got her piece of cake cut.

Yep…that’s good cake!

She wasn’t a terrible mess, but once I got her cleaned up it was time to open presents…kind of.

Zeke wanted to know if the rest of them were as slow as she was. Ha! She had no clue what to do.

The kids got impatient and showed her what to do. :-)
It’s a book! She loves to read. And had to have the book read to her immediately.

She got super happy at the end of the book where she could see herself in the little mirror.

The next present was also a book…Luke volunteered to read this one to her.

Her last gift tonight was a Snow White doll. She loves babies too!

Lovin’ on her baby.

Trying to figure out that hair.

So far she isn’t walking on her own, but she has started standing up for a few seconds at a time and she’ll be in the middle of the room on the floor then all at once she’s standing up. It won’t be long once she gets up her nerve to take off.

None of us can believe how quickly this year has gone by.
Happy 1st Birthday, Lydia!!!

Category: Birthdays, Family  7 Comments

Annual Girls’ Day Out

Kristin’s been in town for weeks and we hadn’t had a chance to have our annual outing…until this weekend. Yay!

We got up and going pretty early for a Saturday. Abbie and I picked Haley, Anna and Kristin up at 8:30 so that we could be at Hammond’s Candy Factory at 9 when the Candy Cane Festival started. Good thing too…the parking lot was full when we got there just a little after 9 and the line for the tour was starting to get long. You should have heard the squeals of joy as we drove into the parking lot and saw all the fun things to do. We were all soooo excited! We decided to take the factory tour first. It was plenty chilly standing in line so we were happy to get inside where it was warm. We each got a peppermint ball, a broken, reject candy cane and a paper hat. Then they crammed us into a small room where we had to wait a few minutes. Then it was time for the tour. We got to watch them make several different candies…lollipops, candy canes, marshmallow caramels, turtles and piggy backs. It all looked yummy!

After the tour we headed back into the cold. We wandered around the tent filled with candies and oohed and aahed over all the funny-looking, yummy candy. Outside the candy tent were some games…a bean bag toss, ring toss and one of those things you hit with a hammer to find out how strong you are (what is that called?). Abbie, Anna and I are wimps, but Haley and Kristin both made the bell ring!

There was another tent with Santa in it, but we decided that we didn’t really want to stand in another line to see him. I thought for sure Haley would make us do it, but she passed too. :-)

The girls were dying to go to the bouncy castles so that’s what we did next. Their first stop was the bouncy slide.

For whatever reason Haley decided she wanted to try it out too.

She recorded her trip down the slide. :-)


After a while the stairs to the bouncy slide started collapsing so we grabbed the girls and let them jump in the other bouncy castles for a while.

There were a couple more things we wanted to do, but the lines were getting long everywhere so we grabbed the girls and headed for the “trolley ride”. This trolley looked an awful lot like a train to us. I have no idea how long we stood in line, but we did a lot of bouncing around in an attempt to get warm. Then finally it was our turn. The three girls got into one car and Haley and I got into the one behind them. Those seats were not designed for two women who’ve had multiple children. :-)


We all wished we’d have thought to take a video while we were riding. It was the most fun we had all day! The driver of the train could turn such a tight circle that the engine would end up next to me and Haley at the very end…we ended up looking like one of the lollipops we watched them make in the factory. It was soooo cool! We laughed and squealed the entire time…well, except for those few moments when Kristin and I thought we were going to be sick. Really? We weren’t moving that fast. Pitiful!

After the train, we got in line to go on the “carriage ride”. It was really more like a hay ride without the hay or the farm. Not as great as we’d hoped for.

While we waited in line for the horse ride, Abbie and Anna wanted to take a look at the fire engine, but the line was too long so they came back with firemen hats instead. Of course we all had to try them on and have our picture taken. I’ll have to get Haley to send me the pictures she took. Guess I didn’t get any with the hats.

Also while we were standing in the very long line, Haley discovered that the taffy she won from showing how strong she is resembled bacon. She had to have her picture taken with her giant strip of bacon. :-)

When we got done with the horses, and sufficiently cold, we headed back to the van and tried to decide where to eat lunch. We were all just glad to be in a semi-warm environment again.
After some discussion, and much confusion, we ended up at Qdoba in Northfield. The highlight of that stop was the soda machine…you could get a cherry vanilla Coke! Yum! There were a myriade of flavors…so much fun!

By the time we got done eating it was almost 1 PM so we headed home. Most of us still had things we needed to accomplish…unfortunately the day seemed to have taken it’s toll and I wasn’t very motivate to do anything for several hours. ;-)

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