We had a wonderful Christmas with all of our family! We had Christmas with my Dad last Sunday, then headed to DeRidder Wednesday, then to Carthage on Friday, and then finally back to Ruston to have Christmas with my Mom. We all had a very good Christmas and feel extremely blessed to have such a wonderful family!
So today I opened a present from Trey and the girls and it was a box of Bounce. Upon further inspection I realized that the side was opened so I peeked in and there was a picture of my new washer & dryer!!! I was so surprised I cried!! They will be delivered Monday. We had a great Christmas here in DeRidder with Trey's family! We are headed to Carthage tomorrow then we will have Christmas with my Mom in Ruston on Saturday. I love it when Christmas lasts a week!!!! Anyway, I was so excited I had to share!!!!
We had Christmas with my Dad last night. We had a great time! Dad got them a Barbie jeep and super cute rain boots and a jumpy thing! They also got a baby doll and stroller. They had fun playing with it all! Mallory pushed her baby all around in the stroller and Alyssa tried to get in it! They both got in the Barbie jeep but haven't quite figured it out. It is too cold to go outside and play with it today so they will have to wait! When we got home last night Andy & Kelly were pulling into town! We are heading to DeRidder on Christmas Eve. Have a Merry Christmas!!!!
Suzanne tagged me! The way the game works is you have to post the 4th picture from the 4th picture file on your computer. So, here is ours. This picture is from October 2006. Alyssa was about 6 1/2 months old and we had custody of her for about 2 weeks. This was her first trip to Carthage to meet Trey's Grandparents. Actually, I think this was the first time Trey's Dad met her too! This is Trey's Dad holding Alyssa. My how time flies!!!!!!
So today I dropped Mallory off at MDO and EVERYONE was handing out presents! I was doing good to get the teachers a gift! So I decided to run to the store and figure something out. I lucked up and found a few things at The Dollar Tree, put some ribbon around it, and used my new CM tag maker to make some cute tags. Fortunately, the parents don't really do that at Temple so I only had to make 6! I took cupcakes for each of the girls Christmas parties and so the girls had the leftovers for snacks after school. I don't know if you can tell but Alyssa has green all over her mouth from them! Mimi & Poppi sent the girls a musical Christmas card with scooby doo singing jingle bells. Mallory LOVES it! She threw a fit when I took it away! Anyway, I thought I would share a picture of the gift I made and of course a few of the girls!
We took the kids to Papa Simpson's Farm this weekend. We have never been but they were having Christmas with the Critters so we decided to go. It was fun! We weren't too excited about paying $8 per person but we really enjoyed it! We went on a hay ride that took us to the back of the farm. Mama Simpson was there and read a Christmas Story to the children. There were 7 boxes out on the hay bales where we were sitting and the child that was sitting closest to it brought it up front. Boxes 1-6 were different pieces of a nativity scene and the last box was the gift God wanted and it had a mirror in it. Then all of the kids got a Christmas book and we got to roast marshmallows. The girls enjoyed the marshmallows! We then rode back on the hay ride to where all of the other activities were. We looked at chickens and roosters, petted goats and baby cows, found baby Jesus, looked at Santa, and dug through snow. They had horse rides and you could take your picture with Santa but it was $5 and they wouldn't let you use your personal camera. It wasn't too cold. We will probably make that a Christmas tradition!
We went to a birthday party last weekend for Jake and Landry Tyler at Gymboree in Shreveport. The girls had so much fun! They went wild playing on everything. Mallory was not too fond of their little mascot clown. In fact, she was down right terrified of it. Of course, she was also scared of making cookies with me yesterday too - but that is another post. Anyway, I thought I would share a few pictures from the party.
Trey has been begging me to make some baked potato soup. It takes a good hour of constant stirring to make so I don't like to make it very often. Well, I made it last week and Mallory loved it! She likes anything with potatoes in it but she REALLY liked this! We had the leftovers for lunch Friday and she had two bowls. I was eating mine and looked up at her to see her licking the bowl! I had to get a picture! I guess I need to make it more often!!!!
Just wanted to share some pictures of my big girls. They are growing so fast. I have been going through some old pictures lately and have really noticed how much they have grown over the last 6 months.
So I have a new addiction! Yes - my name is Tara and I am a digiscrapaholic! Last week I got Storybook Creator (creative memories digital scrapbooking software) and LOVE it! I haven't even gotten to an actual book yet. I have been working on some Christmas presents and our Christmas cards. The banner at the top of my page is one of the Christmas cards I made. It is so easy to use and it can do anything you want it to. I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone! After I complete the current traditional scrapbooks I have been working on (for 2 years) I will only do digital!
Here is another interesting fact about Christmas I learned from my Bible study:
Xmas. The Greek name for Christ is Christos. It begins with the Greek letter chi which resembles a small x. During the 16th century, Europeans began using the first initial of Christ's name, "x," as a shorthand version of Christ. One of the many words they abbreviated in this way was Christmas, making it xmas. Although early Christians understood who the x stood for, later Christians did not and mistook it as a sign of disrespect, "taking Christ out of Christmas."
We have decided that Mallory is going to be a gymnast. She LOVES doing flips and jumping off of things. Trey caught her in action last week. I thought I would share some of those pictures. You will have to look at them from bottom to top to see them in order. For some reason when I download pictures it does that. It took too long to download to redo it!
We had a great Thanksgiving. We ate lots of food, put up our Christmas tree and decorations, and shopped on Black Friday. I even have all of my presents wrapped! I know the next few weeks are going to be busy so I tried to get everything done while I could. I love looking at my Christmas tree! I am in a 4 week study on Christmas and a the end of each day of homework she adds an interest tidbit about Christmas so I thought I could share the one about the Christmas Tree.
Martin Luther as walking home late one Christmas Eve and looked up to the heavens. he saw the stars shining through the branches of a fir tree near his home. Inspired by its beauty, Luther brought the tree inside his house, and using the candles, replicated what he saw.
"The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary...." Isaiah 60:13
Today the Christmas tree has become a symbol of Christ, the evergreen Tree of Life.
After much anticipation, planning, and prayer my youngest brother in law is engaged!! Bryan and Christine got engaged Friday night. We are SO excited for them! We LOVE Christine and knew from the moment we met her that she would be Bryan's wife one day. I have to tell you how he proposed! He picked her up Friday evening for a nice quiet evening together. He told her to close her eyes and they headed to the chapel that they will be getting married. While they were on their way Trey was already there setting the chairs up and finding a hiding spot so he could catch it all on camera. They arrived and Bryan led her to the front of the church where there were 2 chairs set up. He sat her down then set a portable dvd player on her lap to watch a video he put together. The video consisted of several of her friends and family saying why they loved Christine. It ended with Bryan telling her why he loved her then proposed! He also bought her a Bible and inside the bible was a wedding invitation that Bryan typed telling her the date, time, and place they will be getting married. The place that she wanted to get married is obviously a very popular place so he had to book it several months ago. So, they then headed to her parents house to tell them the news. Little did Christine know that Bryan had planned a surprise engagement party for her there! There were probably 25-30 family and friends there waiting to congratulate them. She thought they were coming to Ruston Saturday so it was a total surprise to her that we were there. Then her final surprise for the night was waiting for her in her bedroom. When she opened the door her Sister (who lives in England) was there! She was SO surprised!!! Bryan flew her in Thursday! Christine hasn't seen her since last Christmas. Isn't that unbelievable! He did SO good! She was totally surprised. He did a wonderful job of keeping everything to himself. I have been helping him since the beginning but I just offered suggestions - He did it all himself! I am just so happy for them. Bryan and I have a special relationship - I couldn't love him more if he were my own Brother! Trey and I have been together since he was like 12 so I have seen him grow from a child to a wonderful Godly man! I am so excited to see what God has in store for this stage of his life! Anyway, I just had to share that great news with everyone.
Alyssa had her first school project today. The teacher sent home this turkey and we had to disguise him. We decided to disguise him as Mickey Mouse since that is what Alyssa likes. We were really proud of our project! When I picked Alyssa up from school today they had all of them posted on the bulletin board and apparently Mickey Mouse is 3 other students favorite character!!! I still think ours was the best!!! I cut out the ears and Trey cut out the rest. It was fun.
We took the girls to The Jungle Gym in West Monroe yesterday. They had a BLAST!!! We did too! It was so much fun watching them take off and explore. We started in the jumpy thing but after about 5 minutes a boy came in and jumped right on Mallory's head and she screamed! Needless to say she wouldn't have anything else to do with that. She took off climbing up the rope ladder, through the tunnel, and down the slide. We let Alyssa jump for a while then she joined Mallory on the slide. They both loved the ball pit too! We had to get the bigger kids to gather the clothes they were shedding. One would take off her socks then the other would take out her bow. We stayed about 2 hours. At the end Alyssa decided she didn't want to slide down so after about 10 minutes of her just sitting at the top of the slide we got one of the workers to go up and slide down with her. I would have done it but she was standing right beside us!! We will DEFINITELY go back! I am thinking play dates would be great there. I could actually talk to the other Mom's and not chase after kids!!!
Friday night was First Friday night out. First Baptist provides childcare the first Friday of the month for members from 6-10:30!!! I was thinking there is no way I can leave my kids there until 10:30 because they go to bed at 8:00. Well, we got there about 9:30 (because it took us forever to eat at Olive Garden) and they were just sitting down to watch Veggie Tales and DID NOT want to leave!!! I couldn't believe it. I figured they would be fussy and tired. I have to say both Elaine and Marcie told me that would be the case but I had to see it for myself! We decided next month they may stay the whole time. I guess it will depend on their naps that day. :) We did have fun eating out with the Ramsey's (without kids) and getting to know them better!
We had a blast Friday night at the costume party. There were some funny characters!!! I worked ALL afternoon Friday spray painting our boxes to make dice then cutting out the dots. We went to homecoming on Saturday. We tailgated with the "BSU old timers" before the game with the girls then dropped the kids off with Mom and went to the game. I only stayed until half time because I was MELTING in the sun. We bought tickets on the student side and the sun was brutal! We were still tired from Friday night and all went to bed early that night. The girls did okay with daylight savings time on Sunday but yesterday & today woke up at 7:00am. They usually sleep until 8 or 8:30. Luckily Trey doesn't leave for work until about 7:30 or 8 so he has been getting them up so I can sleep a little longer. I am hoping they get adjusted SOON!
Last night was the fall festival at Temple. The girls had a great time. Alyssa LOVED the pony ride!!!! Our battery was dying so most of the pictures from that are shaky. We managed to salvage one of her! I LOVE the last picture of the girls looking at each other! The little golfer is Jake Tyler. I had to post that! It is the cutest thing I have ever seen!!! Trey & I are going to a costume party tonight. Hopefully I will remember to take my pictures so I can post some pictures. Well, I better get busy making our costumes! :)
Alyssa got to wear a costume to school today so she was a princess. Thanks to Mimi who bought both of the girls princess costumes. I had already bought Alyssa a different costume so she was a princess at school and will be Minnie Mouse for the fall festival. Mallory couldn't wear a costume to school so it is a good thing she only has one!!!
We went to the giant candyland at FBC last night. It was fun. The girls really didn't understand the game but did understand the candy & jumpy thing. Afterwards, we went out to eat with the Tyler's - they just moved to Ruston and are fabulous!!! They are in the same boat as us trying to find a church home. Well, tonight we are going to the Temple fall festival. I will have more pictures to post soon!!
We had some fall pictures made of the girls yesterday. It took all of 20 minutes and was not quite as painful as I was expecting. It is REALLY hard to get Alyssa to smile or even look at the camera but I think she got a few good shots. Mallory is a ham! Although, she kept saying "ball" and picking up the pumpkins that were supposed to be the backdrop for the pictures. If you want to look at the rest of them you can go to www.sherryowensphotography.com click on proofs then scroll down until you see smith girls. You have to put in your e-mail address and the password is pumpkin. We are taking them to the pumpkin patch this weekend so I am sure I will have more pictures to post!!!
On another note tomorrow is Trey's last day at his current job. He has decided to do home health full time. It really is a good move because he will be able to be home more and a little more accessible to help me go to doctors appointments or just pick up the girls from MDO if I need it. He is sad to leave the people he works with but we are looking forward to the change.
I introduced corn dogs to the girls last night. Mallory loved it. Alyssa didn't. Alyssa does love ketchup. She likes to stick her fingers in it and lick them. I thought maybe if we dipped the corn dog in it she would like it but I was wrong. Oh, well. I'll try something else! Mallory liked dipping her corn dog in the ketchup and eating it. It was so cute we took pictures. The bottom picture is from Saturday. Tech had a game so I put the girls t-shirts on to show some support! The last one is showing how excited Alyssa gets when I sing the veggie tales theme song!