Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pic of the day

Still here and still lovin' it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Lake

Glory hallelujah sister, we made it!!

After much anticipation, planning and packing we are now takin' it easy, Smith Lake style.  

Be back in touch soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Perfect Float

Concerning the pursuit of the perfect pool float for our girl, I think we have a winner...

I probably should have been more specific b/c the perfect pool float for SK, in my opinion, is one that allows her to be up and a part of the action.

The "flat on her back" pool float is easy to come by, but getting her up and supported properly was a whole different ball game, especially since she has officially grown out of the baby floats.

Our girl loves the water! She must feel so light and free, she kicks her legs around and always has the biggest smile on her face, even when she's being splashed by her brothers.

She doesn't get a moment's peace in the pool, her little bodyguard is never too far away.  Have I mentioned he's a bit protective of her...because he is.  It's so sweet.

My kids would swim from sun up to sun down if they could.  I'm so thankful for this pool at my in-laws house.  It provides us such fun times with family and friends during the summer.  Sophie Kate is able to stay inside when she's not in the pool so that she doesn't get too hot.  It's really the perfect setup for us.   

FYI, Sophie Kate's float is the H2O Hammock from Leslie's Pool Supply.  

Thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day 2011

I had a whole Father's Day post planned until this unexpectedly happened last night...

Chad said it was the only Father's Day present he needed and he was right.  This moment was captured of my middle son as he sat at the kitchen table playing computer games, he had no idea I was filming him at the time.  

Our children have been joining us in "big church" lately and you wonder from time to time between the whispering, drawing, writing, and general lack of paying attention just how much are they hearing and soaking in.  We sang this song this morning in worship.  They're getting it even when we think they may not be paying attention, it's sinking in.  

As sweet as this music was to our ears, it can't even compare to how precious it was to his Heavenly Father. We are so inadequate to be raising these boys, it's a terrifyingly fantastic journey.

Happy Father's Day to the man who leads our family by example, shows our boys how a godly husband and father conducts themselves, and has taken on more than he ever thought he could with this girl of ours. Thanks for coming home to this zoo everyday.

1 Timothy 6:11 "But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness."

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Our summer has been so full so far and I don't just mean full of "stuff" and coming and going.  I mean full of family, friends, fun times and laid back days.  Days where we don't have to be anywhere at any particular time.  Days spent hanging together and just enjoying these kids and where they're at right now, a full heart not necessarily a full schedule.

Chad's family was in town over the past week.  The whole group makes an effort to get together a few times a year and believe me that's quite an accomplishment seeing as how when we're all together we are 20 strong and yes that's just the immediate family.  There are 10 grandchildren with one more on the way later this year.  

They play, eat and swim and then repeat that cycle several times a day, ha ha.  We found ourselves repeatedly doing head counts in the pool...1,2,3,4...ok we're good.  One day all the cousins came over to our house to jump on the trampoline.

They were begging Cooper to bounce them up in the air.

He obliged...

They laughed, giggled and squealed...

You get the idea...

I read an article this week by Michael Callahan entitled, "The Never-Empty Nest."  It has resonated with me and I want to leave you with this thought "the power of now, the beauty of seeing things as they are, not as you wish them to be...wrap your arms around what is."

Thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, June 13, 2011

VBS Week

We just completed Vacation Bible School at our church this week.  What a week it was, all glory to God for all that was accomplished.  Our children raised over $2,200 for missions ( during VBS, that blows my mind. I don't know about the rest of the parents, I may be confessing something I'll be sorry for later, but I only sent money with my children out of my own pocket on Monday. The boys dug into their own wallets and banks for the offering they took the rest of the week.  Judging by the amount of change in the offering plates as they went around,  I imagine that other children were doing the same, what a blessing.

I have helped with Vacation Bible School since Cooper was a baby.  I did miss the year after SK was born because we were over in Georgia doing hyperbaric oxygen treatments. My heart was so torn up that week in June as I headed to GA instead of heading to my church for VBS.  Some may think I'm crazy, because VBS is exhausting no doubt, but I just wanted to do something normal and normal for me is VBS. 

There is just something about being in a worship rally with close to 1,000 Kindergarten-Sixth graders singing praise songs to God.  It is a blessing to my soul to watch them worship.  They are so uninhibited and genuine.  Sophie Kate's face was lit up by all the wonderful sights and sounds, she always responds so sweetly to music.


Sophie Kate participates regularly in the Special Needs class at our church.  This class frees me up to serve in some of the boys' classes and to be a part of some of the things they are doing.

She's included and participates in many activities...

They do so much with her during the week.  As you can see from the pictures she absolutely loves being there.  I don't have to worry for one minute about her when she is there, she is loved and cared for in such a sweet way.

I'm thankful for a wonderful week for my my girl, normalcy for my family and an experience alongside 1,000 kids that genuinely touched by heart.  I know they were a sweet aroma to their Creator as well.  Their enthusiasm is contagious, I pray we won't get over it any time soon.

Thanks for checking in on us.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yep, it's summer!

At the pool...

I wish you could all experience a "day in the life" of living with Grey.  He the sweetest thing with his sister and super protective of her in the pool.  He recently told a friend of mine who was in the pool with SK that she was getting too close to the deep end and that Sophie Kate was not to go in the deep end.  He's always watching.

The many suits and floats of Sophie Kate...

My father-in-law has taken it upon himself to find the perfect float for his 3 yr old granddaughter this summer.  Each time we go over there to swim he usually has a couple of new floats for us to try out with SK.  The thought of him perusing every aisle within a 50 mile radius of our town with only our girl on his mind makes me smile.

Yes, it's a tankini and she knows she looking fabulous.

This next segment is what I like to call "You might be a redneck if..."

You might be a redneck if you and your 4 kids go to the drive in on a Friday night and let said kids watch the movie from the back of the pickup truck.  Yep, we did.

It was perfect for Sophie Kate b/c she loves being outside and not in loud/dark movie theaters.  We took our own drinks and snacks and had a good ole time...

barefoot rednecks and all.

Local friends, we highly recommend the Argo drive for some cheap family fun.  Thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, June 6, 2011

SK's New Stander

Another reason we love our school system...

Trussville City Schools has loaned us this stander for Sophie Kate for the summer.  We have been without a stander for almost a year now.  Insurance won't pay for one (they don't see this as necessary for our girl) and it is extremely expensive to buy one out right.  It is ridiculous what people charge the parents of special needs children for equipment/supplies/toys, etc.  Don't get me started...they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Back to our fabulous school system...see how happy she is to be upright and enjoying life from a different position for a change.  Thanks to everyone who made this possible, our girl is loving it!

Look what we found one day when we were dropping off Sophie Kate with her nurse...

One day old kittens...

Oh my goodness we were in cuddly and cuteness overload...

This little cutie pie started climbing over to SK...

My kids were in love with these little babies.  They really were so cute with their little squeaks.  No we're not getting one but we sure enjoyed cuddling them for an afternoon.

Okay, I can now die of sweet precious goodness...
Thanks for checking in on us.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Memorial Day Pictures

These were taken when my camera and I were actually getting along.

I love them, but not near as much as I love this beautiful girl that has come into our lives and changed each and every one of us without a word ever spoken.

She is so full of life, so happy and content to just be herself...

Our Memorial Day cutie...

This may be my most favorite summer picture ever...

"...where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom"  2 Corinthians 3:17.  Thanks for checking in on us.