Saturday, March 4, 2017

Holidays and Birthdays

We did it! We got a Christmas family photo taken this year. We waited till Christmas Eve, but it happened! Yeah!
Our Family room is traditionally where our Christmas stockings are hung and then opened Christmas night. It is our cozy room. We spend a lot of our evenings in this room. This photo was taken before half of my lights decided to go out.
Five days after Christmas we celebrate Jeremy's birthday. This year I made him a lemon cake. It was not my favorite, but no one complained.
We have been quite busy for several months here. Between November 24th and February 17th we celebrated: Thanksgiving, 7 birthdays, our 21st wedding anniversary, Christmas, Selah's Family Day, New Years, Chinese New Year,
...and countless Christmas concerts with our church and the Smoot choirs.

Bear with me as I share just a photo or two from each!

I had a birthday, too. Just another day but Jeremy and the kids really made me feel special. Little did I know that this birthday (I was sick) would be so different.
Kyle turned 18 this January. It is special because his birthday is just three days after mine. He really was the best birthday gift I could have ever wished for that year. He is such a great young man! He makes us so proud as we watch him mature and grow in his walk with the Lord.

Just a couple days after Kyle's birthday, Jeremy left for work one morning. It was icy. His car slid off the road. He walked home to get tools and our boys but when they returned they discovered two other cars slid off the road and hit his. 

Before it was all said and done the police came. The officer fell. A fourth vehicle was involved and hit the other three. 

The car was a complete loss. Jeremy was not at fault. Mostly, I am thankful no one was hurt.
My mom had a birthday in February and Jeremy decided to get tickets for my mom and me to attend a Sandi Patty concert held right here in the town next door...Marietta, OH.
I think she enjoyed it! I will say that the man sitting next to me was not happy that my coughing was interfering with his illegal videography. 

I used a lot of cough drops.
Kyle, Mariah, Micah and I drove my mom home because Dad had Kyle's car all ready. Mariah sure eats up all the special time with Grandma and Pap.
Kyle bought a car on Black Friday but my dad needed to be sure it ran well and met his standards for the grandkids! Now Kyle needs to take his test!
Then the kids were getting sick. The lack of cold weather has had quite the affect on the viruses that are circulating. It began with Rebecca, then Mariah.
Any illness with her puts us on high alert. I believe her shirt is on backwards. 
My poor girl was so sick. 

Then we had another birthday. This was Micah's 16th! We had a laser tag part for him in the church's gym. It seemed like the kids loved it. He had a great turn out.
The next morning all three of my boys woke up sick...fevers, coughs, aches, general fatigue. Again, Becca and Mariah got sick.

We finally ended up at the doctor several days later and it was decided four kids had the flu. 

Life still went on. Smoot Choir practices continued...
School... Daddy makes a great and far more fun teacher than Mommy.
He always marches to the beat of his own drum. Good thing we homeschool He would never be allowed in school with all of his weapons.
I have been struggling with some vocal cord issues. On more than one occasion my vocal cords have had spasms and cut off my airway. Jeremy was lucky enough to witness one of these events a few weeks ago. It is scary. Those 20-30 seconds seem to last forever. My doctor sent me to my ENT who scoped me. After a difficult scope, my ENT noticed some damage to my vocal cords. There is no cure. It may be caused by reflux. But, I also am fighting a terrible sinus infection. This all has flared my asthma like never before. I am tired. I have not slept well. 

With several more appointments to a few more specialists we will try to get to the bottom of what exactly is happening. It is not life-threatening. For that I am thankful. 

Mariah is my sidekick and goes everywhere with me.  She keeps me young!
We are so grateful that all of our kids seem to be on the mend. Jeremy has been under the weather this past week, but as usual, he tells no one and refuses to admit he is not feeling well.

Maybe this is it for the kids being sick. 

Now that holidays and birthdays are wrapped up (until June), maybe we can establish normal again!




Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Today she is 6!

This past Sunday night Mariah sang for the children's Christmas program at church.

Today is a day to celebrate. Even though we do not know Mariah's exact date of birth, this is the day that was chosen by her orphanage as her birthday. We will celebrate. Actually, every day is a celebration in her world. She truly is one of the happiest kids I've ever known. She lives life to the fullest. 

I have frequently shared her funny sayings. She is hilarious!! She keeps us on our toes, for sure.

I wish I had her zeal for life. 

Mariah is an amazing child. She makes friends literally everywhere she goes: in doctor's office waiting rooms, ball games, Sunday School, choir concerts, the grocery store........anywhere! 

Here are a few photos from this past year and a brief explanation. 

She didn't make it to the end of the Hometown Christmas at the Smoot. She anticipated the fake snow waiting near a fan all night. Then she fell asleep before 'White Christmas' and missed the snow. Until the "snow man" realized what happened and he sprinkled her! Thank you Mr. Snow Man!!! You made her day!
Today we will celebrate the life that the Lord entrusted to us 4 1/2 years ago. She needs us. She desperately loves us. And boy does everyone love her back. She is more than a spark. More like a blaze! I cannot wait to see what God has planned for her life. It has to be big! She knows nothing less!

In September we went to Disney as her wish with Make-A-Wish. This trip gave her many of her wishes and gave Jeremy and I an entire week with our kids, uninterrupted with doctor appointments and financial concern. The heat was hard on her. I am thankful for an unassuming stranger among a sea of people who made us aware that she was in trouble. God sent us that man and I don't believe he even knew it.

Here she was after we were able to wake her and quickly give her the medicine she needed. You can see it in her eyes.
She loved "It's a Small World"

I'm pretty sure nothing compares to Frozen!

She loves Belle!

She made a new friend in the play area.
She and daddy......and Hello Kitty photo bomber.

She was so thrilled to ride a horse!
We saw great light shows and fireworks!
Who doesn't love Minnie!

She lost several teeth this year too. Most recently, both front teeth!

She played her second season of soccer and scored her first goal!

She started kindergarten! Photo is from first day of school, outside!
Went to a friend's house (thanks Nita) and held some peeps.
Cousins are some of the best kind of friends(Joshua)!
More cousins (Hannah)!
More cousins......Elizabeth (in college)!
And more cousins! Several were still missing.
She loves her friends!
She is mostly patient (pun intended!)
Then we ran into Santa and Mrs. Claus at Target after the doctor appointment.
More "friends". Just another example of her sense of humor!
More being funny with Daddy!
A natural beauty! Just woke up.
Nervous for her lab work. This time she did not cry.
I love when she falls asleep in the car!
Daddy's car!
No words!
And finally, the grandparents wore her out!

All of our older five kids are in the teen group at church. So once a month we have a free evening with Mariah. She loves the time with us.
We have been thoroughly enjoying the Christmas season this year. We started a little earlier and I am thrilled we did. We have been watching Christmas movies, decorating, and our baking is next week! We have had countless choir concerts with church and Smoot, Christmas parade, window shopping, and other things planned (gingerbread house display and Christmas tree display).
Tonight, before I put her to bed I asked her for one more photo of my favorite five-year-old who is turning six. She just giggled and jumped out of bed in agreement. Here was that photo. Nothing fancy, my hair is a mess but I sure do love this girl. I gave up the glamor years ago. Can you see her joy as she gives me bunny ears? 
Happy sixth birthday sweet girl! We love you to the moon and back! And as Courtney says......"God danced the day you were born"!