Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Six Sexy Sisters

I better change that to 5 sexy sisters, because if I include myself then I am bragging...and am giving false information! During Sunday dinner, after Cali's most fabulous homecoming talk, we were all standing around the kitchen talking aimlessly (at least Steve thinks it is aimless!) when we realized that all six sisters were present. We decided to document the occasion with a photo.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Welcome Home Sister Smith!

One of my very favorite sisters (I have five favorite sisters) arrived home from the Kirtland, Ohio mission two weeks ago. It was a grand reunion in the airport. We even made her break through a sign! Initially she wasn't as excited to be home as we were to have her home! She had a small emotional breakdown that lasted about an hour and then her "normalizing" began! She was an outstanding missionary, full of zeal and spunk and courage and love. I love hearing all her inspiring, and sometimes hilarious stories. We are so happy to have her home!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Little Things

During a late night talkfest with my sisters this last weekend we discussed the languages of love. I have actually never read the book about the languages of love, but I think I know the basic ideas of the book and therefore I am an expert on the subject. Something I think I know is that a person usually gives love the way they like to receive love. This can often be a problem in a relationship because the way you give love may not be the way your companion best receives love. I have a near perfect husband. Anyone who knows him well will undoubtedly second my opinion. As I was shooting the breeze with my sisters I told them that if I could change one thing about Steve I would make him more romantic, because it is through the romantic things that I feel love, which is not the most common way Steve gives love. After a little more thought and discussion I decided that I am probably unpleasable, because I actually want love given in every way possible. I need affection, I need compliments, I need help around the house, I need time, I need it all. After even a little more thought I decided that Steve gives me love in all these ways, some of them just come in small packages. He does not surprise me with candlelight dinners or big trips, but everytime he goes to the grocery store, which is much more often than most men, he brings me home some of my favorites, like my favorite granola with fresh berries. He would always choose to stay home with the family than go anywhere else. He gave me all his birthday money to spend on my upcoming girls' trip to San Diego. He gets the kids ready for church every sunday (except for Sophie's hair). He tells me that he wouldn't change anything about me. Sometimes it's hard to remember the little things, but that is what he is good at, which is why he is nearly perfect. He may not be planning the next romantic getaway (although I'm working on it!) but he is constantly busy doing the little things for our family - which I wouldn't trade for anything.

FYI: Steve turned 32 last week. Maxwell wanted to play pin the tail on the donkey, so I found this great printable version which allows you to insert any face that fits. We played two games, one with Donkey Mike (great Arizona friend) and one with Donkey Dave (Steve's big brother). No offense guys - just feel the love!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Winter Wonderland

My beautiful parents with their youngest grandchild.

Maxwell, McKay, Cutler, Landon and Baby Adam
(Did only Maxwell and McKay get the crazy face memo?)

Sicily and Sophie
(The lip gloss in Sicily's hand is a permanent fixture...
on the verge of an addiction!)

Steve and Justin going brokeback!

Uncle Joe with Adam
(My way too picky bachelor brother...who we still adore!)

The long trek!

Cousin McKay in the front looks like he has a "special" problem
but he just loves to make silly camera faces!

Blogging tip: some people (like me) post their pictures in a format
that allows you to click on the picture to see it larger.
Test this tip on the picture above if you want to see something
other than a whole bunch of heads with snow hats!

All my posts seem to be delayed. I feel a bit guilty when I read someone else's romantic post about their husband...on his actual birthday or the actual day of their anniversary. Guilt often leads to digression, but I decided that blogging is my way of journaling, and I have never felt guilty about not journaling (even after countless church lessons on the importance of keeping a journal), so why should I feel guilty about delayed blogging. So I won't anymore. I will blog at my convenience!

The weekend after Christmas the Smith Family celebrated our 3rd annual winter trip to McCall. McCall is a charming little mountain town about 2 hours away from Boise. We rented two beautiful and comfortable condos and packed them tight with siblings and cousins. All but one of my 10 siblings were able to come this year - the missing one being my little sister missionary, Cali, who could have made it but she decided to extend her mission even amidst much family protest.

We found a great sledding hill (notice the picture of a massive line of people trudging along) which we thought would be a great ride for the kids, but after one bloody nose, all three 5 year olds in tears, and a back injury we decided the hill was better suited for the X-Games! We also played games, skied, ate yummy food, and laughed way too much.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Christmas Eve with the Smiths

We have two different kinds of Christmas Eves in our family, the Payne Christmas Eve and the Smith Christmas Eve, alternating each year. They are both tons of fun and full of craziness. The Payne Christmas Eve consists of good food and good company, with the rest of the evening being consumed by a visit from Santa (a.k.a. an old family friend). As the family has gotten larger, Santa's stay has gotten longer! The Payne Christmas Eves are a great time and make great memories.

The Smith Christmas Eve also consists of good food and good company, several musical performances, and is followed by the nativity story, which is produced and directed by Grandma Smith and stars the grandchildren. Maxwell was Joseph this year and Sophie was the angel (isn't that fitting!). Cousin Sicily has been the star two years in a row...literally...her head pokes out from a cardboard star covered in gold foil! After the nativity story we have a candle lighting ceremony. This is a tradition that usually ends in tears, not sad ones, heartfelt ones. One person starts by saying something special about another person in the group and they then light that person's candle, and so on, and so on, until the last person says something they love about the person who started the lighting ceremony and then all the candles are lit. It sounds cheesy, and it is, but for a family full of girls, it is a tradition we appreciate. Steve started the candle lighting this year, and I was the last one to have my candle lit, so I got to brag and blubber about my husband. It was so easy to find stuff to brag about!

Friday, January 4, 2008

King Frosty & Princess Frostine

Snow arrived perfectly in time on Christmas Eve day. Steve and the kids headed outside first thing in the morning to build a snowman, and accessorized it with a snowman kit from Grandma Pat that we haven't been able to use the last four years because snow does not exist in Gilbert, AZ. I came out a little later, finally ready to brave the cold, and helped Sophie build a second snowman to call her own. Maxwell named his snowman King Frosty. When I asked Sophie what she wanted to name hers, with Max suggesting that she be a princess, Sophie quickly named her Princess Frostine, after the character from Candyland. It took me a moment to realize how fitting the name was. Our snow people were loved by all passersby, which was evident by all the waves and honks from strangers. They lived short lives (approximately 1.5 weeks) but fulfilled their missions!
The little girl in the picture with Sophie is our neighbor, Olivia, who is a ball of fun energy. Steve and her Dad were busy shoveling lots of driveways while we took this picture, and then we barraged them with snowballs!