We (thanks to Harrison) woke up extra early for a Saturday, so we decided to get a head start on all the errands we needed to run today. Caitlin and Harrison got a little tired after all our stops, but this is what they got out of our busy day:
New Camp Rock pajamas--who doesn't need a new pair of these?!
A handsome new do! Can you tell it's wintertime with that
Yes, you read that right! I am so hoping for snow on Monday! I haven't been able to build a "real" snowman since the snow of 1996--13 years ago!!! That is way too long for me. So today I went and bought some new scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby that has snowflakes and snowmen on it! It will look so cute in my 2009 scrapbook. Of course, I know that I am jinxing myself by doing this!
I am married to a man who always tries to see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. While I think this is a great theory, and I try my hardest to subscribe to it myself, there are just sometimes you need to moan and groan! For instance...yesterday I was telling him how sad I was because my First Grade class was not going to get to take another field trip this year because the Central Office has pulled all the transportation money for the rest of the year due to proration. (While I understand this, it still makes me sad!) This is what he tells me..."Well, aren't you glad they took away field trips instead of someone's job?" Now come on people!!! Can't I be sad for one little minute for my First Graders instead of being happy that Bubba the Bus Driver still has a job?!
I caught Caitlin and Harrison being the sweetest kids ever last night! She was reading him an I Spy book while they snuggled together. Of course after they caught me sneaking around with the camera, they had to pose for another cute picture!
As you can tell, in our family on our birthdays it is ALL about the food!! We absolutely love to eat! And, of course, we have extended the tradition of going out to eat on your birthday to the children. Stephanie picked an absolutely wonderful barbeque place to eat her birthday dinner. Too bad I didn't take my camera in :( Afterwards, Pa-Pa treated us all to ice cream where we had to give Stephanie her 7 birthday spankings. We had a great day of family fun!
Dana and Scott, proud parents of a seven-year-old. No, Dana,
I don't know where the years go either!
Everyone smile while Pa-Pa steals a bite of ice cream!
I don't think Daniel will ever like having his picture made!
My niece, Stephanie, celebrated her 7th birthday with a party at the Skating Rink. What memories!! It was Harrison's very first time to lace up a pair of roller skates, and only Caitlin's 4th or 5th time. He went around once, then said it was just too slippery and went to play games. Caitlin had a shaky start, but once she got going there was no stopping her! We ate pizza and a yummy cookie cake made by my sister, Aunt Dana, and then Stephanie tore into her presents (isn't that the best part of any birthday party?). It was a fun way to spend Stephanie's birthday. Thank you for inviting us, Stephanie!
"Happy Birthday to You!"
Oh, cool!! It's the Life game I've been wanting! How did Caitlin
know I wanted it?!
Slow and steady wins the race
Ready to go!
Uncle Scott skated once around the rink with Caitlin to get
When we first told our good friend, Stacy, what we planned on naming our soon-to-be-born baby boy back in 2005, she commented that it sounded very "presidential." Well since we have been inundated with all the presidential coverage the last few days, we have been talking about it with Harrison and Caitlin. We shared the little name tidbit with the kids, and wouldn't you know Harrison ran with it?! Tonight he has been calling himself President James Harrison. So thank you, Stacy, for claiming the 52nd President of the United States of America!
Part of my birthday present was shipping Caitin and Harrison off to spend the night at their grandparents' houses and getting a rare night out on the town with our two very best couple friends--the Mayers and the Aronsons. We started the night by eating at one of my favorite restaurants, Bonefish Grill. They did not disappoint! We then went to hear a band at a local place. It was a fun night spent with some very special people. Too bad we don't get to do it more often! But you can tell we are getting old because we were home and in bed by midnight!
Look at our yummy food at Bonefish!
Laura, Shannon, and I stop outside for a quick snapshot.
Aren't we a sweet birthday couple?
Tim and Shannon Mayer hamming it up for the camera!
Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa let Mommy pick a restaurant for her birthday dinner, and since I haven't had a good steak in awhile I picked Outback. Yum!!!!!! Caitlin even ordered a steak for the very first time and absolutely loved it! We had fun there, then it was off to Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa's house for birthday cake (actually pie). One of my very favorite desserts is coconut cream pie from Gibson's BBQ, and my daddy remembered this and got me one! Thank you Daddy! We then got to open presents (since Randy's birthday is so close to mine, we just celebrate them together). It was a fun evening spent with family!
Caitlin, Stephanie, Harrison, and Daniel all waiting patiently for our table at Outback.
Woo-hoo!!! Money to spend--on Mommy of course (Ha-Ha!)
Blowing out the candles on my birthday pie
Money for scrapbooking supplies--my favorite
The Original Smithermans-Dana, Pa-Pa, Ma-Ma, and Mommy
Since Caitlin's Birthday is in the summer (June 15), she doesn't get to celebrate her birthday at school with her classmates. So we decided in Kindergarten we would celebrate her 1/2 birthday instead. But the only problem with that was that fell in December--right on their Christmas Party day. So...we quickly changed it to her 7 month birthday celebration! That worked out because it fell on my birthday. So now I take a 1/2 day off on my birthday to take cupcakes to Caitlin's class. I'm figuring this will probably be the last year I get to experience this since she is getting to be so grown (3rd grade!). Maybe one more year!!
Caitlin enjoying her 1/2 birthday cupcake!
Caitlin and Carly celebrating
Mrs. Boyer's 3rd grade class at Monrovia Elementary
On Thursday, January 15, I got to pick where I wanted my breakfast delivered from (delivered by Randy, of course!). I would have rather had a home-cooked breakfast cooked by my favorite chefs, the Hollingsworths, but we just didn't have time for that. After eating our croissanwiches and french toast sticks, I got the most thoughtful presents from my family! It was a wonderful way to start my birthday.
Blowing out the candle on my croissanwich!
What could it possibly be?!
"I made it just for you, Mommy, cause I love you!"
I know you probably don't care, but it has really been stressing me out about this background! First: I went and put turkeys on it in January. Then: I tried to fix it and the whole background turned white. Next: I just put a Plain Jane Dots background on the thing which I was NOT happy with because my blog was not nearly as cute as some of the others who will remain nameless... Finally: Today one of my favorite websites "The Cutest Blog on the Block" is back up, and I have already beat the rush and put a Valentine's background up!! Like I said, you probably don't care, but I stress about the simplest things that usually don't mean a lot to anyone but me! That's what makes my life crazy (with a capital C!).
...a matching Rock Band t-shirt from Harrison! Harrison told me right after Christmas that he wanted to buy his Daddy a Rock Band t-shirt just like his. Well after searching high and low, we finally found one that came pretty close. Harrison couldn't wait for them to put on their matching t-shirts and play Rock Band together. I'm pretty sure he gets the musical talent from his Daddy!
Father and Son in matching Rock Band t-shirts
"Do you like it Daddy? I picked it out special just for you!"
Randy's parents always treat us to a birthday dinner, and this year was no exception. Randy picked PF Chang. Yum!!! We got all ready to go and realized that we needed a picture of our family. Rush to the rescue! Here we are ready to go eat some delicious white rice and Chinese food!
We have a special tradition in our house where the birthday boy or girl gets their favorite breakfast on their birthday (no matter what day of the week it falls on). This goes back to Mommy's younger days when Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa used to do this for me on my birthday. So on Randy, I mean Daddy's birthday, he picked doughnuts from the new Donut Palace. The only problem was when Mommy got to the Donut Palace--they were closed! There was a small sign on the door: "NOTICE Closed Every Monday Starting 01/12/09" Yeah, thanks for the advance notice! So...quick change of plans--Krispy Kreme doughnuts from the Shell Station. Oh well, it's the thought that counts, right? I rushed back home just in time to sing Happy Birthday to Daddy and give him his presents before hurrying off to another day of work.
Caitlin's present--an Alabama cup
It's really cool because you put it in the freezer and you don't
need any ice or you can use it for hot beverages also. She just
liked how cool it looked!
What could this be from Harrison?! You'll have to see later!
Making a wish on his birthday doughnut
Happy Birthday Daddy! Only 1 more year until the Big 4-0!
Okay...I know you are probably wondering why I have turkeys on my blog in January. I have a wonderful excuse. I was showing my friend (yes, I do have them) how to change the backgrounds. So I just picked a random background-turkeys, and when I went back to the cutest blog on the block...IT WOULDN'T LET ME BACK ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So now I am stuck with turkeys until it will let me back on! Have you ever?! And then Randy saw it and thinks I am calling him a big, fat turkey on his birthday! I hate to see what he does to me on my birthday!
It's rainy days like today that I am so thankful we have our Bama Movie Room! We had originally planned an outdoor outing this afternoon complete with a picnic lunch. Too bad Mommy doesn't watch the weather on the News! Well, to make up for Mommy's poor planning, we took Caitlin and Harrison to the movie store and let them pick out a movie to watch this afternoon complete with their own popcorn, candy, and Capri-Sun. It took awhile in the movie store for a three-year-old to part with his cartoon movie, but we finally convinced him to watch a "big boy" movie!
an awesome God!!! Just had to say it! He answers even the smallest of prayers, and I witnessed that today. I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with leukemia for the second time in a year. He was admitted into the hospital the day after Christmas for a six-week round of hard-core chemo. Anyway...I knew that he would be getting a little stir crazy, so I gave him a few puzzle books (Sudoku included) today to help with the boredom. Well, wouldn't you know that he had just finished his Sudoku book and had asked his wife to get him a new one right before he opened my measly little gift?!
Caitlin got her report card today. It was excellent! She made A/B Honor Roll just like last nine weeks' reporting period! She tries really, really hard in school which is all that we have ever asked of her. We are so proud of her and her excellent grades! As you can see, she is very proud of herself too. We asked her what reward she wanted for her good grades. (In the past she has picked a trip to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts the following Saturday morning or a trip to Bruster's Ice Cream Shop after supper). This time she surprised us and said that she wanted to go to eat at PF Chang's! I guess she's growing up and getting more expensive tastes.
Harrison's favorite present that he really didn't get for Christmas but found in the laundry room is this little flashlight. He carries it with him everywhere he goes--in the car, at the table, in the bathroom, etc. If we had known how much fun he was going to have with this "free" present, we surely would not have gone out and spent as much as we did!
We have very special friends, Donna and Charlton, who happen to live in Gadsden which sometimes seems like a world away. We try to get together with them a few times a year. We have even been on vacation with them to Gulf Shores which is a LOT of fun. They have two girls who are great friends with Caitlin and Harrison. They all play well together and have so much fun wherever we are! One of our favorite places to meet is Top 'o the River in Guntersville because that is halfway between Madison and Gadsden. It also helps that they serve delicious seafood! We met up with them tonight and almost ended up closing the restaurant down, we stayed there so long! It's always nice to take time out of our busy schedules to visit with people that mean a lot to us.
Katie, Harrison, Caitlin, and Anna Beth strike a pose!
Anna Beth and Caitlin stop their silliness for a second to pose
As we were tucking Harrison into bed last night, he said he wanted to go eat Chinese food for lunch today and go see the trains which means at Southerland Train Station. We haven't been there in quite some time, and we do have fun when we go, so we decided to make that one of our last hurrahs before school starts next week. After I got back from taking my dad to his doctor's appointment (praise God for good news!), we loaded up in the car and went to the Chinese restaurant right down from our house. The kids always eat well when we go there. Then we were off to Southerland's! We had so much fun playing with the trains and all the other toys they have there! And we even got some birthday presents bought for our friends Katie and Anna Beth while we were there.
My parents' miniature poodle, Chester, was put to sleep this afternoon. He has been very, very sick with cancer, and my parents really didn't know what path to take with him. We all loved him very much. We have always had a dog. When I was born, my parents had an old, old Pekingnese, Shane, that tried to bite me so he had to be put to sleep when I was four years old. We then got a white Peek-a-Poo, Candy, when I was five, but she turned out to be a biter as well so we had to give her away. We got Pepper when I was in the third grade. He was the best dog ever! He finally died of old age after Randy and I got married. I think Pepper was 17 years old. My parents went without a dog for awhile, saying that they just didn't need one. So finally my sister and I went out one Christmas and bought them the cutest little black poodle! He looked just like Pepper. We bought him from a breeder out on Winchester Road, so Randy suggested we name him Winchester. That obviously got shortened to Chester pretty quick. It's been very emotional lately at my parents' house, and several tears have been shed. We will miss poor little Chester!
One of Randy's oldest and dearest friends, Joe, has asked his lovely girlfriend, Lauren, to be his wife! We are so excited for them! Of course, when we told Caitlin that Joe and Lauren were getting married, the first thing she asks is, "Do they have a flower girl?" Congratulations Joe and Lauren! We know you will have a long and happy life together!
Cheers with grape juice for Taylor and Caitlin! Caitlin said,
"This is like what we have at church!"
Alex and Harrison, the two newest Rust-eze race car drivers
We continued our yearly tradition of ringing in the New Year with our good friends, the Aronsons. Todd and Laura have two children that are perfect playmates for our children. Taylor is a year younger than Caitlin and is one of her best friends. Alex is a year older than Harrison, but it seems as if they were twins separated at birth! We had a lot of fun playing cards and wishing each other a happy and safe New Year. We hope and pray that each of you have a joyous New Year!
I wear many hats, but the ones I am most proud of are wife, mom, and teacher. I am married to my college sweetheart and the best man ever, Randy, and we have 2 beautiful children, Caitlin and Harrison. We are so blessed by God and try very hard to give back to our community. I teach first grade to some of the best students in the world. Some days I feel like I'm going crazy, but with God's help, I know I can make it!