Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Conversation Starters

I liked GirlTalk's post today. I don't really struggle with what to say to my family members at Christmas. Thankfully, they are all followers of Christ, so that makes talking about the real meaning of Christmas super easy. I thought this article had some good conversation starters for family or friends I spend time with during this holiday season. 5 more days!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Loop Christmas

We just got back from Josh's extended family Christmas in the tiny west Texas town of Loop. The trip was quick, but fun. We arrived quite late Saturday night. Mary Alice was so excited to finally be at Grandmother and Grandad's house that she failed to notice the glass front door and ran right into it!! Our girly girl is very accident prone. She wasn't hurt, but instead started laughing, ran inside and jumped straight into Grandmother's lap. That silly girl.

Josh's entire extended family on his dad's side meet up twice a year, once in the summer, and once at Christmas. It is always fun to see everyone and how their families grow and change. The kids especially enjoy it, because they actually have some "cousins" their age that they can play with. There is always lots of laughter and good times at the Loop Christmas.

Mary Alice and her cousin Megan. These two played so well together. Mary Alice was sad to leave her little friends on Sunday.

Nonnie with Mary Alice and the Maje. I think Mary Alice looks a little bit like her Nonnie.

Josh's dad-Kent, Josh, Major, and Josh's Grandad-Homie in a four generation Smith picture. Josh's Grandad was especially funny and sweet this year. I couldn't stop laughing at his stories of his mischievous youth. He was quite a prankster back in the day! All of these guys are rascals if you ask me, though. :)

Speaking of rascal, isn't this little one cute? We had so much fun watching Josh's cousin's daughter, Sierra, crawl around and play. She is the happiest little thing ever. Josh and I wanted to take her home with us. Posted by Picasa

Loop Christmas continued...

My happy little guy. He had so much fun and wore himself out playing in the dirt. He was covered in it!

One of the kids had a bow-hiney. (We are easily amused.)

Sweet little thumb sucker... Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's A Wonderful Life

First... a brief reenactment of Mary Alice's play, It's A Wonderful Life, for your viewing pleasure.

Here are some pictures from the real thing. :)

Mary Alice and "the Bailey family". She just LOVED her stage parents, Travis and Stacy.

Mary Alice and her stage sister, Kennedy.

Mary Alice and her Gran, "Aunt Tilly", whose real name should've been Aunt Silly!

Mary Alice with her Aunt Hannah (a.k.a. Mrs. Andrews).

Mary Alice's friends, Emma and Kendyll, came with their mommies to show their support. They even brought her roses!

We're sure glad it's over! Mary Alice isn't, though. She said that she wished the play lasted for the "rest of her life"!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Top 11 Reasons I Love My Husband

Usually, people reserve a blog post of this nature for a birthday or an anniversary or some other special occasion. Since we're not guaranteed another anniversary or birthday together, and since the mood just struck me, I am going to write this post right now, just because.

When I was a girl, I used to pray every night for God to let me marry a strong Christian man. Looks like God answered my prayers, and He answered them better than I could've ever imagined!

These Are the Top Eleven Reasons I Love My Husband....

1) He is a leader. I am so proud of his leadership. He isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes is right. He doesn't feel the pressure to "go with the flow". He doesn't care about what other people think. I don't think he ever has. (This is good, because I care about it way too much!) He isn't afraid to be in a leadership position. He never tries to be in one. Leadership positions just always seem to find him. I also notice that other guys look to him for advice and leadership.

2) He doesn't care. Of course he cares about important things. What I mean is, that he doesn't care about the kinds of things that really aren't that important. I know lots of women whose husbands have many quirks, who have a preference about how the house is decorated, how their shirts are ironed, where they go to dinner, etc. etc. etc. Josh doesn't feel the need to control these things in our lives, and for that I am extremely grateful.

3)He is strong. I can be quite stubborn and willful. I have always been this way. Guess what? Josh is too, (maybe even more so at times)! God knew that the only way that I would possibly be able to respect my husband is if he was just as stubborn and willful as I was. If I would have married a follower, guess who'd be the leader in our family? That's right, I'm sorry to say that it would be me. Thankfully, God spared me from marrying someone who was weak, but led me straight to my perfect match, Josh.

4) He is a good friend. Josh would do anything for anyone, and at a moment's notice. He gives up his time for others. He is a servant to his friends. He deeply loves and cares about them and would do anything for them. If you are one of the guys blessed enough to have Josh as a friend, you are one lucky guy. It seems like if there ever is a need (someone who is moving, someone who needs a friend,someone who is sick, someone who needs help with their computer, etc.) Josh is there in a flash. Sometimes it gets on my nerves, because I'm thinking, "Why do you always have to be the one who helps everyone? Why can't someone else be their friend, mow their lawn, etc?", but deep down I am proud of him and know that God wouldn't have gifted him with this care for others if He hadn't meant for him to use it.

5) He is not, what I like to refer to as an "attention seeker". I cannot stress this one enough!! Back a hundred years ago when I was dating, there seemed to be so many of these guys that I call "attention seekers". The guy who, at my brother's wedding rehersal dinner, felt the need to grab the tiki torches that were staked into the grass, and then tried to spin them around like some sort of a circus performer, only to have the grass nearly catch fire. The guy who acted stupid and ditzy to get people to laugh (Think, Bill and Ted). The guy who was always performing childish stunts. The guy who was hyper, bouncy, and immature, like an adolescent with ADD. The world needs a few of these (very few). I am so glad that Josh is not an "attention seeker". I would never want to be married to someone like this. That would be annoying.

6) He knows his Bible. I love being married to someone I can ask about the Bible. Josh has a working knowledge of the Scriptures and how everything fits together. Often, I will come to him with a question about the Bible and he can usually answer it, if not, point me in the right direction. I love this about him!!!

7) He is a hottie. It seems like I've always heard that having an attractive spouse is not usually a woman's greatest need. I disagree. I think it is very important that you feel your spouse is attractive. I am sure glad I can walk around with a "trophy husband" on my arm. Is this prideful? Maybe so. I sure am proud of my hottie husband.

8)He is a good Daddy. He spends lots of time with the kids. They love him to death! (sometimes I think they love him more than me :( ) He loves them to death too and couldn't be prouder of his sweeties. He is a good disciplinarian, strong, but gentle and loving. There is this one old man at church that keeps coming up to Josh after church and making comments to him about what a good father he is, saying that he can tell that Josh is good at balancing being strict and loving. I couldn't agree more! He is a great father. He is much more patient with the kids than I am, too.

9) He eats whatever I cook. This may seem silly, but it was such an important thing for me. I told him even before we got married, that I didn't like pickiness. He is so nice to me, eating everything I fix for him, whether or not he likes it. He never makes rude comments about what I fix (even if my dinner was a flop). He eats nearly any vegetable, although he has told me that he will never ever ever like mushrooms, strawberries, or squash, no matter how I fix them. Anyway, he eats what I fix and doesn't complain. Ever.

10) He is a good listener. I love details! I love detailed stories, with lots of descriptions about people, places, facial expressions, who was there, what people talked about, etc. As a rule, I talk way too much! Thankfully, the Lord paired me up with an incredible listener. I can talk all I want around Josh. His ability to listen reminds me of a character from one of my favorite movies Anne of Green Gables, Matthew Cuthbert, who says, "You can talk all you want. I don't mind." This is Josh. The only time he really gets annoyed is when I interrupt.

11) He is stable. I am a person who is easily frustrated, easily stressed, easily worried, easily shaken. Josh is solid as a rock. He lets things roll off his back and helps me not to be such a worrywort. I know that if I had married someone who was as much of an emotional basketcase as I am, I would probably be in the insane asylum or have pulled all of my hair out or something. Josh keeps me grounded, brings me back to earth.

As I read back over all of this, it makes me think, "Whoa! I am a pretty awful person! I sure need help. Let's see, I am bossy, selfish, a loudmouth, controlling,emotionally unstable, impatient, and easily annoyed.... I could add to the list." Thankfully, I am married to someone who helps to make me a better person, someone who helps balance me out. God chose Josh just for me, to be my perfect helper.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Psalm of Praise

And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself?" Matthew 21:16

Every once and a while, I will hear Mary Alice's sweet little voice singing some made up song to God. I'm usually driving down the road or somewhere else and I think, "I wish I had a pen and paper to write some of this sweet stuff down." Well, this morning, I stayed home from church with her because she had a fever. We worshipped with Prestoncrest online and then went downstairs together. She started singing another one of her songs, which is a mixture of words from her imagination mixed with bits and pieces of other songs that she knows. The tune was not exceptional, but the words were beautiful! I slyly went and got a pen and paper and started jotting down the words as she sang them. Here is her psalm of praise:

I love you Lord, You are soooo good to me.
I am Yours and You are mine.
You work in my life and do riiiight.
When Satan is bad, you just get him away.
I will not listen, O Lord, I will close my ears and say no to Satan.
I will follow You instead, because I looove You.
Satan comes and tries to play tricks, but I would rather worship You, O Lord.
God, you are clothed with power and might.
I will love you for all of my days because God you are so good to me.
You are so powerful and I love You.
We are bad and You are good.
You forgive us and love us every day.
Sovereign Lord, You work all things to Your plan.
You take good care of us.
I praise You, O Lord and I love You.
We are Your children, we are Your children, and You are our God, O Lord.

Isn't this just how our praise should be? Humble, heartfelt praise to a righteous God, just like a child. I'm sure God was smiling at the words that went up to him this morning.

"At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, 'Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?'
"Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
"'Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea'" (Matthew 18:1-6).