Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Tea Party 2008

First of all, I would like to say a very sincere thank you to all of the people who have been praying on behalf of my mother. She had a PET scan last week to determine whether or not the cancer had spread to other places in her body. We are so excited and blessed to be able to say that the PET scan showed no signs of cancer. We are very thankful at this wonderful news. Thank you so much for those of you who have been so faithful to pray. She just began chemotherapy and will continue with those treatments for six months. Please continue to pray for her as she deals with this treatment. She has been amazed and honored by the many prayers that have been said for her, many of whom were offered by people she doesn't even know! What a blessing and an encouragement it is to be a part of the community of believers! Thank you so much!

I have been a sorry blog poster lately. I am including a few pictures of Mary Alice's annual Christmas tea party. I believe it is her sixth tea party? Anyway... This is something that my mother did for me each Christmas when I was a little girl. Now, we're passing the tradition on to sweet Mary Alice. This year, I was a little bit lazy with the whole thing. All of the food came from a bakery or the frozen foods section of the grocery store. We had NO planned activity. The girls just drank their tea and had a wonderful time playing together in Mary Alice's room. Fortunately, none of this mattered a bit to the little girls who were invited. They seemed to have just as much fun as they have during other tea parties. I am so glad that we made the time for this special event. There are only a few more years that Mary Alice will care anything about having tea parties. I want to soak them all up!

This year, Mary Alice decided that she wanted to wear her Christmas dress. Without being asked, about an hour or so before the party, Major put on his Christmas outfit also. He wanted to look extra sharp for sis' Christmas tea. He came downstairs with his hands in his pockets. He was wearing his "shoes like Daddy's". I am surprised at how much he likes for me to comment on his appearance. It makes him so proud whenever we tell him how "sharp" or "handsome" he looks. He sat down quietly at a corner of the tea party table and ate some goodies along with the girls. What a sweet little guy he is! I am so proud of him! He is turning into a little gentleman. He loves to open doors for women, open the car door for his sister, and carry things that he thinks might be too heavy for the girls. It is so funny. I love my little man! He isn't always a perfect little gentleman, but when he is, it is so sweet!

Anyway... Here are a few pics of the tea party. I love to do things like this for my girl. She loves having friends over to play. That is something that I want to make more time to do during the next year. She is such a little social butterfly. It is amazing to see her light up when she gets around her little girlfriends.

The Group of Tea Party Attendees

My Girl

A Plate of Tea Party Treats...

A Side View

Sweet Janae

Presents from under our tree for the centerpiece... :)

A Sip of Tea

Sweet Amilia

The Lonely Cupcake (later eaten by me!)

Abby and the girl

Maje and his big sister

Wishing you all a joyous Christmas season!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Prayer Request

Mom starts chemotherapy tomorrow. Please say a little prayer for her.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Our Family Thanksgiving

Our laptop had some issues a few days ago. Josh has been looking for a solution to the problem. Meanwhile, I have been without a computer for the last week or so, hence no Thanksgiving update. I am linking my blog to my sister, Taylor's blog. She took some GREAT pictures of our family Thanksgiving celebration at my parents' house. I think she captured everything perfectly. Her pictures are so much better than my words, anyway. update on my mother... She had a port placed under her skin on Wednesday. The port is for the administration of medications involved with chemotherapy and links to a vein in her heart. She will begin chemo in a couple of weeks. Please pray for her. It has been a huge blessing to her and to us to see how many people love her and are committed to pray for her healing and strength. She is a trooper and continues to amaze me with her positive attitude and faith! We kept having to tell her to rest and to please stop doing so much at Thanksgiving. Sitting around is just not a part of her nature. :) Please keep her in your prayers.

I'm trying to get ready for our sweet little girl's arrival. The nursery isn't ready yet. Christmas presents aren't bought either. I'm way behind, but know that it will all work out in the end. I am very excited about a dresser that my sister's friend is painting for our little girl's nursery. Taylor's friend, Linde Giddens, is designing an extra special custom dresser for our girl. I am so excited to see what she will do! Look at this girl's fun website for yourself to see just why I am so excited.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Funny Things They Say and Do

Children are some of life's greatest blessings. There is constantly some new thing that they are doing to bring little bursts of joy into our life. We are greatly anticipating the arrival of our littlest one. It won't be too much longer now! I am secretly hoping for a really good baby so that I can do all of the things that I need to do over these next few months. I am too tired right now to even entertain the thought of caring for a rascally baby. I'm sure, though, that God knows just what kind of a baby our family needs, rascally, or not. Her days are already numbered by Him. He knows just what kind of a girl she will be. We are excited to find out about this sweet little one's personality.

I thought I would share a few of the funny things that Major has been saying this week, along with some of the things that both of the kids have been doing.

Both of the kids had a little cold/cough for a few days last week. Major hadn't really been coughing during the day, but would cough a little bit when he went to bed and then again in the morning just as he would wake up. The other day, he ran into our bedroom in his pajamas and jumped into bed with Josh and me. He snuggled up against us, coughed really hard and said, "The germs are fighting with my body and I think the germs are winning!"

Last night, after church, he went up to our preacher and said, "Hey Mr. Karl! I think you are a good priest." Sweet Major. Just trying to be encouraging... I guess he doesn't know the difference between a priest and a preacher yet. Sweet buddy.

Lately, Major gets cracked up during sermons at our church. At first it starts out as a funny "s-s-s-s-s-" sounding laugh, then the laughter becomes more and more noticeable as Major repeats the funny phrase out loud again and again. We smile at him at first, but then eventually have to tell him to settle down. This is getting to be a weekly occurrence. It is pretty funny...for a while anyway. Last week, Mr. Karl said some kind of phrase about being "fat and sloppy". Major thought that was pretty funny. All of the people sitting right around us could eventually hear Major's voice repeating "fat and sloppy"... "fat and sloppy"... "s-s-s-s-s-"..."hehehehe". Yesterday morning, Mr. Karl said something like, "Our blessings don't come from Washington!" Major started laughing and said, "That's funny! Washington? Who's he??? Our blessings come from God! s-s-s-s-s... Hehehehe...HAHAHAHA! Washington!!! HA!" It doesn't take much to entertain that guy. Just say a few silly words to him and he will explode into fits of laughter.

Speaking of which, our kids are both in a stage which includes not so funny jokes. Of course, there is the occasional joke that IS funny. Many of them do not make any sense at all. They think that they are funny, anyway. :) Sweet buddies.

The kids keep themselves entertained with their little projects and games. One of the things that I love about homeschooling Mary Alice is the extra time that the kids get to spend together. They have plenty of time during the day to play and create. People have been asking me what they want for Christmas. Kids really need very few toys. Just give them a cardboard box, some paint, markers, etc. and let them create. :) Aren't those some of the best toys?

Here are some things that they made this week. The first pictures are from when they decided to create a rocket. Halfway through this project, they changed their mind and decided to make the box into an "angel sleigh". This morning, the kids spent Mary Alice's break time playing in their little angel sleigh, until we had to borrow it to give our tiny Christmas tree some height.

The second picture is of a game that Major invented. Mary Alice does some of her school work on these little white dry erase boards. While I was working with Mary Alice, Major invented this little hockey game. He got into our craft box and pulled out some flat marbles. He pulled out some construction paper and cut out these little blue squares. He used his markers as hockey sticks. The object of the game was to hit the marbles into the blue squares. :) When it was time for Mary Alice to take another break, she and Major competed with their homemade hockey games for about a half an hour or so. They had so much fun with this simple little game. I love it!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Have fun celebrating all of life's wonderful blessings that can only be attributed to our great God!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yo Ho Ho and A Bottle of Kool Aid :)

Last weekend, the kids and I headed down to my nephew, Landon's, fourth birthday party. My sister-in-law planned a pirate themed party. It was tons of fun for everyone! We learned that Mary Alice and Major both have some special talents that were previously unknown. Apparently, they both proved to have super fast and flexible toes. We learned this during a game in which they had to put marbles/"jewels" in a bucket with their toes game. Also.... It didn't take long for Major to bust open the pinata. He was possibly a little overzealous with the bat. That's my boy!

The only bad thing was that I forgot to bring my camera!! You can go over to Alisha's blog and check it out. Alisha made another one of her amazing creations...This time she made Landon a Jolly Roger birthday cake! Birthdays and holidays are the perfect opportunities to make special memories with kiddoes. My kids had a great time and returned home two super tired little pirates! Happy Birthday Landon! The kids look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with their cousins!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Belated Pics of My Halloween Buddies...





Today I am 34 weeks pregnant. I feel as big as a barn, but am starting to wonder if this feeling is something that I came by on my own, or if I have been strongly influenced by the unsolicited remarks of others. I have never received comments such as the ones I've been hearing over the last week before. I don't know quite what to think. Am I that much bigger than I was with Mary Alice and Major? Come to think of it, perhaps I am feeling miserable? Maybe? Everyone else seems to think I look it. I am not bitter about these remarks, just astonished at how freely some can offer their opinions about the state of my body. All of this is good news, though, that things are moving along just as they should be. I am so blessed to be carrying this special little girl and don't care if I get to be as big as a whale, just as long as she is growing right along with me.

Here are a few remarks that I've heard in the last couple of weeks, for your entertainment:

1)(said to me upon leaving my mom's hospital room last week by an interested passer by...)

Man: "Girl! When you due?"
Me: "Christmas day."
Man: "You BIG!"
Me: "Thank you. That is always something a pregnant gal wants to hear."
Man: (laughing) "Oh. Er... That isn't exactly what I meant...Er..."

2)(said to me by a sweet woman that I see every week when Mary Alice goes to her music and ballet lessons)

Woman: "WOW! You're really getting close!"
Me: "I'm not due for another month and a half...December 25th.)
Woman: "I guess you have a while."
Me: "Yes."
Woman: "Don't take this the wrong way. You look great. You look thin all over, but I can just tell a HUGE difference in how big you are from last week to this week."
Me: "Really? Oh."

3)(said by the checkout lady at the grocery store)

Cashier: "When are you due, honey?"
Me: "Christmas day."
Cashier with mouth wide open: "REally? Well I can tell you one thing. You aren't gonna make it that long."
Me: no reply

4)(My favorite type of remark...completely untrue, but sweet, nonetheless... I hear it every once and a while. This is the way to talk to a pregnant woman if you want to make her feel good instead of like an astonishing spectacle.)

Woman: (smiling and looking me over) "You look absolutely beautiful!"
Me: "Thank you."

To help mark this very special occasion of being 34 weeks pregnant, I am posting a few of my favorite pictures of the kids in their Halloween costumes, taken by my sister, Taylor. Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. These are some of my favorite costumes that the kids have worn in all their years of Halloween fun. In case you can't tell, they are dressed as Marie Antoinette and Pharaoh. These costumes are patterned after some that the kids saw in a catalog back in August. We were able to fashion Mary Alice's costume using a recycled flower girl dress. Major's headpiece was initially a disaster that looked more like The Flying Nun. I couldn't get the top to look quite right, no matter what I did. With a little help from my mother, the hat shaped up quite nicely, so to speak. Have a great day! I'll end with a tip: If you should see a large pregnant woman waddling by and feel inclined to make a remark, simply say, "You look beautiful!"

Monday, November 10, 2008


Mary Alice is sitting at the table working on her handwriting. Her high voice is singing out a familiar Bible tune while she writes. Her precious song makes me smile. At the same time, I can hear Major belting out He Leadeth Me while he cleans his room. These are some of my favorite sounds ever. Children are such a blessing! God is always so good to give us sweet reminders of His love in the smallest of ways. I am so thankful.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Mother

My sweet mom, Mayre Stewart, was diagnosed with colon cancer on Friday. She had surgery to remove the cancer and is now recovering in the hospital. She is loved (and needed) by many people. My mother has always been a faithful prayer warrior. She always has a running prayer list and often prays for people she has never met, but only knows by name. Right now she needs pray and pray. Please pray for her complete healing and strength. Please pray for my Dad and my little brother Ben, who is still living at home. Please pray for my siblings, that we can serve her most effectively.

My mom never stops going and doing things for other people. She is a truly unique and creative soul. I have met many people, but there is nobody who is anything like my mother. People are always calling and asking her to do things, lots of things. She delights in using her many gifts to bless others on a daily basis. She knows how to do almost everything. She has to learn to do something that she hasn't had to do before. She has to slow down and get better for a while, and let others serve her, just for now. We miss you mom!!! We are oh so ready for you to get back to painting theater sets, teaching Bible classes, making meals that rival Paula Deen, being a fabulous art teacher, mentoring younger women, and using your God given creativity to glorify Him!

Will you pray for my mother?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Name Game and MORE Maternity Pics

My sister, Taylor, just took another bunch of maternity pictures, along with some fun pics of our family of four. I think she did a beautiful job. My favorites are the ones with Josh in them. (Tip: Adding a hottie to a photo shoot always helps pictures to turn out well. :)

We still haven't come up with any names for our precious girl who is due in several weeks. I'm not too worried about it. We will come up with something....eventually. I think we may have narrowed the search a little bit. I have been calling this girl a certain name in my head for months now, but am waiting on Josh to make a decision on the matter. He is still looking...

In the mean time, the kids have been enjoying playing the name game. They have PLENTY of ideas to contribute. None of their ideas thus far will be used, but I am glad to see that their little minds are thinking...and being creative.

Here are a few that Mary Alice suggested:

*Violet Jessica (She has been stuck on this one for a while...)




*Marilla (We've been reading Anne of Green Gables.)

*Agatha (a friend of Samantha from the American Girl books...She just loves this name!)

*Jessie (from The Boxcar Children)



*Lily (from Lily's Purple Plastic Purse)



And a few from Major:

*Boogley Googley Woogley

*Spiderman,Superman, or Batman (He informed me later that he doesn't really like these names, but was just playing a little joke.)

*Elizabeth (very pretty, but too much of a mouthful with Smith...Also happens to be the name of the stuffed pet elephant that he sleeps with every night. :)

*Emily (pretty, but too common for use with our last name)

*Ellie (a friend from church)

The names that the kids come up with remind me of when I was little. My brother was intrigued by the name "Ralph" and wanted to use it for one of my brothers or sisters. He had been reading that Beverly Cleary book about Ralph Mouse at that time. I am quite sure that all of my siblings are grateful that mom and dad decided to disregard his suggestion.

We continue to search through piles of name books in search for that perfect name. We have narrowed our search down a little bit at least with a few rules. No names beginning with the letters D, G, K, O, Q, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z. Nothing too common, as it can be troublesome with a last name like Smith. I love lots of "common" names (John and Jane), but those can't be used. Also... no names that end with a "s" sound or a "th" sound. One final guideline... no name that sounds like some kind of joke. I can always count on Josh to come up with a tacky nickname that someone might use. I am thankful that he thinks of things like that, because sometimes that type of thing doesn't occur to me. That is as far as we've come on the name game. Any suggestions?