Fun Friday {Memoirs}

I just got back from a quick getaway with these sweet girls, and among other things, we talked a LOT about favorite books.

{Jen Hatmaker, Boomama, Vicki Courtney, & Bigmama}

There was universal agreement that I needed to read several I haven’t, so I ordered a few and they came yesterday. With that said, I finished this one in a couple hours.

I don’t remember the last time I was so captivated by a book. It is EXQUISITE. Has anyone else here read it? So good. So, so good. There is a little language in it so don’t let your kiddos read it, but it’s not enough to detract from the AMAZING story.

I believe I am going on a little memoir kick this summer, so if you have any that you recommend, please leave them in the comments!!!

Happy {hot} day to you!!!

A

A Book You Should Get!

I am so honored to share this book with you, because I know a lot of you have probably made New Year’s resolutions that have to do with cutting back, budgeting, and all kinds of good stuff. Well, even if you haven’t you are going to want to put this baby in your amazon cart and go. I had the privilege of reading an advance copy and I LOVED it.

Crystal and I met a few years ago at the Relevant conference, but we got to connect a little more on a marriage cruise we were both on (Todd was singing and we had all the kiddos, so it wasn’t real “marriage-focused” for us :) ) and I just adored her. She is the sweetest person you will ever meet, and has a heart that will make you want her for a neighbor (I’ve pitched the idea and am currently waiting for her to accept. Ahem…). Above all of that, what I love about Crystal is that she loves the Lord, her family, and the things that will honor God, and she seeks Him so earnestly. While we were out on the deck of the ship one day I asked her a few heart-questions and was so blessed that she answered honestly and we were able to have some really refreshing conversations about the struggle to parent, work, and spend time with the Lord.

And then we walked to another area and heard Kirk Cameron and his wife speak and we were both a little irritated that she is gorgeous.

That last part doesn’t really have to do with her book.

But anyway.

This is a girl who is really, really living it. Paid for her house in cash (Booyah!!!) and walks through the process of how they keep their heads on straight with everything God has brought them. Crystal is a remarkable woman, a blessing to anyone who knows her, and most of all, a woman who makes her Father proud with her obedience. Along those lines, it probably will not surprise you to know that all of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be given to Compassion International, and you can read that story right here!!!

Kudos to you, Crystal, for being a beautiful example of the kind of woman we all strive to be. You are so loved!!!

Go buy the book NOW!!!!!

Here’s a little from Crystal herself…it cuts off at the end bc she gets emotional talking about it:)

It’s amazing and you’ll be so glad you did!!! Love you, Crystal!

Ang

I’m Strange That Way…

Ok, so this is one of those posts that I always think about writing and then decide that there are important things going on in the world and it just seems silly. That voice in my head is always like, “think DEEP, Angie. Make it matter…”

So, anyway, if you came here for that you will be disappointed tonight :)

Most of you don’t know any of these things, because they are quirky and I try very hard to hide my neurotic side on this blog, but I’m gonna let you in on this little secret of mine…

I have a LOT (a lot, lot, lot) of pet peeves.

Like, for example:

I have to have my sheets perfectly straight when I go to bed. I can’t stand when they are all wrinkly. I will get out of bed and yank on all the corners until they are straight. Quirk to the quirktastic, I know. In addition, I can’t go to bed unless my legs are smooth, and I have been known to try, only to hop out of bed, shave, and then get back in (right after the straightening I have to re-do). And if Todd’s toe touches me, I FREAK out. I’m all for snuggling, but if the foot brushes me, I lose it.

The category that includes the most intense of my bizarre pet peeves is this:

Mouth noises. 

We will include any of the following in this category: smacking gum (a gum-smacker ruined my trip to Target the other day. I could hear her three aisles over and I felt ill, ILL with the sound), chomping food like apples, nuts etc…I swear Todd has hollow teeth because the boy can chew louder than any person I know. It is a constant source of *fellowship* for us). I have super-sonic hearing, and everything is totally magnified. I’m still bitter about the gum-smacker. And how do they even do that thing where it snaps in the mouth but the lips don’t open? It’s perplexing, really. Sorry. I need to move on.

True story. I failed a ninth grade math test because the girl next to me was clicking a mint around her mouth (the horror). It was hitting her teeth and I literally couldn’t sit next to her anymore so I turned it in with only half completed. And in the event that you think it might be funny to try and do this as a prank if you meet me, know that I am not responsible for my reactions, which tend to be somewhat violent and completely involuntary).

I almost ALWAYS have the T.V. on when I go to sleep. I don’t watch it because I’m pretty much blind without my glasses or contacts, but I like the noise. Also, it’s on Food Network, because nothing ever happens that’s scary on the F.N.

I cannot physically read a book without a pen in my hand. Like, for real. If I get to the pool with a stack of books and no pen, I will track one down or mope and not pick a single book up.

I HATE talking on the phone. It doesn’t matter who it is. I would rather sit down with someone face to face or text. I don’t know what the deal is with that, I just feel like it’s weird and you can’t always gauge the other person, you know? Say yes.

I love to buy new notebooks but if I decide I have a new idea/topic, it has to be in a new notebook. I can’t combine them all. I have one that says “Women of Faith” on the cover and I had to make a quick to-do list before running out and I couldn’t. Do. It. Had to find another one and rip out a page. I have one kind of pen that I use (Papermate Profile in blue…hello, love).

It bugs me when people stop in weird places. Like, for example, the BOTTOM OF AN ESCALATOR. I’m starting to sweat and also thinking therapy is going to be my Birthday present this year.

I struggle with really bad customer service (I’m not sure if that counts as a pet peeve). When someone is being NASTY and it is totally unnecessary. I almost lost my salvation over a flight attendant. Actually, several. Also, the woman at the library who despises me and apparently doesn’t know that my late fines alone could keep that place afloat.

I get weirded out when people talk loudly about business/family/private stuff in places where nobody else wants to hear it. Think crowded airplane before takeoff.

I do have many grammar pet peeves, or when people say words a certain way and it is not the actual way to say them. I will not mention any of these specifically because I will be tormented by all of you smart-alecks, but let’s just say certain mis-pronunciations make my arm hair stand on end. Kelsey, do not even think about releasing this information or you will be CANNED. :)

I have about a million more, but I’m feeling like this is a little one-sided so far, so I’m going to ask you to contribute.

What are your pet peeves?????

Annnnnd, GO.

Need A Good Laugh?

My dad sent these to me tonight and I thought they were pretty funny…hope you get a good laugh and feel free to leave your own “kid quotes” in the comments!!! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend…







Cranium

Here’s a funny video from last night (or, really early this morning actually…). C is HILARIOUS. I twittered it but a bunch of you don’t do twitter…
It’s all fun and games in the video, but the truth is, there is a miracle in the making and I get to watch it every day…God has FAR surpassed my dreams for this girl in ways only He could dream up. When the time is right, I’m going to share that story with you all…or better yet, maybe she will :)
Love you C…and the TRUE victory is in integrity, not the Cranium scoreboard.
At least that’s what we’ll say until we get our rematch.
You all have a great Thursday…

Funny Kid Stories

Okay, so this was a bad idea.  There were WAY too many good ones to just pick 10.  I think you should go back and read them all if you need a smile today.  If your comment is mentioned below, please go to www.jesusneedsnewpr.blogspot.com and leave a comment saying that you were one of the winners from this contest, and Matthew will send you a copy of “Churched.”
By the way, thanks so much for all the fun comments you left about seeing Todd at the debate. I was so happy to see that the focus was on supporting my hubby getting to do something he was excited about and not about the politics.  There are plenty of forums out there where you can get into all kinds of political debates, but this is just not the place.  Thank you so much for recognizing and respecting that.  I do hope that at the end of the day we are all praying for this election and what it will mean for our country. When Todd got home last night, one of the first things he did was to kneel at our bedside (in his Wal-Mart stud-gear) and spend some time in prayer.  He thanked the Lord for the opportunity to be there, prayed for the election, and I’m sure he shared a few things that were only meant for the Lord to hear.  It is awesome that he got to be there, no doubt.  But the most important thing he did was to assume the posture of a man who wants to be in the will of God, and wants to be wise in his decisions.  What a blessing that we can all approach the Lord this way.  
I will post some pictures when Todd gets them back, and he will post his question on here as well.  A bunch of you asked, so I did want to let you know that they gave them those cameras at the end of the debate, because the rules were so strict about bringing them in.
OK, so have a good laugh at these (I sure did!) and have a blessed rest of the day…

stephanie said…
Angie~
Oh my goodness…thank you, thank you for the laughs! I don’t know if my story can compare but it still makes me giggle. When my son was about 2 we were at Wal-Mart one day, and like any other Wal-Mart trip it had to invovle a visit to bathroom. So we go into the ladies room and go into a stall for him to do his business when a lady comes into the stall next to us. My son inevitably can hear her start to pee and he starts singing “everbody got to tee-tee, everybody got to tee-tee”…..Yes this does get better! Then she lets out a toot (as we call them)…my sons eyes get wide, and he sings in a nice LOUD voice,” everybody got to toot-toot, everybody got to toot-toot”. I was literally trying my best not to fall out on the nasty wal-mart bathroom floor laughing!
On another note great job on your speaking event!
Blessings to you.

Crack me up girl you are a riot!

So, for my story – First for the background. We went on a cruise my husband and I many moons ago and they had this big game on the last day were they would say something and you had to run up to the announcer and show him your number and your item and the first five people to get to him were given points and they all added up to the winner at the end – Well long story short – one of the last things they said was a man wearing a woman’s bra and I am just a little bit competitive to say the least – so I whipped mine out my sleeve like we woman can do when we are changing in weird places and my hubby (being even more competitive than me put it on and ran up there in a jiffy – and of course friends were with us and pictures were taken. Well my sweet four year old happened upon these pics one day…

The girls were at my hubby’s office with him one day (did I mention he had just gotten promoted and was running this store at this point). Well they were coloring in one of the rooms and one of the women working there came walking in. The girls whipped around and said to her oh, we thought you were our dad – and she says – oh, does your dad were high heels much (since when she walked up they could clearly hear her shoes on the tile) And my little sweety says – well no, but he wears my moms bras.

Needless to say – he has yet to live that one down and there was a quite a bit explaining to do.

Have I mentioned -we have no secrets in our house! God bless those daddy’s with little girls too.

Kim
I think I missed the deadline, but I’ll share a cute one anyway. I have two girls that are 17 months apart and a boy that is 3 years younger than my second. Point: my son has grown up with one real mom and two older sisters that think they are moms too. When he was beginning to talk (don’t know when that was, b/c,well, he’s my third and I never wrote anything down by then), I was asking him things like, “how old are you?, where’s your nose, etc.” I asked him what his name is and he says, “Nathan.” I asked him what his full name is (expecting a first and last name) and he says, “Nathan Andrew Schmidt That’s a No”. He seriously thought that was his name!! julia.
kookie krums said…
That story had me rolling too!! Mental note, put all the “monthly supplies” up in a very high cabinet!! 

I have a story from my girl . . . When she was about 2 1/2, my husband was out of town for work, and was gone for several weeks. I took Hailey with me to the FedEx office to ship a package, and of course there was a very long line. On the wall were posters of the FedEx men with their package in hand, displaying various slogans. As the line inched forward, my impatient daughter began wandering around. She walked up to one of the posters and said “Mommy, is that my daddy?” I just laughed like “isn’t she the cutest thing?” and said “no darling, of course not.” She walked up to EVERY poster in the place and asked the same question . . . and THEN . . . walked up to the scariest looking man in the line and said “Mommy, is HE my daddy?” Sheer embarassment was all that it was. I tried to explain (very loudly) that Daddy was out of town working but of course would be home soon, but I just know every person in the place thought I was a girl that got around and my poor child didn’t even know her own father!!
julie said…
You are just the highlight of my day!
Ok, so a few years ago, when my little boys were about 2 and 4, I decided to take a shower. First mistake! I put on a movie in my room for them to watch. They were very quiet and unusually good during my shower. When I got out of the shower, I peeked out and asked then what they were doing and they both told me to “SHHH”. I asked why I needed to be quiet and they said that their baby mice were sleeping. I was just pleased that they were happy and continued getting ready. When I was done, we all went out in the living room and started playing. A few minutee later, a lady from church rang the doorbell to drop off some things for the sunday lesson I was teaching for her. We went to the door, always a highlight, to meet her and her little 5 year old boy. My “sweet” little boys then asked the little boy if they wanted to play ‘mouse’ with them. The little boy said yes and off they went. As they were running off, I did hear my 4 year old say to the new boy ‘wait, I will get you one’. So, the church friend and I started talking a little when we were greeted by three boys…all with an opened tampon cupped in their little hand, petting it with the opposite hand. I was speechles and asked what they were doing with ‘those’. My 2 year old then said ‘mommy, you wanna hold mousy. Mommy see mousy tail?” 
The 5 year old had even found a crayon and gave his mouse some eyes! 
jenny~ said…
My cousin, who was 3 at the time, came home from church one Sunday and proudly announced to the family: “I figured out why we drink grape juice at church.” (You know, for communion.) My aunt, ready for a beautifully spiritual answer from her sweet, little blonde daughter, retorts, “Why, honey?” And my cousin, fully convinced that she was now in-the-know, replied “Because Jesus was the King of the Juice!” This is a classic story in my family that we still laugh about 20 years later!
penny said…
hmmmmm… how about this one. After we lost our sweety Mackenzie friends of ours offered us their beach house in St. Pete Florida. We were thrilled to be able to take the kids and get away for awhile. We had a fabulous time and the kids loved it. Right before it was time to come home they were preparing for a hurrican……. sorry can’t remember which one but I did remember to bring all the kids…. anyway, we loaded up the van and headed home. The next week I went to pick up the Logan at Sunday school and his teacher came out in the hall and asked about our vacation. I told her we had a great time and wished we could have stayed. She said “Well, I thought I should tell you when we asked for prayers and praises Logan raised his hand and said “Thanks God for letting us go on vacation it was really fun. I just wish Mom didn’t make us go home when the “hooker came”. I blanched for a moment and then realized what he meant. I told her no hooker but Hurricane….. She still giggles about it.
We were at my cousin’s wedding. Royce (3) was sitting next to my mom. She was seated next to this random man. This man was a biker dude with a long gray beard and a long gray pony tail. There was a prayer said during the ceremony, and the room was dead silent. Royce looked over at this man in the midst of the dead silence and said plain as day, “Are you God??” (!!!) Everyone around him did their best to muffle their belly laughs. The man almost lost it too. This is what God looks like to my sweet 3 yeard old boy. 

And the rest of the service Royce kept saying, “I found God! I found God!” He was so excited! And whenever a prayer would be said, he would start up all over again. “God is over there!”
lauren said…
My husband owns a restaurant and my 2 year-old daughter and I would go in and have lunch every week. After bible study one morning, I invited my friend and her 5 year-old daughter to have lunch with us. After we finished our lunches, my friend and I were visiting when both girls said they needed to use the restroom. Since Breleigh (my daughter) knew where the restroom was, and it was my husband’s restaurant, we let the girls go together and we just kept and eye on the bathroom door. A few minutes later my friend sees the girls walking back to the table. When I turn to look, I see my daugher with her pants and PANTIES down around her ankles. She is shuffling her feet trying to walk back to the table, (which is completely across the dining room!) When Breleigh sees me looking at her she screams at the top of her lungs, “Mom, I went poop and I need a wipe!” I jump up from the table, grab her, and run to the bathroom.

After I get her taken care of, my husband comes up to me and asks what happened. Apparrantly a table complained that a little girl was wandering around the restaurant with her pants down and poop on her bottom. It was so embarrassing.
kris said…
My 3 year old daughter knows me. I have NO time to waste in the morning. So she PROUDLY announced that she had gotten herself ALL READY without help, from anyone! She even talked about putting on her ‘new backpack’ all by herself! Not thinking twice about it, I praised her efforts and scurried along with the rest of the morning’s duties. When we got to church, I noticed that her familiar dress had a slightly different look to it, and then I remembered her little voice “new backpack”… I turned her around to see that her ‘backpack’ was actually a pair of MY UNDERWEAR!!!

:) Angie

I Survived!

***Update!!!!*** I am laughing so hard that I cannot stop.  I have decided that this needs to be a contest.  I have an exciting prize to give away tomorrow, and I am going to give away 10 of them.  Leave your comment here….I am going to choose my “top 10 funniest kid moments” and announce them tomorrow afternoon…..please leave your comment by 10:00 a.m. tomorrow (10/7). LOVE a giggly Monday. Thanks to everyone who is a part of it:)
I woke up Friday morning and had three panic attacks.  I honestly could not get out of my bed and I kept rocking and saying softly, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…”  I would start to feel a little better and then the panic would wash over me and I just had to beg Him to settle me again.  One of the ladies who spoke at the conference this weekend was discussing the fact that public speaking is more of a fear than death, and Jerry Seinfeld quipped years ago that “this means that if you are at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” I thought that was pretty funny.  Well, I didn’t think it was that funny on Friday morning, but I can laugh now because I can feel my legs again.
It was an awesome weekend.  The ladies at Southland did an absolutely fantastic job, and I feel like I have made friends for life.  We have already planned to get together in a few months:) I just felt so accepted, so free to just “be me,” so blessed to be a part of such a great event that honestly, I forgot to be nervous.  I walked in that room and I sensed the presence of the Lord. My spirit just settled and I knew it was all going to be okay. I was thinking of the encouraging emails I received, and the prayers I knew went into that room ahead of me, and it was a beautiful night.  It was a big leap of faith for me, and I want you to know that I am grateful for remembering me while I jumped.  I think God loves to take the things about you that you feel really insecure about and make you walk through them because you get to see the way He shows up. I am glad I was obedient, because I felt the presence of the Lord in a deep, meaningful way.  A way I would not have experienced if I hadn’t gotten out of bed.  Thank you, Lord.
Public speaking is a source of great anxiety for me, and an area that I do not have a lot of pride in.  I don’t feel like I do it very well.  I am insecure.  I told God that on the way to Lexington, and He reminded me of a story that involves me and my pride.  I am going to share it with you here, because I feel like if you have stuck with me this long, you are entitled to a good laugh at my expense.  
Several years ago, we bought a new house.  It is a nice house, and I was a little over-eager to show it off.  We were having company over one evening, and I had spent most of the day throwing clutter into the back of closets, hanging “skinny” pictures in strategic places, and making sure the bed linens were crisp.  I was flittering around the house, one room to the next, preparing my “image.”
Abby and Ellie, sensing my eagerness, decided that they wanted to help me “decorate.” They were 3 at the time, and while their intentions were good, they were really more in the way than they were helpful, so I shuffled them into a little space off of my bedroom that I use as a craft closet and I told them to work on it.  They were so content to have this little space to design, and I needed to fluff things. It sounded like a good plan.
I checked in on them every few minutes, but as it started getting closer to “company” time, I had to go put on my makeup, so I slipped into the bathroom in search of the right lipstick to impress the guests.
I will look like I have it all together tonight, that’s for sure.
They weren’t really close friends, so there was a chance I could pull it off.
And they were going to love my style (and, in turn, love me! Isn’t that the way the world works?)
Ellie comes and stands beside me, trying to get my attention.
“We made it pwetty, momma.”
“Mmm-hmm. I bet you did!” I am nodding like I am listening, but I’m distracted by my own reflection.  
“I can’t wait to see it.” Now for eyeliner. 
“We did the stickers.” Ellie is smiling.  She is really proud of herself.
“Oh, how great! Where’s Abbby?”
“She’s workin’ on it. Wanna see?” 
“Oh, baby, I can’t.  I need to get ready, but thanks so much for your help.” 
“You don’t wanna see it, momma? We were workin’ on it. It’s so pwetty”
“OK, honey, I’ll come see it soon.” I dart into the closet and leave her standing there alone in the bathroom.  I get dressed and brush past her again.
They kept chasing me around the house while I lit candles and vacuumed. They just wanted my attention, but I had a one track mind.  They were so proud of their work and all they wanted was to show it to me, and I was too busy to care. Too wrapped up in myself and my stupid house to listen.  Well, God was about to have the last laugh.
I am taking the guests around the house and showing them the layout, kicking any semblance of normalcy under the bed, telling about this and that and who knows what else.  The girls are dancing one step behind me because they know that the last stop on the grand tour is the master bedroom and I am going to show off their contribution.
I get to the little door and say something like, “And this is what I use as a craft room….” and before I can finish my sentence, I look into the room.
“We did the stickers, momma!!!” They are dancing around and clapping because they are so deliriously excited that they have thought to decorate with stickers, and the stickers are everywhere.
Only, they aren’t “stickers” in the traditional sense.  
They are maxi-pads.
And they are everywhere.
They are hanging from the bookshelf, from the windowsill, from my fabric, from my desk.  It is a maxi-pad party and it is happening.  To me. 
That sticky side is no mess, people, because they are hovering from angles previously unattempted by personal products. 
And I literally start laughing so hard that my children think it is a response to their genius decorating, and they are laughing and pointing and we all just fall on the ground, because really, what else can you do? You have the perfect blouse, the ideal neighbors, the gold record on the wall…..and NONE of it matters.  It is completely negated by the fact that this door just opened and your whole life, your real life, the ugly side of life, just fell out and smacked you on the head.
He had to smack me on the head.
If you have been to my house since the maxi-party of ’05, you will probably notice that I am more laid back with my entertaining style. 
And I am thinking of adding an interior design course for the little ladies. You know I’m not one to miss a learning opportunity…
:)
I hope you got a good laugh out of that one….anyone else have a good “kid-humiliation” story?
Angie

The Chicken

***update*** I will be posting the chicken picture and the X-ray picture when I get home next week:) Of course you need the visuals to go with the story…:)
I went in tonight to kiss my girls while they slept.  One of my favorite things in the world is to kiss their sweet, damp hair as they fall asleep after a warm bath. To breathe the sweet floral scent as their chests rise up and down slowly, and their faces glow with peace. In these moments, I remember the days right after they were born. Crazy, beautiful, glorious days.
Anna Elisabeth Smith was born on December 2nd, exactly 2 minutes before her sister Abigail Grace (this is pointed out frequently).  From the moment she was in the world, she has lived up to the typical “older sister” role. A few days after Abby was released from the NICU, we brought her home and she was having a really hard time adjusting.  One night, we put them in their crib (they shared one when they were teeny-tiny), and Abby was absolutely hysterical. We rocked. We fed. We bounced. We cried. We rocked again.  We gave up. We put her in her crib next to Ellie and walked out of the room to the sound of her screeching.  Todd and I looked at each other, trying to decide what we should do.  Should we give her a binky? Should we give her some Mylicon? Should we give her food? Should we give her away?
We were debating the plan from the family room when we heard the most glorious silence known to man.  It is the sound that makes hormonal, weepy, exhausted mothers fall to their knees in gratitude.  That sweet, sweet sound of nothing.
We tiptoed into the room where they were sleeping and we both melted when we saw what had happened.  Ellie had one of her thumbs in her mouth, and the other stretched out into her sister’s mouth.  She was two minutes older, and was already taking her role as big sister seriously. 
A few days ago, Abby (our daydreamer) decided to jump off a couch in a poorly-planned attempt to fly, and she landed on her two front teeth. Ellie insisted on coming to the dentist with us to sit with Abby while she had her X-rays done. We were all happy to know that her grown-up teeth were about to push out her baby teeth anyway, so there wasn’t any permanent damage. They let us have a picture of her X-ray, and if you have been within a 10 mile radius of us in the last several days, chances are you have seen it.  I have to carry it in my purse at all times in the event that Abby meets a stranger she wants to introduce to her “teeth-picture.”
Never a lack of adventure at the Smith house.
The other day, we had a really funny conversation while I was teaching.  We are doing Sing, Spell, Read and Write (which I LOVE!), and they doing great with their letters.  We were working on the letter “B,” and for one of the exercises, they have to cut, color, and glue the pictures that begin with that letter.  There are a bunch of pictures, but only a few that match the letter for that day.  As we looked through the pictures, I was saying things like, “What is this one? Ba-ba-ba-ball! Right! So that starts with B!”  Ellie starts cutting, but she is being more quiet than usual, and I tell her to start saying them out loud so I can make sure she knows what she is doing.  She does two in a row correctly and then holds up a picture of a chicken.
“Ba-ba-ba…..chicken.”  She starts to color it.
“Ellie, that is a ch-ch-ch-chicken.  Not ba-ba-ba. Ch-ch-ch.”  She has a look of disgust. She repeats, this time with a little more intensity.
“Ba-ba-ba-chicken.”  
I decide to take a different teaching route and start to point at another “B” picture.  ”What about this one, Ellie? It’s a ba-ba-ba-bus. See the difference?”
She is still coloring the chicken.  She pauses and looks me dead in the eye, crayon frozen in midair.
“Mommy, why do you hate chickens?”  Okay.  She’s serious. And I’m about to spit out my Diet Coke.
“Ellie, I don’t hate chickens.  It just doesn’t go with today’s letter.  Why don’t we hold onto it and we can talk about it when we do “C.” 
I can tell by the look on her face that this is probably not going to fly. Abby chimes in.
“Mommy, Ellie is right.  You shouldn’t hate a chicken.” Four eyes. Staring at me.  Accusing me of poultry-hatred.
“Girls.  I do not hate chickens.  I like chickens.  It’s just that chickens do not start with the letter B.”  They look at each other, and as a show of solidarity, Abby starts to cut out her chicken.  I bury my head in the lesson book so they don’t see me laughing. I did take a picture of Ellie holding the picture with a look of disdain.    
Later that night, a neighbor-girl was over and they are playing dress up.  And by “dress up,” I mean “destroying every closet in the house.”
I am in the kitchen making dinner when Ellie saunters in with a feather boa, tutu, and oversized purse.  
“Hi mama.” 
“Hi Ellie.  What are you doing?”
“We’re playing ballet dancers.  What about you?”
“Making dinner.” 
“What are you making?” 
“Chicken.”  Clearly I have not thought this through.
She stops in mid-prance and looks at her friend, who, apparently, is in the know about her chicken theory. 
“Told you,” she whispers under her breath.
Her friend nods in wide-eyed unison as they march into the playroom while I trail off…”I do not hate ch-ch-ch-chickens!” 
Two days later, Ellie announces that she is a becoming a vegetarian.  
I serve her vegetables, in order to prove that I am an equal-opportunity food server.
She smells them and pushes her plate away.
“I think I want chicken, mommy.” She smiles. We eat chicken (some of us with loose teeth), and of course during our nightly prayers, Ellie talks about her beloved picture, and the day early next week when he will rightly claim his throne as the “C” word.
Have I mentioned I love homeschooling? 
On another note, I want to thank you for all of your kind words for Todd. They meant a lot to both of us, and I hope that now he is over his “grammatical stage-fright,” he will be back to post again soon.  
Blessings to you all tonight…
:)
Angie

A Thursday Morning

I’m just going to come out and say it.
I was really nervous about the whole “homeschooling” thing.  I put it on the blog, and then immediately, I kind of panicked.  ”Why?” you ask.  Why would a woman feel fear when she says the word “homeschool?”  A little background…
Last year, Todd and I decided to go to a homeschool convention.  About $100 later I decided this was going to be fun.  Curriculum, planning, fresh pencils….ooohhh this is Type A heaven.  I told my neighbor I was thinking about it and she suggested I start braiding my hair and invest in a denim jumper STAT.  I did neither.  
Recently, one of my friends at church (Hello Heidi!) invited me to a homeschool get-together. It’s kind of a play-and-pray thing where the kids play and the moms pray.  What a cool idea, right? Yeah, cool up until the night before at about 11:00 p.m. when I start to wonder how this is going to go down.
“Todd.  They aren’t going to like me.  I’m not going to fit in.” I pause, waiting for him to play the role my dad did when I was in 6th grade and tell me I was sure to be everyone’s favorite friend (I wasn’t. I’ll save that story for another day…).
“Why do you think that, Ang?”  Oh no.  A reflective question.  He’s dodging it, I can tell.
“Because their kids are really smart, and Todd…..and I’m…..” I pause, and then with great conviction, spit out these words….
“I’m a subscriber…” I start hyperventilating.  This is not going well.
(If you haven’t read my entire blog, you have no clue what I am referring to. Don’t worry about it.  Just know I love Jesus, but I also want to know what Keith and Nicole named their new baby…Sunday Rose, in case you are curious. But you didn’t hear it from me.  I am a homeschooler.)
I am suddenly imagining kids who make the Sound of Music crew look like hooligans. And they are playing their violins.  I have recently discovered that all home-schooled kids play the violin, and you will do well to just say the word “Suzuki.”  That’ll get you in the door.
And then I am picturing Kate.  Who will probably try to eat the violin, and may use the bow as a weapon, while the well-mannered children lay hands on her.
This is going to be a train wreck.
And to top it off, my mom-jeans are in the wash.
I decide to go, and to make the best of it.  I adore the 2 moms who I know from this group so I thought I would survive.  On the way over, I told the kids to practice their new Bible verses, interspersed with the word “Suzuki.”  You know, just in case. 
I debated about leaving Coco in the car, but it was hot, and I didn’t want her to get all sweaty. She’s not heat-tolerant.  She likes it right at about 71 degrees.
I get the kids out.  Oh wait, I forgot the best part.  They wanted to color on the way over, and in my mind I was thinking, Perfect.  I will have them color maps of Russia, and then they can sort of just fall out of the car when we get there, and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, a map of Russia, you are so smart, Ellie!’ Maybe not Russia, maybe Africa….now we’re getting somewhere…

Um, no.
What happened was that the door opened, and Abby decided that she was going to boycott the whole shindig, so for three straight minutes, I had to say things (loudly and with dripping sweetness), “Oh Abby, honey, let’s go see your friends! It will be SOOOOOO fun!!!!!” and then under my breath, “Abigail Grace if you do not get out of this car and say something in Spanish, you are NOT going to Chick-fil-a. Remember Dora? You can count to ten, right? Uno, dos…..”
“NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!”  Abby throws a crayon into the driveway and I, unwilling to give up the charade, decide to make lemonade with my precious lemons.
“That is MAGENTA, Abby! You LOVE ma-gen-ta, right?” She looks at me like I am speaking French and coloring Russia.  Kate starts saying “ma-gen-ta” louder and louder while staring at me. Then she starts rocking back and forth and slapping her legs to the beat in her head. It’s loud.  REALLY loud.  ”MA-GEN-TA  MA-GEN-TA  MA-GEN-TA.”  She is now tossing crayons left and right, fully immersed in her new anthem.

Abort mission, abort mission…..
So I did what any self-respecting mother would do in that situation. I made a deal with them, and I’m not going to lie.
It involved the dollar spot.  
Bonus item for using the word “ubiquitous” appropriately in a sentence.
Dresses smoothed, hair spit-fingered down.  We walked into our homeschooling destiny like thoroughbreds.  I think two of them held hands.  What can I say? Overachieving is in their blood.
As we walked around to the back of the house, I saw some kids playing on the trampoline, and they looked, by all means, very normal.  Actually, downright adorable and laughing their heads off.  Feeling a little better…the kids are not ready to be integrated yet, so they come with me into the house.  Which is just as well, because at this point I need accessories. 
We walked through the back door and greeted everyone, and it absolutely turned out to be a blast.  The moms were all great, and the older kids took care of the younger kids while we all chatted.  Abby and Ellie loved looking at the birds and Kate didn’t hurt anyone, so by all means, it was a success.  
It really made me think about the way I compartmentalize people…this group intimidates me….this group will think I am too this…..this group thinks I’m out of my mind to do this….etc.I realized I had been worried about nothing, and I felt really welcomed and normal, and a little sheepish about my freak-out.
All it took was a Thursday morning.  If any of you GCC moms read this, know that I am grateful for you, and so glad to have such a great group of women to share life and teaching with.  And I am sorry if my kid kicked your kid in the shins.  She really is a dainty flower most of the time…
Yesterday, I was teaching the girls and we absolutely had a ball.  I decided it would be fun to let you all see our little classroom, and share some of our favorite time of day.  I have starting implementing some of the creative ideas that people sent to me, and I am really feeling good about the whole thing.  The room itself is what we in the South affectionately refer to as “The bonus room.” We don’t really have basements, so this is kind of the trade off.  I hope you enjoy these! And I will tell you ahead of time that if you like any of the decorations, they probably came from Ikea, and were less than $20.  I love that place….



                                                                 Ellie hard at work.
                             Kate’s very own pencil-bag to learn and to create and to…..
                                             …destroy my plan for a “no-bath” night.
                                 Um, yeah, that’s a glue stick. Say it with me, SU-ZU-KI.

                                                   All three girls…aren’t they sweet?
   I’m so proud of my girls (all 4 of them:)) …and so grateful to be their mommy.
                                                   I am a blessed, blessed woman.
As a sidebar, thank you so much for your support regarding my speaking engagement…I am so excited I will get to meet several of you.  I don’t have any more info about it right now, but I will post it when I do.  I’m also going to be sending you an invitation to come and meet the WHOLE Smith clan (and hear Selah sing:)…do you live in Michigan?), so stay tuned….
And the Bible study…still waiting for final confirmation from the church, but I am thinking we will start in the next 2-3 weeks, and I think it will be on Monday evenings at 6:30…this is subject to change, but that’s where we are now.
Love to you all on the eve of, well, another Thursday morning.
I hope it’s a good one for you.
Angie