Thursday, December 30, 2010

~*~Christmas Blessings~*~

Whew...where has this month gone to?? Shoot, what about this year??

It seems the older I get the quicker the time goes by.

Anyway, here in the Smith household we were probably like any other family this holiday season...CrAzy BuSy! I vowed that I wouldnt let it be that way but alas, it seems thats always the case. We are Blessed though. We have family, friends, church family and neighbors who love us and pray for us. I would have to say that that is and has been the BEST gift we have recieved this year!

I know, I know...very cliche. But for real, prayer has brought us through some serious things this year. Since my family is by far the most important next to God, I couldnt think of a gift more appropriate then that all year long to protect us from harm. :)

Speaking of gifts..material ones that is: Our children were abundantly blessed. Every year we say we arent gonna be buying much because the family does so joyfully, but again thats hardly ever the case. Danielle spent the holidays in California with her grandparents and aunts/uncles. She had a BLAST!!! But she also got the ONE thing (and many many other things) she has really really really really wanted for Christmas: An American Doll! The girl has more clothes the I have for my real baby! Hahaha

Rylie got a bike! Watch out world the child is a natural! She could ride that thing all day and NEVER legs remind of my lack of exercise and she reminds me that in order to keep up with her and her new bike I need to exercise! Funny girl I tell ya!

Elijah..sweet baby eli. His fav thing...hhhmmm. I think I would have to say the wrapping paper everything was wrapped in. He played more with that then any toy he was given. But coming in a close second was his Chuck trucks and cars. Definetly a must have for little guys and with no small parts or metal pieces it makes me a happy mama too...having a boy is waaaayy different. I{heart} my boy! :)

Kevin & Jacki: 1. A bill from MUSC totaling 10450.00 for outpatient treatment for Danielle with a copy of our account statement attched reading "PAID IN FULL-0 BALANCE-MERRY CHRISTMAS! MUSC Billing :) Praise God! He is always providing.

2. My dream minivan- a new Honda Odessey with ALL of the bells and whistles. My fav: heated leather seats...aaahhh!

Family: Baby Jesus...The Ultimate Gift!

We hope everyone had a blessed Chirstmas and a safe and happy new year 2011!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

**jOyFuL GiViNg**

Joyful Giving.

This season I am trying to teach my children about giving. Not just giving because you should
but giving because He gave. It has been a pretty hard topic to teach by traditional teaching methods. Plus as I was thinking about how to teach this to them I was reminded that the best way to teach is by modeling. Especially when it comes to matters of the heart. :) Jesus taught by modeling and what better way to teach my children.

While out shopping in every store we have repeatedly heard " Mommy, I want this!" or " Why cant I have this?" or "But _____'s mom let them have it before Christmas." I will admit my children have repeated these things to me while in Target a few times, however the argument ends very quickly with an answer that surely turns other parents attention to me. I share with my children that although we have the ability to purchase these items that they claim to "want" and that we also all "want" things, these things are very rarely things that we need. So instead of the argument that happens at simple sight of a toy, my kids have been learning a lesson in giving and receiving.

They will ask and I will respond....

"Tell me how this toy will help you serve the Lord today and everyday you own it."

I completely agree that kids need toys to learn through imaginative play and so on and so forth but our children have an OVER ABUNDANCE!!!! So most of the time my kids really cant give me an answer that will convince me that they can use the toy for anything more then personal pleasure. However, other days they completely surprise me by their answers.

Just the other day Danielle and I were at Target.(i know, i know we are always at Target. lol) She not one time asked me for anything for herself. This is a RARE occasion. As we approached the Christmas Section of the store she asked if we had given to "Toys for Tots". We give every year but usually to gain something in return. (Im very embarrassed to admit this. but we are not perfect by any means) An unwrapped toy gets you alot these days. Sad. Anyway, she said she thought we should give 2 toys this year and that those 2 gifts should be something that her and Rylie had on their gift list. She said "Aren't we supposed to give stuff that you really want so your heart feels happy when another child gets a toy that they probably really really wanted?"

She went on to tell me that when we helped a family and donated to the BREAD BASKET at our church that she felt really happy inside. She shared that when she saw Kevin and I praying for needy families and helping a family friend, that it made her want to do it too. Then she asked "Is that joyful giving, if you feel joyful when you do it and not sad that someone got what you wanted?" Since then Danielle has given her very own savings(not all fo it...we are also working on being a good steward of her money) to various programs that her school sponsors including the Cancer Association and the local food pantries in our area. When asked why she will respond:

"Because I have been blessed." Simple child like faith. I love her.

Be blessed,

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Who needs toys when... have a HUGE pile of leaves??

On Saturday, Kevin and I decided to take the girls and Eli outside to play. It's always much more fun when daddy is home to do it with us! Lately we have not been able to go out with daddy because it has been cold on the days he has been off! Saturday it was PERFECT!!!

Rylie decided along with daddy that Saturday was a perfect day to wear PJs all day...even outside during our leaf pile jumping. My Elijah LOVES to be outside and he loves to get dirty.

Here he is playing in the dirt...

Danielle making "leaf" angels!

I really love our family time that we have! In the days before Thanksgiving I am always more aware of the things that I am thankful for but I would LOVE to be able to keep that spirit all year long! We really have so much to be thankful for daily and I feel like we should be reminded of this as we sit down this year to enjoy food, family and fellowship!
So since I am trying to keep my heart in a thankful state I have been searching for verses in Gods Word to remind that I am called to ALWAYS be thankful. Not just at this time of year but everyday! :)
"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for you who belong to Christ Jesus!"
1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably in reverence and awe..." Hebrews 12:28NIV

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body [we] were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15NIV

Be blessed and thankful!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Elijahs book {shutterfly} visit shutterfly for the most ADORABLE photobooks and Chriatmas cards!! They have so many choices and I am still trying to decide which one I like!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Monday, November 15, 2010

Elijah {1 year old }

***WARNING: Heavy post...skip down to pics for cuteness ;) ***

Happy 1st Birthday ELIJAH!

On November 3rd, 2009 Elijah Cade Smith graced us with his presence around 6:20pm a few weeks earlier then expected. His birthday was not at all what I had hoped for but it WAS everything I NEEDED. Father God was there. Family was there. My baby was there. We were there...but for some reason as this year has gone by the memories of that day have become a little blurry to me. Pictures remind me of the day and the permanent change of my heart is the ONE memory that has not faded. My faith was absent that day. On the day that I had to leave my baby in NICU and go home I remember the song that was on the radio as we drove away from the hospital...."What Faith can do". I remember looking at Kevin and neither one of us had to say a word to each other to know what the other felt. In one word: PAIN!

The questions came later, the why and the how and again?? But the real question was "where was our faith?" I know I questioned over and over and over. People told me that Father God could handle anything I came to Him with but to just remember that ultimately it was HIS will for Elijah that we should be asking for. After all, He gave Elijah to us. This tiny precious gift, unable to breathe on his own or even be touched my his momma was Gods to begin with. Who was I to question HIS will for him?? It was that day that I called the church to have the family pastor come and pray over Elijah and on that day my very sick preemie lifted his head as if to say "AMEN!" and agree with us in prayer for Gods will for his life. :) It was that MOMENT that I reminded myself that if my 2 day old sick baby had faith then I could have it too! My precious son has taught me to seek Gods will for our lives...I am forever thankful for him. SOooo what did hearing the song have to do with anything?? Well remembering back to that day I feel like God was comforting me and Kevin through that song. We were being reminded that Faith can move mountains and give us the strength we needed to get through that storm or any other storm that may come our way. If not for our son Elijah Cade, I would not have been reminded that Father God is my comforter, protector and provider....everything my biological father was not able to be for me.

The Lord gave me life and life more abundantly through my boy. I love him because he is my baby boy but I LOVE him a little bit more because of his ability to give life to those he comes in contact with. God works through this little boy daily. He is the Fathers joy! And for that, I am eternally grateful.

There are no gifts great enough that would show Father God my gratitude except to offer Elijah back to the Lord which is what we will be doing when the time comes for Baby dedication at our church. Happy Birthday little man! It is our pleasure to raise you up to be the man of God that will bless others and continue to bring life to everyone you encounter in your life. May God continue to bless you and bless others through you as you grow my dear son. I love you.

Love, mommy

On a lighter note: some pics from elijahs birthday party! Rolly Pollies is our FAV place at this time so heres to another fun packed party for the Smith Kiddos:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Festivities, Pumpkins and Princesses...

...and a sweet prince who is such a blessing!

To say we have been busy would be an understatement. :) We are CRAZY busy and I admit at some point I would like for the busyness to stop. Don't get me wrong, it's a good, fun busy. But I realized something in my quiet time recently that has me wondering.....if i am so busy all the time and have all these activities and errands to run all the time, how am I showing my kids that I cherish them. How about my husband and even Father God??

So my goal for November is to slow down. Spend more time in my PJ's with my kids and my hubby. Worship Him more. Pray more. Eat more table meals together. Enjoy Gods creations more. Love Him more. Teach the kids about His love more. Plant more seeds. How about you? Whats your goal for November??

Well since we were busy this the way, where did October go?? Here are some pictures of our busyness:

So here's the list of many of the things we did this month:
1. Elijah turns 11 months
2. Barnyard Bash at Danielle's school
3. Park Day with Gumma and Poppop and new wagon!!
4. Disney Princesses on Ice-mommy took all 3 kiddos by herself! Go mommy! :)
5. Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch w/ daddy this year( Kevin has only been to the pumpkin patch 1 time other then this year due to his work schedule! This is exciting!)

There were many other slightly unimportant things but we didn't get pictures and it would make this post even LONGER!! LOL
Hope you enjoy!
Be Blessed,

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"How He loves US!"

If it seems like I have been absent from our blog, I have. The Lord has brought us into a season of life that has us really thinking about the "earthly things".....people, relationships, personal belongings, behaviors and how much we really grasp how temporary they all are here on this earth. We have been reminded that we are to live for HIM and LIKE Him.

I have been struggling with this concept. There have been and are still "things" in my life and my families lives that are not producing fruit. The Lord has been slowly making me aware of these "things". Its hard to let go of things that you care about so much but in order for my life to bear fruit, it is sadly necessary.

Jesus said in John 15:1-5

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardner. He cuts off every branch in me the bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you. Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit if you don't remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches.

We are praying as we are going through this time that everyone can agree with us in prayer that we will "remain in Him" so we can be "fruitful". Not just within our family life but in sharing our lives with people. WE want to be fruitful in our church and in relationships with others and when we see that certain relationships and things in our life are not bearing good fruit we have to allow Father God to prune that area so we can remain in the vine.

There is a song that I have just been in love with since I heard it at church that is AWESOME! If you have ever heard it you know how awesome it is. During this song I always feel the Holy spirit telling me that this pruning is being done because He LOVES ME! Just like I love my kids and would keep them from things that would be bad for them He has been doing the same for me! Oh how He must LOVE me to do this for me!

(See video above for the song)

On another note: The kids all have had croup this week so we have all been laying low. We did enjoy the park with some great friends so hopefully we are all on our way to being healthy!!

Have a blessed day,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First steps...

Good Evening Family and friends,

Eli has decided to follow in his sisters foot steps and walk before his first birthday! He is all over the place tonight! Over the past week or so he has been taking 2-3 steps and falling and tonight he has figured out that if he pauses he can walk across our living room! 10 months old he is now OFFICIALLY mobile! Watch out world, here he comes!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

If you wanna see cuteness, please proceed! :)

Today I decided that 1 year without having an actual portrait taken was silly!! So I took my babies over to Portrait Innovations in Mount Pleasant to have some pictures taken! Elijah has NEVER been photographed in a studio! Miss Sally has always blessed us with on location photo shoots!! :) So Elijah was a little unsure about the whole idea...maybe by the time he has his 1 year old pictures taken he will be a little more smiley! The poor photographer really had to work to get what she did today! This was also taking care of Rylie's 3 year old pictures too! :) She was a HAM!! She kept doing all of these crazy smiles that were cute but not nice looking! LOL

Hope you enjoyed the cuteness!! Have a blessed evening!!