Saturday, December 26, 2009

Old Movies. New Memories.

That was the cartoon that Steve's mom showed Nathan when he rolled out of bed (or actually rolled off the couch) yesterday morning at about 11 am. He thought it was pretty funny.

A few more scenes from Christmas Day . . .

Sarah setting the table with Grandpa Smith

Snowy set up camp right smack dab in the middle of the kitchen so as not to miss any little pieces of turkey or ham that were dropped.

When we went down to the rec room in the basement after Christmas lunch to open gifts, Snowy got the happy opportunity to lick out the bottoms of two cups of eggnog. (This is Steve's younger brother, Dana.)

Steve with his brother Jeff and their dad.

Steve asked for (and received) a tool belt. Here he is displaying just how very big the tool belt is.

Sarah figured she'd try it, too.

Since Ken is a retired Air Force fighter pilot, he got a big kick out of receiving an airplane made from recycled Coke cans.

After Christmas Dinner, gift opening and (most importantly--naps!) we took a trip down memory lane when Steve's dad broke out the ancient film projector and showed us movies of when Steve was young. The film footage moved from Norway to Denmark to England to New Mexico to Pennsylvania to North Carolina. Nathan and Sarah were quite fascinated to see their Dad (and their grandparents) in their younger years.

Snowy and I--full of good food and contentment.


From the Comment section:

Georganna asked what we all got for Christmas.

Nathan's main gift was a set of ski poles from his grandparents, Sarah got a couple video games she was really wanting, as well as a few things from Aeropostale. I gave Steve the complete set of Sherlock Holmes episodes on DVD (he LOVES Sherlock Holmes) and he gave me a Miche purse and a couple shells. (You change the outside color/design of the purse by attaching different "shells.")

Would anyone like to share your favorite Christmas gift in the comments section? We'd love to hear about it!

Redeemed1 asked if that is our old furniture in the new house.

Yes it is! The only thing we had to buy new were the drapes for the living room. It took some creativity to make everything fit with the pillars in the room, but we are quite happy with the way it turned out.

Not having to buy new furniture is a wonderful thing, indeed!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Mistletoe Season Missive of a Money Monkey Missile from Manteo

Since I figured that everyone else would be blogging about Christmas and mistletoe-related topics today, I thought I’d better follow suit and somehow incorporate mistletoe into my writing as well. Hence, the word “mistletoe” in the title of the blog. Which has nothing to do with blog itself. (Just thought I’d make that nice and clear.)

So here’s the non-mistletoe related story . . .

A few weeks ago, Steve and Sarah were rummaging around in the Manteo Ace Hardware store when they came upon a little stuffed monkey toy being “demonstrated.” (A “live video” demonstration by Nathan can be found further down the page.)

Steve and Sarah were immediately hooked on the plucky little fella and thought that the Money Monkey would make a great Christmas present for The College Dude.

Well, actually, just to make myself clear--when they bought the Money Monkey it was not yet technically, a Money Monkey. It was technically a Money-less Monkey.

However. When I was wrapping Sir Money-less Monkey, it suddenly occurred to me that we had spent fifteen dollars less on Nathan than our Initial Parental Budgetary Plan had allowed for. And so I decided to turn the Plain Ol’ Monkey into . . . wait for it . . .a Money Monkey. (I know. I know. My creative naming skills are unsurpassed.)

In order to transform the Money-less Monkey into the Money Monkey, I tucked five dollars into several places uponst the Money Monkey’s person.IMG_0115

I then set myself to wrap the monkey in the most tacky fashion possible. I think I succeeded.IMG_0118

Here is a picture of Nathan meeting the Money Monkey for the first time. Aren’t they so cute together?IMG_0153


And now, as promised, I present to you the live demonstration of what the Money Monkey from Manteo does when it is being used in the missile-esque way it was intended. Life doesn’t get much more entertaining than this. (I'm not sure why the video is sidewise but you still get the general idea of the Manteo Money Monkey's massively entertaining capabilities. And in case you can't see real clearly what's going on, the monkey "slingshots" across the deck emitting loud, moneky-esque cries.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Miscellaneous Photos of
Miscellaneous Smith Miscellany

Here are few more pictures from our evening of Pancake Making and Tree Decorating.

In this picture, I was asking Nathan to please just do a "regular expression." You can see how well he listens to his mother. Sigh. I may need to think about returning him for a refund.

Our new kitchen finally feels like home, now that we've cooked our Christmas Pancake Dinner in it.

In case you're wondering, yes we were baking sugar cookies and cooking pancakes at the same time. Part of our tradition is to have sugar cookies and egg nog during the decorating of the tree and we hadn't gotten around to doing the cookies earlier in the day. So had a big ol', happy cooking mess!

Each year when we make the pancakes, the kids always (wistfully) ask if we might have any chocolate chips in the house. And each year I (regretfully) say that we don't. Until this year! We actually had chocolate chips! In the house! Hooray!

One of our church members gave us this ornament. (OBX stands for the Outer Banks, which is the string of barrier islands close to where we live.)

And speaking of ornaments, we asked Nathan to write on the bottom of the ornament he brought home from Jerusalem saying what year he bought it. (And do not even ask me why he's wearing shorts and a t-shirt in December. I think we've had this conversation before.)

A few views of the Smith Tree

Steve speaking at the candlelight communion service last night.

After the service, we came home and opened gifts. Steve always reads the Christmas story before the opening of the gifts commences.

One of the gifts which Nathan opened. There will be more written about this little fella--nicknamed the Money Monkey--in the next couple of days.

And now it's time to pack some stuff and hit the road for Charlotte! I haven't packed a suitcase in two whole weeks, after having packed one every week for several months.

I hope I haven't forgotten how. (Yeah, right.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nathan and Tree Decorating

We had a great night cooking and decorating the tree last evening. It was so special having Nathan back among us. You can tell that he has gotten a lot more serious and mature since the last time we saw him.

The Smith Men were helped by the Smith Doggie in their cooking tasks. (Although I can assure you that Snowy's interest was not altogether altruistic!)

I'll have more picture to post later but here is my favorite one of the night.

We're leaving the house in a few moments for our candlelight communion service, then we'll come back home and open our gifts. Tomorrow morning we'll head out for the 6-7 hour trip to Charlotte and come home late Sunday evening.

More later . . .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Eaglet Has Landed

At 11:10 pm yesterday, Nathan walked up the steps to his new house. The home that he has never before seen.

He loved the entry way/living room/dining room area. (These pictures were taken before a recent dinner with friends.)

He made some prerequisite, affectionate, brotherly, snide comments about the immense size of Sarah's room.

Then he finally made it to his own room.

He lay down on his bed and, without a second's delay, we all piled onto the bed with him. Unfortunately, four people and a dog on a queen sized bed made for a bit of a crowded situation so we trooped down to the living room instead. We talked and laughed till about 1 am, at which time, I took my fatigue-encrusted body off to bed. (After sharing a good night hug with my favorite son.)

So happy my eaglet has landed. . . .

Monday, December 21, 2009

Delayed Homecoming Happy Ending

Steve and Sarah left for the airport in Norfolk about 45 minutes ago to collect a certain College Dude. (I decided to stay home and get a few things done in preparation for his Grand Arrival.)

They had only been gone about thirty minutes when Steve called to inform me that he'd just gotten a phone call from Nathan who was at the Orlando airport getting ready to fly out.

So that's a good thing, right?

Our College Dude had made it to the airport on time. He was all ready to go. Everything was hunky. Not to mention dory.


Except for the fact that his flight was leaving from the Tampa airport. Which is quite a long way from the Orlando airport. And Meagan had already left the Orlando airport. So he was going to miss his flight. And he didn't have anything else scheduled.

I went into Panicked Mother Mode. What to do? What to DO?

We had our traditional Christmas family supper planned for tonight and then we were going to put up the tree. Everyone was so excited to see him and we were all ready to don our happiest, welcoming-est faces as we showed him around our (and his) new house.

I placed an emergency call to my older brother, Tim, who has a contact for a great travel agent we've used in the past. Tim gave me the number, I said, "Sorry I can't talk longer," and immediately hung up to call the travel agent.

The agent chuckled sympathetically when I told him the dilemma and then said, "Tell Nathan to go straight back to the Southwest desk in Orlando before his flight is due to leave from Tampa. If he waits too long, and his other flight takes off, they'll just cancel him out of the system. See if they can move his flight to Orlando instead."

I thanked him, hung up in a hurry and got Nathan on the phone. Just as I was about to blurt out my invaluable, inimitable motherly advice he said, "I just went to the Southwest counter and for just $8 more, they booked me on a later flight. I can't fly out till 7, but everything's taken care of. Meagan's coming back and we'll just hang out around here until my flight leaves."

I felt sort of deflated. You mean he didn't need me to rescue him?

How sad is that?

And then I felt very proud. He didn't need me to rescue him. How great is that?

So now his arrival into Norfolk won't be until 9 pm and it'll be after 11 pm before he gets to the house.

But on the bright side, our son will learn to read his itinerary a little closer in the future. (I had booked the flight and just emailed him the info.) And also on the bright side, I learned that my firstborn child can survive just fine--650 miles away at the wrong airport--without his mama.

The pancake dinner and tree decorating can wait until tomorrow night. The important thing is that our son will be sleeping under our roof tonight.

And that's a delayed homecoming happy ending.

(An airport stop in August.)

He Was Holding My Hand

Yesterday morning as our music team was getting ready to rehearse, Terry, one of our singers, told us a story.

She works at the church's daycare and last Thursday morning, she was sitting in the sanctuary beside the children as they prepared to put on a Christmas program program for their parents.

Terry was sitting beside a particular girl (I'll call her Maggie) who had a speaking part in the program. A few minutes before the program was to begin, Maggie leaned over and confided worriedly, "Miss Terry, I'm afraid to go up on the platform. I don't think I can do my part."

Terry said, "You'll be fine, honey. Miss Sharal will be kneeling behind you on the platform and she'll help you if you forget the words."

Maggie said, "I'm still afraid. I don't want to do it."

Terry said, "Let's pray together and ask Jesus to be with you and to help you not be afraid."

They bowed their heads together and prayed and Maggie went up and did her part perfectly.

When the program was over, the parents and children went into the fellowship hall for a Birthday Party for Jesus, complete with snacks and a birthday cake. After the parents had finally left the bulding, one of the other little girls said to Maggie, "Well, it was a nice party for Jesus and everything but it was too bad he wasn't here."

Maggie responded, "Oh, but Jesus WAS here! He was holding my hand."