Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dad. Daughter. Room.

Steve has been hard at work getting Sarah’s room painted. And since he feels that his daughter should get the same sort of Paternal Painting Training as his son, he has enlisted Sarah as his Painting Princess Apprentice. (Try saying THAT three times fast! Seriously. I can’t even do it.)

Here he is expounding to her on the fact that if she touches some sort of a certain something at the same time as she touches another sort of a certain something she will get a shock. (Try not to be too impressed with my highly technical language.)


The lesson continues. (Note that Sarah is wearing a t-shirt from Nathan’s university. It makes us all feel a bit closer to him when we can look over and see SEU!)


And the lesson continues to continue.


Not sure what this conversation is all about but it looks important!


Sarah finally gets to be taller than her dad!


You may find this hard to believe—I know I did—but they actually let ME paint a little teeny bit. However, it didn’t take me very long to figure out (once again) that painting is not my gift. I told myself, “Becky, you really need to back away from the wall, put that paint brush down and . . . go do something with your hair, already!


The Painting Princess Apprentice hard at work.


Or not.


If you’re wondering why she’s saluting . . .


. . . it’s because the guy in the poster did it first. (Poster is of Reliant K, one of her favorite bands.)


Such a lovely gal.



A Guest Blogger! A Nathan and Meagan Story! Hurray!”

Becky said, “What is the ring on the left hand? Great story and great couple ~ I can't believe if I missed they got engaged and I didn't see it.”

Nope—no engagement ring!

Mrs. Pam said, “What a fun story! Nathan and Meagan are such a great couple! Were they at the Melting Pot restaurant?”

Yes, as a matter of fact they were! That is such a great restaurant; we’ve eaten there three or four times in our marriage and have enjoyed every single bite. Nothing quite like it.

“Known By Love”

Anonymous said, “Hi Becky. I loved this recent post for a few reasons. I am Jewish and my husband was brought up Roman Catholic. When I say "was", it is because he has since decided that it is better to be a good person than a bad person who happens to go to a place of worship. I do not always agree with him because I feel a comfort when I do(which is rare) go to Temple. I was wondering if you ever considered other religions in your monthly meetings. At Passover, our community holds a huge Passover dinner and includes everybody. I once had a friend say that such and such a person was a good Christian and it so bothered me. I said that it is possible that the person being "good" had nothing to do with religion. I think your meetings are wonderful. Everybody has a place and we should all support and embrace each other. Just wondered if you ever considered expanding even further into other religions. I think it would be so interesting. Thanks. Love you Smith Family

Anonymous, we would be DELIGHTED and HONORED to welcome religious leaders of various backgrounds—rabbis, priests, etc. to our monthly gatherings. Although we may not agree on every single theological point, we would most certainly agree on enough things so that we could enjoy each other, learn from each other and encourage each other.

Thanks for your comment and for sharing such interesting thoughts!

“Snowy: The Boss Man”

Mary H said, “Boss man, Snowy - what color did you select for Sarah's room? I wasn't sure if the blue that I saw was a primer paint or the color.”

Mary, Snowy here.

I woke up from my last nap long enough to hear one of The Fam say how much they loved the blue paint and how well it matched the carpet. So I’m assuming the blue is paint, not primer. Okay. Back to my nap.

And lastly, both Lisa and Margie asked, “How are you feeling, Becky?”

Ladies, thanks for checking!

I’m feeling pretty well, all things considered. I’m very much looking forward to getting next Tuesday’s surgery behind me. The recovery time will be about the same as the last surgery which was 7-10 days. I’m not really thrilled about being out commission for that long but it’s gotta be done.

This time around, my surgery isn’t scheduled until 2:15 (instead of early in the morning) so Steve and I (Sarah will stay behind) are not sure what we’re going to do about getting home that night. Depending on how quickly I do (or do not) come out of recovery, we may have to end up staying in a hotel that evening. We’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, thanks for checking in; it’s a good feeling to know I’m getting near the end of this thing!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

One Year

This past Sunday marked our one year anniversary of being in Manteo. Well, actually, the last Sunday of September was when we were voted in, but the first Sunday in October was our official first Sunday as pastors.


Of course, we spent those first two months after the vote commuting between Smithfield and Manteo before finally moving into our home December 1. As you probably already know, we have come to love this church and town and feel incredibly blessed to be here.

Here’s a brief pictorial walk down our (one year old) Memory Lane.

Commuting isn’t too terribly bad when this is the view that greets you upon arrival!


However, the Official Preparation for Commuting each weekend was always a bit of a drag.


The home schooling stuff had to make the trip, too.


Of course, Snowy was always ready to hit the road and blaze the trail. . .


. . . while his sister took a little nap.


I remember when we first glimpsed the loveliness of the town.

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We puttered around in a few downtown shops where Steve acted in a decidedly un-pastoral manner.


We ate our first meal at a cafe downtown.


I remember during that meal that we were back and forth on the phone to Wisconsin as my Dad lay on his death bed. He passed away just three days after we were interviewed by the pastoral search committee. Miraculously, I was able to make it in just a few hours before his death.

So many memories from that time of life—one chapter ending, another one beginning.


On the first couple trips to Manteo, we were put up the loveliest of hotels. . .



. . . but no matter how lovely a hotel is, it isn’t home. This is the day we saw our first glimpse of the house we would eventually buy.


Here is Sarah posing with a nut picked up from our yard. I told her that if we bought the house, I might send her out foraging for fruits and nuts for dinner. She didn’t seem overly thrilled.


Steve introducing Sarah on our first Sunday.

it was scary, exciting, wonderful—all at one time!


And one year later, we’re happily settled in, thrilled to be known as Manteo-ers, and excited about what the next years here will bring.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Guest Blogger! A Nathan and Meagan Story! Hurray!

Note: This post is about our son, Nathan and his girlfriend, Meagan. It was written by Meagan's mom, Sheri Hawley, and posted on her blog, Embrace the Grace. (If you aren't already reading Sheri's blog on a regular basis, you need to. It's good stuff!)

And now let’s give a big Smithellaneous Welcome to Sheri Hawley!

If you've been reading "Embrace the Grace," it doesn't take long to realize that our family has a decidedly warped sense of humor. We came by this honestly - it was my mom who so often said, "In this life you're going to laugh a lot or cry a lot. I choose to laugh!"

We've all adopted her philosophy to the best of our ability and have truthfully found it to be the best of the two options.

Hence the humor in the following story. Last night, Meagan and Nathan found themselves on a very special "dress-up date". Meagan's braces were removed yesterday and with perfect timing Nathan got a pay check so they had planned this very special evening of dual celebration. Nathan arrived totally decked out in suit and tie - so debonair! And Meagan chose a simple black dress - her smile was brilliant enough on its own! Off they went, laughing together and beaming.

nm3 nm5 nm6 nm7

Meagan said that Nathan (who planned the date entirely on his own - three cheers for chivalry) had chosen a terrific restaurant and they were having a perfect evening when IT happened.

Meagan turned her head to sneeze and immediately felt a draft. The invisible zipper in her little black dress gave way and left her with only two connection points: the hook and eye at top and two fragile teeth clinging together halfway down her side.

SHOCK! Total and complete shock!! What to do?

She did what every other self-respecting 22 year old would do in such a horrendously embarrassing moment - she burst out laughing! (Yeah, I know. Laughing isn't normally the first reaction but maybe it should be.)

Nathan diverted his attention like a perfect gentleman. Then Meagan gathered enough composure to clamp her arm to her side and slip to where several waitresses were standing. "Where is your restroom? And could one of you come with me - I have a problem!"

She said the waitress worked with the nylon zipper but had no success. A second waitress was called in for back up. While the dress wasn't really tight, it would not go over her head so she could get it off and work on it herself. The two waitresses were stumped and said they were going to get more assistance.

Meagan was left to wait in the bathroom, all alone, gaping dress, no phone to text Nate.......but she did have the camera in her hand for some odd reason. So she entertained herself making a short video because she knew her sisters would never believe it! Smile.


Finally, an older waitress came in to assess the situation. She then sent a waiter running down the block to CVS for safety pins. He was a Ninja because he took time to think through choosing a package of black and white safety pins instead of the silver ones as he was pretty sure the girl stuck in the bathroom had been wearing a black dress! Well Done!

The wait staff then sifted through the lost and found bin and gave Meagan a lovely black sweater which had been left behind by some earlier patron. (New York and Co.; she was quite pleased!)

Meagan made her way back to the table; walking carefully so as not to pop any of the eight safety pins holding her dress together. The cute couple finished dessert. (Nate is in college for heaven's sake. You can't waste dessert!) Then made their way back to Winter Haven.

Little Black Dress - Zipperless
New Sweater - Much Appreciated
Perfect Evening - Not So Much
Great Memory - PRICELESS!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Snowy: The Boss Man.

Note: Since I’ll be on the road most of the day for my pre-op appointment (and yes, a lunch stop at Chick-Fil-A), I am leaving Smithellaneous in the very capable hands of Snowy, the original Blog Dog! And Boss Man!


Hi. Snowy here.

It appears as though my sister is currently in the process of doing what all females feel compelled to do. At some point. Sooner or later. Eventually. Too often.

Yup. She’s redecorating. Repainting. Redoing. Reorganizing.

I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what it looks like to you?



IMG_9066 IMG_9061

Why can’t women ever be happy with old paint? With old stuff? With old, um, oldness? Why, I ask you?

And if it weren’t bad enough that women feel compelled to redecorate, it always seems that whenever there are redecorating projects to be done around our house, I’m invariably the one who is called out of Early Retirement (or at least Early Napping) to supervise it.

I mean, it never ends. Never. I get called in to oversee job after job after job.

And I hate to say this (please don’t repeat it), but The Fam doesn’t even pay me all that well. A few treats thrown my way, a dish or two of clean water, a couple belly scratches and they think I should be all content and filled with immense doggie joy.


However, I guess I’ll just have to try to make the best of it. And? Since misery loves company? Why don’t you come along with me and I’ll give you an inside look at what life as The Smith Top Dog is really like.

The first thing you need to know is that as an Official Smith Job Foreman, I have two sides.

The first side is the Steely Eyed, No Nonsense, Get-‘Er-Done Look.


The second side is the Super Approachable, Fluffy Fella Look.


I think the thing that makes me really extra brilliant and sets me apart from all the other Big Boss Guys is that I have an innate, inborn, ingrained, inbred sense as to which one of my personas to pull out at any given time. And just so you know? I usually go with the Fluffy Fella-ness side of me. I find that it gets better results.

And it also seems to have this mysterious effect of making people smile. And that’s always good, right?


Before each day’s work begins, I always get up on the highest point (east of the Mississippi) and give a little inspirational pep talk to my team. The main gist of the talk is, “If my midmorning snack is not in front of me by 9:59 am, I am outa here!” The Talk always does wonders for morale. (Well, for my morale, at least.)


But having said that, I do need to make one thing perfectly clear. I am not such a shallow dog that I am only concerned about snacks. I am also extremely concerned about workplace safety and am constantly investigating the materials that are being used on each of the job sites under my supervision.

Please also note that I am always quite diligent about keeping my cell phone close at hand in case I should ever need to call in any Important Federal Local Regional National Global Governmental Agencies to investigate any suspicious irregularities in materials or personnel. (Or, um, deficiencies of snacks in the break room.)


In this particular case, I am happy to report that the suspicious looking roll of paper towels passed inspection. Whew! Lots of suspense there for a moment.

It is now time to turn my razor sharp brain to other crucial matters at hand.


(Here’s the back of my brain, if you’re interested. You’re not? Oh. Well, never mind, then.)IMG_9183

At one point during this most recent job, there was a Momentary Crisis Moment when the Girl Currently Known As My Sister brought a putty knife over to my management area and threatened to put caulk on the end of my very own personal nose. Can you imagine anyone showing such blatant disregard to a doggie in my esteemed position?IMG_9185

Well, I’ll tell you one thing right now--I don’t take any disrespect from any insubordinate, no matter how cute she might be! I just got all up in her grille, pulled out my Steely Eyed Persona and put her right back into her place. Whoosh. The putty knife disappeared! Just like that!

Yup. You just have to know how to handle people.


The best perk of my current job environment is break time. However, I do want you to be fully aware that even during our breaks, I keep an eagle eye on the clock and am constantly monitoring how much time is passing. In fact, when Sarah started scratching my fluffy ol’ belly, I looked her right in the eye and said sternly, “Sarah, I will give you exactly one hour to stop doing that!”


After Sarah had stopped her scratchin’ and had gone back to working, I started to worry that maybe my mom was feeling a little left out of things. (She was on the other side of Sarah’s bed taking Very Important Pictures which shall be shared at a later time.)

As a veteran work place professional, I’ve always believed that a big part of being an effective boss is to make sure that all members of the team feel equally appreciated and important. I figured I should go on over and spend some quality time with her.


It’s a tough job making people feel important.


I’m talkin’ really, really tough.


But don’t worry. My aura of authority is so incredibly powerful that even when I’m taking a wee little break . . . er . . . nap, my workers still stay busy.


Hey. When you’re good, you’re good.