P.S. Snowy had another good night; he seems happy and comfortable and content. So thankful.
If no one had told me Snowy had severe kidney disease, I would never have guessed it by looking at him yesterday after he got home from the hospital. He seemed energetic, happy and (most importantly) pain free. He drank well and has eaten just a little. He trotted up and down the stairs at a relatively energetic clip and was in major Snuggle With The Fam Mode. (Which I love.)
He’s still on a special diet and on several medications but all in all, he’s acting pretty perky which truly makes my heart happy.
Unpacking the New Camera
With all that Snowy’s been going through, I’ve gotten a bit behind on acquainting myself with the camera and taking some pictures to post; however, here are a few I managed to snap shortly after the camera arrived. I’m still at the “just turn it on and push the shutter button” stage so anything good in any of these pictures is entirely due to the camera and not me.
I just can’t begin to tell you how pumped I am about all adventure ahead of me as I discover the marvelous mysteries of good photography.
Tree Decorating Night
Here are a few pictures (taken before new camera arrived) of our tree decorating; as I mentioned earlier, we were a little bit late with it because we wanted to wait until Nathan got home. We realize that each Christmas we spend as a foursome is extra precious since each year that passes finds him flying further and further from the nest. (sniff)
We all drank the traditional eggnog and then, of course, we had to kid Sarah about the year she went to the kitchen to top off our eggnog glasses and accidentally pulled out the buttermilk instead. We were all standing there, sipping away, making polite little faces and murmuring, “Hmmm. This eggnog has quite the unique flavor!”
Holding a favorite ornament . . .
Smith feet. View one.
Smith feet. View two.
Snowy cuddled between Sarah and me.
Later on he moved to the other side of me. With an entire huge couch to lie on, he chose to plop himself down in the teeniest little corner on the edge. Nothin’ like living dangerously!
This was the view under the tree five days before Christmas. Can you tell we’re running a little behind?
Merry Christmas Eve!
Before I post today’s (previously written) entry, let me update you on Snowy real quickly.
He threw up again this morning and did his “trembly, shaky” thing for about half an hour, complete with noisy, raspy breathing. The vet said she definitely needed to see him; even though they’re already double booked this morning, she wants him brought in about 10 o’clock.
I didn’t sleep well last night and have been rather prone to tears since I got up this morning; just feelin’ a little emotional about this doggie child of mine.
He’s in his usual spot—curled up beside me (always on the right side, never the left)--and snoozing away in fine Snowy fashion.
I’ll let you know how the visit goes.
And now . . . . Today’s Post!
Somewhere along the way, our family came up with the very strange annual tradition of making a pancake dinner before we decorate the tree. Nathan and Sarah were asking Steve and me where the tradition came from and when it started and neither of us really had any idea. I guess at some point, we just opted to adopt an odd tradition. (Try saying that three times fast.) And thusly the tradition has stood. For an unbeknownst number of years. Forthwithly.
As the 2010 Version of the Tradition commenced, Nathan, as per usual, was in charge of the scrambled eggs. It is not widely known why college students like to wear t-shirts and basketball shorts in the dead of winter but hey, who am I to tell my 21-year old son how to dress? (Go. Put. A. Sweater. On. NOW!)
Once he got the eggs all cracked he said, “Mom, I need that swirly, stirry thingie.”
The scary thing? I knew exactly what he was talking about.
While he swirled and stirred in his sockless, sweaterless state, his besweatered father labored over the frying of the bacon.
Snowy, enjoying being a part of the Exclusive Fellowship Of The Smith Males, kept a close eye on the proceedings
Then he trotted off to go see how the womenfolk were doing. I know it’s a big name for a small dog, but his official title is “The Smith Kitchen Overseer And Highly Esteemed Cute Canine Connoisseur of Overall Food Quantity and Quality.”
One of the things Snowy happened to witness was this Ritualistic, Traditionalistic, Sibling-istic Passing of the Spatula . . .
. . .which Sarah immediately placed in front of her face. Which is not its natural habitat.
Ahh. That’s better.
I went over to grab the pepper and Steve grabbed a picture of me and my reserved, quiet, and introverted son. And just in case you’re wondering, said son has not shrunk since he was home last. He was just sort of scrunched down so that he looks sorta shorter than me. (Shorter than I? Shorter than I do? Hmmm. I’m never sure of the proper usage in that particular grammatical conundrum.)
And in the end? It all came down to the pancakes.
After Nathan and Steve got their assorted egg and bacon jobs finished, they went over to lend helpful male moral support to Sarah.
I must say that the whole scenario created quite a bit of excitement in the Smith house.
No. We don’t get out much.
Trine, our long time reader from Denmark, brought up an interesting question for our fine Smithellaneous family. She asked what everyone’s religious backgrounds/denominations/beliefs were.
I didn’t put that question in the form of a poll because most people’s responses to that question could not be contained in a one or two word “option.”
A few of you have already answered the question and your responses have been so interesting. If the rest of you would like to jump in, feel free! This is another great way to get to know each other.
Yesterday on our way home from the airport with Nathan, I noticed I was running a little low on gas; I pulled into a station but before I could even get out of the car to start the pumping process, I glanced in my side mirror and noticed something.
I am here to tell you with absolutely no equivocation that in that very moment in history I, Rebecca Campbell Smith, caught a rare glimpse of the legendary and secretive Phantom of the Gas Station!
It was an amazing moment. A stunning moment. And also life altering. I mean, how many of you have been privileged to lay eyes on such a rare phenomenon?
I yelled for Sarah to hurry up and look too, so that I could have corroboration on this fabulous sighting. She is now prepared to back me up concerning this event in a court of law, should that become necessary.
As we continued to watch this amazing scene unfold, the Phantom’s visage suddenly came into view.
And then? And then! The Phantom! He spotted us!
He saw that we were watching him! And he made a Phantom-esque face at us!
And we squealed like girls! (Well, we are girls.)
And then to our great relief, the Phantom smiled. And suddenly we realized that it was not the famed Phantom after all. It was just Nathan.
Good ol’ Nathan.
The (cute and beloved) Phantom of the Gas Station.
From the Comments Section . . .
Lizz, it’s funny you should mention that it seemed like Steve hadn’t been horribly sick a couple days earlier. When he was practicing that song and dance number on Saturday night with the “hippo,” he was so terribly out of breath during rehearsal that it was downright disconcerting! All that “output” plus very little food for several days really sapped his strength.
By Sunday night, after a little more rest and a couple more meals under his belt, he managed to (thankfully) make it through the routine with just a wee bit of breathlessness.
And I agree that is certainly a pastor with a sense of humor! :-)
Ann asked, “Is it tree decorating night with pancakes? I know Nathan is a little late coming home so you may have done it without him this year.”
Ann, you have a good memory and you’re absolutely right! Last night was, indeed, tree decorating night, preceded by pancake making. Even though it put the decorating pretty near Christmas, we wanted to wait for Nathan to get home before we did it. I’ll post pictures soon.
Note: According to my shipping tracking info, the camera is supposed to arrive before 7 pm tomorrow. It’ll probably take me thirty minutes to get up enough courage to turn it on!
I’m so intimidated! And also so excited!
That’s a question that sort of makes me nervous to answer since I truly don’t have any idea what I’m talking about. Just so that I don’t goof up entirely trying to describe it all, I’ll just copy and paste the info from the order and see if that makes any sense to you camera pro’s out there.
1) Nikon Nikkor 55-200mm Zoom Lens features VR Image Stabilization, f/4-5.6G, IF-ED, AF-S, DX
2) 18-55mm VR Lens
I’m still not quite sure if I’m going to keep both of those lenses or return one of them and get a 35 mm or 50 mm “fixed” lens in its place. (Or maybe the term is “prime” lens and not fixed lens? As I said, I have a lot to learn!)
Rachel said, “You are going to love your DSLR. I have the Pentax Dx and I love it. The most wonderful thing about a DSLR, I think, (other than the quality of the pictures) is that you turn it on, click the shutter button and the thing actually takes the picture immediately. No "blink blink blink I just have to charge the flash please wait" (and by then your subjects have moved or completely left the photo shoot area! LOL).
Rachel, I cannot begin to tell you how many hundreds of times I have had that very thing happen to me and have muttered to myself, “At some point in my life, I am going to acquire the knowledge and the camera to take pictures without this delay always happening!” Drives. Me. Crazy.
Of course, once I gain some additional knowledge about the technical side of photography, I think I’ll be able to make my beloved, purse-riding “point and shoot” camera be a little more user friendly in that regard, as well.
Anonymous said, “Becky, I really don't mean this to be snarky, and worry about how to phrase it so that it conveys my heart in the question. There are a number of things that our family needs and wants just now. Should I develop a blog and then ask people to give me money so that I can get those things?
Yes, it's lovely that folks have given you well over $600 (depending on lenses, maybe over $1000) so that you can have a camera, but . . . honestly, I struggle with the way that you ask for such things. And yes, folks made 'donations' over the cost of the CDs, but . . .
Our family sure won't be receiving a fancy camera just in time for the holidays. I dunno . . . it just rubs me the wrong way to hear you basically ASK us to give you gifts.
Again, I don't mean it to be snarky. Lucky you - you have a new camera.
I guess I'd feel better if your plugs for gifts for yourself were actually gifts for OTHERS.”
Anonymous, thank you for taking the time to write and graciously express your reservations about the camera.
While I certainly can’t say I know exactly what you’re facing right now, I will say that at various times in my life (as a child AND as an adult), I have had Christmases where there was barely enough money to pay the bills, let alone buy Christmas presents; it’s a frustrating and scary place to be. I’m truly sorry things are difficult for you and your family right now.
Since you asked honest (gracious) questions, I feel like you deserve honest (gracious) answers:
1) Steve and I could not agree with you more about the importance of giving gifts to others. We have given away (completely free) over a thousand of our “Like A Blanket” CD’s (mentioned on the blog) to cancer kids, pediatric hospitals and to families facing stressful situations of various kinds.
We LOVE to give and even in the past few days, have given gifts to people who are struggling. Giving is a privilege and it is also a joy. In fact, the ten (or so) people who donated toward the camera purchase have told me what great joy they got out of being able to help with this project.
2) I think the fact that what I purchased was a camera and not some other item is also important to this conversation.
I have some readers who have been following our family’s story for almost eight years; I’ve gotten to meet some of them in person and have developed e-mail relationships with others. After so many years, I feel like so many of my blog readers are honorary Smith family members.
I think that part of the reason people have read this blog for so many years is because of the pictures and--as it turns out--most of the pictures I take are for the blog! So I guess I felt okay getting a little extra help with a “blog related purchase,” since it’s my readers who will be the ones to enjoy the results of the camera.
Now if I had asked for a new wardrobe or a vacation to the Bahamas—THAT would be another issue altogether. :-)
(And on that same subject, I already had some money saved up for the camera; the camera’s cost was only partially covered by my blog readers.)
Before I close, here’s a picture of Snowy, faithfully guarding Steve and Sarah during a “post decorating the tree “ sofa snooze. Good thing our family has such a faithful and ferocious watch dog on duty!
At 8 am I am leaving with . . .
To go to . . .
To pick up . . .
Who will stay for . . .
In the meantime, here are a few pictures from Smitty’s Christmas Variety Show that we had at our church last night. It featured children, a dancing hippo, Elvis, a bicycle built for two, rednecks, videos, fun music and sacred music.
It was lots and lots of fun.
Steve (as Smitty) opened the night with this song. (He’s not only a ham—he’s pure pork!)
Sarah was in charge of running media for the show and also participated in a music/drama number.
Before I close, let me mention that Snowy seems to be feeling much better. He’s really loving the chicken/broth/rice mixture his vet told me to try with him. I’m not sure if I will be consigned to cooking chicken and rice for my dog for the rest of my days, or not!
I’m going to call the vet today to report in and ask what we’re supposed to do with his food and meds, now that he seems to be turning a corner.
So thankful to see our little doggy with a smile back on his face and taking an interest in the world again.