Friday, October 7, 2011

A (Vic)storia.

So just what is a (Vic)storia?

It’s a story about Victoria, of course!

Sarah and Victoria first met when they were about three years old and have been dear friends ever since. I may be a bit biased, but those are some mighty cute girls!

When Sarah was diagnosed with cancer, lost her hair, had weird tubes and wires coming out of her body, and spent more time in the hospital than out of it, Victoria’s friendship never wavered.
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With Victoria at C-mas

After Sarah’s treatment got over and life got returned to normal, that sweet friendship just got ever sweeter and ever stronger.

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Copy of 2004 E Sept 7th, 2004 161

Years passed and the friendship remains.





So what does all this have to do with anything?

Well, here’s the rest of the Vic(storia).

For many years, Victoria has known that she wants to be a missionary to Israel.  Before that happens though, she wants to do other kinds of missions work in preparation for that calling.  Well, I’m excited to say that in December, Victoria will be traveling to India for two weeks to work at an orphanage. While this is a great opportunity for her, the challenging part of it is that Victoria will need to raise $4,400 by the end of November.
Victoria is going about the momentous task of raising those funds with enthusiasm and creativity and diligence.  She is selling bracelets, baking bread, doing house cleaning, providing tutoring—in other words, she’s doing everything she possibly can to raise as much money as she can on her own. 
As you know, though, that’s a lot of money for a 16-year old teenager to raise. And although I don’t ask for this type of thing very often, Victoria is so very special to our family (and has been such a big part of Sarah’s story and been a part of both blogs) that I would like to give you the opportunity to invest in this motivated, dedicated teen.  (In the interest of full disclosure, Victoria and her family didn’t ask me to say this and have no idea I’m even writing about it today.)

What a joy it will be to help Victoria make her journey to India--a journey that that will be a big part of preparing her for future journeys as her life story continues to be written. 
Here is her blog address which will give you the details you need.  Thanks, in advance, for your generosity in supporting the life calling of this amazing young woman.

New commenting system update
Work is still being done on getting the new commenting system up and running. The blog designer who is installing it found some problems with my template and then as she was about to work on those problems, her sister was admitted to the hospital.  So it may be a few days yet till everything is working.

And while I’m on that subject, Mrs. Pam asked, “Is a user name different from a real name?”

Mrs. Pam, a user name can be whatever you choose to make it.  You can either have it be your real name, or you can name yourself a fictional character, or you can combine your name with numbers like BeckySmith62.  (My name and year of my birth.)  The only thing that would get in the way of creating a user name is if someone has already taken the name you select. 

Edited to add:  Kristina left a comment with the following excellent advice:
 It's probably not a great idea to make a username with your full name, and it definitely shouldn't include the year of your birth. Although most of your regular readers are obviously awesome people, there are many others who run programs to search the web for just that kind of thing. You would be amazed at what people can extrapolate from what seems like a few small pieces of information...

A few more comments . . .
In the Wedding Wednesday post, I asked if anyone wanted to guess what the plastic thingie was on Meagan and Nathan’s bed on the cruise ship.   Amy and Jodi chimed right in to correctly guess that it was placed there to keep the bed from getting dirty when luggage is set on the bed.

Christie had a sort of humorously helpful guess, "The shiny thing on the bed... hmmm... maybe it's if sea sickness kicks in, the bed will be protected!!!"

I think I could have stared at that picture for a half hour and never figured that out since logic is not my strong suit.  Thanks ladies, for helping me out.

Speaking of things I don’t understand, take another look at these two pictures which I posted last week.


I remember thinking when I took the pictures that I had no earthly idea what these big blobs were but I went ahead and took the photos anyway because they were so . . . well . . . interesting.  (Truthfully, I thought they looked dinosaur poop.)

Shortly after posting the photos, I got these two comments about them:
Anonymous said,  “In the picture of the sand with the ... well I'm not sure what it is in the foreground. Dog poop? Sticks? Anyway with some brown... stuff... in the foreground, the shadow it casts look just like the Batman Signal. Hehehe.”

Lizz said, “What is that "thing" on the beach? It looks disgusting but then you see the shadow of it and it looks like the "thing" is saying "Look at me! I'm Batman! See my shadow? Beware!"

You guys are absolutely right about the shadow in the second picture looking just like the Batman signal! I never would have noticed it if you hadn’t pointed it out.

The bottom line with this little story is that I still don’t have any earthly idea what Those Things are—apart from Batman Shadow Casting Mechanisms.  If any of you could clue us in on this subject, we puzzled people would be most grateful.
Anonymous said,  “OK...not really into the computer stuff, but love seeing the lovely pictures you post.  But, all of us need to be concerned with our about healthy recipes. Your recipes are delicious,and so beautifully presented. However, I cannot in good faith serve them to my 50 something husband with all the sugar, crisco, salt, etc. (Nor should I serve them to myself because I also am +50)...and my young adult kids also are so weirdly "healthy conscious" about sharing our "healthy but yummy" recipes? I have a ton of them! Absolutely no salt ever on the table...garlic is a great/healthy substitute...etc.. I can go on forever with my 5 kids giving me suggestions!”

Anonymous, thanks for this great idea.  You’re absolutely right that we all need to be more aware of healthy foods and healthy recipes.  You’re blessed to have young adult kids who are “weirdly health conscious;” it’s obvious you’ve done a great job instilling that in them.

I would love to have some healthy recipes shared here on Smithellaneous.   (And I actually have a few of my own I could contribute!)  Let’s wait though, until the new commenting system is up which might make it easier to group all the recipes together. 

And two pictures in closing:

I’m finally learning how to create bokeh (the blurry background in a photo) and had to show off one of my bokey-esque photos.

And I’m posting this one (from the engagement picture series) simply because it makes me smile

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: And A Honeymoon, Too!

(Note:  I have no idea why the spacing is so weird in this post; must be a lovely computer glitch.  Oh joy.)

I’m starting off today with a few pictures from the “Don’t Ask” category.  

That simply means that I have no idea what those crazy people are doing in these photos and I really don’t know if I want to find out.

This first one was actually taken during the engagement picture session but I thought it would be legal to throw it into a  

Wedding Wednesday post since since an engagement is sort of an important part of getting to a wedding.

Nathan was presented with some favorite candy by his fabulous fiancĂ©e and decided 

that it would be a good time to put the candy in his mouth.  All the candy.
And then.  Show it off.

wed wed 10-5Here’s a closer look at my “always well behaved in public” son. Do you think Meagan will be able to do anything with him?  

I told her that it was all up to her now; I’ve done the best I could.


Edited To Add This Excited Breaking News:  

I just received a comment from the newest Mrs. Smith who gave us the whole picture behind the aforementioned candy scene. 

Here's what Meagan wrote:

The Twix is the candy he gave me along with six roses the day he first told me he loved me.

The gum balls were actually to be used for a ring picture. However, we decided it would be funny to see how many we could fit in his very big mouth LOL. Nathan, being the good man he is, decided to let us do it even though he didn't like the idea to begin with :) 

We try to make it a party wherever we are.   This coming from the newest

~Mrs. Smith 

Thanks Meagan!  And now back to our regularly scheduled program. . .

Although I have no idea what caused Nathan to suddenly flip his entire person upside down, I’m rather impressed that any human being related to me is able to stand on his hands.  


Same fellas.  Same general wackiness.

And I really, really, really do not want to know what’s happening here. 

(Or.  Maybe I do. Or . . . not.)

Okay.  Let’s move along to some more dignified wedding moments, shall we?

Before getting dressed on Wedding Morning, Meagan sat down to write out a card for Nathan to be delivered to him right before the wedding started. 

She had composed the sentiments on the computer several months prior and asked me to write their wedding song around those thoughts.  

In this picture, she’s copying her computer words into real handwriting.

When she was done sharing written hugs with one man in her life, 

she shared a real hug with another man in her life.

And then it was time to get ready.
A loving mother and sister helped to get the bride arrayed.

And a loving future sister-in-law helped to shod the bride. 

This was one glass slipper that fit the princess perfectly.

A few last details . . .

One last moment to pray together as a family . . .


… and the wedding began!

And then the honeymoon commenced.

Here’s Nathan opening the door to their room.


And their lovely room!

I had to ask Meagan what that shiny thing on the bed was because I had no idea.  Anyone wanna guess?

The married man of leisure.  Don’t let the innocent face fool you.  He’s probably planning on some practical joke for his new bride.

So glad these two found each other.

Lastly, I have quite a few comments compiled that I need to answer but I wanted to get to this one today since it has to do with the wedding.

Fran asked, “Would you post photos of Sheri in her dress? Full length? I love the cobalt blue color... thanks a lot for posting all the photos...I know it is a labor of love.”

Fran, right now, this is the only full length picture I can find.  Sheri’s dress had a gorgeous swingy skirt which you can tell by this happy picture, a picture that perfectly sums up the loving and fun relationship that Meagan and her mom share.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bike Trail Kiss

Although Steve and I have many things in common, we have some major differences when it comes to bike riding.

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He likes to ride veryveryfast. 

And I like to ride mediumish slowish.  And I also like to hop off the bike in a slowish mediumish fashion to take pictures. 

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Despite these differences, we do make a point of riding together once or twice a week, usually in the evenings when my less than speedy mode isn’t an issue and we’re able to talk as we ride.

But in the mornings?  He heads out the door in a veritable flurry of fastness for two reasons:  1) He needs to get his bike ride and shower done speedily so that he can get into work.  2) If he doesn’t ride at top speed, he doesn’t get his heart rate up enough for a good workout.  

This morning, he left for his ride about twenty minutes before I did, made it up to the north bridge and turned around.  I had just been riding along a  few minutes in my most merry moseying mode, when I saw him in the distance heading back toward me.  When we got near each other we stopped for a bike trail hello. 

And a bike trail kiss.

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Well.  At least we tried to kiss.

After thirty years of marriage we have had plenty of practice in that particular department; however, we have not had much practice in the area of kissing while wearing bike helmets with little visors that poke straight out and tend to collide with other little poking out visors. 

As a result, we had to to through a quasi-awkward visor arranging and lip organizing routine which required an interesting array of various head tilts and proper face angling. I couldn’t help but think in the midst of our marital maneuverings,  “Here we are on a bike trail which runs adjacent to the main road in Manteo.  I’m sure we are providing great entertainment for the passing motorists.”

I even pictured what a news headline might look like should there be any reporters lurking in the trees.

“Local Pastor and Wife Steal A Kiss On Bike Trail. Almost Foiled By Sun Visors.”

As Steve and I wrapped up our brief romantic rendezvous and rode away in opposite directions, it occurred to me that when Sarah goes out on her first date, we may just require that she and her fella wear bicycle helmets the whole night; they are truly an effective Kiss Deterrent!

I also mused as I rode that there are at least two ways to light up one’s day.

One of them is riding bike on a sunny fall morning. 

And the other is getting a bike trail kiss.

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New Commenting System Update

My commenting system installer has informed me that there seems to be something amiss with my blog template which is making it tough for her to get the system installed in the right place.  (It’s currently at the very bottom of this page which will not be its permanent place of residence.)   I’ve contacted my original blog designer to see if she has any input. 

Bottom line is that it may take awhile to get all this figured out.  In the meantime, you can just keep on using the regular commenting system under each post although the new commenting system is actually usable—it’s just not under individual posts where it will be eventually.  (Thanks to Ann and Anne and my brother Tim for being brave enough to be the first ones to break in the new system.)