let’s get caught up!

geez..i’m a bad blogger lately. so much going on. so little blogging!

things are moving along here at a steady pace. thankfully i’m not feeling super stressed about christmas approaching. just the way i wanted it!! (although there is that one etsy seller would could make my life a bit easier if he just replied to me.) i do need to do a little shopping one day after geoffrey gets home from work and we’ll be all set. i am sure another trip the grocery store will be needed…i with they did deliveries.

the kids have been on winter break since friday, which was a half day! (they don’t got back until 1/4. craziness, i know!) our poor seamy got sick and missed thursday and friday from school last week. we battled a fever until sunday midday. his body ached, stomach hurt from coughing…poor guy. he too many naps, which is way out of the norm for him. we went to see the doctor yesterday and he has a pretty bad ear infection. he has never once complained of his ear hurting. he’s doing much better now but definitely not enjoying his amoxicillin! i am pretty sure this is his first time in antibiotics. other than treating asthmatic symptoms and allergies he has been a pretty healthy kid these past 5 years. he is back on the mend and was rather whiny yesterday…hoping for less of that today!

yesterday the kids and i had good day! we colored, in new christmas coloring books, with a NEW box of crayons (my favorite!) for well over an hour! it was great fun. then, we had to run a few errands to gather up a few supplies so we could  make these….



i saw a facebook friend post pictures of her and her girls making cookies and i saw she was using these. i knew right away i needed to go get some.


(pardon the position of the picture but, wordpress wouldn’t let me change it.)

they are some nifty squeeze bottles, made by wilton for candy making/melting but they worked great for sugar cookie icing! i filled them with my own colored icing. our usual routine in making sugar cookies is i frost most of them and the kids decorate with candies and sprinkles. well, i knew if i got these we would all create some very cool cookies! i still eneded up frosting some of the bigger cookies with a knife but these bottle are worth the investment! (they were $4 at walmart. i couldn’t find them at my local hobby lobby and micheals was just took far for us to go yesterday.) we made 60ish cookies and layla stayed with me almost to the end!

this christmas we decided to make christmas presents for the kids and shop on etsy as much as possible. here are a few things i made for them and i’m so proud of myself that they are done! last night i sewed the eyes onto these cute little guys. i saw them on pinterest and decided they would be something cute and homemade for the kids stocking!


i also wanted to make their christmas ornaments this year. so i came up with the idea to make these…

they are very fitting seeing we started the barry farm this past year! i love them.

i’ve been baking too…too much! sweet rolls, pecan tassies, a bunch of cookies, mini cheesecakes…needless to say, my family has been very happy about all this! my shirts and jeans? not so much.

today the kids and i will be rather busy. we’ve got egg deliveries to make, farming to do, cookies to eat :), and we are going to friends tonight for supper! i have some baking i need to get done and in the freezer before the weekend, make a final grocery list and make a batch of homemade bread. what i need is a nice little to-do-list.

i hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! the kids are getting very excited about christmas and we are so very, very happy that geoffrey is NOT working this christmas! we are looking forward to a great christmas day that starts whenever these two smith kids decide its time to get up!

goodness i love them!! 🙂



about 95% of the time the kids an i listen to the christian radio station (KSBJ 89.3) while driving around houston. they sing along to so many of the songs. i get asked to turn it up on toby mac and newsboys every time! “turn it up mom!” “louder mom!”

they sing.

they clap.

they dance and groove in their booster seats!

and i am over joyed at the lyrics they are memorizing. ‘we are the saints, we are the children, we’ve been redeemed, we’ve been forgiven, we are the sons and the daughters of our god!’ you know that third day song? there is a bunch of kids who sing with them and we love it! what great lyrics.

or…”this is the stuff, that drives me crazy, this is the stuff, that’s getting to me lately, in the middle of little mess i forget how big i’m blessed….” this is the stuff by francesca battistelli. they’ve almost got most of the lyrics on that one. layla has more. seamus pipes in at the end of phrases!

or…our friend toby in “get back up” –

You turned away when I looked you in the eye,
And hesitated when I asked if you were alright,
Seems like you’re fighting for you life,
But why? oh why?
Wide awake in the middle of your nightmare,
You saw it comin’ but it hit you outta no where,
And theres always scars
When you fall back far

We lose our way,
We get back up again
It’s never too late to get back up again,
One day you will shine again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever,
Lose our way,
We get back up again,
So get up, get up,
You gonna shine again,
Never too late to get back up again,
You may be knocked down,
But not out forever

Read more: TOBY MAC – GET BACK UP LYRICS http://www.metrolyrics.com/get-back-up-lyrics-toby-mac.html#ixzz1JPYrLFqt
Copied from MetroLyrics.com

and the newest one they’ve been liking is…”stronger” by mandisa. layla grooves on this song!

“Oh, don’t hang your head
It’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even if it’s hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain’t gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you …

Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even when you just can’t feel Him
I promise you that He still cares”

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmania.com/stronger_lyrics_mandisa.html
All about Mandisa: http://www.musictory.com/music/Mandisa

i’m overjoyed that these are the lyrics that they are tucking away in their mind and heart! i really got thinking about this the other day. with some money geoffrey gave layla she got a cute pink heart alarm clock radio. when we set it up i put it on KSBJ and it comes on every morning as her alarm. when she is in her room during the day she’ll turn the radio on too. well, somehow she lost KSBJ and it was on a country station. on sunday she kept singing over and over again… “craaaaaaazy women!” i think its a new leanne rimes songs. i asked her to stop signing it. i realized i needed to go into her room and find KSBJ again! i don’t think she knows all the lyrics to “crazy women” but i would much rather hear her sing…”we are the saints, we are the children, we are the sons and the daughters of our god!” and “when you loose your way…you get back up again…its never too late…to gete back up again…” when the waves are pulling you under….hold on just a little bit longer…he knows that this is gonna make you stronger…stronger…! am i right?

i can remember lyrics to catchy fun songs easier than i can remember something i learned in social studies! those lyrics just seem to stay with you and i’m thanking jesus for what my kids are filling their minds and hearts with! treasures to carry with them and remind them that they are loved, cherished, redeemed by the blood of jesus, that they are strong in him, and that when days gets crazy and you find stuff driving you crazy god is still there and we should take the time out to find him in it!

what’s filling your heart and mind today? what’s going in will eventually come out.


Today i made an appointment for seamus to see the allergist. He seems to break out in hives when he’s been out playing in yards with grass. Our backyard has no grass now and he never has an issue out there. One day when we all went to land we had to finally leave he was clearly having an allergic reaction to something. One day he was out front with geoffrey (where we do have grass) and geoffrey had to send him in because he was breaking out in hives.

Last night we went to friends and the kids played outside. They aslo played a lot upstairs after. He came down for dessert and i instantly noticed his arms were covered in hives! All over. Later when we got home i checked and his legs were covered as well. Sigh.

We’ve been to our friends several times before. Most of the time they spend inside because of the yucky weather. Those days we have no problem. My friend and i were recalling another time we were over and the kids played outside and seamus had a reaction.

We’ve been wanting and hopong to resod our backyard but now i think we need to figure out this allery first. I’m really hoping its not something like a grass allergy! I have a fear it could be becuase our friends have nothing in their backyard besides grass. Its wierd. Hoping we can figure it out and come up with a plan of action.

Needless to say, mommy didn’t sleep much last night. I kept going in and shining my iphone on his face and arms to see how he was. Thankfully the reaction was only on his arms & legs and not his face. Two doses of benedryl and it seemed to make the hives slowly go away. Of course i was worried his breathing might be affected so it was rather difficult to sleep. Thankfully the double dose of benadryl knocked him out and didn’t have the opposite affect, which has happened more than once!

So, we’ll be staying indoors or at least away from grass until we figure it out! Last night’s hives were too much! I need to make a of things to discuss and question the allergist. My mental list is getting too long!

I love my seamus too much! I hate being worried about him & his health and safety!

I forgot to mention that geoffrey was out of town last night too!

another trip to the zoo

on sunday we went to the houston zoo to get a members only peek at the new african forest. it was such a perfect day. not too hot. not too cold.

we were so excited to see the new african forest. they giraffes got moved there and they got in a family of chimps and 3 white rhinos!! so exciting.

here are the pictures from our adventure!


photo books

i’m behind making photos books for the kids each year. of course i started when lay was little and then..well…i wasn’t so diligent about it.

i know lots of places like shutterfly, walmart, walgreens, picaboo have sales off and on for photo books (and other photo deals as well). i try to watch for them. but the other day i decided to google and look for coupon codes at each place specifically. the last few times i have looked i have found codes worthy of using. so, i’m going to try hard to budget for doing them and when i find a good code to use it! i am NOT a scrap booker. and i don’t print out hundreds of photo and place in photo books. it takes a bit of time to select, upload and organize the photos from a year but its worth it. they will last forever…no yellowing like those old photo albums at your mom’s house. and, the kids love them!

so, here’s to being better about getting the photo books done…

p.s. – i used picaboo for the first time and i loved it!! so easy to use. it made a photo book from our trip to VT.

he’s gone

well, seamus is off at pre-school. he’s gone. i really don’t a hard time leaving my kids for overnights or weekends. i can be without them. i know for some moms that is hard. i miss them when they aren’t with me but i am ok with the separation. when it was time for layla (6) to start school i was so happy for her. i knew she would love it and have fun. of course i cried and missed her a lot when she first started but mostly because it was a new phase. she was no entering the school world. i still think about her lot during her days. wondering what she is doing. what i am missing out on. how is she interacting. what is she talking about. yesterday she told me on the way home from school that her and some other kids were ‘digging to the devil’ at the playground. really? interesting. we talked about that a minute and should probably talk about it more.

now, our seamus starting school is much different! we knew this day was coming. i tried my best to prepare for it the best i could. i can’t describe for you how it makes me feel to leave this precious baby boy of mine with really, strangers. now, while i have met his teachers and communicated with them the past 10 days they still really are strangers at this point. with seamus’ severe peanut allergy there are very few people who we trust completely to care for him. and we never leave him places without our supervision when food is being served. so, here i am…home alone. my little sidekick who has been in my care 95% of his little life is now off with 2 teachers, who i barely know but i know will care for him, and group full of 16 or so classmates. i miss him. i am so glad he was happy about going and didn’t cry or object – that would have made it so much harder for me. thankfully geoffrey was able to come with us. missing my baby boy and praying all day.

he was suppose to start last week but got sick. that was just fine with me because it gave the teachers time to figure out how to handle his peanut allergy seeing they eat lunch and they eat in their classroom. now that they have a plan in place it makes it a bit easier for me. when we first went to school for open house and they have no clue about his allergy or a plan in place…i had a very hard time! there were many tears. lots of stress. i realized one night as i was trying to falls asleep that i was so wrapped up in my ‘mommy protection, advocating for my son’ mode that i failed to stop and ask for help from the one who created my little boy and knows every detail about him! so, i changed and turned to prayer. that was a big help. i have faith that jesus will keep him safe. but still…i am his mommy. i am the one who takes the necessary action in keeping him safe so, today is a new day for me. and i need to stop typing now and keep myself busy so i don’t loose it.

at 2:30 i get to go pick him up! 🙂

1st grade

here are some pictures from layla’s first day of school. she’s in first grade! we just love her 🙂

kale chips

hmmmmm….i just had a ‘super snack’. kale (a superfood) when baked with olive oil and sea salt until just crispy is such an amazing snack. the kids loved them too! i am trying really hard not to eat them all. i did one whole bunch of kale. making these kale chips is one of the best uses for kale. i do like making a soup with it but not when the heat index is over 100!

i also cooked up some quinoa and will make a nice cold summer salad with it for supper. just baked some sweet potato fries as well. man, i need to learn to space out these super foods rather than preparing them all in the same day.

the kids and i went to their swimming lessons this morning. after came back and got a snack we did a little craft with clay and leaves. the kids then played with the clay and we ended up making a sail boat (for seamus) and a texas flag (for layla). probably early next week we will paint them.

daddy is at his master gardener class today and we will be very excited when he is back home with us! we miss him so much when he is gone but love days when he comes home early to us. i think today he is in a lecture about soil and learning so much!

the children’s museum of houston

we have always wanted to go to the children’s museum but i waiting for a our kids to get a bit bigger. we are so glad we went (and got the family membership on special for $60 a year and gets 3 people in free all year! i know there are 4 of us but the kids an i will probably end up going a lot this summer.) in thinking of places to go, things to do to celebrate lay’s kindergarten accomplishments geoffrey and i came up with the plan for visiting the children’s museum. the kids had SO much fun! being a place for kids we just let them go and do what they’d like…that always works best!

before we went there we dropped daddy off for his dr. appt/check up. seamus, layla and i visited lots of floors on the scrulock and smith towers in the texas medical center! we walked the cross walk a few times.  rode escalators 3 times i think. we were hungry and thirsty and ate our lunch on the way to the museum. boy, we sure did need to eat and drink cause the children’s museum requires lots of energy!

despite geoffrey and i being tired and he not feeling well we decided to stick to our plans of going out to supper. so thankful we did so i didn’t have to come back home and cook. instead with a full belly from delicious fuddruckers i can get this blog done. geoffrey is sleeping on the couch, the news is on and the kids are in the family room watching tv.

i’ve posted pictures from our day here.

our layla bree

well, that’s it. she done. our layla finished kindergarten! i told her today i was happy and sad…she said she was too! i love her! you have to check out these two pictures of her. (i decided to add more pictures so there’s more than 2.)

grammy and tata joined us at lay’s school for her little awards program. all the kindergarteners sang a couple of songs and danced then we went to her classroom. the teacher handed out their awards. after she had envelopes for the parents to keep the award/certificate in so it would stay nice. as she was calling out the kids names for the parents to come get them i was surprised at the number of kids that didn’t have parent/family there! i bet maybe a little under half of them had no one. i felt a little sad for them. for some of these kids it was  great accomplishment and one they had to work very hard at! mrs. lee (lay’s teacher) was saying how they had a rough year with so much stuff to learn but they did a great job! they are expected to read at level 2 and do quite a bit of 1st grade work as well. here these kids worked all year and prepared a cute little program and some were all alone. just made me sad… i’m glad lay had her family there!

lay has been saving money for a new bike. we told her if she saved some by doing jobs we would chip in and get her one. we’ve been talking about it for awhile and i decided today was the day to get it! i went and picked one up (already assembled for free) before she got out of school. she tried it out after we got home from picking her up today. she’s pretty cute!

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