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!! 🙂


a photo book i made with shutterfly

i had a shutterfly groupon to use up this week and i decided to make a photo book from our camping trip to bastrop, texas. such a beautiful place. it is nestled among the lost pines and reminded us so much of vermont! take a look at the photo book i created from our adventures there.

shutterfly is running a deal right now where if you share a project you created through them on your website they will give you a $10 credit. so, check out the details here if you are interested! (the mom creative is such a great source for deals like this. thanks jessica!)

a mini vacay to the gulf

last week this time we were enjoying the beach! we signed layla up for sea camp at texas a & m galveston for a 3 day camp on sea mammals. she had such a great time and i wish she could go to more the day camps offered this summer. we’ll definitely be checking them out next summer! this was the first year they held day camps for 6-8 year olds…i hope they keep it going because seamus would love it too! in the photos i’ll post you will see the list of things they did.

we were blessed with a beach house to stay in at no cost! god is so good! we hoped in the truck and drove right to the beach. we stayed on the west end of galveston which was a first for us. usually when we go to the beach we just go the east end because its easy to get to and it takes just over an hour from home. it took us almost 2 hours to get to the beach house!

we all had such a great time being away and being away at the ocean together! there were late nights, stops for ice creams treats, mini golf, a movie, hours on the beach, sand castles, lots of crabs, a trip to our favorite pizza place…just a great time!

check out the photos from our trip HERE!

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.

1st grade

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


i’ve been meaning to post some pictures of the chickens and tonight’s the night! seamus now picks them up himself too and it’s rather cute. layla named the chickens leah and tianna. pictures can be found in the ‘around the house’ folder here. as i type they are ‘free ranging’ in our suburban back yard! 🙂 life is good.

oh, and a hummingbird just came to the feeder…again. layla is climbing the vitex tree and seamus has a white moth crawling around him that geoffrey found for him.

AND, geoffrey was just checking on the compost bin. until just recently only the fruit flies had been in the compost bin but geoffrey opened it and notice a big change. the black soldier flies have taken over. there are lots of larva in there now that are making they way out. it’s quite the process and you can check it out here. he simply took a rubbermaid tote we had around and drilled holes so only flies could get in. then with scrap wood he had around he made a ramp around the outside so the larva will climb out and down the tube he inserted. (i think i have this all right?)

i love how resourceful my geoffrey is! he just reported to me that the cucumbers are setting fruit.


i think i might have mentioned that geoffrey planted some eggplants in the new beds he made. they are so good looking! i keep admiring them when i walk by them and think about the delicious eggplants i am anticipating. i need to look up more recipes. they grow well here in the heat so we are hoping to harvest a bunch.

geoffrey’s sweet potatoes plants are also on order and i would expect them to arrive soon. he ordered 2 varieties that grow well here. we do love our sweet potatoes and they are a good source of antioxidants! the other thing that grows well here in the heat is okra. we might try them. you can buy them pickled which means i could pickle them, if we get enough. i also don’t mind them in a jambalaya or the like so, i could freeze them and preserve that way. we’ll see… you just never know.

last night we took geoffrey out to a new tex-mex restaurant he has wanted to try. after a full day of golf he was hungry!  it was a nice, breezy evening to sit out on the patio while the kids played on the playground. i had spinach and mushrooms enchiladas that were made with fresh spinach and mushrooms, otherwise i wouldn’t have got it. it was yummy. layla picked cheese enchiladas – her new fav. seamus of course picked the cheeseburger as it was the first thing i read off the list! geoffrey got the special which was beef fajitas and some bacon wrapped shrimp that were stuffed with jalapenos and other stuff i think. it came with a spicy salsa/sauce – he loved it! OH, and geoffrey noticed a lady near us who got out her dave ramsey envelopes when it was time to pay! we spoke to her and told me we like her envelopes and had some of our own. 🙂 that’s the first time we have seen someone else using them while we were out. she said she had noticed people in the area using them. (we were at vida loca near kingsland & mason)

check out some new garden pictures here.

a shark!

this past weekend, among many other things we were doing around here, we had a birthday party for seamus! he turned 4 and for the longest time had been requesting a shark for his birthday. well, he got one! check out the pictures here.

we had a great sunday with family and friends – thanks to all who shared the day with us. let’s do it again soon!