Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Celebrate Easter

Easter is such an exciting time.... and every year I am just in awe of the sacrifice that was made for me... and you and you and you! Ivy's memory verse right now is John 3:16, probably one of the most important things she will every memorize.

"For God so loved the world He gave His only son so whoever believed in Him will not die but live forever in heaven."

That is huge! Every time her little voice says that I am reminded- God gave his child, his ONLY child, for us. Parents, can you imagine? But then I remember that Jesus is our Father so he did it for us. All a little complex for a little one... but Ivy will be able to put the pieces together someday. Easter is a time to reflect on Jesus and His love for us and one day I know all that we are telling Ivy will become clearer.

But for now... here is Ivy's version of Easter.

Unc: Ivy, why do we celebrate Easter anyways?
Ivy: Well, Unc, Jesus wasn't in the stone anymore.
Unc: Yea, he wasn't in the tomb. He was gone.... where did he go?
(Ivy's voice is so excited.)
Ivy: You see Unc, Jesus, He rose on donkey into the heavens!

So how did we celebrate this day???

We went to Nana and Pop's house for Easter baskets and egg dyeing for the big kids and the little ones too!

The girls woke up to a special delivery... Easter baskets!

Puffs, sippy cups, and a pool towel.... oh my!

Crayons, and chocolates, and a pool towel... oh my!

WHO'S READY FOR SUMMER??? The Easter Bunny!
We went to Louisville to enjoy lunch, egg hunts, and time with family!

Jones Family... just those with the Jones blood! The outsiders took pictures.... my mom perfectly described the outsiders as those who are married to the Jones'.... who can never be wrong, are always right, those poor outsiders!

Cooper and Ivy had so much fun- cousins who don't get to see each other nearly enough!

Silly goose after a egg hunt.... the rain actually held off :)

Pretty little girls ready for church!

We hope you had a wonderful Easter too!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I appreciate good friends for my kiddos- and it's an added bonus when you love their parents just as much!

Ivy and Rhett always enjoy themselves and compromise between "girl" things and "boy" things. Even at the age of 3 they are quick to say- that's for girls or this is for boys! They play cowboys and cowgirls- Ivy wouldn't even know how to ride a horse (real or stick) if it wasn't for Rhett. And let's just say, Rhett is pretty awesome at feeding baby dolls and taking good care of them too. They make a good team now and I can only hope they will forever!

Even Sidney Shea and Tula are enjoying some bonding time! When Tula can move like Sidney Shea they will be quite the pair but for now their friendship is sort of a one way street :) Sidney Shea is the entertainer and Tula keeps a good watch on her moves and listens closely to what she is saying!

I am thankful for friends.... for both the mamas and the babies!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ears... again!

Dr. Ivy was examining Baby Tula and she also recommends some "teeny-tiny tubes" for her sister!

Tula is definitely our child. The poor girl has the same ear genetics that God blessed Greg and I with. Ivy was born and within months the ear infections hit. After 10 ear infections we FINALLY did tubes a few days shy of her 1st birthday. Tula is on the same track. The ear infections began mid-December and we just completed antibiotics for number 6. She has had less the two weeks off antibiotics between the ear infections. Once again.... poor girl! Dr. Hosinski told us it was time for the ENT so today we went to visit. I have to say. I was nervous and I had reservations. But like the Dr. said- this is the track she is on and her genes aren't going to change tomorrow! But sure enough after her exam, fluid test (FAIL) , and hearing test (PASS), Dr. Parell says tubes need to be done sooner rather than later. Our little patient will get tubes a week from tomorrow! We would greatly appreciate your prayers- good hands for the Dr., freedom from anxiety for Mommy and Daddy, and that Tula does well through surgery (all 7 minutes)!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Giggles, giggles

Today was hard to get up and go back to work- but this video kept me going! We enjoyed every last minute of our spring break :) and it just makes us really really ready for summer. Last night right before baths and bed, Ivy and Tula were snuggling together and sharing sister humor! Hop on over to you tube and catch a listen of some super contagious giggles. Who knew the "p" sound could be so funny? I have watched it over and over.... I hope it melts your heart as much as it much as it does this Mommy's!

And I had to add a picture just for fun-- Ivy is (sort of ) giving up rights to the baby swing and sharing it with her sister from time to time! The Easter bunny still may have bring Tula her own :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Date on the River

Ready for a river adventure!

Not a date with my husband and I.... but instead, a long anticipated date between Daddy and Ivy. For Christmas, Greg's parents got him his most favorite-est present to date- his very own BRIGHT RED CANOE! Daddy is one who loves the outdoors and really has a passion for all things nature- camping, fishing, canoeing, hiking, etc. He feels that it is so important for him to be able to share this with his girl(s). So he has been building up this canoe trip since December. Ivy and him have walked around in life jackets, played "river" with the canoe parked in the back yard, paddled in the grass, fished into thin air. So when the spring weather arrived they were ready! Daddy surprised Ivy with her very own paddle and a new bucket to collect rocks and water in. This morning was the perfect last morning of spring break and a perfect day for an outing in the canoe. It was a date that Daddy and Ivy will not forget!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Where-ium Aquarium

I wanted Ivy excited about Spring Break.... so I kept telling her... "We are going to Cincinnati and then we are going to the Newport Aquarium." To which she first responded, "The A-where-ium? What's that?"
So once we updated her memory on the aquarium... she was ready! She has an amazing memory and remembered the penguin in the cart for the lame-o penguin parade that she watched at 18 months. This time we didn't arrive early and wait for the disappointing penguin parade but we did give Unc and Esie hugs and kisses goodbye and headed off to visit the fish on Monday morning!
And the A-where-ium Aquarium didn't disappoint!

Ivy also remembered a boy taking this blue frog last time.... as a 3 year old she waited in line much nicer this time and was ready to get her picture taken with a smile!

The Smorstad Girls!

Ivy has grown so much since last time.... see her picture here!

Tula's favorite were the fish tank tunnels and the bright jellyfish tanks.

Ivy's favorite were the little splashing sharks and the penguins!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Blessing of Family

We kicked our Spring Break off with a visit to Cincinnati to visit the highly adored, Unc and Esie. We had a great time hanging out with them and even got to enjoy our time playing in a riverfront park (maybe Sawyer's Park???). The weather was to die for and we all wished we were wearing short sleeves and flip flops! Who could have predicted that beautiful sunny day after last week it was in the 40's? Ivy played on two playgrounds and ran through grassy areas playing tag with Unc. Tula was just happy to be along for the ride! She loved the wind blowing in her wispy hair and was bounced with every step in the baby carrier. We all relaxed and took in the beauty of spring time.

A wind blown family portrait!

Playing on the playground with her very first pony tail :)

5 people that I love so dearly!

Love, love, love this picture!

This weekend we were thankful to be able to enjoy the true blessing of family. As we sat down and ate lunch I could just breathe such a sigh of relief that we have family to share our children with. Ivy and Tula will be able to learn so much from Unc and Esie. It is obvious every time we are around them that they love Jesus and that is what they want for EVERYONE... is to know Jesus. In ministry, that is what they give their whole life for but it is just as special to hear Unc have a "Jesus conversation" with my 3 year old! I am glad that Ivy and Tula will forever have people (other than Mommy and Daddy) that clearly want the same things that we want for them. We feel so blessed to have family in our lives!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Break Style

Hey people! I heard it's spring break and I am ready to show off the latest trends.... chubby arms and roly poly thighs :)..... all trimmed in polka dots of course! I only hope this weather agrees and the "spring" temps stick around for our spring break! We will see.....
Love yas, Tula