Monday, June 25, 2012

the faces of tula

We are starting to see Tula's little personality come out more and more with the words she is saying, the way she is playing, and the snuggles that she gives. Here are some recent moments snapped to capture the faces of Tula!

 the "cheese" on demand
 the pout when she is mad or sad
 the cowgirl.... we got a big bouncy horse for her!
 the dress up... she is channeling winter in this snowman outfit
 the kiss
 the bug catcher.... and equally the bug squisher
 the princess
 the friend....she is learning
 miss independent.... wants to feed, dress, and do everything herself
and as usual... always wanting to have her blankie/paci close by

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ivy-ism on marriage

One of my favorite pictures of "Fancy Ivy" at Nana & Pops house.... adorned with Nana's shirt as a dress and Ivy's favorite red pumps :)

On meeting the man of her dreams....

Ivy: I don't think my husband was in my preschool.
Mommy: What do you mean? (Taken aback by the comment!)
Ivy:  Like I don't think the husband that I am going to marry someday was in my preschool.
Mommy: Oh, probably not. (duh!)
Ivy:  Ugh! (exasperated) I just wonder when I am going to meet him.

Patience, my sweet girl, you must be patient and wait for him!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dear DaddySmors

Dear DaddySmors,
When I met you years ago.... I think it was way back in 2001.... I got a glimpse of the man that I would marry. A caring, quiet, laid back guy who said so much with very few words. I watched you interact with my kids (those I babysat, of course) and knew that you would be an excellent father someday. All that was just a teeny glimpse into our future- a future you definitely didn't see for yourself. The bigger thing that I saw in you was adventure.  With you, my life would have adventure- and you haven't let me down.
So for your Father's Day adventure we did what you love most.  We packed up two little princesses, everything in the house, everything in the shed, and most things in the garage- jumped on the road and headed out to our 2nd camping adventure as a family.  You were all smiles and that was all Ivy could focus on all week long. I looked at you, "Mr. Camp Guide", and was proud that you would want to take us (high drama girls) along for this fun (again), and honestly, I don't think there is any other way that you would rather have it.
You let us play while you set up our bright orange house.  And Ivy (avid hater of the color orange) had decided she likes it a little bit now, because it makes her think of camping- her favorite thing to do with Daddy.
We waited for you while we explored the playgrounds.  Tula in her element climbing, jumping, dare-devil-ing.... Ivy in her element drawing in the sand and toting around a babydoll.... Daddy in his element outside, camp equipment, and family.... and Mommy- so thankful, so blessed, taking it all in.
You made the perfect fire.  Taught your littlest how to "gently" catch a lightning bug.  Encouraged your biggest to set her new pet bug free.  And you graciously let me watch these memories unfold for our family.
You brought the canoe along and were so excited to do this as a family.  These are the big adventures that leave me a little anxious yet you are so calm.  This is what you have talked about since Tula was teeny tiny- the perfect spots in the canoe for more children (and there is still room).  You were perfect to prepare Ivy to be the expert with you to show Tula the ropes.  You packed the necessities to keep Tula safe, involved, excited- even though she is a busy 1 and a half year old. This adventure didn't fail our family- it was perfect.
In the morning we drank coffee and settled on donuts for breakfast because we didn't have the time or attention span for a camping feast.... that is still in your dream... and someday that too will be the reality.  But for now, these little ladies were happy with their donuts!! You thought ahead and made plans for Mama to have coffee and that was a blessing.  Your father's day adventure was perfect.  You were in your element and made it our perfect element too! :)
Then we came home to life.... still an adventure... with two little princesses that always get more than enough love from their daddy.  A wife who is cherished and loved on by her husband.  DaddySmors, you really are the best and we love you to pieces! We hope you had a wonderful weekend of celebrating YOU.
MamaSmors, IvySmors, and TulaSmors

Here we are around the anchor- my daddy, who has taught our family so much.  My daddy has been such a godly example to DaddySmors.  He has taken him under his wing in the department of finances and thinking smart.  And DaddySmors has so much to teach him in the department of adventure :) That may (or may not) be in our future, but for now my Daddy is thankful to hear about these adventures through the smiles, giggles, and stories told by his granddaughters. 

Happy Father's Day to all the Daddies in my life!

Monday, June 11, 2012


I am praying for this boy.... really he is now a man. 
Who loves Jesus. 
Who loves his wife. 
Who loves his unborn baby boy. 

Who loves his family. 
Who loves UK. 
Who loves Jesus. 

I am praying for this man as he loves Jesus.
He serves for Jesus.
He seeks for Jesus.
He teaches for Jesus.
He talks (a lot) for Jesus.

He flew on an airplane for Jesus.
He drinks coffee for Jesus.
He builds cisterns for Jesus.
He loves the Guatemalans for Jesus.

My brother will be in Guatemala on a mission trip for the next several days.
Sharing Christ's love by serving others. 
We will be praying for him.
Will you join me?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tiny Dancers and a Little Helper

This was my first full official week of summer!
 We immediately jumped into anything but normal with DANCE CAMP for Ivy and Kennedy all week long.  Meaning that I had two tiny dancers to tote around like big girls and one little helper who got to spend lots of time with just mommy. 

These girls looked so pretty each day when they headed off to camp with lots of energy and big smiles. I was so impressed with all they learned and showed off in their performance on Friday.  I think Ivy's favorite routine was the hip hop dance- she gets it from her mama! Haha :)

This little lady got a lot of one on one attention- something she isn't used to with a Big Sister around.  For the first time ever, yes 21 months later, Tula got to go the grocery store for a full trip.  She waved to everyone who passed our cart and was great at helping me unload once we got home.

Kennedy and Ivy jumped right into playtime at 7:30 AM each day.  The dress up, art projects, and baby dolls started bright and early.  Ivy enjoyed having Kennedy around for instant fun!

Tula and Hattie Jayne had loads of fun on their play date.  Tula was a little wild and HJ wasn't quite sure what to think about it at times.  Hattie Jayne is scooping the sand so nicely and Tula is screaming as she shovels it over her head- pretty much sums up the day!

Tula even got to go to the pool by herself.  She played in the water, ate a picnic lunch, and then it was time for a paci/blankie fix.... this girl LOVES her comfort!

Ivy and Kennedy still had enough energy to play outside after long days at dance camp.  They were quite impressed with their hopscotch moves.

It was a great first week of summer but I am sure that next week will be a bit more relaxing!!

Monday, June 4, 2012


How do you know you are "home?" Whether we are talking about your house, literally, or a friend's house, a church, a job, or any other place that you spend a lot of time.  To me home feels comfortable, natural, and there is obvious feeling that you are welcome.  There are a lot of places that I feel are "home" to me, but recently we had added a new one- a church home.

These little girls and their spiritual growth depends on me.  God has entrusted Greg and I to raise them knowing Him, feeling His love, trusting His plans, and being surrounded with a community of other believers.  We have found that environment for our girls.  They are already so comfortable in their church home- they are building trust in the adult leaders, they are making new friends, and oh how they are learning God's word. Warms my heart.

This man is a father and husband. He loves his family, he works hard, and daily he is growing in his walk with Christ. He wants to serve, belong, and have spiritual role models that can mold him without hold back. He is longing for growth and a peace without letting anything or anyone stand in his way.  He has found that.  And I have found that.  What a blessing to have men and women to grow with, share with, and spread God's love with.

When Greg and I started to feel a pull to find a new home it felt scary?  But we trusted, and He answered that prayer with ease.  We knew it was right, in His will, what He wanted for our family. We were welcomed with open arms, it was a warm church home from the first day. 

Ivy called it "my new church" on her first day and counted down for the next 6 days until it was time to go back.  "My new church" quickly turned to "my church" and "our church"- again, clearly that this was the best move for our family.

We got the opportunity to invite our great friends and neighbors to church with us.  And they came, and came back, and are still coming.  What a fun way to grow in a new home- with friends! Ivy is excited to go anywhere with Kennedy and now Kennedy calls it "my church" too. Music to my ears.

There are older girls, like Isabella, who I know will have a great impact on my children's lives.  They will live by example and little eyes will watch.  I know that this new home, has opportunity for rich relationships and spiritual growth for everyone in our family.

Victoria and her family have been overly welcoming. Ivy was thankful to see a familiar face on the first day and then on the many days that have followed.  Her mom and dad (and even big sister) took us under their wings, prayed for us, showed us around, invited us to events.  We are thankful for this friendship. 

We are calling Jessamine Christian Church our new home and we are loving it.  Every day I am thankful for the warmth and comfort in this home.  I am thankful for all my family is learning and the way we are growing.  I am thankful for the friends we are getting know and know better.  God is good, His plan wins, and trust in His will is an incredible thing.  We are thankful to have had this journey and excited to see where it takes us.