Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Adorable photos!

How cute! Note: Everett is in a camo onesie!

And Everett loves to wear Madeleine's Rudolph nose!

It's all about the matching outfits

The thing about the American Girl doll is... it's all about the matching outfits!

Madeleine with my mom during our recent trip to Wimberley.

Madeleine a few days before Christmas when we opened presents with my mom. This doll was a fill-in until Santa delivered.


It was wonderful at Christmas to have the opportunity to go on some dates with Lee! We went to the movies and saw Twilight and are now reading the books (borrowed from my 15 year old niece!). When Madeleine spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's, my dad and stepmom, we ate seafood at the Oceanaire. A big thanks to Aunt Sally who made sure Everettt kept sleeping. The Oceanaire was delicious, the hash brown was awesome!

Then when we went down to my mom's in Wimberley for a quick trip, she watched the kids while Lee took me for my Christmas present. I had been wanting to go to Bohanan's in San Antonio after reading this article in Texas Monthly that rated it as the number 2 steakhouse in Texas. We went to the number 1 steakhouse for my birthday (Pappas Bros), and I would highly recommend the number 2 steakhouse as well! The Japanese beef was amazing!

While Madeleine was at my dad and stepmom's, Phyllis took Madeleine for a grown-up haircut. Isn't it so cute! She has bangs! And curls thanks to a curling iron. She will not bathe because she doesn't want the curls to go away, but seriously, it has been 3 days now!

Great photo of Lee's family

There were 35 people at Christmas lunch with Lee's family. I caught this intimate moment with Lee's immediate family laughing. Lee's mom has Parkinson's and has recently been in rehab for an ankle break. Seated is Lee's dad, Paul and Lee's mom, Sherry. 2nd row is Terri (Randy's girlfriend), Randy (Lee's brother) and Lee. It was wonderful at Christmas lunch to get this photo!

Family photo on Christmas!

Christmas morning

Christmas morning was wonderful, just the 4 of us. Madeleine woke up first and did not make her normal way down to the hallway to our room. Instead, she went first to the pool table where the tree was. Then, she came up to my side of the bed and informed me that Santa had not come. I asked if she had looked on the fireplace and she said that she had not. I urged her to go look on the fireplace but she was now not feeling as confident.

2 years ago when Madeleine was 2 1/2 year old, she would not come out of her room on Christmas morning because she was sure that Santa was still in the house. Instead she just screamed inside her room for a while. Fun memories!

Last year Madeleine slept until 9 am and when she finally rolled out of bed she joined Lee and I in the TV room. When we asked her if she wanted to see if Santa had come, she started to run around the room and would not go to the fireplace by herself. When we did go to the fireplace, she would not stop running around the room.

This year, it seemed like progress had been made, and when we all went to the fireplace to check things out, Madeleine was elated to see her American Girl Doll. There was a sense of expectation that the doll would be there, evidenced by Madeleine's excitement on Christmas Eve that tomorrow she would receive her American Girl Doll.

Madeleine wanted a Just Like Me doll, and I was informed (by Madeleine) that her doll needed to have blonde hair and brown eyes to match her. I left my camera at Lee's parents' house so this picture was taken at Christmas lunch with Lee's family. Madeleine has named her doll Kaylie.

The funniest moment came when Madeleine was opening her stocking. She noticed that Santa uses the same wrapping paper that we do!

Everett was happy just to play with his footballs. He now has two!


Christmas was crazy, as usual, but I would not have it any other way! Here is Madeleine and Sydney at their 2nd annual trip to the children's theater in Fort Worth with my dad and stepmom, Phyllis. This year it was Rudolph!

Madeleine was fortunate enough to make Christmas cookies with Aunt Terri and Phyllis

and a gingerbread house with my mom, and my niece and nephew, Cassie and Xander from Austin.

Home Updates

As if Christmas is not a busy enough time, I got an itch to have the carpet in our guest bathroom replaced (last place there was carpet where there should not be carpet). We had new tile put in the guest bathroom and the laundry room and as soon as we have saved more we can start on the kitchen. Here's the before and after of the laundry room. The laundry room has the same linoleum that is in the kitchen. The washer and dryer have been taken out in both photos, but the cabinets look shinier in the before!

Lee has been working on many home projects as well. He has changed the electrical outlets in the breakfast room to be white (and not almond colored) to match the new white walls. Just a few days ago, he finished the last one which blew the circuit. After much investigation (thank you Scott Trulock for having tools to investigate, like a volt meter!) we are still not sure what is wrong but we have great hopes that the electrician will know! Until then, no dish washer, no disposal, no power in half the kitchen, and ... the fridge has an extension cord running to it!

We continue to battle squirrels in our attic and fill up holes where they have chewed threw the soft places above the gutter and below the roof. It sounds like they are having a huge party in the attic while I am trying to sleep and we go upstairs in the morning and there is no sign of them... Sneaky squirrels!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Letter!

Merry Christmas! This Christmas may you receive the gift of God’s love, peace, and joy.

The Smith Family in 2008

L - Lee continues to work at Raytheon doing software implementation.
E - Enjoyed competing in 2 half marathons this year.
E - Enjoys playing Guitar Hero on the new Wii.

K - Kerry served at Lovers Lane UMC until June and is grateful for the wonderful friends there.
E - Enjoys working part-time so she can spend lots of time with Madeleine and Everett.
R - Really enjoyed celebrating 8 years of marriage with Lee in May!
R - Really excited about returning to Oak Lawn UMC where Kerry worked in 1999-2001.
Y - Yearns to go on more trips as a family as the kids get older.

M - Madeleine turned 4 on June 20th and is in her last year of preschool. Next Kindergarten!
A - Always talking, always asking questions, and always smiling.
D - Drawing all the time, and painting, and creating.
E - Enjoys Saturday mornings spent in swimming class (started at age 2).
L - Loves taking ballet classes on Saturday as well.
E - Enjoys playing with dolls and dressing up.
I - Interested in entertaining her brother and making him laugh.
N - Natural at riding her Big Wheel.
E - Excelling at her letters, she can even spell her long name!

E - Everett celebrated his 1st birthday October 5th.
V - Very good at going down little slide by himself.
E - Enjoys playing with balls, balloons, and with his sister.
R - Really loves climbing, as high as he can.
E - Excellent walker, running soon to come.
T - Talking and babbling all the time.
T - Tries to be like the big kids, emulating his sister.

God’s Blessings,
Lee, Kerry, Madeleine and Everett Smith

Sunday, December 14, 2008


American Girl doll has been procured...
we went with a Just Like Me with brown eyes and blond hair because when I asked Madeleine what she thought Santa was going to bring her, her response was one with brown eyes and blond hair. She does not seem to have interest yet in the historical dolls.

The doll that I got is age appropriate for children 8+. They have bitty babies that are age appropriate for children 4+. However, when I asked Madeleine if she thought Santa was going to bring her a bitty baby (for ages 4+) she replied,

"No, those are American Girl babies and I asked Santa for an American Girl doll."

Of course...

Angel Voices Choir Debut the Video!

this one is at rehearsal, with Madeleine and her friends Terri and Cadence

Angel Voices Choir Debut

At Oak Lawn UMC...

AHHH! Sweetest photo ever...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mommy and Madeleine day

Today Madeleine and I had mommy and Madeleine day. We dropped Everett off at school at Oak Lawn UMC at 8:30 a.m. and we picked him up at 4:30 p.m. For 8 hours we ran all about town! First, we went to Northpark Mall to complete our treasure hunt that Santa had given us last week. We had so much fun running all around the mall looking for clues before any of the stores had opened.

Then, we went to the Mattel Toy Store that just opened. This is a mattel outlet and Madeleine drooled at all of the Barbies, and she had a great time playing with all of the baby toys. When it was time for art class at the Dallas Museum of Art we made our way downtown. The theme was cowboys and cowgirls and the kids put themselves in the painting and made up a cowboy story. It was such fun, and then Madeleine decorated a cowgirl vest. One of the teachers was making snowflakes as well, so Madeleine was mesmerized and made one too.

It was now lunch time, so we headed to the American Girl store for lunch. We had never been to their Bistro, probably because Everett is always with us. Well, today was different! Before we were seated Madeleine was given the opportunity to pick a doll to sit with. Santa better deliver on the highly anticipated American Girl doll! Madeleine had such a great time and seemed to be floating on a cloud.

Then, we headed back to Northpark Mall because now the awesome Bookmarks library was open. It is a Dallas public library in the mall. They have a book club with great prizes (all from the stores in the mall) and Madeleine had read more hours so she received more prizes. We got a free pretzel for finishing our treasure hunt and a movie pass, a kids meal at a restaurant in Neiman Marcus, 6 cookies, and a Melissa and Doug puzzle! I love free stuff! And I love Madeleine Nicholls Smith!

A bridge builder

I can not say enough about the presence of the Holy Spirit at the celebration of life for Rev. Kathleen Baskin-Ball. It was an amazing experience to be surrounded by 3100 other people giving thanks for the life, impact, and influence of this amazing woman. We gathered for 2 1/2 hours and my favorite moment was the children's sermon. Kathleen had planned her service in advance and wanted a time for the children. I was not sure that any children would come, but they just kept coming and coming. Rev. Eric Folkerth did a great job talking about how we were all sad but how we had to listen for God's voice. He used the illustration of a communion cup that had been broken by one of the children in one of Kathleen's churches and Kathleen repaired the cup. Kathleen took something that was broken and used it to make something beautiful. God does the same for us. Kathleen's body was broken but God used Kathleen to make something beautiful. Then, when Rev. Jack Soper told Skyler that his mommy loved him more than all the M&M's in the world and Skyler loudly affirmed, "I KNOW THAT!"

Kathleen was such a bridge builder and I was amazed at the clergy from all sizes of churches that were present at the celebration of her life. The Dallas Morning News made a short video providing you with a glimpse of the service. This is a blog post about the service and has links to other stories about Kathleen. Praise God for the amazing life of Kathleen Baskin-Ball.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I am a genius

Where should I put the Christmas tree so that our one year old child would not break all the ornaments and constantly be touching the tree? Well, I am a genius and I put it...

on top of the pool table!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Madeleine singing Christmas songs with her class

Madeleine loves her preschool class at Oak Lawn UMC. There are 8 kids and two great teachers, Ms. Kathleen and Ms. Teresa. They taught them some Christmas songs which they sang at the Birthday Party for Jesus Dec. 9. Frosty the Snowman was one of them, enjoy! Madeleine is the one in the red shirt, black pants, and reindeer antlers on her head.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Northpark Mall has the best Santa. He does a storytime and is so kind. Unfortunately, I had told Madeleine that Santa only brings one present because he doesn't have a lot of space in the sleigh. So, when he asked Madeleine what she wanted and she responded, "American Girl Doll," that was fine. But when he followed up with, "what else?" Well, Madeleine knew that something was fishy. Madeleine looked at Santa blankly and then we said our goodbyes to Santa. As we walked away Madeleine said, "Santa brings you more than one present," and I smartly replied, "Oh, Santa was asking about Everett." Everett and Santa did not get along so well... Santa said that kids do not like him very much when they are one years old.