Seed Planting!

It was another beautiful weekend, and while we did not get outside as much as I would have liked, I got in a few solid hours of weeding, and this evening we did seed planting with the boys. Elias is very excited to watch the seedlings grow. He was explaining to me that they would not do anything for a few days. I’m glad he knows what to expect.

Here are the boys filling our jiffy pots with soil:

P1210798Simon was very excited to “play” with the dirt, and to do the watering. When it came time for actual planting, he had zero interest. At only two, that is ok. I’m glad he was involved at least at the beginning! Here are the boys getting water for the soil, and adding water.

P1210801 P1210802Finally we got to do the actual planting. We planted cucumbers, squash, watermelon, broccoli, african daisies, peppers, tomato, spinach, pumpkin, coleus, and morning glories. Elias and Simon chose all the seeds…I had nothing to do with it. Elias loved poking the little holes and adding the seeds. (Yes that is me wearing pajama pants…it’s Sunday afternoon. Don’t judge.)

P1210804Now all we have to do is wait for them to grow!

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In Which The Boys Hold Their Cousin

Now that baby James is over a month old, I’ve been talking up things like “singing to James” or “sitting next to James” or “hugging James” with both of the boys. They have both talked about their cousin a lot. Simon walks around holding the baby doll and calls it James. But neither of the boys has shown much interest in actually interacting with him much.

Tonight was our turn to bring dinner, and Aunty Kristy wanted to try to get some cousin shots, so I really turned on the “sit with baby James” burner. And it worked! Elias was very excited to sit with me and James, and then eventually wanted to hold James himself. Eventually, Simon followed suit since he wants to do everything Elias does. This provided us with many cute photo ops, and many very sweet moments between the boys. Both Elias and Simon did really well holding James. They were gentle and loving. Elias wanted to hold James over and over. I almost felt like I had to fight for my baby time.

Elias’ first time holding James.

P1210777He was so proud.

P1210779He got in some kisses too:

P1210782Simon was curious.


P1210790Matching binkis!

P1210791After dinner, Elias wanted another turn.

P1210794It was very heartwarming and fun to see the boys interact with their baby cousin. We never really got to do this when Simon was born so I’m glad the boys are getting to get close to their cousin when he is so young!

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Our Annual Tulip Trek

Today we headed down to Woodburn for our 4th annual visit to the tulip fields. Every year I go it is as beautiful as ever, and I am always in awe. I don’t think I could ever go too many times! The boys had a lot of fun looking at the tulips as well. The weather held up pretty well for us, and the sun even showed its face at times. Since it rained the night before, though, we had to slog through a lot of mud, and the boys were pretty much completely brown by the end.

When we first reached the tulip fields, Elias raced to this row of bright reds, and immediately began smelling them.

P1210677So it was no surprise to see what Simon just had to do:

P1210682Actually, it was kind of funny because Simon was blowing on the flowers like candles instead of sniffing them. Close enough, right?

After walking a few rows we came across this awesome tractor, and each of the boys took a turn driving it. Simon kept saying, “I need a push!” Sorry bud…that thing is not moving!

P1210686 P1210692Next we had a lot of fun in some rows of yellow. The boys each sniffed (or blew on) a lot of flowers.


We also tried to get some posed shots, but getting those is tougher than trying to dress an octopus. Here was the best I could do:

P1210704 P1210705It’s fun to see how the sheer amount of flowers along with the beauty of it all even entrances the little ones. They loved exploring the rows.

P1210714A brief sun spot!

P1210718This was my favorite this year. Maybe I’ll have to order some bulbs for our garden!

P1210721This proves Nathan and I were there too!

P1210745After walking through all those rows and colors (and mud) we let the boys play around for a bit.

P1210761The wind was pretty chilly, though, so the boys started complaining of the cold. Before we left, we decided to take them on the cow train for fun.

P1210768 P1210772After the ride, Elias stood up and said to me, “That was the best thing I’ve ever done!”

Well…I’m sure glad we spent the $6 for it then!

It was a great time at the tulip fields!

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Deep and Wide

I’ve been singing Bible songs to the boys since before they were born, and there have been a few that are their favorites. However, their most recent favorite is not my doing, but comes from Sunday School. We have a different version of this song on our Bible Songs CD, but you can tell the boys love Sunday School because they chose the Sunday School version.

The boys sing this song all the time at home, and Simon even sings it on his own which is a rare treat. Simon has never been quite as in to singing as Elias has always been. I asked the boys to sing “Deep and Wide” for the camera, and they obliged. (Also a rare treat).

Note for viewers if you choose to watch…they boys are in no way coordinated in their singing of the lyrics so it may help just to listen to one of them at a time. Although, you could just watch it and bask in the cuteness too if you like.

Just in case, here are the lyrics:

Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.


So there you have it…the Smith boys’ rendition of “Deep and Wide.” Unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries before they could finish the song, but I assure you it was very cute the whole way through.

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Another Fun Family Night

Late in the afternoon, Nathan returned home from his consultation about his shoulder, and Elias announced that he wanted to go to the adventure park. We decided to start our family night a little early and got in the car. I’m not sure why he named the park on the corner of 158th and Walker Rd the adventure park, but both boys have a lot of fun every time we go there.

Today they had a lot of fun in the “chair swing” as we call it.

P1210631The proudest achievement of the afternoon, though, was Elias learning how to do the monkey bars. I’ve tried teach him many times, but with Simon running around, climbing, and teetering on the edge of the play structure, I am just too nervous and don’t have the time to devote to it. With Nathan there today, he was able to spend a little time with Elias, and in no time he was working those monkey bars like a pro. He was very proud, and when I whipped out the camera, he happily crossed them over and over so I could take pictures. I will spare you the vast multitude, and just post two of them.

P1210641 P1210647I’m not sure who was more proud…Elias for finally being able to do it, or Nathan for being the one to teach him.

Simon had to show his daring as well, and showed off his climbing skills on the big structure.

P1210637Unfortunately, after about an hour the rain started coming down pretty hard, and even with the structures being undercover, we decided to head home. Besides, it was time for dinner!

After dinner, our family night continued with the boys’ first viewing of The Sound of Music. I have to say, it was one of the most magical moments I’ve experienced in a long time, all lined up on the couch with the boys. The show came on….Julie Andrews belted out “The Hills Are Alive…” amongst the stunning backdrop of green…and the boys were riveted.

Elias actually said, “Beautiful!” Just that one word. And he really meant it. That’s my boy!

We only made it 53 minutes in before bedtime, but the boys enjoyed many laughs, and Elias was particularly delighted to hear “These are a Few of My Favorite Things,” which his Ama taught him years ago.

Another great family night in the books!

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Why Can’t I Get Anything Done Around Here?

I’ll be the first one to tell you that being a stay-at-home-mom can wear you out like nobody’s business. (I also am a working mom for five weeks every summer and know that is tiring as well) But I still find myself wandering around my home wondering why I can’t get anything done. Why are there piles of (clean and unclean) laundry? Why does my piano look like I haven’t dusted it for three weeks? (Probably because I haven’t) Why does my bathroom mirror have streaks all over it. (Because the boys like to do soap art on it the first hand wash after it is cleaned…but that is a different story).

I mean….I do spend a lot of time chauffeuring boys around to school, swimming lessons, play dates, volunteer meetings, and other such important activities. But I also spend a lot of time at home. Why does it seem like I just can’t get anything done?

Well…if you don’t already know the answer, I think I’ve found my culprits. The other day after lunch, I spent about thirty minutes cleaning the table, mopping the floor, doing the dishes, and generally surface cleaning the kitchen. It was nice and sparkling. The boys were playing happily together. It was a blissful few minutes.

The boys decided they wanted to color so I got out some paper and some crayons, and decided to go upstairs to get a load of laundry while they were creating their masterpieces. When I came back downstairs a few minutes later, (Seriously…like 3 minutes…how long does it take to load a dirty laundry basket?) I found little piles like this all over the table and floor where I had just cleaned a few minutes before:

P1210587I don’t know how he de-papered so many crayons in so short of time. He must have been trying to break the Guinness book of world records or something. And as you can see in the picture below, he had even colored on the paper before he started creating these lovely piles. Look at that face. So focused on getting the paper off of that crayon!

P1210590So there you have it. There are two little munchkins in my house who just cannot stand a clean space I guess. They follow me around and de-tidy the areas I have just cleaned. They are good helpers (most of the time) and I make them help clean up unnecessary messes like these that they’ve made. But still….this took precious time. Next time you come over to my house, don’t judge the un-dusted piano!

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Our First Weekend Getaway

We’re lucky enough to have a lot of family in town, and they are very generous with their love and their babysitting availabilities. Nathan and I almost never suffer in the “date night” department. However, other than a few times when Elias slept at my parents house so that we could clean out for Simon’s arrival or paint or other such work nights(do those really count as romantic getaways?) , we have not had a free night since before Elias was born four and a half years ago.

Now that Simon finished nursing, we decided it was time to take advantage of my parents’ offer for a sleepover night. We headed off to the Inn at Spanish Head in Lincoln City, Oregon for our first getaway in almost 5 years!

We were gone for just barely over 24 hours, but it was blissful not having to worry about bedtime routines. We could go out to dinner late without worrying if the wait would be long. We could talk without being interrupted.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my boys. (And truth be told I often wondered what they were doing). But even just 24 hours away helped me feel more relaxed and rejuvenated.

On Friday, I picked Nathan up from work and we headed down to Lincoln City. We were very impressed with our room. We got to be on the 8th floor with a beautiful view:

P1210591 P1210594The first thing we decided to do was go down to the beach. A storm was coming in, and we preferred to explore and enjoy the beach without getting completely soaked. It was dry, but very windy. My hair kept blowing in Nathan’s face when we tried to take a picture so he had to hold it back.

P1210602We looked at some shells and rocks and driftwood, and just enjoyed being there together.

P1210606 P1210608We challenged ourselves to see how late we could sleep in on Saturday morning. I don’t even remember the last time we were able to sleep in. I made it until 7:30ish and Nathan made it to 8:15 or so. Pretty good I guess. We had a leisurely morning eating breakfast with a stormy ocean view, explored Lincoln City, and stopped by Tillamook on the way home.

P1210620We even came home with a float to help us remember our fun getaway together! The lighting doesn’t do it justice, but here it is:


We are already looking forward to our next chance for a getaway…whenever that may be. It’s so good to be married to this man.

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The Difference Between My Husband and Me

Nathan and I were lucky enough to go see the Oregon Ballet Theater’s Cinderella tonight on their closing performance. I had really wanted to see the ballet so my dad got me tickets for Christmas!

As we walked around the lobby and saw all of the little girls in dresses, and the booths selling tiaras and tutus, I said to Nathan:

“Wouldn’t it be fun to have a little girl some day?”

His response?

“Actually…it’s kind of terrifying. I can barely dress the boys.”


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My Handsome Boys

Now that Simon is 2 years old, I wanted to get some portraits taken. Of course we couldn’t leave out Elias! We made an appointment at JC Penny where we always have a good experience, dressed the boys in their cute little suits, and hoped for the best.

Simon was not very cooperative at the beginning, but after watching Elias get a few portraits taken, he warmed up quickly. Good thing for big brothers!

Anyway, here are some of our favorites of our handsome boys!


boys b boys cboys aSimon:

simon a Simon b simon c simon dElias:

eli a eli b eli c

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Getting to Know Our Newest Cousin

This evening we got to go to the hospital to visit baby James. The boys were very excited, and when we got to the hospital, Simon kept saying “doctor”. I told him that actually, we were there to visit baby James, and he yelled “Baby James!” and practically ran the entire way to the room.

The boys were pretty full of energy while we were there climbing on the couch and other such escapades. However, they were very careful around their cousin. I could tell Elias really wanted to get closer, but wasn’t sure what to do. I explained that he couldn’t touch James’ face, but he could kiss him on the head. He did so once, twice, and kept coming back for more. This prompted Simon to want to do so as well. It was quite cute.

P1210491 P1210492It was fun watching the boys starting to bond with their cousin. For my part, it felt good to hold a baby. Especially one that I love so dearly already! It’s great to have a baby in the family again. Nathan said I hogged him, but I did eventually give Nathan a turn.


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