I had one of my moments the other day. It was one of those moments in life that makes me stand back and see things as a whole, not in its parts. Do you ever have those moments?
I was in the driveway raking out the dead leaves from this past season. I could hear Mike in the distance mowing the lawn and watched as the boys played happily on the hammock in the backyard.
It was then that I had my moment. I had this overwhelming feeling of "I can't believe I am doing this!" I am am MOM. I have a HUSBAND. I have a yard of my OWN with leaves to rake and branches to collect. It was one of those surreal moments. This is IT! I am living my adult life!!! Am I making any sense? Do you have these moments? Sometimes I can't believe I have been given trust over these precious boys and I have the responsibility as an adult, a mom, and a wife, a friend, and a mentor in life.
So here I am, in my 30's--all grown up. I love it! It is so much more than I ever expected. What is also great is that I haven't arrived. I continue to pursue dreams and live for the future yet embracing and loving each moment of the present.
Thank you God for this blessed life I get to live each day. May I live it to the fullest potential and for Your glory always!

Canaan's Gifts

This Christmas season Canaan made some wonderful little gifts for Mike and Ezra. He meticulously drew out what he wanted to make and chose his fabric carefully. He embroidered, sewed, ironed, and cut each and every piece. The only part he needed help with was the feet for his little softie.
The softie, for Ezra, is a softie of Ezra as a baby. So sweet.

Daddy got a bookmark embroidered with the words "I Love You Daddy."

Making a Bible or Book Cover in Less Than An Hour

Mike and I decided to not buy one another gifts this year so we can save our money towards a 10 year anniversary trip this year.
I couldn't bear not giving Mike anything so on Christmas Eve day I whipped out this cover for his bedside Bible. It is made with linen and cotton and has a bit of freezer paper stenciling going on.
Here's how I did it:

1. Measure your book or Bible.
-Measure the front cover from top to bottom. Add 1 ½ inches to that measurement and write it down.
-Measure it from front to back. Start at the outer edge of the front cover and measure across the front cover. Keep it going around the binding and across the back cover to its outer edge.
-Add 6 ½ inches to that measurement and write it down. This will give you 3 inch flaps for the front and back covers to tuck into

2. At this point you can cut a pattern from a grocery bag or you can chance it by just cutting the fabric. I usually chance it.

3. Choose 2 different fabics. I used linen for the outer shell and cotton for the inside.

4. Cut out both fabric choices to measured size.

5. At this point you can add any embellishment to the outer fabic choice that you want. I did a freezer paper stencil of a tree as well as an appliqué stripe on the cover.

6. Once you have the cover designed the way you want, now it is time to assemble.

7. Place right sides of the fabric together.

8. Sew together, leaving a small place to flip the fabric through. Iron and then top stitch the cover and the inner shell.

9. Now you will measure 3 ¼ inch flaps on either side with the cover facing you. Pin in place and sew the top and bottom short sides (not the long side)

10. Flip them after sewing and iron flat.

11. Top stitch the top and bottom edges so they don’t turn up.

12. Now you are finished! Congratulations on making your Bible or book cover!

Life Around Here...

Its been a slow moving week. Lots of downtime (much needed, I might add!).
The boys have had fun playing with Christmas toys and Mike and I have been cleaning out flower beds, tending to the yard, and organizing the garage on these semi-warm days.
I have much on my mind but pictures will have to do for now...

This is the state of our house this week...and it feels right.

The boys were playing on pieces of our kitchen's subflooring that has been laying in the backyard for over a month now. Very Beverly Hillbillies. I am happy to report that the flooring has finally been taken to the curb awaiting trash day.

Canaan said he was sick of smelling the wild onions that grew around his swing and decided to dig them up. He also made $1.90 that day picking up trash around the yard. We paid him $.10 per piece of trash he found laying around. At the end of the day we counted it up and made him figure out 19 times 10 so he'd know his pay for the day.

A glimpse of our hardwood kitchen floor that we are painting. Tonight we will add the pattern. Only a few more weeks and then I'll finally be able to show you the finished kitchen. You're excited aren't you? I know we are!

Christmas Morning

Here are some scenes from the holidays...
The outside scenes are at Mike's family homestead in the hollow of Eastern Kentucky. The indoor pics are on our couch on Christmas morning.

(by the way: the drum set finally got put together.) Unfortunately every one in our house is now deaf from Ezra pounding them day and night!

11:15pm Christmas Eve

This is what we are doing right now...

Not much luck. We are missing a few hardware pieces. Can't complain though. Its a $400 drum set we picked up at auction for Ezra (who LOVES drums) for $40. Its gonna be a late one...

Having a Very Merry Christmas

Last night brought a flurry of activities around the Smith house.

Lots of baking
~Pumpkin muffins
~2 layer Chocolate Cake
~1 very large Pumpkin Roll

Fort Making

Marshmellow Roasting

Last minute gift crafting

What I've Been Thinking About...

Since our recent trip to Orlando and having the chance to visit our most amazing church family once again down there, I have had so much to think about.
Pastor Mark always just has the right thing to say right when we need it...he always has (thanks to the Holy Spirit working in him and through him and his obedience to speak the Word in Spirit and in Truth.)
I have been listening to some of his sermons from here at home and have been mulling over a few thoughts this weekend.
The biggest thing that has been convicting me and giving me new perspective is when Mark said that we need to live BIG lives, not small lives. If your (my) life is small we get caught up in the pettiness of life. Every offense someone does against us we take personally. Every word spoken against us makes us feel defeated and down. Each time something happens that wasn't in our "plan" we fall apart or start feeling discouraged and defeated. This is living a small life. BUT when you live a BIG life, the petty things don't bother us because we know that we have so much to accomplish here on Earth that any little distraction can throw us off course or take us out of the game. Living a BIG life allows us to put things in perspective and realize that if an important dinner gets cancelled, a family member criticizes us or falsely accuses us we can move past it with ease and grace because we live with purpose that God is doing something BIG with our lives and we need to remain focused and determined.
Of course Mark says this with much more preciseness and deeper truth. If you are interested in that specific sermon you can find it here. Click on the sermon "Live Big" (1&2).

We were blessed this past weekend with $260. Mike had married 2 of our friends and while at the wedding a couple of the family members gave us money as a thank you for Mike performing the ceremony. It was totally unexpected and such a great blessing to us--especially at the holiday season.

Both Mike and I value being good stewards of what we have been given by God. We try to buy what we need and not buy just "because". We share meals when we go out to eat, we teach the boys the importance of enjoying what we have and not always wanting more, and we always have fun together as a family finding adventures to do together on weekends and cooking meals together during the week.
Not too long ago we were at a bible study and the leader was speaking and said "we all need to be more like Mike and Megan who live so simply and small." I actually kind of felt a bit offended by that because it seemed in the context he said it we were living "without". I absolutely think that we live the most full and wonderful life! The only thing I desire more is that we could share more of what we have. I would love if we could support more missionaries, give more of our time, and as Pastor Mark said during his sermon, share our "words" with others. He challenged us to not be stingy with our words. It is so easy to be stingy with our words of encouragement and hope to our friends and family and people we meet. I want to freely give words to people around me.
Wow--that was wordy and possibly a bit confusing? I hope I was able to share what I am thinking effectively.
Let me know what you think about it all if you get a chance. I'd love to know your thoughts.

Roasted Pumpkin

We are staying indoors today. Not too hard to do when it is a high of 19 degrees and windy. I found the last of the seasons pie pumpkins at the store last week for $.10 a pound. I bought 4 pumpkins totaling $.90 and today finally got around to putting them in the oven and getting some beautiful mashed pumpkin from them.

I am freezing 4 bags with 2 cups each and have another 2 cups waiting for a yummy pumpkin bread or pie to be made later on today.
Lots of baking still to do this week and a few gifts to be made for my sweet baby boys to open on Christmas.

We were at a beautiful wedding this weekend. Two of our friends, James and Jen, were married up in Lafayette Indiana. They asked Mike to marry them and we were blessed with the company of their wonderful families and the opportunity to be a part of the celebration of their marriage.

As good as it is to be away with Mike for a wonderful weekend, it will be great to return to our cozy home and our beautiful boys.

We are so blessed to have their Nan Nan a couple of hours away who came to spend time with them. They baked lots of cookies and had even more fun together.

There is something so magical about a big snowfall. Everything seems so still and quiet. Last evening I stepped outside to enjoy a few minutes in our backyard before the sun set. The crunching of the icy snow under my feet, breathing in the crisp air, enjoying the silence...it is all so tranquil and invigorating at the same time.

And just as nice as it was outside it was so wonderful to come up our back steps into the warm kitchen with the smells of stew and fresh baked bread. The warmth of a home~a home filled with laughing kids, Christmas music, food, and love cannot be captured in a photo. It is beyond dreamy...

Memories of a trip

~Watching endless hours of Food Network in the hotel room with the boys. Between time at the pool, adventures around the resort, and shopping at the outlets we'd crash in the hotel room and catch up on Ina, Sandra Lee, Emeril, and Paula.

~Sitting pool side listening to the Christmas music on the speakers at the hotel.

~Having a great brunch with my dear friend, Freedom and her new little baby, Rio. Catching up with Freedom is always a treat and always ends too quickly.

~Spending quality time with Grandpa and Grandma in St Augustine.

~Enjoying watching Canaan play in the pool. In Lexington we rarely go swimming so its always a treat to get to swim in the pool. It was so fun watching Canaan and Ezra have a blast day after day.

~Visiting our church family down in Orlando where we used to live. We miss everyone so much and especially miss sitting under the teaching of Mark.

~Having a few hours to spend with our precious friends Peter and Crystal and their children. They mean the world to us and our hearts our sad that we can't live closer to them.

~Taking the boys to the old carousel in downtown St Augustine where my parents live and watching the Christmas parade on the streets of the oldest city.

~Sewing late into the night with my kindred spirit Kristie. Lots of stories, laughs and fun. My how I miss her already!

~Coming home 2 days early to enjoy some family time at home before Mike goes back to work.

Are We Spoiled Or What?

We arrived in Orlando and settled in at the Gaylord Palms Resort where Mike's work conference is for the week. Holy cow! This place is amazingly beautiful and so much fun. Its relaxing and tranquil...well for the boys and I. Mike is busy with the conference each day and night so we haven't seen much of him unfortunately. And the best of all is that it is a free vacation. A much appreciated and wonderful treat for us to be able to join him for this conference week.

The childrens pool. There is a separate pool on the opposite side of the resort for 18 years old and up. Kid pool or not, it was quite serene and beautiful. AND the water is heated to bathtub temperature!

This is one of the many restaurants inside the resort. This restaurant is on a boat which is INSIDE the resort. We ate there with the boys one night and had a great time.

A view from the balcony in our room.

One of the many tunnels in the resort. There are hundreds of big koi in ponds and even baby alligators in one section.

Beach Times...

We have on the beach in St. Augustine were it was on the chilly side. Now in Orlando we've had some nice sunshine and even went to the pool to swim today.