Wednesday, May 28, 2008

No More Bottle?

This might be too good to be true...
Lily is teething again. This time it's three new teeth at once, so needless to say, she's been a little picky about what she eats and drinks for the past few days. Yesterday, she didn't really want her bottle after breakfast. She only drank a few ounces of milk, so I poured the rest of it into a new straw cup that she hadn't tried using yet, and I put it back in the fridge. When she decided she wanted the milk a little while later, I handed her the cup. She drank all of it, and she hasn't had a bottle since! She's drinking the same amount of milk as she was from the bottle, so I'm not even worried about her calorie intake. We'll see what happens once these teeth break through, though - I'm wondering if she'll want her bottle back when her teeth stop hurting.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Swimsuit Season

At the Pool

Happy Memorial Day

We hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing Memorial Day! We went to the swimming pool for the first time this year, and it was great! The water in the two-foot deep baby pool was nice and warm, and Lily loved it. It was hard to see the screen on the camera because of the sun, so it turns out that I didn't get any good pictures of her big smiles. But trust me, she was laughing and playing, splashing in the water. She also had lots of fun watching the bigger kids. She is absolutely fascinated by older kids - amazed by everything they can do, I suppose. Enjoy the slideshows!

Grilling & Games

We had some friends over on Sunday to enjoy the holiday weekend.

It's so much fun watching Lily and Gideon play because they're so close in size and age. Lily needs to learn not to hit Gideon on the head, though - that's not nice!

Dusty and Benjamin got their "serious gaming" out of the way before dinner, and afterward we played Taboo and Cranium, guys vs. girls. I am embarassed to admit that the guys beat us at Taboo! The girls secured a commanding lead at the beginning of the Cranium match, but the guys made a last-ditch comeback to win the game. This calls for a re-match!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lily Doing Yard Work

Lily was very funny outside in the yard today. She does not like to play in the dirt! Most kids love to get dirty, but not Lily. She played in the leaves for a minute, but she decided she didn't like that either. The heat probably had a lot to do with it, though - the temperature was 94 degrees when we were outside, and poor little Lily had sweat beads running down her forehead. Maybe I'll get her a little baby swimming pool for the backyard, or some kind of sprinkler toy... Or we might just have to go live at the swimming pool this summer! (I'm hoping she enjoys the pool - we're planning to take her sometime this weekend, for the first time this season.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Baby in a Box

A Few Pictures from Iowa

I didn't take very many pictures while we were in Iowa, but here are a few of the kids.

Khyean and Brayden were reading Lily a story.

All seven grandkids... Brayden, Taylor, Khyean, Sydnie, Rylie, Ashlie, and Lily

We released balloons for Justin, but Lily didn't want to let go of hers.

Can you believe that Ashlie was just a couple months old when I graduated from high school? I can't believe she's big enough to hold my little girl by herself like this!

Climbing Stairs

Lily has discovered the joy of climbing stairs! She loves watching me open the gate and comes crawling over as fast as she can, so she can go upstairs by herself. What a big girl.

She gets to the top of the stairs and turns around to close the gate. How cute!

New Babies in the Family

My family has recently been blessed with two new baby girls!

My aunt Cassie had Taylor early in April. Taylor has as much hair as Lily has now! And my cousin Jason is the proud father of Naomi. I think she has Jason's eyes.
Both babies and all four parents are doing well. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures of the little cuties. Can't wait to meet them both!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

In Memory of Justin

My brother Justin died earlier this week, sometime during the night on Monday night. Dusty, Lily, and I spent the rest of the week in Iowa with our family. Justin was only 32 years old; his death was a shock to everyone.

My favorite memory of Justin is from a weekend that maybe no one else even remembers... It was when Dina lived in her apartment in Rockwell City, years ago. I must have been 14 or 15 at the time. I can't remember what had been going on that weekend, but for one reason or another (maybe Justin had installed Dixie's remote car starter?), Justin was at Dad and Dixie's house around the time that I needed to go back to Mom's house in Rockwell City. Jason was there, too, but the boys had driven separately. They wanted to go see Dina's apartment, so I rode back to Rockwell with Justin - we visited Dina's place before he dropped me off. The point is, it was just the two of us, me and Justin in his car, and we just talked. I don't remember everything we talked about, but I remember how it felt to have that conversation with him -- It was the first time I really knew and felt that I was really his little sister. It wasn't just that I thought of him as a big brother to me, but that he really was, and he felt the same way. I have lots of memories of Justin, but that one means the most to me.

May he rest in peace.

Justin's Obituary

Justin B. Smith, 32, passed away May 6, 2008 at his home in Fort Dodge. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday at the Zion Lutheran Church in Humboldt with the Rev J.K. Raether and the Rev. Aaron Flatau officiating. He will be laid to rest in Union Cemetery, Humboldt. Visitation with the family will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the Mason Lindhart Funeral Home in Humboldt.

Mr. Smith is survived by his daughters, Sydnie and Rylie Smith of Humboldt; mother, Dixie (Doug) Filmer of Lake City; step-father Kenneth (Sue) Smith of Fort Dodge, brothers, Jason (Brianne Gumm) Smith of Fort Dodge and Jeremy Prior of Humboldt; sister, Dina (Jeremy) Hawkins of Lake City; grandparents Glenn (Ione) Caquelin of Duncombe, Wendell (Velma) Prior of Blue Grass, and Faye Filmer; former wife, Michelle Smith of Humboldt; step-brothers, Jerod and Justin Dencklau; step-sister, Jessica (Dusty) Corning; nieces, Ashlie and Lily; nephews, Taylor, Brayden, and Khyean; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He is preceded in death by his father Ron; step-grandma, Katherine Smith; step-grandpa, Jim Filmer; great-grandparents; cousin, Jessica Engelman; and father-in-law, Jerry Schnetzer.

Justin Burt Smith, the son Ron and Dixie (Caquelin) Prior, was born November 21, 1975 in Humboldt, Iowa. He grew up in the Fort Dodge area and graduated from Prairie Valley High School in 1994. After high school Justin went to work for Archer Video and Appliance working with electronics. In 2003 Justin was united in marriage to Michelle Schnetzer and to that union were born two daughters, Sydnie and Rylie, that marriage was later dissolved. In 2004 he began working for Fort Dodge Ford, he remained there until recently going to work for the Chantland Company in Humboldt.

Justin was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Humboldt, the Moose Lodge in Fort Dodge, as well as the Humboldt Jaycee’s. He enjoyed electronics, golfing, playing church league softball and singing in his band “The Rumors.” He loved his family, especially his daughters.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Post About Mommy

Yesterday was my due date. If Lily had been born full-term, she would now be a year old. Weird... I still don't think it feels like it's been a year, and it's actually been almost 16 months! I suppose we all feel like time has flown at different points in our lives, but I don't think it ever went this fast before I had a baby. And yet, when I look at the pictures from when Lily was tiny, it feels like that was ages and ages ago.

I had better hurry up and get up-to-date with Lily's scrapbook before it really has been ages and ages, and I can't remember what was going on in all of these pictures! Digital scrapbooking is so much fun... I am not very crafty, or even creative, so I love all the templates and backgrounds available in the program I use. I will try to figure out how to share the scrapbook with you all once I've finished it.

I've been finding more time to read in the past couple of months. A couple of fun novels, along with a couple of classics. If you're looking for an interesting, fun book, I recommend James Patterson's When the Wind Blows. I really enjoyed re-reading Anne of Green Gables with my book club friends; I don't think I had picked that one up since junior high when I read all three of the "Anne" books by L.M. Montgomery. I also read Jane Eyre. Some people simply love that book, but it definitely wasn't one of my favorites. I didn't enjoy it at all at the beginning, but I was determined to finish just because I wanted to see why it is such a beloved classic. I'm not sure I ever figured it out, but I'll admit the story got better about halfway through. And I've been reading the Bible more regularly lately. I think I'm going to look for an NIV Study Bible; it would be nice to have a little more background when I'm reading. I love my straight NIV because I like to think about the verses on my own, but sometimes I want to learn more about what was going on in the story (without reading the entire Bible cover to cover).
And the biggest thing I've been up to lately... I don't think I ever blogged about the Meal Ministry! A couple of months ago, I volunteered to coordinate our church's Food Team (aka Meal Team, Meal Ministry, Food Team Ministry, etc... I think I need to pick a name and stick with it!). With some help and encouragement from Becky, Dusty, Katie, and Donna, I got started. And now, this ministry has taken on a life of its own! It has truly been amazing to watch it grow. We have tons of volunteers, and all of these ladies have been so sweet to talk to and work with. And the best part of all is that we're really impacting people's lives... It seems like such a simple thing to take a meal over to someone who's going through something tough; but it's HUGE! People have been very grateful for the support we've provided, and as an added bonus, they're enjoying meeting other church members.
The Meal Ministry is keeping me busy. Sometimes I don't have any meals to set up; other times there are three families who need meals when I'm calling volunteers. There are housekeeping things to take care of as far as communication goes, and I try to follow up with the families after they've received meals. And my newest task - the Food Team Pot-Luck! I'm planning a get-together for the Food Team volunteers, so we can all meet each other and celebrate our new ministry. Luckily, this is going to be a simple, casual event, so I think I can handle it (with the help of some awesome friends, of course - there's no way I could do it by myself!). This ministry has been such a blessing to my life. I am meeting some wonderful people, and I know that's why I was chosen to do this. I still have some serious home-body, hermit-like tendencies, but hey - I'm a work in progress.

Playing with My Yellow Car