Yesterday, Chandler swam in the last meet of the summer season in Cerritos. He got third place in the butterfly, second in the 200 medley relay, and second in the 200 freestyle relay. To qualify for this meet all the participants had to come in first place in their races at their individual city finals. It was much more competitive, and there were plenty of amazing swimmers.
The first butterfly race. The medley relay. The freestlye relay. Thanks coach Taylor. We will miss you!
We have been preparing for the first day for several days now, and I can't believe it's actually here. As I was helping Avrielle lay out her clothes for sixth grade, I couldn't believe that I still remember what I wore for the first day of sixth grade! I thought I was so cool in my Jordash jeans, purple Izod shirt, and penny loafers with a real penny! The time has gone by so fast. After I dropped them off and took plenty of pictures, some of the moms and I went out to breakfast at Emle's. It was so yummy! I ordered their famous french toast, but instead of regular french toast their french toast is on steroids. It comes with a fried funnel cake on top dusted with powdered sugar. Can anyone say sugar high? That with the 3 cups of coffee was plenty to get me fuel for my day of shopping. I had been waiting till the kids went back to school to do a major stock up, and since I had all day to wait in the valley for them, I got a lot done. For those of you that may read the blog but don't really know us that well, Our kids school is kinda unique because they get to go to school 3 days a week and then they are home schooled 2 days a week. Tomorrow will be our first day at home, so I was trying to get all organized for that. When I picked them up, both of them couldn't wait to tell me what a fun day they had. Avrielle said she loves her teacher so much she wants to go live with her. Then she took it back in case it hurt my feelings. I was glad she was so thrilled. Chan couldn't believe that he actually had to do work, but he said his teacher is very soft spoken and structured. I was surprised at his use of adjectives. Normally neither one of them want to talk about their day on the ride home. I always have to wait until bedtime.(Funny how they become chatty all of the sudden, but I'm used to it) Anyway, they both talked all the way home. We are looking forward to a great year.
This is a picture of David's first official five o'clock shadow. There isn't actually hair there yet, but you can see the little seeds starting to sprout. Grow little hairs, Grow! I guess that means he will have to start shaving again soon.
Today I was watching the Hixson kids while their mom had a meeting at school. My kids love the Hixsons, and were so excited. Little did I know that last night David got a call out on his first day back to work. He finally got home at 8:45 am this morning after working more than 26 hours straight. What was I going to do with 5 energetic kids and a sleeping husband? We went swimming in the morning, and then I took everyone for pizza at Costco. We ran into the Kostjuks there and decided to take Gavin home with us and all have a lemonade stand. I warned the kids that with 6 of us participating they may not make too much money, so we all decided ahead of time to give the money to the Spanish ministry at church who are collecting school supplies for needy children. I expected to make maybe 5 to 10 dollars. Well, I was wrong and business was hopping. The kids made about $40.00 in 2 hours. I couldn't believe it. It was so much fun, and we got to talk with so many neighbors and even meet some new ones. At the end of the afternoon, I gave all the kids 2 dollars and we still had plenty left over to give to church. They can't wait to bring it on Sunday. Just a side note: If you ever see kids selling lemonade, buy some. I definitely will. It made them so happy, and the looks on their faces was priceless. (Ps. Thanks Wendy and everyone else for the encouragement to keep the blog up. I think I will:)
When I first started this blog, the purpose was to communicate to people who wanted to know what was going on with my dad and David's cancer. Now that I'm hoping this trial will soon be over, I'm not sure what to do with the blog. I don't mind posting what we've been doing and treating it like a scrapbook, or as an avenue to keep in touch with friends around the country, but it feels kinda weird. I don't want to be totally superficial and only post about the highlights of our lives, but I don't know how many personal thoughts to share. When my dad and David were sick, it was really helpful to journal and treat the blog like a diary, and I enjoyed writing all my thoughts. It really helped to clarify everything that God was teaching me. Now that it could be over, I don't know how much to share about normal everyday lessons and events. Part of me wants to write about different things that happen in the day, but it is so strange to be able to write and have no idea who it is you are writing to, and who is reading it, and what they are thinking. It is much easier to play it safe and keep everything on the surface level. So I guess that's what I'm deciding. What do I do with this blog? Is it something worth continuing? Which direction should it take? Is it lame to just post all the good stuff and not share about everyday life? Am I over analyzing the whole thing in the first place? I don't know. Any suggestions?
Last Saturday, the kids swam in the league finals at our aquatic center. They had a great summer and loved their coaches this season. Chandler was able to advance to festival where Santa Clarita will compete with other cities in Southern California at the USC Olympic stadium next Saturday the 23rd. He is excited because he now thinks he can eat 12,000 calories a day like Michael Phelps. Although Avrielle didn't quite make it this year, I was so proud of her because her coach gave her the most outstanding swimmer award. This award doesn't necessarily go to someone with the most athletic ability, but rather someone who displays good character. Her coach praised her for always having a positive attitude, being cheerful, working hard, and encouraging others. I know she would have liked to advance to the next level, but I would much rather her win this award any day!
David invited Kent Richardson to come shark fishing this morning. Kent had just returned from a weekend of trout fishing without a bite. They set sail at 6:45 from Ventura Harbor and drove 6 miles down the coast. Within 20 min this little guy jumped on their hook. After 10 minutes of reeling, Kent had to take off his jacket. After 10 more, he had to sit down..... Surprise, Surprise...Would it fit in the boat????? Boy was it heavy! Maybe 80 pounds???? Can they lift it up? It's in! What should we do with it? Can we tie it to the top of the car and bring it home? Honey, Do you have a pan big enough to cook it in? Another shark lived to see another day.
I am happily married to my beloved and my friend, David, and I am a mom to my precious children, Avrielle and Chandler. I started this blog in January,2008 as a way to keep our friends and family updated when my husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Little did I know that my dad, a non smoker, would be diagnosed with lung cancer also only two weeks later. My dad passed away on March 22, 2008, only 2 1/2 months after his diagnosis. These last few months have been a trial, but God has been good and faithful, and kept us in His hands.
We added a guest book at the bottom of the blog page. Please sign it and add a picture if you would like. It is really easy, I promise! We would love to see who is out there reading. Love, The Smith Family
Chandler: "Mom, could I just marry my sister? That way I don't have to kiss anybody new."
Avrielle: As we are trying to find my car in the crowded parking lot, "There it is mom, I memorized your licence placemat."
Mom to Avrielle: "It's time to brush your teeth." Avrielle: "May I appeal, I need to defrost more from waking up."
Mom to Chandler: "If you're not thankful for your dinner, maybe I should take it away, and all you will have to eat is some bread." Chandler: "Sounds great!" Mom: " Ok, since that didn't work, How about if we take away all your toys too, so you will see how much you have to be thankful for..." Chandler: "I'll just play with my bread!"
Chandler as he is trying to throw a dirty kleenex into the trashcan. "He shoots, (it lands on top of Avrielle's head) He SCORES!!!
Wow Avrielle, that was a quick shower. Did you wash your hair? "I only put conditioner on it, because I washed it last night and I just needed to remind it that it had been washed already so it will obey me this morning."
Chandler: "Dad, could you please make sure you take the right sandwich to work tomorrow? I don't wan't you to leave the healthy one for me by mistake."
Chandler: Can you not put gel in my hair this morning? If I get it cut later, it will hurt because it will be like they are cutting through a wall of steel!
Chandler at Trader Joes: Why does nanny have to take so long reading every label in the freezer aisle? Can't it be the "try out" aisle instead???
Chandler telling a story at dinner: "Not yesterday, but the yesterday before..."
Mom to Chandler: Your closet is a mess. Yeah, I know, it's always an adventure because I get to find new undiscovered sightings. Mom: What kind of undiscovered sightings? Well, you know, like, I'll put something in there when I'm seven and then discover it again when I'm fourteen.
Mom to Chandler: What is the most important thing you learned from Papa? He taught me never to hit people with the golf ball when I'm chipping.
Mom to Avrielle: What is your favorite memory with Papa? He took me to the American Girl Store, and walked all around with me explaining the history of all the dolls until I found the one I wanted.
Chandler, What does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? Well, it's like God has cubbies for each person, and when you do something that pleases Him, He puts a trophy in your cubby."
Chandler after hearing the bedtime story of Corderoy. "Mom, some stories are so good, I feel like I want to cry inside when I hear them."
How do you like the pistachio Chandler? It's sort of medium low on the scale of goodness.
Chandler while looking at a pre -cancer picture of David, "Wow Dad, I don't remember that you used to have an afro!"
Chandler, you need to wipe the chocolate off your face! Do I have to mom? If I leave it on, I can taste it again later!
Avrielle while watching Taming of the Shrew in the park: "I love the play mom, but which one is William Shakespeare?"
Chandler: Mom, can you please buy some more string cheese? It really puts you to work! Mom: I thought you don't like doing hard work. I love hard work when it comes to my food!
Chandler to mom: "Do I have to open my Christmas presents? I want to warm up to the day first."
Avrielle watching Taming of the Shrew in Hart Park. "Mom, I like the play, but which one is William Shakespeare?"
"Avrielle, You have been really quiet since the debate has been on, do you have any questions about what is going on or what they are talking about?" She look over to us very seriously, and said,"Mom, I think I understand what they are saying, but I only have one question. How can they stand there and talk so long without having to pee?"