Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

Among all of the drama in our household during these holidays I was determined to allow Carsyn to enjoy all of the magic that Christmas entails.

During this month we...

Went to Christmas Tree farm and cut down a tree with daddy.

Got our first elf on the shelf that Carsyn affectionatley named Zoe- although she didn't quite understand the concept of not touching Zoe and that Zoe would tell Santa about her behavior. Maybe next year?

Went to the Pike County Little Theater Christmas musical....where they sang Happy Birthday to Carsyn during Intermission ;)

Drove through the Live Nativity and listened to the story of Jesus birth

Watched Carsyn sing and shake her jingle bells at her school Christmas program

Carsyn enjoyed a Party at school and got WAY TOO much candy!

Listened to the SAME Christmas cd over and over and over and over again for 4 weeks

Went to the Summit Christmas Parade which was super fun and one of her fave friends happened to be beside us to make it more special! Carsyn of course LOVED LOVED the bands!

Went to the Teddy Bear Christmas Tea Party at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans which was SPECTACULAR and well worth the substantial price tag! This was definitely the highlight of our month aside from her birthday. The Snow Princess stole Carsyn's heart more than Santa himself. Although she did run and jump right in his lap unlike years past and told him she wanted a feeding baby doll!

Drove through the Tylertown Christmas in the Park which was super beautiful! She was in awe and never stopped talking the entire time about the lights.

Made Christmas breakfast and Christmas Eve/Day food together.

Enjoyed time with family.

GOT WAY WAY WAY toooo many presents! Aunt Katie gave C the same baby doll she had asked Santa for so we had a little mishap Christmas morning but all is well now that Walmart let us exchange one of them.

Watching Christmas through a child's eyes is so magical and definitely what our family needed. The back of our Christmas card said "May you enjoy your holidays with a child-like innocence." which I believe was pefect for us this year~

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A growth spurt

It seems the Smith family has experienced a growth spurt this month.

Not a physical growth spurt but rather a maturity growth.

As many of our friends and family who already read this blog know my family has been faced with many trials and much tribulations lately. In February of 2010 my father in law was diagnosed with a rare case of colon cancer. He fought a great fight with chemo and several surgeries throughout the year but unfortuntaly for us God still wanted him for his army. Anyone who knew this man knew he was on this Earth to serve others and almost always had a warm smile on his face. His calmness added much security to this family. Carsyn will probably never remember the time she spent with Pop but we will be sure to remind her of him. The Christian example he set will be a legacy for us to pass on to her.

On his last night on Earth with tears in his eyes Carsyn sang to him her Christmas program songs. It was a touching moment I will not soon forget. It has been difficult to explain the loss to Carsyn but she will understand in time.

Here is the uology from his funeral last week. (this is mostly for Carsyn to have in her memory book)

Allan Smith passed from this life December 10, 2010, at his home in Summit, Mississippi, after a nearly year-long battle with cancer.James Allan Smith was born October 15, 1954, in Meridian, Mississippi, the firstborn child to James Prentiss Smith and Barbara Ann Morgan Smith. Though the family had very little, James and Barbara gave Allan a loving home that instilled a spirit of confidence, allowing him to use his imagination and to spread his wings. From these meager beginnings, Allan developed the qualities that he so admired in his heroes from history: faith, initiative, drive, determination, and humility.As soon as he could walk, Allan was on the move. His mother recounts the story of Allan as a toddler. While his father was working long hours six days a week at Lott Furniture, his mother was keeping him and his infant sister Ann at home. She took her eyes off him for a few moments, and he disappeared. She searched everywhere, and finally had to call his daddy in on the hunt. Allan apparently had ridden his tricycle several blocks away in a very short time. No one ever knew what his mission was that day, but he would spend the rest of his life being active, and driven to achieve.The family moved to Laurel, where they lived a short while before moving to Jackson. By that time, the family had grown to include another sister, Allison, and his maternal grandmother who came to live with them when his mother went to work with his father at the store. Grandmother Morgan made sure all the kids were at church every time the doors opened, and Allan became an excellent Bible student. By the time he was 10 years old, Allan had decided to make Jesus his Savior, and he was baptized into Christ. Not long after that, his parents followed their young son’s example, forever changing the dynamic of their home. Allan’s bold step had become the model for the whole family to emulate. Allan excelled in school, and he enjoyed all the usual sports and games that little boys do. He took an interest in the band, playing the clarinet and the saxophone. He developed an early fascination with history, becoming an expert on the Civil and Second World Wars, in particular. Allan was also enamored with airplanes, and he was always constructing a model airplane or battleship with exacting specifications. Soon he joined Civil Air Patrol, and he couldn’t wait to learn to fly. In fact, Allan got his pilot’s license before he got his driver’s license.It was a good thing that Allan did get his driver’s license, because he was so responsible at a very young age. At 15, Allan had three siblings to cart around, including a new baby brother, Andy. By then, Allan had already been working at the store for several years. He learned the business from the ground up, cleaning floors, dusting, putting merchandise on the floor, helping with deliveries, and driving the truck when he could convince one of the deliverymen to let him. He saved up to buy his first car, a gold Oldsmobile 442 with black racing stripes. Eager to get on with his life, he graduated early from high school, and he made the trek to Starkville to become a Mississippi State Bulldog. He made his mark in academics and school politics, and he came back to Jackson ready to tackle Lott Furniture as his life’s career. With his professional life on track, Allan set his sights on Serrie Baker. After persuading her to go out with him, it was not long before they married, and he adopted her daughter, Samantha. Soon after, the family welcomed a son, Danny.When Harold McRaney decided to retire and sell the Lott Store in McComb, Allan took all the experience and wise counsel he could gather, and he determined that he would do well as a furniture dealer in this new small town. He and Serrie left the big city and immediately forged an enduring bond with the community. The community welcomed them in turn, making a home for the Smith family, which now included Allan and Serrie’s youngest child, Morgan. Son Danny and his wife, Amanda, followed Allan’s footsteps, making a home in McComb with their daughter, Carsyn, who affectionately renamed Allan, “Pop.” Of all the titles he would acquire, “Dad” and “Pop” would be his favorites.During his time in Pike County, family would become Allan’s driving force. Allan would often say that it was good to be successful in business, but if you didn’t have time to share it with your family, it was worth nothing. Allan lived this example: coaching little league teams; taking family trips; and, supporting his children at their many school and sporting events. Allan extended his family through engaging the community. His church family at McComb Church of Christ was dear to him. He became an MPSA referee; he joined the Rotary Club, serving as President and being honored as Rotarian of the Year three times. He was also named Mississippi Retail Furniture Dealer of the Year on two occasions. He served the business community through the McComb Main Street Association; was a member of the Board of Directors for both the Pike County Bank and the Interdenominational Care Association. To the community that had provided such a supportive and warm home for his wife and children, Allan donated two of his buildings for the Saint Andrews Senior Center. Despite the various gloomy economic forecasts over the years, Allan had a vision for Lott Furniture, expanding with a new location and a sister business, the Ashley Home Store. In business and in his life, Allan had a propensity for defying the odds. Many people, when given the unfortunate news that Allan received in February of this year, might fall apart. Not Allan. Allan continued to make time for his family and community. In the midst of chemotherapy, Allan attended church services and board meetings. He made trips to Starkville for State games and visited Shiloh, something he had always wanted to do. Perhaps most important to Allan, he spent as much time as he could with his family, enjoying the sounds of “Dad” and “Pop.” In short, Allan was determined and driven to live and move as long as he could, but not just for himself. He wanted to continue to be and do what everyone around him needed. Even with all the accolades and praise he received for being a pillar in his community, he would have never described himself as important or special. He lived a life of service to others and love for his family and friends. He will certainly be greatly missed.

My husband's growth spurt has come from now realizing that he no longer has his daddy to call for help. He now is the only male head of household in our small family. He now has to run this large business without his father's assistance. Thirty-one just became a lot more mature.

In addition; at the same time as my father-in-law's degression my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She chose to have a double mastectomy to eliminate the possibility of future complications. The week before his death was my mom's surgery. To say we have had a lot going on since our return home from the Bahamas is an understatement. In an instant your life can change and you realize that every minute on Earth is not guaranteed. I went to be with my mother and for the first time in 29 years I had to be the caretaker. My mother's surgery was successful and she should not need any further treatment other than a recommendation for a hysterectomy this year. I rely on my mother more than any person on this Earth and to have her incapasitated made me appreciate her more than anything.

And then AMONG all of THIS my sweet baby girl turned THREE! THREE! She is such a BIG GIRL! Such mama's little helper! She comes up with some of the most incredible things! And of course having to deal with her "Pop" passing has been a learning experience among itself. We told her that Pop was now in Heaven with Jesus and was her guardian angel, so when we went by the live nativity and saw the angel standing at the manger she wanted to get out and see him! And she has been obsessed with angels and Christmas songs about angels. Also the day of Pop's funeral visitation at church we sang " Joy to the World" and a week later she looked at me when it came on the tv and said that is the song we sang when Pop was in church. I COULD NOT believe she remembered that! (Music is definitely one of her favorite outlets and she has asked to take dance next year).

To say that our little family has had its share of growth experiences is an understatment but among all bad there comes some good. And we are so lucky to have Carsyn's excitement and enthusiasm for life to help us get though this time.

Carsyn's 3rd Birthday

Planning a December birthday is always so hard every year! First of all I NEVER know what the weather will entail so an outdoor party is always a risk. Second I always feel the need to rush and have my home Christmas decked out before people come through my home. And this year with all that was going on with our parents I knew that was not going to happen. So I started brainstorming of ideas for a 3 year old indoor party NOT at my home! AND in a small town that does not have many party venues this was quite a brainstorm!

I finally came up with the ingenious idea to have a party at Fox's Pizza. I knew they had a seperate room that would be just the right size for several little preschoolers! Since JUNE Carsyn has wanted a Dora party. By the time December rolled around I would say she isn't as wrapped up in Dora as she was earlier in the year but still fond of her. I had seen on Facebook that a lady had a rented Dora for her girls' birthday party so I called her up to find out where I could find Dora. Come to find out it wasn't a person you rented but rather just the costume itself. All I had to do was find someone to wear it and I knew just the right teenager from my church!

Everything came together beautifully and even though our family was in mourning Carsyn's birthday was a hit! She definitely felt special on her day which we know Pop would have loved! I can't say all of the children were crazy about Dora but by the end of the party most of them warmed up to her. We also played pin the backpack on Dora, Dora tatoos for the face, Hokey Pokey lead by Dora herself!

I have to brag on myself that I was very impressed with myself for pulling it off mostly alone since I would normally rely on my mom or mother in law to help me remember lots of things.

Now if we can just wade through all of the presents in my house! *sigh*
December birthdays = yuck! I always say I am going to celebrate her birthday in July one year!

Birthday photo album HERE

Monday, December 6, 2010

We going to the "HAMAS!"

Okay so today is the first day I have been away from my child for more than 4 hours in almost two months!!!! SOOOO the blog posting has been pushed to the back burner! Also my work (YAY!) has been extremly busy not allowing me the time to blog either! And finally my family has been having some very unfortunate luck and my priorities have been directed elsewhere.

BUT ALAS, I must blog about our trip to the Bahamas!

About 6 months ago my father decided he wanted to go to the Bahamas. I am thinking this wild hair was a result of he wanted to cross this off his bucket list! So he booked us (me, danny, carsyn, mom and dad) plane tickets for October. Carsyn at 2 1/2 years old got her first passport (which I have since lost because I lost my purse!)! Luckily it was not lost in the Bahamas!Although my husband on the other hand who would loose his head if it wasn't screwed on did loose his, or so he thought. The day we arrived it had fallen out of his pocket in the taxi and my dad did one last check of the cab to search for anything left behind and saw it!!! Although in the spirit of harrassment he did not tell Danny for several days that he had it!

We stayed HERE. It was beautiful as expected. If you are used to hotels and housekeeping and free breakfast it is something to get used to. We stayed here because the all in clusive resorts were all not child friendly. I thought we would save money by eating in the condo and just walking to our destinations but you can all guess how that went! Hee Hee glad it wasn't my pocketbook for the most part!!! Anyway while our condo was great Nassau is BEYOND expensive! I am talking Hollywood Expensive! So if you go stay in an all inclusive and don't plan to leave in a taxi very often! Everytime we would walk out of the condo Carsyn would say "Go get us a tar....where is our tar!" She LOVED not having to ride in a car seat!

Out Condo was next door to the Atlantis which is just breathtaking and so neat. We ate their often and enjoyed their entertainment at night. Maybe we will stay there again one day...if we win the lottery! Our first evening at dinner the restaurant had a magician walking to each table to occupy you while you waited for dinner. He was GREAT!

The next day we spent laying by the pool and beach. While I LOVE to look at the beach I am not a big fan of walking or sitting on it! And it seems my child is the same way! She would only last about twenty minutes in the sand and then begin to scream! Danny and I rented a jet ski and went a good ways out into the water. We were trying to find Oprah and Tiger Wood's house which was next door to our Condo. One of these people (I can't remember who) has a gas station in the basement of their home!!! The water was so crystal clear out on the jet ski. That night a smoothe talking cabby told us a restaurant to go to so we took his advice. It was actually the best meal I had up to that point. Unless I travel in the South the food is always a disappointment on any trip I have been on.

Our next day was the day I have waited for my entire life...swimming with the dolphins!!!!! I have loved dolphins since I was about 9 years old and I have always wanted to swim with them. Carsyn had been talking about it for months and months although I worried when the time came she would not get in, but she did! We actually had to spend all day at this waterpark because Carsyn and nonny's encounter was in the morning and mine and pappy's was after lunch. Carsyn did great and went alllllllll day without a nap! She didn't even crash on the boat charter back to the condo! Of course we paid the outstanding prices for the photo souveniers. This dolphin sanctuary is where the ORIGINAL Flipper lives! We didn't see him but I swam with his son! And talk about swimming FAST! WOW!

The remainder of the trip was spent again by the pool and beach. Carsyn, Nonny, and I did take a walk in the 110 degree heat to try to find some botanical gardens. Not sure that the pictures were worth the effort! And then it was time to head home!

Carsyn did great on the plane....a regular seasoned traveler! She even napped well! I think she will be a great traveler although this trip did make me want to hold off on Disney until about age 5 so she will #1 not whine quite as much #2 save ALOT of money #3allow her to remember the experience as I am sure other than pictures she won't know she got to hug and kiss a dolphin!

Here are some of mine!/album.php?aid=338815&id=758989936

AND I am waiting on my mother's pics for the dolphin kiss photos!!