Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Moments---Part 7

And finally, Baby Cienna…though she’s growing rapidly (over 15 pounds at 3 months)…there’s nothing like having a real infant in the house to play the part of Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve and truly remind us of the gift of our Savior.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Moments---Part 6

Christmas from a 1 ½ year-old’s perspective is all about touching ornaments, eating candy canes, and playing with wrapping paper. Allison’s main focus is to keep up with everyone else as they bustle around the house making preparations for this and that. She's a great Mommy's helper!

“Santa? Who’s he? Presents? Who needs ‘em? All I want for Christmas is to curl up with a good book on my mommy or daddy’s lap (which is coveted space in this house) and rock to sleep next to the lighted tree with balls hanging from it in the living room…Imagine that…A tree in the house!”

"Don't worry Mom, I'll put Dad to sleep tonight as long as you carry him upstairs this time."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Moments---Part 5

Kirsti reminds us that while the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas flies for those of us who have long checklists, Christmas for a four-year-old has only come four times so far and waiting for Santa to come again can seem painful. With the first signs of Christmas, (which happens right after Halloween), comes the question, “Is today Christmas?” And then, of course, “Is tomorrow Christmas?” After explanations take place, anything from snow falling to bells jingling start the questioning all over again…even if it’s just a few minutes later.

After Thanksgiving, first comes the countdown to the countdown. Luckily, this year Thanksgiving came late and we only had to wait 4 days to start peeking in the pockets of our advent calendar. When the official countdown begins, the wait is still grueling. One Sunday after church, Kirsti happily announced to everyone as we piled in the minivan to go home, “My teacher said Christmas is after today!” Yep, and after the next two weeks, too!

What is Kirsti so excited about receiving Christmas morning? One would think she’s asking for a new car, but no…Kirsti told Santa she would be happy with whatever he wanted to bring her, and at this magical age of four, she means it. When her logical older siblings question how Santa fits down chimneys, she faithfully and confidently demands that it’s possible. Her bubbling enthusiasm is quite contagious.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Moments---Part 4

Listening to Diggy’s creative requests from Santa is a huge highlight each Christmas. Two years ago, he asked for tape. Confused, Santa said, “Which one?” thinking this poor child came from one of those stone-age families with parents who hadn’t made the transition from VHS to DVD (which is true, in fact, he has parents who have hardly made the transition TO VHS). Diggy returned the confused look, and Mom had to jump in to interpret, “He means the kind of tape you use to stick 2 things together.”

Last year when Diggy climbed on Santa’s knee, he announced he wanted Santa and his reindeer. This Santa quickly and happily responded, “Well, Santa WILL be at your house. What do you want me to bring you?” Diggy clarified, “I want you to bring me my own toy Santa riding in a sleigh with 9 reindeer.”

So this year, Diggy surprised us again.

After watching the cartoon version of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” just before visiting Santa this year, Diggy decided to spontaneously change his wish list and daringly ask for an electro-Who-cardio-shnooks (a creative, Dr. Seuss-looking gadget). And sensing that his request was a little outlandish, Diggy also asked for Bendaroos to be sure he’d actually get something.

Bendaroos?! you ask? Yes, of course Santa knows what Bendaroos are. He knows everything. And after never hearing of these before, we quickly learned that Santa better jump right on that request because Bendaroos are an “As seen on TV” special that can only be obtained via the Bendaroos web site and take 4-6 weeks to deliver…unless you pay for rush shipping (cha-ching, cha-ching) or have elves working for you, of course. If Santa delivers, Diggy will be pleased, because Bendaroos will entertain him for hours…perhaps he’ll make an electro-Who-cardio-shnooks.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Moments---Part 3

For our oldest son, Christmas this year means another experiment waiting to happen. Kenny LOVES snow and is thrilled to have a white Christmas! (He attributes the large snow fall to his payment of tithing a few weeks ago.) Besides many hours of snow forts and buried treasures, the snow will allow him to scientifically analyze Santa’s arrival at the Smith Residence.

Kenny plans on scanning the front yard/rooftops for evidence of Santa even before heading to see what Santa left behind inside the house (which he hopes is the Knex Motorized Double-Dare Dueling Coaster). Will the reindeer food (oatmeal and glitter) really attract Rudolph and the gang? How big will the sleigh tracks be of the man who brings gifts to every kid in the world?! Good Luck, Santa, on sneaking around the Smith Science Lab.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Moments---Part 2

Amy sees the growing family + Christmas as a chance to showcase the family’s budding percussion talent. Several nights a week for the last month, the family “rehearsed” a few songs on the Christmas chimes (generously handmade and given as a gift from Grandma and Grandpa Van Camp last year). The plan is to show our Christmas spirit to neighbors by standing on their front porches clanging out renditions of “Away in a Manger” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Regardless of how we sound, we’re quite sure that seeing 3 young kids in snowsuits holding chimes with 2 parents giving glances of approval and occasional nudges of “Your note’s next!” plus a toddler and infant in tow will be a sight to remember…perhaps, if anything, giving our neighbors something to chat about with out-of-town relatives as they sit around their Christmas dinner tables. We only need a few more kids (and lots more practice) to match the Osmonds!

Here's the aftermath...Don't you all wish you were our neighbors, too? :)
The performance went well.
(Robin Hood chose not to change into his Kenny costume, so it was nice to have him along.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Moments---Part 1

As another year comes to an end and we ponder the meaning of Christmas again, we’ve realized that as our family grows, so does our perspective of Christmas. And while we truly enjoy celebrating the birth of our Savior as we emphasize the spirit of giving in our home, here’s a behind-the-scenes glance of “Christmas Moments at the Smiths.” With one week until the big day, we can count down by highlighting one family member/day…starting with Brent…

From Brent’s point of view, more kids = more cost. So he began shopping the 4 a.m. after-Thanksgiving sales a few years ago. Now, with some experience under his belt, he has the day down to a science starting with the Thanksgiving Day ad line-up. While success does depend on what’s on “the roster” each year and on how tough the opposing shoppers are, Brent’s strategic analysis coupled with Amy’s online shopping support, offers a pretty good chance for an end-of-day winning celebration. This year he dodged in and out of the isles at five stores all before 7a.m.

And since 5 kids, work, and scoutmaster responsibilities give Brent no time to track March Madness, the Superbowl, the PGA Tour, and what’s it called when the baseball teams have a big tournament at the end of the year? Anyways…Black Friday fills the void and provides a year’s worth of strategic, competitive excitement for the whole family to brag about for months…plus, shopping gets done before the kids even wake up! Way to make your wife proud, honey!

The 2007 Christmas Day Football Game...

Loads of fun!! It came close to matching the

competitive spirit of Black Friday, but not quite.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Take 5

Here are 5 attempts at taking our first pics of 5 kids...

Let's get a more natural smile..."Everyone say, 'We LOVE Cienna!'"

Oops...bad timing by the photographer. Poor Cienna's had enough. And Allison is still trying to catch cues from her older, more experienced siblings.

"It's too bright out here, Mom!" Uh-oh, we've lost another one...
We'd better try again AFTER church.

Ahhh...Cienna likes the car seat idea much better. We're getting closer.

Let's simplify a bit...

"Everyone look at your new beautiful Baby Sister...Perfect!"

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cienna McKay Arrives!

Another favorite moment in time...Cienna McKay Smith joined the family on Sept. 29, 2008 at 12:32 a.m. She weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce and stretched to 21 inches. Her name comes from the Spanish word "cien" which means 100. She is the 100th great-grandchild for Brent's dad's parents. With her name, we honor the great strength of family values established by generations passed, and we celebrate the tremendous opportunity available to those who will continue the great tradition of strong families in the future.

The joy and excitement of having a new baby, a strong spirit straight from our Heavenly Father's presence, radiates throughout the house. Her siblings and parents adore her!

Cienna, what a blessing it is to have you in our family circle! Thank you for trusting us to take care of you during your earthly journey back to our Heavenly Father. We know you will teach us of things both spiritual and temporal just as much as we will teach you. We look forward to many happy moments with you!!