Saturday, March 29, 2008

Happy Things

I'll start with him...
video
If you've never met him, he's my husband. And he's hilarious. And he's a tax CPA so I'm sure he would appreciate prayers as he longs for April 15 to pass. I'm posting this now because I'm pretty sure he's WAY too busy WORKING for a living to check my blog right now :-) Sneaky, huh? But seriously, he's a wonderful man, husband, and dad, and I am so thankful for him. He makes me very, very happy.
Especially when he does things like this...

I can't help but think that since God is the Father, He had to have had a reason for making Daddies so good at working hard all day, and then coming home to have fun with the kids (the wrestling, the sword-fighting, the water-fights, the just plain ol' hangin' out together). In every other way I see the parent/child relationship as a reflection of His relationship with His children. And it just makes sense that He looks forward to nothing more than the day we can rest safely with Him, when our long, hard work day is done, and just enjoy being together. Whatever the reason, seeing this daddy and his kids together just makes me happy.
She makes me happy in a different kind of way:
Our Ruby is our very real reminder of the treasure we have laid up in heaven. And that this world is not our home. And that God uses the tiniest and lowliest of this world to move us in the greatest ways. And part of me says, "Lord, come quickly!" because of Ruby, but part of me, also because of Ruby, says, "Lord, give us a little more time to rescue more of your precious children!" And seeing that Daddy's hand holding that tiny daughter's hand reminds me that He would leave the 99 who are safe and secure to rescue the 1 who is not yet safe and secure with Him. Oh, that I could see the world and each precious child of His the way He does...with even more love and longing than I have for my own earthly children. Ruby Anne is truly a happy thing!
This little un-named boy makes me happy, too...and not just because he looks like his brother, Noah (aka "my happiness")...
New life, new hope, the miracle of love that multiplies when it is divided...
I love them just a tiny bit more than all the numbers in the world when they do this, especially together...
...in part because BOOKS make me so happy. And my children? Reading books? OH. SO. HAPPY. And me? With time to read books? Also very, very happy. Especially Timeline or any books by Michael Crichton. And now I've been addicted to this on PBS, so I'm looking forward to someday rereading some Jane Austen. Probably after all my kids are grown. But still, I have dreams. Big dreams.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Yes, I need to post...

If you could kindly tell that to His Royal Grumpy-Dirtiness...

...that would be great.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

This is a test...

video

...this is only a test. This is a test of the Smalling Broadcasting System.

Happy (almost) Birthday, Noah!

**My camera battery died, so most of these are pulled from the video, which is why they look a little "off"...I could obviously use some photography/video editing tips**
**Also, there are LOTS of pictures here, mostly for grandparents, but also because I LOVE THIS CHILD. And there's a recipe hidden in there somewhere, so it might be worth your time to look through this massive pile of CUTENESS!**

We had Noah's birthday party on Tuesday night so he could take 4 friends to Pump It Up. He had a big party there last year (for "the big 5") but we're only doing "big" (read: expensive) parties for birthdays 5 & 10. He REALLY wanted to go to Pump It Up again, so we compromised with just going to open playtime and only taking 4 friends (plus Maddy & Jack), and having the pizza and cake at home beforehand. And since he wanted Justice League (Batman/Superman) for the 4th year in a row, we already had all of the leftover party supplies!
Noah explaining how Martian Manhunter can control people with his mind...
Mmmm....love that WM pizza
Raise your hands if you're greasy!!
Mom, just let me eat!
I made "The Best Chocolate Sheetcake. Ever." a few weeks ago, because I am pregnant and crave chocolate and baked goods all. the. time. Actually I made it for a belated Valentine's dinner for Jared. And then gave at least half of it away because I could. not. stop. eating. It was a big hit and when I asked Noah what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, he surprised me by asking for this one. He is NOT a sweet-eater, but this cake is THAT good. And it's basically no-fail, proven by the fact that I have made it twice and it was good both times! Do NOT make this cake if you are NOT okay with gaining a pound or six. It has...drum roll, please...3 and 3/4 sticks of butter! No wonder it's tasty!! By the way, the decorations are some year-old Superman sugar thingies, and yellow sugar-crystal Batman symbol, which Noah requested about 10 minutes before the party, so if you're not impressed, don't feel bad! Also, the bumpy things are nuts in the icing. I kind of did half-and-half in case the kids didn't like them, but they could not have cared less. They were just fighting over the year-old sugar lumps. Yuck-O.Admiring his cake...
You're never too old to have Mommy wipe the pizza off your face...
Candle-blowing attempt #1...
He couldn't quit getting tickled everytime he took a big breath...
...so I spared you the 4 or 5 breaths it took to get to the ACTUAL candle blowing out...
Finally...
SUCCESS!!
You can't go wrong with Star Wars Transformers
This picture looks JUST like my brother David! I think we have a picture of him exactly like this somewhere. I need to do some photo comparison one of these days.
And you also can't go wrong with Transformer spy gear.
He's obviously very disappointed with these Legos, as well.
...and so he stops to explain something very important...
...and then listens as his friends share their own Lego wisdom.
Ha! Of course I won't let my brother get his hands on my Transformer secret listening device tomorrow and chew through the earpiece...oh wait, that's EXACTLY what will happen...
This way to Pump It Up! Let's go!

Pump It Up!

I tried to leave Noah and his friends alone and not hound them with the video camera. Plus they were going a million miles an hour and in 5 different directions most of the time. The great thing about this place is that it's contained, only one exit door, so as long as they don't go out of that, you know they're in the room. Plus, they have workers there who supervise the equipment and make sure everyone's following the rules.

So, all of the pictures are of Madeline and Jack, who I did have to closely supervise, because we know that child can find trouble where no trouble exists. Sure enough, he snuck into the "Employee Only" door and was eating someone's piece of leftover birthday cake!
Jack doing the obstacle course Madeline beating Jack at the obstacle course--"Girls rule!" Jack landing close behind
And, he's off...
"I wanna do DAT big swide, Daddy!"
Here comes Jack!
And Madeline! Hurry, get out of the way, Daddy's coming!!
And Daddy!

I look forward to going again when I'm not 7+ months pregnant and I can bounce, too! It's safe to say it was a fun evening for everyone. Happy birthday, my big Noah!

Boys vs The Wall

Meet the new addition to Pump It Up since our last trip there. THE WALL.

When they first opened it up, the line was several people long, so when we saw Noah get in line, I wondered if he could wait it out... That wall sure looks fun...
...but that bouncer is practically BEGGING me to come bounce...
...and then there's the giant slide...calling my name...
...oh, Mom, what's a boy to do?
...I'd heard about 6, but I had no idea the choices would be so hard...
Well, he chose the bouncy slide over waiting in line for the climbing wall. But his little brother lucked out and wandered up just as there was no wait for the wall. Jared and I looked over and they were suiting him up! So of course, Daddy went to help while Mommy captured it on film...
After a couple of words of advice from Daddy...
(with a safety cable, of course, and only about 3 feet off the ground...breathe, Memaw, breathe!)
...getting the hang of it......climbing on my own!!

He got to a place where he couldn't find another handle on his own, so Daddy helped him down.
He loved it while he was up there, but seemed disappointed that he didn't make it to the top! I coulda been a contenda!