Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hair today gone tomorrow...

Taylor as a blonde. I love this preppy picture of him! HAIR is a big thing in our home. It brings us the most contention. Because Nathan works for the church he cannot have long hair or grow out his curls. So we went through a stage where he lived his hair day rebellion through our children. Thanks to my sister-in-law for being a great hair stylist she helped them to look great. I will tell you I have spent more time styling my boys hair than Eliza's (that's sad). They now have their own way & I am realizing that their hair was so much easier to deal with than Eliza's curly hair. When she wears it curly it is easy but when she wants it straight it is hours of time together that ends generally with tears from one of us. Almost 2 years ago I lost all of my hair with in weeks. It was half way down my back. I learned to have fun with wigs for 8 months but am so grateful for my hair. The joys of the simple things in life.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Give thanks.......

my family

(My family playing games aroung the table. Taylor is in the red hat, Eliza in the navy sweatshirt & I am next to Eliza)

We spent this Thanksgiving with both sides. We first ate at Nate's parents & then we went up to my parents for pie & games. We had a great time spending a day with those we love. We are so blessed that we have so much to give thanks for.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Angel..........

These past few days as I have watched Eliza deal with another passing of someone that she loves & has been so close to her I am so amazed as a mother at what a grown up 11 year old girl she is. As I held her to comfort her when we told her that Grandpa was dying it took me back to just a year ago to the phone call I got from her when she was calling from school bawling not even able to talk & asking me to please just come & hold her. They had just found out that her teacher had passed during the night. Two years before that I had to make a phone call to her to tell her that her Uncle had passed & her daddy sat & held her. Then a couple of years earlier it was her special Grandma who passed & I held her while she asked why she had to leave? Not only has she had to deal with times of death of those she loves so much but she has faced a lot in her short life. With all of my health issues and having to see your own mommy in the hospital a lot is hard for a little girl. I am so inspired by her and the love with in her. The way she cares for others and how she is always looking for the good in others. I love to stand by her door way & listen to her practice her singing. I believe that her lives experiences give her the emotion that she feels when she is singing. She is my little golden angel. She is such a care taker of her brothers. I just pray that as she goes through her life she will always be the angel she is and always has been. I love you Lize

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bringing sexy back!

Can we get any hotter????????? This is Nate's Jr picture.

This is his friends senior picture. Can you guess the year?

We moved the middle of August & the 2nd week I was outside & met some of our great nieghbors. Come to find out that Cameron & Nate went to high school together. They had us over for dinner a couple of weeks later (which still is the only time Taylor will eat squash) & out came the year books. With the year books came the stories of what girls were hot and so on and so on. So I thought while the year book is still sitting out, here is a reminder to how hot these guys were for all the ladys at Highland everyday in 1989.

I know payback will be nasty from Nate but I just laugh to think how cool he must have been with his curly hair mulet. That's why I love him so!

Yes I did it....

So I never finished even the 2nd book of the Twilight series but my sister-in-law & I still had a great time at the midnight premier. She was so sweet to buy us matching Twilight hats. I was very impressed & for those who know me well, I HATE intense movies but I made it through! So it was fun to see that the weekend posting was over $70+ million.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

And they sang on.............

Grandma Coco, Cache, Brooklyn (world's greatest hair stylist), McKay, Taylor, & Eliza

Taylor, Ali Kailen (their voice coach), & Eliza

Eliza getting ready to blow us away with "On My Own" from Les Mis

Taylor getting ready to melt my heart by belting out "Out There" from Hunch Back of Notre Dame
I am a proud mom but I think at the ages of 9 & 11 they do pretty amazing with these songs that are just a little challenging but with the gifts the Lord has blessed them with & their amazing voice coach it was a wonderful night. It was fun to have so much family come & support them. Thanks to my parents & Nate's parents & for my little sister who drove all the way from Vegas to see them.

Stewart R Pendleton 02/24/1913 - 11/22/2008

A full Letterman at the University of Utah in Basketball.
Pendleton, Stewart
1935, 36, 37, 38

Today Nathan's Grandfather passed quietly to the otherside to be with the love of his life. It will be sad to have gone but it is also happy to know that he once again with Grandma. When Nate's mom called the kids were setting the table for breakfast & so Nate spoke with her for a few moments & then we went into the front room and spoke with the kids & said a prayer to thank our Heavenly Father for the time we had had with such an amazing man. We shared some fun stories & then talked about how happy he & Grandma must be to be together again. Then we went on with finishing breakfast. As we sat down Nate asked McKay to say the blessing on breakfast & I swear that child has such a vision of what Heaven is really like. Before he closed his prayer he blessed that Grandpa & Grandma would have a wonderful day in Heaven together today.
I have never thought that way about the after life. About it being fun & joyous. His prayer just made it all right.
Nate's Gradnfather was an amazing Basketball player and lettered at the "U" so I think it only right that they would win today even if it were foootball.
Dying isn't always about saddness when one has lived such a great and glourious life & when we have the Gospel & we know we will be together again & for this I am so thankful. I also look forwaord to when it is my time to go & I have a wonderful day in Heaven.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Trails or Gifts?

Yesterday I had the very special time to sit with Nate's Uncle Steve & visit with him while Nate's mom & the other siblings went to lunch. Nate's Grandfather is dying in a matter of days or even hours. As we sat in the quiet of that home & spoke where the spirit was so easily felt because I believe the Viel is truly so thin, we spoke of trials. As we spoke of life & things that we endure I was able to speak to him about things I have been really struggling with & praying about & never would I think to share with him. But he was the Lord's tool. As we spoke & cried he asked me a simple question that I cannot stop pondering in my heart. Has the Lord given us Trials or Gifts? How profound to look upon the things we go through that weigh us down & cause us pain as a "GIFT". But as I have pondered I do believe there is so much truth to that because in all those times of pain & sorrow & times where I want to give up this fight, my Lord steps in & I reach a new level & it is there that I climb and I become who I am. Stonger with each experience & so yes they are gifts for what we are when the trial is over & we have allowed ourselves to come unto Christ and let Him make us better. If we can remember during these times it is a gift because there will always be joy at the end, just maybe it will make the journey a little bit easier. Yes it will still hurt, I know that for sure but know that joy will come.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What could I have been?

As Eliza & Taylor have been getting ready for their recitle that is this Thursday night I marvel at the sound of their voices. All of my childhood life I wanted nothing more than to be a singer. I sang at the top of my lungs & would often go into the bathroom & hold a hairbrush & sing into the mirror pretending that the world was watching & I was touching each & everyone of their hearts. When I was a young girl I had preapared a song to sing for someone that was ill & as I sang they told me I wasn't very good. Then in highschool a group of my friends put together a singing group. One of my friends knew how bad I wanted to be in it & asked me to join. At a practice another friend said, Leah you sound terrible. I was heart broken. Needless to say I left right away & never sang with them again. Infact while in the singles ward I attended I was called to be the choirister in Relief Society. I first laughed & told the councelor he must have been distracted when praying. But I also had been taught to never turn down the opportunity to grow. Oh how I grew, I grew by lipsynicing the songs every Sunday. I had been made to feel like a fool twice & I wasn't going for a third. Little did I know though that children are so wonderfully honest & my dear sweet McKay reminds me that I wasn't blessed with the gift of singing. You know I can hear it in my head & I can feel it in my heart but it just doesn't seem to come out that way. Then I turn to my children & what noise they make is the same beautiful sound I have always been hearing & feeling & I thank the Lord for finally giving it to me. It may not come through my voice but I can sit and listen to it for hours on end. That was the fisrt thing that attrackted me to Nathan was the sound of his voice when he would sing to me. I know that when the resurrection comes I too will join my family & sing out Hossana & it will sound as angelic as they do. Like Brother Anderson quoted in church yesterday
"It is never to late to be what you might have been."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Warning this is my mind and heart may be offended

So Eliza tells me that I am the meanest mom in the whole world. Why? Because we give her boundries that she is expected to follow. No other kids her age have to make their beds before they can go to school, turn the lights off when they leave the room or pay $.10 to the power bill, redo thier chores for not doing them right the first time, etc. So she would be better off in a slave camp. My tears runnenth over for her. She has no time in her life because she chooses to take voice lessons & we make her practice daily just like her brother & he also has football 4 days a week for 2 hours but seems to have plenty of time. I think it's more of an issue of time management. When dinner dishes need to be done someone is magically in the bathroom, McKay. So we sat down for FHE last week & decided things were going to change in a big way at the Smith home. We listed all chores and the amount they are worth. Then posted them. We made job applications & the kids got to choose what jobs they wanted to interview for. We made some real job rules. They had to come to their interview in their Sunday best, if they didn't do the job properly they would get one warning & be docked pay. ($.50 for a bathroom makes you really want to get it done right). We went over all the expectations for each job. If it wasn't done right the second time they would be fired. Now so you know we don't just give our children money. There is and never has been allowance at our home so if they want something they have to figure out hoe to earn it & we thought this would be a great way to introduce them to the working world. Eliza is already in debt in the bed making. Tomorrow she will actually be kept home from school. Remember we are the mean parents. Bed making comes before socializing.

Now my next rant. Friday night Taylor & I were at a party for his football team & a woman that I have the highest reguards for had a boy coming to pick up her 15 year old daughter to take to a party. It sat so wrong with me. I grew up in a home where there was no dating before you were 16. My brother got asked to a dance that was the night before his 16th birthday & my parents didn't let him go. I didn't turn 16 until I was a junior. I missed every dance of my sophmore year. It was hard. I remember one night going into talking to my dad & crying and saying how I was so mature so really what did an age have to do with it. He said something to me that I will never forget. He told me that if we cannot obey something as simple as waiting until we are 16 to go on a date, then how can we ever do anything greater that the Lord asks of us? He said because truly it'sour obediense to the simple things that make us who we are. That was so profound & I never once questioned him again. We can justify it all we want they were just driving to a party together or it was a group of couples going to a dance together. It is still a date. When you are one on one you are dating & that has to go with adults when they go to lunch with just another person of the opposite sex or long walks alone.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

SOS Carpet Cleaning Special Offer

This is the Gines family that started SOS Carpet Cleaning 10 years ago that Nate has the privilage to work with.

If you read my blog you are in for a SOS Carpet Cleaning special.
Beginning today until the 25th of November have your carpet, tile, or upholstery cleaned and receive $50 off. There is no minum amount. Plus put a link on your blog to the SOS blog and receive an additional $50 off. This is a great time to have your cleaning done while you are getting ready for the holidays and your holiday entertaining so take advantage of this great opportunity.
To set up a time please send a comment or email & I will contact you. Also on the blog there are the phone numbers to call & book your appointments & be sure to tell them you are booking from Leah's blog.

There is one more great way for you to earn. SOS works off of referrals. For any referral you give you will receive 10% commission of that job. That's great for you stay at home moms.

Remember this $50 off is good for now until the 25th. The $50 off for linking SOS blog to yours is good for any time & the referral program never expires.
There is nothing like clean tile grout, carpet, & furniture.

Monday, November 3, 2008

For the freedom of speech & the right to believe what we know is right

Jim Neugent is a coach in Childress, Texas.
Jim writes:
My name is Jim Neugent. I wrote to ABC (on-line) concerning a program called 'THE PRACTICE.' In last night's episode, one of the lawyer's mothers decided she is gay and wanted her son to go to court and help her get a marriage license so she could marry her ' partner. ' I sent the following letter to ABC yesterday and really did not expect a reply, but I did get one..
My original message was:
ABC is obsessed with the subject of homosexuality. I will no longer watch any of your attempts to convince the world that homosexuality is OK. 'THE PRACTICE' can be a fairly good show, but last night's program was so typical of your agenda. You picked the 'dufus' of the office to be the one who was against the idea of his mother being gay, and made him look like a whiner because he had convictions. This type of mentality calls people like me a 'gay basher.' Read the first chapter of Romans (that's in the Bible) and see what the apostle Paul had to say about it.... He, God and Jesus were all 'gay bashers' . What if she'd fallen in love with her cocker spaniel? Is that an alternative life style? (By the way, the Bible speaks against that, too.) --Jim Neugent
Here is ABC ' s reply from the ABC on-line webmaster:
How about getting your nose out of the Bible (which is ONLY a book of stories compiled by MANY different writers hundreds of years ago) and read the declaration of independence (what our nation is built on), where it says 'All Men are Created equal,' and try treating them that way for a change! Or better yet, try thinking for yourself and stop using an archaic book of stories as your lame crutch for your existence. You are in the minority in this country, and your boycott will not affect us at ABC or our freedom of statement. Jim Neugent ' s second response ! to ABC:
Thanks for your reply. From your harsh reply, evidently I hit a nerve. I will share it with all with whom I come in contact. Hopefully, the Arkansas Democrat Newspaper will include it in one of their columns and I will be praying for you. - -Jim Neugent- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Note: Wouldn't Satan just love it if people stopped using the Bible for a crutch? Please resend this to everyone in your mailbox. -- Thanks, Jim Neugent

I wonder if the person from ABC considered how many people would read this e-mail! This is one we should definitely pass on.

This is who I am

For those who don't know yes I am Bi-Polar. When we moved into this ward I told Nate I didn't want anyone to know. I was diagnosed 4 & 1/2 years ago. I had a suicide attempt & spent 2 weeks in the psyc unti at LDS Hospital. When I came home I decided that I couldn't change this trial in my life but I could change m outlook on it. With that attitude I made my mind up to be very open & try to help others. That back fired a great deal. I lost almost every friend I had. I think that they were scared of what it all ment. To me it was hurtful. Here we had been friends for all this time & I had this illness during our friendship I just didn't have the label. For 3 years I continued being open about it because I strongly believed that there was good I could do. Just over 3 years had passed & I got a phone call one morning from a paniced mom whose daughter had just been diagnosed. As I listened to her talk I cried & could feel all over her pain but I was so worried for her daughter. This mom need council on what she could do. I simply told her I didn't know but Nate would so he spent the next 2 hours on the phone with her. I think about that phone call a lot. For all the ridicule & pain I went through loosing friendships, it was all worth it to help one suffering mother.
Bi-Polar is a very scary word & it is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Bi-Polar is also manageable. I still have days that are very rough. For the most part my medications & therapy work very well.
You are probablly wondering why I would just write about this. This topic has come up quite a bit lately. I have a sister that believes it is all made up. I promise you that it isn't made up. Mental illness is as real as you & I. There is such a stigma on what people with mental illness are like & yes some are that way but it is because they choose they not to follow their Dr's care plan. At the same time, don't baby someone with mental illness because the will take full advantage of you. Just treat all of us like any other normal person.
I guess my biggest motive for blogging about this today is to let you know about my illness & that if you know someone I am always happy to talk. If you know someone & they won't get help there is an amazing organsation called NAMI. Contact them & get there free professional help. Please know that you can talk to me about anything. Please don't judge me because I cannot control what trials the Lord has given me all I can choose is making the best out of the situation.
My name is Leah, I am Bi-Polar

Saturday, November 1, 2008

All good things must come to an end

All good things must come to an end but it is so hard to see them go. It was a very emotional day for me today having football season being officially over. Since the 26th of July we have spent 5 days a week at either practice or games. Your teams become a family & you build lasting memories. Plus we spent a session at the Univerisity of Utah doing their football camp which I highly recommend. The boys are already counting down the weeks until next season starts. They didn't have winning seasons but they had seasons of great growth & they became better players & leaders. So until next year they will take this opportunity to explore other things. After all they are only 9 & 8 years old & there is a whole world to explore.