Monday, August 28, 2006

Gracie's Prayer

Dear Jesus,

Hi. It's Gracie. Jesus, thank you for all the stuff you make. Like chairs. I can't figure out how you do it, Jesus. And...oh, Jesus? I would like to hop on one foot with you. I know you're busy, but it would be fun. And Jesus, thank you for Kindergarten. Also, Emma and I really, really want to fly, Jesus. Can you make that happen? And maybe you can make Marty and Sophie fly too. That would be fun.

And Jesus? I lub you. I can't figure out how you made all the stuff. Thank you again for flowers, Jesus. I lub them, but I don't like weeds. They make my nose itch. And Jesus? to me in your heart. I lub you...

In Jesus' name, AAAAAA-men.

(Note from me: I tried to remember all of the quirky things in Gracie's prayer last night. I know I'm forgetting a lot of it. Her little prayer just touched me! )

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pet Sagas at the Smith House :)

Our pets must be the strangest and most patient animals in the universe! First, there's Miss Sophie, who often enjoys rides in the "play" shopping cart or stroller. Sophie has worn many dress up clothes, often portraying "the baby" or "the grandma" or "the princess" in Emma and Grace's imaginary world. Sophie doesn't do much complaining...she kinda hangs with it! (I think she secretly loves all the attention.) Lately Sophie has been gaining a little too much weight. We think she's been dippin' into the other dogs' food, and we recently discovered that one of Emma's hobbies is sneaking Sophie bits of food under the table. Now, Miss Sophie is on a diet. :( We're worried she'll start to resemble a bowling ball. (Remember, this is the pug who ate up a tin of Christmas chocolate and ended up in the vet hospital overnight!) Already, everyone in the family has started calling her "Fat Piggy." Sophie doesn't care, as long as there's a warm lap to sit on.

Then, there's Marty, the new guy. Marty was at the pound in Riverside (a death sentence for many dogs) and was found by a rescue group who had him in a cage in front of Petco. Danielle and I were on one of our "we need another pet" rampages...the often tragic result of growing up in a house full of pets. We had been looking at the pound online, and we decided to check out Petco. Once we saw Marty's 1/2 pug tail, it was love at first sight! We brought him home and he fit in immediately, ripping around the house and snuggling on the bed. Grace named Marty after the Zebra in Madagascar. Whenever Grace says his name, she says it with a silly accent, kind of like "Mawwwty". A bit British, a bit southern, with a twist of New Jersey. That girl cracks me up!

Marty is half pug, half....something. We think it's chihuahua because of his overbite (see picture), but then again he can jump as high as any Jack Russel Terrier AND he looks like a fox. He also has the habit of sleeping on his back, wherever he is.

One problem is that Marty likes to chase Miss Priss. Miss Priss is SO over Marty. She hangs out in my sink most of the time, and when she cruises around the house, she uses all high surfaces to move from room to room. Any floor time means Miss Priss is scurrying, which only adds enthusiasm to the chase. The only dog who likes Miss Priss is Sophie, (Fat Piggy) who gazes adoringly at her and sits next to her, as long as the other dogs aren't looking. Sophie's got a reputation to protect with the other dogs.

Recently, Emma decided to hook Marty up to the shopping cart like a reindeer. (He actually reminded me of that dog in The Grinch cartoon...) She put Sophie in the cart and they toured the house. What an entourage!

Acer Dog, old and raspy, is spending a lot of time snoring and sleeping. The rest of time, he barks at people (or noises) at the door. He recently had to go on "Puggy Prozac". (That's what we call it, anyway.) He was getting so worked up and his breathing is so bad that he sounded like a dying beast. We're waiting to see if Puggy Prozac works.

Aren't we Smiths and our pets a fascinating bunch?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Kindergarten Rocks!

My gals were ready to go to Kindergarten. They were pumped. They were giddy. They were anxious. They were (sort of) nervous. But they were ready.

They were so ready that although they have afternoon kindergarten, both of them were up and dressed the first day at 7:30 (when I go to school.) Jeff took them on a walk with the dogs and they wore their backpacks even though kindergarten didn't start for another couple of hours.

Although it was my first day of school too (teaching), I was able to leave school to go to the first day. Jeff and I sat with all of the other parents as Mrs. Sehorn read "The Kissing Hand", a book about a little racoon going off to school for the first time. His mother kisses his hand, and he's able to put his hand on his cheek all day to remember his mother's kiss. All of the parents kissed their kindergarteners' hands, and the kindergarteners kissed our hands, and we left. Emma and Grace were ready. "See you!" they said, and turned back toward their class. Jeff and I walked out, both of us in shock and amazement that we've come this far. Our little ladies will never NOT be in school again, until they're grown up with jobs and kids of their own. I think it tripped us both out a bit!

It was an especially important day for Jeff. I think he savors every moment just a bit more since he missed so many milestones with Matt. Being a part time dad was always tough on Jeff, and now that Matt has moved out of state--and doesn't try to keep in touch...:( :( :( ---Jeff knows how fleeting the time is. I'm so happy to watch him being a daddy EVERY step of the way. He's in his element, and happiest when he's with "his three girls." And hopefully Matt will mature and leave the late teenage "I don't care about you" years behind enough to realize how much his dad adores him. (We all do...) That's my prayer for the future.

Embrace your family today. It goes by quickly!


Bishop: Home for Jenni's Wedding

There's something about growing up in a small town. It sticks with you, no matter where you go. Part of you is "small town" no matter how many freeways or Starbucks surround you. You never let it go.

We paid a visit to my little town at the beginning of August, taking the trailer on its most exciting (and long) adventure yet. It was my friend Jenni Smith's wedding. Jenni and I became friends in 7th grade, and have remained close ever since. She was married in the mountains near Bishop at Cardinal Lodge. Her wedding was in a little meadow with a stream running behind her, and the mountains towering over her. It was just beautiful, and I'm so happy for her!

Jeff and I and the girls camped in our most "mountainy" place yet...Creekside RV Park in Bishop. There was a little fishing pond at our campground, and Grandpa Tom and Grandma Patty came on our last night there so that Grandpa Tom could take the girls fishing. I think Grandpa Tom has been the first person to take every kid in the family fishing! The girls didn't catch anything, but they had a lot of fun and took it very seriously!

We ate a Schats twice! I never went there when I actually LIVED in Bishop...too touristy. But now, Jeff and I stood in line with all of the other crazy people, waiting for a taste of their delicious bread. We even brought some back for friends down here (although Emma and Grace gave some bread to the ducks at the park.)

Going "home' was so nostalgic! Around every bend lurks a memory. Jeff heard running commentary....there is where we found Buff dog, abandoned and sleeping in a tire. There is the little yellow house I always loved. There is where I ate lunch at the park in high school. There is my favorite bookstore (the little used one behind Vons...) There is where I learned to drive. There is my old bus stop...I remember a bush of wild roses that bloomed nearby. I remember the idiotic boys on the bus who loved to torture us. There is where I took dance lessons. There is the drug store my sister and I would walk to in order to buy stickers, gummy worms, and anything else our quarters would supply.

Jeff and I met in Bishop, long ago, and we laugh at all the silly things our teenage selves were once up to, working at Firehouse Grill, staying out past curfew (when I should have been studying for the SAT's!), walking back to school after lunch. We showed the girls the church where we got married, and they kept asking, "Do ALL people get married at that church? Why did Jenni get married outside?"

I remember my mom and dad driving me around all of their old hangouts in San Diego, and I felt the memories hanging in the air like perfume, imagining my dad pulling up in his loud hot rod to pick my mom up for a date. I was fascinated to see their old houses, their high school. The girls felt just the same about Jeff and me. Very cool!

Enjoy the pictures.


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