November 30, 2012

The Curious Savage

This is my one theatrical regret.  The one show I wish I could have been in.  This show just grabbed my heart like none other, and I really don't know why!  We did this show my junior year of college and, since I wasn't cast in it, Mr. K asked me to be assistant director.  I later learned this meant I just did a little of everything and made sure stuff was done and ready on time!  (A role I was born for, right?!?!?)  Anyway, I was at every rehearsal...and at every rehearsal-without fail-I cried.  This plot and the dialogue just got my heart every time.  (Not to mention the fact that the cast was stellar!!!)

I am bringing this up because my Alma Mater opened this show this week and Kevin and I are going tonight to see it.  Now, if you know me, you know that I tear up just walking through the doors of a theatre (thank you, Quarton gene pool), but I know tonight there will be a few extra tears completely unrelated to the show...well...maybe not completely.

When we did this show it was in the spring.  It was the spring before Tim and Amber were to be married.  Now, Amber pretty much stole the whole show and pretty much all she ever said was, "I hate everything in the world!"  But, man, her delivery was spot on every time!  However, I am not sure that Tim ever got to see her amazing performance.  He got a bad sinus infection and was just feeling horrible, so I think, though I may be wrong, that he missed the performances because he was just too sick to be able to make it out.  That might not mean much to you, but, just a few short months later an aneurysm took Tim's life.  In a matter of a few short months he went from being engaged to the love of his life to worshipping at the feet of his Creator.  It happened so suddenly and out of the blue.  None of us were prepared.  Luckily, Tim was! 

Anyway, I guess I just want to say, life is short.  Let people know you love them.  And, just because Lauren Allen will laugh and think it's cheesy, (and you'll have to go see the show to understand this line) "Take an umbrella, it's raining!"

November 27, 2012

Light 'Em Up!!!

We are going to try something new this year....I got it from this website.  We aren't doing it quite as all out as they do, because I feel like it's a little too late to plan for that, but we are going to try to do more this Christmas here in our little section of the community.

Our goal is to do one thing each week for others or that can be given to others.  We'll mainly be focusing on the people in our neighborhood.  We have chosen Friday as the day to get things made, etc. each week.  This day works best for us because we're on Christmas break from our Friday home school classes.  We don't do other school on Fridays, so for the month of December we have all day on Fridays to focus on these activities.  We haven't really had time, yet to sit down and iron out just what activities we would like to do, but some we've discussed are: cookies for the mail man, small Christmas gifts that somehow tell the true story of Christmas for the family across the street, some kind of activity we do with the children across the street, prayer walking the neighborhood.  Again, we still have some refining to do, but I am excited...OK, somewhat excited.  This is so out of my comfort zone!  I don't like meeting new people and I don't like talking to people I don't know, so this is going to be tough for me!!!  That's really why I am putting this out there...I need the accountability of knowing you're all out there expecting to hear how things went!  Thanks for pushing me to get out of my box.

I'll post some pics, etc as we do these projects.  If any of you do this type of things take pics and let us know!  I am hoping that this will spark a new passion for our family and we will continue this throughout the year!

November 24, 2012

Adoption Fundraiser

OK, before you go thinking, "Wait, what?  Adoption?  When did the McSmiths decide to adopt?" (And Bryan Taylor, before you start saying, "I told you so!")....this fundraiser is not for me, but for some sweet friends here in Hannibal.  They have been on this adoption journey for quite awhile and, Lord willing, it will be ending in Spring/Summer 2013!!!! 

This is the Humiston family!!!  (Jennifer, Jeremy, Grace, Faith, and Titus).  They will be adding little David to their family soon!  This is one of the coolest, closest, and sweetest families I know and I am so honored to share this cool opportunity for you to help them raise funds for their adoption and honor David's birthday at the same time!  Here is a little note from Jennifer:

I’m so excited to introduce you to our clan and share with you about this crazy journey God has our family on called adoption. We began dreaming of adopting when we first go married in 2004. We have three biological children Grace, 6 years, Faith, 5 years, and Titus, almost 3 years. After a complicated pregnancy and emergency c-section resulting in the birth of our son we knew it was time to adopt. Our heart for the orphan couldn't wait any longer. We hit some bumps along the way, but in April of 2012 I traveled to West Africa on a mission trip. While there I made connections with a local orphanage. In June we began paperwork to adopt from the orphanage I had visited. We can't wait to bring home our sweet little guy, David. 
On November 24th David will turn two years old. We are so glad this will be his last birthday without a forever family. Grace and Faith are the best of friends and Titus can't wait to meet his brother and already has a bunk bed to prove it. We are hoping to introduce David to our family in the Spring/Summer of 2013. We are currently completing paperwork and raising funds towards that goal.

If you’d like to know more specifics about the timeline of their adoption you can read about it on Jennifer’s blog here: Humiston Adoption
Maybe you are wondering why I’m sharing all of this on my blog. I’m glad you asked!

In honor of David’s birthday the Humiston family is doing a week long online fundraiser for their adoption. If you purchase any item in the following etsy shops during November 24-30th 100% of the purchase price (minus fees & shipping) will go straight to their adoption fund.

I know you have Christmas shopping to do and I thought maybe you would like to buy something and help bring little David home too! There's lots of good stuff!!! New items will be added throughout the week.

To help simply click on the links below and purchase an item between now and November 30th.

If you would like a card with David’s picture and “The purchase of this item helped to bring David home to his forever family.” to include with your gift simply e-mail Jennifer at and she will be happy to send you one.

Thanks for considering helping out the Humiston’s.

November 21, 2012

It's Time for More Randomness!

I haven't written just a totally random post in awhile, so I thought I would write one now!  I know, you can barely contain your excitement!

--First, can't wait until Sat!!!  I get to unveil a cool new fundraiser for some friends raising money for their adoption.  Their little guy's birthday is Sat (I think he'll be 2), so they are starting their fundraiser that day.  You're gonna love it and you won't want to miss it, so make sure you come back on Nov. 24!!!!

--Some friends and I were chatting a few weeks ago about Christmas and traditions we've had a while and some we would like to start.  I shared that I would love for Christmas to become a time where we don't really get gifts for each other, they are all just for others, family members and those in need alike.  One friend pointed out that getting each other gifts (mainly getting our children gifts) isn't a bad thing and the I shouldn't feel that we have to cut that out entirely. (This, of course, is the same thing my husband has been telling me for about a year now!) As I got to thinking, I knew she was right...and I realized that not giving presents wasn't really what I was wanting.  My dream for Christmas would be that it's a time when we focus on others, instead of ourselves.  When my kids think Christmas, I no longer want their first thought to be, "OOh, we're going to get presents!  I'd really like..."  I want their thought to be "Ooh, do we have the gift catalogue, yet, so we can pick out some gifts for those kids?"  I don't really want to NOT buy presents for my kids, I just want, for our whole family, to look at Christmas a really special time to be able to share our blessings with others....a time to really think of others first!  I know this doesn't come naturally (thanks, human nature) and they won't ever become that way if they don't see it modeled (again, being a parent is ROUGH!)  Lord, help Kevin and I to have selfless hearts that desire to do whatever it takes to share You with others.  Lord, let this be something our children see and desire to emulate!

--For Christmas this year, we've decided to make or buy all of our gifts from organizations that use the profits to help the poor, the orphan, and the widow. I really thought this would be something that I would end up hating and being legalistic about, but I have really enjoyed it, so far.  We haven't really made the gifts, yet, but sitting down and looking at different options and trying to narrow down what we wanted to get/make has been really fun.  Hopefully our family members enjoy their gifts!

--On that note, the theme for the gifts for one side of the family is "The Wild West", anyone has suggestions for things we can make to go with that theme for kids ages 3-6 and for adults would be more than welcome!  (Hazelwood family members, just ignore any helpful ideas you see here so you can pretend you don't know what our gifts might be!)

--Our eucharisteo wall is outgrowing the wall space!  Oh, how this warms my heart!  I know his motives are probably not pure, but I love it when Ethan comes running out of his room just a little past bedtime and, with a HUGE grin on his face, says, "Mommy!  I have a eucharisteo!"  I know deep down he's really just wanting to delay bedtime, but every time he actually has something to say, so I know he's spent some time thinking about it!  Lord, please help this month of focusing on your grace and gifts to soften our hearts and lead us to live a truly thankful life.  Let the eucharisteo come spilling out as a result of the overwhelming gratitude in our hearts.

--I also love that Sophie's new obsession each morning is to wake up, run to the door, throw it open, and check for snow.  She wants it to snow so badly!  She has learned how to check the weather on the tab, so when she realizes there's no snow on the ground, she check the weather report to see when it might be coming!  Oh, if only I lived as excited about Christ's return and life in Heaven as she does in anticipation of snow.  Lord, teach me!  Thank you for using my kids to teach me what I need to be doing!  What a blessing straight from Your hand are these two amazing kids!

--I rode a bike today.  That may seem small to you, but it's huge to this girl!

--I love Christmas music and am so glad I can unashamedly play it now! (Though, I must admit, I never took the Christmas CD's out of my car from last Christmas!)

--I have started the very beginnings of study for the James devotionals I am attempting to write.  I was really not looking forward to this at all.  I do not enjoy studying or research.  Quite frankly, I would much rather someone else do all the work and I just reap the benefits.  Lazy, I know!  But, God is already at work because I have really enjoyed the study I have done so far.  I really enjoyed the Beth Moore study on James that I did and look forward to learning even more.  Lord, thank you for answering prayers and placing a desire in my heart to know and learn more about You from Your Word! 

November 13, 2012

Just a Wife (and Mom) of Pretty Good Character

OK, perhaps that title should more accurately be "A Wife (and Mom) of Pretty Questionable Character", but since the conference I just participated in had the other title, I thought I would upgrade myself for the night!  ;)  Anyway, here's a glimpse into my sub-par life and how God is using that to grow me!  (Don't worry, I am not berating myself, just having a little fun with my less than stellar parental/wifely days!)

--I wear sweat pants everyday.  And I mean  Sometimes even in the summer.  My poor husband.  So thankful he loves me anyway!  I did wear jeans one day last least part of the day...perhaps I should try to step it up a little here!  I have an awesome husband who deserves so much more! 
--By the time dinnertime comes!  It is a real struggle for me to desire to have a meal at the dining room table versus in front on the TV while sitting on my comfy couch!  For one, I've been sitting at the dining room table most of the day doing school.  Secondly, I've already heard pretty much any and all stories that both kids have to share on any given day.  Plus, I was there for every moment of their day, so there's really no need to ask any questions about it.  Don't get me wrong, I love staying home and homeschooling, but for me, this is one of the areas where I really have to work on my attitude!  I must remember that Kevin wasn't with us all day and he hasn't heard the stories or how their day went.
--And if you think I've checked out by dinner, just imagine bedtime!  I am so blessed and thankful to have a husband who looks forward to his fun and unique-to-each-child bedtime routines (that's why I can sit here right now and type out this blog.)  And the kids look forward to it, too.  It's just good for all involved!  I LIVE FOR BEDTIME!!!! (and those few quiet moments to myself in in a day!)
--I really struggle to keep up with the cleaning and laundry, etc.  I feel terrible because I am home all day and I feel like this just shouldn't be this difficult, but nothing I try seems to work.  The house just always feels chaotic and messy.  Oh, how I pray that some day God will help me work all this out!

But, you know, as I sit here typing this, in the midst of the crazy mess that I am, I cannot help but be overwhelmed with gratitude.  Each day the Lord continues to pour His grace on me.  Each day He gives me one more day with my amazing gift of a husband.  Each day I am blessed with more time to love on and cherish my sweet children.  Each day He shows me more of Himself, even though I know I still have a long way to go to be the servant I need to be.  Each day I desire to be more like Him and desire for my children and family to be more like Him.  What a blessing!  What a gift!  What a reason to get up and keep going each day.  I may not be perfect, my house may not be perfect, my family may not be perfect, but my God is, and I feel honored to get to know more about Him each day.  I love being able to see him in all things, little and big, each day.  Thank You, Lord!

November 08, 2012

James: Phase 1

I just finished Beth Moore's Bible Study on the book of James.  Uuuummmmmmm.........WOW!  It was so good and I was not ready for it to end!  During our last class I really felt like the next thing our family needed to memorize, as a family, is the book of James.  So much of it refers back to things stated in The Sermon on the Mount (which Sophie and I are memorizing now), so I thought it would be a good follow-up.  Also, I feel like learning these verses will also challenge, encourage, and teach all of us what it truly means to live out our faith.  I also felt like this was something we really could use, not only as memorization, but also as our family devotions.  Kevin agreed that could be very helpful, so I got started on the project. 

So far, only "Phase 1" (though I have no idea how many "phases" there are) is done, but I am anxious to get to work on the rest, as well.  What is Phase 1, you ask? Well, I have made the cards we will use to memorize the book.  It will take a full 52 weeks, but that's learning (usually) only 2-3 verses a week.  My next "phase" is to come up with something practical/hands on that goes with each set of verses we will do each week.  Yep, that's right, we'll basically be doing 52 service projects next year...OK, they may not all be service projects...some may be things we do internally to prepare our hearts or lives, some may just be things we do in our home, but I am thinking there will be several service projects (both within our community and beyond our town, as well).  If you know me, the most challenging part of that is doing things within my community!  For some reason, it's so much harder for me to do ministry with/for those I know I will be seeing on a daily basis.  Anyway, then "Phase 3" will be Kevin and I sitting down and digging into James.  Of course, this is a little unfair because I just finished the James study, but I'm willing to share my information so he doesn't have to do all the work.  ;)  There may be more phases later, but so far that is where I feel we've been led (and Kevin didn't argue so I assume that means he's on board!) 

Now, I know that things I create aren't nearly as in depth as anything Beth Moore or, well, anyone really, would put out...and when it comes to layout and design, I am not nearly as creative as everyone seems to think I am...but...I look forward to posting each "phase" here as I get them so that you can join us in our journey (OK, not really join us, but take a journey of your own!)  I won't be offended if you think this is the dumbest thing you've ever heard of and don't want to do it.  I won't be offended if you take some of what I have and change it to fit your family's need.  If you take on this challenge, I would love to hear how your family does it and how it goes!

So, here is "Phase 1":James Memory Verse Cards  I would suggest printing them out on card stock, hole punching one corner, then getting a metal ring or clip to hold them together.  But, feel free to use them however you wish!  I did my best to spell check, etc, but I am sure there are still some mistakes somewhere, because there always is!  Enjoy!