Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Down By The Riverside...

The boys are camping tonight, down by the river! Here is a short video of their site and the cool camp oven they made! If you listen carefully to what the kids are saying, you will see why I don't have many pictures of the older boys
on the blog!!! They aren't too cooperative, but at least I was able to even get this video! I hope the bears don't bother them while they are camping ;)

Morning In The Reading Room

Our little room off the dining room- the " playroom"- is really more of a reading room. This is what you will see there on an average morning:

Happy thoughts from this morning's picture books:

"So don't you feel blue. Don't get down in the dumps. You're lucky you don't have a Borfin that shlumps."

- from Dr. Seuss' Did I ever Tell You How Lucky You Are

"They're not what I wished for. When women are young they want curly-haired daughters and raven-haired sons. In this vale of tears we must take what we're sent, feathery, leathery, lovely, or bent."

-from Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymous Bosch by Nancy Willard

"Paradise lost is sometimes heaven found." -from Hey Al by Arthur Yorkins

Watching Daddy

Tommy and Anna were climbing on the gate, watching Travis mow the strip along the road:

Be Our Guest

If you stay at the Smithdeals', you really feel at home. Here is our nephew, Alex, who cheerfully offered to help milk the cow!

Emily' Pinata

Emily made a neat pinata for her birthday party. It's going to take a lot to fill it up!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Abundant Harvest

The garden is coming along!!!! Here are some Sugar Beets and several types of lettuce!

Friday, June 26, 2009

John Paul Flips Out

John Paul and Ben learned how to do back flips this week!!!! Here is a video of John Paul doing his flip. A special thanks to the Booths (our neighbors) for letting us come to their wonderful pool!

Frontier Days

Here is a peek into a new journal I started today. I guess you could enlarge the image to read the pages. The third picture is a beautiful blessing I copied from a hanging on the wall in the German farm of the Frontier Culture museum. This is the place where Will worked as a blacksmith (first picture-taken a year or two ago)and John Paul worked on the American Farm. It is tuly a wonderful place. I am sure many pictures will follow as we go throughout the year. Thanks, Mom, for the family pass :) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For Goodness Snakes!

Travis was up to his snake charming, again! Too bad it wasn't a rattlesnake this time. Actually, I don't need any more of those in the freezer...... (The kids are all wearing their new shirts from church school. They had a wonderful time!)

Make Hay While The Sun Shines

Getting ready for winter with a new cow! I hope this makes Penny happy :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Days

Aaaaahhhh....once again I am remiss in my blogging. Thought I would update on what the Smithdeals of VA have been up to. Here's the run down:

Will- just got a job at Jake's convenience/ Subway-making sandwiches and helping around the store. Will milks the cow each evening with either Travis or me. It makes for some nice conversations! When Will is not working at the store, he is either working on his dirt bike, building something, playing his x-box, or looking up things on the computer(like what will happen if one of the blades falls out of a jet engine)-the computer really is amazing!!!

JohnPaul-Getting ready for high school by finishing up his Algebra book(he's going to the local highschool in the Fall-his choice). John Paul milks the cow in the morning and is learning the fine art of waking up early....He likes to come to the kids' baseball games and is often spotted playing baseball himself outside with the other kids. He spends a lot of time in the green chair in the playroom(really the reading room) reading.

Ben-also finishing up some math work .Does just about everything-reads, plays outside, loves the computer, does the laundry and cleans the kitchen...still searching and adding to his ever-growing cool collection in his room. Ben is having his final baseball tournament this week. He has been having a blast with his friends-especially at the pig roast. Should I mention that he and his sister and friends stayed up all night after the pig roast? Then he had his big tournament game the next day. I was waiting to hammer in the lesson of how staying up all night makes you a mess the next day, but he played the best game ever...then came home and slept for a LONG time!

Emily-is miss social butterfly. She has been getting together with a lot of her friends this summer. She is blessed to have so many wonderful friends. Emily is a huge help with the little ones. She has also been up to quite a few projects this summer, including: making a playhouse/theater in the hay barn, knitting, making and caring for a flower garden(thanks, Grandma!)

Oliver-becoming a great swimmer in the river and our neighbor's pool. Our neighbors are so kind to let us use their wonderful pool and nature trails as we please. Oliver spends a lot of time drawing. He is really enjoying the book, The Tale Of Desperaux, and has enjoyed his first spend the night friends.

Sam-terrific baseball player. Is just finishing up the year with his final tournament. Sam is great with the little ones, too. He is often on "Anna duty." Sam loves soldiers and playing outside.

MaryMargaret-loves going to her brothers' baseball games and playing with friends. Mary Margaret also loves to draw and read books with Mom. This morning we made muffins andread lots of books-including one about Teddy Roosevelt when he was young-fascinating book! Mary Margaret loves to play with Anna and Tommy. She calls Tommy her "best twin."

Tommy-another great baseball player! Tommy loves the kittens... and of course, playing outside. He is outside just about every waking moment. Tommy still naps for a couple hours a day. He tries really hard to keep up with the big kids!

Anna-nurse, nurse, nurse!!! Well, that's OK, too. She does love to play with her siblings and the animals. Anna helped make muffins this morning, too! She is a real Daddy's girl and her vocabulary is expanding all the time!

Well, this has probably sounded a lot like a Christmas letter to many folks. But I know I will enjoy looking at this in a couple years from now and see what we were doing. Children grow so fast, you think you will remember forever what they were doing, but it's gone too fast. God bless you all , and thanks for visiting. (((Hugs)))

Monday, June 8, 2009

Late Night Summer Fun-School's Out!!!

Will had his friend, Bradley, over to spend the night last night. They stayed up until 2:00 AM building a tree house(adjacent to the other tree house Will built a couple years back). They were planning to sleep in it, but they ran out of wood :(. They had fun building ,though, and they made a lot of progress considering they didn't start until it was getting dark outside(around 8:30). I know you can't really see much in the video, but I thought it would be fun to include it anyway.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's The Fairest Of Them All?

Emily had some friends over and they had a dress-up party! For the grand finale the girls put on a "beauty contest." They are all beautiful-inside and out!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Through The Looking Glass" ~What Anna Sees

I saw Anna looking intently out the dining room window. She stayed this way for about twenty minutes. Then I thought it would be fun to show what Anna sees "through the looking glass."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mr. Luster Comes To Tea

This is our neighbor and dear friend, Mr Luster. The kids enjoy when he comes to call, as it usually always involves tea and cookies of some kind. Emily was knitting while we drank tea. She made a little washcloth for Anna to use in the bath. It is very sweet. On the wall behind Tommy and Mr. Luster is the painting of a barn Will did when he was twelve.(This picture is a little blurry-my camera is not working so well?)

We had our homeschooling awards ceremony tonight at church. It was so great-so many children and they were all so proud. The Dads handed out awards to their own children-some serious (helpful big brother award, superior math student) and some funny(most likely to disappear without a trace during the day-ha, ha!). It really was fun. I'm so frustrated that I didn't bring the camera!!!

A smile from Zachary

Hi Eileen! I am not trying to take over your blog but I wanted to share this picture of Zachary. He is such a happy little guy! Have a great day!

Zachary's Baptism

Hi Eileen! I am going to post some pictures of Zachary- they are so precious! This is Erin, Eileen's sister, to any readers of this blog. First, I wanted to say that we had such a wonderful visit with my family! My mother came after Zachary's birth and was the only person who met our dear little boy. So, Mike and I had so much fun introducing Zachary to his Grandpa, aunts, uncles and cousins!
We decided to have Zachary baptized at St. Francis in Staunton, Virginia in front of family and friends. My mother-in-law flew down from Connecticut which was really nice. The baptism was so special and the gathering afterwards at Eileen and Travis' house was lovely. The house looked so nice and the food was delicious! Most of all, it was fun being with everyone! Thank you everyone for this special day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thank you, Mary Ann!

These beautiful flowers are from my sister's mother-in-law, Mary Ann. They are stunning! I missed it on my blog, but Mary Ann was here for my nephew, Zachary's, baptism. It was a beautiful day~the baptism, the weather, the celebration(which took place at our home), ....and best of all, Travis and I are the lucky God parents of Zachary. He is a darling baby. I need to get a picture of him on my blog! My camera was not working the weekend they were here :(. I guess if I were more computer savy, I could get one on. Better yet, maybe Erin, Zachary's momma, will be a guest blogger for me....

Reading With Dad

There are always so many wonderful moments to capture...I can't resist!! Here is a nice one of Travis reading to Mary Margaret and Tommy.

Welcome To the Smithdeal Family Nature Museum!

I found this cool piece of furniture(?) at the local thrift store for a couple dollars. I guess it used to be used as a mailbox of sorts in a church office. We turned it into our Nature museum. Tommy especially loves it. I am sure we will be busy this summer filling it up!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our New Kitten~May

Last June, We discovered April; this June, we discovered May!!! May is Crispin's newest kitten. Isn't she darling?(April is the kitten Crispin had last year.)