A mother understands what a child does not say. -Jewish proverb

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We're Back!

So, it has been quiet over here for a few weeks. Life has gotten crazy.

School started back up for me. I'm taking three classes and I have to read a novel a week for two of them so most of my 'free time' is spent doing that. Seriously, I even have to read during Juliana's feedings. No worries, I read out loud to her. What? You don't read Gulliver's Travels, Pamela, Roxana and Madame Bovary to your two month old? For shame! Just kidding. :)

I have also started a Beachbody Challenge. I am eating 5-6 mini meals a day, eating clean, doing TurboFire(love love love) and drinking chocolate Shakeology. I am loving Shakeology! It is like heaven in my mouth. For real. It makes me have tons of energy too which is a great thing these days! I lost four pounds in the first week of the challenge. I haven't taken measurements but I will post progress and results blogs along the way.

Juliana had her 2 month old check up this week. We found out she has Torticollis and Plagiocephly. I have to do stretches and more tummy time than usual with her. We were told to wait it out and we would evaluate in 2 months. I, however, in my googling ways, researched it and we have an appointment with a physical therapist in Birmingham in the middle of October. Brayden goes to speech once a week so add his therapy stuff to Juliana's therapy stuff and it is a lot! Poor Corinna is going to have major middle child syndrome with all the attention that big brother and little sister get so she is my shopping buddy on the weekends a lot. Plus I make sure that her meals and snacks and my mini meals are at the same time so we eat read, and  sing songs together.

So, that's basically where we are right now as a family. I'll try to blog some about the Beachbody Challenge and Juliana's Tort and Brayden's speech therapy as time allows.

Any specific things you would like to see? Leave in the comments below!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Free Printable College Football Subway Art

With college football season beginning this weekend, I decided to make a little something to share! Below you will find some printable subway art to decorate your home or to use during a football viewing party! Just right click and save. Enjoy!

Just right click and save! 

Just right click and save! 
Just right click and save!

I will be adding more teams later! Let me know if there are any teams you would like to see! These are best printed as a 10x10.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Doorbell Rang

 This is how it is in the Smith house this afternoon. Except there are no cookies, I'm still in my pajamas and it's the same kid every time. Yay!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Last


Last. She’s our last. When people ask if we are going to have any more children, I can finally say with assurance that she is the last. Our final baby. A year ago, I gave people the same answer but our God had better plans for us. She was a surprise but such a wonderful one.

My labor and delivery with her was my last. It didn’t go as expected. My last labor ended in my first c-section. I was scared to death. I wouldn’t hold her afterwards. I was shaking so badly. I didn’t want to drop my last baby.

I love all of my children equally but she’s special because she is last. I want to cherish every minute of her infancy. As I hear her grunt in the bassinet next to me, I smile. I know that I will one day miss those little grunts. Those dirty diapers. Those little crooked smiles.

She is our last.


Skinny Joes aka Clean Eating Sloppy Joes

I'm back with another recipe review! I took this recipe from Gracious Pantry as well. It is called Clean Eating Sloppy Joes over there but I like to call it Skinny Joes. I have learned to love Gracious Pantry in my quest to feed my family a cleaner diet. My husband, however, asked how I was making Sloppy Joes better for us and let's just say that he was less than thrilled to have ground turkey AGAIN!

I did exactly what Gracious Pantry said except I didn't have any ketchup so I just left that out. It was fine without it. I'm sure it would be even tastier with it. Their recipe also calls for red bell pepper and I had an orange one on hand. I'm sure the difference was not that huge. It was super easy to make and I didn't even miss the convenience of just opening the can of Manwich. However, I do love some Manwich but I'm sure it isn't very healthy.

The finished product
I served this on whole wheat buns which I know aren't clean but I'm trying to eat 80% clean. We also had chips. I'm sure sweet potato fries would have been a much better choice. Maybe one day. Baby steps. Overall, everyone enjoyed it. The kiddos enjoyed it and the hubby ate seconds even after he complained about it being turkey!

And can I just say that I had the most fun while cooking this. The girls were in the kitchen with me and we were listening to Lady Antebellum on Pandora. We heard Luke Bryan, Hunter Hayes, Blake Shelton and Eric Church. We sang and danced and had a good old time. Ok, maybe I just sang. But Corinna did dance. Juliana mainly looked at us like we were crazy.

As I stated, my husband is really getting tired of eating ground turkey. Well, he's not the only one, ladies! Any suggestions on other ways to eat clean?  I have tried cooking shrimp and I'm not a fan. He doesn't like tilapia. So, seafood is kind of out I guess. What is your favorite healthy meal?

Go visit the link up over at Thrive At Home! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Word of the Day Wednesday

Today's word of the day is: logorrhea. It sounds a lot like a medical term and really sounds like a disgusting one at that but it actually means excessive talkativeness.

Example: Her logorrhea annoys everyone!

I guess you could say that Ellen has logorrhea about logorrhea in this clip.

What is your favorite funny word?

Visit We Like to Learn as We Go for a fun link up party today!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Living the Love Languages

 Do you sometimes feel like just a maid or a nanny instead of a wife? Do you sometimes wonder if any of what you do is actual appreciated? Do you just need a hug? Do you wish your husband would actually acknowledge your birthdays or anniversary? If you answered yes to these questions,  you need to read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. 

I read this book many years ago and remembered it last week. I revisited the 5 Love Languages website and took the quiz. My love language is Words of Affirmation. Surprisingly, that is not the love language I speak the best but it is the one that I receive. I thought that my husband's love language was Acts of Service. But it was not, it was Physical Touch. I wasn't too shocked by this revelation but I really thought Acts of Service would have ranked higher because he is always as giving me "honey do lists". 

I got to thinking though. That maybe I should learn to speak my primary love language in order to receive it more. There was a new book released today called Speak Love. I am going to purchase it for my Kindle app and start reading it. I will post an update once I finish it. 

I encourage you to go take the quiz. Post your primary love language in the comments below! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

What Does Your Husband Do?

Oh, I cringe when I hear this question. "Why?", you might ask. "Does he have a bad job?" Nope, not at all. He is an environmental engineer. Please don't ask me to explain what he does because I can't tell you. Someone asked today and said, "Oh, that sounds fancy." It does sound fancy but in his explaining of what he does on somedays it is certainly not glamorous (I just sang the song to spell that!).  

For example, next month he is going to San Juan, Puerto Rico. That sounds nice right? He is going to audit the rainforest. Yep, you read that right. Audit the rainforest. Umm...yeah, how does one audit the rainforest? Don't ask me. He tried to explain it to me; it has something to do with some trees needing cut down because the vegetation gets too dense and messes up the ecosystem. When he initially said he was auditing the rainforest, I was massively confused. I thought of monkeys, snakes, and lizards when he said it. But that didn't make sense because well, you can't tell animals what to do. I mean, you can't just say, "Hey, monkey, you are relieving yourself way to close to this stream here, you need to find a new spot." Because that would be a lot like this lady's  mindset and a man with a degree in Chemical Engineering is way smarter that that! 

So, I don't understand my husband's job that well but I am so blessed that he has it! Even when he claims that he is always right because apparently Environmental Engineers are always right. 

How about you? Do you have a spouse with a confusing job? Let's hear it! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

15 Random Facts about Me

As I was checking out blogs on Fellowship Friday over on Christian Mommy Bloggers, I found a fantastic idea over on Joyful Thrifty Home's blog. She posted 15 random facts about herself. I decided that was a great idea! So here goes:

1) My maiden name and my last name are the same. I'm technically supposed to be Amy Smith Smith. Alas, I am not, I kept my middle name. I'm a Southern woman and we appreciate a good monogrammed shirt or hat more than anyone and let's just admit that becoming Amy Smith Smith would just not be good for that. Right?!?

2) I love Here Comes Honey Boo Boo! Don't judge me.

Courtesy of Bitterstar88 on Tumblr

3) I love doing outdoorsy things like kayaking, hiking, camping, etc. but we don't do them near enough.

4) I started a Fantasy Football league this year so I wouldn't be a football widow.

5) I'm an Alabama fan but love Auburn's colors. That's basically a crime here in Alabama.

6) On another note, I'm an Alabama fan but don't desire to wear anything houndstooth this football season. Again, a crime.

7) I want to learn to sew.

8) I also want to learn to knit.

9) We put our one year old in pageants and I would do one every weekend if money and time allowed.

10) I follow Lucy Eades and Go Team Hale on Youtube and check obsessively.

11) I feel guilty for not breastfeeding our newbie.

12) I spent a whole summer in New Orleans doing mission work when I was in college.

13) I met my  husband on eHarmony but we tell most people it was through a mutual friend. Guess the secrets out.

14) My husband broke up with me to propose to me. (That might be an interesting blog post!)

15) My soft spot closed too soon and I had to have surgery to correct it at 3 months old.

Comment below with one random fact about yourself!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Small

Small. A word that means something is little can be so big. My 3 year old is speech delayed. But when I compare him to other kids with special needs, his problems seem so small. I mean he can feed himself. He is potty training. He can walk. He can sit up. His problems are so small.

His accomplishments are big to me even if they are small things. He took himself to the potty today. That is a small thing for most three year olds but here. It is big! He is asking for drinks specifically juice when a year ago, he could only sign "more" and point. Today, we did a puzzle together and he sat for over 30 minutes to work on it. A year ago, our goal was 10 minutes of structured play time for every hour. He is making progress. I celebrate the small things with him and with all of my kids!

I don't post a lot about this on my personal Facebook page nor do any of my Facebook friends know about this blog. Why? Because I  am scared what they will think about me. Will they make me feel small with their comments? I once posted that my breastfed baby wasn't gaining enough and people's comments cut to the core. People in my family made me feel like I was starving my baby. I felt small.

This blog is small. I am trying to build my readership. If no one reads it, will it really matter in the grand scheme of things? Will my world come tumbling down? Nope. Sometimes, it just feels good to get it all out. If I can encourage someone in the process, I have succeeded.

Join the fun over at Five Minute Fridays

Free Google Play apps for Speech Therapy-and a giveaway!

When our three year old turned two, it was apparent that he was speech delayed. While his peers asked for a cracker or milk, he simply pointed and grunted. It was heartbreaking to realize that my child was delayed and we all coped in different ways but that's another post for another day.

He is now in therapy and only has articulation issues. It has been a long and sometimes painful road but we are better because of it.

When he received a Nexus 7 as a Christmas gift, I began searching for apps that I felt would be helpful to us. I found some free ones that have helped us tremendously. Some of our faves include:

1) ABC Toddler

This app allows you to click on each letter and a friendly voice will say a word that starts with that letter. It is great because we can focus on those sounds that he is having a hard time with currently. The sounds he struggles with now are b, p, d, t, s, and f. I'm excited about this app because it has kept him entertained and he is learning.

2) Toddler Food
This app is fantastic. As you can see, there is a smiley face at the top and the toddler can pick whatever food he wants to feed him. As the toddler picks one, the dude says things like "MMM, banana". There can also be a focus on what type of food to feed the face as you work with your kid. "Let's give the face a fruit. Which one is a fruit? Oh, an apple. An apple is a fruit." Great app and it has kept Brayden and I entertained.

3) Lego Duplo Peekaboo
 This app is so cute and I was very impressed with the quality of it as it is a free app. The little animals hide behind different Lego configurations and once the child has found them all a new Lego creation is made. My 1 year old girl and 3 year old boy have had great fun with this one. I personally like it because I can talk about the pictures with them and use lots of directional words like up, down, beside, behind and in front of.

Feel free to share any of your favorite apps for your toddlers below.

Please remember to enter the giveaway for a FREE Melissa and Doug sound puzzle.

To enter:
1) Subscribe to my blog via the new widget!
2) Go like my Facebook page- The Kidsmiths.
3)Comment on this blog.

The contest ends Sunday and I will be mailing the prize out via Priority Mail on Monday

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Prepping for Homeschool Preschool

The beginning of every school year is rough on me. I have often felt like my degree is going to waste as I sit at home with my children. For those of you who don't know me, my degree is in Elementary Education. Is my degree wasted? Not so much.

As our 3 year old should be entering a K3 program somewhere, I began researching homeschool options for him. I found a wonderful program that is mostly free. If you want to purchase the curriculum in the whole, that is an option as well. For only $14 dollars!! Holla!!

The program is called God's Little Explorers and it is a 26 week program. There is a letter a week and they don't go in order. I think it will work well for us because there is a Bible time component that will be easy to involve the babies in plus it will be easy to add in any of his Awana work with it. I particularly like the idea of homeschooling him because he is speech delayed and it might be less frustrating for all of us at this point.

If you want to view the curriculum, please go visit here http://www.motherhoodonadime.com/kids/gods-little-explorer-preschool-curriculum/.

The teacher in me wants to expand on this though. The first week theme is "X marks the Spot." I plan on visiting the library with the kids to find some books that fit this theme. We will also have some pretend play when we dress up like pirates and we will do some crafts that are pirate themed.
One of the books I plan to use is this one:

I also plan on letting him play with a toy pirate ship that we already own during his bath time.

I will also pull some extra activities from here:

I will update you all when we begin. I plan on starting the first week of September. 

As promised: 
I have an awesome surprise for you! A GIVEAWAY!

The prize is an awesome Melissa and Doug United States sound puzzle. 

To enter: 
You must 
1) Subscribe to my blog. 
2) Like my Facebook page: The KidSmiths
3) Leave any kind of homeschool suggestion or any pirate activity that would work for our first week down below in the comments.

I will pick a winner on Sunday night! 

Stay tuned for updates on all of the Kidsmiths! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Clean Eating Danish Meatballs

Last night, I made Clean Eating Danish Meatballs from The Gracious Pantry. The recipe can be found here:

Clean Eating Danish Meatballs

I have heard of Swedish Meatballs but not Danish ones. They really weren't a lot different from what I have had before so if anyone knows the difference, please let me know below.

Anyway, they were super easy to make.

First, I made the meatballs.

They totally look disgusting here with all of the gunk around them. That gunk stuck to the foil though, so it was all good in the neighborhood. 

The recipe says to put the meatballs on parchment paper but I didn't have any. If anyone has tried or tries the recipe and uses it, you can let us all know if they cook any differently. 

Once the meatballs were finished, I started on the sauce. 

The sauce was super easy to make. I didn't really measure anything out. I just 'eyeballed' it as Rachel Ray would say. 

I served it with egg noodles. Yep, egg noodles are not clean but I couldn't find any clean pasta at Walmart. I was in the local Piggly Wiggly today and they had brown rice pasta for a dollar a bag. I googled "is brown rice pasta clean?"  and to my surprise, it is! I will be stocking up on that stuff for when I make this again. 

Here's the finished product: 

This stuff was so good! My super picky kids ate it. My hubby ate seconds! That is the ultimate compliment to me and a sure sign that it would be ok to make again. And get this, he didn't even realize that they were not beef. I told him later that they were turkey and he said, "They were?" 

I love, love, loved this recipe and we will definitely be having it again. In fact, I am toying with the idea of freezing this. I will let you all know if I do. 

Tomorrow, I will be posting about my plans to start preschool homeschool with our 3 year old and the program I plan to use. You will want to visit again because I may have a little surprise in store for you. Like something free. And awesome. 

Also, go visit the Time Warp wife!

We're back..and better(I hope)!

Last time, I updated we were doing eMeals. The subscription expired and while we loved the service, we chose not to renew for another three months. After back to back pregnancies and five years of eating junk, we have decided to start clean eating. This will make for healthier versions of ourselves and we will hopefully be around to enjoy our children longer. Eventually, clean eating should also make us 'hotter' versions of ourselves, woo! How do you 'eat clean'? I found a vlogger over on Youtube that explains it very well in this video below:

Unfortunately in small town Alabama, it is not always easy to find 'clean' ingredients so we are eating mostly clean for now. I feel like making small changes in our diet are better than no changes in our diet.
I have pulled most of our recipes from The Gracious Pantry. I will be posting a review of one of the recipes later today but for now, go check them out!

I leave you with this cute eCard that sums up what I used to think about clean eating. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

3x5 Folded Card

Vintage Volute Thank You Card
Send thanks with Shutterfly custom Thank You Cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

eMeals Week 1 Review

We have completed our first week of eMeals! That means we got our new menu and shopping list today. Woohoo!

Chris and I were pleased with the first week of meals. There were only two recipes that Chris wasn't that crazy about and one of those two I did not care for at all. Both involved fish. Chris was not crazy about the "Tilapia and Veggie Packets" and "Nutty Salmon." I did not care for the "Nutty Salmon" but loved the tilapia. My favorite of the week was the Crockpot Pizza. I ate leftovers for lunch twice! I love that the recipes are enough to serve 6 so we always have leftovers. Brayden only eats a small portion of what I cook. He isn't a big eater at all. Corinna cannot eat many of the meals yet, however, she did enjoy the tilapia and rice.

The meals this week included Crockpot Pizza, Taco Casserole, Tilapia and Fish Packets, Herb and Garlic Chicken, Chicken Continential, Nutty Salmon and Smoked Sausage. Each night had sides that went with it. My favorite side of the week was Linguine with Tomato and Basil. So yummy.

We are excited to try this week's menu plan which I think looks even better than last week!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Nesting Phase 1

Saturday, I woke up in the mood to organize. I started in the boy's room. I did not take any pictures of the before because, well, it was quite embarrassing. You couldn't even see the floor. I honestly felt like those thieves in Home Alone trying to dodge Kevin's booby traps. We had Hayden this weekend but Hayden and Brayden helping clean their room usually is disastrous. I wanted to actually throw some stuff away. You know, those little pieces or random animals that you aren't sure where they belong. Throwing stuff away doesn't exactly happen when the kids are involved though. So, Chris took the boys to see The Croods and Corinna assisted Mommy. After working all day Saturday, I can see the floor and I don't feel like I have to fear for my life but it's still not photo-worthy. In fact, it is still a work in progress. I mean, the kids have been in there since Saturday. Enough said.

In addition to working in the boys room, I washed our bedding along with the typical laundry for the day. I put away said laundry and some of the mountain of laundry that has been waiting to be put up in Corinna's room. I was going to put away the kid's winter wardrobe but thanks to the crazy Alabama weather, it is sitting in a tote in the middle of the girl's room.

Sunday, I kind of took the day off from nesting. I did normal household chores and cooked but nothing extra. Today, we started potty training again and I'm about to go attempt to finish the boy's room. Maybe a picture will result from this cleaning session!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Organizing the Chaos-Part 1

Welcome to our little spot in Cyberspace! We are just a typical American family just trying to stay organized in this crazy world. However, most of the time it is just chaos. With an 8 year old, 3 year old, 10 month old and another on the way, it is pretty interesting in our house ALL OF THE TIME. Chris, the hubby, works as an engineer and has a great job but he travels a lot. That leaves me, a full time graduate student and substitute teacher, in charge of all of the kiddos. With a new arrival on the way, we both are feeling the need to add some much needed organization into our life. 

Enter eMeals! It is an awesome little service that does all of your meal planning and grocery list making for you. Sounds great right? It must be. Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, endorses it. Chris heard about it on the radio and I already knew about the service so we have decided to give it a shot. Today, we signed up. We picked the classic plan but there are so many to choose from. There is low fat, low carb, clean eating, slow cooker, vegetarian, organic and clean eating slow cooker to choose from. After you select your plan. You can select the store that you shop at the most. We shop at Walmart usually but Aldi is listed so I may try that store next week! You can also opt to add a lunch plan and a breakfast plan. I added the lunch plan because I typically eat junk that the kids eat and Chris eats out a lot so I thought it would be a great way to stay healthy and save some money. 

Today I left the kids with my grandmother (Bless her sweet heart!) and set off for Walmart with my list in hand. Ok, so maybe I will stop here and tell you how I usually shop. I usually shop with Corinna in the top of the buggy and Brayden in the basket part of the buggy. I go with no list and basically randomly grab things that looks good at the time. I rarely get a week's worth of food and frequently go back during the week. This wastes gas, time, and, if we added it all up, probably a ton of money. Needless to say, this took a lot longer than my usual trip so I was so thankful that I had left the kids with Grandmother. I also felt like I spent more than usual but once I got home and did the math. I got enough food to feed us for less than 20 dollars a day. Chris probably spends almost half of that when he eats lunch out at work. 

Now for the menu, tonight's recipe was Tilapia Packets with Rice. It was basically Tilapia, some veggies, spices, and butter in an aluminum foil packet that I baked. The rice was just Rice-a-Roni rice. I liked it. Chris ate it but turns out he doesn't like tilapia. Brayden didn't touch it. Corinna loved it. She even signed more for it. I uploaded a video to my Facebook that you can see over there. I was pleased with the results tonight. I'll let you all know how the rest of them turn out.