S: SMITH FAMILY MEMORIES FOR 2009
BC: Other things may change us ... but we start and end as a family! | Live well...Laugh often...Love much!
FC: Smith Memories For 2009 Autumn, Brooklyn, Noah, London, Laura, Eric and Ryan
1: My friend, KayLynn Mathews, took this picture of our family after church in January. We thought it was a really good picture -- even better than our Olan Mills picture we sent out with our Christmas/New Year newsletters. At the time of this picture: Noah (7yrs), Ryan (10yrs), Eric (40yrs), London (16months), Laura (38yrs), Autumn (5yrs) and Brooklyn (8yrs). | Happy New Year From The Smiths.
2: SNOW, SNOW, BLIZZARD, SNOW | It was unbelievable! Over 26+ inches of snow in less than 24 hours. By the afternoon there was so much snow falling that I could not see the neighbors house across the street. Ryan's bus was late and the other kids bus was VERY late. I was really worried and went outside to see if I could see the bus drop the kids off at the end of the street. Several other adults were outside also --waiting to see their kids. We could not see anything!! Finally we heard a noise and then we could hear kids voices. We could not see them and they could not see us so we just had to keep telling them to come closer and walk straight and we would be there waiting for them (do you see a spiritual analogy here?). Eric arrived home
3: from work and shoveled his heart out while it was still snowing.. When he woke up in the morning he started shoveling and knew he was not getting out of the driveway -- there was a few feet of snow and it was still snowing!! He found out that school was canceled and woke me up to let me know we were all having a snow day. We shoveled for hours and the kids played with Samantha Bluhm in the snow. On our snow day the internet/phone guy came to repair our line and Eric had to shovel a path for him to get out to our box in the back. We were all snowed in until the snow plow came in the early afternoon. I think Eric went to work the next day but the kids had another snow day! | = SNOW DAY FOR EVERYONE!!
4: SNOWBALL FIGHT WITH DADDY Eric and the kids had a snowball fight in the backyard on the deck. The kids made a snow barricade to try and protect them from Eric's assaults. Ryan, London and I enjoyed the action from safely inside the house. We all had tons of fun!
6: My mom, Grandma Meldrum, came to visit us in February. It was a mental health visit for me -- she helped with the kids and helped clean and organize the house. I think she thought I was kinda crazy and needed extra help ... and she was right!!! We had a great time!! She made sure the kids got plenty of exercise, played outside with the kids, braided the girls hair, made treats with the kids, and even got Eric to give her a kiss!! Thanks for all the help Mom (Grandma's Rock!!) -- when is your next visit?!?! | Grandma's Rock!!!
8: I'M IN NURSERY!! My baby, London, is 18 months old and now in nursery. I love having all of my kids in nursery or primary for a two-hour block at Church. It's fun to actually hear and enjoy Sunday school and Relief Society. I don't feel guilty at all -- all the kids have loved nursery and primary and they probably enjoy a break from me too!
9: DON'T STOP TILL YOU DROP ! London is always on the go! She is really active and never stops -- until BAM!! -- you turn around and she is passed out cold! She usually drops on the floor but sometimes on the table, hammock (ok - I would too if I could) or couch sitting up. I just wish I could get her to go to sleep at night -- in her bed!!! | No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap. - Carrie Snow | A day without a nap is like a cupcake without frosting. - Terri Guillemets
10: F | I had a seizure? | Flint Lake Elementary School | Noah had a seizure at school on March 9, 2009. He was just about to go to recess when his friend, Anthony, saw him fall to the ground. Mrs. Elia, an aide, saw Noah on the ground and thought he was fooling around with his friends. She quickly realized that he was having a seizure and a parent - helper
11: called 9-1-1 on her cell phone. The nurse had just left the building that day but the school staff was great and took good care of my boy. The ambulance came to transfer him to the hospital. I had to find someone to watch Autumn and London before I could get to the hospital so ... even though it was pajama day, and Mrs. Ferguson was in her pajama's, she just couldn't let Noah make the ride on his own. She was there at the hospital with him when I arrived. I was so greatful!! He did have a slight fever but was discharged later that day. It was so exciting that Mrs. Ferguson had to send home a note the next day to explain what happened to Noah at school. All of the kids were so worried -- they even wondered if Noah was alive! Noah was soon back at school and just fine -- but he didn't remember having a seizure. at all! Needless to say he was quite a celebrity at school and even more than two years later kids still talk about the day Noah had his seizure. BONUS OF THE DAY- New stuffed animal, a horse, from the paramedics. Totally worth it!!!
12: Spring Break In Indianapolis We had a great time in Indianapolis. When we arrived we went to the Zoo and saw several different animals. Highlights: Petting stingrays and a dolphin show. We stayed overnight in a hotel and went swimming in the pool. Tons of fun!! The next day we went to the Children's Museum and had fun looking at all the exhibits. Our last stop was the Indianapolis 500 track and museum. We toured the museum and then took one lap around the track. Eric loved it! Do you know anyone that can say they have taken a lap around the Indy 500 track? Now you do -- The Smiths!!
14: Eric helped the kids decorate easter eggs. I don't remember where I was but I was not there, I was so impressed that he not only helped 5 kids dye easter eggs but took pictures of the event too!! Thanks so much Eric!
15: The kids loved it when Eric hid the eggs for them to find. Then the kids kept hiding the eggs over and over again. They were entertained for a long time. Of course they loved the candy and toys the Easter Bunny delivered too!
16: Chicago Children's Hospital EEG Test
17: Noah was scheduled for an EEG at Children's Hospital after the seizure he had at school. The test itself went very smoothly -- the hard part was having to keep him up until midnight, then wake him up at 4 am and keep him awake until the EEG test that morning. They want the kids to be sleep deprived so they will go to sleep easily for the test. He saw the neurologist, Dr. Stack, and she was great!! Very fun and friendly -- I could tell she was used to working with kids. Noah's results were good -- no evidence of seizure activity. He does not need to be on medication. She thinks our family may have GEFFS syndrome. This means members of your family have atypical fever seizures very easily. I would have to agree that seems to be the case with us!!
18: Autumn attended the high school preschool this year and had tons of fun! She went twice-a-week for about 3 hours for 8 weeks for FREE!! Her friends Kimber Goehl and Angie Mathews also attended. The high school students described Autumn as: nice, caring, persistent, a leader, smart, patient, understanding, positive, competitive, unique, helpful, intelligent, bright, spunky, full of personality and energy, a performer, imaginative and incredible, I think that sums Autumn up just right. She has really developed a LOVE for all teenagers! Autumn and Angie also attended library school and really enjoyed the stories and crafts they made each week. | High School Preschool | Library School | Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire. - William Yeats
19: Autumn is ready for morning kindergarten! She was excitied to meet her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Biggs. Noah had her for kindergarten too. Autumn had fun exploring in her classroom and meeting her classmates. Autumn needed a physical to attend kindergarten, I could not get an appointment until a few weeks after school started. She was excited to see Dr. Buchatta but not too excited for her shots!! She is growing up so fast! I can't believe 4 of my 5 kids will be in school.!! | Kindergarten Round-Up | Learning is a treasure that will follow it's owner everywhere. - Chinese Proverb
21: We decided to plant a garden this year. We planted tomatoes, corn, peppers, potatoes, squash, cilantro and cucumbers. The kids really enjoyed planting the vegetables and we especially liked our garden bounty!! The kids loved eating vegetables out of the garden that they helped to plant and take care of. Nothing beats home -grown produce. | HOME-GROWN PRODUCE | Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden. ~Robert Brault
22: ERIC'S BIG BOY TOY | Eric's midlife crisis -- a riding lawn mower! The lawn grows so fast and Eric was having to mow the lawn 2 to 3 times a week. Iit would take him about 3 1/2 hours for front and back so I was encouraging this purchase. Now it takes about 1 1/2 hours for both front and back to be mowed. LOVE IT!
24: London had a seizure in June, less than three months after Noah's seizure. I knew it was just a matter of time before she would have a seizure since the other 4 kids have all had at least one seizure. The weird thing was that I was on the phone with Eric and I think London must have been slightly sick because I had just mentioned to him that I was nervous that she would have a seizure. I was doing dishes at the time and turned around to check on her when I noticed that she was having a grand-mal seizure on the living room floor. She was having difficulty breathing, was bluish and unresponsive. I sent Autumn to go get our neighbor, Dave Bluhm, for help. He came over and we called 9-1-1, She started responding and seemed to recover so I told the operator not
25: to send an ambulance. Dave went home and I put London in the tub to cool off. I was on the phone with Eric deciding if I should bring her to the pediatrician when she started to seize again! So I called 9-1-1 again and said to come this time. I had to call a friend, Gayla Sorensen, to watch Autumn and she came right away even though she had company. Michelle Tucker also helped to watch Autumn. At the hospital they ran various tests to see if there was a reason for her seizures. She had a CAT scan and I was so worried she would wake up and be upset so the nurses and I were real careful with her and she slept through the whole thing. Eric came from work and was at the hospital with us. We got discharged later that day. They could find no reason for her seizures other than she had a fever. Too much excitement for me!!! | Our Little Love Bug
26: A Visit From The Grandma and came to Indiana before leaving for Arizona. We drove Michigan and went Museum, walked on to swim) and visited sculpture exhibit. day with icecream -
27: Grandparents Grandpa Meldrum for one last visit their mission in to St. Joesph in to the Children's the beach (too cold the downtown animal We finished off the Grandpa's treat!! | It was so much fun to see Ryan and London try to get the "fake" candy off the sculptures!!
28: Fair Oaks Dairy Farm
29: We had tons of fun at Fair Oaks with Grandma and Grandpa Meldrum. We saw a calf being born, looked at the exhibits, went outside to jump, ride tractors and rock climb. We finished the day with -- fresh icecream!! | Look at me!!
30: SMITH FAMILY REUNION
31: DINOSAUR WORLD
32: Our family reunion was awesome!! We all met in Kentucky and stayed at a Yogi Bear Jellystone park campground. There were a few kid rides, a park, a pool and sometimes at night they would show a movie. We were there for about 3 days and ate most meals together. The kids loved getting to know their cousins better and of course -- loved swimming in the pool every day! One day we went to Dinosaur World (previous page). That was awesome! We dug for fossils in the sand (Ryan's favorite) and saw many dinosaur models. Do you like our picture with the Tyrannosaurus Rex? It was so big you could see it from the highway. It was very hot that day!! | Kentucky Down Under
33: One | Another day we went to Kentucky Down Under. Highlights were: Feeding birds sugar water and having them land on you for an up close and personal view, tour of an underground cave, more birds (do you see one of the birds licking the sweat off Eric's neck), seeing a peacock during our lunch break, petting a baby kangaroo and milking a cow. It was great!! The next day we spent at an outdoor water park. Awesome!! On our way home we went out of our way to stop in Santa Claus, Indiana. It was interesting -- but a tourist trap!! All in all it was a great family reunion and we can't wait to get together again!!
34: What an incredible day! We went to a parade downtown. It was a very small parade lasting only about 5- 10 minutes. Perfect for the attention span of our crew. The kids also received tons of candy so that was a plus! After the parade we went to the park nearby and they had several fun activities for the kids to enjoy. We saw Sophia, one of Brooklyn's friends, at the park with her family. | Freedom is never free. - Unknown --- God Bless The U.S.A. --- America Rocks! | 4th of July
35: My patriotic heart beats red, white and blue. - Unknown --- Let Freedom Rind ! | Fireworks! Fireworks! Fireworks!! We invited our friends over for a cookout. Sabrina, and Anthony (Big Boy) had tons of fun with our kids watching fireworks and lighting sparklers. It was really exciting when a firecracker flew right at Eric and he had to jump up and out of the way to avoid it!
36: Noah had played baseball in Alabama and decided to play baseball in Indiana too. He enjoyed the season at times but also got discouraged when he only had a few chances to bat per game. He did get to pitch in a couple of games and did a great job! | GO TEAM LIGHTNING!!
38: The best of friends, Can change a frown, Into a smile, when you feel down. The best of friends, Will understand, Your little trials, And lend a hand. The best of friends, Will always share, Your secret dreams, Because they care. The best of friends, Worth more than gold, Give all the love, A heart can hold. – -Jill Wolf | I LOVE MY FRIENDS | Right - Ryan and Lance Below - Autumn and Sibley Koch | Noah with school friends | London and Ali Mathews | Right - Brooklyn, Kylie Ireland, and Sophia Trufellio
39: Left column - Brooklyn, Sibley and Autumn * Ryan and Jacob* Autumn, Angie and Ali * London, Sabrina and Anthony. | Center Picture - Angie, Autumn, Ali and London Above - Noah and Friend * Sophia, Brooklyn and Autumn * Gabe and Jude Koch, London and Noah.
40: This was Ryan's first year at cub scout day camp. In the picture above are some of the cubs from our pack: Cristian Sauder, Anthony Sorenson and Ryan. Ryan participated in lots of activities such as golfing, flag folding, and cooking. He didn't participate in the BB shooting and could not tolerate the wrist guard to do archery so one of the leaders allowed him to just play with an arrow while the others did archery. He really enjoyed that! Overall it was a great week!!! | Cub Scout Day Camp | DO - YOUR-BEST!!
41: During the year we had tons of fun! Ryan enjoyed getting awards, I was called as Cub Master and we had an outdoor water balloon activity at our house, helped with a cub scout demonstration at the county fair, went on a field trip to the park, more awards, marble belt loop and Noah was introduced as a upcoming Bobcat. Overall it was a great year and we were always on the go! | Cub Scouts On The Go!!!! | I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE USA...
42: Brooklyn chose to take swimming lessons for her special activity this year. She did so well and LOVED it!! All the other kids were so jealous we will probably sign everyone up next year. | SUPER STAR SWIMMER
43: Autumn chose to take gymnastics for her special activity this year. She enjoyed it at first but by the end of the session she was ready to be done. I think she was wishing she had taken swim lessons with Brooklyn. | SUPER STAR GYMNAST
44: A FERRIS WHEEL OF FUN AT THE PORTER COUNTY FAIR
45: We had alot of fun at the Porter County Fair. In the afternoon the kids and I toured the fair with Brandi Koch and her kids (Gabe, Sibley and Jude) and then we went back that night with Eric. Rides, magic show, rides, hypnotist show, icecream and cotton candy. It was a hit!!
46: Building A Fort Noah, Brooklyn and Autumn decided to build a fort downstairs. They worked long and hard on it. They even made an area for Ryan to play in. What's the fun of building a fort if you can't sleep in it? Of course we had to let the kids try out their creation overnight. | Sisters and Brothers are the BEST kind of friends! | Brothers and sisters share a unique blend of love, comardery and friendship.
47: WaterPark Fun! A water park in Munster, Indiana has a few FREE days during the summer especially for families with kids with disabilities. Once we went with Lynn Maden and her kids Sean and Lauren. Another time we went by ourselves. The kids had tons of fun !! | Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. - W.H. Auden | Water,taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody. - Mark Twain
48: This is one of our favorite summer time activities. Silver Beach is located in St. Joseph, Michigan. It is only an hour away from where we live. This day at the beach was tons of fun -- we all played for hours in the water. I really liked it when
49: Ryan was trying to sit on a flutter board he had in the water. He was so persistent and he finally achieved his goal! After our day at the beach we found a picnic table nearby and ate a delicious lunch. I can't wait until our next visit!
50: The kids are ready for their first day of school in 2009. They are so excited and look so cute. They had a great 2009 in school with crafts, music, field trips and school reports. During 2009 Ryan was in the autism classroom, Brooklyn finished 2nd grade and started 3rd grade, Noah finished 1st grade and started 2nd, and Autumn started kindergarten. We had to buy Brooklyn new glasses -- she lost them over the summer break.. I love her new look!
52: I had my first garage sale ever. It was so much hard work to get ready and I couldn't have done it without my friends, KayLynn Mathews, Amy Formenti and KayLynn Beeler. It was awesome weather and I did pretty well -- I made just over $200 dollars! The kids had fun selling popcorn and lemonade to the customers. Amy came to see how it was going and left with her own stash of items. We bought ice cream treats with some of our profits. | Garage Sale !!!
53: My friend, KayLynn Mathews, taught me how to make homemade applesauce using apples off my backyard apple trees. It was a long all day project. She brought her canning supplies and we got to work. I think we were able to can about 14 jars and we shared the bounty. We had Alison be our taste - tester and she gave our product a thumbs-up!! The kids all enjoyed the applesauce and even wanted to bring it in their lunches or have it for a snack. Thanks KayLynn for all your help!! | Learning From The Master!
54: Hanging Out With Our Canadian Cousins | A cousin is a ready made friend for life. | - Anonymous | Cousins are friends that will love you forever. - Constance Richards | Cousins from the beginning, friends till the end! | - Anonymous
55: The Chernenko Family consists of: Karen, Brad, Danaka (7yrs), Jeremy (5yrs), Travis (3yrs). | From left to right: Ryan (10 yrs), Brooklyn (9 yrs), London (2 yrs), Noah (7 yrs), Jeremy, Danaka, Travis, and Autumn (6 yrs).
56: We had so much fun when the Chernenko family came to visit us from Alberta, Canada. They took the train all the way to Chicago. Some of the highlights included: jumping on the trampoline, Noah and Jeremy going to the Bulls game in Chicago with Eric and Uncle Brad, going to the science museum in Chicago, China Town ( we ordered candy and dried fruit from a store where no one spoke English and saw ducks hanging in the window for sale with everything but their heads on. We also stopped by Soldier Field | Cousin to cousin we'll always be. Special friends from the same family tree. - Unknown
57: so Uncle Brad could take a picture of where the Chicago Bears professional football team plays. We also made a visit to the Albanese candy factory - a family favorite! One day we went to Indianapolis to the Children's museum and it was really fun too! The kids had a chance to dig for dinosaur fossils, ride a carousel, play in water and play house. We had a great time all around. The kids cried when they had to leave each other! Can't wait for our next visit!! | Cousins by blood -- friends by choice. - Unknown
58: Noah (7 years) and Ryan (10 years) had a swim party at the YMCA. We celebrated Ryan's birthday late and Noah's early. Tons of fun!! London (2 years) had a party at home with several of her friends. We had a great time!
59: Brooklyn (9 years) had her party at a Karate place in Chesterton. It was great fun for everyone and she even cut her birthday cake with a sword!! Autumn (6 years) had a party at home with Dora cupcakes. She wanted to have her ears pierced and was so scared but she went through with it and was so happy!!
60: HALLOWEEN!! We had a great Halloween!! I took the kids, by myself (Eric was at work), to a trick-or-treat event downtown a few days before Halloween. It was super cold but I had not thought of bringing jackets. The kids were really good and we managed to have a pretty good time even though we were freezing!! Of course the kids had fun watching and helping Eric carve the pumpkin. This year the | Eat, drink and be scary. - Unknown | Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold. - Judith Olney
61: pumpkin was scary. London kept trying to put the pumpkin back together as Eric carved it up. It was so cute. We also had a trunk or treat Halloween party at the Church and we invited our neighbors from down the street. On actual Halloween we went trick-or-treating too! We went with the Olivarez and Koch families. The kids had a great time! Brooklyn was a princess, Autumn was Wonder Woman, Noah was a Jedi, London was Super Girl and Ryan was a convict. Three FREE candy events -- can't do much better than that!!
62: A Bed In The Leaves My yard is full of leaves today Brown and yellow and gold I think I'll rake them in a pile Higher than my head Than I'll pretend it is my bed I'll jump in very quick And pile their leaves up over me For covers soft and thick I'll just lie there so nice and warm And look up in the sky And watch more leaves float down for me To rake up bye and bye | - By Marian Kennedy
63: One of our favorite times of the year is Autumn. We love playing in the leaves!!! We love Indiana because we get to experience all 4 seasons of the year!!
64: Ryan is always getting into something. If I leave anything out on the counter he is sure to experiment with it. Here he is playing with creamy food storage soup, brown and white sugar and cheese balls. Welcome to our life... in Holland!! | OUR BIG MESS MAKER
65: "Welcome to Holland"- By Emily Perl Kinsley I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability... it's like this... When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy, You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?!?" you say, "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around ... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills ... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy ... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away ... because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss. But ... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland. This is one of my favorite poems -- We love you Ryan!!
66: Thanksgiving Alabama Style
67: We traveled to Alabama for Thanksgiving this year. Highlights included: gifts from LeAnne and Bridgette, visiting aunts/uncles and cousins, endless dirt to play in, Noah's allergic reaction to hay, barrel walking with cousins, Chuck - E- Cheese, a bonfire, helping Grandpa Smith with chores and a pony ride!l Awesome!
68: "Never raise a hand to your children ... it leaves your groin unportected." - Red Buttons | Rough-housing With Daddy | Eric is rough-housing with the kids and they are having the time of their lives! It is so much fun for them to wrestle with their Dad. I love to sit back and watch the commotion around me. In these pictures Ryan is (10 yrs), Brooklyn (9 yrs), Noah (7 yrs), Autumn (5 yrs) and London (2 yrs). How do you know when to stop? When someone gets hurt of course!
69: I'm as lucky as can be, the world's greatest Daddy belongs to me. | A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. | "A father is a guy who has snapshots in his wallet where his money used to be" -Unknown
70: Miscellaneous In 2009 Finding a frog, Twin haircuts, Backyard fence, Princess party, Hanging out in the sink, Chocolate makes me smile, Exercising with food storage, Lost tooth, Twirling a chair, A missionary friend, Furry friends, I am dead dog tired!
71: Playing ball, Lost tooth, Yummy!!, Helping mop the floor, Swinging in the backyard, Animal creations with play-dough, Crowns for us and our friends, Eating without assistance, High priest social - playing Wii, Fruit roll up by the foot, Awesome fireworks!, Finally sleeping in her own bed! WHAT A YEAR!!
72: Come Aboard... The Polar Express | I went with the three middle kids to the elementary school to watch the Polar Express on the big screen. We had hot chocolate and goodies. I was really sick with my asthma and it was the last time I was up and around for about 2 weeks!
73: Happy 11th Birthday Ryan!!! | Ryan had a great birthday! We had his favorite meal (pizza) and cupcakes. The best part was seeing him play with his presents -- he really liked them! Here he is playing with his Jingle Ball and his nail bed.
74: This was a very CRAZY Christmas! I got very sick just every day and my friend,KayLynn Mathews, came a few brought them to her house. She even came and got the older off work. Then he took care of everything until bedtime. I was on tons of asthma medicines, steroids and antibiotics clock. I was put on bed/couch rest at home with 5 kids. Ha! hospital Christmas eve day for a chest x-ray to see if I had caught a stomach bug and we were all sick and throwing up sick so he opened presents Christmas day and then went to
75: before school let out and Eric had to help get the kids to school times and got Autumn (after kindergarten) and London and kids after school and brought them to her house until Eric got KayLynn even came over and cleaned for me. AWESOME!!! too. I also took my breathing machine every 4 hours around the Ha Ha!! I should have been put in the hospital. I went to the pneumonia! I didn't but finally got antibiotics. Everyone also ... so we had our Christmas dinner a few days late. Eric was bed for the rest of the day. What a MEMORABLE Christmas!!