Thursday, December 29, 2011

Smith Family 2011

Happy Holidays!

Maddie's First Solo Flight

 For Christmas this year, Maddie got to fly to visit her Grandma and Grandpa Smith in Utah.  She flew from Reno all by herself to Salt Lake City.  She was so super excited, and then she got really nervous.
 She had her iPod to listen to and a book to read.  She had all sorts of warm clothes and fun plans!
 Here is her plane loading up.
 Here it is pulling away.
This is her flying in the air.  The plane is just a speck.  FYI, it is much cheaper to fly out of Reno than Sacramento. 

Christmas Day

 The kids were up early Christmas morning.  We could hear them laughing and whispering excitedly.  Spencer had to drag me up and out of bed.  He was very excited too!  I like to sleep in.  We went in a woke up Wang Lu and out we went to open presents.  I think it was about 6:30 a.m.  The kids all enjoyed themselves.  Then we left the mess, ate a quick breakfast, got ready and went to Church.  We were only a few minutes late.  It was really fun to go to Church on Christmas Day.  The children were so excited and it was so nice to sing Christmas carols on Christmas Day all together as a ward. 
 After Church, we went home and the kids were surprised by their gifts from Grandma and Grandpa. 
 Needless to say, Ryan was excited.
 Maddie got this neat chair and is the envy of her siblings.  Who knew it would be such a hit?  Oh yea, Grandma...
 Spencer is all ready for some serious fishing.  He's already gone once, and will go again tomorrow!
Ryan was able to do this lego set all by himself.  He is really growing up!  Man alive that kid loves legos! 
For dinner we went to eat at my Uncle Jim's home.  Everything was yummy.  It's too bad that I didn't take a single picture!!  Then we drove to Greenville to visit with Aunt Delayne.  It was a long, but very wonderful day.

Christmas Eve Dinner

For Christmas Eve dinner we had the Guadagnins and my Grandma over.  This is the only photo I took.  I was busy cooking and the like.  I snapped a shot of this one, however, because it was so cute.  When Grandma comes to eat, after dinner, John grabs a book and hops up on her lap (whether she's ready or not!) while we clean up.  It's really sweet to see them have such a nice time together. 

Christmas Eve with Grampie

 On Christmas Eve we went over to Grampie Bob's to celebrate together.  I think all of my pictures of Wyatt are blurry, that kid moves fast!!
 The kids enjoyed opening some gifts early.  Uncle Dick sent some nice presents to the kids, too.  Mac is opening a Boy Scout book here. 
 John needed help opening it.  He figured out if Daddy did it, he got to the present faster!
 Wyatt was very interested in John's fire truck. 
 The two were fast buddies on their fire trucks.  It was so cute to watch them ride around putting out "fires."

 Ryan got an airplane, which promptly broke.  Grampie is going to try to get parts to fix it. 
 Mac got this neat remote control truck with a helicopter.  Thankfully that one came with replacement parts. 
Here Maddie is giving the rip stick a shot.  Pretty good!

John's Getting Ready for the Day

John decided he would get himself ready for school.  He put on his backpack and did his hair.  He put gel in it and everything.  Then he shaved.  He put on the shaving cream and was using a comb to "shave" his face.  He was so proud of himself!!

The Galleria

The week before Christmas I took my grandma, mom, and cousin Emily down to the Galleria in Roseville.  My grandma was a trooper.  I thought it was hilarious when I found her here sitting down.  What a chair!  We had a nice day together. 

Monday, December 19, 2011


John at 2 years, 9 months
Ryan at 6 years
Here are my favorite pictures that did not make it on our Christmas card this year. Our friend Jake took our family photos again and he did such a fantastic job! Thank you Jake! He's been recording our family for years and we appreciate it so much!!
Maddie at 9 years
Malcolm at 11 years

The Guys at Dealey Plaza

My Dad and Uncle Dick went to Dallas this year for Thanksgiving to be with Stephen.  Uncle Dick loves history, so they had to go to Dealey Plaza.  This is where Kennedy was assassinated.  I think they all had a nice time together.

Ryan's Shelves

Ryan has been asking for shelves for a couple of months.  He even saved up money so that he could buy them himself.  He wanted a special place to put his lego creations where John could not then destroy them.  Spencer took Ryan on a Saturday to go and get the shelves and then they installed them.  Ryan is very happy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nutcracker in San Francisco

I love to see the Nutcracker. I try to go every year. Now, I try to go every year with Maddie. We have had the tradition of going to San Francisco Nutcracker with Uncle Stephen, but he and Kayla moved. So, this year we went with our dear friends the Bairds. We had so much fun!! Maddie and her friend Shelby love ballerinas. Jodi and I do too, but we also love to watch our girls watch ballerinas!!

We woke the girls up with the news that they were skipping school and heading to San Francisco.  Maddie was so excited!  Poor Ryan cried, but he got over it pretty quickly when he remembered he was going to Cal Skate with his friend after school.
The girls watched movies and chatted all the way down to the city.  It was a great drive.  Once we arrived, we hoped to see the ballerinas all dressed up and up close, but the line was so long that the girls just wanted to hit the shop.  Maddie and Shelby each got a nice souvenir. 
Since we were one of the first ones there, both girls got to have a free teddy bear!  The performance was spectacular!  We were up very high, but had a nice perspective of the movements of the dancers.  I loved watching the faces of the girls.  They were so surprised and excited to see the magic of the show.  There is just nothing like the Nutcracker in SF.
After the ballet, we went to the Cheesecake Factory.  The girls loved it.  Jodi is quite knowledgeable about the Factory and helped us to make good choices for dessert!
The weather was so perfect that we got to eat out on the balcony.  This was our view:

The girls were giggling and playing the whole time, so Jodi an I were able to have a great time chatting and eating too.
Afterward, we shopped around in Macy's a bit.  The girls especially loved the cosmetics section.  It was quite possibly the best day of 2011 for me.  I had a terrific time and I look forward to doing it again!  Maddie is so fun, I feel really lucky that we both love to enjoy the Nutcracker.

Winter Programs

 I was able to go to two winter programs.  The first was Aidan's at Blue Oak Charter School.  It was spectacular!!  The kids sang, played recorders, and played string instruments.  Aidan was all dressed up and did very well.  All of the children had everything memorized and the school had awesome support.  It was super fun!
The next night we went to see Maddie's winter performance.  She sang a couple of songs.  Her class was pretty cute.  The program overall was pretty shabby, but Maddie's class did well.  The whole show was a bit better this year as they had risers.  That is a big improvement from having the kids line up on the stage.  I love going to these kids' programs.  It makes me happy.  Merry Christmas!