"…And she smiles at the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Posts tagged ‘Chandler’

Baseball, not blogging

Two years ago, I made my first foray into the world of blogging with the launch of Why Amy Smiles.

One year ago, I took my first break from blogging because I was all wrapped up in this:

And now, a year later, I’ve taken my second extended break, but for a different reason.

This spring has kept us hopping. The culprit? Baseball season!

Photo by Trey Granger

Photo by Trey Granger

I am proud of Chandler. When we told him we weren’t able to pay for the homeschool baseball league he wanted to join, he went out and got a job. Except for what he gave back to God on Sundays, he saved every penny and used it to pay for the fees, uniforms, and equipment he needed.

Photo by Trey Granger

Photo by Trey Granger

I am proud of Chandler because he knew that being the new guy on the team this year meant he might not get as much playing time as the more seasoned players would. But whether he was on the bench, at the plate, or in the field, his attitude blew me away. This young man loves baseball!

Photo by Trey Granger

Photo by Trey Granger

So forgive me for abandoning this blog for a time while we drove all over the world (or, so it seemed) to watch our firstborn enjoy his, and America’s, favorite pastime.  Thanks to all of you who prodded me to get going again, and to all who understand that, as long as I have kids at home, I am a mom first. 

And although I wasn’t sharing them with you here, there were plenty of things that made me smile while I was away. I am glad to be back, and look forward to catching up.

Thanks for stopping by!


I wasn’t looking for these

Those of you who visit here regularly see a lot of our youngest daughter, Remington. At age three, it seems everything that rolls off her lips is funny, and she’s definitely the most willing of all our kiddos to pose for the camera.

But don’t misunderstand.

Our other three children may not be as likely to get in front of the camera, or to allow me to post the absolutely hilarious things THEY say…but they definitely make me smile. Every. Single. Day. I am so thankful for all three of them, too!

Take Addison, for example.

This morning I came downstairs to find this on the dining room table:

It was a surprise from Addy…a little gift for no reason at all…and it has been making me smile all day long.

Then, there’s Chandler.

With the smile still on my face from finding Addy’s bouquet, I ran upstairs to put something in Chandler’s bedroom, and I found this on his whiteboard:

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

I’m not sure what prompted it, but he wrote it right by his desk where he’ll see it continuously…and it’s making me smile.

And, let’s not forget Connor.

If you enter his room the first thing you’ll see is this:

He assures me it’s “just a silly drawing.” And clearly, it’s not something he spent a great deal of time on. But even though it wasn’t created for artistic purposes, the fact that a “silly” picture of his family is something he wanted to frame and hang in a prominent position in his room just makes me—you guessed it—SMILE! (And how could I not be happy about the title?)

My favorite smiles are the ones that I wasn’t even looking for. I hope you are noticing all the many things that have the potential to make you smile today. They are everywhere! As usual, I’d love to hear about them in the comments. (Hint, hint…)

Thanks for stopping by!

Clay and gratitude

I like this piece. I like being reminded to be grateful every single time I walk through the living room.

Now, I am also reminded each time I pass it that I have a very creative and imaginative son, who can turn a piece of clay into just about anything. Because this is the little guy who’s taken up residence on top of the frame…

Yep, Chandler can do anything with clay.

Are you thankful today?

Thanks for stopping by!


I guess it’s impossible for a young child to NOT be affected by living in a home where three older children are being homeschooled daily. But the reminders of these effects pop up at unexpected times…

…like while we were watching a family movie which showed a grown man sitting at a table, writing in a book. Remington, our three-year-old, glanced at him and shrugged one shoulder, then stated matter-of-factly, “He’s doing his science.”

This morning she said to me, “Mommy, I want to take a walk with you. I want to go into a field. So we can have a field trip.”

I can always tell when Remi has been “helping” me fill the other kids’ workboxes…

This morning I found the generous donation of a tube of Chapstick in one. I often find a small board book inside, which she has graciously decided to share with her siblings, who actually enjoy finding these little surprises–this evidence she was thinking about them.  Looking back, I realize that she’s been doing this ever since she could stand by herself!

I once asked her to tell me what the big kids do all day. Here was her answer:

They do school! They write, and do their science, and grammar.                                                                                                                                            They listen to music and look at their no-picture books. They get drinks.                                                                                                                               And they play with me for a few minutes. Because they love me.

The fact that she recognizes that her older siblings are not too busy for her makes me so happy!  I love that she gets that the reason they occasionally take breaks to play with her is that they truly love her, and love having her around.

Thinking back even further, I remember a statement my oldest son made when he was eight years old. Addison had just started wanting to “do school” with us, and I was worried about how frustrating I thought it must be for Chandler to have his 2-year-old sister underfoot while he was working. She  always wanted to be involved in whatever we were doing…

My concern dissipated when Chandler smiled at her and said (to me), “I can’t imagine if we had to leave her all day long. We’d miss all the funny things she says and does. We’d miss HER.

So, I guess we’re all affected by this incredible lifestyle. And I am thankful.

What are you thankful for today?

Thanks for stopping by!

So glad I found them

Today was a long day…a busy, exhausting day. But today, as every day, there were so many reasons to smile, and I’m thankful I was able to find them. (I hope you found reasons to smile as well, and I hope you’ll share them in the comments below.)

Today I smiled because I found this hanging on my nine-year-old daughter’s wall:

(It was completely her idea, and discovering it in her room made me happy.)

Today I smiled because my 16-year-old chose to use his free time to do this:

(Where did he get this talent? And even more baffling, when did his hands get so big?!)

Today I smiled because I know there won’t be ANY days like this in heaven. 🙂

Today I smiled because a sweet friend offered to help…and insisted that I let her.

Today I smiled (guffawed, rather) because my 14-year-old caught me off guard multiple times with his unexpected, witty comments.

Today I smiled because we found these while cleaning out the garage, and the girls got such a kick out of them.

And as the day was drawing to a close, I smiled once more at this conversation with my three-year-old:

Remington: One day, God said to me, “Remi, you and I are going to catch an octopus.”

Me: Remi, do you remember how God talks to us?

Remington: How?

Me: Through the Bible. We read the words in the Bible, and then we know what God is saying to us.

Remington: Ohhhhh…..

Me: So…Does the Bible say that you are going to catch an octopus?

Remington: (with a big smile) YES!!

You just can’t reason with a three-year-old.

What made you smile today?

Thanks for stopping by!

Celebrating the first

Several weeks back, our oldest son came to me with a big smile on his face. Now, this can be a scary thing, as all parents know. I braced myself for whatever I was about to find out, but I was still unprepared for the news he shared: That day marked his first full year as a Christian.

The birthday boy

At first, I felt kind of guilty for not realizing this myself. After all, I would NEVER in a million years forget any of my children’s birthdays, so how could I have forgotten this most important of birthdays?  This was a really big deal! But this is a blog about why I smile, not about the many reasons I find to feel guilty, so let me assure you that I did quickly realize that the important thing was that he remembered. I’m glad it was on his mind, and that it made him so happy to share it.

I am proud of Chandler. I see him growing. I see him struggling. I see him becoming a leader. I know that first year wasn’t an easy one, but I can clearly see the progress he’s making. I love hearing him talk about what he reads in his Bible. I love being reminded of how strongly he believes. I love seeing him take on roles of service. And I love watching the kind of big brother he works on being.

I love that he is serious about being a Christian.

I think back to that wonderful day when I almost missed his baptism. That morning, just as we were leaving for Bible class, the door to our vehicle–our RUNNING vehicle–got shut and locked (with us on the outside, of course). The rest of the family went on in Troy’s car, while I stayed behind to wait for the locksmith.

But Chandler was ready that day. He was ready to become a child of God, and he wasn’t going to wait another moment. Thankfully, I made it to the church building just in time to hear his confession of faith…and to see him immersed into Christ…and to witness that first hug from his dad as he came up out of the water. I was glad I’d made it in time, but I was also glad he hadn’t waited for me. He knew what he needed to do.

Happy first birthday, Chandler. While I may have missed the date on the calendar, I’m definitely celebrating.

Thanks for stopping by!

In the words of a teenager

Teenagers are so much fun. This year, one of my favorite parts of the (year-round) school day is checking my son’s composition assignments. He does a ten-minute creative writing warm-up each day to help get the brain juices flowing, and I am thoroughly enjoying the results.

Some of them I have loved because they’ve given me a peek into his heart and allowed me to know him better. (You probably won’t see many of those reprinted here!)

Some are just plain funny.  (Even those teach me something about the author, like reminding me once again how important food is to a teenage boy.)  Here’s a short example:

“If I had been a pilgrim, I would have…”

~probably been hungry a lot.

~hunted for food.

~worn a big hat.

~been confused a lot.

~had to work hard.

~used old English.

~not been a baseball fan (until I invented it).

~had all my clothes custom made.

~worn ugly shoes.

~been homeschooled.

~not had to study American history.

Guess I can’t argue against the truthfulness of any of them! So nice to have yet another reason to smile each day…..

Thanks for stopping by!

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