A Year of Smiles – Day 289


Faster than a little boy’s ability to make up excuses to skip school.

More powerful than the myriad of sicknesses plaguing his body.

Able to spot a tall tale with a single glance.mom-2010524_1280

Look! In the kitchen!

It’s a doctor.

It’s Dad.

No, it’s Mom – armed with the Pink Pills of Power ready to battle the crippling moves of the stomach’s arch-nemesis, Tum E. Ache. Pills so powerful that with the mere mention of their name, even the worst aches and pains flee in fear.

Our story begins at the Smith household where a little boy is just waking up to get ready for school….

We see our young victim crawling out of his chair, doubled over with his arm around his stomach. The little boy cries, “Ohhhh! My stomach hurts!”

Then from the kitchen, our hero appears and proclaims, “I’ll get the Pepto!”

WHAM! BOOM! POW! Those four powerful words knock Tum E. Ache to the floor and he quickly vanishes to escape his impending doom!

The little boy, now walking upright and wearing a smile on his face, happily ingests the bubble gum goodness of the powerful pink Pepto.

And our hero quietly retreats to the kitchen to enjoy her coffee but keeps a watchful eye on her surroundings. You never know when Tum E. Ache or his League of Phony Syndromes will rear their ugly heads again!

Being a mom means you have to face all kinds of evil foes every day, including that pesky “I don’t wanna go to school” monster. The key is being armed with the right weapons. A whole lotta love and patience and a little bit of children’s chewable Pepto 😉 will ensure the victory and the SMILES every time!



A Year of Smiles – Days 278 and 280

It seems I skipped a day. Boy, is my blog thread going to be messed up! But here comes two SMILES for you today.


My older son was participating in a youth camppooh.jpeg last weekend with the church he interned for over the summer. He sent me this picture and asked, “You want?”

I assumed he was at store and thought I might want him to buy it so I asked, “How much?”

His response: “Free… I did that.”

Umm. Yes, I want it! You really had to ask? 😉

He painted this from a picture he saw on a t-shirt. The kid has skills! And it will be a SMILE I always cherish because…

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” – Winnie the Pooh


Reason to SMILE #280: REESE’S COFFEE CREAMERCoffee Creamer

I gotta tell ya. This right here might be the best SMILE ever! Well, at least the best SMILE today, anyway. You know I love my coffee but what you may not know is I love my Reese’s just as much as Pooh loves honey. This indulgence just might have me looking like that silly old bear before I know it!

Maybe not. But it may help me find my SMILE a little earlier every day. 😉 Mmmm. Mmmm. Good.


A Year of Smiles – Day 259

Reason to SMILE #259: CARE PACKAGES 

This arrived from my older sister today! Inside this box I found:

  • 1 bag Sweet Potato chips
  • 1 bag kettle style Potato chips made with avocado oil
  • Mini vanilla marshmallows 
  • Two dietary supplements that help alleviate anxiety 

The snacks were all gluten free and non GMO verified, have no preservatives, no MSG, no Trans fat, no artificial flavors and low sodium. I’m not sure if they have any taste 😉 but apparently, they are good for me and I need to be eating healthier snacks. She knows me all too well.

The supplements were included because of my confession to her about recent anxiety attacks I’ve had at the grocery store and in normal conversation with people I’ve known for years. My anxiety makes absolutely no sense to me. I suppose that’s the nature of anxiety but my sister understood. She swears by the natural calming aides she included in my care package.

What a SMILE – a package full of items meant to enhance my well-being sent by someone who loves me and is concerned about my health. It’s a care package only a sister would send. That’s what sisters are for, right? 

Hmmm. I suppose it’s my turn to send a care package to my younger sister now. Time to pass on a SMILE!

A Year of Smiles – Day 257

Reason to SMILE #257: READING

Mommy, won’t you read to me?

I love to hear you speak.

Your voice calms me when I’m tired

And helps me drift to sleep.

Mommy, won’t you read to me?

I have so much to learn.

I’ll look at all the pictures

While I take in ev’ry word.

Mommy, won’t you read with me?

This is my favorite book!

I know we’ve read it tons of times –

Please! Just one more look.

Mommy, won’t you read with me?

I’m practicing, you see.

I might miss a word or two

But I know that you’ll help me.

Mommy, let me read to you!

This story is brand new

And I can read ev’ry word.

Daddy’s proud – aren’t you?

Mommy, let me read to you!

I know you’re awfully busy.

I’ll help by reading while you work

To make the time pass quickly.

Mommy, won’t you read with me?

I miss our reading time.

It made me feel so special

To have you by my side.

Mommy, can I read to you?

I know you’re tired and weak.

I’ll read with you and show my love

Just like you did for me.

A Year of Smiles – Day 247

Reason to SMILE #247: DANCING

I don’t dance. At least, not any more. Dancing was much easier when I was younger. Now that time has declared itself my enemy, dancing is not on my list of things I enjoy most in life. Maybe I don’t like it because I’ve become an old stick-in-the-mud. Maybe I don’t have many opportunities to dance. Or maybe it’s because the evil minions of time, instability and lack of coordination, have joined forces with my muscle disorder to wage war on all things that were once good and fun in my life.

I’m pretty sure it’s the stick-in-the-mud thing. 😉

This past weekend, there was a lot of dancing going on all around me. And there should have been. I was at a wedding. To be honest, I felt a little left out when the DJ called for fathers and daughters and then mothers and sons to get on the dance floor. No matter how accepting I am of my disability, it still bothers me from time to time – but just a little bit. When I saw this, however, I couldn’t help but SMILE:


This is my mom and my oldest brother dancing at the wedding.  It was his daughter’s wedding – the first of my mom’s grandchildren to marry. My mom, of course, was adamant that she wasn’t going to dance but what mom could resist a dance with her firstborn?

Yep. That dance right there made my heart SMILE!

A Year of Smiles – Day 245


Look at what I’m wearing! I can’t remember the last time I wore a dress. I’m a blue jeans and comfortable (but cute!) shirt kinda girl. I simply don’t do dresses. They require too much fuss.

Today, however, was a special occasion – my niece’s wedding. So I set aside my preferences and said “yes” to a dress! Ha! Really, it wasn’t a difficult choice to make. It’s what you do for family. It’s what you do when you care for someone.

I sat in my aqua sundress and listened as sacred vows were spoken. I was reminded of the covenant of marriage and of the importance of saying “I do” – not only on your wedding day but each and every day after. 

I fidgeted with my dress.

Yes, sometimes saying, “I do” means setting aside your own preferences. That’s what you do for someone you love.

It’s those things we do for love that bring SMILES to our hearts each and every day.

A Year of Smiles – Day 244

Reason to SMILE #244: MAPS

Remember the days of paper maps? You know the ones. They came neatly folded in a packet small enough to fit into your glove compartment but opened up to almost the size of your windshield. And once unfolded, they never returned to that original sized packet again!

Then there were those big, bulky atlases – books filled with maps that never fit anywhere in the car except the trunk so anytime you needed it, you’d have to stop the car to retrieve it. The atlas was my husband’s navigational aide of choice and, of course, I was the navigator. Unfortunately, we didn’t always have the best of luck following these paper maps.

He’d say after finding that we were lost, “I can’t believe someone with a college education can’t read a map.”

I’d say, “That wasn’t my major!”

Let’s just say we had some communication issues. 

Fortunately for us both, we now have Google Maps. No longer do we have to struggle with bulky paper maps that block the view and probably have caused as many divorces as they have accidents. We can simply type in an address and boom! The route is laid out for us and all we have to do is follow the blue line.

Just like Google Maps helps us in our travels, we also have a map to help us along life’s journey. The Bible, God’s lamp for your feet and light for your path, is right at your fingertips. His guide for your life has never been more accessible. It’s just the click of a website or touch of an app away. You only need to open it, read it and boom! His path is laid out for you and all you have to do is follow. 

Having a map at my fingertips sure has made a difference in my family trips. Having God’s Word at my fingertips has made a difference of even greater significance. Without having to worry with navigation myself, either on the road or in my walk with God, I have more time to enjoy the journey and all the SMILES along the way.

A Year of Smiles – Day 242

Reason to SMILE #242: BIRTHDAYS

Adobe Spark

My birthday to be exact!! I’ve made it another year. I am alive and kickin’. That’s more than enough reason to SMILE and certainly a reason to celebrate!

Oh, I used to dread these annual reminders of my ever increasing age. With each year that passes, however, I realize how blessed I am to have this time and this life that God has given me. And as my age increases, my list of SMILES continues to grow and grow and grow.

Think your existence doesn’t matter? Think your birthday is just another day? Think again, my friend. Before you were born, God knew you. He laid out a plan for you. You were not a surprise and you certainly were no mistake! You have a reason to celebrate and the best reason to SMILE!

Happy, happy day to you. Find a reason to SMILE and share it with those around you!

And Happy Birthday to me! 🙂

A Year of Smiles – Day 234

Reason to SMILE #234: WATCHING THEM GROW (and learning to let go)

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He’s nineteen today and he’s standing on the edge of his future. I want to keep him close, stop time, somehow hang on to my little boy. After all, he is my firstborn, my first baby. But he’s no longer my “little” boy. He’s become an amazing young man, a man who makes his momma proud. The possibilities for his future are vast and the world awaits. Though tears may fill my eyes, a SMILE will always be in my heart as I watch him become the man God wants him to be.

A Year of Smiles – Day 230

Reason to SMILE #230: KIDISMS VOLUME 5

In honor of my younger son’s twelfth birthday, I present to you Alex’s Greatest Hits:

3 years old: Clean Up Time

Me: OK, Alex. It’s time to pick up your toys. I’m going to count down from ten and you see if you can pick up all your toys before I’m done counting.

Alex: How ’bout I count and you pick ’em up?


4 years old: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Alex and his older brother, Corey, were playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. Corey pounds his fist on his other hand while he says,” Rock, Paper, Scissors, shoot!” On “shoot”, Corey forms scissors with his hand and Alex — well, he makes a gun with his fingers and says, “Ha! Ha! I shot your scissors. I win!”


6 years old: The Lord’s Supper

The congregation was sitting in quiet reverence of the observance of the Lord’s Supper. The Pastor raises the cup and says, “This is filled with juice but we know it represents the blood of Jesus…So as we drink this cup…”

Alex sits up and loudly announce: “I’m not drinking that!”


7 years old: The Fog

The drive to school was eerie due to a dense fog that covered everything. Visibility was at a minimum and as we neared Corey’s school, the fog was so thick that you could not even see the school building.

“Look, Alex!” I said. “Corey’s school is gone!”

From behind me, I heard an evil little laugh erupting. “Bahahahaha! One down – one
million to go!”


8 years old: Spanish 101

Corey: Usted esta aburrido! That means, “You’re boring,” Alex.

Alex: You’re a burrito!!

End of lesson.


9 years old: Pizza

Alex opens up a box of pizza and sings “Aaaaaaaah” in his best angelic voice.

He closes the box and opens it again. “Aaaaaaaah,” he sings.

“It would be cool if it did that every time you opened the box, wouldn’t it? I wish there was an app for that!”


10 years old: Trust Issues

Corey: What did you see at the College Fair?

Alex: A dead dog’s heart.

Corey: Was there a live dog’s heart?

Alex: No. It has to be dead.

Corey: Then you just saw a dog’s heart.

Alex: The veterinarian told us it was dead.

Corey: You can’t always trust a veterinarian.

Alex: Yeah! Because they take out dog’s hearts!


11 years old: European History

While studying for a social studies test, I asked Alex what countries France colonized. He thought for quite a while so I decided to give him a hint.

“One is right above us,” I said as I raised my hand to point upward.

To that, Alex replied, “Mom, France did not colonize heaven!”


Alex: On Growing Up

“I don’t get why my voice is cracking!” Alex complained.

“Because your voice is changing,” I replied.

“But my voice has already changed. Is it going to change again?!? It’s like God changed it and then said, ‘No, I don’t like that one. Let’s try another one.’ ”

Poor thing! 😝


Although you may not be able to fully appreciate these SMILE moments, I thank God for every single one. Being this kid’s mom is a blessing from God. There’s no one like my Alex, that’s for sure! He’s given me twelve years of SMILES and I’m sure there are many more to come.