Thursday, January 22, 2009

Welcome Linnea Sue Smith

We're very thankful to introduce the newest little Smith, Linnea Sue!  For those who follow our blog regularly, she'll be referred to as the Little Sweetie from now on...


She joined our family a week and half earlier than planned after an extremely quick delivery but was still 6 pounds, 14 oz. and 18 1/2 inches long and ready to be born!  We're all rejoicing at her arrival and enjoying the process of getting to know this new little bundle of pinkness who has joined our family.  The boys are still learning how to say her name and refer to her as OURBABY (one word).  She's definitely still a novelty and is on the receiving end of many kisses and cuddles all throughout the day.

Kisses from Mr. T.

Many have asked how we chose the name "Linnea Sue."

To put it into context, we live in Petersburg, which is nicknamed "Little Norway."  It is a town rich in Scandinavian tradition and heritage.  Linnea is a Scandinavian name which is very popular in both Sweden and Norway (it was the #1 name for Norwegian girls in 2008).  The actual name Linnea comes from the flower Linnaea Borealis (the national flower of Sweden).   The word Borealis refers to "of the north" (as in aurora borealis, or "dawn of the north").  Below you'll see a photo of this dainty little flower.  Thus, we chose the name Linnea for our little "flower" who will live up north in a passionately Scandinavian community.  Though there are many creative ways to both say and spell this name, LINNEA is the most common spelling and "lin-AY-uh" the most typical way to pronounce it.

Additionally, Jessica's middle name is Lynn and Phil loved the idea of naming his daughter after her mother.  It also reminds us of several special ladies in our lives (and who will be important in Linnea's life) who have "lyn" or "lin" in their names.

We chose the middle name Sue to honor two women we love greatly: Jessica's grandmother Susan Gotter and Phil's sister, Linda whose nickname is Sue.

Awake and happy from her first moments!
Proud dad
Mr. T meets the Little Sweetie for the first time.
Even a cry is cute to a dad.
The boys in their big brother t-shirts given to them by "Grandma" Rita Ronne from church.  The shirts say "I'm the bigger brother" and "I'm the biggest brother."
Proud Papa Wilson, self-proclaimed Baby Whisperer

Wonderful nurse Becca holds the Little Sweetie all ready to head home.  She's decked out in her PINK  Alaskan booties from "Aunt" Deb Ernst and her first dress.

Car seat rides are never fun...especially your first ever!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Church

I haven't posted any pictures of our new church for a while, but for those who've been following the progress of the building project...here are the latest views of what's happening.  Very exciting!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Christmas catch-up

Here are a few random shots from the Christmas season that I haven't posted yet...

Smith brothers wrapping paper removal service.  New trucks and diggers are always welcome to join the fleet.
The obligatory (you can tell it was obligatory by their strained smiles) picture in front of the Christmas tree.
Singing carols with help from "Grandma" Cathy at the Family Christmas Program
The younger children's choir, with Mr. T.'s manger looking much less like a chainsaw and more like a...manger!
Guess it helps to sing Christmas carols when you hold the words high above your head.

Ready for the Petersburg Polar Bear Marathon...if one existed

The other morning the boys decided to get all decked out in Mom and Dad's running gear (coats and shoes), snow hats, and...of course pajamas!  They said they were going out for a run (of course Sheep was going along too).  Funny how they like to imitate Mom and Dad's activities; favorite pretend games include "going to a meeting," "going to a Bible study," and now, "going for a run."  They didn't even make it out the door due to bitter cold temps and lots of snow.  They made a few stabs at "running" laps around the kitchen but realized quickly that the big shoes were just too cumbersome and the game was quickly abandoned for yet another scheme.  Dressing up was 99% of the fun anyway.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Practice makes...?!

Our friend Tina brought her little 5 month old girl over the other day to give the boys a taste of what it's like to have a baby girl around.  They were SO excited.  O Boy proceeded to place every single one of our baby toys in and around her until she was almost submerged by them.  They made comments and had questions about just about everything she did from, "Mom, is she going to cry now...?" to wanting to help feed her a bottle.  Baby J was a trooper and handled the adoration very well.  My comment to Phil after this visit was, "They'll love having a baby sister...for the first 35 minutes!"

Mr. T. seemed to be the big winner in capturing Baby J's attention.  She really liked watching him and he just loved holding her, patting her head gently and singing Rock a Bye Baby to her.
Here's one difference between toddlers and an infant: when the camera comes out, the toddlers forget the bottle and turn to shout "CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE" as loud as they can...making the infant cry and wonder where her bottle went.  

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Being helpful?

Apparently Mom's clogs, airplane jammies, and a hat are all the protection you need to shovel snow in 10 degree weather.  Please note that we only stayed out long enough to capture this shot - it was way too cold to stay out any longer!

Church sledding party 2009

Even though the temps never topped 10 degrees (and it was reading 3 degrees as we were driving home) a large group from our church showed up "out the road" on New Year's Day to barrel down one of the very snow-covered logging roads, huddle around a roaring fire, sip apple cider and eat meat and fish roasted over the fire.

Here's the view down with a few kids going down the easy way - behind a snow machine.  We didn't realize that we'd have to hike in from the main road and up the hill about a quarter of a mile (while pulling the boys on a sled) to get to the fire and the hot apple cider!  Thankfully, sometimes once a crew would sled down a snow machine would follow to retrieve them and spare them the long hike back up.  This was such a long, steep hill that you can imagine how far and fast you could go with enough weight and momentum!
You can see the look of grim intensity in O Boy's eyes as he realizes just how huge that hill is.  After one ride down and a snow machine ride back up (which terrified them), they were content to stand by the fire with mom for the rest of the afternoon eating cookies.

I brought a lawn chair and sat by the fire all afternoon just hanging out.  No sledding for this very pregnant lady...though we did all get dragged out behind a snow machine which didn't make my doctor too happy...
You can tell how cold it is by the fact that, even by the fire people were not shedding ANY layers - gloves, hats, scarves etc.!