FAMILY + FOOTBALL = CHRISTMAS 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

BEFORE the GAME


DURING the GAME

AFTER the GAME

Santa BABY!

This Christmas morning was one of those bitter sweet times... After going to bed late from all the Christmas Eve activities, then getting up during the wee hours of the morning (nothing usual there, haha) to assist Santa in his attempt to move around the house in the dark leaving goodies as he went (House Rule: IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE, YOU DON'T RECEIVE!) I went back to bed waiting to be woken up by either Sabriya or Shanel... but it was not to be. Mark & I finally awoke on our own around 7AM and my little grown people were all still sound asleep in their beds. And that's the bitter sweetness of the moment - when we as parents wake up on Christmas morning and the kids are still fast asleep - THEY ARE GROWING UP! (sniff sniff)

When they finally decided to arise and gather (although they didn't wake up early) the excitement of seeing what Santa left was definitely still there. SO it was time to OPEN PRESENTS, Yeah! and so we did...



Our Christmas Meal was even a bit different for us this year in the sense that we didn't have all of our friends and family over as we usually do because we were eating early and heading out to the football game immediately afterwards. Mark wasn't going to cook at all but I still wanted to have our holiday favorites so together we made the meal for the day. There were about 24 of us going to the game but only about half of that group stop by on their way to grab a bite to eat. Then off to the game we went...

Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Monday, December 27, 2010

Shannon and Mark hosted our Christmas Eve Secret Santa Gift Exchange / Dessert this year. She made cupcakes and a heath cake - YUMMY! We've been doing a Secret Santa Gift Exchange for many years now and it is always alot of fun. But to make the moment of exchanging the gifts last a little longer, last year the kids decided to add a little something to spice up the moment. They came up with the idea of gag gifts describing the person they would be giving their gift to. It was FUN and we had a lot of laughs. This year we came up with a little rhyme describing each person, these were presented in the form of a gift tag attached to the gift and signed by various Christmas characters such as Santa or Rudolph or the Grinch (get the idea). The gifts were all placed in a neutral area, we each had to pick a gift that was not ours, and we took turns reading the rhyme and then we all had to guess/vote on 1) who we thought the gift was FOR and 2) who we thought the gift was FROM. It was unanimous, we will definitely be doing this again next year...



NOPE, I am not going to tell you WHO's WHO - you will have to guess just like we did. Have fun!
 EACH RHYME STARTED WITH THIS:
Hints and clues I will exclaim,
Guess who I am in this gift exchange...

Get up and go I never slow down,
So many activities the typical run around.
Video game systems a gamer I am
Either I’m on the computer or singing my jams
You blink and years pass but I remain innocent and sweet
But if you turn off my show it’s your butt Ill beat.
FROM: Mrs. Claus

Center of attention is where I like to be
Trips to the mall, to buy out Gucci.
A credit card I'll give but not to the clerk,
Cover your butt crack cause I’m always on the lurk.
Emotional I get when I am irritated
But it never gets me down cause I’m extremely motivated.
FROM: Santa Claus

365 days in a year as the seasons change
So does my career.
A man holds the key to enter my heart,
But I think he’s having relations with little Mark.
But I keep it calm never worry or bellow,
I take life a day at a time and stay very mellow.
FROM: Clarice (Rudolph's Girlfriend)

I don’t like to work and I don’t like to clean,
When I wear sandals, my feet cause a scene
Ditzy I am but my hair is not blonde
When the weekend hits I’m faded and gone.
I nurture and care because it’s my heart
Taking life easy, that’s how I start.
FROM: Yukon (Rudolph)

When I start to speak all my siblings listen,
If you think otherwise you must be trippen.
I work long shift’s which kinda gives me chills,
Gotta make this money, gotta pay these bills.
I’d do anything for my family at any or all costs
But when the cookie crumbles, we know that I’m the boss.
FROM: Sam the Snowman (Narrator of Rudolph)

I am really quite a jokester and I love to play around,
I love the white people in my life, you smith monkeys hold me down.
Gotta be home by dinner or I'll surely need some stitches,
Its hard out here for a pimp, when he got babies, bills, and ...
Families real important despite all the rest,
I’d do anything for my family; I love them all to death.
FROM: the Abominable Snowmonster

Designer things are what I like whether it’s Louis, Gucci, Fendi,
People always check me out cause I’m very very trendy.
Always doing something creative if I have the time,
Baking sinful delicious treats is my biggest crime.
I play a game of hide and seek and squeeze a toy until it squeaks,

I pull a wagon and sang a song I teach the children right from wrong.
FROM: Frosty

One of a kind, Trueys I rock
Fashionably late is what shows on my clock.
Happy with life it’s moving so fast,
The girl that I date eats doughnuts out the trash.
Caring and real are my tricks of the trade
I’ve been punking Big Mark since the 1st grade
FROM: Rudolph

Age is irrelevant you get what you see,
Always scheming and plotting you would think I was three.
I don’t do my homework that’s where boo comes in,
She works hard for my A’s while I watch ESPN.
I like the focus on me but don’t like the drama
I'll punch Big Mark in his stomach and then go “slap yo mamma”
FROM: Donner

Loudly I enter everywhere I go,
I’m not your ordinary average Joe.
Just a forewarning I'll let you know,
Touchin’ my treats is a no go!
My favorite color is the color green,
I feed my dog chicken and his skid marks are mean.
FROM: the Grinch

You’re patient when I’m foolish.
You give guidance when I ask.
It seems you can do most anything.
You’re the master of every task.
FROM: Charlie Brown

Your wisdom and knowledge have shown me the way,
I’m thankful for you as I live day to day.
I don’t tell you enough how important you are,
In my universe you’re a bright shining star.
FROM: Hermey (Misfit Elf from Rudolph)

Ahhhh okay, maybe I'll post the answers after I am all done with my Christmas posts, so stop back by to see...

Christmas Eve Service

A few quick shots snapped after our Christmas Eve service at Christ Life Church in Tempe. Some of Ken's family joined us tonight for the service.

Gifts for Trey & Boston

After dinner we stopped by the house for Trey & Boston to open their gifts from MiMi and PaPa... It is so much fun to watch them tearing into the paper and then rushing on to the next one and it brings back all the fun memories from when our kids were little and did the same thing. Trey got his own little Leapfrog Leap Top Laptop (wow, try to say that a few times), a Cash Register and some LEGO Bricks. Boston got some Busy Poppin' Pals, a Little Tikes Sports Center (can't ever start them to early) and a Musical Block Wagon...

Christmas Deco's

Christmas Eve Dinner

There is a new restaurant that opened near us a few days ago - Lin's Grand Buffet - and Mark decided he wanted to take the family there for our Christmas Eve dinner (something different for us).  We have been watching them build this place for months and had decided that we would definitely visit as soon as they did. So Christmas Eve it was to be...  It is the largest buffet I think I've ever seen. Three rows of hot food...a row of desserts, fruit, and salad. But there's more. A sushi counter and a Mongolian grill! It has every dish you could think of and more. Enchiladas, crawfish seriously!  But of course for me nothing could beat the time spent with almost all the kids. Shamesha (had to work a double shift today), Reggie and Marcus (spending family time with their families).

Mark & Anna - Naughty or NICE ???

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Anna Smith
Nicer than nice. A real champ! I was really proud of all the hard work that went towards changing those "naughty" habits of last year. Treated friends nicely and was exceptionally honest (which happens to be one of my favorite traits!) It's amazing what a good old fashioned "I'm sorry!" can do for a rating. Keep up the good work!



Mark Smith
Recently moved from naughty list over to my nice list. Made the nice list by helping out around the house a little more than usual, and not talking back. I'm sure the good work will continue. Someone I really like !


MORE CHRISTMAS MORNING PICTURES "HERE"

Santana - Naughty or NICE ???

Santana Smith
Has been on best behavior most of the year! A real "Nice" surprise. Always plays by the rules. Is a good, polite listener, even when bored. Set a new record of only interrupting 75 times in 365 days! Always says "bless you" when somebody sneezes. Every now and then gets a little cranky. (Like last Thursday?) Let's try and keep the good attitude every day!


Shamesha - Naughty or NICE ???

and SANTA says....

Shamesha Smith

Nice, but a few naughty marks. Good sense of humor helps others to laugh. Manners show improvement, though must keep working on being polite. "Please" and "thank you" go a long way!!


Reggie Sheffield

So far, fits into the "Nice" category. Cleans behind ears and brushes teeth regularly. Rarely winces when being kissed on the forehead by old folks. Smiles at babies. A real pleasure to have on my list. Be careful not to interrupt during conversations and don't have another day like�I think it was�last Wednesday. Right now, it's our little secret, but I'll be watching!


MORE CHRISTMAS MORNING PICTURES "HERE"

Shamara - Naughty or NICE ???

SANTA CLAUS has determined thatttttt....Shamara Smith

Nice, but has naughty lapses. High marks in the good deeds department. Better than average manners. Hopefully, thoughtfulness will continue to be as good as last month. Neatness needs improvement!


Ken Iwebema

Even after an "iffy" October, still has a "Nice" rating (hey, 11 good months out of 12 isn't bad!). Didn't eat vegetables and got caught sticking out tongue. Got parents really mad that one time. (Was it two Saturdays ago???) On the other hand, is kind to animals, finishes chores and almost always washes hands before eating. Should finish with a "Nice" rating if those awesome manners are kept up!





for BIG!!!



MORE CHRISTMAS MORNING PICTURES "HERE"

THIS ONE'S FOR KEN...
Ken gifted Shamara with one of the MOST SPECIAL things EVER! A years lease on her new salon appropriately named SALON 91 ...... When he thought of the idea and how he would present it to her, he decided on wrapping her salon key in a box and he said to me, "Watch, when she opens it she's gonna have this confused look on her face and ask - "Why is my key wrapped up?" and she did exactly that." I captured the following pictures of her right at that moment of opening. I don't know that he could have come up with a more meaningful gift, Ahhhh, well maybe one (just kidding). LOVE YOU KEN!







Christmas 2010 Photo Shoot

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We have such a fabulous time each year planning and putting every thing together for our annual family photo session that it is now a very strong on going tradition that all of our family and friends seem to love sharing with us and so with that in mind I thought what a shame we only get to share one or two of the hundreds of pictures that are taken each year. So I had this genius idea to make a small coffee table photo book that can sit out all year long that we can pick up because it'll always be right at our finger tips and reminisce through whenever we feel like it. SO THAT'S WHAT I DID! I had so much fun putting it together but it was also very hard to not use every single picture taken, but I did restrain myself and picked only some of the hundred or so. Anyways, after the book was completed and I was ready to order it, I was offered the option to share the book via the web (on the blog & facebook) and I thought WOW somebody else thinks like me and had a genius idea too. I was seriously so excited to be able to do this but once again I had to restrain myself from doing it right away because the Christmas cards needed to be sent out and received by you all before I could blow the theme out of the water with this post. So I had to wait and you had to wait but the wait was worth I think, and I hope you will enjoy it and think so too.
 FYI: Now if you know me at all then you would have guessed by now that I couldn't just make one photo book for 2010 - NOPE I had to go back through the last several years and YES I DID... I made those adorable little photo books all the way back through 2006. Okay, okay, I promise to post those too in a few days, but I just wanted to share 2010 with you first.

JUST BELOW THE BOX THAT THE PHOTO BOOK IS IN - YOU CAN CLICK TO VIEW IT LARGER! GO AHEAD AND DO THAT, YOU'LL GET A MUCH BETTER VIEW I PROMISE.


JUST IN CASE YOU CAN'T SEE THE PICTURES CLEAR ENOUGH I'VE ADDED A FEW BELOW BUT THIS IS ONLY A FEW, THE BOOK HAS WAY MORE.
This 1st set is the shots on our Christmas Card...

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer


A GLIMPSE BEHIND THE SCENES: There are 2 things that I just want to share with you about the 3rd picture in the above set.  1) We are all laughing because before this shot was taken Shamara standing in the very front of the picture all of a sudden realizes and says out loud, "I'm just up here posing away and my nails are all messed up." or something to that nature but the way she said it had us all cracking up as you can see and of course John doesn't stop shooting it's as if the camara is on auto pilot...  2) If you didn't notice yet, take another look at the picture and you'll see that because we all found this to be so hilarious we were just doing the natural thing and our attention was taken off of the camara BUT NOT SHANEL'S, she was laughing and posing all at the same time, she is the only one still focus on that next shot. Does that surprise anyone??? Haha!
This set is some of the 100's of other shots...

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Zoo Lights

Monday, December 20, 2010

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Thanksgiving 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR:
  • God. Because His throne is always accessible to me.
  • Family. We have our ups and downs, but they really are my foundation.
  • Love. It's completely magical and amazing, itsn't it?
  • Choice. I love that every day I can choose to be happy. Fabulous!
  • Health. I'm a pretty healthy girl and I'm so, so, SO happy about that.
  • Acceptance. I'm so thankful to those who accept me for who I am.
  • Holidays. There's something incredibly exciting about them.
  • Organization. It might seem boring to some, but I'm really glad I'm organized.
  • Generosity. One of those things that's just as great to give as it is to get.
  • Hope. Sometimes it's hard to find, but it's always there, waiting to life me up.
  • Quality Time. When you get to spend real quality time with the ones you love, it's sooo fantastic.
  • Sleep. There's nothing like a soft pillow and a warm blanket after a long, hard day.
  • Memories. It's awesome to look back sometimes...

I forgot to include this picture in the scrapblog above
and it is just tooo delicious not to post.
Our DESSERT table for Thanksgiving!


BEFORE OUR THANKSGIVING FESTIVITIES - the girls and I started the moring off with a quick hike up Lookout Mountain at 16th Street and Greenway... it was a little bit chilly but what a refreshing way to start the morning!


Such a Pretty Lady!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Reggie's 22nd Birthday

Friday, November 12, 2010

We gathered the family together to celebrate Reggie's 22nd Birthday along with some of his long time childhood friends from California who played hard all weekend with Reggie.

Minnesota

Monday, November 8, 2010

Shamara and Shamesha took the road trip to Minnesota this weekend to support Ken and the Cardinals in their effort to beat the Minnesota Vikings and although the Cardinals took another dreadful loss, the girls got to enjoy some quality time with their Uncle Randy and Auntie Sue and cousins.  Although they were only there for a short time, I'm without a doubt that Randy & Sue did their best to spoil their nieces.  Here are the pictures the girls were so kind to get for me...

Cardinals vs Buccaneers

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Even though we weren't able to cheer the Cardinals on to a win today, we sure had a lot of fun trying. Shanel was D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-E-D that today was the day she was going to make her debut onto the BIG screen at the game. In order to assure she would get noticed she made flags that we would use to hoist thru out the game... and you know what IT WORKED!

We made it on the B I G SCREEN, it was hilarious.


Let me step back a minute and explain that just prior to the fans around us letting us know we were on the screen our attention was distracted because there was an NFL official photographer who had come over and was taking pictures of us with our blinged out #91 jerseys. He wanted shots of both the back and front of the jerseys as well as us holding the flags. Are you kidding me, 4 Smith Women in BLINGED out jerseys and a camara all for us, what more is there to life at that moment. Haha!

Anyways it was right during this "photo session" that the camara found us in the crowd and we went crazy, grabbing the flag, nudging each other... all I can say is that I hope they never replay that moment because I think we might just be a little bit embarassed after the fact. But it was fun and funny at the moment. Ken even told us after the game that he saw THE WHOLE THING from down on the field and was being teased by some of his fellow teammates, YES!  GO CARDINALS!



The Cardinals fell to 3-4 with a 38-35 home defeat to the Tampa Bay Bucs in Week 8. Despite the late comeback attempt, the Cardinals suffered their fourth defeat of the season against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Max Hall threw his first career touchdown pass but also threw two passes to the defense. In relief of Hall stood Derek Anderson, who played relatively better then what we've seen so far this season. After the late comeback, the defense gave up a key fourth down and the offense couldn't recapture the lead. The two things that hurt the Cardinals were the two pick-sixes and the quick offensive output by the Bucs at the end of the game.


BSN in Nursing !!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

This is my baby girls Facebook post today:

I officially have my BSN in Nursing!!! Just got 1 more degree 2 go.....

SUCCESS: Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed.

"IF YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL, IT'S JUST THIS SIMPLE: KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING. LOVE WHAT YOU'RE DOING. AND BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU'RE DOING. -O.A. Battista

and this was my comment on her post...
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams... so I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known. WORDS WILL NEVER EVER BE ENOUGH TO EXPRESS HOW TRULY PROUD WE ARE OF YOU!!! I'm hugging you in my heart right now!♥

and all the congrats and good wishes from family and friends...
Lorrie Loomer Congrats way to go!!!!
Tamara Guidry Congrats cousin!
Ruth M Zappe Way to go and many blessings!
Jerine Jordan Congrats.... I'm so happy for you.
Elena Nunez Smith Santana! So proud and excited for you! Nice job!
Patty Mayonnaise Congrats!! I'm working to get to your level lol, how hard was the NCLEX??
Susan Bruesehoff Hobbs Congratulations!!! Great job!
BobandBecky Cleckner Way to go
LaQuita Monique Payne Congrats Tana! I'm so happy for you & also very proud of you!
Comelia Orndorf Congrats santana! Way to go!
Kandi Andresen Congratulations, Santana you are awesome.
Peter Quintanilla Yeah!!! You go.... Nice....
Anita Iwebema Congratulations sis! I'm tryna get like you!
Renee Cook You are Blessed Woman Santana! Congratulations that is so Awesome.:)
Margaret Gilder Congrats Santana, You are a very, very smart young lady. Love you...
Aubrey Carter Yay! Congratulations girl! That is awesome news!!! So proud and wish you the best of luck with number 2! Time for a celebration!
Cristina Hamrick congrats santana! that and 3 years of experience you can teach clinicals!
Lisa Brissette Congrats santana...
Shannon Smith congratulations!!!! that is so awesome on your bachelors! you know its every moms dream to have a rn as a babysitter lol and you don't live here for me to take advantage of that lol!!

Halloween

Sunday, October 31, 2010

We all met at our church this year to enjoy the Harvest Festival they sponsored and it was a great turnout.  We got to see the boys in their costumes and then we took Briya out for a little while to go house to house to get some treats...

FIRST Soccer Practice

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shannon signed Trey up for SOCCER and so GiGi and I will be taking turns alternating his Wednesday practices watching Boston out at the field while Shannon does the hands on mommy thing with Trey on the soccer field.  I had duty this first week and here are the pictures I was able to get.

Seattle

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Here are our pictures from this past weekend in Seattle. Shamara and I travel there to support Ken and the Cardinals in their endeavor to beat the Seahawks. Our host for this trip was Seattle's #90 Colin Cole and his wife Kay. We got to watch the game from their suite and they were such gracious hosts even when we were screaming and yelling for the Cardinals over the Seahawks, unfortunately not to much good it did. MY OPINION: If this game had been up to the Cardinals defense, we would've WON IT! Enough said!

HANGING OUT...


PRE-GAME


OUR HOST


THE GAME
Okay, I'll say a little bit more... Our defense did a very good job of shutting down the Seattle offense, despite being put in bad field position several times by the offense and special teams. They had five sacks, pressured Matt Hasselbeck constantly, and never let the Seattle run game gain consistently until the fourth quarter. About the only thing they did not do was force more turnovers, which might have possibly helped us win.

SOME FAVORITE SHOTS


POST GAME

Sours, Sweets & Treats

Monday, October 18, 2010

I tagged along with Mark & Shannon today to take Trey and Boston to the Pumpkin Patch... It was fun getting to watch the boys while they explored all the fun things to do at the Patch… and of course I got to take lots and lots and lots of pictures.  GiGi and Great Grandma was also able to join in the fun today.  There are different pictures to see on each blog page so just click on the names here and enjoy our Pumpkin Patch excursion: BOSTON, TREY, MARK & SHANNON

This first set of pictures are all pictures of some of the cutest Halloween/Harvest decorations that I just wanted to remember and share...



and this second set of pictures are various shots of all of us throughout the day.




SO

October Family Outing

Sunday, October 17, 2010

THE WHOLE GANG


SABRIYA


SHANEL


SHAMESHA & REGGIE


SHAMARA & KEN


MARK & SHANNON


LORRIE aka GiGi


ANNA aka MiMi


GUN TOTIN' GRANNIES


MARK aka PaPa


THE BOYS

Sabriya's Fall Brawl BB Tournament

Sabriya had a basketball tournament this weekend, the two pictures below are my favoriteS from a couple of the games. CLICK HERE to see the slideshow from two of the games - LOTS OF GREAT SHOTS!



ReFUEL LIVE - Guest Speaker KEN IWEBEMA

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Ken was the guest speaker at our church's event for the youth tonight - ReFUEL LIVE - talking about his childhood, high school, college and beyond; Life in the NFL both on and off the field...

THE INTERVIEW


PRESENTING THE KIDS WITH SOME MOMENTOS


AUTOGRAPH TIME


SPECIAL MUSICAL PERFORMANCE BY "PROOF"

Ken Speaks to Youth at Pop Warner Game

Reggie and his brother JB have been coaching a Pop Warner football team this fall season and Ken went out today to speak with their team... CLICK HERE for Shamesha's page to see more photos of the team.

Reggie's Pop Warner Game

ReFUEL Live Presents Kenny Iwebema

Wednesday, October 13, 2010





Cardinals STUN the Saints

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shamara, Shamesha, Shanel and I went to the game on Sunday and was very excited to witness live our Arizona Cardinals pulling off an upset with a 30-20 victory over the defending Super Bowl Champions New Orleans Saints. Their lone offensive touchdown came on a fumble recovery and return by offensive lineman Levi Brown. Aside from that, they relied on an opportunistic defense and strong special teams unit. Drew Brees was forced to throw three interceptions, and Dominique Rodgers Cromartie scored on the last one which sealed the game for good. This is a statement win for the Cardinals, giving them the sole lead in the NFC West. YES, GO CARDINALS!

Now on a little side note, while I am enjoying myself at this totally awesome game, doing my best to be a supportive fan and all - Shanel decides that I'm too rowdy and threatens to text the rowdy fan number on me and she did it on FB and she also said that I hit her with my pom pom, I don't think so. Here's her post:

Shanel C. Smith im going to have to text that number they have to report crazy fans at the cardinals game, my mom is going crazy lol and she doesn't even drink alcohol!

Of course I didn't see this until after our victory which I personally think I had a BIG part in and so this was my response to her:

Annadean Pete-Smith What's wrong with you Shanel, I'm not a crazy fan, that's called Showin SUPPORT! You can't go to a game & just sit there, that's what you do at a movie. Anyways it ain't NO FUN & you ain't no REAL fan if you don't almost get thrown out. I didn't do no less when y'all was playin' for school.

THE GAME
I didn't take as many pictures as I normally do because Ken wasn't playing, he hurt his knee in last weeks game against the Chargers and was ordered to rest it this week and of course with next week being a bye week he'll get two weeks of rest. Hurry Back Ken!


A LITTLE AFTER THE GAME FUN
Here we are after the game having a little bit of fun, pretty cool huh?

San Diego

We took a road trip a week ago and drove to San Diego to support Ken & the Cardinals in their fight against the Chargers.  Well... nice drive, fun time with the kids, beautiful weather, not such a good game - but there's always next time. GO CARDINALS!  Another highlight of the trip - Marcus flew down to spend the night and go the game with us, YEA!  Of course I took so many pictures I decided to split them up into three catagories: Before, During and After the Game - I hope you enjoy them as much as I do looking back and remembering. More precious moments stored for many years of priceless memories.

BEFORE THE GAME
You just can't go to San Diego without stopping by Seaport Village for a stroll. We didn't have much time to linger before the start of the game so we dropped by for a quick lunch and was able to even sneak into a few stores before we had to head on over to Qualcomm Stadium.


DURING THE GAME
We weren't able to pull off a win here in San Diego, but I sure was able to get tons of pictures of Ken and the Cardinals.  Watch closely as the pictures continuously flip and you might catch a glimpse of a few shots of us...

AFTER THE GAME
We had a couple of hours to kill while waiting on Marcus, Shanel and Shamara's flights so we decided to drive by Mission Beach to see what was happening down there and since we found a great parking spot right away we decided to get out and stroll a bit stopping for a few quick shots with the beach and sand as our background.  I can't tell you over the years how many pictures we have in this exact spot - maybe one day when I have nothing better to do, I'll attempt to find some and post them just for a fun comparsion.

San Francisco

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mark & I spent a delayed anniversary celebration along with our friends in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago but I'm only just now getting around to blogging it, so here you go - Our 3 days in San Francisco, click here to see the post:















Bri's Volleyball Season

All the posts are finally up from Sabirya's Volleyball season, click here and view some great shots of here at each game and the full day of a Volleyball tournament.

Upper GI Scope

Thursday, September 30, 2010

This morning I had the Upper GI Scope done at Scottsdale Endoscopy Center by Dr. Daniel Meline. It was a busy day in the Lyfe as a Smith household so we had to do some juggling with rides. Mark took Bri to school and then had to get to a catering at APS Palo Verde, he wanted to have someone else do the catering but I wouldn't let him, this client and the way things need to be done is extremely important and they are use to the way Mark does it; Reggie drove me to the center for the procedure; Shanel went to school and then rushed over to be ready to drive me home when the procedure was done. I sent her this message before I was drugged:

Hey Nellie when you get here to pick me up you need to come inside and check in at the front desk because you are gonna have to sigh me out just like I had to do for you when you were in school - I think that's kinda funny! Oh and bring a jacket, it's cold in here. Mommy

As I was getting prep for the procedure, I was looking around the office at all the shades of purple and it made me think about Santana and so I sent her this message: > Click Here <

So while I was waiting to be taken back, I passed the time playing on my iPad, texting and facebooking the kids, etc. and the last things I remembered are: they walked me back to the surgery room; told me to lay on my left side; the nurse put the medicine in my IV; the doctor said I'll be right over to talk to you.... and just like that A BLOCK OF TIME is missing from your memory...



My first memories after the procedure are: seeing Shanel, walking briefly to the car and then getting in the bed at home. But I can't tell you anything thing yet, since they sent me home and I was still drugged up most of the day and dosing in and out of sleep. So I'm assuming that Tuesday (since Monday is a holiday) that the doctors office will call to give me a better idea of what was revealed. Until then I have the patient instructions they sent home with me that tells me what they did  and what I'm suppose to do for the next week, so I'll share that:

During the procedure we found the following:
  • A direct laryngoscopy was performed. The uvula, epiglottis, vocal cords, valeculae, corniculate & arytenoid cartilages were symmetrical & non-inflammed. No lesions were noted.
  • Biopsies were obtained from the fundus to assess for Pernicious Anemia. (biopsy)
  • Biopsies were obtained from normal appearing antrum to rule out Helicobacter pylori.
  • Multiple cold forceps biopsies were obtained from normal appearing duodenal mucosa to rule out Giardia, Celiac disease, or microscopic Crohn's disease. (biopsy)
  • Otherwise normal EGD to jejunum
The doctor told Shanel that they took blood/tissue samples and submitted them for analysis and that we would go over the test results when I visit him next week.  As I mentioned before, I dosed in and out all day and felt a little nauseated at first. My throat was a little hoarse but not as sore as I thought it would be.

San Francisco - Day 1

Monday, September 27, 2010

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th
Well, Mark & I along with our good friends Eddie & Joyce Rogers are off to San Francisco for our delayed anniversaries and well needed rest and relaxtion for a few days...

FISHERMAN'S WHARF
We stayed at the Hyatt on Fisherman's Wharf, located only a couple of blocks South of Fisherman's Wharf so what better way to start our whirl wind San Francisco experience than at the world famous tourist attraction, thriving, vibrant local neighborhood and commercial area - Fisherman's Wharf - which is home to world-class dining, shopping, hotels and endless entertainment opportunities.  For more info on the picture of the crabs click here...




BOUDIN SOURDOUGH BAKERY
You simply cannot visit San Francisco without strolling by Boudin's on Jefferson Street to see their bakers in action thru a 30 foot observation window as they create batches of bread by hand turning them into the fabulous edible teddy bears, crabs, lobsters, alligators and more....
STREET ENTERTAINERS
Do I need to say more??? They are everywhere and definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. I do have 2 favorites but they come later on Day 2.  My "TRAVELERS TIP" here - travel with lots of $1.00 bills, can you guess why?
ALCATRAZ
Is there anyone who seriously doesn't know something about Alcatraz - the island located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles offshore often referred to as The Rock.  Through the years it has served as a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison, and a federal prison until 1963 when it was closed. Then later in 1972, it became a national recreation area. Today it is a historic site and open to tours.  The island can be reached by ferry from Pier 33 which is near Fisherman's Wharf.  Although we chose not to tour the island on this trip, you will see many photo shots of it as we tour San Francisco. It is visible from pretty much every where you go in the city.

PIER 39 & the SEA LIONS
Whether it's family fun, unique shopping (110+ stores), an up close look at the sea lions or delightful dining, PIER 39 is the place to be... it is one of the largest tourist destinations in the city. It is also the place to catch your tour boats for Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Aquarium of the Bay is also located here as well as a Venetian Carousel, Theater 39 and so much more.

Oh, and I haven't forgotten about the Sea Lions, they just deserve their own little paragraph. They are known as the world's "smelliest tourist attraction." For the past 20 years, hundreds of noisy, lazy, smelly sea lions have conquered the boat docks at Pier 39 in San Francisco and been a top tourist attraction. It's a must see attraction when visiting San Francisco.

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
Heralded as one of the top 10 construction achievements of the 20th Century... Have you ever wondered why the Golden Gate Bridge isn't painted GOLD???  You will see lots more pictures of the bridge coming up over the next couple of days.

 TROLLEY / CABLE CARS
Oh but this is a MUST DO... and I will even share a "golden tip" with you on how to catch a ride and miss the long waiting lines, and they are long of course because everybody has to ride the cable cars. Okay so this tip was given to me compliments of one of my new homeless friends, but I can't give it to you until tomorrow which will be Day 2 of our trip because that's when he gave it to me.

SCENIC VIEWS

MOVING DAY
The pictures below were taken for no other reason than I thought it was a hilarious site to see these women caring a sofa UP the STEEP Streets of San Francisco. In one of the shots you see them stopping to catch their breath.

San Francisco - Day 2

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th

FISHERMAN'S WHARF

FARMER'S MARKET
The market is held both in front of the Ferry Building and on the rear plaza overlooking the Bay.  The markets offer fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, meats and eggs from small regional farmers and ranchers, many of whom are certified organic.  A wealth of other products include regional artisan specialties such as breads, cheeses and jams.  Also includes local restaurants serving a variety of hot, delicious meals as you can see from some of the pictures.  My TIP - GO HUNGRY!
STREET ENTERTAINERS
Okay, so I promised to tell you who my 2 favorite street performers were... did you guess yet.  Well taking 2nd place would be the "Tapping Guys" I really enjoyed watching them and thought that Bri would love to have seen this as well.  And topping out the # 1 spot for Anna's favorite San Francisco Street Performer is 'THE BUSH MAN"  Oh my goodness, I literally stood on that street corner watching this man scare the heck out of people for 1/2 an hour and could have stayed all night (til it got cold) if Mark, Eddie and Joyce hadn't pulled me away. There was nothing funnier than this, I have so many video clips and will try to get
 some up on the blog.
SCENIC VIEWS

LOMBARD STREET
The CROOKEDEST (most winding) street in the world. It is located on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets and is 1/4 mile long. The one way road has eight sharp turns or switchbacks and was orginally designed in order to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade which was too steep for most vehicles to climb.

















GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
This was our day to walk/run across the Golden Gate Bridge. I think by the end of this 2nd day we had walked over 20,000 steps. These pictures are all taken on/at/from different points on the bridge.  Have you ever wanted to know How Long It Took to Build the Bridge?
MARK'S PHOTOS FOR THE DAY

San Francisco - Day 3

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th

BREAKFAST
I can not say enough about this place. We ate here the day before we left San Francisco and we wished we had known about it earlier in our stay because we would have eaten here everyday. Prices are great and food is great! All food was made to order and the staff who runs the business were very courteous. It's just a little cafe right across the street from our hotel that only served breakfast and lunch from 7am to 1pm daily.

GO CAR TOUR
If you want the ultimate sightseeing experience then this is it, rent a GoCar. It is a talking GPS guided tour car that takes you all over the city and I promise you won't ever get really lost.  My BIG Tip here is to book your tour for your 1st day then as you are touring you can make notes as to want things you really want to go back and see in more detail. Oh, and dress warm, the car is open and at times it was a little nippy.  Click here for more info on GoCar GPS Guided Tours...
SCENIC VIEWS

GOLDEN GATE VIEWS

CHINA TOWN
San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. It is another of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco. You can click here to learn more about the attractions, culture, history and events in Chinatown.
DINNER in LITTLE ITALY
We had the most fabulous dinner at this truly authentic Italian restuarant that we found in Little Italy, so if you ever make it to San Francisco I would highly recommend that you find this place. Volare Trattoria located at 561 Columbus Avenue, serves hearty pastas, ravioli, gnocchi, pizza, and tiramisu made daily plus fresh seafood and grilled meats at reasonable prices. From the restaurant you get a bird's eye view of historical Washington Square Park and St. Peter & Paul Church in the heart of North Beach. One last great meal to end our last night in San Francisco.

San Francisco Video - TAPPERS

This is the video from one of the many Street Performers that can be found on the streets of San Francisco. If you'd like to see the orginal post from our Anniversary in San Francisco just CLICK HERE.

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