Thursday, December 29, 2011

puppy fun

Parker's haircut

Playing outside.

Playing with Millie!

My sister and her puppy, Punky.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Smith Family Christmas

Our Christmas card this year:

I got a new camera from Santa, so I've been a picture taking fool. I don't really know what I'm doing. I've read a lot on Kevin and Amanda's blog, Improve Photography, and other various places on the internet. I have taken about 150 pictures, but here are a few! I'm still learning, so be nice!

Parker! He got a haircut the next day!

My Aunt Cam has this awesome handmade beaded fruit- love them.

My sister's boyfriend surprised her with autographed Alabama pictures. She was PUMPED.

weird coloring. but I kinda like it. Have no idea what I did to make this happen :)

me and Parker

I love taking pictures of flowers. These are in my parent's yard. In January. Good grief.

Mom's turn for an iPad Christmas!!!

My sister being SO EXCITED about the book I gave her. Love Peter Pan!

Dad's new coffee container!

Honestly? Kinda impressed with myself for this one. Only post-production was cropping.

My parents' neighbors' house. Love their lights. (I was playing with my tripod at this point.)

This pic kinda blows my mind bc it was pitch black dark outside. Once again, only post-production was a small crop

My sister in her new red jacket.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


One of my pastors said something remarkable this past Sunday:
Many of walk us walk around living life as practical atheists: believing that our money, position, and influence are all the work of our own hands.

The sermon was focused on the story of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, who was humbled by God so that he could see that God had given him all of his money position, and influence. By the end of Daniel 4, Nebby, as his friends called him, had come to the realization that everything in his power was actually given to him by God. Everything that he owned was given to him by God. Everyone that he influenced was given to him by God.

In my head, I know that God has given me everything I have, but I don't often think of that in terms of influence. At the end of the sermon, Stuart asked the question, "How could I leverage my position to make a difference?". As always, I immediately think of my students. There have been so many students that have come and gone through my classroom that I have not impacted in any spectacular way. However, I know there are students that have been changed because they had me as a teacher. That is an incredible joy for me, but also an incredible pressure- because I know that I can make a difference in someone's life.

My number one person this year is named Tyler.

Tyler isn't on my team. I don't have him for homeroom. I don't teach him language arts. We met by accident. My best friend teaches him, and I happened to be in her classroom one day, so he started talking to me.

I have become his refuge. If he gets in trouble in a class, he gets sent to my room.
I have become his reward. If he has a great day, his prize is to come hang out with me.
I have become his encourager. I seek him out all day long to ask him how things are going in each of his classes. And he comes to tell me about his days- good and bad.

Hearing Stuart on Sunday made me realize that God has given me influence on Tyler. Not my age or the fact that I don't teach him. But God alone has given me that influence. It makes me realize that I have 5 more months to be Tyler's influence, but the impact of that influence could go long beyond that.

The realization has made me so much more aware of the way I speak to my students, especially Tyler. To speak truth to them. To make sure that they know that you love them- whether you can directly say it or not. To make sure that their behavior doesn't change the fact that I have chosen to love them. To give grace every single day. To discipline when out of my desire for them to be better people, not so I can have control.

God uses me to influence people. I just have to be sure to influence them in the way that brings glory to God.

Do you have a "Tyler"?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Iron Bowl!

Through an INCREDIBLE turn of events, I got to to go to the Iron Bowl with some family friends! They're HUGE Auburn fans, but they were so kind to let me come along! We had wonderful seats, right near the Alabama student section and band. Of course, my friends hated it, but I was DYING of happiness!

At the halftime show, the two bands joined together to play in memory of those who died in the April tornado that cut through north Alabama. They played Amazing Grace- and it was precious.

SO MUCH FUN!!!!! 42-14!!
Is there anything cuter than my puppy in his #3 jersey!? Roll Tide!