Friday, February 21, 2014

Christmas Activities 2013

Christmas this year was quiet and lovely. My idea of a fabulous Christmas day involves delicious food, staying in your pajamas all day if you want, reading new books, and playing with games and new toys. This Christmas fit that wonderful ideal. We had a lovely day.
Shortly before Christmas he turned 1 month old!
We made several batches of sugar cookies.
Yum! Let's eat cookies!
Princess wanted to make these 3D Christmas trees with me.
She thought they were awesome.
Gingerbread house kit. Fairly easy and kids are happy.
Baby loved this Christmas outfit. Ha!
A little happier
All 5 kids in footie pajamas. We don't have special Christmas jammies but they were all warm and cozy in their footies.
Working on a new puzzle and playing with baby dragons with my sweet Little Guy
Baby hanging out in another Christmas outfit.

Baby and Fixitman. Look at him pick up his head!
Dinoguy assembling a model ship.
Trainboy assembling a model ship.
Princess starts to move her barbies into their new doll house

Little Guy joins the fun.

Late breakfast after gifts

Monday, February 17, 2014

FHE - The Atonement of Jesus Christ

Our next Family Home Evening lesson had Dinoguy in charge. He chose to focus on a talk by Elder Richard G. Scott called "Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ". He prepared the lesson on his own and chose a few quotes. His main focus was on the story of the people of Ammon and their sons who became the Army of Helaman.

He shared the background story of the people of Ammon joining the church and how they considered taking up arms again to help fight the Lamanites. That it was important they not take up weapons though it had been years because of previous weakness.

The joyful news for anyone who desires to be rid of the consequences of past poor choices is that the Lord sees weaknesses differently than He does rebellion. Whereas the Lord warns that unrepented rebellion will bring punishment, when the Lord speaks of weaknesses, it is always with mercy. 

The sons of these people stepped in and were able to be weak things made strong by the Lord. They were miraculously preserved in battle and returned home spiritually strengthened. Many have been encouraged by their examples.

Each of us has had times in our lives when we have made poor choices. We are all in desperate need of the redemptive power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Many of us have allowed weakness to develop in our character. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we, like the Ammonites, can build spiritual fortifications between ourselves and any past mistakes that Satan attempts to exploit. The spiritual protections built around the Ammonite fathers blessed and strengthened themselves, their families, their country, and future generations. The same can be true with us.

How can we apply the Atonement in our own lives? The first step is repentance and working to change. Elder Scott also shares many suggestions for fortifying ourselves against relapses of weaknesses.

Remember, repentance is not punishment. It is the hope-filled path to a more glorious future.

In each of these suggestions, there is a common theme: fill your life with service to others.

Many of you have felt the burden of poor choices, and each of you can feel the elevating power of the Lord’s forgiveness, mercy, and strength.

Dinoguy ended with his testimony about the Atonement and the Savior and I shared mine as well. It was a good, simple lesson. Then we had treats, played a game and went to bed.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Trainboy turns 9 (December 2013)

My sweet little boy is growing up. We celebrated that he has been part of our family now for 9 years in December.

Breakfast in bed. Didn't know I had started a tradition there. Oops.
Cute brother helped me out by holding baby.
After much deliberation, he decided a peppermint chocolate ice cream cake was what he wanted. So I set out to make my first ice cream cake.
My cake is huge!

Lots of candles

Picture showing the inside of the giant cake.
I followed a recipe, but the ice cream layer was just too thick for us. I think that yummy fudgey layer that you get from store bought cakes would have been a nice addition. When you add in that it had to be kept in the freezer also, this cake wasn't completely consumed until mid January.

Favorite present: A calculator
So earlier in the month, Trainboy had an abscess in his mouth and had to get a tooth pulled after a round of antibiotics. While he was at the dentist, his dad made a video to show me later of what happened. In it Trainboy is asked what he wants for Christmas and his immediate answer is "a calculator". Hah! Love it! That was an easy birthday present to get him. He was thrilled! (I should note that part of that desire probably comes from the fact that I am protective of my calculator that I use for tutoring work. He has gotten in trouble for "playing" with my calculator before.)

This kid is really growing up to be an awesome person. I can't believe he is already 9. It doesn't seem like that much time could have already passed. I still remember trying to get him to sleep and how much time I spent worrying about making sure he got his naps. Now he tells me how busy he is trying to fit in all the books he wants to read.
Trainboy as a baby with a beautiful head of hair.

My oldest two boys in 2005
The older ladies who stop you at the store to tell you to cherish the baby stages because you'll miss it and it'll be gone so quickly - I know what they mean now. But in those moments of not getting enough sleep it seemed like every day was never ending in length and I don't have enough memories of cuddling him. I wish I could go back and just hold Trainboy as a baby again. Since I can't, I guess I'll hold his baby brother extra and try to pack in the memories of joy of now. Because Trainboy is an awesome kid with a big heart full of love. He is sweet and caring and helpful. He is inquisitive and a stickler for following the rules. He has a quick temper when he perceives injustice. He loves to watch the birds and grow plants. He is observant and thoughtful. He is wonderful. I am glad he is part of my family.
Dec 2006, age 2
Dec 2008, age 4, becoming a big brother for the first time
Dec 2010 about to eat his baby corn he grew in the garden.
Jan 2013, age 8, being goofy for baptism pictures

Trainboy age 9, Baby age 7 weeks  (early January 2014)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

December 2013 Activities

After Grandma went home (sniff... we missed her!) we started to do some normal stuff again. Lots of baby holding time of course!
This fake wall tree at the doctor fascinates my kids. They keep trying to climb it.

Yummy...Peppermint Chocolate sandwich cookies with sprinkles!

What a contrast - Big brother and baby brother

They are watching a movie I think. So no focus on the picture. Sigh.

Loves to eat his fist.

Nap with Dad.

Sorry for the odd picture - I had to take it myself sadly. But I got a fabulous haircut that I love in early December. It was perfect timing because it meant my hair looked great at my sister's wedding!

Love that he fell asleep with his brother

Baby fencer pose

Look Mom, I got my hands unswaddled! Hah!

They don't really understand why he isn't super excited about toys like they are!

Christmas Dino Jammies!
So there you have a short summary of the first half of December here. We made cookies (several times), and we watched some movies and we played with Baby. Changing his clothes is a fun activity. Changing his diaper and feeding him are requirements. We also managed to get the tree up!


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