Isn't life just messy? I look around the mess at my house today and have to remind myself why it is the way it is. It's messy becasue we live here, and because I value my children more than I value a perfectly manicured home. I value them being able to explore and create and try things. I value having books of all sizes and types all over the house. Yes, I also value teaching them to clean up after themselves and to put things away. It's just that sometimes the 'fort' or the 'store' or the 'school' is up and running for several hours or all day and I can't bear to make them stop cleaning so that I can pat myself on the back for how clean my house is. Oh, and there is dishes, laundry, shoes and snow gear in the mix too. Life is messy. But it's a pretty good, messy life!
As we have had another round of sickness, several of my children have asked me "Why does Heavenly Father even create sickness?".
I have explained to them that everything has it's opposite it has led to the question 'When was the last time you prayed in gratitude for the good health that you typically enjoy?'. It has reminded us of how much we take for granted on a regular basis. I hope I learn better so I don't continue to need these reminders. :)
Have I mentioned how much I love our district homeschool program? The children attend one day a week and this is how happy they feel when they get home to tell me about all the wonderful things they did at Cloverleaf. Madeline is working on a project with Parker Task force collecting items for needy families and learing about social issues. Christian is so engrossed with reading 'The Sign of the Beaver' right now that he couldn't answer any of my questions about what he did today. It's amazing how much he has grown to love reading in this past year. He reads a book about every 2 days.
Can it be true that we are beginning the 3rd week of January already?
One of my favorite things this past week is that Clark wrote down his dream as he learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. His paper says "My dream is to clean up the world by raking up leaves."
This cute boy is getting bigger, stronger and is more fun than ever before.
Madeline and Savanna had two opportunities to perform baptisms for the dead this past week. They are such good examples to me.
We had a great time on Saturday hiking up to Castle Rock. This is Madeline at the very top. I'm so proud of my children for climbing up there and for doing hard things.
The weekly family photo project continues. I Love it! Can you tell that no matter what dress Faye is wearing she likes to wear her hot pink tights? They don't really match everything but don't tell Faye that; she is sure that pink matches with anything else. I'm just thankful that she got dressed for church and went to her Sunbeam class for the first time yesterday. Victory!
This week I'm so thankful for the lesson reminder in church to 'pray always'.
I've realized that my favorite way of documenting things is in photographs. It isn't like this is a surprise at all, but for this year I am going to embrace it even more. It's been a great start to a new year; already full of blessings, sickness, challenges, and fun.
I hope to post a photo on here for every day of the year in 2015. Optimistic? For sure. Is there any other way to begin a year?
A decent amount of activity takes place in 11 days, wouldn't you say?
Today was a great day at church. I want to remember that. Madeline gave a talk about eternal families and she did a spectacular job. I felt so happy.
I'm optimistic about the new year. I just know that one of these mornings we are going to wake up to healed bodies and no more sickness. I just know that I will be able to take a break from the worry of hospital visits and repeat surgeries.
I'm not sure exactly what the new year holds for me or for my family but I'm thankful for the fresh start that is included with the turning of the calendar. And it's a good reminder to me that any day we decided to begin again it can be day 1. So when, come March, I find myself too far from where I had hoped to be in the new year I will begin again and that is ok. I hope you give yourself that grace as well.
I love how the Christmas season brings out such great imagination and play with my children. I love how Emma and Faye made a stable and manger for Sheffield to lay in. Classic. There is something so magical about having a small baby at Christmas time to remind us of Jesus Christ as a baby. It always makes me see Mary in a whole new light and to think about what she truly endured and the circumstances she was in.
I also love my 'help' in the kitchen. Faye helped me for about an hour just rolling around some dough and adding huge amounts of flour to it as she played. This brings back such good memories of doing the same thing in the kitchen with my mother and I hope it gives my children a desire to learn how to cook good food and not be afraid to try new things.
I love these adorable faces!
Sailing through December faster than I would like,
A few months ago I decided that we would take a self-timer family photo every week after church. It is amazing to see already how much everyone is growing and how quickly the little ones change. TO say that my children are not thrilled about this would be accurate. Especially yesterday when it was snowing. I'm hoping we made a memory too. And for some crazy reason I also think in some small way it teaches them that they are what is most important to me.
This holiday season we asked each of them what is the number one thing that matters the most to them for it to feel like Christmas. It's amazing how many 'running around crazy' type of things can drop off the list when we are reminded that what they care about the most is decorating the tree together as a family, reading a Christmas story together every night, and driving around our neighborhood to look at lights. The only other big request was to go ice skating. My children are such a good reminder to me that what they love is feeling safe, warm, and loved. They don't need it all, they just need what matters most.