I was so behind and now I will be caught up and I'm exhausted! I did some posts earlier during quiet time but most of them happened tonight. Jack is sleeping in Natalie's room for the first time (cross your fingers!) and Austin is at basketball, and I am finally tackling all the pictures I've been saving up for weeks. I sometimes think about just giving up and not worrying about posting everything, but that hurts my heart! I love these little memories in every picture and I never look back on old posts and think, "wow, I should really put less pictures up."
First, here are the leftover pictures from when Max came home that I want to keep but don't feel like adding into the original Max post:
And I guess this is an appropriate time to mention that Peanut, our wonderful little doggy of 15 years, went to doggy heaven earlier this month. He was the best dog our family could have imagined growing up with and it is weird to not have him bounding down the stairs whenever I go to my parents' house. We are grateful that he lasted at least until Max got home, so they could have snuggles and loves for one more month before he moved on.
Second, here are a bunch of pictures of Smalls:
Third, some random pictures of nothing critical:
|fun fact: I LOVE making burned cds|
for people and receiving them in return...
Blue Breakup from 2010 finally got retired
due to scratches, but it had a long run!
|Scattergories before bed. We played|
six rounds and I dominated. Austin tried
to get away with "moose hunting" as a hobby.
|remnants of Stockton's lucky charms.|
he is a master marshmallow picker-outer.
|Austin gave me a break one afternoon but|
there was a giant pile of laundry on the bed,
so I read amidst the clothes.
(Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo - SO GOOD, READ IT)
|is this some sort of sick joke? my most favorite christmas candy,|
befouled by DARK chocolate. i bought it anyway because
the milk chocolate variety was sold out.
|another old friend, this time circa 2004!!|
|we got this hilarious set of books for Christmas with pictures of|
felted Star Wars characters and just one descriptive word per page
-If we want our children to have testimonies, we must bear our own testimonies frequently and often so that they can feel the divine witness that comes when truths are spoken and revered. Austin and I have taken to adding a little testimony after we talk about Gospel things; for example, when Natalie asked where Daddy was I told her he was at the temple and I have a testimony that going to the temple blesses our lives, and then when he got home he told her that he has a testimony that we feel the spirit when we are in the temple and it is where we can become closer to God. It's strengthened our own testimonies as we testify to our children - it is AMAZING how quickly and powerfully the spirit enters the room when we bear testimony of a Gospel truth.
-Austin and I each answered the question "what do you have the strongest testimony of?" and it was a really great opportunity to review where we stand in the Gospel and evaluate what truths we hold dear. (There are so many that we could name, but the first thing that came to my mind was my testimony of the power of prayer, that God and Jesus are truly listening to us as we pour our hearts out to them, and the comfort of knowing that Jesus really knows EXACTLY how I am feeling as I pray. Austin said he felt strongest about Joseph Smith's First Vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, since he testified of that so many times on his mission and now it is embedded into spirit.) I challenge anyone reading this to ask yourself what you believe most fervently, whether you are religious or not.
-I used to bring my phone into the bathroom with me, but I found that I was sitting there wasting time on my phone far after I was actually done going to the bathroom (tmi?) and decided to put a Book of Mormon in the bathroom and read that instead of looking at my phone. I love it! I love that I look for excuses to go to the bathroom so I can get a little reading done, and I love that it is distancing me from the addiction of technology. I have a goal to finish the entire Book of Mormon in the bathroom this next year. (Ha, I just reread this paragraph and it sounds slightly ridiculous, but it's true!). I like that my children catch me reading the Book of Mormon instead of playing on my phone.
2015 was a grand year. Jack was born, Stockton started using words, Natalie tried swim lessons and everyone is growing and developing. Bring on 2016!