Thursday, December 23, 2010

The True Meaning...

A little while ago, I overheard Josiah telling his little brothers about Santa.

"You know, Santa brings us gifts to help us remember about the true meaning of Christmas. He gives us gifts to remember the greatest gift was Jesus. Jesus was born-that is Heavenly Father's gift and Jesus died for us-that was Jesus's gift for us. So, then all Santa asks is for us to be good like Jesus asks us. I know Santa will bring me lots of gifts, 'cause I've been good...I don't know if you're getting a lot. Maybe you need to be better."

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Baptism Day

Oh, my sweet boy. It is so crazy for me to think you have reached the grand ol' age of 8. Ancient, wise and oh-so-strong of an age in your mind. To me, it is just a blink past the moment I first held you in my arms. You were a scrawny, fuzzy little red-headed Yertle the Turtle. Now, you are still scrawny and fuzzy, but so much bigger. It is definitely much harder to cradle you in my arms now.

Your baby blessing spoke of your curiosity of the world and your quick, questioning mind. Nearly every day I think of those phrases when I think of you. I love that you have such a fast-paced mind. You puzzle things out and wonder over so many things. I especially love the desire to learn more about our Savior. I will never forget the night you came down (waaay too long past your bedtime) to double check with me about a scripture you were looking up to "read what the prophets said in their own words about the birth of Christ".

I appreciate how different you are from me. You, my son, are a born leader. Too often I am reminding you not to be the parent. But-I rely on you to help me with your brothers and sister often. Your love for them is so apparent to anyone who meets you. You are so quick to help them up and cheer them up. All your little "treasures" you bring home from school makes their eyes shine. Thank you for being such a wonderful brother. Thank you for being a wonderful son.

I am truly so pleased with you and your decision to get baptized. You have always wanted to, but wasn't sure in your mind if the Church was true or not. You wanted to believe, but just wasn't sure. My heart burns when I think of your fervent prayer. Sweet, honest, pure Josiah-ness coming through in the words you spoke to our Heavenly Father. The answer was so strong, your dad and I could feel the knowledge you received simply by being in the same room as you. I was so proud that night. The Lord let me feel, see with my heart, a glimpse of the great warrior you are. The great warrior you are growing into. I thank our Father for allowing me to be your mother. I only pray I will be able to be all of the mother you need to see you through the trials that will come. I know you will succeed in becoming the man our Heavenly Father sees you to be. I love, love, love you.

Your Mom

Again, thank you to all of our family who made it this far east to attend Josiah's baptism. We are so blessed to have such a loving family.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fabulous Family

And when I say family, I mean A LOT of family. It was absolutely wonderful! The weekend before Josiah's birthday, my mom, my sister, Stephanie, and her family (after a 2 day trip!!) arrived. We saw a few sights and hit the largest craft store on the east coast, The Country House.
Then it was Josiah's big day. As the day before Thanksgiving, we didn't want it lost in the preparations. We had nothing to worry about. He partied very well with his cousins until Grammy and Papa arrived at lunch time (can we say early, early morning flight). A little later in the afternoon, Aunt Sydnee, Uncle Dale, Parker and Ellee arrived after a day's drive from Ohio.

The family count: 9- adults, 1- 13 yr. old and 8- 10 yrs and under. Our little house was filled to the brim (thankfully we have 2.5 bathrooms), but we wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I think we rubbed along quite fabulously despite the close quarters.

Happy to open gifts!
Thank you Auntie Stephie, for this caught-the-moment pic. Ok, credit for all the photos need to be given to her...
Aunt Ashlee got the right thing! He wears them everywhere. He justifies this as "you never know when you might need to hike!"
It was one big crazy fest, let me tell you!
I love this grin. Pardon the fuzzy hair. We did it after the morning gift opening, but after a day of partying, eating and bowling, by the time it was time for cake, well...definitely back to undone-do-ness.

He is grinning about his fabbity-fab "OSU" cheesecake. He loves Kit's cheesecake (Grammy's recipe), but was thinking of straying for a regular cake if he could have colored frosting, etc. When he found out his daddy could make him his very own black and orange cheesecake, there was no looking away again!
This is what too much partying and sugar does to warned...

The next day was Thanksgiving. With all the hungry mouths to feed, I didn't even have an urge to whip out my camera. Probably a good thing. With Kit's knack for clicking embarrassingly ugly moments, way to many of us would have been remembered by our posterity for our ability to shovel the food in (I say many in hopes I wasn't the only one eating myself sick!). I wanted everyone to feel like this was their Thanksgiving, so I had each family pick a couple of dishes they have as their traditional fare. It was delicious! Kit fried us a yummo turkey (my dad's turkey is amazing, but I will have to say I could not do without Kit's rubbed, injected and fried turkey again...yummm), Grammy took care of the dressing, Sydnee made the broccoli casserole and cranberry freeze, Steph took care of many, many pies and everything else was a group effort. Yu-ummm!

The day after Thanksgiving was NOT spent hitting the stores. Although Kit and my brother-in-law perused the ads just in case. After Josiah's baptism (an upcoming post, I promise), we decided to head out and visit historical Jamestown. It is amazing to live so close to early american history. I can't wait to go back when we have a little more time. With the damp cold weather, we got the barest hint of what the poor settlers dealt with. It definitely put technology, medical knowledge, warm clothes and a heated home on my list of things to be thankful for.

Cousins posing by the unrealistic statue of Pocahontas. One of the site workers laughingly mentioned how too like Disney's version she was. In reality, by all accounts, she was about 12 years old, short and rather sturdily built. Yeah...not like Disney's at all. This statue is one no one will admit to accepting, he told us. It doesn't look like Parker minds holding her hand, though. ;)

Again, please excuse the bad hair! Agggh! So, looking past the do, I love these boys so much.

I am so, so very grateful of everyone's sacrifices and efforts to make it here. I know we have many loved ones who simply couldn't make it, but to those who could and did, a heart-felt Thank You.

Monkey on my Back

Phew! I have quite a few things to cover...hold on for upcoming posts. Sheesh...the pressure is getting to me!