Saturday, January 16, 2016

16+ Pictures of our Family for the 16th of January 2016

"The family is God's masterpiece." 

For the last five years I've asked our family to take a picture of each family member to be posted on this blog.  In 2011, we took the picture on the 11th of the month; in 2012, we took the picture on the 12th of the month.

Here we are in 2016 with the tradition continuing . . . 

Ray:  Reading to the boys before bedtime.

Cali:  Every once in a while I can still shock Ray into speechlessness.
Ray:  "What do you want to get done tomorrow?"
Me:  "I have a manicure at 9:30."
Ray:  "... ... ... ..."
Me:  "I won a free one.  It expires soon."
Then he understood.  It was more about squeezing out all the value and less about the manicure.
That sounded like me after all.
She assured me the shellack lasts two weeks.  I assured her I'd put it to the test.

Levin:  Ray's Plan A for telling me to hurry in the grocery store.
Plan B would be a texted picture of him giving them a
sharpie to decorate with.
Luckily, we've never made it to Plan B. 

Atlas:  Just making do with no pockets.
Obviously a Ray trait, not having something is rarely a big problem.

Abe:  Conducting training at Yakima

Grace:  my stats for the day!

Henry and Hazel:  Playing with mom at Grandpa and Grandma's house

Ty: I spent a good chunk of the day doing some financial planning. 

Michelle: 18.5 hours. 166 miles each way. Stake Youth Conference. Memphis temple.
 A very surprise encounter in the temple with a family from my mission.
 Speakers. Games. A nap (for me) in the mother's lounge. Service projects. Food. Testimonies.
Sonic shakes on the way home.
Great day.
I'm tired.

Afton:  I begged my dad to let me take Kathryn
down the slide at Chic-Fil-A.
Eliza didn't want to be left out. 

Eliza, I mean Baby Spider, or was it Daisy?
Oh yeah, Robin Hood watching Brother Bear.

Kathryn:  I spent most of my day in my parent's closet.
A 4 hour nap and a 2 hour nap! And I had to be woke up both times!

Joe:  Zeph is wearing some swag Ande and I received
at the Bluffton Ball last weekend.

Ande: nap time. And all nap times in the foreseeable future.

Zeph: Eating goldfish straight from the box while watching Toy Story at GMa's. 

Ezra: my newest and most favorite game.

Calvin:  Holding Hazel

Jane: I looked outside and saw these 4 little boys playing in the fresh snow in the backyard.
Mind you, we live miles away from a group of little boys.

Calvin mentioned this morning that a neighbor was coming out to work
on a Pinewood derby car, so when I saw a bunch of boys instead of just one boy,
I figured I'd misunderstood and a whole cub pack was working in the shop.

The boys played for an hour or more in the snow as I watched them from the kitchen window
and their dads made derby cars. The boys had to be cold and hungry
so I invited them in for sandwiches and hot chocolate.

They were so excited and well-mannered.

Before long their dads came looking for them and joined them at the table.

Impromptu gatherings are my favorite.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

52 Blessings -- We're Making Progress

Temple Square in SLC
It was our reward for reading the Book of Mormon and it included breakfast at McDonald's.  It was a big deal.

Abe sent this picture in a family text the other night.  You can imagine the comments.  At least no one mentioned how short and full of static my pants were.  (This was the day long before skinny jeans, but after culottes.)

I was a bit embarrassed when I saw the picture; I did not know that I looked so hideous in a permed mullet.

But then I thought of something my colleague said the other day.  He was preparing for an upcoming family reunion with his adult children and their families, and he and his wife were watching old home videos.  His wife (who is the sweetest woman) said, "Oh Eric!  Aren't you just so embarrassed seeing ourselves back then and how we talked and acted and parented?  This is embarrassing and these are painful to watch."

Eric replied, "Embarrassed?  Why would I be embarrassed?  This life is all about growing, improving, and making progress.  Look how we've improved!  These videos prove we have progressed."

And there you have it.

I no longer wear a permed mullet and polyester pants with static.  I no longer dress our kids in clothes that are too big for them.  I'm improving and this life is all about making progress.

I've applied this logic several times this week in mental reruns of embarrassing situations that are over, wishes I'd used new-found wisdom in earlier decisions, and remembering old annoying habits that have been broken.  Instead of getting discouraged or embarrassed I remembered what Eric said, "Hey, don't sweat it. Those things prove you're making progress."

Perhaps even more encouraging than recognizing past growth is trusting in future growth.  I'm grateful the Lord makes improving possible.  He knew I'd need it.