Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Afternoons

I remember discussing "intentional families" as part of a class I took at BYU. At the time, the phrase didn't mean much to me, but I find myself going back to it more and more often as time goes on and our children grow. The idea is that we, as parents, aren't just letting things happen aimlessly as time passes, but that we are purposefully, intentionally creating experiences to strengthen our family. The concept seems simple enough, but it is far too easy to lack direction in what we are doing with our kids.

Like Sunday afternoons.

Our church begins at 8 am, which means most weeks we are home around 11:30 and have a long Sunday afternoon ahead of us, which is great!

But too often, it ends up being an afternoon of "hanging out" at home, napping, playing aimlessly with toys, sporting a ragtag-Sunday-leftover-clothes appearance, and refraining from working, but not really making the afternoon meaningful for the kids (or us). Often Sam is gone for the majority of the afternoon with different meetings or visits, and the afternoon seems to drag on without real purpose in our actions.

(One day Talmage built a dinosaur on an afternoon like the one described above.)

Sam and I have discussed on several occasions how we can make the afternoon more spiritually uplifting for our family and how we can use the day for enjoyable Gospel instruction. We've had ideas, but we're far less than perfect at implementing them.

We have a special "Sunday box" that I've started, which is filled with Gospel-centered puzzles, books, coloring books, and other activities. We also have an envelope of activities from which we can draw to select a more structured plan for the afternoon. Right now the envelope contains these ideas:

-make thank-you cards for Primary teachers
-write in a journal
-watch a church movie
-visit our friend in the nursing home
-act out scripture stories
-make & deliver cookies
-practice learning General Authorities
-Skype with family
-do a craft from The Friend magazine
-write letters/make cards for family or friends
-read stories from The Friend
-record a family video--possibly singing Primary songs
-look at old photo albums/scrapbooks
-Primary song sing-a-long

I put together the box about 6 months ago, but we still haven't done a whole lot as far as "structured" Sunday time goes. So my question:  Do any of my (very few) blog readers have ideas or experiences that help make the Sabbath Day positive, spiritual, and structured for little kids? Or any more ideas to add to our envelope?

In the meantime, Happy Sabbath!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Lincoln's Faces

I love how newborns' faces can change so drastically in a matter of seconds.

Like from crying... sleeping peacefully.

Lincoln still smiles and laughs a ton in his sleep. His smiles begin this way,

and then his eyelids flutter and he breaks into a big grin, his body shaking and sometimes snorts accompanying his laughs!

But then he wakes up. (Usually to spit up.)

We sure do love this boy, whether he's awake, asleep, crying, or laughing.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

First Bath

Lincoln's cord fell off at 11 days, so he earned his first bath in the bathroom sink!

This was his initial reaction:

But after a minute or two he settled down and decided it wasn't so bad.

And for comparison's sake...
(Talmage's first bath)

(Wesley's first bath)

He is such a great mix of his brothers, don't you think?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Life After Baby

I thought since I did a post of a random assortment of pictures from before Lincoln was born, I would do one with pictures from after he was born. So here is a major picture dump that will help me get caught up.

Here is Lincoln the first full day he was home from the hospital--sporting newborn sized clothes that were a wee bit small on him already.

He does the goofiest little grins.

During the week Sam was home, we did a bunch of simple activities with the two oldest boys to help them get some extra attention. Playing with peanut butter playdough occupied them one morning.

Even though he was over 9 lbs, he had what seemed to me to be such scrawny limbs! His solid torso and face with such long, skinny arms and legs was so fun to see. He's certainly bulking up now, though, with rolls on his thighs!

Our living room looks like this a lot these days. Making a mountain is a hit game for Talmage and Wesley.

Here is tiny, newborn Lincoln getting swallowed up by his swing.

Daddy helped Talmage and Wesley make fun tunnels for them to drive and race their cars down.

Sam's professor sent us these beautiful flowers to congratulate us on Lincoln's birth.

He's starting to open his eyes a bit more on occasion and be more alert. His favorite time of day is still right around 8:30 pm, which is when he was always the most active during my pregnancy.

Surprisingly, those super-dark eyes seem to be turning blue.

Hearing giggles and coming around the corner to see this sight makes my heart sing.

He likes hanging out in the Boppy occasionally.

Talmage is still the coloring champ. I love seeing our wall that displays his artwork!

Stickers on faces are cause for great big grins.

And silly faces in a house full of boys are the norm, it seems.

Chick-fil-a brought us all this food for free, thanks to their Cows Care program! Cookies, salad, chicken, fruit, condiments, and a stuffed cow and a bib for Lincoln were delivered to our doorstep. It was so great! We also recently enjoyed free breakfast for dinner there because we came with the boys in pajamas for their pajama night. Free kids' meals are available on Halloween for kids dressed in a costume during the evening, Pearland friends! I love that place.

He doesn't have a ton of hair, but here is a shot of the back.

 And finally, here is our little man snoozing in his cradle with his classic full belly look. :)

In short, life is good!
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