Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Little Lamb

At first when Mom told me the cast of characters for our Christmas Nativity, I was kind of surprised to find out that Layton would be a lamb. On the Jarvis side of our family, there are nine grandchildren, 7 of which are girls. In the Nativity, almost every character, except Mary, is male. So it just seemed logical to me that Layton would play one of the actual persons in the Nativity, like a shepherd or wise man or even the baby Jesus, since he was one of the two boys in the family. But after watching him in the scene, I think Mom might have been on to something. This little lamb of God is so very much like that other Lamb of God for whom we were celebrating. Like our Savior, right now he is perfect in every way. Innocent, without guile, completely trusting, gives freely of his love, and is so very pure. As I watched him, my heart filled love for him, for Dallin, for Mandy, for Nathan, and especially for my Savior. Filled to the point that my heart felt physically full as though it was ready to burst. As I look at this picture of Layton, I can feel those same feelings again. I think that Heavenly Father gives us those moments of perfect love, to help us through those times that are not so perfect. Like this past weekend. We were away from home, Layton had a cold, a fever, was teething, woke up 5 and 6 times each night, and was just miserable. And since he was miserable, it meant that much of the time, things were pretty miserable for me too. On the third night of almost no sleep, while bouncing him in my arms and walking around the house trying to sooth him back to sleep, my back was killing me from holding him, tears of frustration and exhaustion were falling down my cheeks, and I felt almost ready to give up. Then as I looked at his little face lying on my chest, I felt those perfect feelings of love once again and was reminded of the sacred nature of this little child. In similitude of our Savior who was the literal son of our Heavenly Father, he is a spirit child of our Father in Heaven. Right now he is perfect, without blemish, without sin. But I know that as he grows, he will be thrown to the wolves of the world who will try to tear him down. I just hope that we can teach him, as well as Dallin and Mandy, how to protect himself from the wolves and to grow to become a great shepherd like his older brother Jesus Christ. Layton is so much like the Savior now, I just have to hope and pray that he will continue to be as much like Him as possible throughout his entire life.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Once Within a Lowly Stable

Glory to God

Glory to God

Glory to God in the Highest

Peace on Earth

Good will toward men

Monday, December 29, 2008

Jarvis Family 5K

The first ever Javis Family 5K was held on the morning of Christmas Eve. I say 5K, but technically only the men went a full 3.1 miles. I jogged/walked beside Dallin on his bike, and we like the other ladies & kids, only went about 2 miles, which for Dallin is pretty far. And he was the first one to arrive home, so we crowned him the winner. After the race, we had a yummy breakfast of fresh fruit, bagels, donuts, and croissants. We had such a good time, I think we might just make this an annual event!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A perfect night for a fire

The temperature dropped quite nicely on Monday night, so it just seemed the most natural thing in the world to get all bundled up

and go outside to enjoy a nice warm fire.

And when that fire had burned down to beautiful smoldering coals,

what could be more natural than to break out the marshmallows for roasting to make smores. And Grandpa setting a marshmallow on fire just seemed to be a quite natural as well.

And even more natural was Mandy skipping the graham crackers and marshmallows and going straight for the chocolate.

Now for the unnatural part of the evening. Dallin actually got a marshmallow, stood over the the hot fire, roasted it nicely, and then voluntarily shared it with Mandy. I think we need to take a moment of silence now to mark this monumental occasion.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You're So Vain

Dallin always wakes up with a pretty impressive case of bed-head hair. Yesterday, he took the initiative to wet and brush his hair himself. Upon completing this monumental task, he came to me and asked:

"Mommy, don't I look FAB-u-lous?"

How could I answer with anything but, "Yes, yes you do!"

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Around the World

For Dallin's school Christmas Party they had a theme of "Christmas Around the World". They spent two weeks learning about different Christmas traditions around the world and for their party they had a food sampling from different countries like Mexico, Germany, Israel, France, and America. It was so cute. They even made themselves "passports" detailing the different countries that they went too. Oh and by the way, don't mention ever going to France to Dallin because he will get very upset. Apparently they learned that the tradition of putting coal in naughty children's stockings began in France, so he "NEVER EVER" wants to go there because he wants presents not coal. I took Mandy and Layton with me to the party and you would have thought that it was just as much Mandy's party as it was Dallin's. When it was time for the party to begin, I walked with Mrs. Allen to go pick the kids up from the playground. Walking back, Mandy fell right in line with all the rest of the kids and walked along with them just like she belonged there. Then in the classroom she found herself a chair, pulled it up to Dallin's table, made herself a plate, and began partying right long with the rest of them. While they were eating, there was Christmas music playing and as soon as she was done, Mandy got out in the middle of the floor and started dancing. She soon had several other classmates out there dancing with her too. She is so crazy! Dallin is a little crazy too and so much like his dad it is a little scary sometimes. One of the treats they had was gumdrops. If you will remember, in the gumdrop mix there is one that is pretty spicy. Dallin tasted it and he hopped around and made crazy faces because his mouth was burning. You would have thought that he would never want to eat one again. But no. Not Dallin. He goes over to the gumdrop bowl and picks out every spicy one that he can find. He and Nathan love the spice, even when it hurts. Crazy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Power of the Sun

We recently became the proud owners of a Global Sun Oven. We were first turned onto the idea of solar cooking after watching a food storage video on The Idea Door website. Then Aunt Becky bought one and just raved and raved and raved and raved and raved (I think you get the idea) about how wonderful it was. So we were able to get one, through a really AMAZING deal that Aunt Becky found for us, and this past week I decided to give it a try. My first experience was a little disappointing. I tried making banana nut muffins using my favorite recipe, but because unlike a conventional oven, the sun oven does not have a vent, the muffins ended up having a bit of a steamed quality to them. They still tasted good, but just had a funny texture. I have since learned that there are some special techniques that need to be employed when baking those types of goodies. But at least I was able to get it set up correctly and was able to get it to heat up to 300 degrees on a day when the high outside was only 75. So I count that part of the experiment a success. Next time I think I'll try slow roasting some kind of meat/veggies and see how it goes. I'm just so excited about having a nice 'green' way to cook things and to have the ability to cook stuff if we ever had to be without power for a while. I feel like such a little conservationist. Save the Earth! Go Green! Recycle! Burn Calories Not Oil! Oh wait, I better slow down, that last one actually requires me to exercise. I think I'm getting just a little bit overly excited here. No need to break a sweat. I think I'll just be happy that I can use the sun to cook my food occasionally and maybe save us a couple dollars on our electricity bill in the process!

Friday, December 19, 2008

School Christmas Program

Have I ever mentioned how much I love kindergartners? Well I do. A lot. The six kindergarten classes at Dallin's school, totalling close to 110 students, put on an "ABC's of Christmas" program. There was the child that upon seeing his mother in the audience began to cry because he wanted to sit with her. There was the child that picked his nose through half of the program. Then there was the child that made every goofy face that he could think of. And the girl that danced and sang like she was a rock star every single song. And of course the little girl that refused to sing a single word to a single song and just stood there like a knot on a log. Lucky for me, none of those were my child. Instead, my child sang at the top of his lungs and did the hand motions so emphatically that I am pretty sure that he hit the little boy standing beside him in the head more than once. I am also pretty sure that in watching Dallin's mouth move that he only got about half of the words to the songs right. But at least he put his whole heart into it. It was a super cute program. They even did Silent Night in sign language and sang a Kwanzaa song. It is so much fun watching little kids sing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and knowing that they believe every word of it. And you gotta love them singing Rudolf and watching them try to contain the giggles as they say "Ho Ho Ho" after they sing the line "Santa came to say". I'm telling ya. I love kindergartners!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Portraits

I thought you all might enjoying seeing all of their Christmas portraits, even the crazy ones, so that you can get an idea of just how difficult it is to get the perfect picture of three kids age 5 and under. Mandy's the one to really look at. Some of the dejected looks she gives are hilarious. And she almost never looks straight at the camera. She is way too distractable.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Santa's Workshop

For the past two years, the last primary activity day of the year has been held at the beginning of December and is a "Santa's Workshop". Ward members donate new or gently used items, like picture frames, toys, purses, books, home decor, and many other things. Then the kids are able to come in and pick items to give to their parents or siblings for Christmas.

I think it is such a great way to save parents money during the holidays so they don't feel the need to go out with their kids and let their kids buy presents for them. Then after the kids wrapped up the presents they chose, there were a few crafts that they made.

They decorated paper Christmas trees and covered them with glitter (although if we do this next year, I think I'm going to suggest using glitter glue, because wow what a mess).

Then they made pine cone bird feeders with peanut butter and bird seed. And the last craft was puzzle piece wreaths decorated with buttons and sequins. Layton even got into the fun of everything. He especially enjoyed the pine cones and the empty wrapping paper rolls. All in all it was a highly successful primary activity day.

I'll have to say that the primary presidency we currently have in our ward is one of the best I've ever seen. They spend so much time thinking of each child.

They even took the time to go through the children one by one, look at their family situation, and chose those children that needed the most cheer in their homes this year. They then wrote out an anonymous gift request with the child's gender and age on it and let volunteers from the Relief Society purchase a special gift for each of those children.

The spirit that is felt during each activity and sharing time is so special and strong. I am absolutely positive that every single child can feel how much they love them. I hope they realize how much they are doing to brighten the lives of the sweet children in our ward.