Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! 
We hope you have a delightfully sugary and fun day!

Farmer Brycen and his chicken, cow, and prize-winning pumpkin

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

For Tonight You Are Mine

Tonight I was rocking Carter to sleep and I started to sing to him. Songs included "Hush, Little Baby," "A Child's Prayer," and "I Am a Child of God." Then for the first time to either of my children, I started singing "Mary's Lullaby." It came out of nowhere and is a favorite that I only sing at Christmas time. I sing this particular arrangement with my sisters in three-part harmony and it's really pretty. I love the arrangement, and I've never sang it to my kids before. I sang the melody for the first time and sang Carter the entire song-only this time it was different for me. I sang as if I was Mary singing to her sweet baby, and an overwhelming feeling of peace and love came over me. I pictured myself as Mary, sitting in a cold and dirty stable with Joseph and baby Jesus. I sang the words as if I were speaking directly to the baby Jesus and expressing my love for Him.

All mine in your loveliness baby, all mine.
All mine in your holiness baby divine. 
Sing on herald angels in chorus sublime;
Sing on and adore, for tonight you are mine.

In that moment this mother, who had just brought our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into the world, was swaddling her baby and holding him close, knowing that He was meant for something special but in that moment was all hers. I sang to Carter with that same loving feeling and felt the spirit of the Lord in the room with me. I sat there with Carter unable to fully comprehend the meaning of those words and how such a sweet chorus could have so much depth. This beautiful baby was a sweet and helpless little person. The moment was so amazing but so simple. That tiny child was the Savior-the most influential person to ever walk the earth-but that night He was Mary's baby.

I continued on to sing the first verse, then I began to feel the emotion of the second verse as I began to sing:

Away spectered future of sorrow and plight,
Away to the years that must follow tonight.
The pangs of Gethsamane, let them be dim,
The red drops on Calvary, not Lord, for Him.

I focused on these words and started to cry. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be holding my baby, knowing that he would one day save all mankind. I wondered what she knew as His mother. I wondered if she knew the details of how He would become our loving Savior who sacrificed everything for us in the way that He did. I think of her singing these words and how, in the moment, the terrible things that He would experience were something she wasn't going to focus on. In this song she knew they would happen, but for now He was her baby. As a mother, I can't imagine being in Mary's place. There is a reason she was chosen to be the mother of the Savior and she is truly inspiring. This was a role that only she could fill.

As I sat there rocking Carter, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming love for him which, in turn, made me feel an overwhelming love for my Savior and His atoning sacrifice. I don't know if it's because the holidays are fast approaching and I have Christmas on my mind. But tonight, that song brought a greater meaning, and I felt the spirit so strongly in Carter's room. It was wonderful and just what I needed. In one simple moment, I gained a greater appreciation for the atoning sacrifice the Savior made for us and how we can live with Him again. I'm grateful for such a sweet experience to remind me what this life is really about.

image via Our Contest Nest

Friday, October 5, 2012

"Toon" and a Half

Brycen is 2 1/2 today. (Or as he would say, "toon" and a half.) Where is the time going? I look at Carter and I feel like we were just there with Brycen. My babies are growing right up.

Every month we take Carter's picture in a diaper to show his growth. I did the same thing with Brycen in the same chair. And every month Brycen wants his picture taken too. So far we've only had two times at home where I've taken Carter's picture in the chair, but both times Brycen has wanted his picture taken too. He'll stand right in front of me and say, "Cheese!" So I point the camera down and snap a picture or two of him.

Brycen obviously likes walking around in just a t-shirt and diaper. Recently, however, we've realized we can't let him do that anymore because he keeps taking his diaper off. Last night he was lying down watching a show on our bed when we heard him jump off and run down the hall. Tyson went to the bottom of the stairs to find a diaper lying at the very top. Then a half-naked Brycen came running by. No more bottomless days for this toddler!

Brycen loves Carter. I always find him looking at him like this, whether Carter is getting his picture taken in the chair, or he's in his lamb chair or lying on the floor. He'll just go up to him, smile and him, and stare. It's so fun seeing him with Carter. It was definitely a struggle for Brycen when Carter first came home, but he's adjusted really well. He's very loving and pets his head. He also gets protective when Carter's sock falls off or he kicks his blanket off. He'll go pick up the sock or he'll go cover him back up with his blanket. He's a very good big brother.

Brycen can count to two. :) He says, ""

He has been really interested in the moon lately. He'll walk around the house at different times of the day and call for it: "Moon! Moon!" When he doesn't see it he says, "Uh no moon? Uh no gone?" We explain to him that the moon only comes out when it's dark so we have to wait to see it. When it gets dark we wrap Brycen up in a blanket and take him outside to look for the moon. We live really close to the mountains so a lot of the time we can tell it's going to be showing up soon by the light we can see, but we have to wait. It's cool walking outside, looking up at the mountains, and seeing a bright beam of light shooting out behind the mountain's silhouette. We show that to Brycen and pump up the excitement that the moon is going to be out very soon. I love it when the moon is out and he sees it. A big grin comes to his face and he yells, "Moon!" Last night the moon didn't come from behind the mountain till pretty late and Brycen was already in bed. That's the only night this week that he's missed the moon. (I need to buy "Goodnight, Moon" for him! That was my favorite growing up.)