Monday, January 2, 2012

So long 2011, even though I can't believe it's come and gone already...

2011... Count it all joy
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
(James 1:2-8 ESV)
I know everyone says it, especially the “old” people, but the years seem as though they are moving triple time.  Maybe it’s having two toddlers at home and having not a second to think, ponder or plan, but 2011 is nothing but a blur.  It absolutely flew by.  We had lots of ups and downs, as everyone does, but when I look back on it, the things that first come to mind are the multiple doctor visits and the fourteen nights (not consecutive, thankfully) that we spent with Madden (three nights) and Murphy (eleven nights) at LeBonheur.  As a follower of Christ, as a family that believes, we know that despite any downs, we are constantly on the upward trajectory - fighting from victory, not for it.  
The times we spend in the hospital forced us to slow things down, spend time together, and realign our values.  We crossed paths with new people, and hopefully left as much as we took - or better.  At the end of it all, our children are well and we can truly “count it all joy” as our faith was strengthened.  And as an aside, let me just say that the book of James, as short as it is, is one of the most powerful books for anyone needing a “motivational” speech (and yes, that is an understatement).
As for the ups, we have many.  Murphy’s school expanded just in time to allow him at least another year or two with a talented and caring group of teachers.  Madden is quite likely the smartest little two year old I know and continues to amaze us every day.  Murphy has made tremendous strides and may just be the next Eric Clapton - that boy can jam.  We had a great vacation watching our beach bums take after their parents and be content to hang out in the sand and surf all day long.  And we topped it off with a great Christmas season - the first one in which both kids finally knew what was going on.  
Moving on to 2012...

The paparazzi has been around so much - the kids blow kisses everywhere to everyone....

1st visit with Santa, a little shaky at first, then we realized there was no turning back and we overheard "Hi, I'm Madden, I'm  
 2..." and from then on when you ask her what Santa says, "ho ho ho, how ya doing?"

We got this mom, really.  

Madden decided to once again join Murphy's class in the Christmas program,  any chance to be on stage...

Seriously?  Think he likes to dance?

Madden's teacher is sitting down in front.  I guess Madden felt like she needed to keep everyone in place. (To be honest I think she gets this from her aunt BB...I'm just saying)

She spotted us, with a great big, "there's daddy!" 

"Nom nom nom nom."  I hope he always makes those noises.

CC and a cookie, life is good.

Murphy catching a ride with his buddy Rex...hilarious.

Our friend Mr. Adam, coloring with Tink.

Yep thats a soccer ball in our tree. Don't know how he did it but I didn't find anything broken...

Elf on the Shelf - in the most southern drawl...if only you were here all year.

Lets bake-whats with the hand on the hip?!?!

She worked so hard only to have Daisy eat her creations :(

Uncle Sweet Pea is 28!

My favorite part of this picture is that face in the back-happy boy!

There's Mr. Pickles, how did he get up there!?!

Saraaaaahhhh gave this to Murphy.  I might be obsessed!

Holly gave Madden all things educational, they may be soul mates.

Then she sat down and quizzed her, what a great gift... :)

Cookies for Santa

the loot

The bribe...I am desperate, I know, I know.

What was santa thinking?  It's really not fun to be serenaded with the drums at 5:15, but he does love them.

Heaven on earth - a guitar (or ukelele, but don't tell him).

Yep she wore these all day.  Hope we don't forget its a headband later...


Notice they are each resting with their hands full.

Skipper got new shades :)

Our cousin Land came to visit!  More roommate pics!

Tea time with Land's grandmother.

Land's aunt LuLu entertaining all of us.

One for the dorm wall.

That;s about 75 lbs worth of babies I'm toting...good grief they grow up so fast!

Mimi and Pop are here and they got us a train!!!

And aunt Kellee sent a drum he can wear!  Genious!!!