my children.

Yesterday was a beautiful Sabbath day.  The weather was amazing, it was much more calm since John finished school last week, and we just basically got to go at our own pace.  I taught the children of our congregation about families at church and had some of the kids dress up in costumes to be different members of the family as we sang a song about families.  It was a fun, cute, cheesy thing but it got my heart swelling with gratitude for the gift that families are.  The chorus of the song goes:
God gave us families
to help us become what He wants us to be.
This is how He shares His love,
for the fam’ly is of God.
I truly feel there is no greater manifestation to me of God and His love than my children.  And to be able to raise them and teach them in a loving family with a heroic partner by my side in my husband, I can think of no greater happiness to be found.  Healthy family relationships really is what life is all about, in my opinion.  As a mother, I feel that parenting innocent children in this day and age is not to be done passively.  There is just too much at stake.  I know there are parenting philosophies out there that encourage exploration of morals and convictions, but John and I feel so strongly that teaching James and Charlie what is right and wrong and good and bad, and having strict but loving boundaries of what is allowed is our calling.  We might be old fashioned, but that’s how we were raised and that is what we feel is good for our children.  Really, though, we’re just grateful to be along for the ride.  Our children teach us more than we ever expected about mercy, love, forgiveness and obedience.  We all love each other fiercely and I just can’t think of anything else that matters more.

These photos were taken in Grammy and Grampa’s back yard in their treehouse.  James was playing with Gracie the Dog and was throwing all sorts of doggy toys around the yard.  I’d say we need to get the boy a dog, but I think Grammy’s dog is dog enough for him for now.