Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our Christmas

I think Christmas is always crazy. Maybe it's because we have so many birthdays in December. This year seemed to come up a little faster because of Jeff's graduation and family coming to town. I'm glad we were able to get the stuff done that we wanted and the kids had a great time.

For our family tradition we all trade names and have to make that person a Christmas present. Here is how it all turned out:

Mhari had Talmage and she wanted to do something with a T so we made him a book mark. Mhari did all the coloring (the back is teal) all by herself :)
Clark had Grant. Well, his skill levels aren't up to making presents yet so I helped a lot. We made Grant a bookmark with his G and Clark helped by decorating it with his foot prints :)

Sandra had Mhari and I had Sandra. The girls got necklaces and bracelets. I had to do Sandra's while she wasn't around to see it. They both loved their jewelry :)

Talmage had Clark and I helped him make a ball for him. It turned out pretty well, and Clark enjoyed chewing on it :)

Grant had Jeff and so he decorated a tie for him. It says "You are the best Dad Ever!" He wore it to church on Sunday (under his sweater vest ... I think he should wear it again).

Um, well, Jeff had me. I asked for a necklace holder and he has plans on how to make it. Let's just say that with bar prep I have not received a gift. I may have gotten it on Christmas if Home Depot hadn't closed early... what's up with that? Now who knows when it will get done since studying seems to take all of his mental focus.

Anyways, onto the kid presents.
All the kids got pillow pets from grandma and grandpa. I made them all I spy bags and the girls handbags and the boys got marshmallow shooters (not pictured since home depot was closed it was a delayed present). Of course there were presents from grandparents and cousins too.
Mhari :)




The girls got Barbie cars and they had fun driving their animals around in them :)

Talmage put the pillow pets on his legs and one on his arm... he said he was a Transformer :)
It was a nice day to spend with our family. The kids really had a great time. I'm glad they are still innocent and have such joy with their presents! That really makes the holiday special :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

6 months already!

Our Baby Clark is already 6 months old. He's starting to develop more and is becoming a little person, but with the relaxed happy attitude that seems to be our baby :)

Here he is playing (chewing on) a toy. He's gotten much more interested in toys, maybe because they taste good, I'm not sure ;).

He likes to be in the walker. He has started scooting around the kitchen. It helps that his siblings (Mhari mostly) like to talk to him and "help" him walk. He really does like being up though!
Here are some 6 month photos. He's such a chunky 6 month old!

I think this is our favorite ;)

Tummy time! He can get his tummy off the ground and can scoot backwards. Within the next few months I'm sure he'll start figuring out how to go places. Grant just loves him!

Today was his Dr. appointment. He's 22 lbs 8 oz and 28 inches long! His weight is off the charts, height at the top and his head... well he's in the 25th to 50% for that. He's always had a smaller head than the rest of his body. With those cheeks it's hard to tell.
The other exciting 6 month event is that Clark got his first tooth on Sunday the 19th. He was a little fussy, but nothing to where I thought he broke a tooth through. Jeff was actually the one who found it when Clark was chewing on his hand.
The next 6 months will continue to bring lots of exciting milestones! Happy half birthday baby!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baby Back Rides!

A few weeks ago we had some fun with our Baby Clark ;).

The kids gave him Baby Back Rides...
Here's Grant with Clark on his back (Mommy is holding him on so he doesn't fall!)

Talmage wanted a turn too :)

Cute boys!
Sandra had a turn with the baby too, but I didn't grab the camera for that one. While we were doing the rides Mhari got in on the action too!

Clark and Daddy. These are always some of my favorite pictures!

I also played a game called bottom smackers, but there's no photos of that... kids trying to not let Mommy pat their bottoms. Kids really are great entertainment!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chica Birthday

Our little Chica (Sandra) turned 5 this week! She had been looking forward to her birthday for quite a while, however it's really hard to wait once her little sister has a birthday! We celebrated early because Grandma and Grandpa were still in town. However, that also made it a little more crazy for me... no homemade birthday cake and her skirt didn't get finished until her birthday, but I don't think she minded at all. The only problem was that on her birthday she didn't understand why she wasn't opening more presents.

Here are some fun pics to enjoy :)

Opening presents

The present picture. She was very happy with everything she got! She also got a Barbie from Grandma Whitmer that is not pictured.

She got a chocolate eclair cake. It tasted yummy too :)

Her birthday skirt all made and being tested out. All good skirts must twirl!

Sandra and Mhari's skirts coordinate so I figured it would be fun to have a picture of them. They both just love their twirly skirts! Pretty girls!
Sandra is really growing up! She is a great girl and loves going to preschool. She plays with friends is learning sign language and working on reading. She is very sweet and loving! We love you Sandra!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Graduation Day!

The end of our time with law school has come to a close - Jeff officially graduated last Friday from Texas Wesleyan School of Law. We are all very proud of him and happy to have this chapter coming to a close in our lives. I think it would be more meaningful if he didn't have to go right into studying for the bar exam and all the stress that comes from trying to pass the bar. It will be more real when the bar is done and passed!

These last 2 and a half years have been long and hard, but yet, it seems so quick at the same time. I think the hardest part was the first semester. Jeff spent a lot of time studying and reading for his classes so he was not home much. I'm glad it hasn't all been like that. Jeff took some interesting classes, met lots of classmates and professors, and I think overall, he really had a great experience.

Jeff's parents and my mom came out for the graduation. It was held at the First Methodist church downtown. It was beautiful inside!

We got there early to get good seats and it was really handy to have grandparents there to help with the kids! Grandma Whitmer read to Sandra :)

Grandma held Mhari while she napped. (so nice to not be alone with all the kiddos!)

After the ceremony - in the courtyard.

Our Graduate!

Jeff with our family and my mom.

Jeff with his parents and the kids.

Friends from school - Megan and Sara. He will be studying with them as he preps for the bar exam.

Congrats Hunny! We love you and are so happy for you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Punkin Birthday

Last week Mhari had her 3rd birthday. We had family in town (for Jeff's graduation) so it was really nice to have them there for the birthday. Mhari had a great time. I made her a 4 layer pumpkin cake since she didn't voice any other opinion and I thought it was cute since we call her Punkin. --I was pretty busy getting ready for company so when I made the cake I accidentally left out the eggs. Luckily it was still good, just messy and not as pretty.

Make a wish!

The presents! Mhari had a great time opening lots of presents.
Here she is with her gift from Grandma Whitmer.
Here is the present from Grandma and Grandpa.

All the presents -- including the skirt she's wearing.

Trying out the new toys!

We just love our Punkin! She is a determined little girl with lots of personality. She loves to color, play with play dough, dress up, play with dolls, play with cars, ride scooters, and twirl in skirts. She's a great girl and an amazing big sister - she loves her baby brother Clark!
Happy Birthday Punkin!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Punch Bowl or Cereal Bowl?

A few years back we received some great gifts. One was a beautiful punch bowl. The other that I'm going to talk about was a set of breakfast bowls. Now, I'm going to use these 2 bowls as an analogy...

When we start out in a relationship we like to focus on all the pretty stuff - you know... looking good, smelling good, taking care of the other person and keeping them happy.

It is a beautiful thing to see love blossom and become a permanent thing - Marriage :)

Then, the years go by and we have a few kids... we start to really appreciate the cereal bowl stage. It is really handy, you use it every day, even if it's starting to crack and the picture on it fades you will use it until it's broken. Really, it fills your needs every morning and you appreciate what it does for you :)

A nice close up of the cracks... again, it still works, but the years are starting to show.

I think our love starts out as the beautiful punch bowl - pretty, delicate, but often not tested and used. Then we may enter into a cereal bowl stage... where we are around to fulfill the needs and the wear may take it's toll, but you still love it all the same, even if it's not as pretty as it used to be.
I want to say Happy Anniversary to my Hunny! It's been 10 years and I am grateful for the wonderful man I married. He is a hard worker, a great father, and a good friend who pushes me to be better, even when it's hard. I really admire who he is and who he's becoming! I love you!
I do miss the days of the punch bowl marriage... however I feel we are in a much more durable time being used all of the time - cereal bowl. Everyday we take care of our family and our kids and do what we need to build our family in the gospel. Yes, it can be hard. Sure it may cause stress and cracks... but we are here to be tested, not just pretty.
Ideally I would love to have a beautiful punch bowl and a cereal bowl marriage... that's coming I think, just more work to get there. You would think after 10 years we would have it all down, but I think that's why we have eternity!
Here's some fun stuff to enjoy ~
I surprised Jeff with signs after he dropped off the kids at school.

Here we are at the beginning - punch bowl days. Honestly I still think we look like this. Unfortunately I guess after 10 years it's just not true anymore. He's still just as handsome :)

I'm grateful for our cute little family. I think that's what means the most to me and that all started 10 years ago in the Mesa Arizona Temple with some very special promises we made to each other!

Luvu Hunny!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Tree??

Most holidays we celebrate mean very little to me (Jeff). Christmas is my most favorite but I get more and more annoyed at its commercialization each year. In fact I blogged about my frustration with it before. It is hard to see Santa everywhere: school, stores, and even church without one mention of Christ anywhere. What is a holiday to celebrate the birth of Christ, one who gave us what we could not ever give ourselves or another, we have turned into a holiday of getting rather than giving. I feel it's ironic how we go from Thanksgiving, a time of feeling grateful for what we have, to immediately going into the Christmas season where we begin thinking about what we could get. What happened to the gratitude? Anyway...enough soap box.

Sharla and I have decided not to do a Christmas tree and look to make Christ a more visible focus of our family Christmas and not the tree. So we purchased a really nice nativity set (thanks to some friends) and a star which we modified so we could light it up. Below you will see our focus for Christmas: Jesus' birth.

The picture seems to distort the figures a little. They are pretty big figures actually (up to 6" or so). The lady we purchased it from decided not to make the cow so we improvised and included our scottish cows. They are a little small but they work.

This is a close up of the family.

Here is the star when it is all lit up and the lights dimmed.

We need to go out and get more decorations to feel all Christmasy I guess: some garland and wreaths especially. We now have a 7' prelit Christmas tree to give away if someone wants it (use not sell :) ). The top section does not light up anymore but we just used a set of lights for the top section. If in the future we get a tree, it will be really small so as to not overshadow the nativity. Our gifts will be placed around the piano with the nativity to remember what Christ gave. Our only gifts are homemade gifts so it is fitting. We are also working on ideas for a new "12 days of Christmas" type thing to bring Christ more into the holiday. I hope each family develops ideas to try and keep Christ in Christmas!

As a side note...I enlisted Talmage to help me prepare for the bar. He is tabbing and reading me section headings from the essay book. Good helper. He enjoyed it too.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Sandy Shoes

Talmage's Pack had the chance to learn about horses and earn their Horseback Riding belt loop the week of Thanksgiving. A member in the other ward was kind enough to spend some time with the kids. We very much appreciate his kindness. Talmage was excited to see a horse and ride one. They learned what horses eat, how to control a horse with the halter and bridle, what kinds of horses there are and a bunch of other things. The picture below is of the kids first meeting their horse: Sandy Shoes. He was pretty old and passive. Good for kids and stuff.

Looking at his teeth...
and his feet.

Every kid needed help getting on Sandy Shoes. Here, Talmage is throwing the leg over for his turn to ride.

He looks all proper. He loved it. Sandy got confused at times because Talmage would hold the reigns pretty tight but want him to go forward. They got on the same page pretty quick.

Though Grant is not in Cubs yet, he really wanted to come even if all he was able to do it watch. They were nice to let him ride too. He was really happy! Grant is climbing up for his turn.

Grant is now back from his ride.
They still remind me that they want horses. Grant does it the most. I wanted horses when I was younger until I cleaned horsestalls 6 days a week for over a year as a job in the 4th and 5th grades. They still smell the same. I will not get a horse until I know they are serious about taking care of it. Horses are a lot of work but if they work the stalls and get exposure I might consent. Maybe they could work here when they get older???