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???

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful for Kids :)

It is that time again... to update the kid pictures :).

I tried to get a group shot, but it didn't turn out that great. I don't think group shots of 5 kids are ever really that great, unless you take tons, and are really patient. Seeing as how this was the only one I attempted, my odds at it turning out well were not in my favor.

Here we are walking/running to the next location. I like walking shots ;)

OK, here they are from oldest to youngest. I have two of each because sometimes we are undecided on a favorite. It's fun to see them grow.

Talmage - 8 years old!

The shot I like better :)

Grant - almost 7

my favorite of him :)

Sandra - almost 5 years old
my favorite of her :)
Mhari - almost 3 years old

So hard to pick a favorite of her. I liked several... she has such personality and different poses and faces. She's at such a fun age!

Seeing how I just did Clark's 5 month post he is not included in this update. I think I'll plan to do his 6 month pictures to include in the kid updates. It really is amazing to see how much kids grow and change in just a year.
I really am thankful for my wonderful kids. They make life so exciting, even if it is crazy at the same time :)!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Holiday Excitement for a Law Student

What are you doing for the holidays? I just received my present. My bar prep materials came in the mail. I will be studying and studying and when not studying, I will study. From graduation til the end of February I know where I will be...not home. Sharla said today is Black Wednesday without all the benefits of good deals and joy.

It almost seems standard to take a photo of all the materials when they arrive. My UPS tracking info said my shipment was only 2.6 pounds. Hmmm, it was slightly more than that. It was a total of 38 pounds in fact...100% pure tree right there.

Just in case you got the idea it was probably just heavy pamphlets, I took a profile shot so you can see the thickness. The Cheese Bits box is for perspective purposes only.
I have learned that it is nearly impossible to go through everything they send you. It is too much stuff to actually digest it all. I won't go overboard with studying just yet. The key is to pace yourself and make steady continual progress. I will apologize early if I become unsocial or offensive in any way. This will be an emotional ride. See you in March :).

Monday, November 22, 2010

5 months...

Our Baby Clark is 5 months old today! He is really such a good baby :).

Here is a picture of him on his 5 month birthday!

Yesterday Clark had his first rice cereal.

He was pretty distracted by the colorful bib he was wearing...

So after switching to a much more boring bib, he was more interested in the food.

Then, let's not forget the awesome mess babies make while they eat!

It wasn't that bad, but I only gave him a little bit. I'm sure his favorite part will be the mess :)

It is strange that I've waited so long to feed him cereal. Usually I am strapping them into the high chair at 4 months and away we go. I think it was better this way though. He ate really well and I think he's just ready to start eating. They grow up so fast!
Here are his stats from me as of today

Height - 27 inches (maybe 27 1/2)
Weight - 20 lbs
I think he's been spending the last month growing longer and his weight is trying to slow down a bit. He is still really calm and pretty easy going. We all just love our Baby Clark!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Its Official

After all the studying Jeff passed the Patent Bar on September 03, 2010. Then the waiting to make sure his moral character was sufficient to be an agent and then came the certificate. Congratulations! Next up the February Texas Bar Exam.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We Love to Read!

I got the photo :). Here's Talmage reading to Clark!

I was also able to get some video. He says Clark likes it. I think it's cute because he holds the book so Clark can see it too... however there are no pictures to look at, just lots of words :). 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

If it's not the thumb...

it's the tongue. Our little Clark loves to leave his little tongue poking out of his mouth. Well, that is of course, if he's not sucking his thumb, or finger. It is adorable! I like to call him my little tonguer ;).

Before the tongue pics here is a cute one of Mhari hanging out with her Baby brother. She really loves being with him so much. Earlier that night Talmage was reading a Hardy Boys book to him. I'm sad I missed taking that picture :(.

Profile view of the tongue!

Happy Baby

So cute! Jeff said he reminds him of Snoopy with his little tongue poking out :).

Jeff holding Clark on his shoulders - still with the tongue out :)

He will give kisses too - also known as sucking on your face :)

He's such a sweet baby. I just love my Baby Clark!

They do the cutest things!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Night Furry

Our kids really like the movie "How to Train Your Dragon". They have started pretending to be Toothless, the main dragon. I have even had requests for next year's Halloween costumes. I think they do a fine job with just blankets... maybe I won't have to make anything else :). They are great pretenders!

Grant has also lost 2 more teeth... becoming more like Toothless everyday.

They are growing up so fast! Grant said that he looks like a jack-o-lantern... I think he's right :).

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2nd grade performance

A few weeks ago Talmage had his 2nd grade performance at the school. It was "It's going to be a good night" (or something like that). The hard part about these performances is unless you get there super early you don't get good seats and then the pictures just aren't that great. Sorry about that.

Talmage knew all of the songs and did really well. He was on the top row on the far left side. Here he is when they first started.

Some of the hand motions to the songs. I think it's from the "Good Night" song.

I think this one's from the Halloween hand jive song.

More hand jive going on :)

Sorry it took so long to blog, but there's not that much going on. I should take more pictures of the baby... or something exciting :).
Happy November!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Williams Posse

For Halloween this year we all went as cowboys and cowgirls. Grandma and Grandpa had gotten Jeff and most of the kids cowboy hats this summer and I thought it would be cute to have them all cowboyed up for Halloween. It also made costume making much easier :). I went to my cheap thrift store and picked up lots of plaid shirts for Jeff and I and also to cut down to kid sizes. I was able to get shirts for everyone for just over $4!

Here are all of the kids dressed up and ready to go - they even have their stick horses to ride!

Our little Punkin cowgirl. She was so cute with the hat... too bad she wouldn't wear it once we got to the trunk or treat.

Sandra was not the biggest fan of our Halloween costumes. I think she would've rather been a princess, but she sure is one cute cowgirl! She liked the pink bandanna and I made her shirt have ruffle sleeves so that helped her cause :)

Grant was a very handsome cowboy. He also got to wear his shirt and bandanna to school that week for western wear day (all the older kids wore their cowboy clothes to school). I knew that it was a good idea to have cowboy clothes while we live in Texas ;)

Talmage was a nice looking cowboy too. He really got into the spirit of the costume. While trick or treating one of the ladies said she had to see a trick to get a treat so Talmage did the "giddy up cowboy" and moved his hand like he was roping. Too cute :)

Our Punkin in the pumpkin area. It was fun to see all the carved pumpkins :)

Clark was also dressed up, but very simply. He had a plaid shirt and blue jeans. Let's just say it wasn't on my list to make him a little bandanna. He fit right in with mommy and daddy with our plaid shirts :).
I know one day I'll not appreciate it, but right now I think it's so cute that he sucks his thumb :)

We had a very nice Halloween at the trunk or treat and it made it so that Sunday was a nice Sabbath day. The kids don't even have that much candy... maybe they'll get it eaten before Thanksgiving this year :)