Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy 11 Years!

Grant turned 11 last Sunday!  We got together with the cousins the day before because they couldn't get together on his birthday.  I brought the cake and he opened up the presents from his siblings and cousins.  The next day we had his birthday dinner (homemade pizza!) and opened the presents from grandparents and Mommy and Daddy :).  Grant had a great birthday!
Here he is opening presents at the cousins house. 
A cool homemade wallet from Owen
Talmage went to a party earlier in the week and the boy had an ice cream cake.  Talmage thought Grant might want.  Later I talked to Grant to figure out what kind of cake he wanted and sure enough the ice cream cake won!  He picked an Oreo cake.  One layer was vanilla ice cream, then crushed Oreos, and then a layer of cookies and cream ice cream.  I frosted the whole thing with cool whip and froze it over night.  Then I sprinkled some of the left over crushed Oreos on top.  It looked so good!  I was nervous it wouldn't stay frozen, but seeing as it's winter the cake did great.  It was kind of hard to cut into, but it was so yummy!

Here Grant is helping put in the candles while Daddy lights them... a little dangerous!
Make a wish!
He got them all!
Present from Grandma Whitmer - remote control cars!
From Mommy and Daddy 

We will go pick up his Boy Scout shirt and book this week to finish off his present.  It's crazy that we don't have any Cub Scouts anymore!  The boys will be out doing lots of camping and hiking in their future ;). 

Grant is a fun, creative, loving kid!  He is a great big brother and just loves to play with Clark and Lorna.  He also loves reading,  animals and being active.  He is smart and silly!  We love you Grant!

The Reason for the Season!

The girls decided that they wanted to make up a Christmas dance and perform for us on Christmas.  They practiced their dance for about a week.  During their preparations Talmage came up with a plan to do a kids Christmas program.  He incorporated the girls dance, Christmas songs, and scriptures to tell the Christmas story.  I love the kids creativity and desire to work together and share something with our family!
Here is Talmage and the kids singing for the opening song.  Sandra is playing the piano for them  :)
Sandra and Mhari performing their Christmas dance :)
Talmage reading from the scriptures.
Sandra's turn ;)
Talmage helping Lorna and Clark tell us about Jesus and the shepherds and the wise men :)
Mhari's turn to read :)
Here was his program that he had written out to follow.  Talmage would introduce the different parts and everything. 

I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ.  He really is the reason for the season!  He is a wonderful gift to us and I love that we get to teach our children about him.  In this case I think our children were the ones teaching us.  Thank you kids!  You all made Christmas extra special this year!  We love you!

Ready, Set, OPEN!

It was finally time to open presents!  I think having 6 kids makes opening presents a little tricky.  There are too many kids and too much happening all at the same time.  We tried to have them open their presents that were similar all together and then I try to get the best pictures I can :).  That also helps cut down on the time we are all sitting around opening presents.
Here are the highlights of the crazy fun opening present party :).
I just love Lorna's face!  She was so excited for all of the presents it was great!  
too cute!
Cute Clark!
Silly Rollers
Art and Craft kit
Fox shirt!
Girls got a pottery kit
Clark and Lorna got scooters!
I found Jeff this awesome tool box for his truck!
The kids also had a new game, movies, a couple of wii games and the whole family got nerf guns
The official present pictures:

Everyone was so happy!  Yay for presents!

Christmas Morning!

The kids... well, Talmage especially, had been planning our Christmas activities for several days.  His plan was to do a Christmas breakfast all by himself for the family to enjoy.  I thought this was a fabulous plan!  He also mentioned that he wouldn't start it until 8 am ... even better!  I did get up and help cook some sausage, but he handled the pancakes, finishing up the sausage, and cooking eggs all by himself.  It was a great breakfast and it will even help him pass off something for his cooking merit badge. 
Sandra had been planning to wake up first and then be the alarm for everyone while she played Christmas music on the piano.  She also waited until a reasonable hour to start playing (and the kids were all up anyway) so that was nice too!  I think she really enjoyed getting to play the piano so much for us!  
Here is Talmage cooking!
His little "helpers".  Man, it sure is hard to keep the little ones away.  Little Lorna is too fast to pull a chair up to the counter to be involved in whatever is happening at the counter!  Clark doesn't even need a chair... he's so huge!

I am sad I didn't get a picture of us all eating.  Just know that instead of waking up super early we got to sleep in a little (which I needed after Mhari didn't sleep well) and even eat breakfast before worrying about all of those presents waiting in the other room.

The kids did get to open up their stockings first thing though.  I think that makes waiting for the other presents a little easier too!

Merry Christmas Eve!

We had a fun Christmas Eve.  The kids finished their gifts to each other.  We finished making buckeyes and then delivered them to 12 different families.  By the time we were done dropping the goodies off it was bed time.  Well, there was still time to unwrap one present!  They each unwrapped what their sibling had given them:
Talmage gave Lorna nail polish.  She was so excited!

Mhari gave Clark a shell (he wasn't feeling so great)
Sandra helped me make a pretty poncho for Mhari
Which she loved!
Lorna "helped" me make Sandra a pretty red scarf :)
Clark gave Grant a monkey.
Grant gave Talmage some seeds :)

Everyone was so excited for Christmas the next day :).  Once they were all in bed I finished up wrapping the kid presents and setting out stockings.  Then Jeff and I watched a movie!  It was a good evening. 
Well, about 2 am Mhari was coughing really bad.  I had her come downstairs for a breathing treatment.  She had a croup cough :(.  Everyone had been so healthy I almost thought we might make it through the holidays without getting sick. 
Poor thing ;(

Our little Pianist!

Sandra has been taking piano lessons this year.  She has been learning so much and doing so well!  She is a great student and enjoys practicing too ... most of the time ;). 
Her piano teacher organizes a Christmas recital and end of year (June) recital every year.  Sandra has been practicing her Christmas songs since the beginning of November!  She worked very hard and was able to play great during the recital.  She performed 2 duets with her teacher.  One was Silent Night and the other was Joy to the World.  We are so proud of Sandra and all of her hard work to learn to play the piano!
Here she is playing with her teacher, Ashley Dean.
So cute!
Her certificate!

We are so happy to have a little pianist in the house!