Friday, January 27, 2017


Having such a huge older house has presented some interesting challenges.  One of those is how inefficient it is.  The house has a hard time staying warm in the cold winter weather and instead of buying new heaters we decided to try converting a fireplace into a wood burning furnace fireplace.  We really had wanted to turn the fireplaces into gas fireplaces, but the cost of that ended up not being as reasonable.  The wood burning insert will get nice and hot and can potentially heat a space up to 2500 sq. ft.  That saves us using our electric heaters as much giving us some good energy savings. 

The fireplace people came and installed the unit, but had a hard time getting the fire going in it (to demonstrated it for us).  They decided our large oak tree needed to be trimmed off of the chimney to stop the air drafting down it.  It was frustrating to get this beautiful fireplace and yet not be getting it to work properly. 

That night we went to work cutting off some of the branches that were causing the problems.  We worked as well as we could with the tools we had.  We determined we needed to bring in some smaller help.  Grant and Talmage climbed up the tree to get the last branches out.  Grant was nervous, but he hung in there and got the limbs cut! 

It is so nice to have a fire that actually produces some good heat!

Jeff reaching the branch with a saw.

Grant in the tree!

Fireplace is loaded and ready to go!

Fire now means HEAT!

Friday, January 20, 2017

First Swim

Well, just 2 weeks ago we had our first snow of the season and it is already time for the first swim of the season!  Seriously this Texas weather is all over the place!  We were in the upper 70's and the kids asked to swim so out they went.  Sandra likes to balance on her tube and try to not get wet... until she falls off.  She did that 6 times.  After the first it was all on purpose ;).  I told her she should just stay in the water and swim because that would probably be warmer than getting in and out of the water so often. 

I love that they enjoy the pool!  Hopefully we keep getting lots of good use out of it the rest of the year!


She's down

Swimming to get out

 And she's cold!

Cute Clark!


Lorna ... silly girl

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Big Kid

Talmage has been growing and growing, but really, he is also just growing up.   I have noticed that he doesn't always participate in what the younger kids are doing (no snow fun for him).  Well I was walking around the house and I turned the corner to the kitchen area... and there he was, sprawled out on the kitchen table!  It just made me laugh I had to take a picture!  In my head I'm thinking, Who does that?  Oh, but who understands what the teenage brain is dealing with and why they do what they do.  I guess I can imagine sitting on the table, but laying down like a model never even occurred to me.  I'm sure it was a comfortable position which is why he was like that. 

Talmage is really just a big kid... figuring out this whole "growing up" thing :)

Friday, January 6, 2017


This is our first snow of the season!  It is crazy how up and down the weather has been, but it looks like the family left just in time to avoid the crazy cold snow weather!  We weren't even sure we were going to get any, but early afternoon the flurries started and they kept going for several hours.  It was super fun and the kids loved playing in it!  Compared to everyone else in the country our snow was barely there, but that's almost the best part because it doesn't mess up our traffic or roads for too long ;). 

Here are some fun pics :)

 Starting to collect 

I think the pool looks pretty with the snow around it.  

Sandra loved the snow!  I think she may have liked it so she could come in and have hot chocolate ;)

Cute Clark


Mhari got frozen out and came in!

Clark and Grant with the huge icicle from our faucet. 
So happy the kids got some snow this year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wiliams Zoo Day

We took everyone to the Dallas Zoo!  OK, Jeff and Nathan had to work and Tiffany stayed home sick, but otherwise, we all made it to the zoo.  The fun part about Texas is we never know what the weather is doing.  It decided to be colder that day, so that was a little bit of a bummer.  The kids didn't seem to mind too much though.  Everyone had a great time and we enjoyed seeing some great animals!

Here are all 16 Williams Grandkids!

Abby with the penguins

Chica and her friends

Clark, Lorna, Simon and Abby

Sandra and Mhari

Ella and Joy

 Bree, Grant, Clayton and Owen 


The kids also got to feed the giraffes, thanks to Grandma and Grandpa.  I love this part of the zoo!  The giraffes are so friendly with people because they are so used to being fed!



Sandra petting the giraffe




Yay for zoos and cousins!

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year with New Cousins!

OK, so not really new cousins, but Uncle Aaron and Aunt Leann came to visit and brought their 6 kids!  Our kids haven't hung out in a long time so it was great to have time together!  With Grandma and Grandpa Williams still in town it turned into a mini-Williams reunion!  They stayed with us several nights and Nathan and Tiffany a night before they headed back toward AZ.  It was so fun to see the kids play and interact.  I know Lorna and Abby had a blast together! 

We had a fun day at the neighborhood park watching the kids play :).  Here are just a few photos of the fun!

Simon, Clark, Abby and Lorna


Cool big slide fun!  The kids played pop up tag all over the playground.  It was so fun to watch!

That night the kids got out the games :).  They played a mystery museum caper game.

Clark and Simon played Life

Ira, Jonathan, Talmage, and Clayton playing Risk.  It was fun to see Talmage hang out with Ira and Jonathan.  He has really grown up over the last year.

The adults finishing dinner.  It was nice for the Williams family to have some time to hang out and bond. 
It was great to have family around to start off our New Year together!