Monday, December 26, 2011

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly, fa-la-la-la-la-la

Christmas was wonderful this year.  Besides being spoiled, we had a wonderful time with the family.  We ate way too many sweets which spanned over 3 days of parties and at least 3 pounds on the scale.  First we had a nice time at my aunt Jodi’s house where we were treated to some heavenly Hungarian goulash.  The party and the goulash have become an annual tradition which, besides the goulash, includes a gift exchange and a reenactment of the night of Jesus’ birth with all of the kids dressed up in their parts.  The baby girls were supposed to be the sheep but they did stray.  The next night, Christmas Eve, was a night of chili, not a traditional meal for this night, but very tasty.  Christmas night, we had Erin and her clan of cutenesses over for one more dinner which Chris made most of since I was sick all day and couldn’t help at all.  It has been revealed that he can cook quite well, uh-oh for him.  I always knew he was a pro at Ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese, but I’ve learned he can also make rolls and tend a ham in the oven.

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Bill and Dantzel sampling the punch.  Perhaps spiking it with silly juice or Poly-juice potion.  No wonder I left the party looking like a tired old dog, or maybe I just felt that tired. 

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Max, Grandpa Poet’s dog.  Poor guy is getting pretty old but is still so gentle around kids.

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Does chopsticks ever get old?  Uh…well, yes.  Yes, it does.

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Gavin and Vanny, who is expecting in February.  A girl!  I love shopping for girls.

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My mom brought her musical pipes for “dinging” to Christmas songs.  Very pretty and fun for all.

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This is how you stretch your back in their country, or planet maybe.

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Dave, Britton, and my dad.

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Tessa without her husband Jeff who couldn’t get off work until Christmas Eve.

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Joseph and Mary

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One of the wise women Smile

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The angel Brooklyn with her purple halo.

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Mom and dad, aren’t they the cutest, most adorable, best parents ever?!  We all love you so much!

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Vanny’s quilt, my gift to her for the gift exchange.  I must say, I’m rather proud of how well it turned out.  Staying up to 3 am to finish a quilt does not very straight lines make.


Christmas Morning!!!

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Miriam and Elizabeth’s 2nd Christmas!

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Stollers!!!!  The absolute favorite gift of the day.

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Reed came to our room at 6 am wondering when we could all get up for Christmas.  I said not until 8:00 am.  I told him to lie down and go back to sleep.  Of course, he couldn’t and while I slept once more he crept outside in only his robe, pjs and socks, to seek out sleigh tracks.  He locked himself out and I had to go answer the door with the the thought, “who in the heck is calling at this hour and this day?”

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Miriam and Elizabeth both got large stuffed animals, an elephant and a monkey.  Oh, how they love to hug them!

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We loved having grandma and grandpa with us for Christmas!

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Finally, they came up with a book to answer some of Douglas’ many questions!

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Even poor Isaac was sick for Christmas he still said it was the best one ever.

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Socks?  Well, at least it’s not underwear and my toes have been sticking out of the many holes of my old socks.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Exactly one week till Christmas!  I love this holiday.  If you need to get into the Christmas spirit, explain to a 6 year old why (again) we celebrate. 

first choice

Our official Christmas letter to those of you that I do not have physical addresses for.  At least this way, you won’t have to feel guilty about throwing it away at the end of the season.  Yes, I have that problem and have a pile of these letters collected from many a year. 

Dear Family and Friends,

We just got the Christmas tree up and placed every ornament for which we could find a spot, starting 3 feet off the floor. One and half year-olds, especially the ones in the 85th and 95th percentiles for height, have an amazing reach and especially great ornament grabbing abilities. The 3 older boys helped with ornament placement after I hung all of the matching red balls, which happen to be the only things that gave uniformity to the tree other than the green needles.

These little-end-of-the-year Christmas letters and their informative nature, function as a great way to remember what the heck you did with 12 whole months. Even now, I’m struggling to recall. Let’s see…where’s that calendar? Ok, here we go: everyone got older on at least one day this year, I made way too much salsa (is there such a thing?), baseball practices and games got rescheduled due to inclement weather at least 5 times! I had to make my very first Jell-O Salad for Scouts, the boys and I did a 5K wog (walk/jog - new term), the grass was aerated, we attended a family reunion with the best mutton fry and scones, Reed got glasses, and we went camping to Fish Lake. I paid someone several times to trim my bangs until recently when I learned how to trim my bangs on YouTube. By the way, I also learned how to make a pie crust on YouTube. Douglas acquired a bird from Aunt Jodi, who we named Steve, (aka Howard Bannister). Steve now seems to be my bird and I have taught him how to whistle a cat call. Then there’s the dreaded, I mean looked-forward-to, back-to-school night and the much more fun parent teacher conferences. The dry cleaners seem to get a lot of my business as does the dentist. Flu shots, Isaac’s grasshopper collection, pack meetings (I’m the cub master), a blood drive, returning over-due books, and Douglas’ hip-hop dance class for which I can give little assistance because normal people can’t move in that way, unless they have double joints in their femurs, ribs, skulls, radii and ulnas.

That was quite the list, but none of it of extremely great import. There were, however, some very great things that happened this past year. My sister Dani married a wonderful guy named Michael Scott Thomas in May. My cousin Tessa married a Mr. Jeff Beck, also wonderful, in June. Chris’ sister Lacey and her husband Jake had their first and very adorable baby, Maeli Ruth, in February. Most life changing for all of us was the premature birth, and short life, of my sister Erin and brother-in-law Bill’s baby girl, Julia Dawn. It’s amazing how Julia’s short life on Earth could make such a lasting impression on so many. My testimony of God’s existence, His love for me, and His plan of salvation was strengthened immensely by knowing Julia and spending time with her, and her parents, in the hospital. The few times I spent holding onto Julia’s little feet and humming primary songs to her in the NICU were some of the most spiritual experiences of my life -- a time when I have felt closest to heaven while on earth.

I think taking the time to remember the year and all that happened in just 12 months, can be enlightening. Even those simple things we do that fill up so much of our time have worth. Those things that never make their mark on the calendar make some of the greatest marks on our lives. The chats with our children, the long talks on the phone, the hugs and kisses, the laughter and tears, the prayers, the learning. Oh, and all of the new words a pair of 1½ year-olds are learning, like “shoe” and “go.” Soon, hopefully, “snow” will be in the mix.

We love you all and thank you for the love and kindness you’ve given us! Merry Christmas!

Love, The Williams Family

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Foot traffic

Can a person die, or at least lose consciousness, from noxious odors?  Can you burn through steel with a horrid scent?  Can the toxic odor create a heat that could curl the hair of 20 ladies in a salon?

I’m pretty sure all of those things could have happened had I not, most vehemently and with the most serious look of disgust on my face, forced my boys to remove their WMD capable socks and sanitize their feet in the bath.  Boys…though, I’ve heard that girls can perform equally disgusting feats (pardon the pun). 

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Baby in a Basket

Are there any better ways to travel?  They think not, or at least in the winter.  A wagon of course trumps a laundry basket, but when the wagon is locked out in the cold, mommy’s carrier of all of our very soiled clothing will do.

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They take turns pushing and pulling each other and I’m amazed at their strength!

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Park Time! 

Oh, and mommy kept ruining it by taking pictures of us.  She said it’s for Christmas but we think she’s acting like a lunatic chasing us around and encouraging us to say “cheese.”  Like we can pronounce our “ch”s already.  Silly mommy!

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A temporary peace between the 3 warring nations.  Dougland, Island, and Reedland, three treacherous lands, all three of which have a massive stockpile of stinky socks.

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I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season!  I’ll be posting our family picture later.  Or at least all 5 kids. Smile

Merry Christmas!

December 2018 (Cliff’s notes version:  Merry Christmas, we love you all, and have a happy New Year!) Dear Family and Friends (...