Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

We truly hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  We love this time of year to have more family time with each other and our extended family.  It has been yet another busy December, but when is December ever boring?  Enjoy the pictures, and if you have the time, my ramblings about our latest happenings.

In my last blog post I mentioned that Lee and I went to his work party and had a wonderful date thanks to my friend Kristi who babysat for us!
Dec 17 2010 Ryan's Buffet EENT Christmas party

Elden playing with kid nativity set.
Dec 18 2010 Elden

One night the kids opened some "initial" ornaments for them from my mom.  C for Clark, H for Haley etc. Thanks Mom!
Dec 19 2010 Ruth Elden Shanna Clark Cal Haley G&G B' ornaments 2010

Dec 19 2010 Elden

Dec 19 2010 Elden (2)

It was a night everyone wanted to wear a parent shirt. Sorry Elden that we did let you wear one of daddy's shirts.
Dec 19 2010 Shanna Cal Calrk Haley

For Family Home Evening last week we went caroling with some friends in our ward.  Afterward we went to the Lykins' house for treats and mingling.  Thanks to the Lykins family!  We had a great time!  Shanna found some dress clothes. 
Dec 20 2010 Shanna at Lykins'

Shanna with one of her friends from her mommy co-op pre-school class.
Dec 20 2010 Parker Norris

Dec 20 2010 Parker Norris and Shanna

My brother Daniel and his wife Amy and his family came for Christmas.  We are having a great time with them!  The first full day that they were here Daniel set up the Wii.  The kids were pretty excited.  We don't own any game system, and of course Clark loves playing the Wii.  All of his other cousins have one, or some sort of game system (well, basically all of them), so we figure we don't need to buy one, right?!
Dec 23 2010 Ila Cal Clark Anthon Cal wii time!

Dec 23 2010 Cal Shanna Ila Elden wii

One day we took Daniel and family to the USO.  We had a fun time as always.  There is a dog there that is so sweet and Elden LOVES her.  It is so cute to watch.  But yes, not cute enough for us to buy a dog or any other sort of living thing. Having five kids is satisfying enough.
Dec 23 2010 Elden at USO Fort Leonard Wood MO

On Christmas Eve I invited some of my friends in the neighborhood to come and decorate gingerbread houses at the community center.  I made 36 of them (just the house pieces)....and had a lot left over!  We had a fun time decorating houses and I am especially glad that Daniel and Amy were here to do it with us.  Some of our kids were sick, so Lee stayed home with them.  Ila was great and helped my set up and take down. Growing up we always made real gingerbread houses every year.  I didn't do them when my kids were really little, but I started it up again three or so Christmases ago.  Last year Lena did all the hard work and we enjoyed making them over Thanksgiving in 2009. 
Dec 24 2010 Haley making gingerbread houses

Dec 24 2010 Clark

Ila the awesome helper!
Dec 24 2010 Ila and Haley making gingerbread houses

Lizzy, another one of Daniel's fun kids. 
Dec 24 2010 Lizzy

Aiden and Pat....Aiden and Cal are both in Kindergarten together and I met their family through school stuff.

Dec 24 2010 Pat and Aiden Hippler

Sarah and Patrick--the other half of the family.  Patrick and Clark were in Kindergarten and 1st grade together.  Now in 2nd grade, sadly they are in different classes.
Dec 24 2010 Sarah and Patrick Hippler,

Lee's friend from work came with his family and parents.
Dec 24 2010 Mrs. Shao and daughter

Dec 24 2010 James Shao and his mom

Some more friends!  The boy in the blue coat--Trenton--I take him to school every morning.  He is a great boy and is really helpful with getting my kids out the door by tying shoelaces, zipping coats, etc. 
Dec 24 2010 Trenton and Tanner Sexton

Dec 24 2010 Tony, Tanner and Trenton Sexton

Dec 24 2010 Ila Haley Clark

Dec 24 2010 Aiden and Patrick Hipple and Clark

Dec 24 2010 Ila and Haley

Shanna and Haley's buddy Talan.  He is such a cutie!
Dec 24 2010 Talan Sexton

Later that night we had our Christmas Eve dinner.  We hope you had a great birthday dinner too Dad!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Dec 24 2010 Christmas Eve Dinner

Dec 24 2010 Lee with Christmas Eve Dinner

After dinner it was time to put on matching pj's (I make pj pants almost every year...I have skipped a year or two) and act out the Nativity while Lee read it from the Book of Mormon and the Bible.
Dec 24 2010 Elden

Dec 24 2010 Amy and Daniel and Shanna Christmas pageant

Dec 24 2010 Shanna Lee

Dec 24 2010 Elden (2)

Dec 24 2010 Elden (3)

Dec 24 2010 Elden Shanna

Dec 24 2010 Lizzy Shanna Ila, Clark, Anthon

Ila is Mary...I am not sure who Shanna is pretending to be.
Dec 24 2010 Ila Shanna Rachel Lizzy

Rachel the angel appears to tell Mary about upcoming birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Dec 24 2010 Ila Lizzy Rachel

Time for bed! 
Dec 24 2010 Lee Robertson Family 2010

Christmas morning we all eat pumpkin pie before we look at our stockings.  I made each of the kids a mini pumpkin pie.  I made 14 big pies and we are slowly pecking at them.  If you want pie, come here tonight!
Dec 25 2010 Elden

The line-up.
Dec 25 2010 The LINEUP! Anthon Ila Lizzy Rachel Clark Cal Shanna Haley Elden Ruth

Our kids' stockings.  We did have one out for Elden I promise!  He may get left out in many things, but he does have a stocking!  Yes, we only put a couple of things in it, but he had one nonetheless! (Don't you love the recliner?  Guess we should get a different one, but knowing us, that's not likely to happen any time soon! We have a couple more years using our furniture from optometry school. And Jenn, we LOVE our couch!!!)
Dec 25 2010 the loot and trashy chair

It was a Lego Christmas for sure.  Clark and Cal only got a couple each, but a little goes a long way! Here are pictures of them seeing their stockings.
Dec 25 2010 Clark Lizzy

Dec 25 2010 Ruth Cal

Our kids get a can of olives, a mini-box of cereal, an orange and candy in their stockings.  Yep, my kids love olives.
Dec 25 2010 Cal Clark Amy

Dec 25 2010 Haley Ruth

Dec 25 2010 Shanna Cal Ruth Haley

Dec 25 2010 Haley

Here is his stocking!
Dec 25 2010 Elden (2)

Dec 25 2010 Elden (3)

Dec 25 2010 Elden (4)

Elden LOVES his lizard and ball that he got.
Dec 25 2010 Elden (5)

Dec 25 2010 Shanna

Dec 25 2010 Clark

Dec 25 2010 Cal

Dec 25 2010 Clark Daniel Anthon

Dec 25 2010 Lee

Dec 25 2010 Shanna Haley

So this year we drew names in our family for gift giving.  Clark has asked before in previous years about getting presents for me and Lee and I felt bad because I didn't have the money (and neither did Clark) for him to do so.  And of course I didn't think hard enough because Clark could have made something, but oh well. Anyway, this year, I set aside some money so we could each participate in gift giving as a family.  Shanna and Haley of course drew each others' names.  So when I took Haley to buy something for Shanna (she picked out the present you see below--bracelets and such) I caved and bought one for Haley and for Rachel.  I didn't give Shanna the experience of picking something out for Haley.  I did take Shanna into my room by herself and I showed her the gift for Haley and asked if she wanted to give it to her.  Shanna seemed very excited about it and helped me wrap it. I am glad she didn't mention about why we didn't go to the store and pick something out for Haley. It did work well, he he.
Dec 25 2010 Shanna Haley Clark

Dec 25 2010 Cal (2)

Dec 25 2010 Cal (3)

Dec 25 2010 Clark (2)

Elden of course did not eat well yesterday.  I put out A LOT of candy and he knows what it is too.
Dec 25 2010 Elden (6)

Dec 25 2010 Clark Lizzy Ila Daniel

I got a great scarf from Ila that she knitted.  I need her to teach me to knit!
Dec 25 2010 Clark Ruth

Dec 25 2010 Elden (7)

Dec 25 2010 Shanna Haley (2)

After presents we hung out, ate and chatted with family.  I loved talking to Sheldon.  He is my youngest brother and is nearing the close of his two-year mission in Italy.  He shares the gospel of Jesus Christ there.  Missionaries can email every week (or write letters) but can only call home twice a year, Mother's Day and Christmas.  This year he was able to get on Skype.  It was great because so many of us could be on at the same time. Actually, our whole family was on together, all 10 kids and parents!  Some were in and out, but we were all there at one point or another.  (I just realized cool!)  I LOVE TECHNOLOGY! We normally get on Skype Sunday nights, and it was great to have Sheldon on and hear more about his mission and things like how Italians don't eat spaghetti and meatballs.  Later we watched A Christmas Carol--with Patrick Stewart--best version I have seen thus far. After the kids were in bed Lee, Daniel and I played a new game that Lee got me.

We enjoyed our time at church and were VERY early.  Church starts at 10 and we walked into church around 9:35.  We need Daniel and his family here every Sunday.  I even started getting ready later than normal.  In Relief Society we had a great lesson about gratitude.  It was based on President Monson's talk, The Divine Gift of Gratitude.  (Click to read, it's GREAT!) At the end a lady posed the question about how could she help her kids develop gratitude. I asked one of my favorite people in the ward, Danielle, this question after our class was done.  I would also love to hear from all of you!  How do you/did you help your kids develop gratitude?  Every year we listen to the book on CD, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. A couple of years ago, or maybe even last year, this line caught my attention:

Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. It would have been flat heresy to do so. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing.

That is how I would love my kids to be, a Cratchit kid! So again, please share any tips you have.  I would love to read them!

I have been thinking about New Year's goals and what I want to do and change.  I need more contemplation on this subject.  I know I need to do more gospel oriented things with my kids.  Come Thursday I'll be well into my 30s!  Well, 31.  WEIRD! Some may not like birthdays during the holidays, but I love it!  I always get to be with family (and when I was in school NO school on my birthday EVER!).  We love hearing the "story" about when my dad was born on Christmas Eve, the next day Santa gave his other brother a doll.  Guess the right Santa was not at home.

Guess my ramblings are done.  Again, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas time celebrating the birth of our Savior, spending time with family and friends, and serving others!