Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I love this time of year, and I love that my kids are really beginning to understand the true meaning of Christmas. They can tell us the birth story of our Savior, and they know we pray in his name, because they say their own prayers, and they believe and know our Heavenly Father hears and answers them.

I always love the Sunday before Christmas. I love listening to the Christmas program in our sacrament meeting (our worship service). 

I also love taking pictures of my children in their Sunday best...

Christmas Festivities

We have a great group of friends here. We love them! We are surrounded by wonderful friends with children that our children love. Last year, we started what I think has become a tradition. We all went out to eat in Lindale, a town about half way between Longview and Dallas, and then went to Santa Land. Santa Land is magic for these kids. The lights are incredible, and all 3 kiddos soaked it up. We opened the sun roof, and let them poke their heads out. So much fun!

Then, with our same group of friends, we went to Marshall on Christmas Eve. Marshall is such a cute town, and they have the most festive set up. A light show, ice skating, a giant rocking horse, hay rides, mini train rides, bounce houses, etc. Our friends joined us afterwards for our family Christmas Eve tradition of Chinese food. We are grateful to have such wonderful friends to enjoy these fun traditions with.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa's Lap

This was the first Christmas we had a crying baby on Santa's lap. We all need one of these, right?! We were in line to see Santa. Cliff was holding Knox, and Knox was staring at Santa, appearing to make an opinion on judgement on the man. He was perfectly content unit the moment we placed him on his lap. And then this happened...

Below is the official picture they gave us (they let me take my own candids before), and for a SPLIT second, he stopped crying, and we got it. Except now my other two seem like they could not be less interested in him. But take it from me, they LOVED their few moments with Santa.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Emerson & Dance

Emerson started dance this year, and she is in heaven. She takes it very seriously. She says she loves it, but that it's hard work. She tells me she doesn't talk, and she listens to her teacher very well....which means she is taking this very seriously. 

She is quite the mix of Cliff and me. It's funny; Cliff is in the courtroom several times a week, has had some amazing, successful trials this year, and is a fabulous attorney. With that said, he can be so shy outside of the courtroom. Mostly by choice/preference. I, on the other hand, am the furthest away from shy. I teach fitness classes every day, which puts me in front of a crowd. I enjoy singing and speaking in crowds. I grew up loving to perform. Sooo...Emerson is quite the mix. She can be SO shy, but she LOVES to perform. At times she is reservers, and other times, she is totally outgoing. She has contradicting personality traits that makes her SO adorable.  

Her big recital isn't until May, but we got a little preview of what they've been working on this year. We aren't allowed into the the dance classes, so it was such a treat to see her perform everything she's been working on. She performed her heart out. She even introduced herself loudly.

She also got to ride on the dance school's float for the city Christmas parade. She was a little disappointed at the end of the night because she thought she was going to perform with the big girls walking in front of the float. Instead, she sat on the float, all dressed up, with freezing drizzly rain. But she still had a fabulous time, and we loved watching her ride by.

Introducing herself, telling us her name and age.

Giving us a thumbs up...

Walking in at the beginning, putting her bag away...

Oh she melts my heart!

This is her winking/snapping the finger into a gun face...

She is a back bend rock star. She flipped over her teacher's knee for a back walkover so fast, and so perfectly. She has me help her with her back bends every day...

 Here she was getting ready for her parade. It was SUCH a cold night. We curled her hair, got her some warm ear muffs and a Santa hat. She even got some makeup by request, and was stoked.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cliff's awesome parents came to visit for Thanksgiving. We LOVE having company, and we LOVE them! I know I've said this so many times, but I am truly blessed to have such incredible in laws. They have always been amazing, and I truly love them so so much. 

They ALWAYS host Thanksgiving, so it was such a treat to finally host for them. We loved having them out here. Our kids, of course, love them to pieces, as well. 

They also brought out Cliff's '55 Chevy pick up truck! Cliff and his dad completely restored this beauty when Cliff was 15 years old. It was his main ride through high school and college. When we moved back down to Texas for law school, we dropped it off in El Paso, and have been storing it there ever since. Kevin and Marcy hitched it to their truck, and they drove it across the state of Texas to reunite it with Cliff. They are so amazing for doing that, and Cliff is over the moon excited.

Cliff's dad sometimes has a hard time sitting still. He loves to always be working on something. While Cliff ran into work for a couple hours the day before Thanksgiving, Kevin started working on the truck. Cliff came home at lunch time find his dad doing some work, and he excitedly changed and  started working on it with him, just like old times. 

Stone helped Grandpa unload the truck from the trailer. He was so excited to help. He loves helping Grandpa any chance he gets.