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Sunday, November 29, 2009

November Happenings

I'm trying to remember what has prevented me from blogging this month. I've had loads of photography sessions which have probably contributed. I have, however, been storing up little memories this month that are definitely worth sharing.

We hear very regularly how happy Schroeder is. He seems to have a dimpled smile for everyone he meets. He goes easily to anyone, but he knows who we are. Not every stage of childhood is this easy to take joy in, so we are savoring this sweet stage.

He did, finally, get his first tooth (mid-November). I thought it was coming through back in September, but these things take time. I'm the type of mom who has nothing on hand but a little Tylenol to help him through it. Nope, no baby orajel or teething tablets. One might think that's because he's a third child, but I didn't give it to D'arcy either.

He's eating fruits (beginning of November). I'm trying to be more consistent with how often I sit down to feed him veggies and fruit from a jar. It's happening about three times a week at this point. This is probably a third baby thing. I'm already sitting down to nurse him four times a day. He eats it all like a pro, though, and doesn't seem to be picky. Remember, though, that the term "picky" eater doesn't fly in this house. A month, ago, he took to blowing raspberries with his food instead of swallowing. I'm not sure if he wasn't pleased with the taste or if he just thought it was fun. I never looked down at the label, though, to make a connection of what food "he didn't eat" aka "he didn't like". At this point, I'm not giving him the choice of what he eats so why even bother looking.

We are trying to teach him the word "NO" and the sign language motion for "more". No is used when he raspberries his food, and goes for the little speakers under the TV table. "More" would be good to know when he wants more of anything including tortilla which is my replacement for cheerios. Why buy a box of cheerios when I can tear up a tortilla that I already buy for the kids?

Why do we think he could be capable of making the "more" sign? Because our little stroke victim has worked his way up to waving and clapping his hands! This is so stinking adorable.

Last, but not least, Schroeder is pulling himself to standing. I think I mentioned this in a previous blog. He can do it in his crib which is sometimes where I put him when the kids are playing in their room. I can't trust that he won't get trampled if left on the floor, but from his crib he can stand and watch Crazy #1 & #2 play. They like to entertain him by dancing and singing.

I've mentioned previously that parenting Julian is our hardest job at this point. He still makes me smile daily, though. He is very excited for Christmas, and is taking his Fisher Price manger everywhere. He watched Charlie Brown Christmas tonight, and has already remembered his favorite line from last year which he'll say over and over and crack himself up. He loves to sing Christmas songs and Praise songs. When the song "Sing, Sing, Sing" comes on on KLove, he will belt it out. Our kids always have a song to sing which is something I love.

He sleeps with Buzz and Woody right now. Although, the minute he got Buzz, Woody definitely got a slight demotion. I think we've heard, "There is a snake in my boat!" and "To Infinity and Beyond" about a hundred times in the last couple of months. Yes, you read that right "...snake in my BOAT!" He insists that it's boat and not boot.

At the dinner table he always instigates prayer, and loves to do "Cheers". He'll say, "Let's Cheers mom and dad!" Then, he'll grab his glass and want to clink it with everyone else. D'arcy also likes that game very much.

He's all about using the phrase "of course" right now. "Of coarse I will, mom," he'll tell me.

Julian is improving a great deal with the use of a writing utensil. His left hand is getting stronger, and he'll stay around long enough to even color a whole person.

D'arcy spends most of her time dressing up and then crafting. She still loves to draw and sew and weave and paint. Doing such things is the bane of Julian's existence but is the great joy of D'arcy's.

As we approach the end of our stay in Texas, she is preparing to leave her friends. She definitely expresses sadness in having to leave. I know it will be hard for me to deal with their emotions on top of my own. She's asked Stephen if he'll be able to find a new job. We smiled and wondered, has she been talking to our parents?

D'arcy also danced at her first recital on Saturday. She'll have another one in December. This one was on very short notice, but she very much enjoyed herself. Here are a few pics from that.

DeLozier Family

I've had the opportunity to photograph little miss Elise three times. Last year, she was just laying around taking everything in, and now she is a moving, curious, one year old. She's not quite walking, but that doesn't stop her from getting where she wants to go. She loves her dog, and of course, her mommy and daddy. We took a picture of her in front of her parents. She turned around, spotted mommy and daddy, and took off to cuddle up in their laps.
She loves her grandma, too. When I would try to coo at her, she would just look at me with disinterest, but when grandma starts cooing, her smile pops out. Here are a few of those smiles.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Joseph & Mychal are married!

It was a perfect November evening for a wedding. I drove up to Canyon Lake to a quaint little cabin resort. Mychal and Joseph did things a little differently. No official attendants, although they did have friends sit with them at dinner. The whole event was made by family, the cake, the food, the dress. All of which were fantastic.
Mychal got ready with just the help of her mother. It was a nice, sweet couple of moments to breath before she walked down the aisle. She kept apologizing for the craziness, but all I saw was a really organized bride who was determined to enjoy the moment.
Mychal and Joseph, I hope that you guys push each other to reach your full potential, and, yet, love each other in the midst of your shortcomings. I also hope that you enjoy the pictures I took of your wedding day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Darcie Bridal Portraits

Darcie called me up about a month ago to schedule bridal portraits. One of my clients, Mychal, (who got married this weekend) is scheduled to photograph Darcie's wedding. Since Mychal is away on her honeymoon, she gave Darcie my name to have her bridal portraits done.
I was excited for this photo session because I've never met anyone else named Darcie besides my daughter (D'arcy). Turned out, that this Darcie is also blond and blue eyed and looks beautiful in a wedding dress. This is clear from the photos. Take a look!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas Williams style

I have one green and red storage container that I keep 90% of my Christmas decorations. So, no, we aren't extravagant when it comes to decorating, but there are a few things you will find around our house that help us celebrate the holidays. This is what you need to celebrate the Holidays Williams style.

Fisher Price Manger Set

With lots of little hands around, there is no safe place for a fragile Nativity set. I believe my mom found this last year at the local Christian bookstore. She bought one for her home in Indiana, and I bought one for our church. Before it could get to church, though, the kids had fallen in love with it. Every Sunday, we would tote it back home so we could play with it all week. This year, I invested in another one for our home. Julian is going around telling everyone he got a manger. "A what?" people will ask. He puts all the pieces in his backpack and carries it from room to room. The other night as he was going to sleep he asked that I lay all the pieces down so that they could sleep too.

Nativity Advent Calendar

My mother in law looked diligently for a Jesus' themed advent calendar and found this one which is also great for little hands. My only qualm is that the velcro on the back of the pieces catches the threading of the dates. It's hard to get the kids to stop at just one piece. I've stopped getting upset if the decide to get Jesus out before the 25th.

Godly Play Advent Lessons

I'm the Children's Ministry director at our church. We use the Godly Play curriculum and I have worked their advent lessons into the advent materials our pastors created for their five daughters. We use this at church, and I reinforce it at home. At some point during the week, we'll sit down and reread the lesson, look at the pictures, and light the advent candles at home. We do the last lesson on Christmas morning before we open presents. The picture is something my friend, Joy, (our pastor's daughter) created to help her family celebrate Advent. She generously let me use adopt it for my family.

Sufjan Steven's Christmas Album

I love Christmas music. Stephen isn't a huge fan, but this is an album we can both agree on (at least in December...he still can't understand listening to it in August). It's a five CD set that is eclectic, yet traditional. Check it out.

A Real, Live Christmas Tree

When Stephen and I were dating, I kept insisting that we would always have a live Christmas tree in our future home. It was kind of a running joke. So much so, that Stephen's mom bought me a Christmas Tree stand as a shower gift. The first year we were married, we headed to our local Lowe's store to pick out a tree. We picked a modest $35 one, put the top down on our convertible, and drove it home to our apartment. We had to use our butcher knife to cut the lower branches off in order to get it into the stand. A couple hours and a lot of sap later, we had a live Christmas tree. Keep in mind, that this all happened about a week into finding out I was expecting D'arcy, and by the time Christmas rolled around, I was feeling nauseous. Somehow, the beautiful scent of fresh Christmas trees got associated in my mind with first trimester nausea so for the last five years, we've put up this monster of a fake tree. Well, it's been long enough! We sold our fake one at a garage sale, and next weekend we are off to pick out a modest $35 Christmas tree and put it in our minivan!

Charlie Brown Christmas DVD

Under our christmas tree, instead of presents, you'll probably both our Advent Box, our Fisher Price Manger Set, and a basket full of Christmas books and movies. You may have guessed that we like Peanuts since we have a little Peanut of our own (Schroeder). This is definitely my favorite Christmas special, and the kids love it, too. We have the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Charlie Brown specials, and last year, D'arcy insisted we needed to locate an Easter one to keep the fun going.

Christmas Cards

I've found a creative outlet in creating a special Christmas card each year. I think three years ago, I sent it via email, but am committed to sending it snail mail from now on (barring any future financial crises). Sending Christmas cards, to me, is such a quaint tradition. When creating a card, I try to strike a balance between giving my friends a taste of what we've been up to all year and sending them a message of blessing. This is the picture we used last year. I hope to post this year's Christmas card in December for all of you to see!

Cinnamon Rolls

I can't remember a Christmas that my mom hasn't made these for Christmas morning. Yum, Yum. I still can't believe that when I joined Stephen's family, they thought the perfect Christmas food was crackers, Summer Sausage, Bill Bolt's cheese, and coffee. Add a couple of girls who can bake to the mix, and now we have some real treats on Christmas day.

We are looking forward to once again being "Home" for Christmas. We've never spent Christmas morning in our actual place of residence. Instead, our tradition is to always be in Indiana with our family during the holidays. We are thankful for jobs that have lots of paid vacation and holiday bonuses that help us make that trek every year. Since Santa Claus isn't really part of our holiday experience, the kids don't get anxious about him leaving their gifts in Texas while they're in Indiana. Instead, they rely on the fact that we'll always be with their Grammy & Poppy and Grandma & Grandpa for the holidays.