Sunday, July 26, 2015


One of my favorite things about this particular Christmas season, was having some family around!  We were able to share with them some of our favorite Christmas traditions.  Some that started with our families formation, and some that we had just started since moving to Ohio.  It was also fun to have Mike and Saundra share traditions with us as well! 

This year we went to the Breakfast with Santa event that our PTO organizes.  It was a fun family breakfast followed by meeting Santa!  I wish I had been able to get the family photo we took with him on here, it was so much fun!  Then we headed over to the Holiday Shop at the school.  The PTO brings in all sorts of dollar store items that the kids can purchase for family and friends.  I had previously thought this was just another way to earn money, but they actually do it to give the kids a chance to think of others and shop for them.  They also donate Santa bucks to kids who have very little so that they can still give their family members a small gift.  We used this opportunity to let the kids pick a small gift to give to mom and dad.  We really wanted them to be excited about the chance to give.  Chad and I took turns helping the kids pick out and pay for their items.  They loved having a secret, but it nearly killed them to keep it!

We enjoyed our Christmas candy making.  The kids got to help with some easy candy projects, and the fruits of the not so easy ones!We also loved going to our annual Santa dinner that Chad's work puts on for the kids.  It was a huge bummer that Chad had to be on call that night, but he managed to get a short break, and was able to scarf down a quick dinner with us before being paged.

For reasons beyond Chad's understanding, we also managed to squeeze in a gingerbread "craft."  I purchased some clearance gingerbread kits the year earlier to take on.  None of them turned out to be anything like the package, in fact the mostly flopped pretty hard.  Luckily, the kids didn't care and just had fun sticking candy to the gingerbread.  Pratt and May crashed before the fun had started and missed the event.  I made sure they got to glue candy later.  
My favorite new tradition of the year came on Christmas Eve.  We had a fun family dinner, and our favorite bachelor friend Brother Ritz joined us as well.  Once dinner was over, Saundra helped cast our first annual Christmas story reading.  I know that a lot of families do this, but it was easy to see why it is such a widely held tradition.  I loved the way that the kids were a part of the story, rather than just waiting it out as they listened on the couch.  I think it made it more real and meaningful in their little minds and hearts.Our cast was as follows: Mary-Aimee (she would have had it no other way), Joseph- Porter, Shepard's- Pratt and Carter, Angels- May and Kamry.

 Most of all we felt the love of our Father in Heaven and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It was the perfect way to have our focus exactly where it belonged for that sacred holiday.

tree hunting 2014

Nothing makes a home feel like Christmas, than an evergreen tree!  I was a little bummed that we had to wait so long to go get our tree, but it was worth it to have Chad home and Mike and Saundra with us!  It was wonderful to show them our tree farm, and all of the things we love about going there to pick out our Christmas tree as a family.  The kids loved being able to show Carter and Kamry all of their favorites as well.We saw the donkey, warmed up by the fire, and helped more than one batch of fire popped popcorn disappear before we set out to hunt.

We tried the opposite side of the farm this year, and made the walk up Christmas Tree Lane together.

We definitely took our time comparing the trees and deciding which one was destined to be part of the Williams family Christmas.  However, we did manage to pick one before the other Williams family. ;) 

Chad let all of the kids help saw it down.  They felt pretty big, and had a great time.

And of course I can't forget to include the picture that makes Chad feel big too!

So much fun was had just enjoying being with our family for the most wonderful time of the year!

close call

I have seen the damage that a pair of scissors has done to many a child's hair.  So when I walked into the kitchen one day to see Aimee snipping away, I had a panic attack.  As it turns out, she was only trying to get a hair band out, not create a new hair style.  We were also lucky that the hair cut was small enough and spread out enough to not be noticeable.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

music program

I should spend time in this post talking about how great it is that Medlar View does such a great job introducing the arts.  And how proud I was of my little first grade Aimee for learning such a wide variety of music.  But the truth is, I had way more fun than Aimee probably would have appreciated if she had been near me.  I am the primary (children's) chorister at our church.  I am usually the one trying to teach music and songs to young children.  This time I just got to sit back and watch, and it was hilarious!  The kids, Aimee included, got really into all of the songs!  So much fun!  This was one of those things that it broke my heart that family wasn't there to enjoy!

Friday, July 17, 2015


For some reason, every time I shovel the driveway in the winter, the kids think it is the coolest place to be.  May hates to be cold, but she hates to be left out even more.  Luckily she has a few older siblings to help dress her so she can watch me work too!

For as much as these two can battle things out, and pick at each other, they are pretty stinking cute when they work together!

Porter loves all of the hand-me-downs we get from our neighbor.  I love that is saves me a ton of money, even if it isn't always something I would pick out.  This is one of those outfits.  Does this make anyone else think of Vector from Despicable Me?  He hated it when I said that at first.  Later on he just decided to own it!

The best part about getting older, is having my kids enjoy my birthday more than me! 

I love this picture!  May loves to play outside.  Especially when everyone else it out playing.  Sadly, she can't always keep up.  On this day, she found out that sometimes all you need is a pile of leaves to play in.

Just before starting to take family pictures, Aimee tripped over a boulder.  This resulted in her hitting her forehead on the edge of an adjacent boulder.  Immediately a giant goose egg appeared.  How she managed to suck it up for the pictures, and how my sister-in-law was able to photo shop it out, I will never know!  As the goose egg settled and drained into her eyes, she looked pretty bad.  One night I even got a text from the mother of one of Aimee friends from schoo.  She wanted to know if everything was okay at our house, or if we needed any help.  I had mixed emotions that someone would be so sweet to check up on us, but heartbroken that someone could think that our happy family was anything but happy!

Porter and Aimee's elementary has a really great PTO.  They have lots of fun family activities throughout the year, one of which is family doughnut breakfast.  Since the dad's in our family are always gone at that time, we made sure that Aunt Saundra and the cousins were there to enjoy a fun breakfast together!

May is a little snuggle bug.  Truth be told, she really doesn't even need a person to be attached to the snuggle.  She just likes to have something soft to squeeze.  It works out great because it doesn't take much to help her feel better when she gets sad.

Teaching your kids to read is a double edged sword.  It can mean that a trip to the library can cause book trails to appear around the house, and it can be difficult to get the kids attention.  But mostly, I just love that it also brings a calm when they start to get distracted by them.

Every year after the annual fancy-schmancy ortho graduation dinner, they take photos of the entire orthopaedic residency.  My favorite thing about the dinner is that that each year it just solidifies in my mind how blessed I am to have such a hard-working, intelligent and solid husband.  He is a constant example of integrity and goodness.  It is hard to see in the picture, but he is the dark, handsome one!

I knew she was a way off, but there is just something about a tiny little body sitting on the potty that is adorable!  I'm glad she still thinks it might be a good idea later on.

Chad loves it when the babies get old enough that he can contribute to feeding them.  Especially when giving a first (ice cream) is so eagerly accepted and makes him popular.

This is what happens when I try to take a picture of new teethies.

Of course I just had to wait until she was mad at me to get a good view!

Chad loves to bring the kids out to the garage with him to fix or build.  He turns them loose with all sorts of random wood, nails and hammers while he works on his stuff.  I'm pretty sure the kids like it almost as much as their dad!

These were the results of the first reading assessment I got back for Aimee for the 1st grade.  Her score is the hand written one.  The score in parenthesis is the goal for the child.  Aimee became the out layer for all of her class statistics, especially since her scores only got better as the year progressed.

Pratt finds all kinds of ways to entertain himself.  And he doesn't let a trip to the potty distract him from doing just that.  I was just glad that he decided go ON the potty in the process of entertaining.  The look on his face, by the way, is not remorse.  It is being bummed that he got caught.

Between the weed eating from the previous owners, and my kiddos helping me get the mail, the mail box stand went timber.  Chad quickly surveyed the neighborhood standard stand and whipped up a new one!  A little paint and cement to put the post in the ground and we were back in business.
Nothing says summer to me quite like cement covered in kid doodles!  Plus, I love getting a glimpse of what is going on in their little brains.  Here Aimee is depicting herself with her handsom daddy prince.

May doesn't love it when I force her to learn a new skill.  This was the fit she was throwing as I declined to carry her down the stairs.  She knew how to turn around and do it herself, but it just wasn't as convenient yet.

I love the outlet that a little gym time is for me.  I don't love that some people think this outlet is more important than staying home with their kids when they are sick, and send them to the nursery with my kids.  This was day two of round 1 (of two) of hand, foot, and mouth decease for Pratt this last winter.

I am pretty sure I was as entertained by the roller blades our neighbor gave us this winter as the kids were.  I was just glad she sent knee and elbow pads to keep smiles on everyone's face.
And this is May a few weeks later, enjoying the freedom she had from having mastered the stairs!