Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day

Some of my favorite shots of the day:

Laney asked for a jewelry box. No problem!

Did you know that it is nigh unto impossible to purchase a jewelry box these days. I visited and called dozens of JCPennies, Kohls, Targets, Walmarts, Dillards, Barnes and Nobles.....and NOTHING!

Don't we store our jewelry anymore?

Then I turned to the internet. 

Nothing. Well, nothing south of a hundred dollars. Unless you want it to be yellow or pink and have a ballerina or horse pop up on a spring and play you a song...

So I headed over to Maj-R-Thrift and the heavens pointed out the most adorable red box.

And what was monogrammed on the side?


Angels sang. 

I picked up some cute fox stickers and little blue flowers and snazzed it up for her, And I was rewarded with this smile:

Mark made sure the boys each received a Cubs hat and an Ohio State hat. You gotta raise them up right.

Ethan's first grown up wallet. No velcro here!

Somebody is very grateful.

Modeling the newest deadlifting socks. Hopefully these will keep his shins from getting scraped up.

And this year he gets a YARD of SNICKERS!

The girls receiving a 3 month membership to AnimalJam. One of their favorite gifts!

Laney's new bike!

And last of all, we hid Megan's new electric piano down in the basement "office" next to Mark's guitars. After all the gifts were unwrapped, Mark sent her do there to go get a guitar for him and she came back up with tears of joy running down her face.

She was so happy and so surprised. It was one of the funnest memories I have of giving a gift.

She's been down there playing ever since.

For Christmas dinner we invited the Flynns over for ham and turkey and rolls and potatoes and pie and every yummy thing we could collectively think of!

We attempted to play the Pie Face game but had some trouble with the weight of the whip cream.

It was funny and silly. A complete sticky mess...

And perfect for the little kids.

Not to mention, delicious.

However, when I play, I will be doing it with real, whipped cream.

Because I can.

I'm trying to remember why I thought face pains were a good gift.

The next week was spent in the basement with my newest Christmas puzzles and the entire final season of Downton Abby.


I made sure to remind the kids how satisfying it is to stroke the top of a finished puzzle.

Laney agreed.

A wonderful Christmas!

Luke II and the Stockings

Christmas morning!!

And it's stocking time! Those flat stockings are hanging up any more.

They're fat and sassy and waiting to be explored.

Fancy fans!

Magical hand mirrors.

Five red balls...what are these for? Oh, just you wait and see....keep digging!

More fancy fans! Megan gets a sophisticated gold and black one.

Poppers! (that's what the red balls were for)

Mini model ship.

And before the presents...Dad will settle everyone down and read the nativity story from the scriptures.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas jammies and surprise

Anna first this year! And she gets cinderella jammies.

Laney lifting the lid. Making the anticipation last.

Sparkly narwhal!

Megan gets snuggly grey and black (she seems to be following in my footsteps. Stylewise anyway.)

Ethan gets super soft sweats and teal t-shirt. No more firetrucks or choo choos.

Everly is snoozing away, so we'll pray that she doesn't wake up screaming and can open her box soon.

Mathew gets and blue athletic shirt and black pants with white stripes down the leg. No more ninjas. Nor more Spiderman.

Mark gets to open the fancy hat-box...

And here he is in his Christmas Vacation t-shirt. I think he likes it!

I got these super stripey jammies! They are funny. And definitely not slimming.

Christmas is tomorrow!!!


And Everly is up! She's feeling pretty good and Ethan helps her open her box.

Purple Bambi jammies!

We finish the night with some yummy braided bread...

And some surprise carolers....

That is the first time we've ever had carolers come to our house! I cried and took a video. Mark threw coats on the big kids and went with them to the next house.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Shepherd's Night 2016

Time to sleep under the tree! Strangely enough, the boys didn't feel like participating this year. WHAT???

You don't want to sleep on the floor in a room that is almost as bright as day? You crazy.

Oh well, we'll forgive them and enjoy our time together, we girls. 

Megan read us bedtime stories:

Laney and Anna did their best to get comfortable.

And I stayed close to Everly to ensure the integrity of the half a dozen wrapped gifts within her reach. It's just too tempting.

We'll get those boys next year!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Clarke musical Christmas 2016

I love the Clarke Family Musical Christmas.

It's one of my favorite traditions. 

For one, I don't have to plan, execute or pay for it. (A Christmas miracle!)

But really is the music. I love all these people and I love how brave they are to prepare a song and get up to share it. 

The Horspool Family:

Emily Horspool, Fred and Dylan Clarke

Mark and Dylan on guitar, McKenzie Clarke and Kyle Flynn on violin

I played my viola with Fred and Mathew played trombone. Next year we'll convince Megan to play piano and I'll plan ahead to bribe Ethan to bring his trumpet.

Music, family and friends. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Mark doesn't like tight spaces. And he has a hard time with alot of noise or multiple people talking at once. 

Which makes it pretty funny that we have 6 kids.

And probably part of Heavenly Father's plan. 

And definitely one of the reasons I love him so much.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars freebies

Free movie tickets, free popcorn and light sabers. 

Sometimes business vendors are good.

On the other hand, just because they give you $20 to spend at the snack counter, doesn't mean you should EAT $20 dollars worth of goodies.