Monday, December 22, 2008

The Williams Family Top 10

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family!

Ryan is 4 years old, in preschool, and the official family clown. He loves to make everyone laugh. People always tell us how entertaining he is. (I think that's code for "naughty") We love him and our family wouldn't be complete without Ryan.
Ella is 6 and in all day kindergarten. She is the family sweetheart. She is 100% girl from head to toe. She loves makeup and nail polish and prefers skirts to anything else. She is also our feistiest kid. Don't cross this girl!
Olivia is 10, in the 5th grade and is turning into a beautiful young lady.  She is an extraordinary help to me and we are grooming her to take over as our babysitter for date nights. She loves writing, drama and hanging out with her friends.
Ethan is 6 and is leading the class in all day kindergarten. He keeps everyone in check at home as well. Nothing gets past Ethan. He is alarmingly bright and insightful, but continually seeks validation by asking "Right?" to everything. It cracks us up.
Travis and I are celebrating our 14th anniversary this month. We've been together for 18 years. Wow! That means we've been together longer than we haven't. (does that make sense?)

This year takes the cake for our most eventful one to date. It started out pretty ordinary but ended in the most extraordinary way. I can honestly say that our faith has been tested, our patience pushed to the limit, but here we are, a little worse for the wear, having learned so much from our year's journey. 

10. Our family grew by one this year...a guinea pig conveniently named, "Little Piggy."

9.  Speaking of pets, we hold the family record for shortest dog ownership. Rusty, a 130 pound 7 year old golden lab lived with us for 8 weeks before we found him a new home. He kept trying to eat our cat and dragged me around the neighborhood on walks. Our next dog will be much smaller.

8. May marked the 4 year anniversary of Ella's fight with Leukemia. She is wonderfully healthy and continues to receive clean bills of health on her check-ups.

7. Travis and Andrea mourned the cancellation of the season of "24." We're jazzed it returns in January.

6. Andrea left Travis and the kids behind for a 5 day trip to the Caribbean with her dental office. She got to scuba dive in Cozomel and eat nothing but dessert for 5 days straight.

5. With the troubled economy, Travis started doing bankruptcy law.  It's new and different, but it's not brain surgery. He would know about that since he had it in July and just completed radiation for a brain stem tumor.

4. This the first year in too many to count that no one is in diapers. Now if we could just get our boys to stop the bed-wetting!

3. Andrea ran her second marathon and shaved 30 minutes off her time. She is considering long-distance running retirement. 

2. Record-breaking (for us) 3 trips to Disneyland.  We had annual passports and got our money's worth.

1.  Three kids in school all day!

We wish you every happiness and joy this beautiful Christmas season. We are learning the power of love and contentment in our lives. Our faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, is deeper and stronger than ever. We are living each day with gratitude for the gifts we have. The gifts of love and friendship are the ones we treasure most. 

We send our love to all of you this splendid Christmas!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Most Wonderful (and crazy) Time of the Year

That special time of year has finally arrived.........time to completely stress myself out with ridiculous "to do lists" and endless shopping trips and spending every night at kids' concerts, events, parties. Don't get me wrong. I love December. It just seems like a whirlwind that is out of control sometimes. Every year I commit to start preparing earlier. Keep it simple. I am a very slow learner and apparently very forgetful. Oh, but I love it! So here's a little update on the past 2 weeks since that wonderful cruise I went on. 

Thanksgiving at my parents. Great day, great company, great food. Do you like the staged pic of me serving Travis pie? He always asks for a "sliver" of all 3 types: apple, pumpkin and chocolate. I helped him eat it. Those slivers are never quite small enough. And you know that if you share, the calories don't count.

Turkey carver extrordinaire:
Olivia was in charge of a kids' craft table outside before dinner. It was a great way to keep the kids out of the kitchen and occupy their energetic little bodies.
Cute Ella with Grandpa Adams (recovering beautifully from open heart surgery):

Pilgrim Ryan with his school crafts:
Ethan and Ella at their Christmas music concert......adorable! Can you see them in the middle row 2nd and 3rd from the left?
Wrestle time with dad. All four of our kids plus a cousin (Miah). They couldn't get enough of jumping on Travis. He had enormous patience. They loved it.
Happy kids. Tired dad.
It has been several weeks since radiation ended for Travis. He is doing fabulous.  His ears are still plugged, which is very annoying. (for both of us...I feel like I'm living with an old man, "Huh?") The hearing should return soon as it is a temporary side affect. His body is tired and weak so we are both getting back to regular exercise. That has been on the back burner lately for both of us.  Travis is done with all treatments. He will get a post-radiation MRI in early February to see the results. We were told that radiation continues to work for several months after the completion of treatments. Right now we are enjoying a more normal life with no doctors or treatments. We are excited about the Christmas season and can't wait to celebrate all month long.