Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas letter 2010

‘Tis just days now until Christmas, and here from our nest,
      We’d like to spread word, we’ve been really blessed

This year’s gone by fast, and now it’s almost done,
      We’ve been rather busy, and we’ve had lots of fun!
We like to go places, the arboretum and zoo,
      We play at the playgrounds, there’s always more to do.

Our family loves to camp, we were thrice this year
      Library, museums, and symphony round us out, so we hear.


We love having visitors, especially family,
      The Fluckiger reunion was great (though ‘twas chilly).

The biggest event of our year came in May
      Our beautiful baby—Malachi David—hooray!
He’s a very happy baby, always smiling and sweet,
      He’s crawling and climbing—wants to walk, that’d be neat!

Rayna’s now two, and that’s really something
      She’s growing up so fast, and she so loves to sing
She’s funny and playful and great with her brother,
      She plays well with her sister, and loves Dad and Mother.

There’s Afton—she’s four and a girly-girl too—
      She dances and dresses-up, ballet’s her to-do
Loves learning and writing and looks forward to school,
      You’ll find her outside lots, in the summer, in the pool.

For Mom there’s always something: snuggling, playing, having fun,
      Tickling monsters, hide & seek, Elise’s always on the run!

There’s Paul, the psychologist, student and more,
      He presented some research last spring—no small chore—
He’s got a really big one coming up next March,
      Also biking long distances, Daddy’s no slouch!

And so we’re all off, lots to do this next year,
      Merry Christmas to y’all, from the Williamsons here!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

walking

video
our 7 month old "walker" pardon the jerkiness of the video, obviously this was spur of the moment and we didn't clean up the floor or move anything out of the way first :)


Thursday, December 2, 2010

arboretum

we've also been to the arboretum a couple more times this past month. we've really enjoyed having a pass there as well. we finally took daddy with us too (he hadn't had a chance to come yet), and we went with some aunties and cousins when they were in town for thanksgiving too--it's nice to be able to share this fun and beautiful place with people we love!

happy pumpkin-ing!

those aunties lovin' on some babies!!!

i think we get a picture at this fountain every time we come here, it's my girls' favorite. it's also the closest we have to a group-shot (there were 12 of us after all!)
i love this one :)

and a couple of the views, it's really lovely


 and some of my favorite girls:
poser!

learning to pose like afton!

classic!!!
ps, if anyone wants more pictures (danna?) nicki took over 200 while we were there, so there's lots of options, she can send you specifics or i can :)


this wasn't the arboretum, it was after at my house, but i had to include it!
just LOOK at those adorable cousins!!!


aquarium (nov. 5 & 20)

there's a lovely little aquarium at fair park that's been closed for the past 2 years. it just re-opened with the fair this fall, and it's affiliated with the dallas zoo, so we were able to get in free with our zoo membership for a few weeks (ending last saturday). we were really excited to get out there and see all the fish :) it's a small aquarium, you can see everything in an hour (including the touch tank, and feeding the sting rays), though they didn't have all the new animals yet (aka, no octopus yet), but we really enjoyed it. we went once with some friends, and then we liked it so much we went back last saturday with daddy. we had a blast both times! here are a few of our favorite pictures.


probably our favorite part of this little aquarium is the touch tank. there wasn't a huge variety, but we loved playing with shells, hermit crabs, snail-ly things, and horseshoe crabs

the other huge hit was the sting ray tank. they were willing to let the kids feed them for free, but only afton was daring enough to hold a fish head between her fingers and stick her hand down into a pool of "sting" rays so they could vacuum-suck it out of her hand...

rayna was all about dancing with the sting rays and sharks though, especially since they couldn't get out, and she couldn't get in : )
all the girls liked dancing, for that matter

some other favorites included:
the sea turtle

the electric eel

and the giant blue marlin (which the kids could pretend they caught, though i don't think they knew why that would be cool, they just liked playing with it)
and from our second trip (where i evidentally didn't take many pictures), the snapping turtle. see him back behind rayna, he was asleep this time, but the first time he had been moving around. he's roughly 230 lbs, and mossy, looks like a huge, clawed rock, the kids LOVED him!
video
also a big favorite the second trip, the baby albino alligators, they were moving a lot, and rayna was SUPER-EXCITED!!! this is just a short clip of her playing with them. i've never seen gators move this much at any zoo before.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

new foods

we decided recently to try some new foods. it's been a lot of fun, the girls have been in the kitchen a lot helping mom cook, and generally enjoying the outcomes. some of our recent experiments have included:

green cauliflower (which we ate with an amazingly rich hollandaise sauce),
 fried rice (sorry, mostly i don't have pictures),

dragon fruit (soft texture (like kiwi), earthy flavor (like jicama)),
green pepper casserole (with lots of cool veggies, this isn't exactly new, but the girls helped a lot with it, so i thought it deserved mention),
schnitzel, which afton called snitch-el, she LOVED it btw.

butternut squash soup (again, just new to the girls, it was a HUGE hit too)
 and cereal:
malachi sure loves being a big kid!!! he's a great eater, and always wants whatever the big people are eating (good luck!)
bon appetit!

ps, we had borscht for dinner after writing this post, again, not new, but really, who eats beets?

some recent pictures

playing at the park

having a little lunch, gotta love peanut butter!

and not even allowed to eat the bark!?
silly rayna, she loves popping the lenses out of her sunglasses, she can wear them for hours this way! i think her eyelashes get in the way of the lenses.

don't wake daddy :)

sleepy day! we like to go walking.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

halloween (hey, no comments, i'm not even 3 weeks late!)

a few of our favorite halloween things, first, as said before, i'm not really good at decorating for the season/holiday (except for christmas!), so afton's decided to be the cheif decorator around our house (hooray!!!) this is one of her halloween decorations: (my other favorite was a fabulous ghost)
i LOVED the pumpkin vine, unfortunately, some of it was sacrificed as she cut it out and taped it to the wall
our amazing halloween costumes:
R's a fairy princess,A's a ballerina

M's Tigger, he LOVED playing with the little tigger-heads on his toes!!!
dad was going to be a scarecrow, but he was recovering from pneumonia, so he decided not to dress up, he told everyone (mostly kids) that asked he was a convalescent (nodded sagely and walked away confused)

and in case you were wondering, i'm poison ivy. i'd bought some crepe paper to be the ivy, but i forgot it at home, so i was just leaves... oh well
we did have fun at halloween, though we did it a lot smaller than last year, we dressed up for story time at the library on wednesday, and then we went to the church party on saturday night. it was a little carneval, and i think the kids really enjoyed it. we didn't get a ton of candy, but we don't need a lot either. sunday we weren't planning on trick-or-treating, but i did have a littel candy on hand in case anyone came here... i totally forgot it was halloween though, cause no one was out and about!

and i couldn't decide if this picture was hilarious or disgusting, can it be both?
ps, that's one of those toy spider rings, no 'real' spiders were harmed/eaten in the making of this picture ;)

and for mom, you asked to see a picture of the pretzles i made for the activity :) aren't they cute?!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

rayna

rayna LOVES playing with my camera, almost every time i take a picture she asks for a turn. this one cracked me up (most get deleted, digital camera's are brilliant), it's her knees and toes in her "dragon" jammies. they look like green christmas pjs with santas and snowmen on them, but she insists she's a dragon when she wears them. a few weeks ago paul scooped her up and snuggled her saying something along the lines of "who's my precious little girl?" and she immediately shouted, "NO, i a dragon. a BIG scary dragon!!!" now every time she wears them this has become the game... and lately i asked her what a dragon says (expecting her to roar, silly me) she thought about it for a few seconds and started singing: "3 little monkeys jumping on the bed..."
anyways, she's a hoot, and we sure love having her around, she's always singing and "being silly." she's a total sweetheart!



speaking of pictures, i thought i'd better include one of her more posed-looking shots,
i thought she did a pretty good job :)


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

camping (oct 22)

a couple weeks ago we went camping with some great friends! we had a blast, and as a result, it seems we don't have nearly as many pictures as there "ought" to be :)

some of our friends roasting hot dogs

we got the girls a new air mattress for the occasion, they're testing it out, pretending to sleep
most of our pictures are from the lake, i guess that's the only time i remembered my camera :)

rayna was in heaven, despite the rather chilly water


everyone seemed to enjoy playing in the water!
some other highlights, lots of yummy food (chili and chowder for dinner, plenty of s'mores, killer breakfast burritos, and roasted hot dogs to name a few), tons of sand for the kids to play in, it was warm (we didn't even really need sleeping bags, despite the rain. just enough rain for the kids to get soaked, the grown-ups were more boring, and mostly stayed under the pavillion or the tarp that paul strung up to shield the cooking area), sand volleyball, and most important of all, good friends to share it all with! i think we'll do it again in the spring! hooray!

arboretum pics, 11th oct

more pumpkins :)
Chi likes pumpkins too!

fun with family, and waterfalls

rayna LOVES hanging out in the covered wagon!

this is always a favorite fountain too...
hmmm... just realized almost all these pics are by water features


sitting down in the misters by the creek because it was so dang hot!



we had a blast at the arboretum last month with grandma, nicki, and naomi. thanks for coming with us!




Thursday, October 28, 2010

and dancing

and of course, what fun is dressing up if not to go out dancing?
video
(sorry, this was the best video i got, it took me to long to think of videoing and rayna was already done, afton was close too)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

dress-ups

for all those of you that have just boys, perhaps you don't realize what exactly dress-ups is all about, but it is far more than just a game, it's practically a life-style! i'd say we get dress-up clothes every single day, or make-up some (aka, use a blanket as a cape).
heck yeah, i'm having fun!!!!!
 afton's far more creative, and i love seeing what combos she comes up with :)
 sunday dresses also make decent capes. and yes, she's definately big into posing for pictures! she's got a very specific idea about what that means too, i'm sure you can see what i mean...

 rayna, on the other hand, just cracks me up! who wouldn't think of being a ballerina in big green christmas pajamas? leopard print and wands are meant to go with santa, right?!?
please note the beautiful ballet slippers, they totally complete the outfit!