has an annual Christmas party. We've gotten to be such a large
family we have to hold these family shin-digs at our church.
Basically we set up chairs in a big semi-circle and talk about what the year
brought us, we tell funny family stories,
and of course we have a fantastic talent show
where the kids do lip syncs, and all sorts of other awesome plays and dances.
and bring the children their first gifts of Christmas.
Elvin is a Clark tradition and has been around for years and years.
The fist Elvin was played by my father even before I was born.
When my dad was a young missionary in Norway 50 years ago,
he brought home with him the traditional
Norwegian clothes (note, the reindeer shoes) and he invented Elvin.
He played Elvin to his younger siblings at Christmas parties, and for
years he played Elvin until my brothers were old enough they took over the job.
This year, my cousin Clark made a fine red-headed Elvin.
other classic Elvin appearances:
Speaking of red-heads, we got all the red-headed cousins together for a photo.
Jane, Charlotte, Emma, Clark, Olivia, and Vance.
(All relatives of the famous Danish red-headed Peter Nielson, I might add).
Most of the night, I held my brother Jesse's new baby June--
but I call her "Junnie" for obvious reasons,
and I secretly wished she were mine.
Before the night was over, I made the off-spring get together for
an oldest-to youngest photo.
43 of them made the shot plus 2 adopted by marriage.
We were missing 2 nephews who are currently serving missions.
And finally, photo 3:
Getting them together required a lot of yelling, but I was up for the job.
And it only took me 500 minutes to do it- but it was worth it.
It was a wonderful night, and another reminder that I am so proud of
my big family. I am so grateful healthy family members, grateful for
our deep love and belief for God who's plan for families
is full of promise and hope.