holds an annual Christmas party. As our family has grown larger over the years,
we now have to hold these gatherings at our church.
We set up chairs in a big semi-circle and spent time
talking about what the year brought us.
We also shared funny family stories, and the party's highlight was our talent show,
where the kids performed lip-syncs, plays, and dances.
It's usually hilarious.
and bring the children their first gifts for Christmas.
Elvin is a Clark family tradition that has been around for many years.
The first Elvin was played by my father, even before I was born.
My dad was a young missionary in Norway 50 years ago
when he brought home the traditional Norwegian clothing
(including the reindeer shoes) and came up with the idea of Elvin.
Just recently, my brothers took over the role.
But this year, Clark made a fine red-headed Elvin.
Other classic Elvin appearances:
Speaking of redheads, 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 end of the party, I arranged a photo from oldest to youngest.
In total, 43 family members and 2 adopted through marriage appear in the photo.
Two nephews were absent as they are currently serving missions.
And finally, photo 3:
Getting them together required a lot of yelling, but I was up for the job.
It took me only 500 minutes, 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 for healthy family members and thankful for
our deep love and belief in God, whose plan for families
is full of promise and hope.