On December 28th, 2008 Kylie Clark was given a name and a blessing by her father, Doug Clark in the Lindsay Ward of the Porterville, CA Stake. Standing in were Chuck Winter (grandpa) and Paul West, Paul Tanner, Brad Clark and Nate McDonald (uncles). Among other things, her blessing said that she would be quick to smile (I noticed that this exact phrase was in Claire's blessing also), a light in her mother's life, a steadying influence and an example in her family, and a stalwart and faithful member of the Church. With Keilana's and Dylan's blessings, both times there were things that caught me a bit off guard. For the first time, it said exactly what I expected, from the impressions I've already received of my daughter. I finally thought, "I've got this one pegged!" :)
I absolutely love baby blessings. It is so reassuring and wonderful to see those tiny babies held and protected by those big strong arms in a circle of faithful priesthood holders. It just makes it seem like all's right with the world, or can be at least. I wish my family could've been there, but it was a very special experience to have Doug's whole family there. I love Brad, his brother, and have gotten to know him fairly well since we moved to Lindsay (he spends a fair amount of time at my house) and I love my brothers-in-law. Doug's sisters have chosen well. I'm still getting to know Paul Tanner and Nate, but have enjoyed the time I have spent getting to know them, and appreciate the way they serve as the Priesthood leaders in their homes. And Paul West--couldn't ask for a better brother in law, because he has felt the most like a brother to me of all my in-laws on both sides. As he put it, I think we're "kindred spirits". Chuck has been a better father-in-law than I could've asked for, certainly better than I ever hoped. He is such a good grandfather to my children--doting and affectionate and patient. I was honored to have each of them there to share that moment with us and am grateful to have married into such a wonderful family. Sometimes they make me want to pull my hair out (and you all know when those moments are-hahahahaha), but to be a part of this wonderful group of people who love each other, who love the Gospel, who love me--its been a tremendous privilege thus far. Thank you all. I love you very much, and I had a wonderful Christmas with all of you.
Daddy holding Kylie. Isn't this dress gorgeous? Yaya made it for her. We'll take more pictures of her in it when she's bigger. Mom managed to do what no one else has done: make Doug feel some shame over his Jeremiah Johnson look. When I opened the dress he said, "Wow. That dress is so beautiful. I feel like I need to shave and get a new suit!"
The whole clan (well, minus Sarah, anyway--almost the whole clan). The kids were all really good the whole time (there were lots of cameras to get photos with), but as soon as we said we were done, it was like the last day of school: they all yelled, "Yay!!" and took off running in different directions. Hilarious.
All our priesthood holders: Nate McDonald, Brad Clark, Chuck Winter (holding Claire, whom he blessed), Doug Clark (holding Kylie), Paul West and Paul Tanner.
Amanda and Tim with Claire June VanderArk and Doug and I with Kylie
Ladies and babies: Amanda and Claire (born Dec 15), Me with Kylie (born Dec 12), Jennifer, Melissa with Clark (born Nov 6) and Christa with Alexa (born Nov 16)
The Wests (Keith's technically in the picture, yeah?)
Nate catches up on his reading while Chuck grabs a nap
Taylor checks out Keilana's new scrapbook from Grandma
Baby Clark hangs out with his dad and grandma.
Oh, these two. Oy.
Christa and Alexa.
A rousing game of Catchphrase (man, can that game get loud!)