Monday, December 29, 2008

Chistmas Eve

Zack, Owen, and Avery were anxious to open any present on Christmas Eve...even if it was jammies! I love taking their picture by the tree each year in their new pjs.

Owen believes with all his heart in Santa. He had to make sure that the cookies were good and the milk was ready.

Avery just smiled for the picture. I'm not too sure that she is all into Santa quite like Owen, but maybe next year.

Our home teacher, Ryan Anderson, gave the kids some magic reindeer food to sprinkle out on the lawn on Christmas Eve. Owen remembered all of his instructions so as to make the magic full strength: don't sprinkle it all in one spot because the reindeer can smell it 100 miles away and they will stop by our house first once the scent has been caught.

Owen and I braved the snow to find some lawn available but alas, the snow covered sidewalk and drifts just had to do. The magic did work and Santa did find his way here. We'll tell you some more about that tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas is in the Air



The kids really enjoyed putting our gingerbread house together. It was fun to see them work together and each take a side to cover in candies. They were pretty creative!

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We have had an unusual amount of snow this year so the boys have learned to find the advantage. They have been shoveling driveways and sidewalks in the neighborhood and have earned some good cash. (Uncle Justin will be so proud of these little entrepreneurs.) Yesterday they pooled their money together and purchased this remote control bat. The six AA batteries only last about 10 minutes so word-to-the-wise if you got one for your kids for Christmas: buy rechargeable batteries!

I think we need to check Santa's list to see if Owen is naughty or nice. (He thinks he's hilarious!)

I think someone is ready for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Let it Snow!


Avery and our next-door-neighbor, Ty.


Owen having a blast. Yes, he is getting some snow clothes for Christmas!




Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Need a Good Laugh?

I love Hilary Weeks, but now I love her even more! (This is from a Time Out for Women.)

Moms, click here for a good laugh.

Avery and the Chocolate Christmas Mouse

My visiting teachers made these darling little chocolate mice...aren't they cute?! I was very impressed!

Avery thinks they are just the sweetest little things ever...no pun intended there! I'm guessing we are going to have to name them rather than eat them.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Tree Joy

I love everything about our Christmas tree but my very favorite part are twelve of these beautiful white doves. My Grandma York made these for me a few years ago. Because of her arthritis that has now slowed her amazing hands I appreciate every detail of these intricately hand-stitched doves. They are the perfect reminder of what matters most at Christmastime-our Savior who sacrificed all, family, and the love that penetrates hearts when we put someone else above ourselves. Thank you, Grandma. What a treasure.

Isn't he beautiful?!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas


We have a tradition in the Jensen family called 'The Snow Dance.' You have to be on the lookout for cold weather and low-lying grey clouds to increase your chances for success. Once these prerequisites have been met you walk around in circles with the kids making snow flake hands and chanting, "Snow, snow, snow!" Look, it worked for us!

Each year in December we take a Family Home Evening night to go out and find the perfect Christmas tree. Our usual tree spot was gone this year so Zack directed us to another that was even better (actually it was the one we loved only it had moved, but it was better this year.)

Although our hearts were warm with excitement the cold, bitter night made us seek heat at the tree lot's wood stove. We all left smelling like a forest fire. We did find the perfect tree and enjoyed our first candy canes of the season all the way home.

Once home the kids and I began going through the Christmas bins while Jeremy prepped the tree outside. I loved hearing each of them giggle with glee as they found their ornaments and other familiar treasures.

We had Christmas music playing, chips and dip on our snowman set, milk and cookies, and happy moments all around. I have to say that this has been my favorite Christmas so far...and it's not even here yet! There is just something different in the air this year that has my heart glowing.

The tree isn't quite finished yet as we had a strand of lights die and haven't been able to find a new set until yesterday. I will post the finished tree soon.

May your Christmas be the merriest yet!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Need a Great Gift Idea?


Chloe's Clippies
My friend, Holli Pollock, makes the best non-slip hair clips for little girls! Not only are her creations perfectly adorable but her quality is the best I have seen (and I am super choosy!) She can match any Christmas dress or outfit you throw at her. If you would like to make a custom order or view what she has already created, please call her at 208-573-1711 or email her at fourmonsters@qwest.net.


My Bow Board from Julie
I have another good friend who makes these darling, high qualitly boards that can be used for photos, notes, or BOWS (these are all from Holli!) She has many beautiful styles of her own, but makes custom boards like this one as well to match any room. These are decorative and functional! Her name is Julie McDonald and you can reach her at 208-884-5209.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mover and a Shaker

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Owen loves to play wii boxing and is getting pretty good at it. I love it when he gets knocked down though because he moves like this.

Eye of the tiger, buddy. Eye of the tiger.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Knew I Must Do What is Right

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin passed away just before midnight last night. He was such a good, gentle man. He will be greatly missed, but will be so happy to be once again with his sweet wife. My sister sent me this portion of an article from the Ensign this morning. I hope to have and instill within my children this kind of integrity.

As a boy, Joseph Wirthlin enjoyed sports and went on to play running back for the University of Utah. His abilities earned him the nickname “Speedy” on the field. He once recalled a story about being tackled just inches from the end zone, saying that he remembered thinking he could move the ball and no one would have known.

“I had dreamed of this moment from the time I was a boy. And it was right there within my reach. But then I remembered the words of my mother. ‘Joseph,’ she had often said to me, ‘do what is right, no matter the consequence. Do what is right and things will turn out OK.’

“I wanted so desperately to score that touchdown. But more than being a hero in the eyes of my friends, I wanted to be a hero in the eyes of my mother. And so I left the ball where it was—two inches from the goal line.

“I didn’t know it at the time, but this was a defining experience. Had I moved the ball, I could have been a champion for a moment, but the reward of temporary glory would have carried with it too steep and too lasting a price. It would have engraved upon my conscience a scar that would have stayed with me the remainder of my life. I knew I must do what is right” (“Life’s Lessons Learned,” Ensign, May 2007).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ten Things Tag

One of my favorite people (whom I've never actually met) tagged all her "peeps" with ten things you can and can't do. To view hers go to 'Denae' under our 'Friends' links. She is amazingly entertaining and always good for a laugh. So, here goes.

Ten Things I Can Do
-Listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving
-Make yummy apple pie
-Iron really well
-Run long distances
-Paint rooms in my home with bold colors
-Wear high heels all day long
-Fall in love with my husband every day
-Get excited to go swimming
-Have staring contests with squirrels
-Keep my house clean

Ten Things I Cannot Do
-Hide my feelings
-Keep Jeremy from knowing his Christmas gifts
-Miss a day shaving my legs
-Keep from staring at the trees in full Fall colors
-Resist cute bows and hair things for Avery
-Ever say no to a party
-Forget how blessed I am
-Give up on somebody
-Enjoy black licorice
-Cut my hair short to get all the burned pieces out (see October 9th post)
Actually, I did it last week!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Words to Live By

One of my dear young women sent me a touching email this evening that ended with:


Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Definitely words to live by.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Avery's a Turkey...


I mean...Avery's Turkey! She made this at preschool today. She calls it her Thanksgiving chicken.


Speaking of turkeys...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Flashback to the 80's


Today Avery received a package from her Grandad York. She was so excited to find flavored chapsticks inside and a Barbie. I was even more excited for her when I saw that it was my favorite Barbie when I was around her age. Although I love everything about her from her flashy outfit to her high side ponytail, my favorite has got to be those earrings!

Seriously, who could resist the 80's?! (Thanks, Dad, you made our day!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Singing in the Rain



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I caught Avery singing and dancing in the rain after church today. Then she just made me giggle.


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Friday, November 7, 2008

The Joys of Fall

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Zack and Owen had the neighbor boys over today. We love Fall for many reasons, but this has got to be among the best!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Cutest Little Sick Girl


The boys had parent/teacher conferences today and I told them that if they were good, we would get courtesy cones at Arctic Circle. They were great and so we did (best .42 cents I have spent all week!) Usually Avery is the first to choose her flavor of "dip" but when it came time to order she said that she didn't want one. That should have been my first clue to just hurry home-Avery not wanting ice cream spells WARNING! Shortly after arriving home she came to me asking for a bowl. Let's just say I barely made it...but we were on the hard wood floors-not the carpet...phew! I laid her down on her bed and she has been sick ever since. I told her she could call me in whenever she needs me. The last time I went in I asked her what she needed and she sweetly said, "Mommy, I just need you."

(And yes, that is Twyla-I am having flashbacks to the Velveteen Rabbit.)




Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Melly's Tag

One of my best friends from high school has tagged me...this one is all about your kids! I have three of them so I hope it's not too long for you! =)

Zachary J
Name and Meaning: God remembers and the J stands for Jeremy-after his daddy

Age: 9 years going on 30

Nicknames: Zack Attack, Zacky, Zack

Favorite Activities: Any and all sports, especially running and football, hanging out with his family in the back yard

Favorite Foods: pizza, cheese sticks, pasta, roast and potatoes

Least Favorite Foods: peas

Favorite Music: Jonas Brothers and soft rock

Favorite Toys: our neighbor boys' Rip Stick

Favorite Book: Judy B. Jones series and he just finished the Tale of Desperaux

Favorite item of clothing: shorts, running pants, hoodies

What makes him happy? Playing with friends, wrestling with Dad and Owen, doing good for others, helping me out

What makes him sad? When others are not kind to another or to him


Owen J
Name and Meaning: Born to nobility; young warrior-the J stands for his Grandpa Jerry

Age: 6

Nicknames: Owey, Owen-Buh-dowen, OJ, Big O

Favorite Activities: Playing pass, wrestling with Zack and Dad, playing with his friends, helping me cook, reading, playing the wii, going to the library

Favorite Foods: raspberries, blueberries, FiberWise bars, salad, pizza (such a healthy eater...I LOVE it!)

Least Favorite Foods: peas

Favorite Music: One-eyed One-horned Flying Purple People Eater (we had some great Halloween music this year!)

Favorite Toys: the wii, soccer set, football

Favorite Book: books about science-animals, space, etc and anything that brings out that cute giggle of his!

Favorite item of clothing: running pants and Mario Brothers t-shirt (his grandma Ogden got it for him and it is his prized treasure!)

What makes him happy? Lots of love and affection, playing with friends, one-on-one time, three squeezes (that is our secret code for I LOVE YOU-not so secret anymore!)

What makes him sad? When others are not kind to another or to him and not getting his way (we hope the whole pouting thing is just a phase!)

Avery Gene
Name and Meaning: Ruler of the elves; nobility...hmmm...Gene is after my middle name which is my grandfather York's middle name (Eugene)

Age: 4 years old

Nicknames: Princessa, Miss Avers, Av, Squeaker

Favorite Activities: Anything with me (& I LOVE that!), dressing up as princesses with friends, playing with friends, and how could I forget?-playing with Twyla, her stuffed kitten (please don't tell her it's stuffed...or that it's an 'it.')

Favorite Foods: strawberries, peaches, oranges, apples, raspberries, ham and egg muffins

Least Favorite Foods: peas

Favorite Music: Monster Mash (right now) and Jonas Brothers Year 3000

Favorite Toys: Twyla, Twyla, Twyla

Favorite Book: Any and all Fancy Nancy books

Favorite item of clothing: a little skirt she has deemed her "Hannah Montana" skirt (I'm not sure if she even knows who that is!)

What makes her happy? snuggling, getting her back scratched, reading stories, playing with her brothers and friends, shopping with me (she really does love it!)

What makes her sad? If someone gets upset with her-she likes things peaceful and fun

That was fun! I sure love my kiddos! =) Now I will tag: Kendra, Andrea, and Sally!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Night at the Opera


I think Jay and I had the greatest date ever (so far!) last night. We went to our favorite restaurant, PF Changs, where we enjoyed chicken lettuce wraps, sweet and sour chicken, honey chicken, WAY spicy green beans, and some super yummy smoothie that could've passed as dessert. If you haven't been there, we highly recommend you try it soon.

After our scrumptious meal Jeremy took me to the opera! It was our first opera and wow, have we been missing out! Not only is every word sung in Italiano, but everything else from the set to the costumes were absolutely phenomenal! It was elegant, graceful, and breathtaking. I have fallen in love with italian (I am planning on heading to the library this next week to find CDs and books to begin to learn it.)

Written by Gaetano Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor was first performed in Naples, Italy in 1835. The love story between two individuals from feuding families ends in heartache. The performance was beyond riveting and I found myself having to hold back the tears on several occasions. Even my super-manly husband found it surprisingly enjoyable and entertaining. We are hooked...there is a ballet, The Nutcracker, coming in December. I'm looking into tickets this week!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Owen, the Power Ranger, made out pretty well tonight! One guy at a house he trick-or-treated was amazed by Owen's striking new physique and begged him not to beat him up. Owen talked about that until several houses later!


Avery, the "Sparkley Princess Witch" (her words!) didn't do too bad either! She thought she was going to be able to eat it all in one night. (Little did she know that her mom is known to her big brothers as the candy nazi.)


Zack and Owen's school doesn't allow them to dress up on Halloween, I mean Harvest Party Day, so we break out just a bit and have a funky hair day. The boys LOVE it!


Owen and me at his 1st grade class party. I was in charge of bringing the candy corn; easy enough for me!


This morning we had our traditional jack-o-lantern pancakes with the Prindle girls. They were super yummy this year (the pancakes, not the girls.)


Sparkley Princess Witch, Ninja Zack, Jester Chris, Power Ranger Owen


Pumpkin decorating this morning...just a little late, but not too late!


Skeleton cupcakes from our Home Teachers...the kids thought they were "totally awesome!"...and they were!


And... I just had to throw this one in because it's so stinkin' cute! Hope you all had a great Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Family Pictures






Ever since Jay and I were married we have taken family pictures every fall. The kids were great today and we got some pretty cute pictures.

Friday, October 24, 2008

LeeLou Blog's Launch Party

Ever wonder where I get all my cute layouts? You can get your own at www.leeloublogs.blogspot.com. She is having her launch party all next week, so check it out! They are free!

Leelou Blogs

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You asked for it...

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I know you all have been asking to see my new do since I burned/melted my hair. I decided to go an entirely different direction...blonde. See if you can pick me out! (Hint: White go-go boots!)

This is actually our Young Women in Excellence performance. The girls did a talent show theme and the leaders were the opening act. We had a blast pulling this one off!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ode to the McDaniels


We had crepes for breakfast today...yummy! Our good friends, the McDaniel family, used to live just a few houses down. Whenever we would have crepes we'd have their kids over. They thought crepes were the greatest food on earth! We really missed them today!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Zachary J

...and here is Zack's 4th grade picture. I can't believe how big my boys are getting!

Owen J


Owen brought home his school pictures yesterday. I just had to show you all! That smile of his melts my heart. What a sweetie.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Please Tell Me I'm Not the Only One

I wanted to make dinner really special for my hubby tonight. He is one of those amazing husbands that works hard all day and then comes home and plays with the kids, talks (well, mostly listens) to me, and does the dishes after dinner. He is great so I thought I would make his dinner extra special today!

I made everything from scratch and it took most of my day, but it was going to be so worth it. I had fresh rolls on the counter, zucchini bread cooling on the rack, cubed potatoes ready to boil, and a chicken roasting in the oven. The house smelled soooo good...and it wasn't even Scentsy this time!

Just as everything was going so well I realized it was time to take the lid off of the chicken to let it brown. I slid the heavy pan out and lifted the lid...woooosh! The steam was so hot that my eye lashes felt as if they melted back into my eye lids! I just kept on going being the happy little homemaker that I was. Dinner was going to be great!

I walked back into the bathroom to make myself look a little cuter (now this is sounding like that 1950 Good Housekeeping email that was circulating for a while!) I took one look in the mirror and noticed that I looked really frazzled. My day hadn't been THAT bad-what the heck?! I took a closer look and my hair was burned...yep, melted right up the sides!

Needless to say, Jay loved dinner, but his little wifey didn't look nearly as good as the chicken. By the way, anyone have any ideas for a cute short haircut? I'm going in tomorrow morning.

So You Think You're a Laurel


Last night for mutual my Laurels and I had SO much fun! We had a little "photography" time outside and then went to TCBY for ice cream. I had such a great evening with them that there were times when I almost forgot that I wasn't their age! I love these young ladies and they are going to go places in this world! Say what you will about teenagers, but they sure know how to keep you young!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Twyla




This is Twyla, Avery's favorite toy. Twyla is a dollar bin item from Target we found a couple of years ago. She is named after the kitty in Barbie's The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Twyla goes everywhere Avery does. She is often seen dressed up in skirts, wrapped in tiny blankets, tucked in softly beside Avery's cheek at night, and at the breakfast table. If Avery does something wrong, it was Twyla and we sometimes have had to have a good 'talkin' to' with the naughty kitten. If there is one thing we have learned from Twyla, it's that we will save a bundle this Christmas-the best gifts are found in the dollar bins at Target.