Friday, November 23, 2012


Our good friends the Rowley’s invited us to Thanksgiving dinner at their house this year.  RJ made a beautiful (and delicious) pecan pie with decorative leaves on top and a green bean casserole.  I made some rolls, chocolate truffle pie, stuffing and drinks.  Cheryl did everything else and it was yummy!

We kicked the morning off with a fun game of one hand touch football.  I haven’t played in a long time but RJ organized it and invited families.  There were mostly men, a couple deacons, Hunter and me.  I remember being in Hunter’s shoes, running up and down the field waiting for someone to notice me.  Thankfully RJ was QB most of the time and I was guarding Hunter.  RJ made sure to give him some passes and I made sure to not intercept it.

We spent the rest of the day at the Rowley’s snacking, watching football, eating our Thanksgiving feast, playing bingo, doing word searches, laughing and playing games.  We are grateful for good friends, family, and the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trying It On For Size


Our family home evenings this year have been geared toward helping Hunter prepare for baptism.  After our lesson on the mechanics of baptism, I told McKenna I still had the dress my mom made for my baptism day.  She wanted to see then of course try it on.  At the rate she is going, I don’t think it will fit her in 3 years!

Suessical the Musical!

Some of the kids from church were in the middle school musical Suessical.  I heard that it was really cute so I decided to take Hunter on a much needed date.  Since he’s back in school and plays with his friend Josh directly thereafter, I don’t see him much anymore.


A new fast food place was build near our house called “White Castle.”  We had both heard reviews of people loving or hating it.  We decided to find out for ourselves.  We liked the food but Hunter was disappointed in the size of the portions.

Bonus- Hunter ate free!


We swung by McDonalds for an ice cream to top us off.


The play was a lot of fun.  I was really amazed by some of these young kids.  The Cat in the Hat was especially impressive.  That kid had talent!

Wisconsin Dells

Our friends have a time share in Wisconsin and had to use it quickly before the year was up.  They invited us to join them and we jumped at the chance.  We shared a two bedroom condo the first night which was a challenge when it came time to put the kids down.


RJ listening to Hunter read to the kids (Charlotte and Barrett).


We went to three different water parks and boy did we have fun.  Here’s everyone waiting for one of the pools to open.  (Lisa, Jane, Tim, Barrett, Charlotte, Hunter, RJ, McKenna and Reagan)  This pool was perfect because the deepest part was 4 foot (lazy river).  Everything else was 0-2 feet.  There were some fun rides too.  Hunter and I went on the two man and four man rides.  I was proud of him for pushing through his fear on the Hurricane.


Every morning we came to the pool for the duck races in the lazy river.  The first three ducks in three heats won duck whistles.  The fourth race winner got the grand prize of a whistle, T-shirt and fun pass.  Charlotte won a whistle each day and the grand prize the third day!  Barrett and Jane also won prizes.  My poor kids hung around until they simply gave every kid a whistle because the masses had finally left (we stayed Sun-Wed).


On the second day, we went to a 10 and under pool followed by the wave pool.  McKenna was tall enough for a fast ride in a tube so I took her three times and so did RJ. 


We loved our Condo.  We ate lunch and dinner in our room each day and let the little ones nap or watch TV for a short time before heading back out to play.  We also enjoyed the jacuzzi tub (so did the kids) and games with friends.  It was a great break and well worth hauling Hunter out of school for three days.  We hope to start a tradition of fun family vacations that the kids will remember.

Monday, November 5, 2012


RJ decided to work from home on Wednesday (Halloween), so McKenna and I went to see Hunter in his school parade.

11.4.12 006

He wanted to be a ninja this year.  I put something together with stuff that we already had (plus some swords and nun chucks for $5).  He didn’t want to wear his black long johns to school because he once heard me tell McKenna that she couldn’t go outside in her underwear (when she tried sneaking in her pink ones).  He forgot some of his costume.

11.4.12 007

McKenna got this cat costume for Christmas last year.  I put some make-up on her and she was good to go.

11.4.12 00811.4.12 009

I put some black piping around a headband to make antennae for Reagan.  She wore part of McKenna’s old costume (Latin Dancer) and I pinned black dots to complete her lady bug look.

11.4.12 010

The kids were so excited about trick-or-treating with their neighborhood friends.  I told RJ that one of us should stay home to hand out candy this year.  He told me to take the kids and create a happy memory.  He wanted me to have a turn being the “fun one.”  Reagan and I made some good memories (that she won’t remember) since the kids took off with their friends and a couple parents.

McKenna’s candy lasted four days this year and I made her pull some out for school lunch treats and a trip we are taking next week.

Hunter actually asked me to hide his candy so that he wouldn’t over eat.  He’s not the one I am worried about!

What a fun holiday!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

No Terrible Two’s Here!

Reagan’s birthday fell on a busy Sunday this year.  I had ward council early in the morning.  We had church from 9-12 p.m..  Reagan napped until 3:30 but RJ was at a cub scout meeting.  We had a small window to party when he got back before I had a primary meeting.  The good thing is that she doesn’t know any better.

Reagan picked out her cake and ice cream (cookie dough) and we kept it super simple.  Our neighbors Josh and Libby came to celebrate.DSCN5619DSCN5621DSCN5623DSCN5627DSCN5628DSCN5629DSCN5632DSCN5633DSCN5634DSCN5635DSCN5636DSCN5637DSCN5638DSCN5639DSCN5640DSCN5641DSCN5642DSCN5644DSCN5646DSCN5647

Grandma and grandpa Morrison sent her two shirts, these jeans and some socks.  She looks so big!  RJ and I gave her some clothes from a second hand store and a new puzzle and doodle pad.  Granma Blanche sent her money for her education.

Reagan is SO special.  I can’t imagine not having her.  We all love her so much. 

Happy Birthday ROO!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Amazingly Scary Race

Since we have been married, RJ and I have had adult Halloween parties (some better than others).  However, our first year here, we were invited to one and the second year, we were in the hospital with Reagan.  We decided to rekindle the tradition this year.  I spent hours coming up with (10) activities and clues for this years Amazingly Scary Race.  We invited at least 15 couples and hoped that 8 would show to make 4 teams of 4.  I started to stress out after our 8 committed couples dwindled to 6 then 5.  We got the party started anyway and everyone had a great time even though I messed up the mileage on the second clue!


In this detour, Bob Kochenderfer is counting popcorn kernels while Colter has chosen to carve a pumpkin.


Each person had to dress up in at least four items and go trick-or-treating to a predetermined house (the first counselor in the bishopric).


(Michael & Stephanie Flint, Jessica & Shea Allred)


(Krystal & Adam Larsen- on the ends, Bob & Lynette Kochenderfer, Misti & Chris Jackson)


(Karina & Michael Tew- on the ends, Laura & Colter Gerrard)


In another detour, Jessica (above) chose to eat the donut (since she almost drowned the last time she bobbed for apples) while the other two teams bobbed for apples.  They were so fast, I didn’t get their pictures.

Below, the teams are mummifying a teammate.


The winning team- The Fantastic Four!  The prize was 5 hours of unswappable babysitting or homemade cinnamon rolls per RJ and my cooking class.


It was really fun to watch the teams get into it.  Some were more competitive than others but it was a riot.  We hung out until midnight snacking and visiting. 

Time to start thinking about next year!

The Raffle

Last year Hunter got all excited about a fundraiser his school did selling overpriced items.  I had a hard time turning him down as he begged me to let him do it.  Several people in the ward and family purchased things to help Hunter and it changed my view of these things that I loath.  It wasn’t about the worthless “stuff.”  It was about supporting the poor salesman/woman and her mom.  I decided to be more charitable when the ball rolled around.  My commitment was tested when I got an email from my nursery leader asking if I would like to purchase raffle tickets from her daughter Keira for a karate fund raiser.  “In this case, I don’t even get the junk” I thought to myself.  I delayed for about two weeks.  Finally, I sat down and emailed Lesley.  I told her I would buy four tickets at $5 each.  She replied that she had just four left.  RJ asked what the prize was and I told him it didn’t matter, we were just supporting Keira.

The raffle came and went and I looked at the ticket pinned to my calendar.  I wondered if I had to be present but read that I didn’t and the winners would be posted on line.  I wasn’t even going to look but decided I might as well.  All they had were last years winners (most of whom got small gift cards for haircuts and coffee).  I called Lesley and she said that the winners were posted on the door and she didn’t recognize anyone’s name but to check on line in a few days.

While I was at a play date, I heard my phone ring but let it go.  On my way home I listened to the message.  As soon as I heard the name, I tried to place it “Oh, is that the stake primary president or the volunteer coordinator from Hunter’s school?”  When I heard the word raffle and Keira, I thought, “Wow.  Did we win a $10 gift card to Target?”  Then the words “Grand Prize and $2,200 Delta vacation” followed.  I was so excited I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I wanted to be like those crazy women on the radio who scream and go wild but I had to make sure that I heard right and I had Reagan and McKenna in the car who would not understand.

I got in touch with the woman who called, picked up the tickets and got my picture taken to prove than people actually win these things.  I called Lesley first thing to tell her how excited I was and to thank her and Keira.  I had to leave a message and am sad to say that when she found out, she was not happy.  She wanted it to be her.  Hunter and Mckenna sang the same tune when we found out that the trip included two roundtrip tickets and $1,200 for two nights in a hotel (do $600/night hotels exist?) and they would not be going.

RJ and I have decided to go to Hawaii this summer.  We can’t wait and can’t believe that we actually won something!

October Date

RJ left me a note in the morning telling me to pick up the babysitter at 6 p.m. and prepare to be abducted.  When I returned with the babysitter, the kids were dressed in silly clothes and RJ had a pillow case that he slipped over my head as he pretended to carry me away.  He didn’t want to freak the sitter out so he stopped mid-abduction.  We went and saw Taken 2 and had a great time.


july-october2012 334

I got Hunter in the tub and started to put McKenna down.  I knew Reagan would want to wander into the bathroom so I put the stool behind the door.  I read to McKenna, sang to her and laid by her.  When I finished, I found Reagan not only in the bathroom but in the tub, sweater, diaper and all!  Her diaper was larger than life and hung to her knees!  I had to take a picture before hauling her out.