Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Date



RJ signed us up for cross country ski lessons at a local park.  It wasn’t really RJ’s thing but he was a great sport and tried his best.  I liked it a lot more than I thought I would.  After our lesson, I took at 2.2 mile stroll and RJ greeted me upon return.  Yay for date lists!

FHE- 1st Article of Faith

We decided to learn the 13 articles of faith each month for family home evening.  It was McKenna’s turn to teach the lesson and I came up with an analogy that was right up her alley.  We made homemade oreo cookies earlier in the day but didn’t put them together.  McKenna always loves to draw something as part of the activity when she is in charge so we drew pictures that reminded us about the first article of faith.  Hunter drew an awesome picture of Jesus with children (below).

We used the cookies as an object lesson to show that the godhead is made of three parts just like a sandwich cookie.  The outside (cookie parts) are very similar just like Heavenly Father and Jesus.  The frosting represented the Holy Ghost.  They are three distinct beings but they work together toward one purpose, bringing us pure joy!


Fitness Guru

RJ had to work on MLK day and the kids and I just stayed home knowing all of the fun family hot spots would be packed.  Hunter came up with an activity and inspired the girls to join.  Here they are doing Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred (level 2).  I’m so proud!


Simply Delicious

A child after my own heart.  Lounging and enjoying a powdered donut!DSCN5913

Pinewood Derby

Here’s a random cute picture of the kids.


Hunter loves cub scouts and was very excited about the pinewood derby (almost as much as RJ).  I bought RJ a band saw for Christmas and Hunter designed a really cool flaming car.  The fire cooled off after the design was created and we had to ask him several times thereafter if he wanted to work on it.  Finally we got him to put one coat of paint on.  RJ took his den to a pinewood derby workshop at Jerry’s and got some good tips.



Taken before the car even touched the track.

It’s good to have confidence.


I was excited to support Hunter on his big day.  I was worried though that he would take it hard if he lost (which I assumed would happen).  We joined with another ward and gathered around a taped up track supported by garbage cans.  However, they did manage to get a timer on it down to the thousands of a second.  Hunter got to race his car on each of the three tracks.  He took first in each one!  He then got to go onto the finals and took first in his den and second in our ward.  We lucked out because the other ward (Weaver Lake) had some very competitive dads… I mean cars.  All of the boys received certificates.  Hunter’s was for “the car with the most aerodynamic fins.”


Way to go Hunter… and RJ!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


More pictures to send to Daddy to brighten his day at work!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Hunter got a crystal making kit from Santa and made is first stalagmite.


McKenna got a book for her birthday called 365 things to make and do.  She found a pillow making project so we helped each of the kids make a pillow.  McKenna and Reagan chose dolphins.  Hunter made an Oregon Ducks helmet on his pillow.


The Rolfs invited us over to their house for New Year’s Eve goodies and chatting.  The boys played video games downstairs and the girls played upstairs.  We watched fireworks in 2 degree weather then went home.  RJ and I stayed up to watch the movie New Years Eve (very average) but pooped out at 11:45 p.m.

I told RJ that if the weather was above 10 degrees we should go sledding on New Years Day.  He reported that it was at 18 so we called some friends and headed over to Hamel park with it’s giant hill.  Come to find out it was negative 4 with the wind chill factor.  Aside from freezer burning our faces, it was fun.


Cheryl and Nathan cruised several times.  Reagan didn’t want to go at all.  Hunter aimed for the jumps and McKenna was equally fearless.  We’ll have to go another time when it truly is warmer than 10 degrees.


Chilly Dogs

Our first year in Minnesota a friend told us about a place called Chilly Dogs.  RJ put it on my 2012 date list.  We invited the Rowleys and their four boys to join us and we had a great time.  First we got to meet the 83 dogs all chained up and barking.  They did not look like sledding dogs to me.  I imagined big, furry Alaskan huskies but these dogs were small and short haired.  We had an orientation that scared me to drive the dogs.  It seemed like a lot to remember word wise (go, stop, right, left) and safety wise (what to do if you tip over, the dogs legs get tangled, balancing, slowing, keeping an even distance) etc.


We were split up into several teams.  Tanner, McKenna and Nathan got to go with a professional musher.


Reagan and I got to ride with daddy.  There was a sleeping bag inside the sled so we zipped ourselves up and Reagan kept me nice and cozy.  Adam was so comfy that he fell asleep on Cheryl’s lap! 

Hunter got to go with his friend Will.


It was 10 degrees out so we bought warmers to put in our gloves and boots but mine did not work at all.  We stopped out on the ice and they asked if anyone wanted to switch drivers.  I decided to push myself and get a little uncomfortable.  When I got on the break,  the dogs kept going.  RJ was hollering at me to stand with all of my weight on the break and I informed him that I was.  At that moment, I felt a little bit out of control since the dogs were not whoa-ing (stopping) when I gave them the command AND stood on what was suppose to be the break.  We had fast dogs who kept catching up to the sled in front of us so we eventually had to stop again to swap dogs.  My hands and feet were uncomfortably cold at this point so I hopped back in the sled and cuddled with Reagan so they could thaw.


The clan:  Cheryl, Tanner, Paul. Will, Nathan, Adam, McKenna, Hunter, Reagan, RJ and me.  We had yummy hot chocolate and cookies afterward.

Back at the house, we did puzzles, played games, got NO sleep, ate bad-for-you food and generally enjoyed ourselves.

What a great Christmas vacation!

Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning

RJ and I spent much of Christmas Eve making delicious cinnamon rolls from a recipe we got at our cooking class.  We decided to make them our traditional Christmas breakfast.  We had dinner with the Hilliards and let the kids get some energy out.  When we got home, we read Luke 2 and let the kids open a present from grandma and grandpa Morrison…...



Reagan loves her new jammies.  She calls them her polka dots.  The kids put out brownies for Santa, carrots for the reindeer and some cheese for the mice (yikes).

RJ and I woke up at 7 a.m. Christmas morning and chatted a little before the kids came in at 7:30.  I was surprised that they slept in so long.  McKenna had forgotten that it was Christmas morning.  The kids ran down and got the manger and Matt and Carda’s letters.  We read our letters and all the good things we did for each other and those around us.  We let the kids open their stockings while we baked the cinnamon rolls.  They were so excited they could hardly eat them though.


Reagan making a beeline for the gift Santa left for her and McKenna.


A Dora Jeep!


Hunter wasn’t too disappointed to have gotten coal in his stocking.


Santa brought Hunter an air hockey table!  Hunter is the reigning champ.


Santa brought RJ and I clothes.  He also left the game Qwirkle, several puzzles and a tub of hot chocolate mix.



We bought the kids each something crafty.


We also drew names and tried to do homemade or inexpensive gifts.


McKenna had Hunter and she made him a necklace with gummy savers and a bey blades arena.


Hunter bought me “utter cream for my dry hands.DSCN5819

I made Reagan four colors of scented play dough.DSCN5821.RJ made McKenna a book for bedtime (My Creative Bedtime Book) with blank sheets of computer paper because she is always asking for paper right as we walk out the door after tucking her in.

Reagan made RJ some happy pills.  She used an empty vitamin container and filled them with peanut butter M&M’s and pasted cute pictures of her on the bottle.



McKenna REALLY wanted stompeez (the ears uncover the eyes whenever you step) slippers.  We had to exchange them for a larger size and she chose puppies over unicorns.

I made all of the kids and RJ scarves to keep their necks warm for our dog sledding trip.


I made RJ this wooden plaque.  When we went to Nauvoo last summer, the kids made a rope and the missionary explained how families are bound in the temple just like this rope.  RJ mentioned wanting to do something with the rope but it sat in the kids dress up bin for over a year.  I finally came up with an idea.  I bought a piece of wood from Home Depot and burned these words into it:  woven together FOREVER April 26,2003.  Then I stained it with a red toned stain to match the colors in our living room.  I was so… excited for him to open it!

I also bought him a band saw (from Craig’s List) so he could help Hunter with his pinewood derby car.


RJ picked out some cute workout gear for me (yoga capris and this long sleeved Avia shirt.


RJ also spent many hours in a jewelry store trying to pick out some inexpensive “chunky” jewelry.  He did a great job.


Hunter got two different sets of legos.


I started to wonder where my awesome date list gift was.  Finally, I got my thin package.  Yeah!  I love this gift and am really excited about another year of cool dates.

The girls took their jeep out for a spin.


Reagan’s turn to drive (well maybe by summer she’ll be able to reach the pedal.

After lunch we caravanned up to Ely with the Rowleys.  We stayed in a house in Babbit and went dog sledding the next day.