Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Prima Ballerina

My friend Lisa has her daughter (Jane) in a little dance class on Wed.  Reagan has sat through a lot of Hunter and McKenna’s activities so I was excited to sign her up for something.  She’s such a doll!



After being in Disneyland, we had to have a princess party with a castle cake.  I designed this cake it my head.  McKenna was happy with it.  Originally, McKenna invited a small number of friends (three of whom were older than her, 8, 10 and 13 years old).  I wanted the crafts to be things that the girls would use.  Not too baby-ish and not just junky stuff.  Amanda gave us her clear necklace “wire” and clasps.  I bought some metallic beads for necklaces and bracelets.  I also bought several bunches of flowers at the dollar store and took them apart so they could design their own flower hair clip.  I have to admit that I was a little ambitious.  Her three older friends said they couldn’t come so we made quick invites to three other little girls McKenna’s age.  All the girls needed help so RJ and I worked like crazy to get everyone what they needed.  When they were done with their jewelry and flowers, I did hair and make-up while RJ painted and decaled fingernails and toe nails.  We played two games.  The first was Aladdin’s magic carpet ride.  They had to sit on a blanket and scoot on their bottoms across the floor. The winner got Jasmine’s jewels (ring pops).  We then did an egg hunt.  Each egg had a Hershey's kiss (every princess needs true loves “kiss”).  One egg was golden and whoever found it got a princess calendar.  McKenna ended up finding the golden egg which I felt bad about.  I wanted her to give it to someone else but she wouldn’t.  She was quite the sassy princess.




Ava Palmer is in the black dress, Charlotte Hillyard, McKenna, Kami Olson, Rachel Mattson, and Tatum Morley.  We had three Rapunzels!  Ava was a “wicked princess”.  She said she was the witches daughter.  It was hilarious because she is such an adorable sweet little thing!


RJ and I bought McKenna a sewing machine and a giant box of craft stuff.  Our house has been messy ever since.


My mom made this dress for me to wear as the flower girl in Dan and Kathryn’s wedding.  I was 8 or 9 years old when I wore it.


Charlotte gave McKenna this bag.  Within 24 hours of opening it, she had colored it.  I think she is fantastic at coloring.


Kami gave her an awesome cupcake kit.  We had to make them Sunday before church.

McKenna and Reagan with some of the crafts we bought her.


McKenna is growing up to be a wonderful little person.  She’s an amazing big sister.  She is very creative and talented.  Her personality is bigger than her body.  She is a joy.

First Day of School!

When we got back from Oregon/California, Hunter got a letter from his teacher.  I wondered where McKenna’s was and called the school.  I hadn’t registered her!  I quickly filled out and turned in all the paper work but I feel bad for putting the school in a lurch.  They had one afternoon teacher (Mrs. Krueger) but because of the number of last minute moms (like myself), the class size was getting too big.  They went ahead and split the afternoon kindergarten class so there are only 15 kids in McKenna’s class (which is great).  Her teacher’s name is Miss Trom.  Miss Trom teaches the am kindergarten kids as well.  Hunter has Mrs. Daley (formerly know as Mrs. Muelbauer).  He heard that she was really strict and wasn’t super excited about this year.  I told him that he would have no problems with a strict teacher because he is such a great student.


There is a nice sized group of kids that go in the morning with Hunter.


I had to drive McKenna to school for a few weeks since her bus stop was not yet assigned.  She was excited to take the bus home though.  She is definitely ready for school.  She’ll do great!


Amanda’s Sendoff


Amanda got an apartment in North Dakota and was able to get a job for the time being at Target.  She mentioned a few times that she really wanted a basic tool set so we bought her one and gave it to her the night before she left.  It was really nice to have her here for the summer.  I enjoyed her company, she was a big help and great with the kids.  We will miss her.  Reagan asked for days where Sant Amanda was.  “Is she sleeping?” she said. We wish her the best and hope she knows that she is welcome here anytime.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bert and DeAnna

The week after we got back from Oregon, Bert and DeAnna drove up and met Amanda in North Dakota.  They unloaded her stuff and came for about 3 1/2 days.  We had a lot of fun.  It went so fast.

On Friday we went to the Minnesota State Fair.  It’s the biggest in the US so we figured we had to experience it.  Reagan liked to “soft” (pet) the animals.  We saw many farm animals including those who had recently given birth (lambs, cows, and pigs).  We watched a short western comedy, saw sculpted butter, ate, and watched a rodeo.


On Saturday, we went to Quarry Rock Park for cliff jumping.  We had a lot of fun.  McKenna was super brave and tried to be a rock for her dad and brother when they were nervous.




It’s always so nice to be with family!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Oregon/California Vacation

We were so excited for our double vacation.  We had plenty of time to think about it too with our 4 1/2 hour layover in Pheonix.  We lucked out and found a very small play area that kept the kids busy for a few hours.


Reagan slept the whole second leg of the trip.


Matt picked us up from the airport and said we would BBQ for dinner.  What he didn’t say was that Beth organized a surprise party for me!  I was so shocked when Matt was grilling and Dad came out to the garage when we pulled up.  We had the most amazing chicken, veggies, salad, French bread, homemade ice cream and mom’s special chocolate vinegar cake.  Beth put up streamers and balloons and they got me gifts (earrings, mascara, walkie talkies and batteries).  It was the biggest and best surprise I have had in a long time.  Thanks Beth!

We had a fantastic time with the Newells.  The kids played good and hard.  In fact, Sat. night when the boys were playing football in the dark, Hunter fell and hit his head on the pavement.  Carda called me into the kitchen and I saw Hayden pressing one blood soaked paper towel after another on Hunter’s head.  We stopped the bleeding, assessed the cut (which looked about an inch long) and gave him some advil.  I worried half the night but there was only a small divit in the morning.

On Monday we went to Sean and Melissa’s.  They have a beautiful house.  We walked over to the country club pool and had a splashing good time.

Reagan loved little Emma.


Hannah was fond of RJ.

On Tuesday, we got a rental car and drove towards the de Sully’s.  We stopped and saw my niece, Alex and her husband Nash on the way.  It is amazing to see the Lord’s hand in her life.  She was baptized about one year ago.  I use to babysit her and her sister Brittany all the time.  I wish her all the happiness that life has to offer.


Since we were so close, we drove my high school and the house I grew up in (2051 North Park Eugene OR 97404).  It sure seemed bigger when I was younger!


We stayed the night at the de Sully’s and enjoyed Theresa’s killer carrot cake.  We are excited for them as they prepare to bring another child into this world!  They already have three girls… what are their chances of having a boy?


Beth, Matt, Dan and Sandy were in charge of the reunion this year.  They chose a place called the Box R Ranch (which unfortunately is closing this fall).  We had three cabins for everyone.  RJ and I shared the cabin below with Matt and Carda.

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One of the hot spots was the lake.  There was a zip line, slide, paddle boat, and canoe.  McKenna wanted to do the zip line but I was nervous since the first 20-30 feet was above land.  She is a brave monkey and got right up towards the front of the line.

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Even grandpa (at almost 70 years of age) was like Tarzan on the zip line!


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Reagan, Gannon and Brooklyn


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The tube slide!

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They had a challenge course.  I thought it would be a dinky, easy little thing.  The woman working the front desk said that she had only seen two people complete it before.  This got our Morrison competitive blood pumping and we were determined to at least double that number with our group.

There were wobbly, thin, uneven wooden beams, spread out stumps, wires, ropes, spinning, swinging logs, cargo nets, teeter totters, multiple swings, a rod and a rope swing we had to traverse without touching the ground once!  At our first stop there, nobody made it continuously.  Sean and I were determined to return.  We created teams and had a friendly competition.  Sean completed the course successfully.  After two tries I decided I might have enough strength to attempt one more (it drained upper body strength) time and…. I DID IT!  I really enjoyed this activity.  It might be silly but it gave me a real feeling of accomplishment.

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It was easier for some than…

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Grandpa is still as young (at heart) as he once was!

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Some of the children were quite skilled at archery!

RJ’s sister Amanda, helped me design these t-shirts that Beth made for the reunion.  I think they turned out great!

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We had a baking contest but in the end there were no judges.  Everything was delicious there’s no doubt but I think Matt took the blue ribbon with his blueberry cobbler.  Josh helped his mom with a German chocolate cake, Sandy made a super carrot cake, Christine created a killer chocolate trifle dessert and RJ and I chose a simple, refreshing and easy lemon cake.

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A group played paintball one morning.  I encouraged Hunter and RJ to go to support Dan.  They had some good stories to share when they returned. paintball1


A bunch of people also went fishing one morning.

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I think Dan enjoyed being in his element for once.  Instead of getting schooled on a basketball court, he got to share his passion for the outdoors.


Hunter had several bites but never successfully reeled anything in.  Parker caught and ate this big guy!

Of course we playing games, relaxed and ate yummy food the whole time too.

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We took pictures Saturday afternoon. 

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Mom and Dad

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Dan, Dallin and Sandy

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Dave, Christine, Austen, Parker, Brynlee, Spencer, Carson, Riley, Brooklyn

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Matt, Carda, Jarom, Amanda, Caleb, Rachel

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Matt, Beth, Madalyn, Carter, Hayden, Bailey, Paige, Gannon

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Sean, Melissa, Josh, Nathan, Isaac, Hannah, Emma

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Group shots:

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All the grandkids

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Children and spouses

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Biological children


We left at 5am Sunday morning to drive down to Disneyland.  Dave and Christine followed and joined us at different times during the day.

RJ and Amanda created these T-shirts for our family.  The girls shirts had bows on minnie and the boys just had mickey.  The back was a map of the park that said “charting a course to memories.”  We loved them.

We spent our first and third day in California Adventure.  We went to Disneyland the second day.  Mom and dad let us drive their venza down and flew down to join us.  We flew out of California and they drove it back.  We are so grateful for them!

We enjoyed California Adventure the most.  Reagan wasn’t big enough for many of the rides but she loved sitting with grandma on her motorized scooter.  McKenna could go on most rides but was often too tired to walk (we had a double stroller, sit n’ stand) thankfully.  Hunter was the perfect age because he was tall enough for everything and enjoyed small and big rides alike.  His favorites were Goofy’s Sky School and California Screamin.  I didn’t anticipate how much fun I would have.

We returned to the hotel in the afternoon to rest but the kids wanted to swim.  In fact, it was hard to get them out of the pool to go back to the park! They also loved that the TV’s had the disney channel.





Mom, Christine, Brynlee, Brooklyn, McKenna, Reagan and I went to Ariel’s Grotto for lunch.  McKenna LOVES Ariel.  We borrowed dress ups from Aunt Beth but neither of the girls wanted to wear them when we put them on.  McKenna was persuaded by Grandma but Reagan was not having it.  She says that they are too sparkly!  Which really means too itchy.


We had to wait a long time even though we had a reservation but it was worth it when the girls got to see all the princesses.



The food was very good and we had a great experience.


Of course we had to go on The Little Mermaid ride after eating in Ariel’s Grotto.  RJ and Hunter joined us.  (Dad did not buy a ticket to the park the first day).





McKenna loved Splash Mountain.  She was able to go twice.


RJ, Hunter and I got to go on Space Mountain one evening while grandma and grandpa stayed with Reagan and McKenna.  It was as good as I remembered!  RJ read a book that Beth recommended and we were able to map out our days to maximize our time there.  We loved the fast passes.  RJ did a great job organizing each day.



My two favorite things were the Aladdin Show and World of Color (water show).  I could not believe how exhausted I was at the end of the three days but we sure had a great vacation (vacations).