Archive for the 'Kids' Category


Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
Way back in June we made a week long trip to visit various family members. We had decided to visit Jon’s brother Rawlin, and my sister Andrea, but we snuck in a couple other family members as well.

Our first stop was in Ceder Hills, Utah to have a BBQ with my Aunt Robin and Uncle Mike, and some cousins.  I think the last time we saw them was three years ago. My cousin Amanda was getting married, and she now has two kids, so I think it was around 3 years ago.

We didn’t have much time, but it was nice to see those who came, and the kids. Everyone is getting so big, and I did not do a good job getting pictures.

Eden, Lilah, and Elana flying a kit. (Elana is my cousin Mike’s oldest daughter.)
Carston, who belongs to my cousin Kristen. 3 years old. He was a baby at Amanda’s wedding.
Amanda, me, Kristen. (Uncle Mike in the background, my dad’s half brother.)

We left the BBQ around 9:00 and showed up at Jon’s cousin’s house at 10:30 pm. DeEtte and Mark were nice enough to house us.  The two oldest girls were still awake, and waiting up to meet their second cousins. Ava is Lilah’s age, and Brynn is Eden’s age. We saw them briefly two summers ago on our way to Yellowstone, so it was nice to spend two nights, and one day with them.

The first night we stayed there I was awoken by a little girl. The room was still dark, and I thought perhaps it was Eden. The little girl asked a couple questions, and I realized it was not my daughter. It was a little scary, but she was nice enough and didn’t turn into a poltergeist. It had been Cailyn, confused by the adult in her bed, even though she had slept downstairs and knew someone would be sleeping in her bed.

In the morning we enjoyed some yard sales and goodies. The two older daughters had dance  classes, so once home and feed, we went to the one and only water play at a park in Kaysville. It was a little cold for my girls, while it was hot for our Utah family.

Later that evening we enjoyed dinner with more cousins, and Jon’s aunt and uncle.

Draya with chocolate on her face. Jon took a picture just like this two years ago.
Brynn and Eden. Second Cousins.
Draya, Lilah, Ava, then two random boys.
Cousins: Rayanne, DeEtte, Kyson, and Jonathan.
Uncle Kyle, Rayanne, DeEtte, Kyson, Jonathan, Aunt Annette (Sandra’s sister.)
Cailyn, my shadow.
The girls loved playing together.

DeEtte’s youngest two girls really took to me, and Cailyn became my own special friend. She followed me around and ate dinner with me, and Draya followed her. Eden was so preoccupied with the fun slide upstairs, the swing in the basement, and the hammock out front, that we rarely saw her. It was Sunday morning before she realized I had gained a new shadow. She said she was not jealous, but that morning I had three little girls that would not leave my side.

DeEtte and Mark headed off to church, while we finished getting ready and packed up.
Second Cousins: Brynn (7), Eden (7), Lilah (9), Cailyn (5), Ava (9), Draya (3)- The Jensen’s were ready for church, while our children were waiting to get dressed, and mostly played.
The Jensen Family. Mark is even taller than pictured. We joked he was too tall to fit in the picture, and he bent down just a little.
We took time to get some nice pictures with their flowers once we were dressed also.
It was so nice to see Jon’s cousins and I’m happy we decided to include them on our visit, and that they made the time to see us.

Halloween 2012

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Just for the sake of posting something on my blog, I thought I’d put pictures up from Halloween. We did some fun things, but here’s just a few of the girls in their costumes with the pumpkins they carved.

Eden chose to be Dorothy. She used her toy Toto, affectionately re-named Toto after he was Toto for Eden 5 years ago, when she was also Dorothy. (He was called puppy before that, and Lilah “sold” him to Eden.)

Lilah decided to be a Nazgul, or Ring Wraith from The Lord of the Rings. No one knew what she was, and many didn’t even know once we told them, but she loved it.


That pumpkin was in big trouble.


Eden offered to take a picture of me with my pumpkin.


I love Halloween!

I hope everyone was safe and enjoyed the holiday.

Little Helpers

Monday, June 4th, 2012

While growing up my parents would always ask for us kids to do things for them or around the house. It was fine that we had to make dinner once a week, wash dishes, and iron my dad’s work clothes. I was fine with that. Well, maybe I didn’t enjoy ironing so much. What I disliked was picking up my father’s newspapers that he had just piled onto the floor after reading, or fetching him or my mom water when their legs worked just fine. The running joke was they had kids to do things for them.

Yeah, having kids can be helpful and I’m trying to not make them into my slaves, something we called ourselves a time or two growing up. It is hard though. They’re so able bodied, while I’m so old.

I’m still not great at always incorporating the girls into my chores or things I do around the house. They really can’t reach the sink to do dishes, and we have to help them put dishes away that go up high. I don’t always like company as I cook, most often I like to just cook by myself. So I don’t encourage them to be in the kitchen with me, but there are times they insist. Like when I was making jam at the very end of April.

I bought a ton of strawberries, and planned on freezing some and making jam with most of them. One morning I made one batch of freezer jam, but I was in a rush. I made them hang back and watch, but promised they could help when I did the regular jam.

The morning of jam making came, and the girls were very excited. I pulled their hair back, and I put them to work cutting and mashing berries, while I prepped my jars and lids. It was actually very helpful to have them helping, and helped the process go smoothly.
They also had tons of fun, so it was a win win situation. I even offered to contract them out to my friend Sam, but she was already over half way done with her jam making when I offered.

The girls really loved helping, and I liked seeing them help. There were times when one or the other was a little stubborn, but once I got them to try it, things went well. Read: Eden was not wanting to do something, so I made her try it, and she really liked it in the end.

Lilah’s hair is so crazy because I had to pull her long bangs back, so she wouldn’t be tempted to touch her hair.

Later that week Eden and I baked some muffins together. I try to include both of them in the kitchen, but often it becomes an argument in who’s turn it is, or it’s unfair that they get to put this and that in, or they’re stirring for too long. So sometimes I make something with just one of them. The other often pouts, but once we reach the agreement that they can help make something later in the week, they stop bothering us, for the most part. Read: Lilah has a really hard time not being the one helping in the kitchen, and hovers around talking and trying to help.

Eden’s Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. The recipe came from the Highlights magazine. (We changed it to whole wheat and substituted raisins for chocolate chips.)

Lilah chose some cookies for her recipe that we made together. They turned out pretty good, and none of the cookies I ate had any of her hair in them.

Lilah really has taken to doing extra things around the house, and it’s really nice, because usually she’s also very willing to help. Like, their laundry just got put into the wash and I didn’t have to help at all. I was able to sit here and type this up.

Now if only I had a drink of water.

Ice Skating

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

There is an ice skating rink in town that does a Homeschool Friday for the first Friday of each month. It costs $5 per child to skate, they get a free hot chocolate, and parents get to skate free. I honestly avoided going for the first few times I had heard about it. I had only skated once in my life, on a a date, when I was in high school, over ten years ago.

It’s a funny story.

I had just gotten home from work and there was a knock on my door. Blake, a young man from my new ward, was at the door. My family had just moved in January and I think this was in May or late April 2001, my final year in high school. (I had flirted with him a little on a General Conference trip with our ward that April.) I open the door and he asks, “You wanna get in that there van with me?” (The way he asked was just hilarious.) Apparently, a few of the guys in my ward had decided to plan a group date that Friday while at school, and he had been calling me that afternoon, but I was not home, so they took a chance and appeared on my doorstep. I was still in a skirt from work, so I asked if I could change first, left a note for my parents that I would be out on a date and with whom, and got in the van. We ate Sonic for dinner and went ice skating. I ended up holding his hand the entire time to keep my balance, and the other two couples speculated about it. It was the only date we went on because summer quickly approached, I went to the singles ward, and when he called me that Fall to go out again, I was already engaged to be Mrs. Jonathan Blake.
Moral of the story: Ice skating is an awesome date to go on if the other person has never been. You might get to hold their hand the entire time.

So back to avoiding ice skating. Since I had only been once in my life, I wasn’t really wanting to take the girls. I’m not an athletic person and I have terrible balance. For the March skating day I decided to take the girls since our park group would be there, and I really did not want to skate. Once there I found out the other parents were going skating, and I was really nervous. Tears welled up in my eyes and my friend Laura noticed. She gave me comfort that I could take it easy and use a trainer, which I did. Eden was kinda my cover, since I tagged along with her at first. Eventually I decided it would be not fun skating hunched over, so I made Eden go out on her own a little. It was hard for her at first, but once Eden got the hang of it, she was very pleased with herself. Lilah used the trainer for part of the time, but started using the wall and going out on her own pretty early. At one point her friend Shelby took her hand and they skated together.
Laura also helped me, and held my hand for a few times around the rink to give me confidence.

So ice skating was a big hit in March, but I forgot to take my camera.

So for the skate day in April, we went once more and I brought my camera along. We all did much better, though none of our friends were there this time. Eden even tried skating by herself while holding onto the wall and with my help. Towards the end I took a terrible fall, straight to my knees, and took Eden down with me. I had a huge bruise on my left knee, and even though it’s mostly yellow now and not noticeable, my knee hurts if I put too much weight on it when kneeling or sit Indian style.

I remembered the camera the second time around and took some pictures of my cute ice skaters.

Easter 2012!!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

So this year for Easter I was finally able to make the girl’s Easter dresses. No play is happening, which gives me much more free time to sew, and I just didn’t look too hard at the store’s. I wanted to make something different for the girl’s, but when we went to pick out fabric, they ended up choosing the material they wanted. They each had a different pink for the main dress, but I accidentally cut Eden’s dress out of Lilah’s fabric, and Lilah really wanted her fabric, so they had nearly matching dresses. I think they turned out really cute.

Easter Morning

We dyed eggs at my parents house Saturday night. It was actually their fortieth anniversary! I totally forgot till my mom mentioned my dad would be taking her out, and since he doesn’t do that often, I asked why. I have it on my wall calendar, but was a total airhead when it came to remembering.

Green hands. Grandpa washed Eden’s hands with Shout, and it removed most of the dye.

This year for Easter I also had a goal of buying no candy.
What usually happens in our house at Easter: The girls go to two or three Easter egg hunts, and get tons of candy. I buy three or more different candies to put in the baskets, and end up eating most of it because Jon has more self control than me, and the girls have tons of candy already. I gain a few pounds and indulge my candy addiction, while the children ask for candy for like 2 months.
I decided recently that I would not be purchasing candy or cookies once the goodies in our house were gone. So if we wanted something sweet we’d have to make it. (Ice cream is the exception and they do get candy at other places.)
So I let the girls know that the Easter Bunny would not be bringing candy to our house, and they seemed OK with it. I have my reasons, and we discussed why he would not be bringing it, and why I would no longer be buying it.
So the Easter Bunny put cute socks, a note pad with pencil, glow bracelets, a craft, play dough, and a few cookies in their basket. Eden was also given a game, and Lilah was given some sheets with horses on them.
The cookies were something I had in my freezer and needed to use, so that’s why we enjoyed them in our baskets.

For the Easter Bunny the girls left out some carrots and a bag of candy from candy they had collected at the one egg hunt they went to. This year really was a low candy year for us, but it’s better for us this way.

Easter morning the girls put on their new dresses and we headed to church. After church we had an Easter egg hunt. The Easter Bunny filled the eggs with quarters and small ink stamps. Lilah found 5 of the 6 stamps, so Eden traded one quarter for a stamp. ( I think filling the eggs with small change is actually a really good idea and honestly costs as much as candy, if not less, if you decided to put nickels or dimes in the eggs instead.)

Can you spot the two eggs the girls were not seeing?

The loot!

Lilah’s bangs were trimmed on Monday.

We then enjoyed a nice afternoon with Jon’s parents and an evening meal at my parents.
The cousins enjoyed a fun egg hunt together and ate nearly all their candy while at their grandparent’s house.

The cousin’s waiting to find some eggs. (Adrienne, Eden, Lilah, Howie, and Kaitlyn.)

Lilah was very excited to get some candy.

Enjoying their candy and counting eggs.

Christmas in….March?

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Since I’m finally at my computer and editing pictures, I thought I’d edit some from Christmastime.













Saturday, January 21st, 2012

With looking at buying a new house, the girls have mentioned how they want their own rooms. Really, Lilah has mentioned this, and usually it’s only been after a fight or because she wants alone time. Jon wants the girls to share a room forever, he’s always had to share a room. (Lived at home and shared with Jason, went on a mission and shared with companions, lived at home and shared with Jason, got married and had to share with me.) I had my own room for a period of time, so once they’re older I’m OK with them having their own room. It might be hard to give up my sewing room, but this child would only have their own room for a few years anyways, with growing up and leaving the house to go to college, right?
But as of right now, I’m pretty sure even if they had their own rooms, they’d be in one room all the time, and would miss each other.
Lately the girls have been playing and talking together extra late into the night, then I’m often woken up to hearing two girls talking or playing in their bedroom. They’ve been playing elaborate games and make believe with My Little Ponies and have been spending more time together than apart.
Seeing them together I can’t help but think of the time I spent in each of my sister’s rooms talking and being together and how I would fall asleep in someone else’s bed. Everyone’s bed was more comfortable than mine and I loved sleeping in my parents and Andrea’s especially. Having space can be nice, but it’s fun to be close with family.

Maybe I will keep my sewing room forever, or maybe if they have their own rooms they’d get to bed earlier and wouldn’t be grumpy on the days I have to wake them up.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Th girls both had ideas of what they wanted to be earlier this year. Soon after Eden’s birthday she had been beading anklets and decided she would be an Indian and wear all these anklets and bracelets she was making. Unfortunately she couldn’t find them, but decided glow bracelets would work well. She color coordinated the glow bracelets to her outfit, and I got to wear purple and pink on Halloween night. Eden was often mistaken for Pocahontas, but the girls have never seen that movie. I think at one point we just started saying, yes, she’s Pocahontas.

Lilah went back and forth a little more. She was thinking of being a princess, if Eden changed her mind to also be a princess, she has wanted to be a bird since last year, but the fabric for bird costumes is pretty expensive, not to mention stuffing it, so she finally settled on being a mummy. A friend had posted his mummy costume on Facebook and told me what he did, so I was able to make Lilah an pretty cool mummy costume. It was time consuming, but it worked out well and lots of people liked it on Halloween night.

We brought Britta to Carolyn’s Annual Halloween work party, and had her spend the night since she didn’t have school and next day.


Britta as Rapunzel, Eden as an Indian, and Lilah as a mummy.


The girls checking out their goods after the party.


Lilah carved this pumpkin at achievement days all by herself, with a little help for scooping out the guts. Because she did it all on her own, she decided she would carve her pumpkin for Halloween also. She drew out the design and figured it all out on her own. I really did very little except give directions on what to do.



We were carving our pumpkins in our pajamas, with an old shirt over them. Hence the marvelous fashion statements.


Lilah is actually posing likes she’s carving her pumpkin, because I forgot to get any action shots of her carving the face.


Eden choose the Bat Cat from our pumpkin carving book, and so I carved hers for her. I’m not ready for both of them to grow up just yet.


Lilah wanted the traditional Jack O’ Lantern. She did an awesome job on her pumpkin.

I’ll admit it is fun to see them grow up and see them enjoy holiday traditions on a new level of involvement.


This is our front window. Lilah made the decorations on the left, and Eden made the ones on the right. I made the BOO! and the skeleton is from a Science Saturday project. It was headless and missing one foot, and cut out and put together by Eden. Eden colored her ghost light green, so it would look like it would glow in the dark.


The cousins got to see one another after we trick or treated separately.

Kristi got to my parents before me, and I had told my mom to let her go on without us. We both went over to the popular streets that go all out, but with the crowd it was c.r.a.z.y. My parents never get a lot of trick or treaters, but this year it was dead on their street and area surrounding them. Usually you see a few groups, but this year it was nothing until we crossed over to the popular blocks. Lilah and Eden wanted to go over there, so we did, and they enjoyed themselves and loved seeing all the decorations. I did not let them in the haunted house, but that was mostly because it was a crazy long line and I didn’t want to be out too late.

My dad said Henderson had made rule that trick or treating was just from 6-8pm, because of it being a school night, and I thought that was totally lame. Parents should be able to decide how late to be out with their kids and teenagers will always be out late no matter what. We were in just after 8, and the couple doors we knocked on after 8 gave the girls a lot of candy because they were my parents neighbors and I’m sure wanted to get rid of some candy with the night coming to an end.

We came home and Jon had given out all our candy by 9 pm. We get a fair amount of trick or treaters in our neighborhood. It was also fun because our nice neighbors have moved back, and they decorated and dressed up, because they were having a party, and gave out candy too.

I just love Halloween.

Roo’s N More

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Way back in October, well I think it was October, we visited Roo’s N More Zoo in Moapa, Nevada. We went there in April this year too, or somewhere around that time, but I never got around to posting pictures from that visit.

Jon had taken the originally scheduled day off of work so he could go, but then it rained all day and night, and even the morning of, so our group had to postpone our trip. Since we rescheduled it to the following week, he wasn’t able to go. For the day we were suppose to go, we decided to go bowling, and I got the lowest score. Apparently I should use the bumpers too. Jon did alright, but I bowled pitifully.

I was going to do a quick blog of what we did in October, but there were just too many cute pictures, so I decided I’d just get on the ball and overwhelm my reader(s) with a post a day while I play catch up. So here’s to hoping I can get the other needed posts out of the way over the next few days.


Lilah was willing to hold any animal she could get her hands on.


While Eden mostly kept her distance but did pet a few of the animals.


A fun and very slow sloth.


Petting the sloth.


The baby otter kissing and making noises in Lilah’s ear.


The super cute baby African porcupine.


Lilah took this picture of me holding the baby otter.


A baby kangaroo in a mommy’s pouch. I think it had only been born a week or so before.


Eden petting a 3 1/2 legged desert tortoise.


The monkey eating Lilah’s hair.


Gotta love that smile.


Eden didn’t want to hold the monkey by herself, so I made her tag along while I played with the monkey.


The monkey also liked my camera case.


Why yes, that is a python wrapping itself around my daughter’s waist.


See, it’s not that big of a snake, and no, I did not hold or touch it.


The girls with the kangaroo sculpture.

Happy Birthday to Eden!

Friday, October 7th, 2011

So Eden had her birthday in July and her party in August, but uh, well due to wanting to post everything about our trip I didn’t post anything about her birthday, and then I got distracted and just forgot.

Mom Fail.

So before I start neglecting my blog once more, I thought I’d post some information and pictures of the events.

Eden’s birthday fell on the day Jon returned to work from our vacation. I don’t think we did much that day, but we did enjoy a meal of some of her favorite food, and then some I added because she just wanted salad, her favorite food. We had salmon patties, watermelon, salad, and some yummy huckleberry soda we brought back from Montana. We then enjoyed some cupcakes for her cake, but like my July Highlights said, Eden had decided to begin eating her birthday cupcake before we could sing to her. So she got two that night.

Lilah and I also purchased some flowers for Eden’s birthday, something that’s become a tradition.

We had Eden’s party later in August, and on a Wednesday night because our weekends filled up rather quickly. We did a simple swimming party at the Zurflue’s, who were in town, but not home for most of the night. They were nice enough to let us crash their place. We invited friends and family and enjoyed some yummy food and let the kids swim. There was a small threat of a storm, which stressed me out because I had planned no activities since it was in the evening and for a shorter time than our day ones, plus I had just returned from vacation and was too stressed out to think of anything to do. I made her a cake with a swan on it because she wanted a Swan Princess party, but with it not being a popular Disney film, there wasn’t much I could actually do. It was Eden’s idea that I just put a simple swan on her cake, which I was very happy to do.

It was a simple gathering, but it lots of fun to celebrate Eden as she turned one year older.


Eden with her birthday meal and flowers.


Eden’s expression makes me laugh. Six candles on one small cupcake.


Eden’s Swan cake.
Insert silly Lacey story: I had my friend, Sam, pick the cake up and bring it because I’d be traveling to the house alone and didn’t want to just have it on the seat or floor of my car. (Her husband came so she could hold it on her lap.) I took a picture of it at my house because I could see them getting in some accident and the cake being ruined. I always think of worse case scenario’s.




Cute Birthday Girl!

(Due to not having swim lessons, the play, and being out of town so much, we only went swimming twice this summer. Lilah’s birthday and Eden’s party.)


More swimming!


I love Lilah’s arm around Eden.


Present time!


Eden loves Zhu Zhus!

I can’t believe Eden is six years old. Of course I was calling her six months before her birthday, but that’s my silly brain for you.

I’m so happy to be your mom Eden, and I love watching you grow!