Monday, December 31, 2007


We had such a fun Christmas season. On Christmas Eve we did the traditional Jensen family party at my mom & dad's. It was a little different this year because instead of getting together later in the afternoon and staying until bedtime we got together in the morning because a giant storm was on it's way. We had a great dinner (lunch), played Christmas Bingo, and acted out the nativity as my brother read colorfully from the Bible. Nick was Joseph-he has no one to contend with for the part yet-and Skylar & Kade were wisemen, although Kade refused to participate in the actual show because he was exhausted. He crashed right after and then everyone opened presents.
As the snow began to fall, we all decided to
head home and everyone mostly made it home before it got too bad-it took my sister over 2 hours though! Anyway, it was a little different to actually have the whole evening to just relax after. We had gnocchis for dinner which is a new favorite of the kids and then we broke out the Christmas jammies and watched 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' on TV until it was time for bed. It was more difficult for the kids to fall asleep since they didn't have the ride home from Grandma & Grandpa's to crash. Skylar was still wide awake until 11:30 but finally some sleeping came....
And so did Santa! Nick came in to inform us about 4 am that he was pretty sure that Santa had been there. We were grateful that he went back to sleep and we actually got to "sleep in" until 7:30. The kids of course loved all the loot they got and Mom & Dad of course realized they got too much. Favorites for Skylar were the Digital Art Studio and a singing Jasmine. Nick's favorites were his "Batman robot" and X-wing ship . Kade loved his Dancing Spiderman and Batmobile. Ben and I were excited to finally move into a nice comfortable, quiet (no boings! in the night!) King Sized bed-however, the jury is still out on whether I like the hugeness of the bed! I miss having Ben so close! I think he's just fine with it since I have always been known to be a restless sleeper!!
After the presents were finally opened (including presents for all of our pets!) we had Ben's family over for lunch and more presents. It was an exhausting, yet fun day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Sledding Fun

Have I mentioned that we love where we live? We live right across the street from a great park that has a tennis court, playground, etc., etc., and a PERFECT sledding hill. We're so lucky! After days of begging, we finally took our kids to go sledding. We bundled all up because it was pretty cold. We only have two sleds so we had to take turns. We definitely need to ask Santa for another because Kade wasn't too happy about the sharing thing. When it wasn't his turn, he would just cry and scream " I wanna go!". He loved it so much that when he finally obtained a sled he would jump on and take off by himself! We were sure he'd break something but were lucky the only tears came from his impatience! Anyway, we had such a fun time and the best part of living across from a great sledding hill is that hot chocolate and a warm house are only steps away!!

Weekly Wrap-up

Last week was a busy one as it was my turn to teach Joy School. Joy School weeks are always so hectic but so worth it to get to spend time with my sweet little Nicky and the other cute kids. The theme this month has been Sharing and Service! How fun! On Monday we went around the corner to a home for elderly women and shared our Christmas program with them. The kids put on a presentation of the Nativity (Nick was a shepherd & Kade was even a wiseman!) and then they sang a few songs they had learned. They then gave out hugs and cards to all the "grandmas". The kids were especially excited because they got to see our bishop's mom. Nick was a little shy with all the grandmas but Kade was not at all & gave away plenty of hugs! Skylar's kindergarten class also went to sing for them later in the week.
Later that night we went to the Provo library to see the Utah County Bell Ringers. They only played a couple of songs and then let all of the kids in the audience take a turn. This turned out to be crazy since there were a hundred kids who went up, ours included. But the kids had a fun time ringing their bells!
Thursday was St. Lucia's day. I almost forgot which would've broken my daughter's heart. St. Lucia's Day is a Swedish tradition that celebrates the beginning of the twelve days of Christmas. The custom goes that the oldest daughter in the family wears a crown of candles and a white dress and ushers in the light of Christmas by serving her family sweet rolls. This is basically the only tradition that we do that honors our heritage, isn't that kind of sad? We definitely need to pick up a few more. Skylar really loves the whole thing and loves to serve the whole family sweet rolls and we all love to eat them!
On Thursday night we had our Family Joy School Party. The kids put on the same program for all of the families and we had treats that they had made themselves-well, mostly. The kids really belted out the songs. It was so cute!

Friday night Ben and I left the kids at the Tongs and snuck out to eat at Red Lobster. I say sneak because Nick loves "Red Losber" and would've been upset had he known we didn't take him. But we really needed a night out alone! We tried to get in a movie but there was no chance of that after getting stuck in traffic for an hour!
Speaking of traffic, on Saturday after we went sledding we headed up to SLC to Temple Square. We forgot to check the Jazz schedule and unfortunately hit SLC at the same time as the fans. There was also something going on at the Conference center so we were lucky enough to hit that traffic too! It was crazy!! Once we finally found a parking spot in some ghetto alley we finally made it to the lights! Our friends, the Hanamaikais, met us there- they were smart and parked at the Gateway so arrived much sooner. It was so pretty at Temple Square. It seems like the Christmas spirit really hits once you go there. Afterwards we all went out to Crown Burger, which has become our Temple Square tradition. We had such a great time!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

This Christmas.....

Be kind
Write a letter
Keep a promise
Try to understand
Give a soft answer
Laugh a little more
Express your gratitude
Think first of someone else
Seek out a forgotten friend
Gladden the heart of a child
Examine your demands on others
Speak your love, then speak it again
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth
Forgo a grudge
Mend a quarrel
Encourage a youth
Welcome a stranger

-Howard W. Hunter

Monday, December 10, 2007

Weekly Wrap-up

The kids finally got to have their day in the snow on Monday. This was the first time that McKade actually got to trudge out into it and he was amazed at how much fun it could be, even though he fell down every other minute. The kids all made snowballs and snow angels. We also made a tiny little snowman-which was a little difficult because Nick preferred turning the head into snowballs. We had a lot of fun and of course followed it up with a nice mug of hot chocolate!

Last year our little connoisseur of the arts, Skylar, came up with a plan that we would alternate seeing A Christmas Carol and the Nutcracker every other year. This was the year for the Nutcracker. So, I tried to search around to find a local one that I could take her to. We lucked out and were able to go see a performance at a local high school done by a local dance studio on Tuesday night. The added bonus was that it was free! I decided that it being free, we could attempt to bring Nick along. Ben opted to stay home with McKade. I didn't expect much since it was free but I was amazed at how well the ballet was performed! They had little kids up to adults that really were fantastic dancers. Of course Skylar loved it and Nick was actually mesmerized by it. I told Skylar that we might have to make the free Nutcracker a yearly tradition!

We decided to start a new tradition this year and celebrate St. Nick's Day on December 6th. On Wednesday night we went through all of our toys and picked out enough to fill a big box to give away to someone who may appreciate them. Then the kids left their shoes out overnight so that they could get a visit from "St. Nick" for St. Nick's Day on Thursday. We emphasized that St. Nick's Day was all about giving and since they gave some of their toys away, we would give them some surprises to help celebrate the Christmas season. The next morning near their shoes they were excited to find little stuffed animals, snow globes, coloring books, and a Gingerbread house kit to keep them busy until Christmas comes.
Ben's work party was on Thursday night at the Grand America Hotel in SLC. It's always a little fun to feel a little fancy but I'm glad I don't have to do it every day. Apparently Ben works with a bunch of bachelors because that's who we ended up sitting with. We had a nice night out and the kids enjoyed going to Grandma & Grandpa's house for the evening.
Ben had a camp out on Friday night with the Scouts even though it was the middle of a winter storm. They stayed relatively warm though and had a ton of snow the next morning to go sledding. On Saturday, we trudged through the continuing snowstorm to get our family portraits taken. This is always a great adventure and one that Ben is not too fond of. Thanks babe for suffering through it! We did end up with one successful shot! Now it's time to get those Christmas cards out!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More Pics of the Fam!

As you can see from these pictures, the Jensen genes are the strong ones!!!
My oldest brother, Jerry, and his family

My brother, Eric (Ed), and his family

My sister, Steph, and her family
And me, the baby, and my family

I didn't get a picture of my brother, Al, but he looks kind of similiar to Ed since their twins. My sister, Elaine, and her family weren't there.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Weekly Wrap-up: What a week!

What a week it has been!! Soo, soo busy! On Tuesday one of my best friends, Lisa, was in town and so we were finally able to get to see her new baby, Ella. She is such a cute baby-it definitely made me baby hungry! However, McKade was not too happy about his mommy holding another baby-that momma's boy will definitely have some issues when we do have another baby! It was so much fun to get to visit with them. I really miss not having Lisa around all the time to hang out. We have so much fun together and I miss her like crazy! Our kids have so much fun together too. I think their kids were sufficiently worn out for the long drive home after playing all night long!
Friday nigh
t was my girl's night out! I totally needed it after all the stress of getting Christmas shopping done and the last few crazy weeks. We headed up to SLC and went shopping at Tai Pan and then went out to eat. We had such a great time! I'm so thankful to have such great friends!
Saturday morning greeted us with snow!! The kids were sooo excited! We had such a busy day planned that I felt bad they couldn't head out into it to enjoy it. Skylar had a primary party early and then we rushed to my Grandma Henricksen's house to celebrate her 93rd birthday! My grandma is one of the greatest people on this planet and I'm so glad that she's still around to celebrate with!! I wish we had been able to stay longer and see more of my cousins. It's hard to get together anymore now that we're all grown up. But it was great to see those that I did see.
Afterwards, we rushed up to Sandy to the Festival of Trees to watch Skylar's dance company perform. Her Mini-Stars group danced to Jingle Bells and she did such a great job. It's so great to see how much she's improved in the last year. She is becoming quite the dancer! My parents were able to come and they brought my brother's kids too. My brother, Eric, was in town from the St. George area and him and his wife, Jen, had gone to do their annual "big city" Christmas shopping. My brother has three boys and one girl. Their daughter, Cassidy, is Skylar's age, and their youngest, Ely, is Nick's age so it's really fun to have them come so my kids can have playmates. Grandma (my mom) is really nice and lets Skylar sleep over at her house so Cass & Sky can have some "girl" time. They love it! By the way, we loved the Darth Vader tree at the Festival of the Trees. Ben's totally planning out next year's tree!!
After dropping Skylar
off at my mom's we took the boys to IKEA to shop. Nick loves IKEA! It's so funny! It's one of his favorite place and every time we pass it on the freeway he begs to go. Nick got to go in the little daycare thing for the first time so he was as happy as could be. Now he'll really beg us to go more! Ben and I are looking for a new bed for our Christmas present. We really just need a new mattress since ours is at least 12 years old, but would love to replace all the furniture in our bedroom since it was my sister's furniture when she got married 24 years ago! So, we spent a few hours there-funny how time flies when you're there-and we're still not decided on what we're doing! It's a good thing we still have 22 days to go!
On Sunday, after Sacrament meeting, we headed up once again to SLC (3 times in one weekend for me!! Yikes
!) We decided to get together since my brother's family was in town still. They very rarely make it up here-well, at least Eric doesn't so I suggested we take a family picture with our digital camera since we hadn't had a family picture taken since Nick was 2 weeks old. Of course, nothing could be that simple! My mom decided to get a professional photographer from her ward to come and it turned into a big event. Hopefully it will all be worth the chaos!!
After the family picture we ate dinner and the kids played like crazy. My kids always learn such interesting things after getting together with their cousins. Skylar has not stopped singing "Jingle Bells, Batman smells...." since. Since my kids are the youngest, they get so much attention! They totally love it! I loved being able to visit with Eric and Jen. They are so awesome! My brother has always been such a great brother-taking me on trips and to concerts and just letting me hang out with him even though he's 8 years older. I really wish they lived closer or at least came to visit more often! Anyway, the weekend was so exhausting but so much fun! I definitely need some down time this next week. I won't count on it though!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Our Budding Artist

Skylar came home with an honorary mention medal and certificate for her artwork in the Reflections contest at her school. The title of her artwork was 'I can make a difference by recycling'. Way to go our little artist!