Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

a fire breathing dragon, a very brave doggy (who just had her tonsils out Thursday,) and a beautiful butterfly, who at the last minute decided to be the Swine Flu instead!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Law of the Harvest

35 pints
Garlic, Dill and Hot Dill.
Hot dill are our favorite.
Will definitely do more next year!

39 pounds shelled.
39 one pound freezer bags.
I want to plant five rows again next year.
Are you up to it Kendon?
He and Connor shelled EVERY single pea. Thanks hon.

First year doing carrots.
We'll see how they last.
Stored in barely moist sand in the cellar.

50 pints salsa verde
50 pints traditional salsa
Everything for our salsa came out of the garden except for the bell peppers and cilantro.
Cilantro goes to seed too fast.
The kids were great help with the salsa making.
Connor and Sirri cut up MANY tomatoes. It was fun to do as a family.
YUM! I think I need to go buy a bag of chips!

48 pints, a few quarts.
Kendon pruned the old, dead apple trees in our orchard this spring and what do you know, they produced apples! Very exciting.
The kids LOVE apple sauce.
I also have 6 gallon bags in the freezer that I'm slowly leathering. Yum.

Bad picture. Delicious corn.
30 quart sized bags.
We struggle growing corn. Most of this is from a neighbor.
We'll try again next year.

A BUNCH of frozen bags. I'm not sure what we think of those. Boo.
30 quarts canned. The kids loved bottled beans.
I think I'll stick to bottled next year. Bummer cause freezing is so easy.

27 quarts of pears
36 quarts of peaches.
Messy messy, but worth it.
Peaches: $17/box
Pears: $14/ box
Could have gotten a better price.

A real labor of love.
I think beets are disgusting, but Kendon loves them.
The kids do as well.
I do however think they are pretty.
One row a year is plenty.
18 quarts

6 little jelly jars.
Very easy to make.
This stuff just tastes like Christmas to me. Mmmmm.
While I'm out buying chips, I might have to buy some crackers and cream cheese, too.

14 quarts
This stuff is quite a lot of work.
It looks disgusting in the jars.
Stew is easy enough to make from scratch.
I don't think I'll do this again next year.

I LOVE having a real, underground cellar.
I feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I always wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Manly was so...manly!
Uh, anyway, I love my cellar.
Isn't it colorful?

So, Kendon is just as manly as Manly.
He left our house at 5:30 a.m. and shot this elk at 6:30.
He rocks.
Now, we have a nice and full freezer.

It was so fun to enjoy the harvest from our garden this summer. We ate many meals where everything on the table was from our garden and/or something Kendon had hunted. (All except the purple Crystal Light.)

It was so much fun to have the kids' help this year. They are getting big enough to help plant, weed, harvest, and can. It is always lots of hard work, but well worth it.


Do you see the resemblance in these three?
Silly Meg.
Crazy Pumpkin

Kendon's elk

How about now?

A few weeks ago, while eating lunch, Meg fell off her chair and landed right on her face. She knocked her whole tooth out, root and all. The dentist said there is nothing that can be done except wait for her permanent tooth to grow in. Do you know how many years of family pictures that is? Ugh. The tooth next to the lost one was jarred enough that it is starting to turn gray. I'm thinking of having a t-shirt made that says, "Yes! my mom brushes my teeth."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"May all your dreams come true. Love, Your Fairy Godmother"

Thursday morning we left home and headed to Salt Lake City. What road trip would be complete without a stop at good ole McDonalds and two kids doing who knows what in the back seat. I think it had something to do with looking at the insides of each other's eyes. Hmmmm.

The first time Connor asked if we were there yet happened to be at the South Rexburg exit. That would be approximately 6 minutes after we left our house. Oh boy. The kids actually did pretty well and their fighting was kept to a minimum. I can remember fighting with my sisters on trips and we still like each other so I guess it's just par for the course.

We made a stop at the Smith and Edwards store. It's against Jensen Family Law to drive through Utah without stopping at Smith and Edwards. The kids were thrilled to spend their own money on none other than treats! Once in SLC we spent the day walking around Temple Square and made a visit to the Church History Museum. They have a great kid's museum that is worth checking out. Kendon and Connor did a great reenactment of Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life.
Dinner was had at a great Mexican joint called The Mayan. The kids were not thrilled that we weren't eating McDonalds again. But in the end Connor said, "that place is awesome-er than McDonalds!" I think it may have had something to do with the cliff jumpers. The kids were enthralled. And Kendon and I devoured our fajitas!

By the end of day one I was already convinced that we need to do the family vacation thing much more often. It was so fun to be with Kendon and the kiddos and have nothing to worry about or do but just enjoy each other!
Our flight left Friday morning at 9:45 and we arrived with plenty of time to spare. It was a good thing the kids loved watching the planes coming and going.

The kids all enjoyed the first leg of our flight. It dropped us in Las Vegas and we had to move fast and furious to make our connecting flight. Running through an airport with three kids in tow is not so fun. I felt like we were in the movie Home Alone. I was just happy we didn't leave any children behind. The second leg of the flight was a little more turbulent and I was just positive that four out of five us were going to be in need of the barf bag. Lucky Kendon was the only un-sick one. The first night in California I found a Walmart and bought Dramamine for the return flight home.
When we walked into our hotel the kids were so excited about the Goofy statue in the lobby. From that moment I knew this was going to be a magical trip.

We spent the afternoon at the pool and ate dinner in a quaint little hole in the wall Italian joint. We came back to our hotel to find we had an amazing nighttime view out our room window and a plate of Mickey Mouse rice crispy treats.

Man, I wasn't sure this trip could get better.

And it did!
Walking into the gates of Disneyland was so exciting. Better, maybe, than Christmas. It didn't take long to figure out that Disneyland really is the happiest place on Earth. As we walked down Main Street I could remember being there with my family when I was about Sirri's age. That made me happy that she'll hopefully remember at least bits of the trip, after all.

The kids (and I) were trying to take it all in and wanted to see and do everything at once. We started with none other than the good ole Dumbo ride and the Tea Cups. Who knew getting dizzy was so much fun?

We were only in D.L. for about an hour when we had to head over to California Adventure for Sirri's Princess Breakfast at Ariel's Grotto. When we walked in the gates there were Pluto and Mickey Mouse. Sirri and Connor were so excited to whip out their amazing autograph books (thank you so much, again, Shelli). As you can see Meg was not as thrilled. She was just sure that the doggy was going to bite her!
Sirri and I had such a special time at the Princess breakfast. She was truly treated like a Princess. Sirri was invited up to the front to help introduce the first Princess, Cinderella. As soon as Cinderella came out and knelt down to talk to Sirri I lost it and I pretty much cried my way through the rest of the breakfast. I'm a pretty big baby to begin with and probably would've cried, some, no matter the circumstances, but I was just overwhelmed with the fact that Sirri is healthy and all her little six year old wishes were coming true. It was truly a beautiful morning. Snow White. The Princess Sirri was most excited to see. Just look at those hands held up to her heart. Doesn't that just scream, "I'm in heaven, here!!!!!"
When Belle came out, one of the moms there having breakfast asked if she could take the picture for me so I could be in it. I'm sure she saw Sirri's Make-a-Wish button and my tears and thought the worst. She probably wanted to make sure I had a special picture to remember this special day. I'm happy to have the picture, but feel bad that people were probably misled as to our situation. Sirri really was treated EXTRA special by all the princesses, actually by everyone who came in contact with her. We should have had Sirri wear a button that said, "I'm Fine!"

P.S. I think those Princesses have the best job in the world. Too bad I'm so old. And live in Idaho. And don't have a Princess body anymore. Sigh.

That afternoon my parents came to spend the day with us. My mom was supposed to be in town already helping after my sister had her baby. Only problem was, she hadn't had her baby. So my mom couldn't stand it and she and dad hopped a flight and came anyway! When Sirri made her wish, she asked grandma is she would be there and of course Grandma just couldn't disappoint! Having Grandma and Grandpa there made the day much more special.
They brought Baby Sarah with them and it was a blast having her there. That little girl just makes me smile. And giggle. I can't even look at her without giggling.

Please notice the girls' matching Minnie Mouse outfits. Kim made those as well as the Goofy shirt Connor is wearing. She is so talented and I think she needs to set up shop in front of Disneyland. I'm sure she'd make bank. (Too bad it's probably illegal!) Kim also made Sirri a very special t-shirt that says WISH across the front with gold stars wrapping around the back. Kim said it is her favorite thing she has ever made because not only did Sirri get her wish to go to California but Kim got her wish too; that Sirri's okay. Isn't that the sweetest thing ever? I can finally look at the shirt without crying. But it took some time. Sirri wore it on the plane and I wish I'd gotten a better picture of it.

Even more than Snow White, Sirri wanted to meet Tinkerbell. And when she finally did, Tinkerbell did not disappoint. Tinkerbell took extra time with Sirri and made her feel so special. Sirri could hardly speak she was so in awe of Tink. You can see in the pictures that Sirri kept poking her own hand she was so nervous. She later told Kendon (without being asked,) "Dad, I was so nervous when I met Tinkerbell." We sure wish Sirri would have still been in her Tinkerbell dress when they met. Oh well. It was still perfect. And of course, Grandma bought the girls Tinkerbell shirts! The day ended with Kim and Rich driving out to meet us for dinner. I was so happy that they braved the trip. They were pretty nervous being so far from their hospital on her due date! Little did we know, they needn't have worried. That baby didn't come for another week! The kids were so happy to see her and uncle Rich. Especially Connor. Ever since we left home he was constantly asking when we would see Aunt Kimmy. I even asked him as we were walking into Disneyland, "would you rather be here or seeing Aunt Kimmy?" ( I know that was a really loaded question.) But his response, "AUNT KIMMY!" So, thanks you guys. It meant a lot to us! Dinner would have been perfect if only my sister Cindy were able to be there as well. She was missed terribly on this trip. Out of all of us, Cindy is the one who loves Disneyland the most. I thought of her on the Dumbo ride and at Ariel's Grotto and especially at the beach. Love you, Cin.


Before hitting the beach, we went to the Lilo and Stitch breakfast. What a blast. I tell you, Disneyland knows how to have a good time. There weren't very many people there so the kids (and the parents, too!) were really able to interact with the characters. Stitch and Kendon were really bantering back and forth and giving each other a hard time about their lack of hair! The kids played games and learned to hula and the food was delcious. Oh, and I had more chocolate milk!
Then it was off to spend the day at the beach. I can remember my parents saying what a neat experience it is to see your kids experience the ocean for the first time. Well, they were right! It was so so so much fun. Depsite the weather being a bit chilly, the kids absolutely enjoyed themselves.
I think my favorite part about the beach though, was watching Kendon enjoy himself so much. He was like a kid in a candy shop. He was in the water the majority of the time (or being turned into a Mermaid) and he had so much fun body surfing with the kids and me. It was so fun to watch him having so much fun. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Back to Disneyland and California Adventure for one more day!What a sweet family picture. Oh, wait! Meg's finger is UP HER NOSE!
Kendon and Connor rode Splash Mountain. I was a little nervous about what Connor would think. He LOVED it.

We rode some more rides, met some more characters and ate more $8.00 hotdogs.
By this time, the kids were starting to feel a lot like I feel about this blog. READY TO BE DONE. We had had no melt downs the entire trip and it was so nice. We tried to be in bed at decent hours every night so the kids would always be well rested. We never even saw any of the night parades or anything but it was worth it to have happy kids. So, rather than push it on our last day there we ended the day even earlier. We ate a nice dinner at Rainforest Cafe and were back to the hotel and all in bed by 8:30.
Before hopping our flight home, we wanted a few more magical moments so we ate breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen. It was, of course, tons of fun. The kids loved being able to eat ice cream and cupcakes and peanut butter pizza for breakfast. I enjoyed two more glasses of chocolate milk.

When Belle came over to our table. she surprised us all by remembering Sirri from the Princess breakfast. She asked Sirri, "now, haven't I met you before? But you were wearing a different dress. Did you ever get to meet Tinkerbell?" You would have thought I was the six year old I was so excited that Belle remembered Sirri. I can't count how many times I asked Sirri, "how cool was that?!?!?!" The very last person we met as we were leaving was The Fairy God Mother. She was so sweet to Sirri and took an extra amount of time talking to her. Before she left she signed Sirri's book. She wrote:
What a perfectly magical way to end a perfectly magical trip!

Unfortunately, we still had a flight to SLC and a 4 hour drive home ahead of us.

Here I am at the airport after taking Meg to the bathroom for the 174, 375th time. I'm sure glad that she was potty trained for this trip, but so help me, if I had to escort one more person to the bathroom, one more time.....Ugh! I really like being home where they can go by themselves, thank you very much.

And here we are at the end. All worn out. I guess that's just how it ought to be. The more wiped out you are, the more fun you had! I guess we had a blast!

Sweet Dreams is right. This whole trip really was a dream. It was absolutely perfect. It's taken me so long to get this blog done because it felt like such a daunting task. How could I possibly document in words just how magical this vacation was? I can't. I couldn't. I didn't. I just hope we will always remember what a special time this was. We feel so blessed to have had this opportunity and we are so thankful to all the people who made it happen. It takes so many generous people with giving hearts to make trips like this possible. I hope some day we can give back and help make a wish come true for another child.

Kendon and I have both said that even after having such an amazing time we would give it all back in a heart beat if it meant Sirri not having to go through what she did. But she did and she made it and she is healthy and well and THAT is our wish. Our dream come true.