Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kennie's Clogging Debut


Kennie and her good friend Nyah waiting in the studio before the performance.

Two adorable girls!

My two clogging beauties!!

I had to do Kennie's hair at 8:45 am since I was leaving to take Meg to her 2 clogging performances in Cody and wouldn't be back until right before the 2:00 pm performance in Powell. Kennie was going to be going to Aaron's basketball games with Andy and I wanted it basically done before I left.
Pretty curls!  I knew it would probably get a little ruined during the time I was gone, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't require more than just a little touch up.  This little girl is so blessed with beautiful natural highlights.  They are kind of hard to see since this was with my phone camera.
Kennie has been WAITING and WAITING for her turn to start clogging.  She finally got to start Tiny Tots in November and has loved every minute of it.  She has been watching Megan for the last year and following her around copying what she does.  She couldn't wait to get to wear a fun costume and get all dolled up to perform.  Her chance came on Saturday at Country Christmas in downtown Powell.  It was super crowded and pretty warm in the building but she did great!  She was nervous, but it didn't show when she performed.  She smiled the whole time and didn't have to watch her teachers very much.  It will be fun to watch her continue to improve if she decides clogging is what she wants to do.  She got to be in the class with her good friend Nyah Johnson, so that made it even better!  (My video wouldn't load, so I will have to try again tomorrow.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012


It has been forever since I have posted.  I plan on doing some catching up in the near future, but for now I will clear my mind of a few thoughts.  It is midnight, and I really should be going to bed because tomorrow (or should I say today) is church.  I love Sundays!  They are my favorite day of the week.  I love the spiritual rejunivation that happens.  I love watching my children play and be together without the distractions of tv, ipads, other electronic devices, but just using their imaginations to build forts, read The Friend, work on Scouting and Faith in God, prepare for FHE on Monday night, etc.   But I am dreading this Sunday, even though all good things must come to an end.  I have known this day would be coming for almost a month now, but it doesn't make it any easier.  Andy was sustained as bishop of our ward on October 14th.  He called as his counselors two wonderful men, one of which is the husband of our YW's president.  Now when Andy was called as bishop, President Davidson said it was fine for me to stay as a counselor in the YW's as long as I felt it wasn't too demanding with Andy's new responsibilities.  But when he asked for the YW president's husband for a counselor, that changed everything and we knew we would be released.  I absolutely LOVE our young women.  They are beautiful inside and out, and they have taught me so much!  The new presidency is so blessed to get the chance to work with these amazing young girls!  I am so thankful I will still get to see them grow and mature and can't wait to see all that is in store for them as they graduate and move on to college and marriage and having families. 

It will be weird to send Andy off on Wednesday nights now with the boys in tow and soon to have Megan in tow two Wednesday nights a month when she starts Achievement Days.  It will be just me and the little girlies, which happens a lot.  I will have a lot more free time now, but I have plenty of things I can fill it with.  Thank goodness my kiddos keep my hopping, so I will have some sort of a social life still.  I am just realizing, well actual I realized a long time ago, I am just not good with change!  But tomorrow will come and go and life will go on and I will get busy again keeping up with my amazing children and trying to not add any extra burdens to Andy's full plate. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall Fun

We went to a pumpking patch in the Heights in Billings with our friends the Johnsons and Whitmans. It was so much fun! Here are a couple pictures of our fun day! I will post more later.
The love of my life!  I used to avoid pictures, but I have realized I don't have enough pictures of the two of us.  I look for every opportunity now to get a picture of the two of us.  I am so lucky to be able to spend enternity with this amazing, handsome man!

How lucky am I to be the mother of these 5 amazing children?!!!  They each have such individual personalities and teach me so much.  We had a fun day just laughing and enjoying being together!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 11, 2012 - Turning 12 and the receiving the priesthood

Aaron turned 12 on March 4th.  Unfortunately, Andy and I flew to Orlando, FL, the same day, so Aaron had to wait a week before we could celebrate his birthday with his grandparents and before being ordained a Deacon and receiving the Aaronic priesthood.  What a wonderful day it was!!!  Aaron had his Grandpa Jeff and Grandma Kathy, Grandpa Mark and Grandma Linda, and Great-Grandpa and Grandma Lynn all there.  Standing in the circle for his ordination were of course his dad who ordained him (also 2nd counselor in the Bishopric), Bishop Bennion, Syd Thompson (1st Counselor in the Bishopric), Grandpa Mark, Grandpa Jeff, and Great-Grandpa Bill Lynn.  What a wonderful heritage Aaron has with so many worthy priesthood holders to teach him and show him how to be a worthy priesthood holder - to honor it and use it to serve others.  Aaron such a wonderful young man and a great older brother to his siblings.  He is kind and compassionate and always knows when I need a helping hand.  He can sense when I need an extra set of hands to help out with Ashlee especially.  I depend on him a lot especially for being a babysitter.  I love that I can run the kids to their various activities and not have to drag everyone along.  It is so weird when both he and Aidan have an activity.  Sometimes I get in the car and realize that I have both my babysitters with me and can't leave the girls.  Aaron and Aidan are best friends.  I love that Aaron loves to be with Aidan and play with him.  I hope they remain best friends for the rest of their lives!  I can't believe that my baby boy is now 12 and can pass the sacrament.  I am so blessed to be given the chance to be Aaron's mother!  I love you, Bud!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March 2, 2012 - Birthday Bash!

Aaron turns 12 on March 4th, but Andy and I will be in Florida that day so Aaron celebrated with a few friends today.  He wanted to have some friends come over after school for an evening of games, pizza, treats and a movie.  Aaron is so blessed to have some wonderful friends.  6th grade has been so nice cause he is back together with some of his great friends that went to different elementary schools from him.  Jeremiah Sanders, Kai Fike, Braden Schiller, Gavin Asay and Derrick helped Aaron celebrate.  It was a fun afternoon and evening.  When I asked Aaron what kind of cake he wanted, he said he just wanted plain chocolate cupcakes.  He said that chocolate tasted the same whether it was decorated in a cool cake or just plain, so I didn't need to go to the work of a fancy cake.  He didn't have to tell me twice.  I love making the cakes for the kids' birthdays, but I was also not going to complain about not having to spend the time decorating. 

a few facts about Aaron:
-in 6th grade
- is only about an inch shorter than his mom
-his feet or only 1/2 size smaller than his dad's
-loves Legos
-loves paleontology and wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up
-always has many, varied, and unusual facts to tell us each day
-loves to read
-seems to just absorb knowledge and has a fantastic memory
-is laid back and relaxed and doesn't really have an aggressive bone in his body
-loves Scouts and camping
-is sensitive to others feelings especially his mom's

I am so blessed to be the mother of such a wonderful young man!  I can't believe how fast time has gone.  It seems like it was only yesterday that my little boy was climbing up a step ladder to look out the window of our apartment in Laramie so he could see the neighbors dog and watch for cars and trucks.  My little boy has traded getting a new Matchbox car each trip to Walmart for wishing he could get a new Lego set each time.  12 years ago my life was changed forever when I became a mother, and how grateful I am that I was entrusted with such a special spirit!  I love you, Aaron, and feel so blessed to be your mother!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 19, 2012 - Such a sweet sight

Tonight we had Aidan's family birthday party.  We are so blessed to live by both sets of our parents and all the great-grandparents.  These nights are a fun time to visit and build on the memories he kids have with their grandparents.  After all the goodies were eaten and presents were opened, the kids spread out to play and grandparents enjoyed time visiting.  Sweet little Ashlee just adores all her grandparents and loves to spend time with them.  Tonight she really wanted to play a game with Grandma Kathy and she thought Papa should play too.  So Candyland it was!!!  They made it so no one had to sit on the floor by using the piano bench for the game table.  She was in heaven!!!  I love this sweet moments of wonderful memories being formed!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 18, 2012 - I'm an aunt again!!!

We were so excited to receive a text message today that our beautiful niece was born this morning!!!  The kids have anxiously been awaiting the news of the arrival of Clark and Juleen's sweet baby girl.  Aidan really wanted to share his birthday with her, but we are glad baby Hailey Bea will have her own special day.  Aidan says it was okay that his present was a few days late.  :)  We can't wait to meet Hailey!  Congratulations, Clark and Juleen!  Welcome to the family, Baby Hailey!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

February 17, 2012 - PARTY TIME!!!

Happy 10th Birthday, Aidan!!!! Aidan had his friend party today since there was no school. He just wanted some friends to come over and have a good time playing. I think they could have played the whole day. It was fun to hear all the laughter and playing going on. Aid asked for a lego head cake, but I didn't want to make layer upon layers of cake, so I opted to make personal lego head cakes. I baked them in mugs and used marshmallows for the knob on top. They weren't perfect, but he loved them and that is all that mattered. Aidan invited Jaden and Mason archant, Riley Bennett, Dylan Preator, Zane Cordes, and my little brother Derrick. Unfortunately, Zane ended up with a stomach bug and couldn't come. These boys are all such good boys that just love to have fun. I was sad to have to break up the party around dinner time cause they were just having a great time. Ashlee got spoiled and got to go to Grammy's house during the party so she could have a good nap before Justin's basketball game in the evening. She got to fingerpaint with Hannah and Justin and then cuddle with Grammy for a nice, refreshing nap. (And boy was it refreshing! She was so wound up during and after the game. We laughed so hard at all her silliness.) Kenna got to go play with a friend, which was way more enjoyable for her. Meg played with the boys for a while and then she and I did some girl time crafting, which was fun. She had a birthday party to attend this evening and wanted to make her friend a bracelet and some hair clips. It is so fun having her to an age where she can do these things with me and do most of it her self. She is such a creative little girl! She loves to make birthday cards for people and really went over the top on the card for her friend Chloe. Today was a fun day away from school. It ended on the best note by Aidan telling me, "Mom, thanks for everything today! Today was the best day!" A sweet statement of gratitude like that makes all the time and effort completely worth it!

Facts about Aidan:
-in 4th grade with Mrs. Masterson as his teacher
-loves to play all kinds of sports
-Favorite sport: baseball
-Favorite food: tillapia (which he requested for his birthday dinner)
-Favorite tv show: NCIS
-loves to play with Ashlee and can make her laugh and giggle when no one else can. She just waits for him to come home from school each night and is never disappointed when she is greeted with a big hug and kiss from Aidan.
-says that he feels much taller now that he is 10
-took President Hopkin's challenge to read the whole Book of Mormon by stake conference in May (He is beating all of us!)
-loves to have fun with everything he does
-he is a very social boy

Aidan, you bring so much happiness and joy into our family! You came into this world in a hurry and you have never slowed down. I love to watch your love of life! Your love for young children makes me smile. Your passion for sports is so fun to watch. Your desire to do what Heavenly Father wants you to do is inspiring and makes me try harder to be worthy to be your mom. I love how you take responsibility seriously. It usually one takes us telling you once what we expect and then you take responsibility to make sure you are constant at making sure you do whatever it is - homework being done right after school, bed made before leaving for school, reading your scriptures, helping keep the house clean, etc. You are a good example to all of us!!!! I love you, Tate!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 16, 2012 - HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY, AIDAN!

10 years ago today we welcomed our tiny little Aidan Elliot Jacobsen into the world. He arrived weighing 5 lb. 6 1/2 oz. He came in a hurry and he hasn't slowed down since. He was born 2 1/2 hours after my first contraction. We barely made it to the hospital in time, but thankfully he held on just long enough for us to get up to a room. He was our only child not born in Powell. We were in Laramie going to school. I had just graduated in December with my bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Andy was finishing up his bachelor's in Accounting. It was pretty convenient that he came on a Saturday so that Andy didn't have to miss any classes. Aaron was smitten with Aidan from the moment he saw him and they have remained best friends ever since. I took cookies to school today for Aidan's birthday - snickerdoodles, his absolutely favorite cookie ever. He had basketball practice from 5:00-6:00. We were then able to enjoy his birthday dinner - tillapia, baked potatoes, spinach salad, and strawberries. Aidan absolutely loves tillapia and requests it any time it is his turn to choose what we eat. We then let him stay home for a relaxing evening with Megan while the little girls and Andy and I went to Aaron's basketball game. He said his day was good. He will get to have a fun-filled day tomorrow with his friends to celebrate turning 10!

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 2012 - NO MORE CT SCANS!!!

Today I had my 3 year post-cancer check up.  I was not worried and in fact I went alone this time.  Not really what I had planned but Andy couldn't afford to take time off work to go and I needed my mom to watch the little girls.  So I was a big girl and went by myself.  The last time I went in to an appointment by myself I came out shell-shocked, but I didn't even worry this time.  I have been feeling fabulous, better than I have in about 5 years.  I am training for  half marathon and have more energy than I have in a long time.  Today was just a formality.  I had the typical CT scan and labs done.  Then I went to Hobby Lobby in between those and my appointment with my oncologist.  I showed up to my appointment expecting to have to wait awhile (last time it was 2 hours), but thankfully they were running right on time and I was in and out quickly.  Long story short - everything looked good and I don't have to go back ever again!!!!  That was the best news ever!!!  I am so thankful for a healthy body.  I am thankful to be able to just move on with life and not have to go back every year.  I am thankful for the many things I have learned and ways I have grown through all this and will never forget but I will not live in the past either. I am happy, healthy, and grateful for all that I have!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 9, 2012 - Bring on the basketball fun!

Basketball season is in full swing for Aaron and Aidan.  Today was Aidan's first game.  I loved 3rd/4th grade league because they don't keep official score.  Of course, the boys are very good at keeping score in their heads though.  It was fun to watch Aidan hustle and scramble and work hard tonight.  He is a little go-getter.  He doesn't let his size get in the way.  I didn't have any real good still shots tonight cause I videoed most of his game since Andy couldn't be there.  Andy will miss several of his games cause they start at 5:00.  Andy doesn't usually even leave the office until Aidan's games are close to done and then he has an hour long drive home.  It was fun to see how much Aidan has improved since last season.  Aidan spends most days after school playing basketball at the school with his friends.  We have been lucky to have a pretty mild winter.  I also look out the window during the day and see him playing basketball during most of his recesses too.  It is fun to see my boys enjoying a sport that brought so much happiness and joy to me.  Whether they continue to play competitively when they hit middle school and high school doesn't matter to me.  I just want them to be active and have fun while they are young.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

February 4, 2012 - First Competition Team Clogging Performance

Megan started clogging in November. She had to wait to start due to her severely broken arm. She was so excited to be out of her casts and splint and get to start being a little girl again. She had her first Beginning Clogging performance during the Christmas season and did such a good job. Before the beginning of the year they moved her up to the first level of competition team - Explosion. She works so hard and practices everyday. She clogs everywhere she goes, and rarely stands still anymore. Her clogging group -Absaroka Mountain Thunder- was invited kind of on late notice to clog for a Robert Burns' Birthday Party for the Big Horn Basin Scottish Society (who knew there was one of those). They had one practice on Thursday night, a video to use on Friday and Saturday morning, and then they performed on Saturday night in Cody at the Holiday Inn. Meg did such a good job and practiced, practiced, practiced during those short few days. It was so fun to see all her hard work come together for a fun performance. She looked adorable! It is so much fun to watch my kids developing their talents and having fun while doing it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

February 2, 2012 - Unusual Sight at our house

All 3 kids doing homework at the same time? This is unheard of at our house. I know it shouldn't be, but this doesn't happen very often. It made me smile today to see this sweet sight though. Aaron rarely has homework. He has a study hall and if he does have homework, it is usually just some IXCEL (math homework) that he does on his i-pad so he usually does it sitting on the couch downstairs or on his bed. Aidan and Megan regularly have homework, but Aidan usually does it with a friend at our house or his friend's house. If they are at our house, they like to sit on Aidan's bed and do it. Meg usually does hers right where she is sitting in the picture - exact same chair. The kids are so good about coming home and getting their homework done right away. I love that it is not a fight. They know what is expected and they do it, then they can move on to have fun with friends or whatever else may be planned. I hope they continue to be this easy!!

February 2, 2012 - Unusual Sight at our house

All 3 kids doing homework at the same time? This is unheard of at our house. I know it shouldn't be, but this doesn't happen very often. It made me smile today to see this sweet sight though. Aaron rarely has homework. He has a study hall and if he does have homework, it is usually just some IXCEL (math homework) that he does on his i-pad so he usually does it sitting on the couch downstairs or on his bed. Aidan and Megan regularly have homework, but Aidan usually does it with a friend at our house or his friend's house. If they are at our house, they like to sit on Aidan's bed and do it. Meg usually does hers right where she is sitting in the picture - exact same chair. The kids are so good about coming home and getting their homework done right away. I love that it is not a fight. They know what is expected and they do it, then they can move on to have fun with friends or whatever else may be planned. I hope they continue to be this easy!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31, 2012 - 5th/6th Grade basketball begins

(Aaron is #24)

Aaron's basketball season began tonight.  It was so much fun to see how much Aaron has improved since last season.  He is so much more aggressive!  He is a great defender and is learning how to play more like a post.  He did a great job rebounding tonight and scored a few baskets.  I love watching him know exactly how the plays should be run and seeing his passion for wanting to compete.  His ball handling is not bad for a "big man."   I love seeing how he is learning to read and feel where the defender is so he knows which way to turn for his shot.  He looks for open teammates and is a good passer.  I love seeing him have fun and smiling.  Tonight brought back lots of memories from my beginning days of basketball and how much fun I had.  I am sure my parents got a lot of good laughs at the silly things I did when I was learning, but I am thankful they were supportive of what I wanted to do.  I love supporting Aaron in his varied interests.  I love taking him to practice and picking him up.  I love going to his games and being back in the same gym I started my basketball days in.  I look forward to a fun basketball season watching Aaron continue to improve and have fun!

There is HOPE - January 31, 2012

3 years ago (I think I had been home for a month.)
Three years ago today I was released from the Billings Clinic after having a 2nd surgery to do clean up and take care of complications from my 1st surgery. I came home so weak I could barely walk up and down the stairs. If I took a shower, I was pretty much wiped out for the rest of the day. I could barely hold my 7 week old baby, let alone take care of her. My loving family nursed me back to health, and I slowly improved day by day. I was told it would take 2-3 years to feel "normal" again. Over the last 3 years, I have wondered what "normal" was. I have gone through periods of being able to workout consistently only to have some sort of set back whether it be me getting sick or one of the kids getting sick or breaking a bone and I would be wiped out for months. One bad night of not getting at least 8 hours of sleep and I was done for the next several weeks at least. I had to choose whether I wanted the energy to workout or the energy to take care of my family, so eventually I had to choose to stop attempting to workout and just sleep in as late as possible, get kids off to school, then slowly get ready for the day and do whatever absolutely had to be done. I was just getting by. At my 2 year check up with my oncologist (I had to change oncologists due to my last one resigning to spend more time with his family - which is totally understandable but VERY sad for me), I told him how I was still tired all the time. Actually tired didn't really describe it, it was exhausted - exhausted from the time I got out of bed in the morning until I could crash again at night- and I was usually taking a nap every afternoon so I could make it through the evening. He just looked at me and asked me how many kid I had. I told him 5. His response, "Well, you are now in your 30's and you have 5 kids. That would make anyone tired." And then he moved on. He didn't ask any more questions or really care that I was concerned. So I decided I had better just get used to this new "normal" me and move on with life. I had to accept that I would never be the "on top of things" person I had been and just keep doing my best. Keep putting on a good face and act my way through the rest of the time my kiddos are at home - which is so not how I wanted to remember raising my children or have them remember mom while they were growing up - but it was the best solution I could think of. I continued to pray for the energy I needed to be ME again. I would have a few good days of being able to only get 6 or 7 hours of sleep and feel ok, but then I would crash again. Weekends were my recovery time and I often slept until 10:00 am. (I am soooooo thankful for a supportive and understanding husband that allowed me to do this and never questioned me as to why things weren't done each day. He knew I was doing my best.) I prayed to know how I could help myself have more energy and tried to follow all the guidelines of getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising to fix things. But I didn't have the energy to exercise. In the back of my mind I kept getting promptings that I needed to go have my yearly checkup with my OBGYN, but I kept putting off cause I wanted to lose some weight before I went. I have been embarrassed by how much I have gained in the last year. So I kept pushing the thought aside for VERY selfish reasons. Until one day I decided I couldn't keep doing it and finally called and scheduled an appointment. My wonderful OBGYN that delivered 4 of my 5 children retired a year or so after Ashlee was born (which was a very sad day) but thankfully his WHNP is still here in Powell. She is an amazing woman and I figured if anyone would be able to help me it would be her. I figured that I would hear the same thing though - nothing is wrong and you just need to accept who you are now. BUT - she didn't say that! She told me that how I was feeling was NOT normal and she was going to help me find a solution. After a few different blood tests, it came back that I was anemic and my vitamin d was extremely low. So she put me on daily iron and vitamin d supplements but suggested I see Dr. Brecheen (the new OBGYN) to discuss my bleeding issues which she suspected were the source of the other problems. I had only heard wonderful things about Dr. Brecheen, so I went ahead and scheduled the appointment. She had given him a heads up as to my history, and he was in agreement with her that something needed to be done. I went to my appointment with Dr. Brecheen thinking it would just be a short, talk to me appointment only and he would give me some suggestions of things to try. But it ended up being a very in-depth appointment and me leaving with surgery scheduled to be done in the next 2 weeks for a hysterectomy. Life was kind of a whirlwind because I would have surgery about 5 or 6 days before Christmas. So I kicked it into overdrive and kept telling myself that I could make it until surgery and then HOPEfully things would get better.
My surgery went pretty smooth. It did take a little longer than expected due to a lot of scar tissue on my intestines that the general surgeon had to remove first before Dr. Brecheen could do the hysterectomy but I only ended up with a slightly bigger incision right around my belly button. They were still able to do it laparascopically. I was still very skeptical at 4 weeks post-op if it was really going to make a difference, but within week 5 I began to feel life come back into my body. I wasn't totally dragging after getting 8 hours of sleep and I wasn't needing a nap everyday. I felt like I actually had the drive to get up and get moving and get things accomplished around the house and do things with the kids. Then, the next week Andy and I decided to start getting up at 5:00 am and go to the gym. He doesn't really have any other time to go since he drives and hour to and from work each day. And I could do it after the kids went to school, but it always seemed like something would come up and I wouldn't have time to workout. I wondered how my body would do not getting 8 hours of sleep every night plus working out, but I told myself I could take a nap if I needed too. But guess what???? I have only had to lay down once maybe twice. I feel SOOOOO GOOD!!!! In fact, I feel FABULOUS!!! I feel like the "normal" me is starting to come back! I honestly never thought I would ever feel this way again, but I am HOPEFUL it will continue to only get better. Yes, I still use Saturdays to do a little catching up on some sleep but it is usually only sleeping until 8:30 or 9:00 am now. My house will never be perfectly clean like it was before 5 kids, but it is because of 5 kids not because I don't have the energy or drive to take care of my house anymore. Even if it is cloudy outside, I feel like the sun is shining again in my world! I am so very thankful to a Heavenly Father that answers my prayers! I am thankful He didn't give up prompting me with the answer I needed even though I kind of ignored Him for a year or more. I am thankful for a wonderful family that has continued to support me through the last 3 years and pick up the pieces when I haven't been able to. Our Heavenly Father knows us personally! He knows what we need to make us strong, and He hears and answers our prayers. I have learned so much in the last 3 years about who my Father in Heaven is trying to mold me to be. I am still stubborn and independent, but I am slowly learning to trust Him and rely on Him. I know He loves me and cares for me and that if I will continue to listen and repent and then keep on going, I can become the daughter He wants me to be!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28, 2011

Today was moving day AGAIN for the boys. They moved back to their old room. They were in this room when they had bunkbeds, but because the ceilings are lower in our basement and Aaron was only getting taller, we had to get rid of the bunkbeds and go to just individual twin beds. And then there started to be complaints about one of them wanting to stay up later than the other wanted which meant the light was on (usually so one could still read his book), so we decided to let them have their own rooms. I gave up my craft room, so Aidan could move in. But every morning, we found Aidan asleep on Aaron's floor beside Aaron's bed cause the boys just didn't like being apart, so we moved Aaron's bed into Aidan's room cause I had it all decorated. So they now had a sleeping room and also a dressing and Lego room. Which was all fine and dandy, but the dressing and lego room began to DRIVE ME CRAZY!!!! It was so disorganized and they didn't do a good job of keeping it clean. So we took the plunge and moved them back to the bigger room, did some major decluttering and dejunking, and they now are back together again sleeping, dressing, and playing legos in one room. To solve some space issues, Andy built the boys this wonderful bookshelf for their wall. It takes advantage of wall space and frees up floor space. We all love it! I still need to undecorate one room and decorate the new room and organize the old room (which I will get to put back some of my crafting stuff in), but for now it is so much better!!! I love organization!

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27, 2012

And here's the morning after crazy hair do! She sure looks cute for attempting to have crazy hair. But she was happy with it so that is all that matters. The funny thing about her attempt at her crazy hair is that this kind of style is coming back. I used to crimp my hair when I was younger. With how think her hair is, braiding it would probably have been the faster "crimping" for her hair anyway. What a lucky little girl to have such beautiful, thick hair!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012

Tomorrow is pajama day/crazy or messy hair day. Meg has been excited for it all week. She planned out what jammies she would wear and was so excited to not have to have her hair fixed. Except she decided she wanted to have her hair crazy poofy and kinked like it is after it has been braided. So she wanted me to braid her hair in tiny braids after she had her shower. I could have done smaller braids but Meg has so much hair it would have taken too long. We opted for smallish braids which still took long enough. Here are the before bed pics. She can't wait to take them out in the morning and have crazy hair. I love that school can be combined with fun!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25, 2012

Aidan received his Bear today for Cub Scouts. He has worked hard and was very excited to receive it. He turns 10 next month and will move on to Webelows. It is hard to believe that he only has 1 more year of Cub Scouts left. With the boys being the oldest, we are quickly approaching the end of Cub Scouts which is good and bad. I have to admit I am not the best "Scout Mom" but I do like to help the boys. I am EVER SO GRATEFUL for the amazing leaders the boys have had. They are amazing with what they accomplish with these boys during what can be hard ages. They are very active boys and they do an awesome job at teaching them love and respect and how to have while doing both. Aidan's Bear leaders have been Jeanna Merritt and Lisa Petersen. How blessed he has been to have these amazing leaders!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24, 2012

Nothing makes my little girls happier than a good friend to play with and a tea party! Ash and Kennie love to have Melissa come play. I barely know they are around cause they just play and play and play. I love how creative they are whether it is playing with barbies, the play kitchen, felt or paper dolls, dress up clothes, stuffed animals, or any other various games they come up with. Today, they played tea party for a long time. Apples, crackers, cheezits, and water...what more can you ask for when you are 3 and 4! We all need to stop and enjoy the little things in life!

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23, 2012

This was my simple project for the day! I love how it turned out. I wanted a "Valentine" decoration that would also be something I could leave up year round. This sits on the ledge above our kitchen table and has become a place for me to leave love notes to the love of my life and best friend! It was an inexpensive project - 97 cents for the frame and then I used scrapbook paper I already had and scrap fabric for the flowers. Crafting makes me happy and I love to make things that add to the beauty of our home.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 21, 2012

I love my nice neat closet!!! My wonderful husband took some time out of his Saturday and built this simple but absolutely wonderful shoe rack for our closet. It is amazing what a simple thing can do to bring so much organization. I used to dread opening my closet and seeing all the shoes spread out on the floor. I desperately tried to keep them organized but it seemed like my little girls just couldn't handle it and would have to "borrow" a pair of my shoes to play in and then of course mess up those around them in the process. Now, they have no excuse to mess up my closet. Everything has a place! There is even place at the ends of the shoe rack to have my church bag and my boots tucked nicely away too. I am so thankful to my wonderful husband for helping bring a little bit of organization to our home.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19, 2012

My poor little Kennie spent most of the day crashed like this. She started throwing up about 3:00 am. She threw up several times but finally quit after about 8:00 am. But she didn't sleep at all during that time, so she was exhausted (and so was Mom). She's a little trooper though. She's retty easy to take care of when she is sick. As long as there is Sprite in the house and she has her Netflix, she is good to go. I always hate to see my kiddos not feeling well. It makes me wish it could be me instead. Hopefully this passes quickly and no one else get it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18, 2012

Tonight was our New Beginnings for Young Women's. We did a marathon theme and had a fabulous speaker talk about what it takes to train for a marathon and how Personal Progress is like training for a marathon. I felt like we could have said Amen at the end of her talk and ended the night. It was soooo good! We then went on to our "training" stations - 1st: goal setting, 2nd: training plans, 3rd: putting our plan into training plan into action by doing a fun activity to complete part of one requirement, 4th: registering for our marathon and signing our committment, and lastly: running through the starting line and then on to yummy desserts. It was a good night (at least in my opinion). I spent the day working on our registration packet for the girls which included a running shoe that had a magnet on it and all the goals the girls need to work on included so they can pick out their goal and attach it to their shoe so they have it on their mirror to see everyday as a reminder of what they are supposed to be doing. Thankfully, after we were working I had time to finish these cute and delicious personal fruit pizzas. Kennie also had to take treats to preschool today, so we used 12 of the cookies for her snacks and she turned them into snowmen. (I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of them. She did such a good job decorating them herself. M&Ms for the eyes, candy corn for the nose, and chocolate chips for the mouth) I just kind of worked on cutting out the cookies and baking them in between putting the packets together with our fabulous president, Deana O'Brien. It was a lot of work but so worth it. I hope the girls will use them. Personal Progress is an inspired program that helps prepare the girls to enter the temple, become mothers, wives, and to serve faithfully in the church.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15 2012

This is my new duvet cover I finished today! My old one shrunk the first time I washed it, but I paid so much for it that I just kept using it. (I couldn't return it.) It was still nice, but kind of a pain. Then it seemed like it was getting spilled on all the time, and it was such a pain to wash. I was also getting tired of my bedroom colors and wanted a change. So I started looking around on Pinterest and found several different ones I liked. They were cute and fun, but I wasn't sure if Andy would really go for some of them, plus some looked like they might cost about as much as a store bought one especially if you added in my time. And then I came across one that looked similar to this one. It is made out of 2 flat sheets and still has some style but is very washable. It took me a while to get it done cause of interruptions and a few technical difficulties, but I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. I just need to finish off the top when I get some cute buttons or something to close off the top, but since my pillows cover the top it doesn't really matter right now. Now I am excited to get my new sheets on the bed and make some new throw pillows. But one thing at a time.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14, 2012

Legos, legos, legos, and more legos! Aaron and Aidan love to build with legos. I frequently open up the pictures on my computer and find tons of pictures like this that the boys have uploaded. They love to build scenes and new guys and post them to a lego website. They put them in different scenes and everything. I am amazed by the creations they make. All I see when I go in there room and very disorganized bins of legos and legos scattered everywhere. I am sure I have vacuumed up more legos than the boys would want to know cause they hide really well in our carpet. But they love to dig through everything to find the right piece and they end up with an amazing creation. I have set out on a mission to find the perfect table and organizing system for them though that looks organized but can still be disorganized in their eyes. I am so thankful they are such good friends and have some common interests that take them away from the technology devices and let them use their minds.

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13, 2012

I love this little girl!!! I sure do! But she has hit the terrible 3's and loves to push my buttons. She is sassy and huge messmaker and has attitude deluxe. But she can turn right around and make me just smile and laugh. Today was a good day! She was sweet and fun and my little pal while Kenna was at school in the afternoon. Her little smile can just brighten anyone's day. Ashlee loves to play dress-up, drink chocolate milk, and dance and sing. She loves to be girly but can be rough and tumble with her brothers all while wearing her cute little dresses and usually dress up shoes. She was so excited because today was FINALLY Justin's basketball game day. She sure loves her Uncle Justin, and like her mom, she loves to spend time in the gym. She wanted to wear her cute dress and have her hair with a pretty flower in it. And to end the day on a fabulous note, Powell beat Cody by 22 points!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8, 2012

The 2nd Sunday evening of every month finds this familiar scene...yummy snacks and good conversation at Papa and Grandma's house!!! The kiddos get spoiled by getting to pick a pop from the fridge in the garage, loading their plates up with crackers and cheese, veggies and ranch, and of course MONKEY BREAD!!! Everyone looks forward to this Sunday. The adults eat and visit while the kiddos eat and visit and then go to the toy closet to begin whatever fun game they have decide to come up with that day. We are so lucky to only live 1/2 block from Papa and Grandma. We are so spoiled!!! They are always doing something nice for us and we love to be able to visit them whenever we want. Family is what this life is all about!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 7, 2012

Yo-yo's are taking over my house!!! Ever since the kids saw Uncle Dan get a yo-yo for his birthday last week, they have been obsessed. They have been dying to go use some of their Christmas money to go get their own yo-yos to practice and play with. So today was the day that they finally convinced their Dad to take them to the dollar store to buy their own yo-yos. Aidan, Megan, and Kenna each came home with one. Ashlee was taking a nap when they went, so when she woke up she was sad that she didn't have one. The kids have been nice to share with her until she can go buy her own. Man have they had fun with them. They have practiced and practiced and practiced. We fed the missionaries tonight and had both sets that are serving in Powell come eat with us. The kids had fun showing them what they could do and the missionaries had fun showing them what they knew how to do. It is so fun that such an inexpensive thing can bring hours of fun!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6, 2012

I love to watch my kids and hubby have fun wrestling and playing around. Meg was kind of in a bad mood when Andy got home from work. He has a wonderful way of pulling her out of them by teasing and tickling and wrestling around. Ashlee and Aaron wanted to help and joined in. By the time dinner was on the table, she was smiling and laughing, and we were able to have an enjoyable dinner. I am so thankful for a wonderful husband to raise children with. He balances me out. I am not a very good rough and tumble mom and I can't always bring out the lighter side of the kids, especially Meg, when they are in bad moods. He has a fun way of doing it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5, 2012

This is the note I found on my tile I use for messages or grocery lists. Not much needs to be said. You can only guess that today was a day that Aidan and Megan had been teasing and pestering each other.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4, 2012

The kids started back to school yesterday, and this is the wonderful sight I get to see out my front window and front door!!!! The new school is done and the kids are now walking across the street again to school. I love see the cars again, and I LOVE doing the dishes and seeing the kids outside playing. It is so nice that the kids can just walk across the street again. I don't have to load the little girls up in the morning anymore when I take Aaron to school. They can stay at home sleeping or snuggling in my bed because Aidan and Megan can't be out on the playground until 8:00 am and I am home before that. If Megan still needs her hair done, there is time when I get home from taking Aaron. It is also nice that they are home before it is time to go get Aaron, so once again I don't have to wake Ashlee from her nap or load them up. It makes it nice to go volunteer in Meg's class or run a forgotten lunch to one of them. There are so many nice things about living right across the street from the kids' school, and it is so nice to have their nice new building all finished.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3, 2012

Daddy and Ashlee playing War
(Excuse the unmade bed - I had my bedding in the wash.) This is one of my favorite things to walk in and find!!! The kids love to play games-especially with their dad. Andy started playing War with the little girls a while back because it was a game they could easily understand and play, and they beg him to play it with them all the time. He is so good about taking the time to play games with the kids. After finishing the dishes tonight, I went in to our room to see what Andy was up to, and he and Ashlee were on our bed watching a Jazz basketball game and playing war. She was giggling and smiling the whole time. I am so thankful he takes the time to make these fun memories with the kids. Yesterday, he was downstairs playing a new Wii game with boys and at another point he was playing some new dice games we got for Christmas with the girls. I am so lucky to be married to my best friend!!! He works so hard to provide for us and I am thankful it allows me to stay home with the kids. He serves faithfully in his church callings and takes the time to fulfill his role as dad and husband. It just doesn't get any better than this!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012

After having my first two kids be boys, I thought I was going to be a mom of only boys. I was so skeptical when my doctor told me SEVERAL times that Meg was a girl. I was so excited to have a sweet little girl. Then when we found out we were having another girl, I was delighted. The boys would have each other and the girls would have each other. I thought our family was complete and how wonderful to have it end up being 2 and 2. But I had an overwhelming feeling from the day we brought Kenna home that I was supposed to have another baby, despite the fact that my doctor advised against it. My pregnancy with Kenna was not a good one, and we were so happy that she didn't have very many problems being born 6 weeks early. But I finally quit fighting the feeling that we were supposed to have another child and asked my doctor if he thought it would be possible. He told me that I would live and that the baby would live but that it wouldn't be an easy pregnancy but that he would be there to get me through it. So with that, we decided that we were supposed to have 1 more child. I had mixed feelings when it was time to have the ultrasound to see what gender we would have. Another boy would be fun, but I hadn't had a little boy around the house for a while. The boys were out of the little boy stage. Another girl would most definitely be much easier when it came to clothes, toys, and already being in the girl stage. I had given away all my boy stuff cause I thought we were done. It was almost surreal when we found out we were having a 3rd girl!!! How lucky could I be to be the mom to 2 boys and 3 girls!

Yes, there are days Andy and I get very scared thinking about the day when the boys are gone and we are left with 3 teenage princesses, but it is also fun. The girls are such good friends!!! Today, Meg was practicing her clogging and Kennie and Ash were right there trying to mimic her. They were giggling and having so much fun together. As soon as I pulled the camera out, they dropped into this pose for a picture together. They can be so wild and crazy together and so calm and sweet when they read books together and snuggle in my bed. Yes, they bring drama...what girl doesn't, but they bring so much laughter and happiness into our home. I love all my children!!! I love the relationship I have with my boys. But there is something so special between and mom and her daughters! I hope I can have the kind of relationship with my girls that I have with my own mom. I hope they can call me their best friend when they have their own families!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 2011

Ashlee and Soren - kissin' cousins

Happy New Year!!! We started the year off by switching to 9:00 am church today. Thankfully, all the kiddos were up and ready in time. Ashlee got to start Primary today as a new Sunbeam. I was worried how it would go since she just turned 3 only a few weeks ago and she absolutely LOVES nursery and Sister Kienlen. But we had been preparing her by telling her she would get to go to big Primary with Kenna, which she absolutely loves getting to do anything her big sister does. She seemed to do well. One perk about 9:00 church is that we get home in time to feel like we can take a Sunday afternoon nap and still go to bed at a decent time. I believe Ashlee and I were the only ones that took a nap, and boy did it feel great. Andy and the kiddos had fun playing games together and watching Cars 2. We then got to go to Grandma and Grandpa Jacobsen's house for dinner and a birthday party for Soren and Uncle Dan. It was such a fun evening being with family. All the kids loved playing with Soren and baby Lily. Ashlee and Soren are only 3 weeks apart in age. It is so fun to see them getting older and discovering how much fun they can have together. When we went to leave, they wrapped their arms around each other for a hug and then finished it off with a kiss - on the lips. We decided we need to start teaching the kids the appropriate time for that and when to just kiss on the cheek! Oh the innocence of kids! Aidan and Megan and Kenna had lots of fun toting baby Lily around. She was a good sport about it. It is fun watching my kiddos get older and really enjoy playing with their younger cousins. We are sad to see all our family head home after New Year, but we must all get back to reality and the daily grind of life. We are excited to see what 2012 brings to our home!!!!