Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sandy Easter 2017


Easter Shenanigans 2017


Easter is one of those holidays that stopped being magical for me once I became a teenager, and became INSTANTLY amazing again the second I became a mother. Now, don't go getting judgy. I have always and WILL always be grateful for the true meaning of Easter, which is our celebration that our Savior lives. But I am talking about all of the other stuff. 

This post is MOSTLY about that OTHER stuff. ;)

The Saturday before Easter we went to my FAVORITE park (OK, it might be the ONLY park in Sandy, but I am still obsessed with it.) When you walk up to the park it pretty much looks like you are walking up to a beautiful camping ground. There are huge trees, and a path and river runs through it, with a huge wooden play structure at one end. They had an "egg" hunt that actually just ended up being candy thrown out in roped out areas for the kids to pick up and put in their baskets. I thought it was a total cop-out that they didn't do actual plastic eggs, but Nathan was excited, and that's all that mattered. 

Our favorite parts didn't have to do with the candy, anyway. 

1. Daddy was with us! (not a normal occurrence these days)



2. The sun was shining! Woop woop! (as a California girl I NEVER thought I would be so excited at the thought, but-#shouldershrug

Question-have you EVER seen a cute Easer Bunny costume? This one wasn't TOO bad...I have definitely seen worse. But why are all of the Easter Bunnies out there scary beyond belief!? My kids didn't seem to be worried.



Nathan kept a close eye on Penny to make sure not a single piece of his candy was shared.


Grandma Kathy sent the kids Easter Cards. When he opened it up he yelled, "R2D2!? Whaaat!?" Coolest Easter card ever. When I was reading the note to Nathan he answered all of her questions out loud and immediately asked to have me read it again.


That afternoon we dyed some Easter eggs-Nathan's first time dying Easter eggs because last year I was what felt like 500 years pregnant, and feeling like doing the bare minimum.


Nathan was all about it-



This year I felt like I really wanted to help Nathan understand the real meaning of Easter as well as all of the fun stuff. I decided I wanted to do something daily the week leading up to Easter so I ended up doing a somewhat changed version of The Small Seed blog's idea:

http://thesmallseed.com/2017/04/easter-week-holy-events-from-the-life-of-jesus-christ/

It is basically a day by day outline of what Christ did the week before Easter, starting with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter Day. It ended up being really nice. Basically I got together pictures and scriptures to read depicting what the Savior did each day. After we talked about that day we would add a picture to the wall and it ended up looking like somewhat of a large timeline across the dining room wall. We kept it super simple, cause, let's be honest, 5 kids ranging from 10 months-9 years old can't handle much at a time. It went really well though, and I am definitely planning on doing it again next year.

Easter morning we started out with Easter baskets.

Cameron says I go way overboard.

Whate'r.

No. Such. Thing!

Then, of course we got all dolled up and went to church!


Holidays are really the only times during the year when I have the gumption to have us match. Also, during Cameron's least favorite time of the year-family pictures. HAHA. But I do love seeing us all in our pink.

Those of you who read my blog will remember when I accidentally drove to Washington to go to Wal-Mart instead of driving to the one that was only 15 minutes away? Well, it was well worth it, because I got the stuff to make this CUUUTE headband for Penny girl. It's my first flower crown, and I think it ended up super cute, if I do say so myself. And I do.

I had to fight Penny to keep it on for church and pictures, but you'd better believe I did after I put in the effort!


My kids are so cute!


And, come on, Nathan's arm around Penny? AGH...makes all of it worth it.

Only thing that would have made this day better is if I wasn't having allergies. My eyes (as you can see) are SO SWOLLEN and itchy, and I could not stop blowing my nose. I swear, allergies are the worst. And not being able to take anything because I am nursing is WORSE. Oh well.


After church we had a yummy ham dinner with delicious homemade rolls made by my handsome and very talented husband.

After dinner we had a huge Easter Egg hunt by Grandma Debbie as we now call my Aunt Debbie. She filled SO MANY eggs with coins, candy, and even a few dollars!


Penny even got to participate because she just started walking!! She had a bit of a hard time on the uneven ground, but loved being outside with the big kids and finding a shaking the eggs to hear what was inside.


Easter was also Penny's 11 month birthday! I can't believe our little nugget is almost one!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What's Up With the Jensens? March-April 2017


Sandy!


We made it to Oregon! 

We got here at the beginning of March and have kept ourselves busy! 

My sweet dad drove up with us so that I didn't have to stress about driving 13 + hours with the kiddos all by myself. Even though the trip ended up being MUCH more than google maps told me it was going to be (it said 13.5 hours, and it took us 11 hours on the first day and another 6 the next day-bleh) it ended up being a great trip! The kids were so incredibly good. I literally was just completely blown away at how happy and cheerful and good they were. I enjoyed listening to 70's music with my dad, and chatting with him, and playing car games.

After the first day we stopped in Medford, Oregon and stayed in a hotel with a pretty awesome (but cold) pool, and swam to our heart's content.



Day 2 we arrived in Sandy, which is just outside of Portland where Cameron goes to school. We were all so excited to see Cameron and to be together again.

We are living with my dad's sister, Debbie, and her husband Gary, and their son, Ross. We also got some more surprise roommates, my cousin, Brendan and his family moved in with Debbie and Gary at the same time the kids and I got here. They are moving back to the area and will be with Debbie and Gary until they find a house! It is a FULL house of 12! Never a dull moment, I tell ya, especially with 4 crazy boys, and one crazy baby girl!

Nathan loves having their son, Beckett (4) at the house with him during the day, and they have become like brothers (including all of the arguing and fighting! Haha)


One of the first weekends we were here we went on a "benture" (Cameron and I tell Nathan we are going on an adventure when we go on a family outing. It makes everything seem more fun-even going to the recycling center! Haha)

Cameron takes the local MAX train into Portland each day, so we did it too to see what daddy does each day when he leaves.

Both Nathan and Penny loved it, and ended up charming all who we came into contact with. Not many small people on the MAX!


We went into Portland and saw Cameron's school, went to Voodoo Doughnuts, got these amazing gyros at a little farmers market, got drenched in rain, and walked across the big bridge that crosses the Williamette river. It was such a fun day. I can't get enough of our bentures.

Nathan's favorite part of the day-donuts. Of course he didn't get anything special-just sprinkles like you can get anywhere, but he was excited. 

A couple of weeks later was my Aunt Debbie's spring break (she's a teacher), and she took us to the Portland Children's Museum. It was the MOST AMAZING children's museum I have ever been to. It was amazing and HUGE. We spent hours there. Here's Nathan in the theater part with the dog costume I had to close my eyes and put on him because all I could think of was how long it had been since it had been washed and how many other kids had worn it before him. #OCDMom

This makes me want to make him a dog for Halloween. He is SO CUUUTE. Although he will be almost 4 at Halloween and will probably be too cool for that by then ;)

He had such a blast. He even got to do facepaint-he painted his entire face blue so he could be Catboy from PJ Masks.

One day recently I got lost and ended up going to the Wal-Mart across the border in Washington instead of the one that is just once city over--oops. Oh well, we had a benture. And then in my confusion I buckled the kids into the wrong seats:


#winning

Some day she'll understand the crazy that is her mom
So, that's the basics. Things are going well. It has been an adjustment to be stuck inside so much because of the rain. I keep thinking that back at home by April it usually feels like summer is fast approaching, and here it still feels like winter. I try and send Nathan outside with every break in the rain, and the last couple of weeks there have been a lot more breaks in the rain than there were when we got here, thankfully. Debbie and Gary live on a GORGEOUS ranch-30 gorgeous tree-laden acres with a huge pond filled with geese. I am constantly amazed at how beautiful this place is when I look out the window or walk out the door.
I am also very grateful to have a house full of people so that I don't feel so lonely when Cameron is gone M-F 6 am-6:30 pm and most Saturdays at the library doing work. Debbie and Gary are some of the most generous lovely people on the planet, and I enjoy having Brendan and Jessica around-especially to hang out with in the evening with the hoodlums go to bed. We are currently obsessed with Dancing With the Stars, The Voice, and The Amazing Race. I am really taking advantage of this whole having TV thing. Do you guys know how awesome DVR is? #Iam500
Cameron is doing super well in school and is working really hard. I am so proud of him. He is so dedicated to learn and to get a good job and support our family. I am so greateful to be married to such a hard worker. He is 1/2 way through his classes, and will spend July and part of August doing his internship somewhere in Portland. Keep us in your prayers that when the time comes he will find a good job! Who wants to be our neighbors!? All you have to do is not live somewhere lame, and find Cameron a job! Haha.

Also, who wants to come and visit us in this wet, green, gorgeousness?

Again (don't tell Cameron!)....



Disneyland-February 2016


Does it seem to you like every single time I post on my blog that it has to do with Disneyland? Well, here we go again!

Before I get into that, a little update:

Late January Cameron left the Central Coast to head up to Portland, Oregon, to attend Epicodus, a computer programming "boot camp." We've kind of been floundering as of late-wondering what the heck we were going to do with the future of our little family. Thankfully my parents were generous enough to allow us to live with them for almost 2 years while we figured things out. Through many many prayers and attempts at one path or another that ended up obviously wrong for us, and a nudge in the right direction from our friends Lindsay and Garrett (who had already graduated from Epicodus), Cameron bit the bullet and paid the tuition in full ("there's no turning back now!" he told me. I think the thought of that was much more scary to him than it was to me ;)) This program is pretty intense so we decided that Cameron would head up to Portland and get settled in school, and the kids and I would stay with my parents in California, and follow some time in April. That would be all of February, all of March, and part of April separated by 800 + miles. I had NO IDEA how hard it would be. Let's just say I have shed many many many tears since Cameron left. 

Not long after Cameron left my parents were planning on taking Nathan to Disneyland for a late birthday present. My mom was so excited for the trip because my brother, Matthew, and his boys Adden and Ben were going to meet up with them and my mom would have 3/5 of her grandkids at Disneyland with her! Woop woop! I was also SUPER looking forward to a little Mama/Penny time. Between taking 2 naps and being asleep by 7, I was also SO excited for a little Mama/Mama time! Two days before they were planning on leaving my mom got super sick. Bummer! So the night before they were going to leave she succumbed and admitted she was too sick to go. So she sent me instead! I'll admit, I was disappointed at first. I was looking forward to my little staycation so much. Especially after surviving the first couple of weeks sans husband. But I was excited to fit in another Disneyland trip before moving to Oregon! 

We had 3 day passes so we drove up on Monday, planning on going 1/2 day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Well, apparently I drive like a crazy person because my dad got SUPER carsick on the car ride there, and stayed in the hotel on Monday to rest, and I ventured over to California Adventure with the kids alone. 

Nathan asks me on a REGULAR basis (like, seriously once a week) to go to Disneyland. So when we got to our hotel and I told him we were going to Disneyland, he was STOKED.

I was super nervous that I would feel overwhelmed being alone with the kids---but it was faaaaabulous. One of the best trips I have had to Disneyland. The kids were so sweet and good and obedient, and the park was EMPTY! 

First item of business: churro 



1st Carousel ride
I am definitely not the first person to stand in line to get pictures with characters, and the line to see Elsa and Anna is always SO long. So we've never gone to see them. But when we walked in and there was NO LINE I thought that the attraction must be closed. I walked up, and the worker ushered us in and there they were!


Elsa and Anna talked to Nathan for quite a while, and Nathan stood there like he was totally unimpressed, but I could see behind the blank stare-he was having a ball.

The next day we met up with our friend, Hillary, my sister, Tara, brother Matthew, and his boys. The forecast said rain-so my dad bought us all ponchos. We put them all on, gearing up for a day of rain, and it seriously rained for 30 minutes and was lovely cloudy weather for the rest of the day. Yahoo.  


Matthew had promised the boys mickey mouse hats, so he headed to a store to get them hats and when they got back Nathan was SO jealous. I wasn't about to spend extra money when we have no income at the time, but, once again, Aunt Tara came to the rescue and bought him one too. She can't handle seeing her Nephew sad. She's the best. He's so spoiled.





Aunt Tara's seriously amazing selfie skills

So grateful for Hillary-who feels more like a 4th sister than a friend. She was so helpful with my kids. I don't know what I would do without her.

Such an absolutely lovely day. The only problem was that Penny got sick on Monday night. She BARELY slept, and I spent the night with BOTH kids in my full-sized bed with me and Penny crying unless she was nursing. Poor thing had a high temperature and was just miserable. Despite being miserable she was a total sweetheart all day Tuesday, and spent most of it in the carrier, and would smile and cheer when she saw something fun! She's such a little sunshine.

The next morning we were planning on doing our 3rd day at Disney, but after another horrible night of almost no sleep, and waking up with a horrible migraine, I decided that a 3rd day was not going to be possible. By the time we got back home Nathan, Penny, and I were all super sick. Thankfully, my parents watched the kids so that I could go straight to bed, and I ended up sleeping from about 3:00 pm Wednesday-7:00 am Thursday morning. Thankfully I felt a lot better after sleeping all of those hours because the kids spent the next 2 weeks being super sick. If I never sit on the couch again it will be too soon! Both kids just wanted to be cuddled. After almost 2 weeks of being sick I took Nathan to the doctor. I hadn't slept much because of both kids being up all night not feeling good, and I was pretty haggard, tired, and feeling very emotional. I was sitting there thinking about how much I wished Cameron was there for emotional and physical support. Then out of nowhere Nathan says, "mom, I want to go see dad. Let's go see him." I lost it. I started bawling, and called Cameron, completely incoherent, and told him I couldn't take it anymore. He told me to come immediately. He was tired of us being apart too! We made a plan for me to come in two weeks instead of two more months. We both felt much better about getting through the rest of our time apart.