Sunday, October 26, 2014


Since the time she was born, Kate has been a very expressive child.  On the day she was born, we were telling Uncle Andrew (who was about to go on his mission) this via Skype.  Kate loves to show her big eyes.  When she really wants something, we tell her to ask with big eyes.  Sometimes, we get a variety of funny faces, but she can often get what she wants anyways!

Kate is really into Frozen and into Elsa.  She has a dress that she will have someone get her dressed multiple times per day.  Her costume isn't complete without a cape, so she has chosen one of her blankets as her accessory.  When Chris and David came over, she convinced David (using her big eyes) to sing a rousing rendition of "Let it Go!"

Kate likes playing dress up whenever she can.  She especially likes to involve her big sister!

Kate is a very social child.  Quite often, she ends up sitting with the adults and trying to be part of the conversation rather than being part of a rambunctious group of kids.  She prefers to have one or two 'best friends' or 'first friends' or 'last friends,' as she quite often labels people she has just recently met.

Kate is a very enthusiastic child.  She lives life with gusto, for sure!  She sometimes doesn't have a very long attention span once she gets going on something.  One thing she does have a long attention span for is reading!

Food: Chicken
Book: Princess books
Movie: Frozen and Ariel (Little Mermaid)
Costume: Elsa
Best Friend: "Best Friend Tate"
Song: Let it Go


While Claire has always been interested in reading, she has been really into reading since the school year began.  In the 8 weeks since school started, she has started and finished books 1-4 of the Harry Potter series and has read the first two books of the Chronicles of Narnia series and is working on the third.  She will often disappear or curl up in a chair for long periods of time with a book.  She also still finds time to read to her siblings and browse through other books on a daily basis.

Claire loves her little brother, Torin.  She loves to talk softly to him and be around him, and he loves the attention.  Torin is chubby enough that Claire isn't able to hold him for very long!

Claire and Dani are becoming cute little buddies.  Claire enjoys working in the kitchen and doing projects with her parents and siblings.  One day, she left a little surprise for Dani on the patio!

At the beginning of the year, we were asked to share Claire's strengths with her teacher.  One of the strengths that we shared is that Claire is a very confident girl.  Though she is often quiet in big groups, she is comfortable with who she is and makes good choices.  She knows right from wrong and typically doesn't get swayed by the choices of others.  

Claire is a good and thorough student.  She does her homework completely.  She is very organized about the way she thinks about writing and uses good logic in her math and has good intuition.

Claire still reminds us a little of Olive Oyl with her long skinny arms and legs!

Claire is enjoying taking piano lessons and continues to get better.  She is playing with both hands and enjoys learning seasonal songs (right now she's learning some Halloween-themed songs).

Claire is very proud of her auburn hair.  She loves getting compliments on her hair, and makes sure to flip it out a little extra when she does.

Food: Butter and seafood (including king crab legs, salmon, and shrimp)
Book: Harry Potter and the Fairy Magic series
Activity: Reading
Best friend: Liza

Friday, October 10, 2014

Precoa Fun Run

Jared's company hosted their first annual Kids Fun Run and Precoa 5K.  The run took place in and around the parking lot.  The whole family participated in the 1-mile fun run.

At the start, Jacob took off like a flash.  One other boy was running with Jacob for a bit, but Jacob, inspired by all of the workers cheering him on, kept going faster and faster.  He wound up finishing the mile in 8:15 and was thrilled to finish first!

Jared and Claire ran together, holding hands for about half of the mile.  It was fun to watch the expression on Claire's face as she was cheered on.  At the end of the last lap, she took off and finished at a 9:15 mile.

Kate and Liam started with Dani and Torin, and shortly thereafter, Kate took off by herself (Liam was taking his time).  After Jared finished with Claire, he and Jacob took another lap with Kate to finish her mile and then Claire and Jared took another lap with Liam to finish Liam's mile.

The 5k was next, and while Jared hadn't planned on running it (he ran 2.5 miles that morning plus the fun run and extra laps), he was peer pressured into it.

The 5k was 9 laps, and after the first lap, Jacob joined and ran 3 laps (1 mile), then took a lap off, then ran 2 more laps!  Claire ran 4 of the 9 laps with Jared, too.  On his last lap, one of Jared's co-workers started to catch up to Jacob.  He told Jacob this, and Jacob took off and couldn't be caught!  Overall, the Jensens logged 37 laps, or 13 miles!

It was a proud-parent moment watching Claire and Jacob do something they had never done before and find success.  It was fun to watch their faces and reactions as they were cheered for and as people commented on how great runners they are.  It has ignited a little bit of interest in running!

This is just one of the reasons Precoa was recently named the #1 midsize company to work for in Oregon!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What do we do while Jared coaches soccer practice?

Watch coach daddy

Run up and down the hill over and over

Take selfies

Eat dinner

Play on the playground equipment

and wait for daddy to come play with us!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Back to school

It's hard to believe that these 2 are already in 3rd grade!  They are in the same class again this year with Ms. Cehrs, and they are excited to go back to school!  

The school bus comes at 7:10 this year, so we'll be up super early all year long!

First day of 3rd grade!

These 2 are 3rd graders!  They are so excited to see their friends and get back to school.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


We got off to a super early start with a flight shortly after 6:00 AM, which meant leaving home at 4:00 AM.  It also meant we got a spectacular view of some of the beautiful volcanoes and the Columbia and ships lining up in the Columbia River.

As always, Cincinnati welcomed us with a beautiful view of the skyline!

We had a quiet Sunday afternoon doing activities like Claire and Jacob playing on a little musical instrument

and Jacob and Liam taking in some classic Living Scriptures Book of Mormon stories.

Papa and Jacob spent some time going through Papa's coin collection.  Jacob was really interested in all of the variety of coins and got to take home some coins for his own collection.

Pac Man and Galaga got lots of action throughout the week - almost always with an audience, and quite frequently, with all 4 kids huddled around the screen!

The kids did pry themselves away from the arcade and played some pool for a while.  

The kids loved playing with Nana's toys.  While not in the pool, they spent lots of time playing with trains in the room under the stairs, playing with dolls or cars, or having epic battles pirate versus the castle and knights battles with Little People.  Kate found an awesome and bright costume that she wore regularly throughout the week.  She also wore that grin the entire time!

One night, Jacob and Claire decided to have a sleepover in the little room under the stairs.

We took a trip to Weller Park to play in the park.  Kate made a little friend that she referred to for the rest of the week as her great friend.  Nana took Liam onto the teeter totter

and soon all of the other kids and Papa joined in!  We also got a fun picture of Nana on the swings!

Torin has slept in the same room as Dani and I for the first almost 3 months of his life  - probably longer than the rest of the kids combined - in part because of vacations and guests coming to visit and also in part because he's such a quiet and easy sleeper.  When we get home, he will get to be in his own room!  One night, he clearly didn't feel like sleeping but was being very cute and sweet.

Torin really enjoyed playing with Nana's baby toys.  He loved laying under the toys and trying to bat at the balls and at Pluto and Donald.  He would be very cute and play for a while and just fall asleep.

Jacob challenged Dani to a game of chess during one sunscreening break.

Every night, everyone gathered around Nana for book time.  It was cute to watch them all cuddled around for some calm book time.

What we spent the most time doing at Nana's house was swimming in the pool!  The kids spent a lot of time in the hot tub (which was the same temperature as the rest of the pool), filling up buckets and playing make believe.  Jacob, Jared, and Papa spent lots of time throwing footballs and jumping off the diving board.

It took Kate and Liam a little time to get accustomed to their life jackets, but before long, they were both cruising around the pool.  Once we got Liam upright, he liked having a water gun like a pontoon to keep him upright.  Eventually, he was able to swim without it.

They also both loved their stylish eye wear!

Dani's favorite times were the times she was able to lay on a float calmly and just relax.

Torin wore the same swimming suit that Jacob and Liam had when they were little, and he filled it out completely!  He was pretty easygoing, as usual, both in the water and out of the water waiting to get in.

On Wednesday night, we went to a Reds game!

After 11 pitches (and a Cubs home run!), it started raining really hard and the game was suspended for nearly 40 minutes!  We hung out near the top of the stairs putting off getting something to eat as long as possible, realizing that food was the best way to keep kids interested and in their seats!

We even met Mr. Redlegs and got a picture with him (Kate helped me take the picture rather than standing next to Mr. Redlegs).

We had great seats near first base.  Kate and Liam spent a lot of time asking about when the fireworks were going to happen.  Unfortunately, they never did happen as the Reds didn't even score a run.  Fortunately, the smokestacks were lit up a number of times with fire as the Reds pitchers got lots of strikeouts.  We stayed for almost the entire game (which was pretty long, even without the rain delay!), and everyone had a great time!

One night, we decided to watch the 2nd Harry Potter movie with Jacob and Claire, since we had recently finished listening to the book.  Liam was having a hard time staying in bed and kept creeping into the kitchen and standing and watching from a distance.  After 6 times each of bringing him back to his bed, the parents finally gave up.  Nana got a chair for him to watch, and then eventually sat with him on the couch.  We're not sure what he thought, but he stayed awake the entire time!

On Friday, we went to Kings Island.   The very first stop for the group was going to the Banshee, KI's new inverted roller coaster.  Jacob was just barely tall enough to ride, so the boys all went on it for the first ride of the day.  Jacob LOVED it, even with its 7 upside down times!

Claire joined the boys for a tour of roller coasters.  She had opinions on all of them: Top Gun was too fast; the Racer was too fast and had too big of a hill; Adventure Express was too loud; and Backlot Stunt Coaster was too hot (the fire part) and too dark in the tunnel.  I think that the Woodstock Express was just right for Claire!

Meanwhile, the littles made their way to kiddie land, where they enjoyed flying airplanes, riding trains and trucks, shooting ghosts, and driving cars.  

Kate and Liam especially loved riding the little bugs ride - until Kate's hat flew off and was run over repeatedly!

After we met back up and had blue ice cream (after waiting for the longest line in the park - on the kiddie coaster!), we did some other rides as a family.  Jacob and daddy stayed and rode a few more big rides, including the Beast, the Vortex (twice in a row), drop zone, the Banshee again, and Delerium, before heading home.  It was an awesome day at Kings Island!

We got to see and swim with Trevor and Trisha and try to convince them to move to Portland.  Jared also golfed with Trevor, Andrew, and Papa.  It wasn't pretty, but it was a lot of fun!

We also got to see the Forbes and Goldies and hear them try to convince us to come back to Cincinnati!  We planned to have a swim party, but Mother Nature didn't cooperate, but we had a fun time chatting inside for a long time.

Before leaving, all the kids spent some time jumping on the rain-soaked trampoline.

It has been so much fun to spend a week at Nana and Papa's house!

This group was a fun travel group.  We always get a lot of attention with our large group in the terminal and as we get on and off the plane - we had 2 strollers, 2 large car seats, backpacks on the double stroller, and Jacob and Claire with their backpacks.  

On one flight, it was obvious that a person in the row in front of us wasn't thrilled to have our group right behind, but at the end of the flight, complimented our kids good behavior.