Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Finishing 2014 with a bang!

We decided to have our friends the Caspers and Plotkins over for a year-end party, and we had a great time!  One of the first things we did was to do a few "Minute to Win It" games, which were pretty entertaining.  The first was to start with a Vanilla Wafer on your forehead...

then to work it down your face and eventually eat it!

Most people were successful - the 3-year-olds used their hands, and I call that a success!

The next game was a team cup stacking game.  The kids played a few times, and then the husbands and wives played against each other - the wives emerged victorious!

We next stuck ping pong balls in stockings and put those on the kids heads and had them knock over water bottles.  It was pretty funny to watch!

After Minute to Win It games (and feeding the kids something), we sent them upstairs to watch a movie.  Jason wanted to join, but eventually was wooed backstairs for delicious fondue!

We barely noticed it was midnight right at midnight, called the kids downstairs, and had a little celebration.  Even Torin got to celebrate the start of 2015 with us!

2014 was an amazing and eventful year - Here's to an even better 2015!


"When I am 18 or older."
- 1/1, as an answer to the question, "Claire, when will you have your first boyfriend?"  Needless to say, both mom and dad were pleased with that answer!

- February through April... Claire has been going through a phase where she isn't able to hear as well as normal.

"Do you forget things because you're pregnant?"
- 4/12 to Dani.  Careful kid...

"So there will be more Jensens and because boys are more likely to like Star Wars"
- the reasons Claire wants the baby to be a boy

"I'm just trying to be a wookie when I do that."
- Claire's explanation on why she groans sometimes (not that she's upset).

"Mommy, you don't look like you're even pregnant anymore!  Or it's just a little tiny baby"
- August, when Torin was 2.5 months old.

"She doesn't have nibbles because she's not married yet"
- December, referring to a character in a movie.

"The Scout"
- Referring to himself in April, after he turned 8.

"Nana, you know, you could feed the baby."
- 6/9.  Ideas of how else Nana could help with a newborn.

- the drive to Cody when Jacob couldn't remember the word "Montana"

"What is Santa going to bring me for Christmas?"
- Starting within a few days after Christmas and continuing for months, every time one of the parents lays next to Kate at naptime or bedtime, Kate is sure to ask what Santa is going to bring her for Christmas.

"Mommy, you're my best buddy."
- 1/6 after family prayers.

"Curious George is so handsome.  Just like Daddy"
- 2/5 to Dani.

Kate: "I am so, so, so, so happy!!!!"
Jared: "Why?"
Kate: "Because I LOVE my mommy!!!"
- 2/27 while Jared was laying with Kate before bed while Dani was in New York City.

- all the time, especially when in the car when Dani or Jared are trying to have a conversation with one of the other kids or with one another.

"I have a boogy!"
- all the time (April and May).  Any time even a threat of a runny nose creeps up, Kate needs a tissue, so in April and May when a persistent little cold left Kate with a bit of a runny nose, we heard this phrase a lot.  And went through a lot of tissues (whether or not we could see any evidence!)

"I need to go potty!"
- all the time (April and May).  Kate decided to take potty training to a whole new level, going potty seemingly every 10 minutes.  Fortunately, while we are out, she holds it, but something about the proximity and availability of a convenient potty makes her think she has to go.

"Spiders have two legs and one nose and a long long back and we don't touch them, okay?!?"
- 5/22 - random pearls of wisdom

"My tummy is feeling kind of drivey again, mom."
- 5/30 - feeling a bit car sick a few days after she and Liam's car seats were moved to the back of the Yukon.

"Tomorrow after naps, you can have a baby girl."
- 6/6 - about 36 hours after Torin was born.  Because babies come 2 at a time in the Jensen household.

"It looks like a granola bar, but it's not a granola bar."
- 10/18.  Kate's assessment of the contents of the potty.

- Nov-Dec.  What Kate says when she goes to bed, after she's been "laying" in bed for over an hour, in the middle of the night when she wakes up, and when she wakes up too early in the morning.

"My monster"
- Liam's name for Chewbacca

Liam: "Mama, did you burp?"
Dani: "No, it was a toot."
Liam: "You better potty mama.  You better go to the bathroom so you don't go poopoo in the chair."
- 1/9 to Dani

"Radio Have-to, Radio Have-to.  WOooah-Oh, WOooah-Oh"
- Liam singing along to Radioactive, relatively in tune.  April and May

"YES!!!!!" or "YES, I love this one!!!"
- Liam's reaction to various things: songs he likes, or if he is able to scamper back to bed before mom or dad gets there to pick him up and put him in the crib, if you give him an unexpected treat, etc.

"I want to watch the minions because minions say BOT-TOM"
- 6/3 - while sick, Liam wanted to choose Despicable Me as a show to watch for this reason.

"D.I.N.G.O. and Dingo was his name-o!"
- 7/1 - Liam's version of the Bingo song

"When I was a ..., I used to ..."
- "mommy," "fireman,"

"My darling" and "my sweetie"
- July - Liam's pet names for Dani

"All of ... "
- Liam's way of saying 'lots of.'  For example, "I am going to push all of buttons"

"No, IN the potty, not ON the potty"
- Liam's response to the parents' cheers celebrating his potty training

"I don't like girls"
- started in November... not sure when it will end.

Kate and Liam

"The potty train"
- as in "Liam, when you get on the potty train, we can go to preschool!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Holiday Activities

One of the best parts of the Christmas season is when Jared takes a few days off and we can do some fun activities.  Since the Caspers were staying with us, we figured we'd do a few fun activities!

Jared took the kids bowling - just Jared and 6 kids!  The big kids, Jacob, Claire nad Trey, bowled on their own lane and had a great time.  Liam and Duffy used a lot of body language with his rolls while Kate just wanted to suck her thumb.

Jared somehow scored his highest eve, including his first Turkey!!!

Nana sent a fun activity, making chocolate pretzel trees.  The kids were all excited and very involved in their trees.  They were proud of the results!

For Family Home Evening, we played 6 on a couch.  Or so it seemed!

We took a trip to OMSI with Trey.  After playing in the ball room for a while, we built earthquake-proof structures out of Legos and other materials.

We also built a pyramid - which lasted just long enough for us to snap a picture before Kate pushed it down!  It was pretty funny to watch the kids reactions when it fell.

We got the kids in front of the green screen and took pictures of floating heads.

Torin had a great time at OMSI too!

Dani even found a few minutes to play the guitar!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Dani

Dani turned 33 - a palindrome - today - and she got to stay in her pajamas the entire day!  After Christmas dinner, she opened presents.  More accurately, Dani got an upfront seat to her kids opening her birthday presents as Claire read next to her.  It was fun to celebrate with the Caspers, too.

As we looked for candles for the birthday cake, we just happened to have 33 candles, so we put them all in the cake and Trevor and I lit them all (as Claire worried we would burn the house down)

Dani showed off her oboe lungs by blowing out every last one of them!

What an amazing woman, friend, support, and mother, beautiful inside and out!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Dani's traditional Rudolf pancakes started Christmas Eve off on the right foot, though only the redheads left them on their plates long enough for a picture!

After a day full of preparation, we had Ben and Aubrey Young over for hor dourves, and Jared was excited to use the slate cheese plate and cheese knife that his co-workers gave him for Christmas.

We made our traditional prime rib and king crab legs, which are Jacob and Claire's favorites.  This year, having learned from previous years, we used the awesome Cutco scissors and were able to not only keep up with the kids' eating but also eat our own crab legs!  We got Christmas Eve poppers that gave everyone crowns to wear at dinner.  Torin loved dinner too, especially the mashed potatoes!

After dinner, we had a very active nativity scene, though Baby Jesus was pretty calm!  Liam (i.e. Joseph) not only refused to wear pants but wouldn't stand closer to Claire (i.e. Mary) to hide those thighs and stated "I want you to see my undies!"  Kate was super excited to be the angel and she and Claire took their responsibilities quite seriously.  The other boys played 2 parts as the wise men and the shepherds.

Afterwards, we opened Christmas pajamas.  Jacob and Claire's set matched, and Kate and Liam were super cute in theirs too.

Our little Christmas baby Torin was cute and cuddly with his new pajamas, complete with Santa feet!

Dani was sent pajamas from Nana, too, and she wore her eye mask around all night - until it was time to sleep!

Christmas Day

Christmas this year will be memorable for two reasons - the first Christmas with Torin and because we were joined by the Casper family.  Christmas morning started with the kids (and the Caspers!) tearing out of their wrapped doorways (the Caspers for the second time - Trevor got to do it in the middle of the night!).

Torin was very interested in all of his new toys - and the boxes and wrapping paper.  A few of the toys drew high interest from all of his siblings, particularly the rattle-controlled car!

Liam was enthusiastic as always as he opened his gifts.  He was very excited for so many of his gifts - his remote control car, his 'computer,' his binoculars.  One of his favorites was the fishing set from Grandma Vicki.  They spent lots of time picking up that fish from the ground (we didn't put it in water for a long time afterwards!).  When we called each set of grandparents, Liam wanted to tell them about absolutely everything he got - even down to each individual mini candy canes, Crunch bells, and Hershey's kisses.

Kate had a very Frozen Christmas!  She got an Anna and Elsa dress, dolls of the Frozen characters, a large plush Elsa doll, Elsa shoes, Frozen Spot it, and some candy in a light-up dispenser.  She was in heaven!

Especially exciting was the light-up, blinking Elsa shoes with a little heel.  They were so excited that Liam decided he needed to try them on and strut around with them - with no pants, of course!

Claire's one Christmas wish came true - her very own white Christmas tree!

We didn't get a lot of pictures of Claire, Jacob, or the Caspers on Christmas day.  They were all pretty quickly busy building Legos, playing Transformers (Trevor spent hours figuring out how to transform one of Trey's guys), or playing Ninja Turtles.  Claire, as usual, finished her big Lego set in one sitting.

It was a great day - not nearly as peaceful and serene as the setup was, but fun and exciting, for sure!