Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pinewood Derby week

The first activity for "The Scout" was the annual pinewood derby!  One of the men in the ward invited the boys over to build the cars in his garage using his tools (lucky for Jared - otherwise, Jacob's car may have been a solid block).  Grandpa got to help, too!  Jacob designed the car and helped sand it nice and smooth.  He was very excited to paint his car bright colors.

There were lots of cars lined up.  Jacob's had a Lego driver on it and won the award of "Best Funny Car."  Jacob was so excited to see his car finish 3rd (of 4 cars) in the first race.  Jared was just relieved that his car finished the races and didn't finish last!  He ended up getting 2nd in a couple other races.

A proud cub scout!

The dads decided to run a no rules race that weekend.  Jared decided to hollow out his car to fill it with weights.  Liam was really interested in watching Jared in his "workspace" (we don't have a workbench!).

Jared first painted the car, then decided to hollow it out a bit more, before the paint dried, so it became a kind of a pinewood-speckled blue.  He then built a little rack on the back of the car and loaded it with super-glued fishing weights in addition to the weights stuffed into the body of the car.  It ended up being over double the normal allowable limit.

There was quite the assortment of cars.  Two were battery-fan powered (one of which worked), another was a remote control car motor powered, one was filled with melted metal, another was a block of pure metal, and others were just designed cars.  The most beautiful by far was bishop Wilde's cherry, maple, and oak inlaid wood car!  The winner ended up being the fan-powered car, and it wasn't very close!  Jacob ran his car as well and won a couple of races in his heat!  Jared's car fared decently.

All in all, it was a decent showing for the Jensen household!

Sunday, April 20, 2014


We got to decorate Easter eggs with the grandparents.  It was fortunate to have the extra sets of hands because the little hands (including the 8 year olds) were very active and ready to help as fast as possible.  Jacob made one egg that looked a little marbled and then talked about it ... a lot.  Dani made one that said "MOM" with a pregnant stick figure that you could turn upside down and make a fitting message of "WOW" with an upside down pregnant stick figure!

On Saturday, the ward hosted the annual Easter egg hunt at Dr. Farley's home.  They got a good number of eggs, though I would say that the oldest ones aren't quite at that time of full throttle hunting and gathering.

Kate and Liam were particularly interested in the doughnuts afterward!

The Sunday morning Easter egg hunt was pretty short since we were up late the night before and had 9:00 church to get to.  After baskets were found, we quickly had to promise that they could play later and get ready for church.

Kate and Liam particularly enjoyed their bubbles.  Kate was a little better at getting bubbles to form, though Liam had some great form with his pursed lips.

We did a back yard Easter egg hunt as well (it seemed a little bit of overkill, but we did it anyways).

The great thing about having siblings is that you can help them empty the candy out of their eggs.  

The great thing about a younger sibling is that you can trade them for the candy you want!

Dani is now over 32 weeks pregnant.  She still tries to suck in her cute pregnant belly for many pictures!

We were able to get a picture with almost everyone looking at the camera smiling or pleasantly!

Both Jacob and Claire got their own set of scriptures and a case.  They have been reading them and marking them, which Kate can't quite wrap her head around why it's okay to do and is certain to tell them her feelings!

The kids put on a flannel board story of the resurrection for everyone.  It is fun to watch and hear their gospel knowledge continuing to grow.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Celebrating 2 birthdays and 2 baptisms

After the baptism, we went with the grandparents and out-of-town guests to Benihana's.  It was an energetic bunch at both tables with Liam keeping Wayland quite entertained (or the other way around), and all the Jensen and Nickel kids having a great time.  Kate was in charge of the grandmas.

The chef at the table with the Jensens and Nickels was especially funny and was getting quite a big reaction out of the kids.  The most funny thing was the 'walla-walla chicken' that he "drew" out of eggs, then "fed" it sesame seeds.

The prior night, after John's Incredible Pizza, we went home for presents.  Both Jacob and Claire got a big Lego set.  They spent hours over the next couple days completing the sets, then protecting them from curious 2-year-olds!

Claire had been asking for a friendship necklace for a while so that she could share it with her friend, Lilly.  She was even more surprised when she also got a friendship bracelet making set!

Both boys were excited for Jacob's cub scout shirt and book!

"The Scout," as he began to refer to himself, quickly got himself dressed for the occasion.

There was an energetic crowd

Kiddos get baptized

Jacob and Claire were baptized the day after their birthday.

The baptism itself was an incredibly special event.  Similar to their baby blessings, Jacob and Claire were able to share this important and special event. Jacob and Claire chose who would be baptized first and who would be confirmed first, and Jacob was first into the water.  With Claire watching from the stairs, he was baptized. He then watched from the stairs in the font while Claire was baptized.

Jacob later said that his favorite part of the baptism occurred afterwards, when I gave him a big hug in the changing room.  Jacob spoke of feeling warm with the spirit as he left the water.  Claire's observations were a little bit different than Jacob's, telling Dani that it felt really wet.

We were blessed to have both sets of grandparents come out for Claire and Jacob's birthday and baptism.

We were also blessed to have many friends, both local and from afar, and ward members join us for the special occasion.  The Nickels came from Tacoma and Wayland and Gloria made a road trip from California.  After we arrived, and before we started, we added more chairs to those that were set up for us, and it wound up being a good thing because every chair was filled!  Standing in the font, there was a sea of children right at eye level watching the baptism.  We were told by a few people that among the attendees were more children than they had witnessed in a long time (i.e. "this was one of the loudest baptisms I've been to!").

Grandpa John gave a talk on baptism using his tablet!  He talked about Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey's being baptized and the authority necessary to be baptized. He also spoke about the age of accountability and how, now that Jacob and Claire are 8, they will be accountable for their actions, but can repent, take the sacrament, and renew their baptismal covenant on a weekly basis.

Nana gave a talk about the Holy Ghost.  She spoke about the Holy Ghost being a source of light for us to light our path.  She compared it to a flashlight, needing constant charging.  She and Papa have one in their home that is constantly charged because it is plugged into the wall.  If we constantly charge our batteries, the Holy Ghost will be present with us as well.  Perhaps the biggest highlight of the talk (in Jacob's and the babies' eyes, in particular) was the new rechargeable flashlight that doubles as a (very bright) night light.

After the baptism, Vicki sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" with Dani and Nana accompanying on the oboe and piano.

After the confirmations, the primary president gave a few words of congratulations, and the bishop welcomed them to the ward.  He had been feeling sick and was being sure to not shake hands (and let those in the confirmation circle know it may be a good idea to wash hands after the confirmation), but we were grateful to have him there.  In his remarks, he said that as he contemplated attending or sending another member of the bishopric in his stead that day, he asked, "what would the Savior do?"  It was a tender moment from our loving bishop.

It was an incredible and memorable day for all!