May 10, 2017

April

At the end of March, Brent had to go back to Tennessee for a month to finish up school.  We really wish we could have gone with him.  
We especially missed each other on our 10th wedding anniversary.  I thought it'd be fun to take the kids to Temple Square on our anniversary.  It was a beautiful, beautiful day.  A little too much like our wedding day.  I missed him so much more than ever. 


Griz looks like he's doing the potty dance... sigh... I guess a decent picture is just too much to ask.  Sanna refused to get out of the stroller even.  I'd like to see them recreate this picture in 20 years.  Ha ha.


Chico was trying to help me out, here. Sanna was just being so stubborn!!!
One of these would also be great for them to recreate in 20 years.  She would not budge from that shade!!!

and now look how cute and innocent she looks in these pictures.... little stinker... too stinking cute to stay in trouble for long.
As we were nearing time when we would be heading home I saw this view. I got all excited knowing Brent would have loved to see this and would have told me all about the jets flying and why they were flying right there in that way.  But he wasn't there and no one else seemed to care or notice around me so I took a picture. In a way it was kinda another connection to Brent for me that day. Sounds silly.  The kids should have sufficed as my connection to Brent but this meant a lot to me too.

The next day was our nephew's birthday. We went and celebrated with them and saw him smash a cupcake. He didn't like the taste of it and probably ate only the one bite.
The boys glady helped him out.  Strangely enough they both had vibrantly green poop a day or two later.  Wonder if it was from the food coloring in that frosting?
The rest of spring break was covered on Instagram including Seven Peaks and Clark Planetarium. Fun times!

With Easter approaching I wanted to do some fun easter activities with the kids ahead of time because I'd be gone Easter weekend. So I decorated eggs with the kids with my Mom. Pictures from decorating the eggs are on her camera.
Then I got together with Christa and her kids to decorate sugar cookies with our easter themed cookie cutters I had.  It was a lot of fun.  The toll house copycat sugar cookie recipe was a good choice for this particular activity because it kept it's shape for the bunnies and eggs. I was quite surprised!  Always a good time with Christa's fam.


Chico and "N" had more fun playing the piano together... they actually sounded pretty good with the song they made up together!

After school one of the days I hid their easter eggs and they got to find them.  It was fun for Griz and Sanna... Chico was only mildly interested, he thinks he's a grown up all the sudden at 8 years old.





There were some hidden along that back fence there that we just couldn't find which really frustrated Griz.  Luckily his neighbor friend came over and found them really fast.  So weird we couldn't see them!!! I'm the one who hid them for heaven's sake!

On April 13th I was getting things squared away for leaving town. (I was flying out to photograph a wedding of a friend in the Nashville Temple)  It had been a really busy week with a bunch of orders on Etsy of my painting of the Savior.  Its probably because it was the week before Easter.  Anyway life had been crazy and Sanna had a stomach bug.  I was starting to not feel great myself but just ignored it because I had too much to do, if I ignored it enough it would go away right?  Wrong.  I had just dropped off the kids at my mom's so they could sleep over there because I had to leave at 4:45 am for the airport.  So it's 9:30ish and all the sudden the most intense stomach pains started and... the following is probably TMI and is more for my own journaling purposes, feel free to skip if you don't enjoy these types of stories ha ha....
I was running back and forth to the toilet for the next several hours and just crunched up in bed trying not to move as I writhed in pain. I was so worried about what to do on my flight.  Luckily by 4:00 am I had a break from it all and Brent called me when he woke up and saw my texts.  He told me to take some Imodium so that I could get on the flight.
I made it on the flight, and though nauseous throughout the whole first flight to Denver, I made it without any issues.  I sat as still as can be in the Denver airport for 5 hours watching the Great British Baking Show.  It was a fun way to pass the time.  The next flight was a little better and when I got there I braved a little food.  Maybe not the best idea but I still felt a little better having some food in me even though it made me have to run for the bathroom yet again.  I couldn't believe how flat my stomach was after all of that.  If only it was always that way!!! Ha ha.

After waiting in the airport for an hour or two Brent arrived! My knight in shining armor had come to whisk me away for the most wonderful yet simple weekend getaway.  I was so glad I was starting to feel better because it would have sucked to continue to be sick throughout our time together.
We went out to eat a bunch... Cracker Barrell...El Vallarta a few times... Jasmine's for curry and sushi.... and Zaxby's for lunch after we shot the wedding in Nashville.  We visited several branch members.  Had a great time at the reception visiting with our friend's.  Also had a wonderful time at church seeing everyone and hearing Brent sing. :)  We especially enjoyed our time with the VanHusses.  I wrote about that on Instagram though.  We also just got to spend a lot of time relaxing and enjoying our time with no children. It was a little bit too much fun.  Monday morning we went on a 4 mile walk through the beautiful countryside. Then we packed my few things up and we went and visited with Sandra and her kids at McDonald's for lunch before I left.  She's such a good friend, I sure miss having her around, I always get a good laugh when I'm with her.  I wished I could have seen my other friends more too but it just didn't work out.  I would have loved to see more of Sarah Rose, besides just at the reception and church but it just ended up not working out. :(  It also would have been fun to see Priyanka, Melissa, and Teri. If I'd have brought Griz along I'm sure we would have gotten together.
Brent happened to not have school that day either so he was able to drive me to Memphis.  It was so hard saying goodbye.  I just didn't want that weekend to end.  It really was just so magical. Flights home went well but were a little squishy.  I made it there nice and late, grateful that Ellen picked me up from the airport.  I collapsed in bed and the next morning my mom brought the kids home to me.  They were so excited to see me.  I think they actually like me! It's questionable sometimes. Ha ha.

The rest of April is pretty thoroughly covered on Instagram including... Discovery Children's Museum for Grizwald's friend's birthday, the Raingutter Regata for cub scouts, and my baking as a stress reliever as I waited for Brent to make it home from Tennessee.
I guess I didn't go into detail about the craziness of Brent's trip home... and I don't really want to remember the stressful time Brent had getting home but it should get recorded. Basically... he had a hard time getting out of Tennessee due to a project he got involved in but couldn't finish because of being in rural western TN which had none of the supplies he needed. It was super duper frustrating, can't even describe how frustrating it was for him.  Anyway he finally got out of there and then he left his wallet in Nebraska when he stopped for dinner but he didn't notice until that night when he stopped in Wyoming.  Luckily we had a friend who is a trucker who was on his way back to Paris and was stopped there for the night too.  I was able to send some money to him and his friend helped him get a bit of gas in the meantime.  Then his friend picked up his wallet (the DQ had found it luckily) as he passed through Nebraska on his way to Tennessee.  So yeah, it all worked out in the end but there were some stressful times for Brent and all I could do was sit and worry.  So I baked to relieve the stress.  It was really fun and I can't wait to perfect my croissant skills down the road and even try out croissant/donuts.  Mmmm, they look good.
Anyway we had a fun time welcoming him home.  The kids went crazy, they were waiting outside barefoot in the rain for him to arrive.  They sure missed their daddy! A month is just TOOO long!
And a weekend is just too short of a time... yep, he only got to be with us for a weekend before he had to turn around and leave again for a test review in Las Vegas.

May 9, 2017

March

During the last few days of Brent's Dermatology rotation in Oregon, I started feeling the spirit prompt me that it was time to send the kids back to public school when we got back to Utah. I thought through this prompting long and hard and talked to Brent about it.  He immediately thought it was a good idea.  We came up with a plan how to break it to the kids that we were putting them back into school.  Griz took the news pretty easily.  He put up a front at first like he wasn't excited about it but about 5 minutes later I could tell he actually was excited. 
Chico we knew would be the harder one to convince.  We wrote up a contract with him and rewarded him for his bravery and he felt somewhat better about the situation.  So Monday, February 27th they started school.  Chico was so nervous, I walked in with him though and everyone was really nice to him.  He did really well and now, as I type this 2 and a half months later I can just tell you how much he has thrived being back in public school.  He's had his struggles, yes, but for the most part it's been a wonderful thing for him and he has enjoyed being with other kids so much.  Griz only has half days which has been his only struggle, I know he'd love to just be there all day and get to eat lunch there.  He loves being with other kids and recess!

We had a fun family party at my parent's house at the beginning of March to celebrate the March birthdays.  We actually brought the camera along and Brent got some good pictures.



I saw the cuteness of this scene and just had to capture that too!







The rest of March is covered on Instagram... including St. Patrick's Day, Dr. Seuss Day, Brent's Birthday, going to see Beauty and the Beast, and special dates with our boys. You can check all that out on my Instagram here.

May 8, 2017

Our last week in Oregon and an Amazing Weekend in Coos Bay

Yesterday I finally had the chance to sit down and unload the pictures on our camera from the last 3 months which includes our last week or so in Oregon.
The kids and I had a really good time making these videos to show what life was like on the days we were stuck at home in the trailer.  With three small kids, we escaped as much as possible on adventures. But on the days we had nowhere else to go this was our lot. :)



Now you can see why we enjoyed getting out as much as possible on field trips to places like Tillamook Cheese Factory...


or on bike rides...

even if it was a bit muddy outside...


We were really really excited for any time we had the opportunity to stay at a hotel on the coast instead.  We had that blessing our last weekend in Oregon....
  Brent got offered a job interview in Coos Bay.  They paid for us to stay at a nice hotel with a pool for a few days!!! Brent's wonderful preceptor made his schedule work so we could get down there Thursday evening.  We played in the pool that night when we got there while Brent took a few pictures of us before going back up to prepare more for his interview.

 I was so excited to get some laps in again. Felt so good, I had sure missed that!



The next morning we dropped Brent off for the interview and I went back to the hotel with the kids and we swam again. The kids were being so cute.
video


Then we took showers and watched tv as we waited for the evening to come!
I grabbed a couple pizzas for the kids to take to their the babysitters family.  We found the babysitters by calling our friend in Crescent City whose husband is a bishop, he found the name of the bishop in Coos Bay.  We contacted the bishop to ask him for help to find a babysitter. He gave us some names and we called them up and found a nice family with a 12 year old girl to babysit at her house.  I love that about our church!  Anyway, we dropped the kids off and then arrived at the dinner.  I was so nervous but everyone was so nice.  It was an interesting dinner, I learned a lot about the area and got excited about everything. I won't talk about Brent's interview on the blog but it was all really positive, everyone was so nice and we were so grateful for the opportunities opened up to him.
We picked up the kids and then went back to the hotel.  The next morning we had the awesome opportunity to go on a huge tour of the area.  The tour guide was a woman named Mardi and she drove us up and down and all around the city showing us different neighborhoods and giving some history lessons and explaining the geography of the land.  She then took us out to Charleston for some yummy seafood for lunch.  Then she took us out to the State Parks.  This is when I was starting to feel ill so I actually don't remember this part too well. I think all the greasy food and the winding roads were starting to catch up to me.  Luckily we had toured the state parks ourselves a couple weeks before that so I didn't miss anything I hadn't seen before. Brent got out the camera and took some fun pictures of her tour.

 She brought her telescope so we could get a better view of the seals and sea lions hanging out there.  You could see them decently with our camera but even better with her scope.

 Sometimes I don't think Sanna knows how to pull a normal face.

 After we saw the cliffs at Shore Acres (which we already posted pictures of a few posts ago)  she took us on a tour through the gardens there.  I kept thinking as we were walking through these gorgeous gardens, THIS is the place for date night on the day after Thanksgiving tradition.  So excited, they even do Christmas Lights!

 Mardi was a bit of an expert on everything.  It made the tour quite interesting!




 After touring the gardens she took us back up to the beach at Sunset Bay and at that point I felt so sick that  I stayed in her van and took a nap while the kids, Brent and she went down to the beach for a fun activity involving making cards with glue and sand from the beach.  Chico found this artifact and was so excited about it. Mardi told him he had to turn it in because if it had historical significance it needed to stay there.  Chico was quite bummed about this.

After the tour we got settled at our next hotel (they couldn't let us stay at the same place because of an event at the casino) we arrived to the next hotel that we actually liked a little better because it was a bigger room. No pool but that was okay.  Brent got to go out to sushi with one of the doctors that night.  He invited me along but I was still not feeling 100% and sushi was the last thing I could eat with my stomach the way it was.  The kids and I just laid around at the hotel watching Disney Channel while he was gone.   
 Brent's really excited to take me to the sushi place when we get back to Coos Bay. He said it was the best sushi he has ever had.
Next day we got to go to church.  We walked in and immediately people were so nice to us. A woman named Heather gave me her number and email address if I need any help or had any questions. I  have asked her a million already! Another family, the Gordons, invited us to dinner if we needed since they knew it was hard when you're staying in a hotel. They had kids for our kids to play with and we were grateful for the invitation and we're glad for the chance to visit with them and eat their delicious fish tacos. 
The next morning Brent had one last interview and made his decision on which job he wanted to take.  We are so excited for the opportunity to live on the coast and I am so glad for the chance to have been able to be with Brent during this process.  The kids and I explored more of the area while we waited for Brent. First we drove down to Bandon to check out the old town touristy part of Bandon we hadn't seen yet.  Everyone raved about this chocolate shop so I had to try it out. The cost was a bit outrageous but it WAS quite delicious. I also enjoyed checking out the artist gallery next door to the chocolate shop. We drove back up to Coos Bay and grabbed Wendy's for lunch.  Mardi had shown us this park around Empire Lake and I wanted to check out the trails that go around it to see if it would be good for running or bike riding.  It was gorgeous as I suspected. We took a wrong turn and got off the real trails and ended up on a hiking trail that led to the community college. Woops! It was still fun though. (these next few are cell pics I had posted on Instagram)

 Brent finished and we picked him up and sadly left Coos Bay. We drove up the coast though instead of cutting into Eugene (the faster route). We stopped in Lincoln City to say goodbye to the Nightingales.  They were the main reason we even found this job so we wanted to say thank you in person and we needed to return a movie and book they had loaned us.  That there is another reason I love the church. Instant friends wherever you go! We were only in Oregon for a month but we have new friends in Lincoln City, Coos Bay, and Crescent City (CA).  We also have friends and family in the Portland area.  And Brent's preceptor in Salem is a friend that we keep in contact with, she was so great and really helped Brent get ready for his interview and made sure it was his priority. 
We were on top of the world when we got home after that awesome trip to Coos Bay. Even better news was that was our last night at the RV park!! 
The next morning Brent went in for his last day of work with the Dermatology clinic and we came and met them at lunch.  Then the kids and I continued on up the rest of the way to Portland and visited the beautiful Portland Temple. I left my camera in the trailer so phone pictures had to suffice:


After having a nice time touring the grounds and the visitor center we went up to my cousin's house in the Vancouver area.  I got to meet up with more of their family this time.  The teenage girls were so excited to welcome us to the area and adopted us in as new cousins.  I don't think they cared one lick that Beverly and I are pretty distant cousins (she's my grandma's first cousin but she felt more like my aunt when I was growing up). Those girls just adopted us into their Jensen clan and wrote down all of the kids birthdays so we could be part of the group.  It was so cute.  Hopefully we can go up there every one in a while when we live in Oregon.  We can go to the temple and sleep over at their house.  It was fun visiting with my cousins that I haven't seen in years. Andrea, Michael, and Michael's wife Jani were really fun to talk to.  Hopefully we can have some fun adventures with them in the future with skiing and triathlon-ing. :)  I wish Brent could have met them all but he and I met up on the freeway instead and got a few hours under our belt and then slept at a rest stop in the trailer for one last time!  It was pretty icy and cold and snowy the next morning which made for a long and not fun drive.  We made it home finally safely though so all was well!
We were having mixed feelings all throughout our last week in Oregon.  We were SO excited to be done with the trailer.  The tight spaces and propane smell and other smells were starting to get to us.  But at the same time we really didn't want to be done with our time in Oregon.  It is so beautiful there and the climate is so much more agreeable than the harsh winter climate in Utah. Sigh.