Thursday, April 22, 2010


Remember this post from 2 years ago??
I didn't follow my own advice.

I answered the phone last night. The first counselor from the stake called to ask if I'd say the opening prayer in our morning session of stake conference, Sun. May 2nd. I said sure. I mean, after all, I've already spoken in conference while I was 39+ weeks pregnant. Praying can't be any harder than that. Right? You can't totally prepare for a prayer or practice it like a talk though and that is a little unnerving, but...on the plus side, it will be over quickly!

Then the phone rang this evening. I looked at the number before answering like I usually do and thought it looked vaguely familiar, yet I couldn't place it. It was the 2nd counselor from the stake. He called to verify that I was asked to pray last night. I said yes then asked playfully if I was being "released" from the responsibility. To my surprise, he said yes, and I was sad for 1 thousandth of a second. They changed their mind, I guess. Or...they didn't want me up at the pulpit so soon after speaking 2 years ago. I was being scratched off the program as offering the opening prayer because they wanted me to speak instead.

(jaw crashing to the floor)

I was SPEECHLESS. He asked if I could do that and I believe I said "if you really, really, really want me to." He said the presidency prayed about it and said they did. (Way to insult the stake presidency, Jenn). Obviously I humbly accepted. Except that they don't want me speaking on Sunday. They want me to speak at the May 1st Sat. evening adult session. Oh my lands. I had forgotten about that as an option. That's WORSE where nerves are concerned! In the Sunday session you can just pretend you're speaking in Sacrament meeting with cute little kids looking up at you. Speaking to adults only, and lots of them from the entire stake, is a whole other ball game. Fortunately, I know they'll pretty much be there just to hear our AMAZING Stake President address us. With any luck they won't remember a thing I say!

So in case anyone is wondering, I'm not pregnant. And I've already spoken in stake conference before. So shouldn't I be LESS nervous this time around?? 'Cause I'm not! Oh yeah, and I'm putting the stake counselors phone numbers in my cell phone so I'll know it's THEM when they call! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A peek into my pantry

Thanks to my friend Jan who steered me to, I now have a happy pantry. Some genius created a can rotater (-is that a word? It is now-) out of cardboard and I'm only sad I didn't think of it first! Before the can organizer, my shelves had rows and columns of cans stacked precariously on top of each other. Stocking the shelves after shopping was always a delicate and dreaded operation. All it would take is one quick breeze by, or an accidental little bump, for the all the cans, minus the one on the bottom, to topple over, often causing a domino effect. Very frustrating. And then came the cardboard solution.

For $3 per organizer, it was worth the risk to me. Especially if it ultimately meant order and organization. I purchased 3 sets for 12 total. I got the small cupboard size and they fit perfectly on my shelving in the "pantry". Best 35 bucks I've spent in a long time. I LOVE them....for exactly what they are...cardboard can organizers that help me rotate and store my canned food items. I wish I had a before picture of my shelves. But it doesn't matter. Look at them now! And I've got space for even MORE to STORE. My kids argue over who gets to put the cans away and take them out for meals. Who would have thought food storage could be so exciting?

Spring Break at the Falls

Spring break this year was going to be filled with first and foremost...spring cleaning (much to my children's chagrin) and after the work, not much else. We planned one outing for Wednesday to go to Mt. St. Helens with our friends the Morgans since the destination is relatively close and we've never been. But the night before, Stephanie called to say Mt. St. Helens was still closed. Of all things! We hadn't anticipated that. Stephanie wanted to go to Silver Falls on Friday but the weather didn't look as promising on Friday as it did Wednesday, so that's what we decided to do instead.

The weather was fabulous. We made it down there around 11am and began the outing with a picnic lunch. As we were leaving to go on our hike, everyone and their dog started coming into the area for lunch. Our timing was just right.

Unfortunately, in order to get our parking permit, for $5, we had to pay in cash. I NEVER have cash, but miraculously had $ 5 dollar bill and one 10 dollar bill. Stephanie had no cash. I was behind her and told her I'd pay for her, no problem, except when I got up there, I discovered that a 5 dollar bill was the largest bill the machine would take (I'm sorry, that's just dumb) as there was no attendant manning the entrance to the park. So I paid for mine with the $5 and we decided to see if we could break my $10 into smaller bills later at one of the stations. After eating lunch, we hiked to one of the posts before we hit the trail and about 30 minutes later, Stephanie had her day pass and we were on our way to South Falls.

I don't have a very sturdy stroller and I wasn't thrilled about navigating one on the trail, so I put 26 pounds of Calvin on my back. My goodness he's heavy!Thankfully, the other three kiddos can walk carefully on the trail, as long as I can hold Karcyn's hand. Here's a picture of them before we had to focus more on where our feet go than taking pictures as we headed down to the back side of the waterfall.

After we got past the waterfall and down to the bridge, Karcyn's poor bladder got slammed by the rushing of the "big water" and succumbed to her first wet accident since being potty trained 2 months ago. That kind of put a damper on things, so to speak. And since we still had to corral and herd eight kids and haul our own selves back UP to where we started, we cut the trip short with the one waterfall. was worth it.

Just to see this:

Gone a fishin'

Jared and his buddy got word of a discounted sturgeon fishing charter, for a half-day on March 20th. Discounted so much so that Jared could take Jake, who has never been sturgeon fishing before. And that's what they did the Saturday before spring break officially began.

They fished out of Oregon City on the Willamette River. Jake was the last one to catch a fish. (His friend joined his dad, too). Jake admits he didn't set the hook (Jared did) but Jake got to reel it in. It was tough, he reports, but he made it! It was 24 inches long. Not a keeper, but fun enough! It was a wiggler, too! (Wait until you catch a salmon, kid).

He caught one more. This time it was 26 inches long. Took Jake about 5 minutes to reel in. He tried to set the hook, but he didn't want to lose it, so he said "let the professional do it", meaning the guide, not Jared ;)

Hey Grandpas...look what I can do!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

4 Years Later

This was Karcyn on March 10, 2006. After laboring at home for a few hours, we finally went to the hospital. I brought Karcyn into the world without drugs, 1 hour and 1 minute after arriving at the hospital! My OB came to deliver Karcyn over her lunch break. She was my fastest labor and delivery and my smallest baby weighing in at 6 lbs. 9 oz. It was the wonderful antithesis of my experience with Cooper.

This was Karcyn on March 10, 2010, waiting for her 4 little friends to show up for her first party.

I was having trouble trying to figure out a theme for Karcyn's first birthday party. She doesn't really have any particular obsession, aside from puzzles. And believe me, I tried finding some ideas for a puzzle-themed party, but came up short. I'm just not creative enough to pull off something like that. Karcyn pretty much plays with her brothers' toys and their hand-me-downs. So...I recycled the outline I made for Cooper's 4th birthday and threw her a "Dinosaur" party. I felt a twinge of guilt for a) giving my ONLY daughter a non-girly party and b) re-using a plan I had already used on her brother. To the latter, doesn't that make me smart? :) And as for the first...what does one do when the friends Karcyn plays with most, are BOYS? I didn't think a party with pink and flowers and skirts would go over very well. But she does like dinosaurs and that seemed to be a safe choice in this case. It was a total bonus that I had already outlined a party with a dino theme already.

The party was a hit! We even had lunch, which was a first for me. The kids were so well behaved and we ended right on time. The only "problem" was that every time someone came to the door for the rest of the week, Karcyn thought they were coming to see her and bring her presents.

Karcyn's birthday was on a Wednesday and Jared was able to be excused from the Young Men's activity that night so he could stay home and celebrate with the family. We had her favorite for dinner: spaghetti and french bread (okay, so it's mom's favorite!). Then we cleaned up the kitchen and gathered all the gifts in the living room to open them up.

Then something happened. Jared got a call that was medical related that he couldn't avoid. So we waited for a couple of minutes. I puttered around in the kitchen while he was on the phone and took a picture of Karcyn waiting too.

The phone conversation did not end quickly. When it finally did, I thought we could get on with the gifts, but Jared had to do some follow up documentation on the computer and send in a prescription. I peeked in on Karcyn because she was really quiet and saw this:

She was the only one in the living room waiting to open all the gifts that surrounded her. Poor thing. Jared told me he was almost done, so I gathered the boys to come out for the celebration and we found this:

Karcyn said "forget this" and started opening her gifts without us. I'm surprised she lasted as long as she did! All in all, I think it was a super great day for a super great girl.

4 things I love about Karcyn are:
1) She wakes up so happy in the morning!
2) She's so outgoing and loves everyone.
3) She has the best belly laugh.
4) She is very self-confident :)