Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

We spend New Years Eve at the Doxey's.  We play games, eat way too much food, break open a piñata, eat more food, Steve juices some crazy fruit and we all see who is brave enough to try it (juiced cactus anyone?), face painting, more food and finally fireworks!

Julian playing a game.  

Steve and Hyrum face off

Face painting...and balloon painting?

The piñata is always a hit with the kids

We wait until midnight and then head outside to make some noise!  We had some small fireworks and tons of sparklers and snappers.  It's a great way to ring in the New Year!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Random December

Hyrum took me to the Portland Symphony for their Christmas concert.  I love going to concerts at Christmas and hearing all the great music that only gets played once a year!

The boys decorated gingerbread houses.  

We took the boys to an indoor rock climbing gym.

Hyrum and I met Jason in Portland for a concert.  The group was called Capella Romana and they perform Eastern European chanting in Greek, Arabic and English.  It was really different and I enjoyed hearing something new.

We had some beautiful days in December.  We took advantage of the sunny weather and got outside whenever we could

The Portland Art Museum had a wonderful display all about Laika, the animation group based in Oregon.  My boys love all their movies and it was really neat to see how they make their movies and all the tiny little pieces that come together to make a final shot.

Hyrum took the twins up to Mt. Hood for a day of skiing.  He said it was a great day on the slopes and they all had a fun time.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Time!

The most wonderful time of year!  I love that we live so close to Katrina and her family and spend the holidays with them.  Christmas this year was another success.  The boys got some fun new games for their Nintendo Switch, I got to sleep in and there was plenty of yummy food!

Cutting down the Christmas tree!

The boys all helped to decorate the tree.  They each have a box of ornaments that their Grandparents have sent them over the years so they like to hang those up by themselves.

Christmas Eve was on a Sunday.  Here we are all dressed for church

It even SNOWED a tiny little bit on Christmas Eve.  It was such a fun surprise:)

Our traditional Christmas Eve.  We go to Katrina's for "grab bags."  If you want a grab bag you have to perform a talent.  Hyrum and Julian played a duet on the piano:)

Ellen showing off her awesome grab bag gifts.  They can be silly gifts, or a game or candy or money. You never know what you're going to get!

After the boys went to bed Hyrum and I got all the presents and put them under the tree.  I like that we wait to put gifts under the makes Christmas morning magical.

Traditional Christmas breakfast.  The boys were so good and let us sleep in until 9:00.

The boys with their new Christmas ornaments from Grandma and Grandpa Johnson.  Little glass angels.

Julian requested MRE's for Christmas...what a strange little guy:)

Christmas Day we met the Doxey's over at the High School for an egg tossing contest.  Cooper and Steve definitely won for farthest egg thrown.  It was so cold that the eggs weren't breaking very easily.  They would fall on the ground but not was crazy

Julian didn't want to participate at first because he thought he would get egg all over himself but when he saw the eggs weren't breaking he decided to join in.

Christmas is always such a fun holiday.  I love that we can be together as a family.  I love that we can relax and enjoy our day together.  

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Trip to Washington

One of my favorite people in all the world (Kari Christensen) lives just 3 hours north of me.  I took the opportunity with the boys out of school for Christmas break to go up and visit.  We only stayed a few days but we packed a lot of fun into those days and I got to catch up with my friend:)

We took the boys ice skating for the first time at Seattle Center.  The twins got the hang of it but Julian didn't last long.  I tried to help him out but it's exhausting trying to keep my own balance while trying to keep Julian up!

Kari with Jonah and Eli on the ice

A shot with all the crazy kids!  We got popcorn and hot chocolate:)

After ice skating we took the kids for a ride on the giant ferris wheel.  Heights are not my thing so I really don't know why I had the idea to take them...but I think they all had fun and it's a great way to see the city!

Of course we had to stop by Ivars for some fish and chips (or chicken and chips...none of the kids wanted fish)

From Ivars we wanted to go walk around the Pike Place Market.  It was only about 7 blocks but this guy on a bike offered to take ALL of us.  It was so funny the looks we got from people as we biked by...we were pretty stacked up!

I love walking around Pike Place.  So much to see!

The famous (but really gross) gum wall.

Aaron got us hooked up for a great night of karaoke!  It was super fun.  Of course none of my boys wanted to sing but it was fun to watch the Christensen kids put all their heart into the songs they chose:)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Random November

Annual trip to Great Wolf Lodge.   I only had Julian this year because the boys were away at Camp Aaron for the weekend.  They were pretty upset about missing out on Great Wolf Lodge but I have to admit it was kind of fun just having Julian and his cute friend Nathan to look after:)

Julian and Nathan excited for a fun weekend at Great Wolf Lodge

We try to get out as a family and at least go for a small walk on Sunday.  Even if it's raining!

Peter killed 3 birds in 2 weeks so we made her wear this collar that is supposed to help birds see cats. It worked great and she didn't kill any birds while she was wearing the collar but it turns out she was allergic to the material so we had to take it off.  She was our little "clown kitty" for a few weeks:)  As you can see from the photo...she hated it!

Hyrum turned 42 on November 20th!  I made the cake and Julian helped me decorate it with blueberries

Jacob and Oma Durtschi came to Oregon for a Thanksgiving visit.  We all went to Portland to see a play (A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote) and then to Salt and Straw for an ice cream treat

Katrina and I getting into the holiday spirit!

I always love getting my nativities set up for Christmas.  This was one of my new ones that I picked up in China.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Our family once again spent the Thanksgiving holiday up on Mt. Hood.  This has become such a fun tradition.  It's nice to stay in the same condo, the boys love the outdoor pools and we can almost always count on at least a bit of snow to play in.  This year there was no snow at the condo but we went up to Timberline Lodge and found some icy snow to walk around in.  Mostly, it's just a very relaxing, family centered few days and I love it!

The holiday feast!

Snow!  Up at Timberline Lodge

We lucked out with a beautiful, sunny day!

Family selfie...poor Julian had the sun in his eyes:)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Trip to Utah

I got to spend a few days hanging out in Utah with my host Mum and Dad from Australia.  I love that they come to the States almost every year and I really love that I can hop down to Utah for a few days to play with them.  My host parents were so kind to me when I lived with them.  I have great memories of my time in Australia and I'm so glad I get to stay connected with these wonderful people:)

Helen and I spent a day walking around Park City.  It was a wonderfully sunny day!  We loved wandering around all the cute little shops.

We met up with Oma and Andrea Merrill for some yummy lunch and then we looked around the new Provo Temple.

All my dreams came true!  You can buy REAL caffeinated Coke on BYU campus!  Back when I was a student you could only get Caffeine free coke products:)  These new students don't know how good they have it!

Helen, Ron and 2 of their granddaughters, Kirra and Sydney.  We took a ride on the Heber Creeper railroad.  I had never taken this train before and it was kind of fun:)

Me and my host this guy!

We spent Sunday morning in the Salt Lake City Tabernacle for a taping of "Music and the Spoken Word"  It was lovely to see the choir and orchestra live.

Walking around Temple Square.  My host parents were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple

I'm not a huge fan of Utah but I really have to sure is beautiful!

It was too short of a visit but I had so much fun.  I love my host family!