Thursday, December 10, 2009

Our Christmas Greetings!!

Well, in lieu of a Christmas letter, and to help make my holiday season more peacable, I am just going to post a Christmas letter on our blog!! I know it will not reach as many as I would like, but like everyone knows... this time of year is busy and it will just have to do!! I just cannot believe I am here to sum up another year for our little family. It has been a wonderful year for us!! We are so very VERY blessed.

First off--We are IN our new home!!! We feel so blessed to be here and love our home. Thank you to all who have helped in ANY way--offering support, asking about our progress, watching our children, or the lending of your hands in good ol' hard work!! We cannot express how grateful we truly are to all those who have helped us. It really is a dream come true!! There are more projects ahead of us, but we are grateful to be able to tackle them all under one warm roof. It has been a wonderful project for our family and we have learned SO much. It's been a great adventure!!

This year Drew started Kindergarten which was a huge milestone--for him and myself.... The very first day of school I went to pick him up and he saw me and came dashing toward me to end up in a big hug. I about started to cry thinking, "My Drew missed me SO much!!" But instead he said,"I forgot all about you guys!!" And it has continued in that way. He loves school and is doing well. He has had to change schools this last couple of weeks since the move, and of course I was way nervous as was he. But, he has adjusted very well and has made new friends. We've been very blessed. Drew has his first loose tooth that he is excited to have fall out naturally, he doesn't want to lose it by force!! Hopefully it will come out soon! Drew is a great big brother and a very patient person and is a blessing to our family in many ways.

Madelyn is doing very well. She is still as girly as can be and is constantly pretending something. All in about ten minutes I can be her sister, her daughter, and her grandma--sometimes it is hard to keep up with her wild imagination! She and Drew are still best friends and play together so well -of course that is most of the time. Drew and Madelyn took their first round of swimming lessons this summer. Going from no experience in the water whatsoever, to dog-paddling half-way across the pool with little assistance was quite impressive!! Madelyn just soaks up everything and has started to read. She just loves to do the things that Drew is doing. Madelyn is growing up so much. I can hardly believe she is 4. Just the other week she impressed me so much at how well she took care of Hannah when I was at Drew's new school filling out a bunch of papers. She was right there saving Hannah from terrorizing the school's library, etc. She is a joy to have in our family.

Hannah has changed so much of course in the last year. She started out brown haired and is now a blondie for one. She has beautiful blue eyes and a charming personality. She is quite fun to have around. She loves her brother and sister and being a big girl. Some of Hannah's favorite things: her blanky, babies, pomegranates--seriously, the male gender--she will randomly walk up to male strangers and act like she has known them forever, and undecorating our Christmas tree to name a few. She has started to say some words, but of course she says "blanky" very well. We love that little girl and are so happy to have her with us!!

As for Jed, this last little while has been like crunch time for us and he has put in so much time and effort into the house so we could be in by the holidays. He is such a great husband and provider. He really is my better three quarters!!

We do have a little announcement, if you will: We are expecting another little Denning to come into our home come early June! We are excited about our little growing family and hope all continues to go well with the baby. We have so much to be grateful for, but we are most grateful for this special time of year that we have to focus on the birth of the Savior and His great gift to us. We are so grateful for a knowledge of His love for us. That is what brings us so much joy!

"Let all within us praise His Holy name!"

Merry Christmas!!


The Denning Family

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

S.L. Part II--if you're still interested

Here is another activity section for children. This one was in the Church History Museum. It was perfect. They had an area where they could build temples with fancy blocks, dress up in manger scene clothes, they had CTR stencils in a million languages, a pretend hospital nursery with dolls etc., and here and Drew and Madelyn drawing stained glass window pictures that you can hang up on the lighted board. Madelyn colored about 15 window pictures! We stayed here for quite awhile!

We were able to go on tours of the Humanitarian Center as well as Welfare Square. They were absolutely amazing. I had never been to either of them. First of all, did you know that 85% of all we donate to Deseret Industries is given to those in need? That's only 15% that stays in the stores! They had these HUGE blocks of compressed clothing that they just ship overseas or wherever the need is. Before we went into either facility, they start the tour with a video. The video and the tour are just very inspiring. All of us are so rich. Even when we don't have much according to the worlds standards. We have more than we deserve. In one of the videos it showed that a mother had a new baby and they didn't have anything. In fact, the baby was wrapped up in newspapers to keep warm. It also showed a family that lived in a car. Those things made an impact on my children. We teach them about gratitude and about how we are so blessed and have so much that others aren't able enjoy, but this brought it to life for them. It just made me want to go on a Humanitarian Mission and bring my whole family along!

Here is a huge pallet of Beef Stew ready to be shipped out from Welfare Square. Welfare Square was also quite impressive. I couldn't believe how much bread they were baking!! They have a whole store where people who go through a sort of qualifying process are able to go and pick out what they need. All of the things they do there are funded by Fast Offerings. Amazing. And pretty much everything in the store is made by the church. Even those that were working at these centers were in a training program so that they could move forward and search for a job to provide for their families. It was amazing to see and I know that our religion is a religion of action. After our tour we were able to sample church cheese, church chocolate milk, and church bread. Pretty good!

We went to a park in downtown Salt Lake that we had been to a few years earlier. It had a spray park and the kids were able to let loose and cool down! Of course I wasn't allowed to stay dry there either!

Here is our family posing in front of an Ellis Island backdrop. Some other fun things we did were: visited This is the Place, we got to go to the top of the Church Office building, went to a bluegrass concert at a park not far from our condo, visited the Church History Library--way cool too. At the library I was able to call down a microfilm from one of my great-grandpas that was converted to the gospel shortly after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. He knew Brigham Young and was part of the Mormon Batallion. He was an amazing man and I was able to see his journal writings in HIS handwriting. I have it typed up and bound in a book, but it was especially neat to see it firsthand.
We all had a good trip! Thank you Grandma for letting us stay with you!! It was a memorable and meaningful experience.

Our Mini Vacation!

Our family went on a little excursion....over a month Salt Lake. We had a really fun time and were able to do lots of interesting and fun things!! We were able to have Jed's Grandma come with us and that made the trip extra special. We stayed in a Condo down there and Grandma insisted on sleeping on the couch. We tried to get her to take the room, but she was immovable. Drew and Madelyn wanted to "camp out" with Grandma in the living room, so they were able to have some good late night chats!! :)

We didn't waste any time when we were there, we were constantly going. Grandma was amazing and always said she was doing just fine! We took tours of several of the buildings there, this picture is of little exhausted Hannah and I on top of the Conference Center. That building is SO impressive. The gardens on top of the building have grown so much since the last time I saw them. I've taken a tour of the building before, but you learn new things every time and just get re-amazed.

In a couple of the buildings we toured they had children's play areas. This is the one at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Hannah loved this little red car, it's not the best picture, but it shows her enthusiasm! While we were at this building we watched the amazing film "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration." We also learned about and got to play around with the new family search program. Amazing!! It shows your family line with all the information INCLUDING whether they have had all their temple work done. Everything is in ONE place! It hasn't quite made it to our area yet, but we are anxiously awaiting!

As for this picture, just call me Robert Boyd! Ha!

We got to ride the Tram downtown to go to the Gateway Mall. The ride over there was a blast. The kids loved it, they were so excited to ride the "train." Grandma had always wanted to ride the Tram too. At the Gateway Mall they have a lot of outdoor water fountains that you can play in. The kids had a lot of fun, and of course Jed wouldn't let me stay dry!! It felt great to cool off!

Drew's favorite part of the whole trip was getting to touch the temple, seriously!! If you ask that is what he will tell you. It was fun to see the temple because we had been reading about church history for months and had been teaching the kids some of the things we learned. It was neat because the temple meant something to them. Did you know at one of the S.L. Temple dedication a woman delivered a baby in the temple? That was one of the crazy facts we learned in one of our FHE lessons. The baby was blessed in the temple later and named "Joseph Temple Bennett." :)

It was such an amazing trip. We're so glad we were able to go. It is just so nice to get away and do fun things with the family, even if it is just a few hours away!!

Friday, July 24, 2009


We got our insulation in!! It was the first official job that we hired out, and we're glad we did because they did a great job. We got the house all ready for sheetrock now, so pretty soon our house is going to actually look like a HOUSE!! I can't believe it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finally, a chance to put my training and skills to the test!!!

Anyone who knows even remotely well knows I have a passion for the cool creamy treat, ice cream. I have eaten half gallons at a time, eaten my whole day's worth of calories in one sitting with my delicious friend Ben&Jerry's, taste tested pretty much every brand of ice cream, and even formally celebrated National Ice Cream Day (which if any of you wondered is THIS WEEK!!) complete with a party, games, and of course the eating of it. Well, the day of my dreams came to town last week. All of the best ice creameries in town came to one central location and for one small fee, you could have ALL the ice cream your heart desired!!!!!! This opportunity was not going to slip away from me!! I looked forward to this for WEEKS I tell you. And last Saturday I was able to pull out all the stops and let myself go to town eating all the ice cream I could manage to down in a couple of hours. It was GREAT!!

Don't let this picture fool you. The fact that Madelyn is in the picture does not mean I had any help whatsoever in emptying 10 cups of ice cream. My friend Kristin--who is pregnant mind you--did a pretty good job of keeping up with me. I knew I would probably scare her with my capabilities. I think she had about 9, but couldn't keep it down after she got home..... I didn't have that trouble. In fact what I really needed was a good steak--random I know-- and I could have even gone for more. It was just so much sugar all at once that I had a hankering for some excellent grilled red meat. When I got home I grilled some burgers and was really ready for more ice cream!! Next year, and I do think this will actually become an annual event, I will know to bring a few BBQ ribs in my purse to really prove what I can do.
So the breakdown, if anyone was curious of what this ice cream connoisseur's impressions were, is as follows:
#1 Reed's Dairy
You just can't beat the creamy-ness of their ice cream!! SO good. Now if they could offer their ice cream so you could personalize it with whatever you wanted, that would be a knockout!!
#2 Coldstone Creamery
This was a close second. The trouble here was that obviously they couldn't cart all possible creations to this event. They just had 3 of their flavor concoctions available. Cake batter ice cream was one of them, which is my personal favorite, but they also put about a pound of sprinkles in it along with the chocolate cake peices...I'm just not a fan of waxy sprinkles.....
#3 Sub Zero Ice Cream
Sub Zero is just so cool because of the way they make their ice cream. Plus you can cater it to how you like it with all the flavorings and toppings, but the creamy-ness factor was a little shy of its potential.
#4 Sarah's Candy Cottage
Actually an ice cream I was not familiar with before this event!! They only had two flavor offerings of their gelato: Pistachio and Coffee. I opted for Pistachio and it was surprisingly good. I think they only put milk and eggs in it and flavorings of course, but it was pretty creamy. They just needed a chocolate flavor or a strawberry cheesecake would have been delicious....
#5 Sundae's Eats and Treats (Leatherby's)
Now before you scoff at why they are so far down on the list, let me explain: if you have ever been here you know it is delicious!! But it is their sauces that make their ice cream soar. Their hot fudge and carmel sauce are to die for. But when they just served me a cup of their plain old ice cream, it was lacking.
#6 Farr's Ice Cream
They offered one of my favorite flavors--which I hadn't seen all day: mint cookie. It was pretty good. Farr's isn't near as creamy as Reed's. But they do serve this ice cream at the gas station on the way to Swan Valley, which when we visit, this stuff always hits the spot. Just put next to the big guys of ice cream......they don't quite make the cut.
All in all it was an awesome event with some great offerings. Now I can just focus my efforts on what I really LOVE next time. If anyone would like to go against me in an all-you-can-eat contest next year: BRING IT ON!! :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009


In my last post I wrote about so many positive things that are happening in our family because that is what I want to remember. Things definitely don't always run so smoothly, trust me. Being a mom is the most difficult thing I've ever done, but it is also the most rewarding. I appreciate Elder Ballard's counsel in the conference address directed to young mothers, "recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction." Very true, that is why I want to try to capture those moments!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Somethings better than nothing...right?

Ok, so I just decided to write a post and forgo the pictures. I just have to eliminate one step or this just will get left by the wayside! Hopefully a temporary thing though.... It seems like our family has been busy lately, as I'm sure all families are! So I will just give the lowdown on what everyone has been up to:
Jed has been working hard on our house. We are actually going to hire out the insulating and the sheetrock, which will SPEED things right up!! I actually am having to choose paint colors fairly soon!!! Yikes! The house looks so good with everything Jed has done, now I'm scared my decorating and color scheming are not going to be up to par! Jed is the hardest worker I know and is such a good example to me. He puts his all into everything he does. I LOVE YOU hun--sorry, I wasn't trying to turn this into a tribute, just an update, but when you love your hubby and talk about the things he is doing for his family...its natural.
I have been having fun with our kids doing our thing. Some of our area schools have had a free lunch program for kids 1-18 so the kids and I have been visiting our school for free lunch together. It's been way fun. Another bonus: One less meal I have to prepare and clean!! Two thumbs WAY up. We also headed out to our movie theater last week and enjoyed a free show: The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. I love Veggie Tales, always have....even before I was a mom.... :) It has just been so fun to be with my kids and to do something we don't usually do together. Basically I have just been trying to keep up with everything and everyone around me!

Drew is doing great and has made a lot of progress in what he is learning. He just started to read a couple of verses at scripture time for us--of course there are lots of words he has never seen, but he does his best and sounds everything out. Best of all, he LOVES to do it!! Also last week Drew vacuumed our house 3 times. This was like a blessing from heaven!! Especially because he has offered to do it. I tell you what, that really is a HUGE help to me. I'm sure the new-ness of being able to do BIG chores will wear off, but for now I'm LOVIN it! (No I haven't been to McDonald's recently)...

Madelyn also accomplished something big, she can now write her name all by HERSELF. She is really doing well with identifying the letters and numbers too. She really wants to read like Drew, but she always tells me she already knows how. She is my little miss RED personality. The other day she surprised Drew and cleaned up all of his stuff. She was so happy and so was I! It just makes a mother so happy to see her kids serving each other. She performed a ballet recital for me the other day, so I cheered when she was done and said "Bravo!!" Then she told me it was my I got up and did my ballet debut (sorry everyone missed it!) and then she gave me raving reviews or "Bravo" right back. It was cute.

Hannah, she is changing so much!!! She has been scootching since last month and now she gets up on her hands and knees for a little while and then reverts back to the scootch. She also is sitting up, yes that came long after she scootched around the house. Hannah is my mover. She cannot hold still. Jed likes to say that I put caffeine in her milk! She can also be very loud and loves to have contests to see who has the most wind. She is our baby of many faces: monster baby (think of king kong in the world of blocks), police baby (Drew pushes her in her police car..the laundry basket and she gives Madelyn and I tickets. She even holds a police badge), and super baby complete with cape and special glasses. It is so fun when all of us are playing something together! Hannah also loves when I play fiddle songs on the violin, she just starts shaking her arm and laughing, very cute.

Congratulations on making it through the LARGEST NO PICTURE POST EVER!! I have to admit it was more for my sake than anyone elses. A lot has been going on that I had to write down before I forgot!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

A BIG Congrats goes to:

My brother-in-law Troy and my niece Becca on their graduations!!! You both are stellar individuals and we're so lucky to call you family!!

Troy--we're so impressed with the person you have become! I still remember when Jed and I were dating and I was able to go to your ordination to become a deacon and receive the priesthood. I was amazed at how seriously you took that step in your life, even at 12 years old. And it hasn't stopped there. You are an amazing example of dedication to the most important things in life. I've seen you arrive to church WAY early to take care of your priesthood responsibilities. I've admired your hard work in many areas including make your own lathe--which is amazing. Just want you to know we love you!

Becca--I can't believe that cute little baby girl I used to babysit is graduating!! I can't believe that I have children that are the same age that I remember you being just yesterday......You have become such a talented, intelligent, and fun girl! You've obviously worked very hard and been able to maintain amazing grades while being involved in so many different things. Congratulations on your scholarships! You are an exemplary person and we wish you the very best as you move up and on with your life!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Family Fun

We had a lot of fun with our family the other weekend. We found a really fun place for a picnic. We had gotten some little fishing nets that CAL-Ranch gave out for free that Drew and Madelyn wanted to test out. No such luck on the fish, but they were able to clean out some ponds of their dead fall leaves!

Jed has been doing some work out of town and Drew was given the responsibility of being the "Man of the House." I was reminded of this often..... He was in charge of Family Home Evening and also assigning prayers. Then one day I was helping Madelyn with something and Drew decided it was time for lunch. I told him I would get to it in a minute. I came out and found this: Drew had cooked us all lunch!! It was a quesadilla with two slices of american cheese inside. Drew got four slices and Madelyn and I got two apiece. And we got a Go-Gurt. I loved it. This same day I had been trying to figure out why Hannah was so upset. I said " I don't know what the matter is.." Madelyn took this opportunity and said "Let me tell you something about babies mom. Sometimes babies wake up...and their bottoms are sore." Also, Hannah had decided this day that she didn't want me to feed her anything, including milk. She would handle everything herself. I began to think, what is my role here again? My kids are so self-sufficient!...

This is us at the same picnic I talked about before. It was such a beautiful day! We had a blast.

On Memorial Day weekend our family went on a little excursion. We went to Jed's family's cabin. We went on a fun four-wheeler ride with the kids, Drew and Jed went fishing with no luck, and we just had a good time. It was great. When we got home and Jed was unloading all the gear, the kids were loading up the trailer with their own kind of "toys." I thought it was pretty cute. To sum everything up can I just say that we LOVE the sunshine?!!

I also just have to write this down before I forget. The kids said the funniest thing the other day.
Madelyn: Dad is it tomorrow?
Drew: No Sis, it's yesterday.
Kids do say the darndest things!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

iT's HaRd To ShArE.... eVeN oN mOtHeR's DaY!

I just thought I would detail some of the highlights from Mother's Day. The best presents I received were: my kids singing in sacrament meeting. Last year when Drew was a sunbeam, he was too shy to go up on the stand. This year he was in charge of escorting Madelyn up onto the stand..heh heh. Even though our ways were tricky, he still dragged his heels! He stood up there the whole time with his head down. He would only glance up occasionally, but not with his whole head...just with his eyes...if you can catch that visual--it was pretty funny and cute. Madelyn, was so precious! She is just so petite and she loves to sing, it just melted my mother heart!
In Madelyn's sunbeam class, they made some edible flowers: a small dowel, with one of those oreo cookie rings at the top with a gummy candy ball underneath the cookie to keep the cookie secure, and on the top of the dowel and cookie was one of those colored mints that look like Hershey kisses--I love those! Anyway, there were three of them. Madelyn and Drew claimed two of them and then they gave me one, which was great with me. So Jed and I had some things to do at the church after the meetings were over and by the time we were finished I was eagerly looking forward to eating one of my flowers. But there was not a flower left for me! They ate it all gone. Pretty funny. Too much temptation. They also handed out some artificial flowers with the 2 Hershey kisses wrapped up in celophane (I'm sure that is mis-spelled!) in sacrament meeting to all the mothers, so to tame my sweet tooth after church I was digging into those when my two older youngens heard the crinkle and came running. So I gave everyone a kiss and kept one for me. Drew came to me awhile later and told me he had a surprise for me, it was "a surprise for bedtime." I figured he had made my bed, since that is my kids favorite service surprise. Hours later when it was time for bed, I pulled the covers away and found a pudgy, half-melted, Hershey kiss sitting on my pillow. I was confused at first, but then remembered the "bedtime surprise." Drew didn't eat the kiss I shared with him, but shared it back with me! I guess he felt pretty bad about the edible flower. I just thought that was so sweet! So that was favorite present number two!
Favorite present number 3 came from the littlest member of our family. Hannah said "MaMaMaMa!" How appropriate! It doesn't get much better than that!!
Favorite present number 4: I was given the opportunity to have a Sunday afternoon nap!! Naps on Sunday have been long gone for me. And if I ever try I usually fall asleep for 10 minutes and then can't go back to sleep! I thought that was what would happen this time, but two hours later......yeah, I guess I was pretty tired.
Thank you to my family for making my day so wonderful!! I just feel so grateful for each of you. I feel it is such an honor and privilege to be the mother of my three children.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

SpRiNgTiMe EqUaTiOn


Sorry for the gruesome picture.....but it has just amazed me how many bandaids we have been through in the last few weeks!! I guess their excited selves get their legs moving faster than they can handle!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

TiMe FLieS

We had a great time in the SUN today!! We took our kids to one of our favorite places to visit: the zoo. It was beautiful weather and we had a great day devoted to having FUN!! We saw all sorts of animals. Some of our favorites: goats, red panda (they are a lot more exciting after getting acquainted with Master Shi have to see Kung Fu Panda to know what in the world I am talking about), monkeys, the otters (what a stress free life they lead), and the wallabys. I felt I had a connection with the wallaby mom; both of us were wearing our babies.

Here is a snippet of Easter. With a little encouragement Drew found his Easter basket in the oven. Easter just happened to be Drew's birthday too!! Happy Birthday Drew, we love you!!

Jed, Madelyn, Drew, and Grandma Ruth were a bit "Ruthless" at the zoo and ended up getting caged. Everyone looks exhausted, but Drew looks ready for more!

Have you ever seen someone having such a keen time with a measuring cup?! I don't know why people ever invest in baby toys. Babies interest in them is so limited, but as for kitchen tools? The fun is endless!!
I had so many pictures to post, but computers are so quirky, some of them didn't end up coming through. Computers give me gray hair. We have been busy lately, summer time does end up being a busy time for our family. We usually spend long nights working on our house. All the sudden life has just taken off without me and I have had to weed some things out that aren't necessary. It is so easy to load yourself up on good things....but they are not always the best things. That is why I didn't go back and try to salvage my other pictures for this post, it didn't end up being the "best" thing for my time right now!!
Some other things our family has been involved in recently: we went skating as a family for our ward party. Drew loved it!! I regret not bringing my camera to that. Drew's b-day was last week, as was Easter. We listened to General Conference the week before while we re-arranged our house. We traded bedrooms in our house so the kids have the big bedroom. It's worked out as smoothly as could be expected. By the way, I loved conference! It is so wonderful to hear from the leaders of the church and learn from their wisdom, experience, and inspiration. We've been spring cleaning outside and inside, feels so good!! The kids and I have been going out to work on our house more now that we have better weather. It's been fun. Things are starting to move! For us anyway!! We finished the electrical work and Jed drilled our well last week. What a pro. Our water is "well" made, it was a job "well" done--you can tell we're pretty practiced on well puns. It makes me laugh, even though it's not really funny...if that makes sense....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Having a BLAST!!

We took our family to Blast Off the other night--I guess you could say we had a "blast!" The best part about Blast Off is they let the parents play too! So we crawled through all the tunnels, went down the slides, and spent some time in the big ball pit! Jed completely buried himself in the balls while the kids were in a different area so he could lie and wait to scare them. Drew came back and jumped in, but then wanted to go find dad. Then we waited for Madelyn. The next person to enter the ball pit was a little boy about 6 of whom we were not familiar. He jumped in right about where Jed was, so Jed grabbed his foot while remaining completely out of sight. The little boy shot a bewildered look and then quickly left without saying a word. Then we continued to wait for Madelyn, that was until Jed about lost his life when a husky young man decided to cannonball into the pit....

As you can tell by the look on Hannah's face, she is not keen of Blast Off. I figure she is a bit claustrophobic. Every time we were about to enter a tunnel she started to be fussy!!

Here is Madelyn donning an umbrella and formal wear for a rainstorm outside. Our kids have an obsession with umbrellas. That was what Drew most desired last year and he spent his savings on one. Of course Madelyn had to have one too. Madelyn is into a dress wearing phase. It's one dress after another all day every day. She especially fancies the dresses that need undershirts, but she prefers to wear them without. Then she will come ask me "Does Cinderella wear undershirts?"

This is random, but for some reason was so funny to us today. The kids had hot dogs and they also got orange juice out of the fridge. Well, our pitcher has a handle that has an open space on the top....just the right size to squeeze a hot dog through. It's just funny to me how Drew even thought to place a hot dog in that small opening! Then when Drew was attempting to solve the problem by shoving a spoon handle up the bottom of the pitcher opening, he got the spoon stuck too! Anyway, it gave us a good chuckle. When Drew finally retrieved the hot dog, he took a bite of it and decided it wasn't palatable any more. I've never taken a bottle brush to the opening of the pitcher handle....ever. So, most likely the hot dog took on the flavor of dishwasher detergent residue..... I wouldn't eat it either!

Hannah's new favorite toy!! She is starting to get the feel for this jumper and it is so cute to watch. She likes to twirl and jump simultaneously while keeping eye contact with me. She likes to make sure I see how big she is. She is too much fun. Something Hannah has developed is what we call the "diaper dance." When I change her diaper she thoroughly enjoys the freedom. She swivels her hips from side to side and moves her legs all the while like she is walking in mid-air. It just makes us all laugh!
This month both Drew and Madelyn gave talks in Primary. I handed out the "mail" in Primary (that is where we hand out the assignments for the next weeks opening exercises) and he wouldn't even take his assignment from me. He is SO scared to talk in that microphone and he knew that if he took that mail it would be his turn. After church we tried to pump him up about it, we colored pictures of our family together and ran through the talk several times. He did a great job and said all of his own words. We agreed that if he really didn't want to talk in the microphone he could do his part by holding the pictures we made for me. Then the big day came. He was SO nervous that he didn't even want to hold the pictures! So I gave the talk that week.
A couple of weeks later, I got a phone call at the end of the week from a mother saying their child couldn't give the talk the following Sunday. So I decided I had another member of primary living with me that could fill the assignment. I asked Madelyn if she wanted to give a talk in Primary and she said YES! So we came up with a little talk and when Sunday came she was pretty excited. She is one of the smallest children in Primary so when she stands up to the microphone you can hardly even see her! But she has the cutest little voice and she did a great job!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Scripture Mastery?

I rediscovered something from a Family Home Evening a couple of weeks ago. I'll give you a little background before sharing: Jed taught our lesson on the translation the Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson, we did a little activity just to give us all an idea of what it would have been like to have been an active participant in it. Jed had his scriptures open and then told Drew one line. Drew relayed the message to Madelyn, who then passed it to me and I recorded it. This is what we came up with:

Do things that you want
Whatever selfless is is
We're holding to the fish
take upon him to his people
Be on..."I don't know the other part"
According to His commandments
And now behold
That is the testimony that teaches me.

I will dub anyone who figures this scripture reference out to be "The Eternal Champion of Scriptural Knowledge."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Goings On

Here is Jed working on our electrical last week. We headed out there to help......if we helped at all. I ran some wires, but Hannah is not a fan of doing electrical work and after enduring some crying we decided to just head back home! I'm excited for the warmer weather where we can be of a lot more assistance!!

The kids and I held a tea party the other day. It was a lot of fun. Madelyn got all dressed her slip....and we had lunch/"tea." I saved these pictures in the order I wanted them posted, but the computer has a mind of its be continued...

Hannah has just seemed to come alive the last couple of weeks! She is so much more aware of everything that is going on around her. She has started playing more with toys and she loves to look them over very closely. Her favorite game now is tag. I hold her and then we chase Drew and Madelyn around and she tags them. She thinks it is hilarious!! She has also started to explore her abilities more on the floor. I'll lay her down and slowly she will turn around in a circle, just like the hands of a clock! She is rolling over now too, which is pretty fun too!

It is funny to me how holding a tea party brings out instinctive manners. At the usual dinner table, sometimes I have to coax the children into just using utensils! Whereas at a tea party, this is what I find: Madelyn cutting her bananas with a knife and fork, such skill!!

This was our tea party menu. Quesadillas, carrots, bananas, and the most important item: Hazlenut hot chocolate. Drew especially loved and was thankful for the "lovely food!" We were sure to invite lots of friends, it turned out to be a great time!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Some picture updates

One day I decided to just let our kids have their fill of snow. So, they got bowls and scooped as much as they cared to eat and then I let them spruce it up with toppings!! They were quite pleased!! Hey, it's cheaper than ice cream.
We finally got around to making a snowman!! Hannah's naps are more predictable now, so the kids and I did everything and anything you can do in the snow. We made snow angels, sledded down our small hill of snow, I pulled them around in the sled, threw snowballs, and made a snowman that they named "Gumby."

What child is this?!
One night as I was straightening my hair, Sis decided she didn't want curly hair anymore. She wanted her hair to be "flat." So I reluctantly took the hair straightener to her hair, a little nervous that they wouldn't come back!! This was the result. It was crazy to see her without her beautiful curls, but she is beautiful no matter what! (And they did come back after a bath)

This is our house!! For any one who has not seen or didn't even know, this is the house we are building. It has been a huge undertaking.....more than 2 years. I think Jed is amazing and has learned how to do so much and I think he has done an amazing job! We've been very blessed in the whole process and look forward to being able to have a house for our little family!! We enjoy this opportunity to work together as a family toward something so important. We still have a lot of work to do, but every week we're a little closer!!

The other week we took Jed's Grandma out to lunch. It was really hard to convince her to let us treat her to lunch!! Like pulling teeth, but she finally relented and we had a great time!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Life's Little Pleasures

The Idaho winter has started to take its toll on me recently, so I decided to take a positive look at life and reminisce over the little things that bring me joy! In no particular order.
1) The smell of freshly washed baby hair.
2) Hearty laughs from my children.
3) Spending time with my husband, doing.....whatever! As long as we're together I'm good, I'm good.
4) Sunshine! Today is SUNNY and I have our big door open and our glass screen door closed so it is letting the sunshine into our house. It feels SO good!
5) Thoughts of spring, brought on by the sunshine!
6) Listening/reading a good talk or the scriptures and as a result feeling motivated to be a better person.
7) Finding a good deal!!
8) A clean house. With tight quarters and 3 youngens this isn't always easy. Even when it does get clean it doesn't last long so I just relish those moments of cleanliness.
9) Doing the daily Jumble from the newspaper with my hubby--cheesy I know. It wasn't long ago that I had never even spent a single second on one before, but since we have found fun in solving them.
10) Achieving a goal. I love the feeling of accomplishing something difficult.
11) Hot chocolate--complete with the flavored syrups. Mmmmmm..... Jed and I used to get them at Maverik but have since invested in a large amount of Hot Chocolate mix and purchased our own syrups. I love the convenience!
12) Watching good quality movies or TV shows, especially old ones. Andy Griffeth anyone??
13) Hot showers. With our water heater this isn't always common, but definitely a pleasurable surprise when things work well.
And there are many more simple things in life that make me happy, this is just a taste. Feeling grateful seems to bring "spring" to my spirits!!

Here is Drew's List:
1) Giving Hannah kisses. He ain't kiddin!! He loves that girl. Drew is constantly giving her kisses, in fact very often he will just pucker up and that is my signal to bring Hannah to his lips!!
2) TV--this makes me look like a bad mom! My name is not on the list, but TV is! I have to say that it would be on my list too though. My two older kids don't nap, so movie time is time for me to get some things done or get a rest.

Madelyn's List:
1) Giving Hannah kisses.
2) TV
Sound familiar??

Hannah.....well she doen't vocalize her list but I know what makes her happy.
1) Her microfleece blanket--it isn't a baby blanket. It's actually mine, but it is softer than soft. When I lay her down in her bed she feels that blanket and puts her thumb in her mouth and lulls off to sleep.
2) Her thumb.
3) Her dad and brother. They can really get a good laugh out of her.
4) Her tongue. She has played with it ever since we met.

Sorry about the eternal post and no pictures. The computer was not cooperating--computers aren't always on the list of things that make me happy!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dishwasher Makeover!

Our dishwasher broke...tragic, but Jed is such a fixer that he was on it. He began taking things apart and even had Drew involved and helping. He managed to loosen a few things and then it was off to work. (of course your dishwasher has to break when it is FULL of dirty dishes right? That's just how life is isn't it!!) At mid-day the kids and I did our usual thing and called up Jed and told him how the day was going. Drew had a turn to talk to him and Jed asked if he fixed the dishwasher yet. Anyway.....after the phone call I was exhausted and decided it was time for some quiet time. Hannah was down so I told the kids to be good while I took a little shnoozer. They were good. I came out complimenting them on their ability to not fight for a half an hour while I could get my energy back up so I could be a good mom. Well, upon entering the kitchen was the answer to their angellic-ness. Our dishwasher had definitely been "fixed!" There were screws, tools, and random parts ALL over the floor! I didn't know what to say, after all he had followed his fathers orders! Later that day Jed came home and my wonderful husband who can fix pretty much ANYTHING deemed the dishwasher beyond repair. He would ask Drew where things went and Drew would just say "I don't know." Jed was EXTREMELY patient with Drew even though our dishwasher has now given up the ghost. So yesterday I let the kids watch a show and I did dishes the entire time! Feels good to have the dishes done!
Madelyn just came and told me she went to put on her shoes and a "little thing" was trying on her sock and then hid, so I better go.....I don't know quite what to expect......

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Little Hannah

I thought this picture was really cute! Hannah is just looking right at the camera! Our little girl just surprised us last night and rolled over 3 times! It could have been a fluke because she hasn't repeated that fluke all day today. I can't believe how Hannah is growing, I wish I could push pause and keep her like this for a little longer. Last month she found her thumb and life has been much more peaceful, even the nights! I know some must be thinking that the fact she has found her thumb is a terrible thing, but at this moment in time I am singing its praises! I just can't feel too terribly when I am sleeping more than I ever have with a baby in the house! Our little girl is such a joy to us and I really could snuggle her all day long. This being our third baby has just made me realize that these baby moments are so brief and precious.

A little something tasty!

I've had some people ask for this recipe, so I decided to post it on my blog because it is one of my favorite snacks!!!

Black Bean Salsa:

1 can black beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans)

1 can corn

1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/3 cup chopped green onion

1 Bunch cilantro, chopped

1 avacado, chopped (0ptional)

Juice of 1/2 lemon (or 1 T. lemon juice)

Juice of 1 lime

Mix and refrigerate a couple hours! Sometimes I don't always have all the ingredients on hand for example I don't think a lime has ever graced our refrigerator, so I just add a little extra lemon juice. And I have actually never added cilantro either! So it turns out even without some things. It is way good, atleast I think so..... And it is definitely a healthier version of salso too. It's got beans and corn to add protein and fiber. It is really good with tacos and burritos or any Mexican dish, or just with chips. Or if you don't want to ruin the "good-for-you-ness" then eat it with whole grain crackers! Mmmmm. Did I mention I love this stuff?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday Night Fun!

We held our first Denning Family Olympics last Friday! It was great. We had a derby race, a competition to see who could make Hannah smile, we had an airplane accuracy flying contest, and we played Pirate's Dice. Madelyn won!! But we did all receive a medal. The kids are really into saving money, so our first two prizes were cash prizes!! Nice.

I am constantly weeding out the unnecessary in my you can see by this picture getting ready for the day got weeded out!! Having fun with my family took precedence!

I took this picture of the kids the other day, and I have to say that these kids are the greatest and the cutest kids ever!! No bias or anything.....

Last night, my parents came over and we caught this really cute picture of my dad! It is just classic of my dad! We had a good visit. We love you Grandma and Grandpa!

Awhile ago I saw some tuna in the cupboard and thought of my dad. He used to make tuna patties growing up. I called him up and asked for the recipe. My dad does a lot of cooking and he doesn't use recipes, so he did his best to give me a recipe for the tuna patties. He did great because they turned out perfect and are actually Drew's new favorite food--right up there with hamburgers. In fact after dinner Drew even called Grandpa to thank him for the delicious recipe!! I was going to post the recipe for anyone who wanted to try it, but my notebook is missing!! Maybe later.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Honest Scrap Tag

I have been tagged with the Honest Scrap from MarjAnn. Rules are: post 10 honest things about yourself. 2. Pass along to 7 bloggers... 3. Have fun. Well I don't think I even have 7 bloggers to pass this on to, so if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.

1.Honestly, my husband is my best friend. I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful husband who takes amazing care of his family. He is the hardest working person ever and fulfills all of his roles so well. He is a great example to me. Thanks hun, I love you.

2. Honestly, I love my children with all my heart. They are wonderful children and they teach me so much. How perfect Heavenly Father's plan is to include being a mother and wife and raising children. What else could you love so completely and strive so hard to be better for? I love to hear the funny things they say and watch the funny things they do. And to hear randomly from your 3 year-old, "Mom, you're great" just fills me with joy!

3.Honestly, I love to exercise. Sounds crazy, but I really do love to exercise. It helps me be better in every aspect in my life. I even love to involve my kids. It's pretty funny to have Madelyn doing aerobics with me or catch Drew pretending to be a ballerina!!

4.Honestly, I do not like to spend money on myself. If I have to buy Jed, or the kids clothes...fine. But to buy them for myself? Much harder. Some of my shirts are starting to look like limp lettuce, so I decided I wanted cash for Christmas to buy some new clothes. I still haven't spent it! I keep thinking I should buy something else with it. Confession: I actually do like to buy exercisy things though.

5.Honestly, I could eat a whole tub of ice fact I have. Not recently, but I probably still could! That's probably why you all are thinking...."Jeannette likes to exercise?!" Yes, then I botch it all up when I succumb to the whisperings from the freezer!

6.Honestly, Kung Fu Panda is probably one of my favorite shows. I am a kid at heart.

7.Honestly, I enjoy learning how to be more domestic. I love learning about food storage, how to cook new foods, learning you can make your own laundry detergent..that intrigues me. I want to learn how.

8.Honestly, the food I am craving most lately is Bajio or Cafe Rio. To me they are the same. I just got the recipe for their meat and special ranch. I can't wait to make it!! By the way, I'm not expecting.

9.Honestly, I love to read. I haven't found much time as of late to do it, but I love it. Mostly I read self-help books because if you know me, I need a lot of help!!

10.Honestly, the gospel is the most important thing of all. I'm so grateful for the Plan of Salvation. Life is so unpredictable. I love the prophets counsel to live for today. You never know what tomorrow will bring. I'm so grateful for the joy that the gospel brings--no matter what hardships you suffer the gospel still brings joy. It truly is the Good News!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What can I say? I'm Cheap!!

So the other day my hair was starting to drive me crazy.....I needed a haircut really bad! Jed cut my hair last time and did a pretty good job, so I hired him again. (Ok, so we don't really exchange any funds...if he's lucky he'll get a hug depending on the quality of the completed job!) The last time he cut my hair, I just had him trim it and do some layers. I've had some pretty bad haircuts in my time and I figured he couldn't mess it up worse than the so called "professionals." He did a good job last time!
I told him to cut about an inch and a half off, then I got my hair all wet and we were ready to go. Things started out pretty good, then I hear a large wet "thud" on the floor. I was a little startled! Next thing, Jed asks me to hold the hair he had already trimmed. So I reach for it and say, "hold what?!" My hair was quite short!! I was getting scared. He kept telling me he wasn't doing as good of job as the last time. The scissors weren't cutting well for him, so he would take a running start and take a huge whack! This was not helping my nerves at all. Anyway, he finished up what he was doing and sent me to the mirror. I came back and all I could say was, "Wow! That is short!" So we decided to stop the whacking and just dry my hair and go from there. After that we fixed a few things here and there and it turned out pretty darn good, again!! (When we get our camera fixed I'll post a picture) Not very many girls can say they are in love their hair stylist, but I can!! So he is hired permanently.....What next hun, highlights, a perm? We"ll see.