Monday, July 30, 2012

Ahhh the goofiness

Sometimes, well, many times our kids just crack us up.  I'm lucky to be married to a man who laughs easily which makes us all think we're funnier than we really are but also makes hard times easier to bear.  I love that about him and even when our kids are being naughty or crazy, we can usually find something to laugh about!

 Anna is always wanting us to put a bunch of these headbands on her.  She thinks she's stylin'

 Anna doesn't like eating dinner.  Here she's pawning it off on Benjamin when we watched him one evening.

 She loves to dress up with her sisters and DANCE.  That's her newest word.  Her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds.

 Since we watched the Olympic opening ceremony the girls pretended to be the Queen and King watching the olympics (even though there wasn't a king!) 

Yesterday Natalie built a temple with legos.  She was proud of her work!

A rare treat

We never have visitors come in the summer--NEVER.  It's not surprising that no one wants to come here since it's SO STINKIN' HOT.  However, we got a surprise visit from Grandma and Grandpa Lemmert.  It was so fun to be able to see them for a few days!  And guess what, they didn't melt!  Just goes to show you can visit the Arizona heat and live to tell about it.



Just keep swimming

The girls rocked it at swimming lessons this summer. They completed 2 sessions and came away very confident swimmers! My friend Miss Brittany did a great job with the girls. Both of them can now jump off the diving board and swim across the pool. Cyrena has always been a bit nervous in the water but she overcame a lot of that. Natalie was like a fish in the water, constantly underwater playing around. She tends to rely on her feet instead of using her arms--she's got a strong kick! The last day she kept doing corkscrews in the water-she's in her own world. 




Friday, July 20, 2012

Staycation at the Buttes

David's work family invited us to their family staycation last month. We love spending time with them, it makes us feel like part of a family again! We had a great time at the Buttes which is a resort built right into a mountain in Tempe. Pretty cool and so much fun.

The first night we ate pizza, swam for a bit, went on a walk around the resort, then most of the kids headed to our room to watch Tangled and eat popcorn and starburst.

We spent most of the day Saturday in the pool-about 4 hours in the morning and another 2 that night!  The girls loved showing off their skills they'd been working on in swimming lessons.



They had this great water slide that was perfect for kids.  I think Natalie went down it at least 20 times.  She would go down, land in the pool, swim to the side, climb out, then climb the stairs back to the beginning of the slide.  Also about halfway through the slide she would flip from her back to her tummy and come out that way.  The lifeguards (and some of the other swimmers) knew her by name and cheered her on each time--it was SO funny.

The water was so warm and they had a great step that went all the way around the shallow end so Anna just monkey-walked around everywhere.


Part of the group

David competed with these 2 lovely ladies (Natalie and Trudy) in a handstand contest

Beautiful!

Trudy ordered us some poolside drinks-she really spoiled us! 


 All of us fell asleep for an afternoon nap

We woke up early Sunday morning and got dressed for church.  We ate breakfast, checked out, then went straight to church!  We had such a great time, we definitely want to head back to the Buttes next year!  Thank you Blount Family!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A decade later


 Yep, it's been 10 years since I became Jenna Dean. In some ways I can't believe it's been 10 years but in others it's as if I've always been Jenna Dean!   I do like being her since she's a very blessed woman.  She has a husband who adores her, 3 beautiful daughters, a home to live in,  a full life, and much much more. To be cliche, our wedding day was THE happiest day of my life-or I should say; the beginning of the happiest days of my life.  The birth of my children was great but it was nothing compared to being sealed to David.  I remember being so happy that I cried through the entire ceremony.  I couldn't believe how blessed I was!

We are orphans here in AZ with no family too close by (my cousin lives an hour away) so we don't really have options for overnight trips.  So instead of begging friends or hiring a sitter to watch our kids overnight we decided to take the entire day and make it our own (Ferris Bueller style but cheaper).  We had 3 shifts of babysitters; morning, afternoon, and evening.  It worked out quite well and I am so very grateful to those that helped out; Alison, Nicole, and Trudy!!

We started at the temple in the morning.  Every year we do sealings the week of our anniversary.  It's incredible to hear those sacred words again on the day you are celebrating your own sealing. I had the distinct feeling of absolute joy while we performed ordinances for those who had passed on.  The thought that kept coming to mind was that "if they feel even a fraction of the joy that I feel with my own eternal family then their hearts will be full to overflowing".  Afterward we had some time in the celestial room and were able to say the sweet words we'd been saving for that special place.  It was a wonderful way to begin our mega-date.

After the temple we headed to lunch then to a local rock climbing gym.  Neither of us had ever done that before so we learned together.  As always when we're together there is a lot of laughing and teasing, I love it.  I think the lady there thought we were a bit crazy--especially since we showed up in church clothes! The rock climbing terrified me a bit.  I got more comfortable as we kept going but at first I was pretty scared!

David is safety conscious and we're both pretty by the book so we did everything exactly as they told us and counted all of our safety checkpoints!

SO HIGH!

Holding on for dear life-the harness is so attractive eh?!

After rock climbing we headed to Ikea to pick up the last piece of our entertainment center.  While there we had our own frozen yogurt cones--it was great not sharing with kids and getting a mess everywhere!

We then went to dinner and to a movie with some passes we had.  We were gone about a total of 12 hours and we were exhausted by the time we stumbled home!  It was a great day!

While we were driving to and fro in the car, David noticed we had about 10 hours left on our date.  So he said every hour he was going to recap the past 10 years.  So each hour we reminisced about a certain year of our marriage.  It was SO fun to remember the ups and downs, funny times, sad times, and to see the path we've been on for the past decade.  We both feel extremely blessed and grateful for our eternal marriage. As David always says "I can't believe how perfect we are for each other" I couldn't agree more!

2 Happy Half Birthdays

We celebrated two half-birthdays last month.  First Anna, then 2 days later Cyrena.  For half birthdays the kids can pick what they want mom to make for dinner, a treat to make with mom, and they also get a small present.  It's just enough for them to get some recognition since all 3 girls have holiday birthdays.  

ANNA
 Since Anna can't pick a treat I bought some clearance donuts at Albie's. :) We put 1.5 candles in the donut and she was happy.  

We bought Anna a Twilight Ladybug like Natalie's Twilight Turtle.

Anna facts:
Height: 34 inches-95%
Weight: 25 lbs-50%
1.  Anna is really starting to communicate.  She says a lot:
     -gog (dog)
    -stinky
    -mom
    -daddy
    -cookie
    -baby
    -no
    -fishy
    -diter (sister)
    -cracker
    -Mow! (kitty sound)
  *-book
  *-thank you
  *-ceeyall (cereal)
  *-eeeewww (while plugging her nose)
    -and a whole lot more that we don't understand!
Anna also nods a lot and can answer yes and no questions that way.  
*added at 19 months old 

2.  She is loving nursery so far.  David transitioned her quite smoothly, way to go honey!  I have nothing to do with it other than peeking in the window when I sneak out for a drink break during sharing time.

3.  Anna LOVES her sisters!  When the other girls were this age they stuck around me pretty closely but Anna is perfectly content following her sisters around-she just comes to me when she's hungry. She will play along with anything they are playing and they love to include her.  When it's time for bedtime kisses, her sisters get the biggest ones. 

4.  She calls me 'MAHHHHHHHM'; really loud and really long until I acknowledge her.  She's always got something to tell me, especially when her sisters are trying to tell me something also.  After church the girls race to the primary room to tell me everything and this past Sunday Anna joined in.  "MAHHHHHHHM, MAHHHHHHM"  until I looked at her then she proceeded with 30 seconds of gibberish and a whole bunch of nodding.  

5.  Anna has to have fresh pajamas every night and I change her sheet almost everyday.  She's going through an awful pooping stage and it gets EVERYWHERE.  I have no idea how it happens but it's always up her back and down her legs.  I dread getting her up in the mornings.

6.  Anna calls my cell phone "daddy" and her favorite thing when she wakes up from her afternoon nap is to call him and ask when he'll be home.

CYRENA
 Cyrena requested spaghetti for dinner and chocolate chip cookies for her treat.  I made her a giant cookie.  For her gift, Cyrena got a new bike helmet.  Her barbie helmet she got when she was 3 was not cuttin' it anymore.

 She got to have her friend Robyn over to play and she stayed for dinner.  These two have been friends for over a year now and they have a lot of fun together.

Cyrena facts:

1.  Cyrena is growing like a weed and looking a bit grown-up.  Her legs have gotten really long (and hairy...hehe!)

2.  Cyrena loves to be responsible whether it's getting Anna out of her crib, helping make breakfast/lunch, or watching Anna while I'm in the shower.  She is working hard on some new chores this summer.  Some of them are: emptying the dishwasher (Natalie does the silverware), wiping down her bathroom counter and sink and changing out the bathroom trashes.  It's been nice to have her home to help out a bit more.  When she twisted her ankle last month I realized how much I rely on her to "run upstairs for..." "can you pick up..." "grab me a diaper..." etc.  

3.   Cyrena continues to love to read.  When I finished teaching I felt like I had a great stash of picture books and chapter books.  We've never really had a need to check out books from the library because we have so many.  We still have plenty of picture books.  However, she has finished almost all the age-appropriate chapter books that we have!  She's read all the Junie B. Jones, Magic Treehouse, A to Z mysteries, and Boxcar Children books that we own.  And we own a lot!  So I guess we'll be checking more out from the library.  Luckily we also have used bookstores close by that we can hit up when she earns it. 

4.  Swimming lessons have been great this summer for Cyrena.  I'll post more on that soon but she is really swimming now and we're very proud of her.

5.  Cyrena talks non-stop to her own detriment.  Sometimes she's so busy working something through orally that she completely misses opportunities.  For example;  I tell her she can watch a show while I am doing something else and then when I'm done we'll play a game.  She spends the first 10 minutes of her screen time reiterating exactly what I just told her so she can work it out in her own mind.  It's hard to explain but it gets really annoying and sometimes we just have to tell her to relax and STOP!

6.  Cyrena's imagination has really grown in the past year and I love to watch her make up things for her sisters to play.  Everyone needs a director right?

Oh my girls, how I love you!





The Deans

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Life as we know it is full of laughter, fun, stress, love, faith and surprises. What more could we ask for?