and so they moved...

...to a magical land named Boise.

and while Boise may be a little out of the way from most populated enchanted kingdoms, it's far from being any type of rugged wilderness. which means jen in the wilderness doesn't really fit any more.

and so we're back to our jenerek blog: dekeandjen.blogspot.com. i even did an inaugural post to get it going again. i know. i feel so accomplished, writing another blog post and all.

this blog will still remain, forever documenting our crazy experience, but all new adventures can be found at the new {old} abode.

see you there!


cabin fever

I knew it would happen at some point.

Old man winter is still gracing his thrown. We keep waiting for the lovely Ms. Spring to host her inaugural ball, but apparently she's still on holiday. Maybe when the current 3 feet of snow melts, she'll swing by.

In the meantime, our family room is growing smaller by the nano second. We still try and get outside often, but Reese just loves to run down the mountainside and then have me carry her   a  l  l     t  h e    w a y   back up. Which, you know, is like, SO fun.

Her second favorite outdoor pastime is playing hide and go seek in the rows of sleds. Side note: 90% of the time, when Reese is dressed in her outdoor garb, people always assume she's a boy. What? Exclamation! Ummm, hi. What boy do you know wears a hat with a flower and flaming pink gloves? Pshhhh..... I know the suit and boots are a little boyish, but heck. If I'm going to buy expensive, high quality gear, it better be usable for boys and girls. End rant.

My darling Reese:

I'm quickly running out of fun indoor ideas.  Since there isn't any town within a reasonable distance, it's just me and Reese at our home every day.  No where else to go.  Our current indoor time is spent doing the following:

Playing in rice with measuring cups, spoons, etc...
Making home made play dough (which oddly enough really weirds Reese out)
Mixing water with food coloring
Movies (ahhh! don't judge...)
And learning ABC's via starfall.com

My angel of a mom-in-law sent me home with wooden beads to thread and some fun stackable stuff. But still. I need anything and everything I can get to entertain a very energetic little peanut. In other words, I'd love it if you shelled out some of your fabulous ideas.

I feel like I totally got jipped in the whole 'Creative Mothering' skill set. Sadly, thinking of unique, fun things to do just doesn't come naturally to me. My poor child{ren}.

So please, help a po' motha' out. Or just come up and visit.

these are a couple months old, but still

I meant to do a separate post for each picture, but I fear I'll never catch up if I try and do that. So just enjoy all things Reese. And isn't that rocker to die for? Courtesy of Mrs. Santa {aka Grandma}.

So much joy and satisfaction wrapped up in one little dynamic package. Forever and always my baby she'll be.


i didn't want to go to church today

One of those Sundays. Don't tell me you've never had one.

Had to wake up an hour early. Stupid daylight savings.

It was Deek's Sunday to work. Which means, I'm left on my own to get the little chica ready. Not that taking care of one child is that hard.

I blame it mostly on the snow. Stupid snow. Most the time I love it {yes, even in March}, but not on Sunday mornings. Especially when I'm on my own.

7 inches of fresh white stuff. Beautiful really, but it became the object of my cursing ill feelings today. 

7 inches of fresh white stuff laying on top of 3 feet of old white stuff.  In other words, just enough fresh to cover all those little holes and weak spots that, with any wrong step, spell disaster.

I didn't want to hike the more than half a football field to the truck with my arms full of child and baggage in a mine field like that.  Any prior path had been covered up.

Even still, guilt got the better of me.  I threw my baby on one hip, my 500 pound diaper bag on the other shoulder {it takes too much stuff to entertain during Sacrament meeting. Sheesh.}, and pulled on the heavy winter boots.  Maybe I'll get extra points in heaven or something. --insert pioneers mocking me--

I keep my entire wordrobe of regular shoes in the truck.  So much easier to throw them on once I get to the car since it's useless to keep them at my house.  Can't wear them till I hike out anyway.

And so I set out on my trek. I hate snow. I hate sabbath day snow. I hate my truck 70 million miles away. I hate you septic system for making me park 70 million miles away.  


10 steps from my house, I hit a land mine.

My right foot fell into a weak spot as my body crashed into the snow.  Wished I would put on a jacket or something.  Snow up my sleeve.  Down my shirt.  All the way up my skirt.  And the worst - freezing, icy snow down my boot. Wished I would have put some socks or nylons on or something.  Bare feet sopping wet. Me sopping wet. Diaper bag sopping wet.

Somehow I had whipped Reese around to my left hip, saving her from my same fate.

I looked up to the heavens, Is this a test? How 'bout I just take a Fail and call it good? I hate tests.

I was this close to walking back into my house.

Guilt over missing out on my calling ensued.

Stupid calling. Why do those primary kids have to be so cute? Darn kids.

I put myself back together and trudged the rest of the way.

Finally, the truck.

Dagnabbit.  Ice all over the windshield. Sigh.

Heavy sigh. Stupid ice.

Attempted to clear the ice away. Wish some plows would come by and do the same thing to the road. Gave up half way through and left with a hole big enough to see through the driver side of the window. Eh, no one else drives on the road anyway.

I'm going to be late.

I'm never late to church.  I used tochronically be 5 minutes late to church every week until we moved here.  I set a goal, and since then I'm usually 5 minutes early.

I hate being late to church.

Finally, something good happened - the morning sun had failed to yet melt the snowy roads. Good, because it hadn't melted to slush .  I'd drive through snow any day over slush.  Slush just doesn't give anything to your tires to grip to. You slip slide everywhere.

The 15 mile drive wouldn't be that bad afterall.

We made it to church.  10 minutes late.  Primary is first, and as the primary chorister it's usually a pretty busy start to the church day.

And so we had church.

I'd like to say it was that one really incredible church meeting. You know, the one. The one that's completely life changing and ifIdidn'tgotoIwouldhavemissedoutonthatpearlofwisdomthatwouldhavedrasticallychangedmylife'scourse.

Haven't we heard those stories?  We forage on through something we really didn't want to do and at the end there's a beautiful life lesson and reward. Yeah, me too.

Turns out, it was just a normal day at church.

Those beautiful kids singing those beautiful songs.  They thought my game was just about the greatest thing to hit this side of Zarahemla.

That little girl who gave me a hug. The one that's really quiet and hardly ever talks.

The 12 year old boys singing their very best.

Wrestling Reese all sacrament meeting. Thank goodness for kind ward members who step in to help while daddy is gone.

Reese yelling at the top of her lungs "AH-KAY!!!! A' done!!!!!" as soon as the final sacrament speaker said amen.

Just another day at church.

I'm sure I would have been fine had I not gone.  I'd still be me.  I'd still have family home evening, I'd still read my scriptures daily, and I'd still be at church next week, I'd still be a good person.

But I went.  Even when I really, really, really didn't want to.  And it wasn't life changing.

But maybe it was.  Maybe it was.

Maybe it's those small, seemingly, inconsequential decisions that almost unnoticeabley add up over time.  Doing something we don't want to do and getting no extraordinary reward.

Maybe some day they will make a difference.  Maybe someday all those little trivial decisions that wouldn't have made a huge character changing difference at the moment of choice will matter.  Each tiny little decision becoming a tiny little part that creates a gigantic synergistic whole of spiritual strength.

Those little decisions giving us the moral character to act in some future fiery furnace when there will be far more at stake than 3 hours of spiritual enlightenment.

Or so I hope.

But for now, just do me a favor.  Next time you open the door to your garage and see your car only a few sweet steps of concrete away, try and appreciate it. And I'll probably hate you a little bit.  But then you can hate me a little bit for the view I get to enjoy on the voyage to my car.

See then? Almost even.


mirror, mirror on the wall

So we have a floor mirror in our family room that I pulled out a few weeks ago. I wanted Reese to be able to see herself dance and pull funny faces to her little hearts content. If anything, it provides extra entertainment for myself.

Turns out, she LOVES the mirror. For dancing, for dress up, for acting silly, for kissing, for pretty much every activity ever.

Do I have a little narcissist on my hands? Perhaps, but better than a low self confidence right? We'll keep trying to work on the humility...

But anyway, I've managed to capture a few moments without her completely noticing.

So in love with herself.

Insisted on wearing her hat, and mittens, and boots.

Caught in the act. Love that smile.

The bathing beauty.

Oh gosh, isn't she something? Never a dull moment..



Things of note:

Kayla came down with the flu a day before we all were to fly out together. We all sat near each other on the plane :).

In effort to avoid catching the bug {who knows who's been exposed!}, Annie and I walked around with face masks and rubber gloves on. {Wo}man v Biological terror.  Seriously.  Poor Matt, he had to put up with not 1, but 2 crazy N girls.

When Matt came down with the bug we still didn't know who had been exposed so he was banished to the bedroom for 2 straight days even though he was feeling better.  Hi Matt, thanks for still loving me.

Wiping down every. single. blasted. toy. with Lysol after any child used it.

And then all flu hell broke loose.  Annie, Preston, Reese.... The soldiers started dropping like flies.

Reese's very first flu included barfing all over the tub, then on a walk through the culdesac {ummm... maybe it'll just act like fertilization?}, and then the culminating barf of all barfs: all over in the car while we were 30 minutes from home. Annie buying towels in the nearest store, stripping Reese down to a diaper in the freezing cold, holding her naked little body on my lap in the back seat all the way home {on the freeway. wahoo!!}, rolling windows down from the awful smell, scrubbing every last buckle and cranny of her car seat.  With a bucket. Gag.   Their hose wasn't working so we had to run back and forth, back and forth into the house with an ice cream bucket filled with water to get all the, uh, chunks out.

Reese pooping in the tub.  What's with the bodily secretions and Annie's tub?

Taking hardly any pictures.

Meeting Lulu.

Sub freezing temperatures. In Houston. Don't worry, the next week it was back into the 80's. What the heck, weather of the globe?!  

Annie gets favorite aunt points for cleaning her niece's throw up BOTH times.  Now that's love.

Threw in the towel in the fight against germs.  Reese and I shared food and kisses while she was sick.  No more face masks and gloves, though.  And no more Lysol. Freedom!

Somehow, I'm the only one who didn't get sick.  What the? We're still in awe over this fact. I credit the Airborne I started taking religiously the second we got to Texas.  Will now invest for the food storage...

Pappasito's. Mmmmmm...

Charming Charlies. Please come to Utah already?

Lots and lots of popsicles.

Unpacking the play room and kitchen. Starting the decorating. Wish I could have helped even more!! {the real reason I went down there...} Darn flu...

Reese discovered playgrounds.  LOVED the slides, and wanted to go down all by herself. And also whatever Kayla was doing.

First time feeding ducks. 

Reese and Preston taking turns pushing each other in the little red fire engine. Totally the coveted toy.

Blue Bell ice cream every night.

Watching the kids interact.  Reese LOVED Kayla and Preston.  She was mesmorized by all that they did and wanted to be in on all the action.  Favorite thing was watching them all jump around on the air mattress.

Surviving the flight home all by myself with an 18M toddler.  Something magical happened and she slept the ENTIRE way.  More than luck I'd say.

Despite the sickness, we still managed to have a great and mostly MEMORABLE trip. Thanks again Matt and Annie!! Wish I could have helped even more, but it was so fun to just be able to hang out. You guys are the greatest - cleaning up my child's barf, putting up with my germophobic tendencies, and hosting a trip that I'll always, always remember.  Love you lots.


the grandma scam

Please tell your lovely grandparents to be careful.

Deek's grandma received a call earlier this week from someone claiming to be my hubster.

The caller explained that while on vacation, local police had found marijuana in the rental car he was using which obviously wasn't his, thus sending him to prison.  He needed $3000 wired immediately to post bail.

Grandma: You don't sound like my grandson...

Mysterious Caller Man:  I know, I have a really bad cold so I don't sound like myself.

Grandma:  Why didn't you ask your dad for the money?

Mysterious Caller man:  We got into a big fight and aren't speaking at the moment.

Grandma: What's your wife's name? (Smartypants points for Grandma!!)

Mysterious Caller Man:  (frustrated) Why are you asking so many questions??!!

And then he hung up the phone.

Isn't that just the most conniving thing you've ever heard? We have no idea where he got the information, linking Deek to his grandma since they have entirely different last names.

It obviously wasn't this blog or they would have known my name. And I never write last names in any of my posts.  Facebook maybe?  Deek is about the least social internetting person there is.  I think he's logged into Facebook maybe 4 times in the past year.  So maybe his privacy settings aren't set up right? He is 'Friends' with grandma...

Perhaps Spokeo or something of the like?

Who knows.  I remembered hearing a similar story on the news a year or so ago so I started researching, and turns out this is a popular scam going on right now.  People posing as grandchildren call the unknowing grandparents to wire money to get them out of some outlandish situation.  It's called the grandma scam.

Authorities still aren't sure how they get the information they need. Is that scary or what?

Just tell your grandparents to watch out!!