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!!


the wedding

Such a beautiful, sunshiny day.  With temperatures peaking in the upper teens, it was a little on the frigid side.  My favorite part of the entire day was when Brad sang a love song to Alli at the luncheon.  Sigh. So sweet.

The happy newly weds:

The N men:

The N women:


The 2 oldest nephews:

Perhaps the cutest picture of Kayla and Preston ever:

Miss 'Liza:

I was a mean mom and didn't bring Reese to the temple or luncheon.  Only grandchild not there.  Ooopsies.  I wanted her to be well rested and ready to party at the reception.  She can be quite the little monster when naps are skipped. Watch out.

And whatdoyouknow, we forgot to bring our camera to the reception so these are all from the wedding photographer.

The entire N crew (sidenote: weird optical illusion going on with Katie on the far right.  She is in fact only an inch or so taller than me and very petite.)

Miss Rooster Roni herself:  Isn't that dress to die for?

Chewing on the decorations:

Who wouldn't love to marry into a family with siblings like this? SMILE AS BIG AS YOU CAN. I know, my smile is totally weak sauce.  Poor, poor Alli...

I love family weddings. What a fun excuse to hang out with your favorite people all day long. And also for waxing nostalgic about one's own wedding day. Has it really been over 5 years? Eee gads.

Any way, it was such a beautiful day in all sense of the word. Brad and Alli are the perfect compliment to one another, and it was such a joy to celebrate with them.

Congrats Brad and Alli!!


let the catching up begin!

As of last week I was officially restored to the modern universe.  Hello Mr. Internet. You had me at "connecting to gmail..." So glad to get our groove on again.

I never thought I'd be able to say this, but I survived over a month without you.  30 plus days people.  A feat in it's own right for someone of my generation, but when it's your primary mode of communication with the entire non-coniferous world...? Ummmm, hi. I ate a cupcake {or eight} to celebrate.

I thought about updating earlier, but then I was whisked away to the valley to enjoy the family Boondocks extravaganza. And then I also started a very small job during Reese's naps several times a week.  In other words, blogging time has been sparse.

But just so you know, instead of a fading distant memory, blogging is now somewhere on the list. If I even had a list.

I'll be updating hoards and hoards of pictures from exotic travels and more pictures than you ever wanted to see of this little squirt:

Let the catching up begin!!


like a voice crying out from the darkness....

... or just the internet darkness.

I'm back. It was wonderful. It was crazy. It was memorable.

And it's never felt so great to be home.


Sweet, sweet word.

As for now, I'm hijacking the lodge's office internet, since our wireless router has been down for the past couple weeks.

Translation: I have much to share but no internet at my home.  Should be fixed by the end of the week. Wahoo!!

Hope your day of love was somethin' special!!



checking out for a few weeks

While I am "forced" to do things like the following:

Fly to Houston to party with the sister
Celebrate the brother's wedding and festivities
Visit Chicago for an all girls' trip to see Wicked

Lots of fun traveling.  Lots of fun celebrating.*

I know.


Guys. Someone has to live like this, and I was all, pick me. PICK ME DANGIT!!

And whatdoyouknow, they did. Whoever "they" is.

I love "they." or them. or whatever..

And so, I bid ya'll a hearty yeehaw adieu.

This is Jen from the Wilderness checking out.

Over and out,



*I wouldn't be doing any of the aforementioned activities if it weren't for the generous sponsorship of un-named individuals. A.K.A. my rock-your-socks family.


while we were in the other room..

...Reese found my empty dessert plate I hadn't cleared to the kitchen yet.  Deek and I just couldn't stop the giggling.  Face pressed against the plate, licking off every last smidgen of chocolaty goodness.  A girl after my own heart.

In other news, a little nook-ed somebody has been mischievously climbing every piece of furniture in sight today.

Why are naked little baby bodies the cutest things ever?  {Note: full grown adults running around sans clothes is not so cute. Read here.}

Buddha bellies, scrawny shoulders, and squishy legs. Love it.  All of it.  Too bad they're just not as cute when you're older.

Any who,  fun is being had at the home today.  Hooray!


my love affair with snowshoeing

I'm in love.

No, not with him {though yes, actually I am.}

Meet my new hot date:

I finally christened the snowshoes that had been hanging out in my closet for the past few years.

We loaded Reese in the Deuter and went exploring into the great white wilderness.

The posse:

Cross country skiing trails sprawl out for miles and miles, all within walking distance of the lodge. A wonderland of wintery webs. A wonderland of wintery webs spread throughout the great white wilderness. 

Tell me you would be able to pass up on alliteration like that, foo'.

Oops, I digress. What was I saying? Oh yes... the trails. 

Warming huts and yurts provide shelter from the elements and provide a fabulous place to lunch.  The lovely hut we hiked to:

And then there was Reese.

Reese decided she'd like to whip out some independence and hike by herself for a while.

She kept going, and going, and going. Up the hill..

Into the meadow {such determination!}...

And almost to the woods again.

The girl's got some spirit.  She has some CAN do, WILL do, I'm-GOING-to-no-matter-what-you-say spirit.

Not sure where she gets it from, wink wink.

She was so pleased with herself, hiking just like mommy and daddy.  She even felt confident enough in her clunky boots to do some twirling up the trail. Spinning in circles with a smile on her face.

I know I've said it before, but I really just can't get enough of her.

But back to the snowshoeing. I'm totally converted.  A hard core fan, if you will.  Fresh, inversion-free air, moderate excercise {work those glutes!}, the best of company and all while being surrounded by God's natural canvas.

Mmmmm.... paint me that picture over and over again.

Snowshoeing? Yes please.

Again, and again.


roads and happenings

So things have been pretty uneventful around these parts lately.  In a good way.

{Discounting the episode of dog diarrhea that found it's way all over my kitchen floor (and door, and clothing, and dog...) this morning. Lots & lots of dry heaving ensued.}

I'm kind of basking in the uneventfulness.  Everyone is healthy.  Everyone is happy. And everyone is employed. Can I get a hearty yee haw?


It seems the steady plateaus of living are a rare find among the mountainous challenges and downhill thrills of one's life topography.

Love the rushes, not usually a fan of the climbs, and right now I'm really loving just hanging out on my plateau. 

Can someone please pass me a pina colada?

A few of the happenings going on in our neck of the sticks:

A local TV station was up here doing a special on the lodge.  Deek was interviewed.  I can't wait to see if he makes the editing cut! I'm also intrigued to view their perception of the lodge.  Living 24/7 at a tourist destination always lessens the glamour a bit.

Last January when I was down with a bad cold, I taught myself how to crochet via YouTube.  And then it seemed my interest waned along with the sickness.  It may have something to do with January, but I've had a rekindling of interest in crocheting again.  I started making crocheted hearts for a Valentine heart garland to hang above my living room windows. Aren't they the cutest? And also, the fact I'm getting excited over crocheted hearts kind of makes me feel like a grandma.

Reese no longer calls me Bob.  Sad day.  She's officially transitioned to Mom.  I wanted to stay Bobba forever.

We finally were able to find a way to refill the propane tank.  We had to hire a neighbor to come plow out a temporary road above our home.  Wahoo!! Heating our home and cooking our food can still go on!

In the months we've been here we've seen a lot of friends, family, and acquaintances. One of which was an old boss of Deek's. This was a person who displayed more disregard, disrespect, and rudeness toward a person {Deek} than I have ever seen. We'll just say 'classy' and 'admirable' would not be words to describe their behavior.

While we are so glad Deek is no longer employed there {because it means our journey of unemployment lead us up here to the wild west... wahoo!!}, the sting of the way he was layed off is still there.  When I thought about what I would have wanted to say to this person had I seen them, I realized my maturity and Christ like love for my fellow men weren't quite where they should be.  A swift kick in the pants would have been a satisfactory greeting, in my opinion.

Kudos to Deek for refraining from any physical harm and acting cordially.  I'm sure I could have mustered up some sort of courteous greeting had I seen them.  Or maybe I would have taken the "kill em' with sugar and a smile" approach, but either way would have been insincere and hollow.  It seems I have far to go in loving my supposed enemies.

And so the road to perfection is ever long and arduous.  Sometimes I wish I could just skip the road all together and revel in my imperfections and tendencies of the natural man.  Pretend there is no road and give way to all intemperance.  But then guilt {or is it my conscience?} usually gets the best of me.  Darn that road.

Can't I just swim around in my anger and belittling thoughts for a while?

I guess that only hurts me though, doesn't it?

And so the angel and devil on my shoulders battle it out.

Darn, darn, darn that road to perfection. Leading me from comfortable plateaus to mountains I'd rather not summit.

I guess for now I'll just sip on that pina colada....


one one one one one

Did you catch that today is 1/11/11?  Holy loads of freakin' karma.

I didn't notice the fateful date til about half an hour ago, but when I saw it, it all started to make sense.

Today has been the greatest of ordinary days. By the time Reese woke up at 9:00AM, I was dressed and ready for the day {even pulled out the lipstick - cue pat on back}, scriptures and prayer checked off the list, laundry in the washer, and bathrooms cleaned.

ALL my jobs were done before the little rug rat had a chance to rise and shine. Talk about a morning victory.

And then it just got better. As we were eating breakfast I thought, "Hey, why not just whip out a batch of cupcakes this morning?" And then we did.

And then Reese helped measure all the dry ingredients.

And then she thought she was spiffier than a flap jack in May. {what??}

And then I decided baking with toddlers is approximately 5.72 times messier than normal.

And then I also decided baking with toddlers is approximately 11.44 times more fun than normal.

{before the mess was made}

The result of our morning efforts:

And all frosted and ready to go by noon. What the heck was in my milk this morning? Apparently something that did my body good. {wa wa waaaaaaaaaahhh....}

And I promise this will be the last post for at least a week that has to do with baking. But ummm, guys, that's just what I do up here. What else am I going to do with all my free time?

The next day of luck? 11/11/11.

Oh the kismet you are destined to bring.  Luck be a lady indeed.


oatmeal bread

I posted about my first try making home made bread a while ago.

And while the loaf sure looked pretty, it wasn't quite the taste I was going for.  So, in search for something better, I whipped open one of my favorite cookbooks and found the recipe for Oatmeal Bread.

Holy moly divine.

Not only is it one of the tastiest breads I've ever engulfed, it's also the easiest I've ever tried to make.  100% perfect loaf on the first try.  Quadruple favorite points.  And it makes the best toast you've ever sunk your teeth into. Top it with some home made raspberry jam and you can cancel that trip to Hawaii.

The original recipe calls for all white flour, but I usually substitute half of it with wheat flour for the whole 'making it healthy' idea.  And while it's fine with the wheat, made the original way with all white flour, this stuff is sustenance for Zeus himself.

The recipe:

Oatmeal Bread
1 cups oats
2 cups water
2/3 cups brown sugar, heaping firmly packed
3 tablespoons oil
2 packages yeast (or about 2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup warm water
pinch of sugar
2 teaspoon salt
5 cups flour

Boil water and pour over oats.  Let cool.  Add brown sugar and oil.  Dissolve yeast in 1/3 C water.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar.  Let raise and add to rest of mixture.  Stir in salt, add flour, and knead by hand til dough is smooth.  Leave dough in same bowl, cover with a towel, and let raise for 1 hour.  Divide dough and form into two loaves.  Grease bread pans and sprinkle with oats.  Place loaves into pans.  Let raise again for 1 hour and then bake at 350F for 35 minutes.  Butter tops when cooked*

One of my favorite things about this bread is that you don't need any fancy equipment or to do any fancy shmancy oiling of the bowl, etc...  It specifically calls to knead by hand and then you just throw a tea towel over the same bowl you mixed it in and it's good to go. Easy peasy.

Also, you don't need to knead it that much - mine is usually ready to go with less than 5 minutes of kneading by hand.  Just knead til flour is completely mixed in and the dough is smooth. This creates a fluffy and moist finished product. And yes, I just said moist, one of the most cringe inducing pieces of vocabulary to ever exist.

*The eating of this bread may elicit abnormal behavior in the husband slash significant other. Repeated complimenting, giving of foot rubs, and lavishing with luxurious gifts may ensue. You've been warned.


cookies and dog germs

Today, instead of taking down Christmas decorations and starting the grand new year organization like we should, we made a mess.

A little cookie mess to be exact.

So what if Reese never got dressed in more than her undershirt.  So what if it was a bright beautiful blue sky day and we stayed inside. So what if only one bathroom was cleaned.

We had ourselves some fun. Some good ol' fashioned caloric fun.

Cookie may have been lunch's primary food group.  And whenever that happens my friends, you know it's a good, good day.

And P.S. Today Reese discovered that Keeta has holes in her nose.  She kept trying to stick her littler fingers up those canine nostrils.  Seriously.  And when Keeta wouldn't hold still enough for Dr Reese's examination, Reese resorted to giving her a great, big, juicy, wet, open mouth complete with tongue kiss right on the shnoz.  And then she laughed. The shnoz kissing, nostril attacking terrorist laughed.  Too bad I didn't grab my camera in time.

P.P.S. I stopped caring about dog germs after about the 256th time Keeta licked Reese's hand mid meal.  If I wiped her hands every time she touched Keeta, there wouldn't be any hands left to wash.  I just like to think I'm creating immunities. Lots and lots of immunities...


wishes for 2011

take advantage of my backyard: hike, snowshoe, ski, sled, explore, etc...

write thank you's more consistently

learn how to really use deek's dslr camera {auto mode doesn't count}

put relationships over "to-do's"

weight training 3 times per week

expand my baking skills

consistency in scripture reading

seize the day.


we're here live from the arctic

Whew!! We made it through the new year without freezing to death.  New Year's Eve's low was -36F with wind chill.  I don't care what kind of long underwear you own, that's just darn cold.

It's been an exciting few days.

Propane man came to fill up us up {that's how we heat our home} and discovered his hose can't reach our tank. Awesome. We're down to about 10% of capacity, so hopefully we can figure something out soon.  No propane = no heat and no cooking.

My double wide needs some long underwear.

We had visitors for the new year. Wahoo! Like real live people staying at our home.  So glad Danny and Sarah came up to visit, even if we did fall asleep before midnight.

With the crazy tourism business that consumes the Holidays, the lodge was packed.  I had to help out with housekeeping on New Years Day.. Translation: Jen cleaned lots and lots of toilets.  Barf.  Some people are really clean, and others not so much. I hope you never have to clean out a jetted tub that someone must have shaved their entire body in. And no hair had been rinsed down the drain. Gag. Vomit. Quadruple double barf.

Reese discovered the joy of jumping on beds {and checking herself out in the mirror while doing so}.  This is how she feels if we try and take her off:

Deek loves his job, but this is how feels about working almost every major holiday:

If eyes could bite...

Actually that would be really weird. I hope eyes never bite.

I love Deek's scar.  He says it's from a bear attack wink, wink.

It's not, but we'll let him pretend.

Our power went out the other night.  Didn't come back on til 5AM.  Our pipes were THIS CLOSE to freezing again.  Faucets were on full blast but only a trickle of water came out.  If there is one thing I've learned from living up here it's that having frozen pipes while caring for small children is pretty much the worst thing ever. EVER, I tell you.

I'm going to Chicago in a few weeks sans husband and child with the H gals to see Wicked. This year is already starting fantastically.

I keep hoping for it to warm up a tad so I can test out my snow blades on our sledding hill. And by warming up I mean highs at least in the 20's.

It's officially January and I'm stoked {Can I still use that term or did it die in like 2000? I don't know and now I'm embarrassed.}.  New slate, new decade, everything a white wintry new.

Cheers to a new year!!!