Thursday, December 30

Winter Wonderland

There wasn't a huge amount of snow while we were in Utah.

But we took advantage of the snow we could find,

and sledded to our hearts' content!

This was our kid's first time.

That is so sad to me... but what can you do when you live in Oklahoma???

We capped off the old day outside with warm hot chocolate inside.

Monday, December 27

Emma... the 4-year-old!

Our kids don't usually get to celebrate their birthdays with lots of family around.
In fact, it is just mom and dad and the siblings most years.
This year, Emma was one lucky girl...

1 grandma and grandpa,
4 uncles,
4 aunts,
15 cousins,
1 mom and dad,
2 brothers,
1 sister,
and a Dora cake!

Happy Birthday, Miss Em.
You are a ray of sunshine in our lives.
You love to love people,
and we hope that you always have so much affection and such a caring nature.
Our home would be empty without you in it.
Now, if we could just get you to quit sucking your thumb...

Sunday, December 26

Cabin Christmas

On Christmas Eve, we took a little drive to Idaho.

Destination: Grandpa Ken's cabin.

Luckily, the snow was too high to get into the cabin in our trucks.

We just HAD to use the "snow cat."

It is safe to say we all loved the adventure.

Cookies in the old wood-burner for Santa,

Hot chocolate on the stove,

Reading from Luke 2,

And 4 very happy children.

On Christmas day, we opened presents.

Grandpa and Grandma made waffles and eggs for breakfast.

And then, our poor snow deprived children played and played until their cheeks were pink and their toes were purple!

It was a, warm and toasty, lovin' our family, fun in the snow, magical little Christmas.

Friday, December 24

Temple Square

Dennis surprised me a few days before Christmas with an early present.

We were scheduled to go to Iowa around Christmas-time this year.

He said he thought we should go to Utah instead!

So, instead of his family we would be visiting mine.

What's more is that we usually don't go away from our home until after Christmas, but that this year we would go up a few days ahead of time and spend the entire holiday.

We drove for 18 1/2 hours to get there, but we made it!

On our first night, we rode the Trax Train down to Salt Lake City to see the lights at temple square.

One of my brother's families and my sister's families, plus my mom and dad, and our little six went together.

The girls for the night - minus my sister and I

Andrew just playin' it cool

Jared stayed nice and warm dressed up as a dragon and bundled in his car seat

My girls and me

It was a good night!

Thursday, December 23


Our fun friends hosted an "Ugly Sweater" party for Christmas this year.

Dennis and I thought it was fun figuring out who we knew that might have an ugly sweater lurking in their closet... a sweater just begging to be worn to a party like this.

And to answer the burning question... yes, those are three-dimensional embellishments on my sweater!

Wednesday, December 22

Tuesday, December 21


He watches us during the day to see if we are naughty or nice.

He flies to Santa at night, reports on the day's behaviors, and flies back home.

He comes home a little later if we've been naughty...

But if we've been nice he is in a new place bright and early each morning.

So far, it seems to be helping us all be a little nicer.

Except Andrew doesn't want Marvin to tell Santa anything.

I guess he knows Marvin mostly has naughty things to report about him.

We better watch out... Christmas is coming!

Wednesday, December 15

Recipe for Success

4 freshly bathed children
3 blankies
2 fuzzy footsie pajamas
1 Christmas special on TV



Tuesday, December 14

Double OUCH!

Right after church is complete chaos. We have to go around the entire building rounding up all the kids, and then Dennis is off to a meeting, and I usually head home with the crew.

Dennis had just say his good-bye and I was about to set Jared in his car seat, when I saw Emma trip a little and crash into the leg of the table in the foyer. The legs have sharp edges, so I knew instantly it would be bad. I didn't even pause to be gentle for Jared... I kind of dropped him, and I heard someone yell, "I've got the baby." Then, a friend of mine and I rolled Emma (who was face down) over... yep, it was bad. I started yelling for help and for someone to get Dennis. Immediately, I had people helping in every way. My friend reminded me to apply pressure to the wound, people were finding spare burp cloths and bibs to absorb the blood, some young men retrieved paper towels, and then Dennis found us and scooped up Emma. Another friend told me she would take my kids, and we were off. I didn't even stop to think if Jared needed to be fed or anything. We literally had dozens of angels around us doing everything for us.

We tried to go to a clinic, but they said we needed the ER, so on we went. Emma had already stopped crying before we got to the clinic and didn't cry a tear after that. The lady admitting us to the ER thought Emma had been attacked by a dog! Emma had a two-hour ER visit... watching TV, singing songs, laughing at her own little jokes, and eating chocolate and tic-tacs that Dennis was able to scrounge up with his special knowledge of the hospital.

The end result? Eight stitches and a brand new girl!

That is an ouch, but what about the double ouch? The very next day, Emma climbed up on a chair to get some crayons out of the cabinet. She had been begging me to color, but we were headed out to a friend's house. On her way down, she fell and hit her chin. Once again, I took a look at it and knew she needed more help.

On to the hospital again! Luckily, we didn't need the ER this time. One of the doctors was able to glue the wound shut with some Dermabond, or else she would have had an additional 2-3 stitches in her cute little chin.

Let's hope all of Emma's bad luck has run out and we'll be good from here on out!

Thursday, December 9

Blessing our Baby

Our baby, Jared Lee Hunger, was given a name and a blessing by Dennis on December 5th.

Each of Dennis and my parents came, 2 of Dennis's brothers and 1 sister, and 1 of my brothers and my sister came.

We had 9 extra people staying at our house.

That's a total of 7 kids ages 5 and under in our home.

We also had 11 more people staying in a hotel nearby.

That brought 5 more kids into the mix.

Jared relished the attention, and took advantage of anyone willing to cuddle. Here he is with Dennis's mom.

Andrew was in heaven with so many playmates and both his grandma's!

My sister came to visit us for the first time in Oklahoma, and even got to stay for an extra day after everyone else went home. So fun!

I really, really wanted a sweet little family picture on the blessing day. Is that too much to ask? Emma got upset about something right before we took the shot. She was trying SO HARD not to cry. It makes me laugh.