Saturday, December 31

Mock New Year's Eve

On New Year's Eve this year, we were all asleep (including Dennis and I) by 8:00 pm.  Don't judge me... it was a long week of post-Christmas/Emma's birthday/hosting parties at our house.

So the night before New Year's, we had most of Dennis's family down to our house to watch the Iowa Bowl Game.  It was a sad, pathetic showing by the Hawkeyes, so we won't go further into that.

But, the kids had a great time camping out together and watching Mulan. 

Every time we get together with the Hunger family I think of what a huge blessing it is to live here so that our kids can grow up close to their cousins.

Tuesday, December 27

And then you blink...

And she's FIVE!
Emma is five years old.

The birthday girl had fun watching her Littlest Pet Shop cake come to life.  

She was the only one allowed in the kitchen during the construction. 
She got to pass her time waiting for birthday presents by playing with all the new Christmas presents from two days ago. 

Grandma & Grandpa Hunger came to her party and she was a happy girl.

  • Emma is still a sweet, sweet girl.
  • She loves giving people hugs.  It doesn't matter who they are, she just knows everybody needs a hug once in a while.
  • When we meet someone new, she introduces herself and all the rest of the kids.  She's very outgoing.
  • She thinks she is Jared's mother.  She wants to hold his hand when he walks, dust him off when he falls...
  • She shares really well.  While opening her birthday presents, she kept saying, "Sarah, you can play this with me!"
  • She likes to sing primary songs and her favorite ones are "I Love to See the Temple" and "Scripture Power."
  • She loves going to school and wished she got to go with Sarah.
  • She has a mischievous laugh that I know means trouble when I hear it.  It means she is teasing someone.  With all her sweetness, at least she's got spunk too! 
  • Given a choice between meat and some other food item, she will choose meat... with a side of meat.
  • Our family could never be complete without Emma. 

Monday, December 26

Merry Christmas to All

We had quite the adventure for Christmas this year. 
All the kids fell asleep on the way home from our family party, and I thought how perfect it was that we'd just be able to have a relaxing evening finishing up the final preparations for Christmas morning.
But, Sarah was just too excited. 
She came downstairs a minimum of 10 times between 8:00 and 11:00. 
Every time I turned around, she'd be there again! 
Finally, I went upstairs and conked out while she read me books. 
Evidently, Andrew woke up about that time and helped Dennis wrap his presents to me. 
There was a lot of tape on those ones!
So, we decided to have everyone sleep in our room in fear that they would have all the presents unwrapped before we woke up in the morning.
We tucked everyone in on our bedroom floor and Dennis booby-trapped the door with our laundry basket and ironing board. 
Luckily, it worked!
In the morning we all got dressed, took a peek at the Christmas magic, ate breakfast, and headed off to sacrament meeting.
I can't believe we pulled it off, but not one present was opened until most of us were back in our jammies after church.

It was a wonderful morning.
I love that we had the opportunity to focus and celebrate Christ's birth first thing, and then come back home for the gift exchanging.
Favorite presents of the day:

Jared - his Little People skateboard, skateboarder, and puppy

Andrew - his cork gun, or "gun shoot"
Emma - her doll house that didn't arrive until December 28th.  Oops...
Sarah - her Lalaloopsy doll named "Ember Flicker Flame"
Jen - Chanel perfume and scarves from Dennis
Dennis - a remote control helicopter from me (Yay!  It was a huge hit!)

We played and played all day - with toys, with new games, and with each other.
Christmas day was complete when Daddy carried the 3 older kids upstairs to bed in a way that only Daddy can do!

Saturday, December 24

Luke 2

For Christmas Eve, the Hunger clan got together to celebrate.
Turkey dinner complete with all the trimmings: scalloped corn, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and rolls.
And, we can't forget the 10 foot long table full of homemade Christmas candy.  I may go a little crazy on pies at Thanksgiving (we're talking 10 pies), but the Hunger women take the Christmas candy to a whole new level. Yum.

It was the perfect opportunity to read Luke 2 and have the younger kids act out the Christmas story.  It was very sweet.

 Andrew and his best buddy, Corey, were the shepherd boys.

 Sarah & Emma and two of their cousins were angels.  The light hit them perfectly at one point to make them really seem angelic.
The whole crew was complete with baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, 3 wise men, 2 shepherd boys, and 4 angels.  I wonder how long we can convince these guys to dress up like this?

Saturday, December 17

Toddler TIME

We've been begging,
and bargaining.
But, nothing could persuade Jared to walk.
If we set him on his feet to walk, he would put his head on the ground as well and pout.
It was frustrating, if not completely adorable too.
He had to make up his mind that it was time.
Now, he just walks around like he's been doing it forever.
Silly boy.
At 14 months and 8 days, Jared is the latest one of our kids to walk (by a full two months)! 
He must want to excel at something before he demonstrates his ability.

But, he's off and there's no stopping him now!

Friday, December 16

Cool Moves

Sarah loves to dance.

And these pictures prove it.

Thursday, December 15

Whole Lot of Help

It's no secret that I love to bake. 

I like any excuse to bake some yummy, warm, fresh wheat bread.

Jared and Andrew like it almost as much as I do!

Jared prefers making a powdered mess anytime I take my eye off the flour bucket.

Andrew likes to pretend like I'm a slave driver having him supervise the wheat grinder.

But, don't let him fool you...

He can't keep the smiles from coming out when we're in the kitchen together.

Friday, December 9

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

But the fire is so delightful! 

...and the kids are delighted.

After five winters in Oklahoma, this snow-in-the-mountains girl is ready for a true winter.

This week, we've gotten our first taste of snow for the winter.  I know that before long we will be wishing it would all just melt away, but the novelty is still here for us now.

The kids are required to bundle up in hats, coats, gloves, snow pants, and boots for school each day.  They are more the pleased about it too.

Tuesday, December 6


It should be a simple task.  

Turn on the camera.

Ask the child to smile.

Snap the picture.

And there you go, you have a moment in time captured forever. (Emma can do it).

It should be simple.

But, it's not.  

Not when you are a three-year-old boy.  

 When you are a three-year-old boy, you have to take off running and laughing the instant your mom gets out the camera.

And you run away until you fall off the slide sideways.  
That is the moment in time that is captured forever.

Tuesday, November 15

Cookie Monster

We have cookie monster in our house.
His name is Andrew.
Two or three times a week Andrew asks me, "Can we make cookies today?"

He likes to make cookie dough.

He likes to eat cookie dough.

He likes to bake the cookies.

He LOVES to eat the cookies.

The "c" and "k" sound still don't come out quite right, so they are called "Tooties" around here.

Any way you say it, they still taste great.

Wednesday, November 2

Galloping Rabbits, Hay Bales, and Rubber Cement

On Wednesdays, Emma and Andrew don't have preschool.  Last Wednesday we decided to meet two of my sisters-in-law at a mid-point between all our houses.  We met at a mall where they have a Target (yay!), carousel, food court, ice rink, movie theatre, kids play area, and tons of other stores.  The kids are always begging to ride the carousel, and I was feeling a bit generous on our big "play" day. 

Emma and her cousin Nicole 

All the other parents were riding the carousel and holding on to their children.  My sister-in-law turned to me and said, "Are we bad parents that we didn't even consider that?"  
Whoops.  I don't think so!  They had a great time.

The preschool had a field trip to a pumpkin patch/family farm last week.  Jared and I got to tag along and ride the bus with everyone.  It was about a 15 minute trip each way.  Andrew fell asleep on the way there and on the way back!  It must be something about that bumpy bus ride, because he falls asleep almost every day on the way home from school too.

 Emma's class - Her teacher is on the bottom right, and the other adults are aides.  Miss Johnson is the best preschool teacher I've encountered.  She is so great with the kids, and absolutely a perfect fit for Emma's personality.  We feel very blessed for Emma this year.  When trying to get the kids' attention, Miss Johnson says, "Okay, friends... let's gather over here."  She always calls them friends.  I love it.

Andrew loves the hay bale maze, but decided to go ON it instead of THROUGH it.

In the corn bin.  We love that Iowa corn.

Unfortunately the kids realized that the corn kernels love to hide in their shoes!

We spent the weekend with Grandma & Grandpa Hunger.  One of the great things about Grandma Mary is that she has tons of kid things - and they are all organized in bins and boxes.  She brought out her craft box Sunday afternoon for Sarah and Andrew.  You wouldn't believe all the supplies!

Grandma is brave to let the kids use rubber cement.  They made silly faces on plates, bookmarks, and water-colored.  It kept Sarah busy and smiling for a few hours.

 This is what Andrew looked like every time he got a hold of that rubber cement.  It was a little scary!

Monday, October 31

Halloween 2011

I had a hard time figuring out Halloween costumes this year.  It seems like we end up spending money on something that turns out to be kind of wasteful - something that we just end up putting in storage after Halloween is over.  I stalled until the last possible day, and then gathered everyone's costumes hours before our church Halloween party. 

The girls only had one thing in mind:  Princess Fairies
We found some cute wings and leg warmers to go with their dance clothes, and voila!  We had a couple costumes.

We hit the jackpot with Andrew.  There is a load of boy cousins on the Hunger side.  Luckily, the family of 4 boys donated some clothes to Andrew a few weeks ago.  They are football fanatics and had grown out of this cute get-up.  (I don't think they ever used it as a costume.  It was just standard play attire in their home).  Love it.

Jared and I were visiting Dennis few lunch a few days ago.  Dennis was carrying Jared around the hospital, and a woman exclaimed "It's Mini-Me!"  Every time someone sees Jared for the first time, they say the same thing.  Honestly, NO ONE doesn't say that Jared looks just like Dennis.  So, it gave me an idea.  Jared needed some new clothes for church, Dennis made him a name tag identical to his own (only with Jared's picture in it), and Jared's costume was complete.  Meet Mr. Dennis Hunger and his side kick Miniature Dennis Hunger.

Sunday, October 30

More Fall Fun

Simply put:  We have been enjoying fall this year...

Wednesday, October 19


When I get distracted with a task, Jared often comes up missing.

Every time that happens, he has been climbing.

Climbing the stairs and getting stuck at the top.

Climbing into the empty bath tub.

Climbing up the step stool in the downstairs bathroom.

This monkey likes to climb.

And he has no remorse.