Tuesday, February 20, 2007


In a previous post I made mention to the engineering feats of the very brainy Hens. Here are some photos so y'all can have a visual.

Ladder Pulley:

Bike Pulley:

And here is the new kitchen light we had installed. Now we did have it installed by a friend who does this kind of thing because I think trained people need do electrical work and not novices. I don't think electricity is something to be messed with - the ramifications can be too great.

Our friend came over on quick notice and I hadn't gotten out to get a hook which we really needed so we could center the light over the kitchen table. The builders (remember we bought this house new but it was already built, the only thing we got to choose was the color of the front door) installed the overhead electrical device and hung the previous light in a very UNcentered spot. One side of the table was bright and the other side was very dark and people were forever banging their head on the light because it didn't hang over the table, it hung over the chairs. Not to metion that I think the builders got this light on a 1970s clearance table. It really looked like a white frisbee with a lightbulb stuck on the bottom. I wished I had taken some before pictures. The Hen men cut the chain to the appropriate length and installed a hook so that the light now hangs centered over the kitchen table. I am so pleased with the final product!! And all our visitors are grateful for the head room.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Snow Day!!!

Well that elusive snow finally appeared. My kids thought it would never come, but alas it's here.
The snow began early on Tuesday morning. We awoke at 7am and there was already an inch on the ground but no school delays. Daniel dropped Chase off at school at 8 am (on Tuesdays Chase goes in early to study for the "Envirothon", a quiz bowl team he's on). He then was headed to the dry cleaners when he attempted to make a turn and the tires refused to turn on the snowy road and his car slid off the road hitting a curb. It damaged the rim on one tire, a sway bar and knocked out the alignment. So I love the snow, I really do! One little slip off the road and we are out about $700. That is not including what the insurance is also paying. I am thankful it wasn't worse and that no one was hurt!

The kids got out early on Tuesday and then had off Wednesday and Thursday from school. Daniel's office closed on Wednesday too because of the icy weather so we all spent the day home enjoying the snow.

Most times of the year we hate our steep driveway and the obscene hill in our front yard! But when it snows the kids absolutely LOVE it.

But we must remember: Going down.....

is always more fun......than walking back up!!

When Daniel finally finished shoveling the driveway, he got in on the fun too.

Let's try a double!

The double looked so fun, someone else wanted in on it. What the heck - Let's try a TRIPLE!

Of course sometimes there were pileups.

Overall, everyone enjoyed the snow days. (although when we are making them up at the end of the year - we'll see if it was still worth it!)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Really Nice Friends

I have some really wonderful people in my ward. A friend of mine from church really wanted to have something for me to celebrate the baby coming and me surviving all the while Dan was gone. But with the baby not coming home til December, me being consumed with children with Dan still gone, everyone busy with Christmas preparations ... it just had to wait. She told me once Dan got home and we settled in, then she'd put something together.

Wednesday, February 7th a group of friends gathered at Panera for dinner in my honor. It was great! We all ate and talked and laughed. They even brought me gifts which I totally didn't want, but were really cute and much appreciated. I just wanted people to come and have a ":girls night out" and not feel obligated to bring gifts. But I got pjs, a dress, sweat suit, and jeans and a sweater for the baby, I got gift cards to Target and Barnes and Noble for me (or baby), bath sets (calgon, body scrub, eye mask etc..) for me and cute headbands for Piper. I also received these cute silver plated birthday candle holders in animal shapes to go on the honorary birthday kid's cake. ( I told Piper she'll have to share those with her siblings).

It's funny because I have been to Barnes and Noble and spent almost an hour browsing. I didn't buy anything yet because I don't get gift cards very often and I have to make sure I am buying the most perfect thing. I'll probably go back at least 2 more times before I decide. I think half the fun is shopping and imagining all the things you could get. It's hard to make that final decision. If I had to choose right now it would be the "Quilters Stitch Bible". It gives instructions for all kinds of fancy interesting hand and machine quilting stitches and when to use them. It also goes thru all the basics of quilting - how to start, bind and finish quilts. I need more time to see what other options I have. I also saw some fun looking games. Hmmmm....... still thinking.

Since I use the blog as my journal keeping, I must list who came. Penny Swank, Kristen Young, Bethany Cherry, Amy Gillman, Amy Elmore, Sue Rapp, Melissa Hasson, Kim Ames, Deb Fox, Pam Nielsen, Jill Dresser, Kaylyn Swavely and my Mom.

The cake was really cute and I love what they inscribed on it, "Great Job Brittney". It was hard but I do think I did a pretty good job of it - juggling everything while Daniel was gone while I was pregnant, delivering a baby without my husband, balancing my time between the baby and the other kids during the week the baby was in the hospital. I never could have done it on my own however, I know I was able to do it because of all the help I received from the Lord and family and great friends.

We saved the pink icing booties from the cake for Ainsley. She loved them and wanted to eat both of them in one sitting before breakfast. I put the brakes on that idea and made her eat them on separate occasions after breakfast but before lunch. I wanted her to eat them early enough in the day that she would have plenty of time to burn them off before bed. :)

Thanks guys! It was great!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Blessing Day

I am just getting to this now, but last Sunday, February 4th was Piper's blessing day. We were extra lucky to have Grandpa Roy come and stay the weekend. We were also blessed to have had Aunt Christine and Uncle Aaron join us.

Saturday the men went the man store (Home Depot) and bought a 12 foot ladder so we can change our lightbulbs in the lights on our vaulted ceilings. But if we have a 12 foot ladder we have to have a place to keep a 12 foot ladder. So the term "back pocket engineering" came into play as the "braineeack" Pennhen men jotted down calculations and gathered items. They came home and rigged up a pulley system that cranks the ladder all the way up to the ceiling of our garage. Since they were at it, they decided to hook up another pulley system that is now suspending a bicycle from the garage ceiling. They also installed a hook so we can take our new kitchen light (which is suspended from the ceiling by a chain) and hang it centered over our kitchen table. Picture to follow of our new kitchen light - I love it!! Grandpa Roy treated us all to icecream sundays at Friendly's. It was awesome and enjoyed by all! It brought back many memories to Roy, Daniel and Aaron of childhood visits and fun family times at Friendly's.

Piper got to be surrounded by both Grandpas, her daddy, uncle Kent, uncle Aaron, friends of the family - Brad Mead, Steve Fultz, Don Dresser and Bishop Smith in the circle as Dan prounced a beautiful blessing upon her.

Here's Piper with cousin Slater.

Even though it was Super Bowl Sunday we did not have a Super Bowl party, instead we had a Soup Bowl Party. We returned to our house after church for soup and rolls. We had a mexican soup and homemade vegetable beef. He we are preparing the soup.

Piper was the 4th granddaughter to wear the blessing dress that my mother made. My mother only has 4 granddaughters - so everyone of them has worn it. It is beautiful and we are anxiously waiting to see if Brinn has a girl so we can pass it down to her.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

2 Months Old

Piper is going to be 3 months before I've had the time to write about 2 months. There are so many posts I have been wanting to get out but I just don't seem to have the time. I might just end up posting pictures for you to enjoy because I haven't had the time to sit and write.

On January 23rd, our sweet Piper turned 2 months old.

She had her 2 months check up where she received immunizations for 8 diseases. Luckily they have them combined to 3 shots and one oral dose. She was our shortest at 2 months. She measured 22 inches, Ainsley was 22 1/2, Chase 23 and Gregor 24 inches.

As far as weight goes, she comes in between Ainsley and Chase. Ainsely was 11 pounds 8 ounces, Piper weighed 11-10, and Chase came in at 11-12 ozs. MacGregor was off the charts at 15-4.

She still spits up quite a lot. We never go very far without a burp cloth on our lap or shoulder. Piper goes thru about 8 bibs a day. I only have 19 bibs so I wash them about every other day. We like the bibs with the plastic backing because otherwise she soaks them thru. She has gotten over the need to be held at all times. She now sits happily in her bouncy chair in the kitchen while we eat dinner or as I fix dinner. She takes naps in her swing and likes to lay on the floor in front of the fire place. She will lay on a blanket next to Ainsley as Ainsley watches cartoons and be very content for 20-30 minutes. This makes my life much less stressful as I can get a few things done during the day that require 2 hands (like dishes, folding laundry, preparing dinner). She is quite smiley after eating and first thing when she wakes up. She likes to talk and will focus her eyes very intently on your face as she coos and gurgles. She MUST be wrapped very tightly to go to sleep (we often double wrap her) and still must be rocked in someones arms to sleep, but it usually doesn't take very long for her to go out. She transfers easily to her cradle or the swing. She is sleeping pretty well now only waking up one time during the night and often that isn't until between 5:30 and 6:30 am at which time she usually eats and goes back to sleep. She usually isn't so keen on being buckled into her carseat but once the car gets going and warmed up she ususally sleeps pretty well as long as we are moving. I curse red lights because she will start wailing so I often pump by brakes repeatedly until the light turns green. I get a lot of funny looks by other drivers and I really hope I never have to explain myself to a policeman.

She is adored by her brothers and sister and they are very helpful. They rock her carseat or bouncy seat and talk to and smile at her until I can get her picked up.

We love our happy girl!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Northwest Indians

Chase had to do a report and project on the North West Indians. He had to incorporate the subject of his report into his project. His report was on whales. He told how the indians hunted whales and how they used all the different whale parts. Here is his project:

He did the totem pole and most of the painting himself. Daniel helped a little with shaping the canoe.