Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas News Letter

Dear Family and Friends,
We have had a wonderful year this year! It has been filled with many blessings, adventures, fun, and trials to be overcome. You can read more about that on this blog. But some highlights of our year were our fun stay-cation in July, geo-caching, and our road trip in August! Here is an update on each of us....


Jory (21 months old):
Jory has learned to walk, run, climb, fall with style, talk, and occasionally use the potty this year! That is a lot for one year. He loves puppies, as we found out when visiting Grandmama Sunny and Grandpa Greg. He even calls the Christmas tree a Puppy Tree (presumable because puppies are so cool, as are Christmas trees) and all the sheep in our several nativity scenes are puppies as well. He is great at dribbling a soccer ball, and climbing up and going down the slide by himself. He loves to be outside, whatever the weather, and climb and jump and run. In fact, I'm pretty sure he thinks he is the same age as his older brothers! He is very happy and loves his family very much.


Eli (5 years old):
Eli graduated from preschool and started Kindergarten this year. He is now learning how to read. He loves soccer, swimming, racing, being in charge, and art. According to him, he is our medium-ist child. He loves to get his hands into paint, play-do, chalk, markers or crayons and create, and he's very good at this too! His favorite color is aqua (didn't know 5 year olds new that was a color!) and prefers to do his homework in that color. He is also our most outgoing child, and has several girlfriends! Eli is very sweet and thoughtful.


Renton (7 years old):
Renton started 2nd grade this year. He loves reading, soccer, swimming, watching basketball games with Dad, learning the piano, and playing with friends. He made a goal to write two stories every week in order to improve his handwriting, and he is turning out to be quite the author! But, don't tell him that, because he is going to be a scientist and inventor when he grows up. So, he has one composition notebook full of stories, and another full of invention ideas. Thats my Renton! Over the summer we met someone who works for the City of Renton and he sent out some great City of Renton treasures for Renton. That was a real treat for Renton. This month he got to see the Nutcracker ballet with his class at school, he loved it!

Ryan: Before

Ryan: After

Ryan is kept busy with work and church. When he has free time he likes to spend it with the family. He has been the leader in our family's new found love of geo-caching. He also enjoys online gaming and reading with Merry. He doesn't get out fishing as much as he used to, but there is a hope that as the boys get older that will happen more often! His biggest change this year is the lose of his locks (sigh), totally new image, but same great Ryan.


I keep very busy with being a mom. That is what I love, though! I also somehow squeeze in time for being the Young Women's secretary, PTA, coaching soccer (only the little ones, mind you all who know I've never played a game of soccer in my life!), and my card club. After all that I usually end up falling asleep while reading out loud to Ryan (interesting ability, I know, but I have accomplished it many times).

We love each of you and are blessed to have you in our lives. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and joyful New Year!
The Christensens,
Merry, Ryan, Renton, Eli, and Jory

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We celebrate just about every year with Ryan's sister Rose (every year except the ones where one of us is out of town). This year Rose's husband's family were getting together at a cabin and we were invited to join the festivities. So, we packed up our pickle and olive tray and sweet potatoes and headed to Sundance to spend the day with some wonderful family. The cabin was gorgeous, 3 levels, and nestled in the woods that were heavily snowed over. We have gotten to know most of the family who were there through Rose's family, and it was great getting to see them again! The kids played together, we had a huge feast, we had a large Family Home Evening together that night, and I even got to entertain this southern family with my family's tradition of The Cajun Night Before Christmas! It was a great Thanksgiving, thank you for inviting us!

Rose at the fireplace

Eli with cousins

Ryan, Rose, and Jory

Hungry eyes ready to feast

Jory's little friend

A bit of perspective


Beautiful Autumn days, freaky snowstorms, friends and family. What a fun month! Ryan and I celebrated 12 years of marriage on the 27th. We kept the celebrations simple, but we were grateful to have weathered as much as we have and still have each other and such joyful memories. It helps that our anniversary is just after Thanksgiving, which we spent with some wonderful family!

off to the zoo with Daddy

Train ride at the zoo.

Jumping in the leaves from the slide.

Can you believe the snow?

Little Ninja Turtle

Playing dress up with friends
(l-r: AJ-Peter Pan, Eli-Link, Aubrey-Princess, Jory-Robin Hood)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snow Storm!

We just weathered a wonderful snow storm! And I hear that is not the last one we will have this week...

This is when the snow started falling Saturday night.

This is what we woke up to on Sunday morning!

1 + feet of snow

The boys had a blast!

They thought it was Christmas!

While mom and dad cut the the fallen branches and hauled them off to the side.

Check out our pile of branches!

We cleared enough snow out of the drive to try and back out around the fallen branches to get to church. We came home after sacrament meeting, however, and got to work on the trees. I cleared snow away so we could have a place to pile the branches while Ryan tried unsuccessfully to buy a chain saw (3 tries and none of them would start!) He came home with a hand saw made especially for branches, and the two of us (we had another hand saw already) cut and hauled all afternoon until the road, driveway, and sidewalks were usable again! I'm a little sore today. But we are grateful that it was only trees, and that nothing happened to the house, fences, or cars!

Friday, November 19, 2010


October was full of visits with uncles, fabulous weather, and Halloween in the air! I spent a lot of the month working on Halloween costumes in my spare time. We started October with a visit from Tommy and his lovely fiance, Carly! It was great getting to know her a little better and getting to see Tommy again so soon after his mission! It was over Conference Weekend, and Tommy and Carly had already had plans for watching it, so we kept up our family tradition and listened to conference on the radio while we drove through a scenic mountain pass. There were beautiful fall colors, a surprising number of people out, and some great views. We stopped at one spot overlooking the Kinnecott Copper Mine. There was even a small hike that the boys took by themselves while Mom and Dad showed Jory around the vista point. Ryan even fit in a geocache, go figure! We finished off the weekend with celebrating my niece, Haylee's, seventeenth birthday!
Kennecott Copper Mine

Fall Colors

Renton and Eli at the top of their hike.
Happy Birthday Haylee


I put up a birthday bulletin board at the school, and this one was enough fun, I thought I'd post it! The kids loved that it was Harry Potter.

The following weekend I ran in the Wasatch Women's 6K race. I know a 6K isn't much, but it was a huge accomplishment for me, and I'm excited that I was able to do it!

Merry and Dori after the race.

We had some great visits with Uncle Jake as well. Most memorable was when we went shooting with him. Freezing cold fun. Ryan and Jake were great, I actually hit the clay pigeon once! But we had a great time with him.
Showing off costumes early.

Shooting with Jake.

Halloween! Jory's newest discovery! Who would imagine that people just give you candy, and then Mom actually lets you eat as much as you want? Jory was in heaven. Jory went as a ghost, Eli as Peter Pan, and Renton as Obi Wan Kenobi. There was a party at church with a soup dinner and trick or treating class room to class room. Then, a costume parade at the school, and finally trick or treating around the neighborhood. The kids had a great time!
Trick or Treat!

Peter Pan

Little Ghost

Obi Wan Kenobi

Carving Jack-o-lanterns.


Happy Halloween!