Early in December we got out the decorations.  The kids decorated their tree in the sun-room with all their own ornaments.  Zippy the Elf appeared on St Nick night, up to his usual mischief.

We got a bunny from the humane society in early December.  June and I have been looking for awhile, visiting bunnies and petting them.  We got attached to little Stanley-bunny and got to bring him home.  June takes her job feeding Stanley very seriously and makes sure he gets a carrot and scratch behind his ears every day.

The Olson family had their annual Christmas get-together at Aunt Marion and Uncle Jim’s house.  It was a cold day, but lots of fun to see everyone.  Lots of family, presents, food, fun and chaos.  June helped herself to snacks on Papa’s snack plate.  We ended up with a nice family photo in front of their fireplace.  Justin didn’t get the memo on wearing stripes this year.

We had our little family Christmas gift exchange the weekend before Christmas.  The kids and Justin found me a new winter hat and a Lego to build ALL BY MYSELF.  Actually, that night everyone else went to bed (even Justin) and so I stayed up with my hot cocoa, the Sound of Music on tv, building my lego in the peace and quiet by the light of the Christmas tree.  Jack and Jacey each got their own kayak this year.  They unwrapped the paddles and just sort of looked at them… and then Justin walked in from the garage hauling kayaks.  They were very excited.  We did some kayaking last summer with the kids trying their own kayak, so I think this will be a fun summer getting out to paddle.  Until then, they all had fun “paddling” in the kitchen and going on adventures to different islands and lakes.

Then it was off to Stillwater, Minnesota for Christmas.  Auntie Mo and Ken flew in from Seattle.  It was a nice week of great food and fun.

Granny and Grump’s house is on the lake so we trekked down there to do some snowshoeing and had the kids try to burn off all the sugar they had consumed.  June tried Jacey’s snowshoes for awhile, she’ll definately need her own pair soon.  She really liked it.  We spent most of the time going from downed tree to downed tree around the edge of the lake and the kids would climb all over it… and then trek to the next one.

Another fun project was to make gingerbread houses… out of graham crackers.  I guess they were graham cracker houses.  I think the kids spent over an hour constructing each house.

Then it was off to Nana and Papa’s to celebrate Christmas.  We spent the morning sledding down by the pond and then came in for food and presents.  June got a new sleeping bag for in the camper.

Jacey got a pair of “hulk hands” which she just loved.  She tried them out on Uncle Jesse.

We spent the first few days of the New Year enjoying our gifts at home in our pjs.  I had the kids round up all their loot to get their annual Christmas gift picture.  They love looking back every year and remembering what they opened.



Posted in Holiday

Happy Halloween!

It was raining, but that wasn’t going to stop this crew from going trick or treating!  They just put on their rubber boots, we took a few umbrellas, and we were off!

The spookiest house we found… there were EYEBALLS floating in the bloody fountain.  Also lots of creepy speaking skeletons in the bushes.  The kids did eventually venture to the door and scored some swiss cake rolls!

Posted in Holiday

Spring Break

The kids had a great spring break week.  The first two days they spent at Nana and Papa’s house.  (Even I got a spring break vacation that way, wow!) One day we had a pj day.  We stayed in our pjs all day long and played records and made messy art projects.

We spent Thursday and Friday at a hotel in Wausau playing in the pool and going down the waterslides.  The kids thought the hotel room was the greatest.  It was their first time spending the night at a hotel and they really enjoyed it!  After a long afternoon of swimming, we went out to dinner.  We came back to our room and “Cars” was on TV  so we all fell asleep watching that.  Jack and Jacey slept on the pull-out couch and we put pillows all around June on the other bed.  Everyone slept really well. Friday morning we went back to the waterpark until about noon.  We made our sandwiches in the car on the ride to Granny and Grump’s house for Easter.

We spent Easter weekend relaxing and helping Granny and Grumps out with some fun chores like filling the bird feeders, and making trenches in the driveway to drain all the water.  It rained for awhile, so the girls did crafts while Justin taught Jack how to play chess.  Of course, no Easter would be complete without some egg dying!

Posted in Family, Holiday


We have an elf on the shelf which the kids have named Zippy.  This is actually his second season in our house and the kids were really looking forward to him coming again.  Jacey has been drawing him pictures and leaving them on the fireplace, so when he moves around at night, he can pick them up.

Posted in Holiday, Jacey


June loves her babies.  She loves Jacey’s baby and Jack’s baby and she carries them around with her at all times.  We dress them, we put them in pjs, we tuck them in their bed, we tuck them in June’s bed.  We get them dressed again.  They go to the bus stop with us.  We get them dressed again. They get tucked in to June’s bed WITH June.  We get them dressed again.

Look, the baby is even in the Christmas tree photo!

Posted in Holiday

Jacey – The Artist

Every day Jacey comes home from school with a worksheet she finished in class.  The front of it is usually related to the letter of the week.  She has told me that she usually finishes her worksheet before the class so she has time to draw on the back of her worksheet.  All during the month of October she would bring home her worksheet with a giant spiderweb with a very sad fly and a very happy spider on the back.  Each the day the spider and fly would be in a different position, but always with happy and sad faces.

After we started reading “The Littlest Pumpkin” book around Halloween, most of her drawings were about little pumpkins.  Jacey picking a little pumpkin.  Jacey looking at a pumpkin too small to carve.

After we watched “How to Train Your Dragon” she was constantly drawing pictures of Toothless the dragon on every scrap piece of paper we had.

Now we are on to Christmas drawings.  I love looking in her school folder to see what she drew.  She has also been doing a lot of drawing during her quiet time in the afternoons when I am working.  After we watched “Prep and Landing” with the elves that prep the house before Santa comes, she drew a lot of elves and Santa pictures.

Now every day we have drawing time at the counter after school.  It has been damp and cold so we haven’t played outside, instead the kids all sit with hot cocoa, crayons, and markers and draw and chat.  It’s a really fun hour for them and for me.  I can get dinner made and we chat while they make some really neat art.  Jack has even been drawing Santa instead of engines lately!




Posted in Everyday life, Holiday

The Hunt

The hunt was pretty successful this year.  Out of five hunters, three deer were shot on opening weekend.  Jack was so excited to help and he didn’t want to miss out on anything the big boys were doing.

June learned to say “Dee!” for deer and said it all weekend long.  She was a bit afraid of the deer and didn’t want to get too close.  So even though it was skinned and hanging from the shed roof, Jacey still hugged June and told her it was ok and the deer wasn’t scary.

Jacey and Uncle Jesse with the same mischievous looks on their faces.

Edited to add:  My cousin Brad shot a deer the weekend after Thanksgiving, unfortunately we didn’t get to help with that one.  Hope that knife was sharp Brad!


Posted in Family, Holiday


We spent Thanksgiving this year with Granny and Grumps.  Jacey was all prepared with her turkey hat she made at school.  Justin was ready with his pumpkin pi. Get it?  Pie?  Pi?

We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and the weather was balmy and gorgeous, perfect for a bonfire.  I brought along a few turkey kits for Thanksgiving centerpieces that the kids could make.  The kids kept busy for quite awhile constructing their turkeys and decorating them.  We got to have a wienie roast and see the stars before we headed inside.

The kids were very excited to spend time with Maddy and Katie and Aunt Rose, Justin’s relatives.  They did some knitting, watched some funny videos, and just enjoyed having them around.

We took a walk down to the lake and played around for awhile before it started to get windy and cold.

Thanksgiving day it went from a balmy 50-some degrees to cold, windy and snowing by evening.  The kids went out after dinner and there was enough snow on the ground to make a small snowman!

Posted in Family, Holiday


Easter weekend we spent at Nana and Papa’s.  We spent Saturday in the woods listening to woodpeckers and chainsaws.  Hauled logs and played in sawdust.

Easter morning after Church we found our Easter baskets.  Had a family lego build at the kitchen table.  Played with playdoh.  Had an egg hunt.  Unfortunately it was a WINDY day and many eggs had blown out of their spots.  Diezel helped by finding seven eggs and eating their contents as fast as he could.

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Posted in Holiday

Party Party Party!

This weekend was the Olson family Christmas, and the OLSON family Christmas.  Both involved family, presents, good food and lots of cookies.  The first Olson Christmas was with Papa’s side of the family.  Jack, Jacey and June got to exchange gifts with their second cousins, and received a nerf gun, sparkly dress up shoes and wings, and baby doll with a stroller.  The big boys in the room taught the little boy just how to operate said nerf gun, but alas, we did come home with all 12 darts and the 51 extras.  Because you never know when you need SIXTY THREE NERF DARTS.  Jacey dazzled everyone with her ability to walk in high heeled plastic shoes and now with six pair of them, she can match every outfit imaginable.  June has been happy trying to shove the baby in the stroller and its favorite position appears to be riding on its head.

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Next up was the OLSON family Christmas, which was my immediate family.  Uncle Jeff, Uncle Jesse, Auntie Kolia,  Nana and Papa all gathered for lunch on Sunday to eat, drink, exchange gifts and watch the Packers.  The Packers that LOST.  See those faces?  No smiles.

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Well, one smile…

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Posted in Holiday

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