Sunday, September 30, 2012


All of my children are Harry Potter fanatics, so when Dawson's birthday was approaching, I wasn't surprised when he asked to do a Harry Potter birthday party!!!

We found all of our ideas online, using one idea here and another here.  Inspiration also came from our good friend in Kansas, Ang Warth!  She is one that I never want to compete with, so knowing that she has done a Potter Party before was a little intimidating!!!

We sent out the invitations which were 5x7.  (If I do this again, I will definitely just type up a letter, because you can include other information, like a password, and also that Platform 9 3/4 is disguised as a muggle house.)

We started by watching a little bit of the first movie, The Sorcerer's Stone (Dawson's favorite).  Welcomed them to Hogwarts and had them take a sorting hat quiz.  We found scarves at the Dollar Tree to use to sort them into houses. 

 Kade - Griffindor

Dawson kept saying, "Not Ravenclaw ... not Ravenclaw!"

Dawson - Ravenclaw

Kate - Hufflepuff
Faith - Ravenclaw Head

Drinking Felix Felicis (pop rocks in water) before starting the class schedule.  Dawson wasn't a fan.
I taught Divination class as Professor Trelawney.  We first looked through a couple of pictures of black and white abstract art where I instructed them to tell me what they saw.  Then we tried to write a secret message in lemon juice where we would do a charm to make the ink appear.  It didn't work so well...

Our fortune telling
Dawson's fortune:
You will fall in love with a Centaur and move to a tree house in the Forbidden Forest.

Kade's fortune:
Watch for an Owl from someone in this school who has a crush on you.

Kate's fortune:
 The Weasley brothers will hire you to test their new joke shop products. You will never be the same!
Faith (Professor Atlanta) taught Transfiguration (who am I? game) as well as charms where the kids got glow in the dark sticks to use as wands.

Potions class taught by Professor Snape (Brandon) 
We used Dragon's blood (cabbage water) at first which was purple and then added dragon's sweat (lemon juice) to it to make it red.  Then added magic powder (baking soda) to change it back to purple with foam.  And then added poison water (vinegar) to make it over flow.  So much fun!
Kate loving this class

The end result

Kade's working on a 2nd try!

Next experiment was using magic powder (cornstartch) and water to make swamp water I believe.  This one was not nearly as fun, so next time, we would do this first. 
For the finale, we did Phoenix urine (diet coke) and owl pellets (mentos) as shown here.

Our party guests:
Professor Atlanta (aka Faith) 
I love this new face by the way!  And Brandon thinks she is looking like Cameron Diaz...
the Birthday Boy - Dawson
Our treat table

Dawson with a golden snitch

Thursday, September 27, 2012


The kids are excited for their new baby cousin, especially Kate who LOVES babies!!!

Kaylor Jensen was born at 3:22 am on September 26th.

Weighed in at 7 Lbs. 5 oz. and 21 inches long, so the perfect size I think!  
We can't wait to see pictures of her with the other kiddos!!!

Jason with Kaylor

Sister Robyn with her new bundle of joy!!!  And looking amazing for a middle of the night delivery too!

Congratulations guys!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


We really, really missed Dawson on September 7th, his birthday. This day also happens to be Jerry's birthday.

Jerry and Kathy came over after we got home.  As per Dawson's request, Jerry found a dream catcher for him.  He LOVED it!

Gotta love his facials!

And a badminton set!

Faith enjoying us taking pictures

Mom loving on Katers!

Oh how the absence makes the heart grow fonder!  Happy belated birthday Dawson!

Monday, September 10, 2012


When Kate opened her present from us being gone on the cruise, she ran to put on these so cute pajamas.  She just LOVED that we started to sing the Canadian national anthem.  We have had to do a lot of singing every night at bedtime and people might just start thinking that we are Canadian.  Canada eh? 

Sunday, September 9, 2012


The next day, Brandon and I headed to an early breakfast (you had to be out of your room by 8:00 am). We were able to reconnect again with our ziplining friends and enjoyed time with Amy & Justin as well as Kathy & Jerry.  We disembarked the ship at about 9:15 and headed to the airport to get lunch and just hang out for several hours before our flights left!  We met up with Amy & Justin and played cards for a bit as well.

The flight was uneventful and unfortunately, we did not have Singing Sally on this flight.  All flights from this point forth will pale in comparison I'm afraid. I did browse on of the magazines on the flight that had information about Historic Banning Mills where there is the world's largest ziplining course.  I was ready to sign up right then and there.

Britney brought Grandma's car to the airport and after a quick stop to drop off Jerry to pick up a truck, we were headed back to Pocatello to reunite with our sweet, darling, adorable children!  Oh how we missed them!  Home sweet home!  My parents delivered our children to our house.  They were pretty exhausted.

We are so sad that this cruise ended but also grateful to have had an opportunity to grow closer as a family and to make more memories together.  So much better than gifts I think!  We love you so much Amy, Justin, Kathy, and Jerry!  Thank you for spending time with us and helping us to enjoy Alaska!  It wouldn't have been the same without you!!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


The next day was spent mostly at sea going to Victoria, Canada.

After lunch, there was an ice carving demonstration that was SO cool.  See the bear cub and the dolphin. This ice is actually frozen and shipped from Venezuela, South America.  It weighs a LOT and the carvers did such a neat job in the matter of 15 minutes!  It was really fun to watch!

This was Jerry and Dawson's birthday.  Jerry got a special birthday cake for his birthday.  We called Dawson after dinner to wish him a happy birthday!  It cost us quite a bit of money to do that, but it was good to hear his voice and to tell him that we loved and missed him.

We arrived in Victoria at 7:00 pm and had to be back on the ship by 11:30 pm.  Victoria was established by the British, so it very much looks like Europe.  At least that was what we were told.  I've never been there personally.

Thought that this was pretty cool.

Buildings were lit up with different colored lights.

Canadian flag

Loved looking at the Roots store, especially since they did the winter gear for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT

Canada Postal Service mailboxes

One bridge

One of the judicial buildings - just beautiful!

The Empress Hotel which was covered in ivy was totally cool looking

I went shopping to find something for Kate and got left in the store.  I was super happy about that!

Our ship all lit up and ready to bring back passengers.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Ketchikan was a super short stop. I loved coming here because my friend and her husband (Ang and Rob) come here every year to go Salmon fishing.  After breakfast, we had less than 3 hours to explore.  We did not do any excursions, but spent our time shopping.

Ketchikan is the Salmon Capital of theWorld AND the Rain Capital of the US.  But on this beautiful September day, it was beautiful and full of sunshine!

I loved this bus boat too!  I think that this could have been SO much fun!

The view from the cruise ship

We spent the day looking for a couple of souvenirs and enjoying our time.  We also went hunting for Pepsi for Jerry for his birthday.  The look on his face when we got on the ship and he realized that they only had Coke was priceless.

Brandon and I also call our princess Kate to find out how her first day of kindergarten went.  (Our kindergarten is every other day, so this was her day off.)  She was sweet when she talked about how much she was going to love Chubbuck Elementary!  It was a good couple of minutes on the phone with her!

This was the view of everyone trying to get back on the ship by noon!  It was pure craziness!

We also followed this boat landing.  It was VERY cool!

I believe that there were a couple of latecomers that got an actual BOO when they were getting back on, so we did not depart until about 1:00 pm.  Here was the view leaving!

I could definitely visit Ketchikan again since we did not have very much time here in that beautiful city!

That afterward, Brandon and I, along with Amy and Justin went to the back pool to take a swim.  It was a pretty cool swim, but fun none the less.  We uninvited Kathy with her camera, and I now wish that we would have had her come snap a few shots.  It was fun to relax and visit.

That night after dinner, we watched Movies under the Stars - Snow White and the Huntsman.  We caught the ending, watched that first, and then started the first part.  Kind of humorous how it happened, but it also gave Amy and I a chance to visit again.  I loved those moments!  Amy & I also headed back in early too because it was pretty cold, even with the blankets!