Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve

What a year!  We rang in the new year with a party at Grandma's house, with Grandma, Bobi, Brian, Adam, Lauren, Addison, Lyssa, Robyn, Kevin, Jon, Teri, Travis, Sarah, Gwen, and Amy.  It's been a while since all 5 of the siblings were together.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Dance Party

This is the last time we used our Wii for a dance party with friends.  And now we can't get it to turn on.  Oh, well.  We've had it forever (since before Ellie was born) and it rarely got used.  We also had a Christmas Break playdate with Alanna, who we hadn't seen in over a year.  It is tough when friends move away!

Thursday, December 29, 2016


One of the girls took this semi-blurry picture, but I like that it shows the elephants Amy gave us for Christmas.  2 parents and 3 babies.  Perfect for our family.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Visit

We always love playing with Albert and Kanisha, and we especially love it when we have a reason to give them presents!  I also love taking pictures of them taking selfies.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I had big plans to make this Nativity set for mom for Christmas, and make one for our family as well.   I had learned my lesson from the sock monkey, and purchased online the recommended yarn for the project.  It was wool and a very light weight, and I had a really hard time working with it.  Even though the figures are really little, it took me longer than expected (and longer than I thought it should -- love you, Mom!) to complete the project.  So one set got done for mom, and maybe next summer I will work on one for us.  

I got the creche from Deseret Book.  The patterns for the crochet figures are from Whistle & Ivy.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Jabba the Hutt

I had promised Travis months ago that I would make him a Jabba the Hutt.  I finally got it done in time to make it a Christmas present (since he and his sisters were coming for their Christmas visit in January).

pattern from a Star Wars crochet kit I bought at Costco a while ago; also available on Amazon

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Santa Claus brought American Girl Dolls, and Ellie could not be more excited!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a full and beautiful day, with lunch with Tayler and her family, dinner at Grandma Camp's house with the Camps and Matthuis clans, and then reading the Christmas story at home.  The girls loved using the puppets while Daddy read the sacred account.

Friday, December 23, 2016

New Microwave

Our microwave was 11 years old and finally quit.  It has been making weird noises for months, and then one day, it just started smoking and stopped turning on.  Greg came home with a microwave for a Christmas present and grabbed our neighbor Jake to help him install it.  It was quite the production!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Speech Therapy

Rachel Coleman (from Signing Time) once said something along the lines of: "ASL is a language, English is a language -- speech is a tool that may aid in communication."  (I am totally paraphrasing and making things up in my faulty memory, but this is a concept that struck me and I have thought about often over the past few years).

We have never viewed Cece's ANSD and deafness as something to be "fixed," but we want to give her skills and tools that will help her cross over into the hearing world.  We have spent countless hours in doctor's offices and in therapy appointments, and countless more hours doing our speech therapy homework.

For the most part, these have been good hours.  Productive and fun hours.  Bonding hours.  But occasionally we have an experience that reminds me just how much work all of this speech-learning-tool-building really is.

Cece's ENT had an in-house AVT (audio verbal therapist) at the Lehi location that we saw a dozen times after Cece's right side was implanted.  That therapist has since left the practice, so after Cece's left side surgery, we drove to Provo to meet with the AVT they have in that office.  The first appointment was just Cece and I, and we spent the time getting to know each other and filling out paperwork, with no therapy being done at all.  The second visit saw us back with Lynlee along, and we had an OK therapy appointment that lasted about 20 minutes before Cece was done cooperating.  I was cautiously optimistic about how Cece was responding to this nice AVT and hopeful it was going to be a good and productive relationship.

Then we went back for a third appointment during Christmas break.  All three girls were sick (and I should have just cancelled, but it is hard to get these appointments and I didn't want to waste it).  We drove to Provo for our 11 a.m. appointment, and the girls were miserable.  They were even more miserable as we sat in the waiting room for almost an hour until the AVT called us back.  She had been having computer problems and was meeting with the computer tech to try and get them fixed.

I am usually very understanding that things happen and it is not a big deal, we roll with it.  But in my humanness, this was a really big deal this day.  It is now past lunch time, my sick and miserable girls had eaten all the snacks and drunk all their water, and we don't even use the computer during our therapy appointments.  Cece cried and refused to cooperate or do any therapy at all, and I got to pay a $60 copay for a specialist visit.

Fun times.

We were also meeting with a Kids On The Move speech therapist concurrently, who was our absolutely favorite speech therapist ever, and so we decided to just meet with Gayleen and not go back to the AVT.  I upped the speech therapy games and homework that Gayleen assigned us and we moved forward with life.

This fabulous picture is the only one I took that day, but I think it captures the hard time we were having.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sick Girls...

...are so sad, and live on Children's Motrin, Club crackers, and fluids.

Monday, December 19, 2016

You Serious, Clark?

Greg's favorite movie as a teenager was National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  (We prefer the edited for TV version...).  We found this Cousin Eddie hat last year and paid for overnight shipping to try and get it here in time for the Spencer Christmas party.  It had guaranteed delivery by 8 p.m.  Greg even snuck out of the party with the excuse that he was running Cece home to get her ready for bed to try and get it.  But there was a big snowstorm and our package didn't get delivered until the next morning (Amazon comped us Kung Fu Panda or something as an apology, but I never redeemed it).

Fast forward to this year's party, and Greg was excited for the surprise that we had kept quiet.  He was the perfect Cousin Eddie!

P.S.  He didn't want me to post this, but I couldn't resist...

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas Cards

Ellie is my #1 helper, and she loved working on the Christmas cards with me this year.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Lyssa's Play

Ellie, Lynlee and I joined Mom and Bobi to go see Lyssa in Peter Pan.  She was Peter's shadow and the crocodile.  Cece had a date with {R}.  Greg had a basketball game.  It was a great night for everyone!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kindergarten Christmas Program

Lynlee was pretty nervous, but she did great at her Kindergarten Christmas program.  She sang her heart out and said her lines clearly.

. : sitting next to Sophie, with Katie in front : .

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


The last LPM class every semester is a "station day" where you do different activities.  Ellie liked naming the notes at this station.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


We had a therapy appointment and a follow-up with the surgeon for Cece's second implant.  Everything is looking great!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Chick-Fil-A Party

Our school has fundraiser nights at Chick-fil-a throughout the year.  If you eat dinner there and tell the cashier, Chick-fil-a donates part of your meal back to the school.  And, the class that has the highest sales wins a party!  Lynlee's class won and she was so excited to eat chicken nuggets for breakfast and meet the cow (she's standing in front of the cow in the picture).  I love this glimpse of Lynlee's happy classroom, and that one of the benefits of our school is the smaller classes (19 in Lynlee's class).

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hot Chocolate

Grandma sent us home from the recital yesterday with a cool hot chocolate packet as our treat.  We had to drink it for breakfast, of course.  The spoons were covered with white chocolate and peppermint, and they melted while you stirred.  Pretty fancy!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Violin Recital

Another Christmas violin recital is in the books.  See that empty spot in the front row between Sarah and Gena?  That is where Lynlee was supposed to be standing...  She, um, elected not to participate in the final number.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Random Pictures

I love finding random pictures like this one.  Seeing this helped me remember to switch these pictures out for our updated pictures.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Amphibious Tour

We went on a tour with a bus that turned into a boat.  We just drove in the water and they switched to a prop motor.  It was the coolest thing.  We saw lots of wildlife, including sea lions and birds.  Their was a Navy base close by, and we saw aircraft going by on training exercises as well.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tammy Is The Best

We now have a tradition of going to the Money Mailer convention once a year, and Tammy stays with the girls.  My mom helps for a few hours on a couple of the days to give Tammy a break.  It's gotten easier every year as the girls get older, and Tammy needs less help :)  Next year will be much better with all them in all day school.  The only hard thing this year was that Cece would not eat for her -- except for noodles.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

San Diego

While in San Diego for the Money Mailer convention, we spent some time on the USS Midway.  It was a fascinating museum.

Monday, December 5, 2016


Kabe is the nicest and let Lynlee and Cece go sledding with him.  They saw him out there playing, so they quickly got dressed and ran outside to join him.


Sunday, December 4, 2016


We had our bedtime snuggles by the Christmas tree.  Cece made a little nest right by the tree and laid there watching the lights.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Living Nativity

My mom was able to come and to the Living Nativity with us this year.  What a treat!

Friday, December 2, 2016


Once a year in December, whatever girls are not in school and I meet Greg for lunch with some work friends, Greg & Natalie, at Goodwood BBQ.  Next year, none of the girls will come -- how strange is that!  This year, it was Lynlee and Cece along for the ride.  The Gregs were talking so much that the girls got bored and entertained themselves by taking hundreds of pictures like this:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cecilia and Addison

My girls all adore their baby cousin.  I cannot believe I am a great aunt, and I have a 2 year old.  Bobi was pregnant with Adam at my wedding, and now he is a father.  It's wonderful how time marches on.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Activation Day

Dr Cordingley is the best.  Cece loves her doctor.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas Decorations

The girls and I got the house all decorated for Christmas.  They were actually big helpers this year, unpacking things and setting everything up just so.  They wore their Santa hats and we played Christmas music and it was really fun.  Ellie is signing "Christmas" in this picture.

Monday, November 28, 2016


It was just a fort building type of day.  Lynlee likes to pretend to be a baby, and then Cece "feeds" her.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Lynlee made me a cute ring from a pom pom and a strip of paper.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Greg was gone to a game, so we went to see Moana.  It was in the giant theater, and the best seats left by the time we decided to go were in the bottom section way off to the right.  It was fine and the girls loved the movie.  We are doing better at being able to sit all the way through a live movie.  We don't go very often so we don't get much practice.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday

The BCLs have a tradition of shopping all day on Black Friday.  Sometimes Greg has a game and I only go part of the day, sometimes I go for the whole 16 hour extravaganza.  This year I was able to meet them for breakfast, shop for a while, go home while Greg went to his game, play with {R} and Grandma {G} and cousin, then go back to meet the BCLs when Greg came home.  It was the best day, and I have the best friends!  They constantly crack me up.  Tiff and Steph were tired in the afternoon and just sat down in the middle of the store to wait for Erin to finish shopping (and Ilene texted me that picture -- it was while I was home).  Then we closed out Ross late at night and Kelly was a little punchy.  She popped her head through the clothes and asked when we would be done.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Pies Prep

Greg has turned into quite the expert pie maker.  It has been our tradition for the past few years to host, and for Greg to make tons of pies on Thursday morning.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

In An Accident

Ellie started this interesting book.  What a cliffhanger!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Break the Ice

Cece loves this game, even though it takes about a minute to set up and 3 seconds to destroy. every. single. time.

Monday, November 21, 2016


Lynlee's last NAET appointment.  We love Dr Kofford and the increased quality of life he has given all of us.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


My girls cannot get enough of Kabe and the whole Jensen family.  They like to take them treats or pictures and go visit on Sunday afternoons.  I love it when Shana sends me pictures.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Primary Party

The big girls had a Primary party (maybe the Sacrament Meeting program practice?).  Cece was lucky enough when we picked them up to help eat the last of the pizza and apple slices.

Friday, November 18, 2016


We love Ariana, our deaf mentor.  We feel really blessed that this program exists in Utah.  Ariana is deaf and comes to our house once a week for an hour and teaches us ASL and about deaf culture.  We started about a year ago, and it is a three year program.  I am starting to feel more comfortable making conversation in ASL.  My vocabulary is still not adequate, but I understand about 75% of what Ariana tells me, and can usually guess the rest from context.  What I am terrible at is fingerspelling.  I can get the letters, but then I cannot translate it into words.  Seriously, I have to say the letters outloud, and then sometimes I can get it.  It's a painful process, but Ariana is nice and patient.

She also is nice and brings us crafts and activities sometimes.  She brought the supplies to make these cute Thanksgiving turkeys.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


First real snow of the year, and the fountain was still going strong.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater

I love sitting with the girls while they practice their music.  The girls don't love it quite as much, and there is usually weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.  I had the idea to start teaching them the "rite of passage" piano songs that all kids seem to learn to spice it up a bit.  Lynlee started with Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater and picked it up quickly.  She very seriously asked me, "why couldn't he keep his wife?" 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ramen Noodles

Cece went through a phase where ramen noodles were a favorite food, and she wanted to eat them 1, 2, or even 3 times a day.  If I gave her enough time, she could eat a whole package.

(as I'm writing this 4 months later, she has moved past that, and won't even touch a ramen noodle anymore)

Monday, November 14, 2016

I Am NOT a Turkey!

Ellie worked really hard on disguising her turkey.  I love her handwriting!

I am not a turkey!  I am a
doctor.  Can't you see my doctor
clothes.  So as you can see I am
not a turkey!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Feeling Better

Cece was a little more chipper today, as long as she had a dose of medication.  She can't have her hair washed for a week after the surgery.  Normally, I only wash it once a week anyway, and I washed it the night before the procedure.  I didn't think it would matter much to wait.  But her hair smells terrible -- like rust, and all the bad hospital odors you can think of.  Her compression "Princess Leia" bandage is taped to her forehead, and the tape was starting to bug her.  She kept on itching it and trying to pull it off.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


We are on full-time "keep Cece happy and comfortable" duty.  Eliana and Lynlee are big helpers.  It is hard for them to see their baby sister hurting and they genuinely want to help her feel better.