Saturday, April 12, 2014

Let the egg hunting commence!

What a great day to hunt some eggs!  80 degrees and sunny!  Hallie and I went to an Easter egg hunt at the Senior Living Community where my Mom works.  We met Lia and Rose there and Carla, Kate and Clete came too.  Hallie participated in our family egg hunt last year, but this was the first time I think she really understood the concept.  And boy did she go for it.  We hunted in the 0 - 2 year group and it's safe to say that Hallie really took advantage of the fact that she was on the upper end of the age group ;)  She made a beeline for every egg she saw and quickly filled her bag.  After the hunt we had cookies and punch and the Easter Bunny was there.  Much like Santa, Hallie was seriously disturbed by Mr. Easter Bunny.  She must have said a hundred times, "I no like the bunny!"  In fact, later during her nap I could hear her repeating the phrase in her sleep.  But she rallied and enjoyed petting the baby chicks and seeing the real bunnies and goats too!  Another fun spring activity checked off our list and more egg hunting to come next weekend.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hal's Garden - Part 1

This beautiful spring weather has me in the mood to grow something!  When we lived out on the acreage, Cory always had a huge garden.  So big that it intimidated and overwhelmed me and I wasn't really involved in it.  But now that we are going to be living in a house with a smaller, manageable neighborhood lot, I am really excited to have a small container garden.  My sweet Grandma Fan was the most amazing green thumb I have ever known.  I didn't really get that from her.  I have always enjoyed landscaping, but not so much gardening.  Maybe that will all change this year :)  I have been looking on Pinterest for inspiration and love this one, this one and especially this one (maybe with a bright color painted on half of each cinder block like this).  

Hallie and I got this cool Burpee greenhouse at Target, along with some Seeds of Change organic seeds.  We're starting with bell peppers, cucumbers (gonna make our own pickles this year!), mesclun greens mix, cilantro and basil.  We still need to find some heirloom tomato, dill and sage.

Even though we're in the apartment right now, we still took the liberty to get a little messy.  Hal was pretty into the project for about 10 minutes and then left me to finish it up while she played with Lilly.  It was fun getting our hands dirty :)  Our next update should hopefully be in a few weeks with little green sprouts popping up!  Until then...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunny and 55...

Dare I say...spring is here?!?!  Me and the girls (Hal & Lil) took advantage today by playing out on the balcony.  Those two nuggets love to play AND fight.  Like regular sisters, right?  Everything will be fine and dandy and then suddenly they are at each other, biting and punching.  No one gets hurt, of course ;)  Usually they are fighting over a toy.  But if I try to scold either one of them suddenly it's them against the world.  "Don't scold my sissy!"  Regardless of the sibling bickering, it was lovely to be outside and to realize that for the first time in a long time the forecast is looking up!
Yes, Lilly is looking more like a grizzly than a schnauzer.  A nail trimming is needed!
Trying to take a "selfie" with an SLR camera while snuggling is a little tricky.  At least I captured my little sweetie resting her head on my shoulder.  xoxo

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Hal's new book this month is Life Through My Eye.  She got it for Christmas, but hasn't really read it until today!  She enjoyed it in her sunbathed reading nook in the apartment this morning :)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hallie is TWO!!!

Our sweet little strawberry-blond nugget is TWO! We're looking forward to celebrating with family and friends once we move into our new house, but here's how we celebrated so far...

Grandma & Grandpa Scearcy gave Hallie an early gift before they left out of town.  It was a basket full of plastic fruits and veggies that she could cut apart.  I love Hallie's expression every time she "cut" the fruit and veggies.

Friday night we went to the fish fry with some of our friends and Hallie and her good friend Rose had a fun time getting their faces painted and got cool balloon animals.

Saturday we went to Build-a-Bear with Aunt Carla, Clete and Kate.  Each of the kids picked out a bear and got to "build" it.  So fun!

Sunday morning (Hallie's actual birthday), she was greeted over breakfast by a birthday video text from her good friend Rose.  What a sweetheart!

Then Daddy brought Hal a special donut and I Mommy made her bacon (her fav) for breakfast.
Then she opened up her gift from Daddy.  It was a velcro ball/paddle set that would help her learn to throw and catch.  Hal and Daddy had a blast playing with it.  Lilly had to get in on the action too :)

Mommy got Hal a set of Cars 2 fischer price wheelies to use on her car tower.  These were a hit!  I love hearing her say "Mater!" and "Lightning McQueen!" with excitement.  She's still working on "Finn McMissile" and "Francesco Bernoulli" ;).

After nap time, we headed to dinner at Red Robin and told Hal we were going to see the new Muppets movie afterwards.  She's been talking about the Muppets for a while now.

We ended the day with a little cake I made and a few more presents at home.  Hal got so excited for the cake she didn't even wait for a fork ;)

One last present before bed!

She has changed SO MUCH since she turned one!

Mommy and Daddy love you SO MUCH Hallie Joy! xoxo

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

new HOUSE!

Hello all!  Or rather, hello Mom! (since she may be the only one reading this).  We're already 2+ months into 2014 and I have yet to blog.  We have had a lot of life type stuff going on behind the scenes and blogging has not been super important.  But, spring is coming and I am excited to get back to blogging, being outside, designing/decorating, photography etc.  As previously blogged about, we sold our house last fall and moved out in November to an apartment.  We wanted to take a breath, decide our next move and allow Cory time to heal from his third major back surgery.   We had bought a lot in a newer neighborhood in Bennington and were pretty sure that we wanted to start building there as soon as the weather got nice and Cory healed up.  But after we got our plans back from the architect, did all of the hard costs and thought it through, we realized that wasn't the best move for us right now for a few reasons: 1) Cory needs a chance to really heal and working full time and building a house on the side is not going to allow that to happen.  When he builds a house for our family (this would have been his 4th time doing so), he does almost EVERYTHING.  Basically, besides plumbing, electrical and HVAC Cory is the one doing the work.  That is a huge time and energy commitment and not one that either of us thinks is wise for Cory to undertake right now 2) The main reason we sold our previous house is because after doing Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover through our old church, we were really convicted about being debt free and for us that includes NO MORTGAGE.  So, we wanted to downsize and build/buy something that would allow us to have no mortgage.  After doing our hard cost sheet for the new house we were considering building, it was clear that we would have to do a little financing.  Even though it would be a small amout, we really didn't want to go down that slippery slope 3) We were ready for something different! Cory has built us three houses in a row and they have been great, but he was ready for a different challenge...SO, those three main reasons led us to decide that we should (drumroll please) FLIP A HOUSE!  As soon as we committed to that path, we were on the hunt for a great deal.  We wanted something that wasn't completed destroyed, but was in rough enough shape that we could give it some TLC and then turn around and sell it for a good profit in a few years.  We found a few options, but settled on a split-level HUD foreclosure with huge mature shade trees (a must-have for Cory).  We put in a bid and were happily surprised when we found out we got it!  We closed on it at the beginning of February and since then Cory has been spending some time on the weekends fixing plumbing and doing demolition and now we're starting to get to the fun parts: picking out tile, counter tops, paint, draperies, etc.  I look forward to blogging about the fun remodel and we hope to be moving in some time in April :) 
Here's to our next adventure...THE JENSEN FLIP HOUSE!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Christmas time seems like the perfect opportunity to sit back and reflect on everything that has happened to our family over the past year.  Pictures say it better than words, so here is our 2013 as seen through our cameras!

Our little peanut, Hallie Joy, turned 1 at the end of March.  We celebrated by taking her to Disney on ice and having a little birthday party with family and close friends.  Her favorite part was the balloons!  Read more about her birthday here.

One of Hallie's favorite parts of the day continues to be BATHTIME! 

This summer one of Hallie's favorite things to was to be outside.  Whether she was swimming in her wading pool with her cousin, Kate, or going down the waterslide with Mommy at the Missouri Valley aquatic center, or playing with the chickens with her friend Rose, or getting messy in the mud or her sand table or watering the landscaping naked...she was in heaven and didn't want to be inside.



In late April/early May Nicole and Hallie joined Grandma and Grandpa Scearcy at their timeshare on Tablerock Lake.  We had wonderful weather and a wonderful time.  Read more about that here.

In June Cory built a chicken coop and we started enjoying our pasture raised, farm fresh eggs.  Hallie loved those chickens so much.  She was always running out to the coop and mingling with them.  Read more about that here.

Hallie and Mommy enjoyed biking together this spring, summer and fall.  We got this awesome bike seat and Hal seemed to love just cruising along and taking in the sights.  We took the bike along camping several times and also loved taking it on the Keystone Trail.

 On June 17 we unexpectedly said goodbye to our precious doggy, Finnley.  He was such a wonderful dog and he and Hallie had just begun to develop a special friendship.

We weren't ready to be a dog-less family, and we definitely wanted another schnauzer.  So we went on the hunt for a female schnauzer.  Nicole found a litter of sweet little 3 week old puppies owned by a lovely family in Council Bluffs.  We were the first to see them and got the pick of the litter.  We pick the teeny tiny runt and named her Lilly.  She is a full blown member of the family now and Hal and Lil have become close friends.  Lilly is extremely protective of Hallie and Hallie definitely loves her.  On days I would work, Hallie would be so excited to see Lilly when I picked her up from Aunt Carla's that she would insist that Lilly ride with her in her carseat on the way home!  These two girls will definitely share a special bond throughout their lives.  

Full grown at 6 months old!

In August we went on a family vacation to Calamus Reservoir with our good friends Tim & Lia and their daughter Rose.  We had a blast camping, swimming, sitting by the campfire and just relaxing.  Hallie and Rose had a great time together and it was fun for the parents to see the kiddos play.


photo credit: Lia Larson
photo credit: Lia Larson
photo credit: Lia Larson
photo credit: Lia Larson
We enjoyed our Calamus camping adventure so much that we decided to buy a camper of our own.  We bought a tiny 14' travel trailer in August and managed to take it out two times before the end of the season.  We camped at Mahoney State Park and Fremont State Lakes.  We loved the camping but realized the trailer was too small for our family.  We managed to sell it quickly on Craigslist and are currently looking for one that is just the right size for the Jensen family.

One of Hallie's favorite people in the whole world continues to be her "Papa."  She likes to facetime him at least once a day, watch tv snuggled on his lap, take care of the chickens with him, and just love on him in general.  She recently started saying "I love you, Papa" several times a day.  The feeling is mutual and I have never seen a daddy so enamored and involved with his daughter.
Hallie cheering Papa up after his first of two major back surgeries this year.
Hallie and I had a great year together and I so appreciate the opportunity to be at home with her most of the time.  We love reading books, being outside, getting pedicures and taking care of Papa.
Hallie has two good friends that she likes to spend time with - her cousin Kate and her friend Rose - both who are 2 months older than her.  Hallie and Kate got to spend about two days a week together when either Grandma or Aunt Carla watched them while I worked part time.  Rose and Hal usually got together for a play date a month.  Waterparks, pumpkin patches, the Zoo and the Children's Museum were some favorite spots for Hal and her pals.
photo credit: Lia Larson
photo credit: Lia Larson
In October we put our house on the market and it sold in 48 hours!  We are excited to move closer to Omaha and back into a neighborhood.  We loved the country, but realized it is probably best for people who are retired and have time to take care of five acres!  We are excited to move back to Bennington and have purchased a lot in the Ridgewood neighborhood there.  We plan to start construction once Cory heals from his latest back surgery.
Here's Hal on the beam during gymnastics.  She has just recently started and seems to love it.
Merry Christmas and no, Hallie is still not a fan of Santa ;)