Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

This year we had christmas at the Reneer's. As promised, I let the Anna and Maria be in charge of the photo documentry. In order to understand these pictures you need to down 15 pieces of fudge, be hopped up on christmas excitment and have your best friend and cousin at your side. Now hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

This is Anna's "O.M.G!" look.

Daniel at the top of the stairs. My parents have a very firm NO PLAYING ON THE STAIRS RULE. My children have a very firm rule that ignores that rule.

This is Jaylee. She is the kids cousin and also Anna and Maria's best friend.

This is Jaylee and Maria. For some reason they are huging a pole. I don't know why. Pretty sure the sugar made them do it.

Still hugging. Maybe it makes the room stop spinning.

Uncle Ricky. Notice blur of girls swirling around him. This happens to Uncle Ricky a lot.

What christmas lights look like when you are running past at 80 miles per hour.

The one clear picture. What an adorable picture it is too. This is Linda's youngest, LouCylle with my mom, aka Bumpski.

Anna showing Maria that yes, she can poke her brain. It is squishy.

Hi, Aunt Kathryn.

Aunt Kathryn with Jaylee and Anna.

Bestest Buddies.

Aunt Linda

A quick shout out to the Christmas booty under the tree.

More present pictures.

Jaylee with a stocking.

And this ends our Christmas evening tour. No small animals were harmed during this photo montage. If your surroundings look blurry to you after reading this blog, don't worry this is completely normal. Bend over and place your head between your knees and breath deeply a few times. It is very important though to remember not to pass gass while doing this. Don't ask me how I know this but the Dr says the knot on my head should go down in a few days. I was lucky I did not get hurt any worse.

Christmas morning with the family. I love that I don't have to be in the pictures.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Isaac's Christmas List

My kids usually don't put a lot of stock into making christmas lists and mailing them off to santa. sometimes they will tape them up to the wall, but even then it is only one or two kids. Ike is one that dreams big. The list he comes up with every year shows this. It also shows Santa that Ike has not be on the nice list for several years. In fact about 9 years straight.

1. Lego, Queen Anne's Revenge

only a mere $119.00 at your local Walmart

2. Ipod

$179 for the 8g. model

3. DSI not an XL

$169 he saved me a few bucks by downgrading from an XL

4. Art Supplies

Very reasonable request. He must have been suffering from lack of oxygen for this to have slipped in.

5. Paints with the color Brown

I am very concerned why brown must be included in this paint set. He has mentioned he need for brown quite a bit. He also like to draw pictures of poo. Possible connection?

6. Gun

Another year of him dealing with dissapointment.

7. Bowie Knife

Only if Jake gets one too. And how ever dangerous you think Ike is with a knife, triple it and you will have Jake's skill level.

8. Katana

Only after you pass your ninja training. And we do not know of any ninjas offering training.

9. Beaker, Test Tubes, Flasks

Hmm, this sounds safe. Why not allow him to do chemical experiments in his room. Oh, wait. Because odds are Jakey would not be waking up the next morning.

10. Survival Gear

Now this will come in handy seeing how Ike's dream in to live in a concrete bunker built into the side of a mountain. *mental note, make sure future spouse of Ike gets the booklet of all of Ike's past christmas lists.

11. Nuclear Power Plant

I told him that this will make all his hair fall out and his nether regions shrivel up. He seemed unphased by these facts.

12. Power in the middle east

We will start off small, I plan on just giving him our power bill and see how he deals with that first.

13. The Moon

Sorry, Bill Gates already owns this.

14. Happiness

Cheese. Need I say more?

15. MONEY!

Cannot buy happiness.

Thank you for reading along. Hope you enjoyed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Well I have sent the card to those that needed to get it and now for your reading pleasure, or displeasure, here is our family christmas letter for 2011.

December 2011

For this years Christmas letter I asked everyone to tell me what their most memorable event, that can be shared publicly, of 2011 was. So this letter will not include stories of heroism, excellent grades, stellar citizenship or really much of anything else I usually make up in my other Christmas letters. Now that you have been warned please lower your expectations before reading this letter because I know I lowered mine before I wrote it. On a side note, thanks to my going back to college and succeeding in writing I can now use semicolons with confidence. AH HA!
Daniel, age 15, favorite memories were getting his own room! No longer does he have to share a mess, er, I mean room with his younger brothers. He also got a very cool authentic Tiki mask at a yard sale. He also got his learners permit this spring and passed Drivers Ed with minimal damage to those around him. I cannot claim the same victory. He also got to go to the ocean for two weeks this summer and dug holes so deep that he could sit in them on a camp chair and still not be seen. Daniel was also very pleased to be asked to join the Bio Med Tech class at school. This is not a class you can just sign up for, you have to be invited to participate.

Ike, age 12, went to his very first boy scout camp. When I asked if he had any memories to share he said, “What happens at camp, stays at camp.” Being his mother for the past 12 years has taught me not to push a topic when a statement like that is said. I will only be shocked, horrified and the mental pictures will keep me up for nights on end. Isaac is also sporting a totally awesome new scar on his elbow. Which is good because it gave him some *street cred as he headed off to 7th grade this year. *Street cred meaning his body tried to fight the street and the street won. Ike also learned to boogie board at the ocean this summer and by the end was riding more waves than he swallowing. I see that as a huge success. He also dug holes in the sand about the depth and width of a joggers leg. I am gonna let your imagination take over on this one. This winter he did wrestling this year for Chase Middle School and made the varsity team. Good job, Ike!

Jakey, age 9, is our middle child. In fact I completely forgot to include him in this letter until I noticed only four kids were spotlighted. Jakey's most memorable moments are quite a bit different than his brothers. First and foremost, a good day for him is a day that his brothers do not notice him and therefore he does not get mauled. Secondly, a good day for him is a day that he does not get caught doing half the things he has done that he is not suppose to do. I say only half because luckily we catch him about half the time, at least I like to think we do. He likes to set his brothers up for getting into stuff that really he did and then just quietly walk away. When his is not hiding or plotting he can be found in his favorite room. No, not the bathroom. That room involves soap, his arch nemesis; nor does it include his bedroom. That room involves Ike, also his arch nemesis. Jakey's can be found usually in the Lego room. Yes, we have a room in our house dedicated just to legos; we have thousands of dollars of legos in that room. In fact the most valuable thing we own is legos. His highlights of the year include our trip to Seattle for Brick Con which is a huge Lego convention. Lego geeks from around the world show off all the amazing creations they have made instead of holding down a steady job. It truly inspired me. It inspired me to make sure my kids never grow up like that. We also stayed at Matt and Jenna Hanes' house, my brother and sister in law on Dan's side of the family. Jakey's other highlight was going to his cousin, Jimmy's birthday party while we were there.

Anna, age 6, did not have a lot to contribute to this letter. I just thought you should know that. She stated that Hello Kitty is the best and that she loves her. And that her favorite thing to do is to go to church BBQ s. So I guess that sums up Anna. Hello Kitty should not get too comfortable at the top of Anna's list. Lots of things have been up there over the year. Strawberry Shortcake, Barbie, Fancy Nancy books, Maria, bunnies, her bestest, best friend, Peyton, glitter and her brothers. I wonder, did you notice what I noticed that was missing from her list? It was ME!

Maria, age 6, loves to dance. She feels I am holding back her ballet career by not enrolling her in Julliard school of dance. Luckily we were able to buy her love by making a totally cool Hello Kitty pinata for her and Anna's birthday party. Maria's favorite things are Hello Kitty and glitter. So as you can imagine when she got a glittery Hello Kitty shirt she just about peed her Hello Kitty panties. She also loves a good BBQ and of course a nice steak. Well at least we call it steak, to her it is chicken. All meat is chicken, just in different colors. Grilled steak is black chicken to her.

On August 13, my sister Regina's birthday, I remarried to Benjamin Guhl from Palmer, Alaska. I am pleased to say that at the time I am writing this he is still here. I am sure he will eventually chew through the rope, but until then I will welcome the company. Yes, I know, Alaska is a long ways away to find someone but after reading this letter you understand how I could not look for anyone closer for fear they already knew my children, or worse

Mom, this year has been one of finding routine and enjoying my altered family. I know it seems weird to call it altered but that how I interpret what we have gone through. Dan is never far from our thoughts and we talk about him everyday, remembering special things he liked to do or special memories we have of him. Ben is awesome in so many ways, but one that attracted me to him the most was that he is not intimidated by these memories of Dan. In fact he encourages them. Making sure to make Dan's birthday a special day for the kids and I, or keeping close tabs on me and being there for me on Dan and I's anniversary. I had sixteen years with Dan and we added five children to our family. Ben and I have many, many years ahead of us to make wonderful memories and five great kids to raise. To have a partner here with me to make that happen is a blessing I never did expect. So when you pray to God for an answer and he tells you to trust him. Do it. I did and it is one of the best choices I ever made.

Monday, December 19, 2011


For those of you not in the know, Spokaloo is a end of season wrestling tournament. This is the Jr. High level between 9 schools. In other words it is a really, really long day spent watching hundreds of wresting matches. Ben and I packed snacks, lunches, games, and activites for the kiddos. Anna and Maria played with my Ipod. I did not pay much attention to what they were playing, instead I enjoyed the fact they were happy and entertained. At the end of our adventure I checked my Ipod to see that it had an additional 233 pictures on it.

So for you viewing enjoyment,

Anna and Maria's impression of Spokaloo.

Anna showing her sister her new birthday shirt from her Grandma and Papa Brown.

Maria showing her new birthday shirt from Grandma and Papa Brown.

Maria pretending to be tall taking a picture of Anna.

Anna's scrunched up angry face. We see this one around the house a lot.

They discovered the ability to see themselves and take pictures.

I LOVE this one.

What in the world is this a picture of?

The inside of Anna's mouth.

Extreme close up of Anna.

For some reason they felt the need to document the snacks being eaten by the people next to them.

Cheesy Mc Cheese.

Oh and they did take a few pics of their brother. Gotta remember he was the reason they were there.

And now back to the Maria show. This is the glow board Grandpa and Bumski Reneer got Anna. Just an FYI, awesome gift for those wonder what to get the 5-8 yr. old in your life.

More of Maria. I have about 50 shots from this. If I flash through them it makes a short film of Maria drawing a picture. They learned about the video mode shortly after this

The glow board....uh....glowing.

Anna insisted I include this picture of her knee. It is pink. She has pink pants on. If you doubt this I can show you the other 15 pictures to prove it.

Her first few attempts at taking a picture of her knee were a bit shaky. I guess it is harder to take a picture of ones knee that I anticipated.

I have 30 pictures of the persons butt infront of us. I can understand accidently taking two or three, but thirty? That causes one to pause and wonder why.

So I hope you have enjoyed the girls take on Spokaloo. Ike did not do as well as he hoped. He was really nervous seeing how this was his first time in a tournament as big as this. I wish I could have helped him settle down so his nerves would not have gotten the best of him but he learned from this experience, as did I. From now on Anna and Maria will be incharge of the camera on all our outings.

Miss Anna Banana.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Daniel James Brown 11-14-66

A bit late on this post. The pictures were on Ben's camera because I forgot to pack mine. Anyways........

As we do every year, we celebrated Dan's birthday. On his actual birthday we had Dan's favorite dinner of grilled steak and his favorite cake of Death by Chocolate, not for the faint of heart. Because it is winter and gets dark at 3 pm here we had to postpone the trip up to the cemetery until the following Saturday.

That Friday and Saturday a snow storm decided to blow in. Ben and I discussed what should be done and came to the conclussion it was worth the snowy drive out to Cheney and the hike up to Dan's grave site. You see, the hill is super steep so you cannot drive a car, much less a huge van, up there in the winter or spring when the dirt road is still muddy. So we bundled up the kiddos and took what is normally a 20 minute drive and stretched it out on an hour.

Here they are all heading up the hill. The wind was not too bad this time, but the snow was really coming down.

Trying to keep my face warm.

Anna, in the pink, and Maria, the purple blob on the ground, made it about 1/2 way up before passing out. I love Maria's look of completely giving up and telling those around her to go on with out her. Anna was a good sister and stayed by her side until mom came.

Three boys took their sister's directions literally and left her.

When we all got up there together and took in the beautiful sights around us a snowball fight broke out. Daniel and Ben each took cheap shots at me. The younger three made snow angels for Daddy and Ike took turns white washing and then getting whitewashed.

The people that were sledding in the fields across the road from the cemetery were a bit perplexed by the kids romping around the hills. Don't worry, they were just visiting their dad.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Brick Con

This October we to a trip to our Mecca, the BrickCon in Seattle. We are all level 7 lego geeks. Jakey is well on his way to becoming a level 8. So when Matt and Jenna told us in January about this lego convention that comes in October we were sold and immediately started making plans to go.

It is a Washington state law stating that if you go to Seattle you must, and I do mean MUST take a picture of the space needle. The first thought we all had was, "Hmmm, I thought it was bigger."

In the courtyard there is an amazing fountain. It puts on a really cool show with music and everything. It was so cold that day that that the water was warmer than the air so it created some really cool steam which you can sorta see around the dome in this picture.

What you cannot see is the look of wonder and awe on Jakey's face. All I can say is that I saw a lot of very pale people here, could have been the Seattle enviroment or the fact that they did not get out of their mother's basement very often to interact with real people.

What was fun on these huge displays is looking for the out of place characters. We saw a lot of Darth Vaders and Luke Skywalkers hiding in Harry Potter sets and city streets. What do you see in the picture below.

Just a really cool skyscraper in one of the many city scapes. One actually had a working minature movie theater.

In the kids corner they had a these awesome tables for kids to sit at and create with endless amounts of Legos. Jakey and the girls had a blast here. Daniel and Ike were very dissapointed in the prices of the sets and parts there. As were Ben and I. $3 for one mini figure??? Highway robbery. I would have said Lego highway robbery but we could not afford the pieces to even built the lego highway to get robbed on.

All in all it was such a fantastic trip. Loved staying with Matt and Jenna and their kiddos. We even got to go on a date and Daniel and Ike watched all of the kiddos. Jenna and Matt got a taste of the joys of having live in babysitters. They are coming over during Christmas break and we cannot wait to see them all again.