Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

Thing the Guhl and Brown family has learned this year....

Anna- Not to lie everyday.
Anna- She never wants to be an actress because she does not want to "break a leg"

Maria- Learned how to paper mache.
Maria- How to raise a butterfly

Jacob- How to kayak
Jacob- All you ever need to know about life you can learn from reading Patrick F. Mc Manus.

Isaac- Learned fly fishing and how to tie flies.
Isaac- Is teaching himself the banjo and calligraphy

Daniel- Learned how to enact a polymerase chain reaction, and use the ensuing data to determine the origins of the DNA used in the reaction.
Daniel- Learned when a girl says; "I do not want anything for my birthday.", what she means is; "I want you to try and guess what I want for my birthday till you get it right when I eventually take pity on you and tell you.".

Jenn- Having it all does not mean living up to someone else's expectations of what having it all means.
Jenn- Stress zits are just as ugly as puberty zits.

Benjamin- Learned the joys of emptying a 7 year old daughters bedpan. Especially after she ate some of Marilyn's special bran muffins. (that is when I knew the man truly loved me)
Benjamin- Has his first job that does not involve the cooking, prepping , or serving of food in 13 years and it feels fantastic.

We all hope you have a wonderful 2013!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sledding...take Dos

For day two of sledding we went to the local middle school. Ike did not join us. It was just too soon for him. 
Chase Middle School has about 7 fantastic hills to choose from. When we first got there we had the run of the place (as it should be). The hills were nice and packed, after one look Anna and Maria opted to keep to the "bunny hill".

This first video is of Daniel and Jake. I love how you can hear how fast they are going as the sled flies along the ice.

As the morning wore on Maria's curiosity got the best of her and she had to try it out. Her first ride down was in the middle of the boys train.

If you watch close enough you can see the ears of Maria's hat flatten back from the wind. It makes me giggle.

Jakey catching some air off the last jump of a three jump hill. Each jump is followed by a loud "OUCH"

Maria's turn. No ouch.

Anna played it fairly safe with her sledding adventures. She stayed on the bunny hills and watched her brothers and sister risk life and limb. I have a feeling this past spring gave Anna all the adventure she wants or needs for a very long time.

This has probably been the best weather we have had for Christmas break. It usually rains the whole time. The kiddos have had fun playing outside with their Airsoft guns (yes, we bought the boys their own Airsoft guns) sledding through the snow and making pictures with snow crayons. I wrote in the snow "HELP ME" so far I have not be rescued.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Anyone can take cool pictures of kiddos sledding.
 I prefer to take pictures of the wipe-outs!

Or in this picture....right before the wipe-out. Turns out powdered snow mixed with nylon snow pants makes for a very slippery slide.

Jakey was trying to learn to sled standing up. (snowboarding?)

No wipe-out here. Just Anna Bananna

What you don't see in this incredibly adorable picture of Maria is that she is hanging upside down from a swing because her boots got caught. No worries, she is still smiling.

 I included this picture because Jacob looks like a cranky old man (or like Ralphie from a Christmas Story**) and Anna looks sad and dejected, which is weird because she was actually quite giggly.
The next day we went and conquered bigger, better, faster hills. Those pictures and yes dear reader I included videos for the reading impaired.

Possible look alike?

I am dreaming of a cookie-lishious Christmas

Much like lemmings throwing themselves off a cliff every spring I find myself every Christmas season I bake an insane amount of gingerbread and sugar cookies. Then I gather my family around and make them decorate them all. Mwaaa, haaa, haaa. All in the name of holiday spirit.

Because some considerate a forced labor, and I consider it free labor, the quality of these creations are often called into question. Take for example.......

Ben's Creation

 Here is a snowman made of yellow snow. You know what they say about not eating yellow snow? Well my children forgot this and ate this snowman first.

Jakey did a gingerbread skeleton with a still beating gummy heart.

This is Isaac's contribution to the Christmas tree collection.

No cool story behind this candy cane. I just had to add it to prove that every once in a while they would mess up and let a "normal" cookie slip by.

So there you have it. Our version of Christmas Cookies. May you holidays be merry and bright and may all your cookies be slightly dysfunctional. 

Candy Corn Bread

Every year our ward has a Chili and Corn Bread cook-off with the Trunk-o-Treat festivities.
We wanted to have a bit of fun with the corn bread this year. So Daniel made Candy Corn Bread.

It is just yellow cake with the yellow ends of candy corn added in and then baked. We sprinkled more on about 1/2 way through the baking to give it a really corny look. Sadly it did not last long enough to actually be judged. It was a huge hit and was gone with in a matter of minutes. Our family called it a winner. Another friend of Daniel's got in on the word play and laid down slices of white bread on a dish and poured corn over it. I like it when the youth participate. It makes the contests a lot more fun and you never know what to expect.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Planning ahead

My school break is coming to a close and I am looking forward to another intense quarter of school. This leaves little time for blogging so I am pre-blogging.

I am stacking up blogs from our events of Christmas break and what not and then I can post one every couple of days or so. This way I will not blog you down with seven posts in one day.

You are very welcome. 

Chuck Norris approves of this message.

Little Gingerbread Mobile Home Park

This year we had a gingerbread house contest for Family Home Evening. Nothing says love at home like a contest pitting family members against each other.

 Anna and Maria were dedicated in there use of frosting and candy. Both should be used liberally.
 Our little mobile home park with a Christmas tree.
 Each Kid was awarded a prize, Jakey's got "I always feel like somebody is watching me"
 Isaac got most aggressive use of frosting.
 Ben got the Mr. Brady award for his lovely 1960's rancher.
 Maria got the "One hot candy mess"
And for some reason I did not get an individual shot of Anna's house. Hmm.
She got the Chim-Chim-Charee award for her creative use of a licorice nip for a chimney.

When we were done we delivered them to various friends to share some Christmas cheer. Each person got to decide who the recipient for their house would be.

Daniel did his house as only Daniel can. And since a simple picture did not do it justice we had to video him describing the details that went into this creation.

Daniel's Eagle Scout Project

Daniel wanted to finish his Eagle Scout project in 2012 because it is the Centennial Anniversary of the Eagle Scout program. Because of this the BSA is giving out a special Eagle Scout patch and pin. Pretty cool seeing how the next one is not for another 100 years.

He met with a few different organizations around town and since he cannot raise or handle money in any way ( new tax laws that see this as an income for the BSA and their for Daniel would have to pay taxes on any funds he raised for the organization he was helping) we had to get creative. We found a great place that has been helping children in the Spokane area for over 25 years. The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.

Daniel organized and ran a Kitchen Supply Drive. By setting up donation trees in seven locations around Spokane and Spokane Valley he was able to gather about $1000.00 worth of kitchen supplies. From cutting boards and hot pads to stock pots, plates and eating utensils. The V.B.C Nursery was in serious need of it all. When we dropped off the donations she said she was thrilled to see a blender because their's just bit the dust earlier that week.

 He got lots of support from he fellow scouts as well as his youth leaders. There were lots of phone calls to make as they set up locations as well as poster boards to make for each of the locations and tags to put on each tree. My dad, Rick Reneer, scoured every thrift store in the area looking for small trees. As with any gathering of scouts not only was a lot accomplished, but a lot of cookies were consumed. (See picture below)
Here is one of Daniel's trees set up a one of the local Albertson grocery stores. The manager was awesome and even wanted to donate supplies on behalf of the store. 

 This man in the black jacket is the bishop of our church. Yep. Our fearless leader. No, he is not pointed a gun at the young boys head. I think it is some sort of bishopric gang sign. The guy in the red hoodie is Bro. Christensen. He was Daniel's young men's leader. He looks......well....unsure of the situation. These two great guys showed up on a Saturday morning to help set up a couple trees and Daniel was very happy for the help.
 Here is Daniel and Ike, he also put a lot of time into the project, along with the director, Shawna Harshman, with everything he had collected over the three weeks the trees were up.
All in all Daniel put in about 114 hours of service on the project and we were all super excited over the success of it. It was really neat to see the support of the community for the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.

The BIG day

December 8th, two thousand and twelve was a very special day at our home. Anna and Maria turned EIGHT! So not only was that day their golden birthday, they also got to be baptized!
Ben was the one doing the dunking. Ria had to be dunked twice. They say it is because her foot came up out of the water as she tried to paddle off, I think it was because she ate the picture of Jesus that was in their room when the girls were 5.
Either way they both got dunked and seemed to be not the worse for wear because of it.
 Here is a photo document of the big day. Two things I noticed right away....
WOW, when did they decide to grow up?
Their daddy would have been so proud of them and we all really wished he could have been there. Ben and I gave them lockets that have a picture of their dad so they could always have him near by. We were able to be surrounded by lots of friends and family and love and appreciate them all for taking time out of their busy Saturday morning to come celebrate this big day with us.
 Ben was worried about their hair, it is getting quite long, floating up so I made sure to braid them and then pin them up. I really liked how their hair turned out.
 Their Aunt Sue-Sue gave them a Hello Kitty make up kit for their birthday. This was the hit of the party. They used me and abused me with make up and nail polish. Their toes and fingernails looked very pink and sparkly.
That night it all sort of sunk in for me that this is the last baptism for our little family. They are growing up and time is a cruel, cruel mistress who waits for no one.

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Glimmer of Hope

I have a secret I am going to share with you all.
Something many of you may not realize.
Raising a teenage boy is really, really frustrating.

But yesterday morning, Sunday December 23, 2012 at 6:30 am, there as a ray of hope shined down upon this house.

Isaac wanted to make everyone breakfast and announced this Saturday night. I figured, "Heck, I will go along with this." Told him he had to get up at 6:30 to start breakfast. He told me he wanted to make everyone eggs so I told him the favorites of the family. Some like sunny side up, some like over easy while others like scrambled and those who don't like eggs to make them instant oatmeal. Gave him a run down of how to prep the flat top and what temp to have it at ect.

Well imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to wake up to the sound of eggs cracking! He made everyone a lovely breakfast of eggs and toast. Even taking custom toast orders for jam or peanut butter. I was served first.( It was very weird eating breakfast before my children.)

And then dear reader, it got even better.....


***I think someone just got on Santa's nice list***

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lots to blog about....

Oh i have so much to blog about.
but blogger is saying I have reached my "free photo limit"
so i have to wait.
so sorry.