Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas part 2

We did a great job of spreading out Christmas this year. We had Christmas with my parents while we were in Utah and Henry got to get his unwrapping practice in. (His form really improved during that time. Now he knows to start with the taped side. Makes a big difference in his overall speed.)

Then when Dell's parents came into town on the 22nd we had another Christmas with them. Here's a quick video of Henry unwrapping his gift from them. I love his little squeals!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Henry on His Trike

Henry has been having fun riding his trike up and down our street. Not squealing his tires, but squeeling nonetheless.

blog slacker

Okay, so I've been a total slacker about updating our blog. I will try to do better. I need to since I love looking at all of your blogs and get so excited when you have a new post. So here's to a less slacker Anna in the future. Cheers!

Here's a quick update of all we've been up to in the past months.

Wonderful visit from Dell's parents. We love being with them. We had so much fun showing them our favorite bits of Texas. Hiking Enchanted Rock, eating at Rather Sweet bakery in Fredricksburg, and the stopping at the living history farm at the LBJ Ranch on the way home. Henry got to gather an egg from a real live hen house!

Here's a picture of Henry and Grandpa having a nice chat on their way down Enchanted Rock.

We Decked our halls! I love Christmas and putting up our Christmas stuff makes me so happy. I love having a Christmas house. For the first time ever we put up lights on the outside of our house-- way to go Dell! (Super efficient LED lights which are awesome!) And Henry and I handled the interior. Though Henry roamed back and forth and took most of the picture from the event. I love our Christmas tree. It is huge and bushy. Looks totally wild with branches sticking out everywhere and it was so tall we had to cut off some of the top since our 6-7 foot tree from Lowes was scraping our 9 foot ceilings. What else has been fun is how into the tree Henry has been. We have the lights on a timer and every night when they turn on Henry comes running. "The Christmas tree is sparkling!!!" He also loved hearing the story of each of our ornaments and when Grandma and Grandpa Dunn called that evening he gave the a telephone tour of the tree. "and that ornament, see (holds phone toward tree then brings back to his ear) is from when mommy was a little girl. And the star is to help us remember Jesus, and....." Super cute. I love almost 4 year olds.

Dell putting up the Christmas lights. Picture taken by Henry

Once our house was Christmasfied we headed to Utah for a quick visit with my parents. It was much too short but oh did we have a great time. Dell taught Henry to ski which was the highlight of the trip for him I think and I was so impressed at how well Henry did. (Since his mom is terrified of skiing and hates fulfilling her wifely duty to ski with her sweetheart.) But Henry just strapped on his skis and went off with Dad for an hour. Then, when they came back to the lodge at Alta to warm up a bit, I asked Henry if he wanted to stay with me and he said "nope, I want to go practice skiing some more." And off they went for another hour-- this time up the sunnyside lift. Henry's favorite things: "going super fast", red light green light, and bowling (where Dell would give him a little push and he'd scoot forward like a bowling ball.) The day after Alta Dell and Henry hit Snowbird and skied for another couple of hours-- this time taking several lifts. Luckily I got to hang out with my brother on the patio near the fire. It was great to have some time with Mark.

Little Skier

Other highlights of the trip include: Henry playing with cousin Sams and Eden, celebrating Christmas and birthdays, lights at Temple Square, gingerbread party with my aunt and cousins, the traditional Hedengren sibling lazar tag war-- oh how we have fun. Though being 7 months pregnant really hurt my ranking. Emily was the new queen of lazar tag. She dominated this time! Henry also loved going to the Children's museum in Salt Lake. He still talks fondly of the "boys and girls museum" and wants to go back almost every day (though we are moving to just twice a week mentions of said museum.) And I learned that I am super grateful for the USO where during our 3 hour layover on the way home I got a nap, some food, books, and met a really fun couple that happen to live just down the road from us. Small world huh?

Dell and Henry at Temple Square

Our most recent activities include scurrying for Santa, playing with family, and enjoy Texas in December. While we've had some cold (35-45 degree days) we've also had some 60-70 degree days and oh do we love those. Yesterday was such a day and we spent the whole day outside working on the garage, watching Henry race his trike up and down the sidewalk and we finished with an Arby's picnic in front of the garage after a last run to Home Depot. Oh what a great day. (If only BYU had won. Sorrow and sigh. Oh well, there's always next year. Go Cougars!!)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Henry was a cute lion again this year. First we tried being pirates, but when he saw his old costume he wanted to change from pirate to lion. And when I saw how cute he was, I agreed. He got a little hot in it, but was too determined to trick or treat to let a little thing like sweat deter him.
Henry got quite a haul of candy too. He took the giant trick or treat bag (the one I used to use to hand out candy from) instead or his little pumpkin one. But it was half full by the time the evening was over. We canvassed our neighborhood first-- to meet the neighbors which was great! And then went to Alec and Dixie's to join the cousins and a bunch of other people from the ward in that neighborhood. Lots of good candy there too.

Henry was adorable. And each house he said the obligatory "trick or treat" but followed up with a heart felt "where are the halloween games?" Because he knows that every good party has candy and games and the candy was plentiful, but games were few. Luckily in one cul de sac we found a game like atmosphere with hayrides, movies and a spook alley (which Henry wisely choose to skip-- even big kids were getting scared.)

We ended up at cousin's house where Henry and H had a fun time playing relay games with Grandpa Dick and the big bag of Halloween candy to give away. Then we took a tired little boy home. What a great Halloween, and the first that Henry really got into. It is so fun watching Henry grow up. He makes holidays so much better!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Okay, so I don't think President Uchtdorf meant that the women of the church should make a run on JoAnns, but I liked what he said in womens conference about creating. "As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you." I'd always considered myself NOT the creative type, but since womens conference I've tried to have more fun creating things of beauty. And you know what, it is lots of fun. So in that spirit I'm sharing today's creative project with you. SPOOKY TREES!!!! Shiver.....

(In the spirit of the pioneer woman website I took pictures of the process. Those of you that have not wasted hours at don't start. Unless you like delicious recipes that call for pounds of butter and her hilarious love story of how she, a vegetarian from LA married a cattle rancher from Oklahoma. Now back to SPOOKY TREES!!!)

Materials Needed
Yogurt or Cottage cheese containers-- clean
Black Spray paint
Clear gloss spray paint
Black Acrylic paint
Halloween candy
Thin Ribbon

To begin take your 3 year old and a pair of pruning sheers out for a walk in the neighborhood park. Look for piles of dead branches, cut off any small branch that looks spooky. Bring the branches home.
Then lightly sand the bark of the branches (only do if needed. As long as things aren't flaking off you're probably fine without sanding.) the following picture was taken by Henry.

Stick smooth branches in a pot for easy spray painting. Or just hold and rotate while spraying. (All but last picture by Henry. And don't worry, I stayed upwind of the spray paint so little girl won't be a sniffer.)

Make sure to get under the branches and every angle. Oh and buy the little attachment for the spray paint. So worth two dollars. It saves your fingers from getting tired and painted and makes spraying so easy.I just did one coat, but you could do two for a darker color. After the paint has dried to the touch, spray with gloss finishing spray to help protect the paint and make things shine.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Once your branches are painted it's time to make the pots to hold the SPOOKY TREE. Being cheap and deciding it was a good way to recycle we grabbed the clean cottage cheese/yogurt containers from the tupperware cupboard and got to work.
To paint them we used black acrylic paint. Now, for a nicer tree I would use a clay pot. We did that with the one that is sitting in our living room. The clay sticks beautifully to clay, while it chips easily from food grade plastic. So be gentle with your pots once they are painted.

Paint the outside and half of the inside. (It was a beautiful day so we did all of our work outside. And the cool, dry air and bright sunshine had things dry in record time.)Once your pots are painted spray them with the gloss finishing spray you used on the painted branches. This gives everything a nice shiny look and helps the paint wear a little better. Then put the branch in the pot and fill the pot with the rocks you've gathered to hold the tree upright and help weight the base. You could use sand or plaster we just happen to have a lot of rocks around here and they were the easiest and cleanest thing we could find.

I was out of spray paint or I would have painted the tops of the rocks black too. We did that with our fancy spooky tree and it looks more polished. But... oh well. Since we were going to take these trees to some of Henry's friends we wanted them to be more than rocks, old cottage cheese containers and a branch and so we added CANDY. Candy makes ever gift better right? To make the candy ornaments we broke into the Halloween candy stash and picked the cheap little halloween chocolates because they had the best wrappers, though any small wrapped candy would probably work. To hang the candy I cut small pieces of thin orange and black ribbon and used my hot glue gun to attach the ribbons. (which I was just happy I knew where it was since I've used in oh, maybe once in the 6 years I've owned it.) Then we hung the candy on the trees and voila! Spooky trees! Oh and I put some halloween scrapbook paper around the pot to relieve the blackness of the whole thing. Anyway, it was really fun to make spooky trees with Henry and he was so proud of himself when he took them to his friends. We'll probably make these every halloween. After all, lots of fun for the price of a can of spray paint. Happy Halloween ya'll!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why ever mother needs a white couch

Yesterday after lunch I put some Curious George on for Henry and went upstairs to get somethings done and rest. About 30 minutes later I heard Henry coming up the stairs. Imagine my surprise when he rounds the corner and is PURPLE! Arms past the elbow, the mouth, nose, chin, even his feet and legs. The amazing thing is that I stayed calm. Must have been sleepy. "Henry, what happened?" "I ate blueberries." "Oh, did they get on anything?" "yep." "Let's go see." We walk downstairs and find that my white couch has been painted with blueberry juice. Litterally painted. Here's some pictures.

One arm

a cushion

Blueberry Boy!!!

So we bought the white couch because it was super cheap at the pottery barn outlet (about 300) and because I had once read an article about a woman who loved having white couches with grandchildren. Now I'd successfully washed mac n cheese and dirt and other substances off the couch, but blueberries.... this was new territory. But hooray for bleach! Two bleach pens and one time through the delicate cycle with bleach and here's what the couch looks like.

Like new! Every mother should have a white couch. Nothing else could have handled the blueberries so well. (as the slight discoloration on my carpet and rug where little drops dripped shows. Oh well, as my sister-in-law says "you are more important than whatever you just destroyed." I love my little boy. He felt so bad, and wasn't thrilled about the time out that came from breaking the rule of eating only at the table, but no lasting harm. Whew.

Monday, September 22, 2008


So this is a little late, but... we're having a girl. We're excited about the amount of pink that will be coming into our home in January! And Henry is excited about having a little sister. He was awfully cute at the ultrasound and perhaps has a future in radiology like his dad and grandpa. An hour after the ultrasound as I was getting him out of the car, he asked me "Mommy, why is the baby all squished up in that bubble?" And since no one had told him much about what he was seeing on the ultrasound screen, much less that the baby is in a bubble, we were all very impressed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Disney Cruise

Mom and Dad Dunn were generous enough to get all of the Dunn kids together on a Disney Cruise. It was so much fun to be with family and I loved having someone clean my room twice a day, having unlimited food that I didn't have to prepare, and having child care available whenever I wanted it. Ahhhh.

Here's some of the highlights from our seven wonderful days at sea. (And big THANKS mom and dad for making it possible!)

Some of the cousins in their cute hats provided by Auntie Shuana. Aren't they cute!?

Henry meeting Pluto at the Character Breakfast our first morning at sea
Looking out the window with H. (Sometimes we saw Dolphins!)
Henry sleeping oh so soundly in his bed. Henry would climb into bed every night and be asleep within 2 minutes or less. Such a change for the hour plus it takes at home. No wonder he loved the "big boat" so much, he was well rested.

More Kayaking

After leaving Lover's Beach we headed to one of the little beaches we'd seen as we paddled. Lover's Beach was a cool beach that went through the pennisula to have beach on the bay and Pacific side. The waves on the Pacific side were intense and almost swept Dad away. But the beach was crowded and lots of tour boats were dropping people off every minutes so we decided to head somewhere quieter.
Captain Henry on our little beach. Dell and Dad were out checking out the snorkling. They said it was amazing! "Swimming through fish."
Playing on the beach.

Henry and Dell playing in the water. Henry just loved hanging on to me or Dell while we floated in the water. He could not get enough of the warm warm water.

We climbed lots of rocks on our little beach and saw crabs, barnacles and all sorts of shelly creatures. Henry liked trying to pull them off the rocks and then watching them scoot back into position.

Cabo San Lucas Kayaking

Cabo San Lucas was our first and favorite port. Being cheap people we didn't book anything until we made it to shore and then found a kayak rental place that would rent us a double kayak and a set of snorkling gear for half the day for 55 dollars. Mom and Dad came with us (aren't they cool adventurers!) and we got loaded up.

Henry wasn't too keen about going in a "wobbly boat" at first but once he helped dump water on it to wash off the sand he was ready to go. Strange I know, but whatever works. We headed out and it took me a while to find my kayaking rhythm but once I did we started moving better (also Dell had to figure out how to paddle with a Henry on his lap.) Henry had a great time. Every time we passed a boat Henry would cry out "Howdy howdy! Launch water balloons!!" We had talked about getting water balloons to attack the boats we'd be taking in Mazatlan and I guess Henry picked up and embraced the pirate tendencies of his parents. Unfortunately we had no water balloons as we figured they weren't great for the environment, so Henry just called with glee and never got to launch anything.

We paddled out to Land's End (the tip of the baja pennisula where the bay and the Pacific ocean meet.) We stayed far from the pacific since it had some good size waves and we were little and with a child-- and with child. (We also wondered why it is that we also end up in a kayak when I'm around 3-4 months pregnant. With Henry it was running the Snake River in Jackson hole in a little rubber kayak, with this one sea kayaking in Cabo. Hmmmmm. What is it about kayaks and pregnancy for us?)

Here's a picture I tried to take while we were out on the water. Sorry about the view of my nose.

Lands End and the arch. Mom and Dad are the kayakers in the picture. The sea lion colony was just to the left, but never got a really great picture of them.

playing in the surf on Lover's Beach. The surf was powerful. Getting our kayaks on and off the beach was tough! But Henry loved the powerful waves. We'd hang onto the handle of his lifejacket (handy thing that) and then just let him we washed around.

Running to the waves!


Our second port was Mazatlan where dear Dixie has reserved 3 boats to take us out to a kid friendly island beach.

Here we are on the front of our boat zipping out to the island. Henry was not sure he liked being on the front of the boat, or wearing his life jacket, but I bribed him with a sucker and he didn't fuss to much. Instead the motion of the boat seemed to relax him. He just snuggled and almost slept in my arms. So fun to have a snuggly boy! Notice how cute my sister-in-law Shauna looks and how I look like a pirate. I have the cutest sister-in-laws ever!
We dropped anchor off shore of our island and were a little nervous about having to swim to shore-- especially with bags and kids. But luckily a guy with a little boat came and ferried us all into the calm beach.

Henry liked pretending to drive the boat best, though as always he loved swimming in the ocean too. He was not interesting in being on the beach at all. Dell snorkled and saw a blow fish and some other neat fish. (darn nauseous was so intense for me I couldn't even put the snorkle in my mouth without feeling icky, so I just swam with Henry.)

horses in Puerto Vallarta

The horse back riding turned out great, though we were nervous at first. When we got to the restaurant with the crazy diving man all the horses were already out for rides. We decided to eat and then head somewhere else to ride, but Bob our great driver started asking around and found an ex-pat with 8 horses and arranged for us to ride with him so after dinner we followed this guy and his mangy hairless dogs (oh the memories of Taiwan they brought back) up to a little field where 8 horses/burros were waiting for us along with 7 young boys to lead the horses.

Dell got to ride a horse without a leader and he said the horse was the most responsive he'd ever ridden. Guess those horseback riding classes at BYU paid off. Anyway, it was cool to see Dell cowboying around all of us on our more placid ponies.

It was the most intense horseback ride I've been on though. (And I've been on ones with our neightbors up Provo Canyon that were pretty impressive.) We crossed deep rivers, went down steep rocky slopes and just had a fun time walking past houses and beautiful mountains.

Henry cried and cried when he first got on the horse. Big huge tears. Not because he was scared but because he wanted his own horse. "No mommy, only one little boy on a horse, not two people." But by the time we started moving he was fine and chattered the whole way about the horse and what he saw. I love it when Henry is in a talkative mood. He's such a sweetie.

Henry crying on his horse. I'm trying not to laugh. Or maybe throw up. One of the two-- I was pretty nauseous on the cruise.

crossing the river

Headed down the hill. Thanks for taking all the pictures Dell. I had my hands full with trying to stay in the saddle and not squish Henry. You did a great job sweetie.

Puerto Vallarta

By the time we got to Puerto Vallarta we were pretty sunburned and ready for a little time on land. So dear Dell got off the ship early and found a guy with a big van, who spoke great English and was willing to drive us wherever we wanted to go for the next 7 hours. Bine, Mom and Dad, and Sis and Rob decided to come along and so we had 7 adults 6 kids along for the ride. It was so much FUN! I'm glad we had all those wonderful people with us and our driver "Bob" was great. As was the van. A brand new toyota touring van where the driver could hook his mic directly into the sound system to give us all an informative tour of Puerto Vallarta.

We saw some great things.
Beautiful Ocean views.

A crazy guy diving blindfolded from granite rocks into waterfalls. (he clears the middle part to land in the bottom pool.)

Played in the tamer section of the river and had a fun lunch at the restaurant on the shore. Even heard traditional music played while we ate.

And went horseback riding!

Pirate Night

Pirate Night was one of the things I was most looking forward to on the cruise. You know how I've always wanted to be a pirate and all, well anyway, it ended up being the night that there was a huge storm-- there were inches of water on deck and the roof leaked in spots. Wahoo!!! I love a good storm.
Dell and Henry being pirates on one of the lower decks

Henry and his pirate pop gun. Plus there's a nice shmear of desert on his cheek since we'd just left dinner. Nice!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

sleeping child

I don't know why, but I love watching Henry sleep. Maybe it's because he's so full of energy during the day that it's fun to watch him holding perfectly still. And then he also tends to sleep in funny positions. I loved this one. The stuffed tiger sitting on his chest ready to protect him. He has different security items every night. Last night he came into my room at 4 am dragging his moon and stars blanket, a book, and his sailor hat. Whatever, we snuggled it all until he fell back asleep. Sweet little boy.

walking in daddy's shoes

one day when Dell came home Henry put on his combat boots and tried walking around in them. It was hard to walk, but he sure looked cute. And look at that smile-- he's so proud of himself for being like daddy. Whenever Dell comes home, Henry runs to him, gives him a big hug and then asks to "walk on the ceiling" and fun trick mom just can't pull off. We've got a great daddy/husband.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

pioneer day

The San Antonio North Stake sure knows how to celebrate Pioneer day. (For those of you that don't know what Pioneer Day is, it's a celebration of the day the Mormon pioneers first arrived in the Salt Lake valley-- July 24th.) Well our ward celebrated with
Kettle corn (Oh my it was good!)
Pony Rides

Snow cones and cotton candy (the cotton candy is what is in Henry's other hand). There was also hamburgers, hot dogs, and deserts. Nothing for vegetarians unfortunately, but Henry's hot dog looked really good and tasted great too. I love what being pregnant does to me. (Yep, we're pregnant and due in January. Wahoo!)

Launching water balloons from the biggest slingshot ever. What was best is that kids ran out in the fire zone to be hit with the balloons. It was a hot day so I guess it felt nice. Can you tell how excited Henry was for his turn?

Anyway it was a great time. Henry liked the ponies and that there were so many different games going on (sack races, story telling, penny finding, face painting, and more and more) I liked sitting in the cool building and chatting with all the people that stopped by. So many wonderful people live here. And Dell liked the water balloon launching and just following Henry around exploring. It was a great day.