Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hooray for Grandparents!

I'm a couple weeks overdue in posting this, but I am still proud of myself for doing it! :) We were lucky enough to have Grandma and Grandpa Orr come visit for a few days at the end of September and it was SO FUN! We loved having them here and wish we lived closer. We got to go to Kirtland, which was of course fabulous. Daddio spent most of his time fixing our bathroom floor, changing all our outlets from two-prong to three-prong (so helpful!), making doors for our attic (awesome), and putting in a new shower head...and buying us an AWESOME new tv...and the list goes on. We feel too grateful to adequately say thanks for all their love and service! Mom even mowed our lawn and of course loved and loved and loved our sweet kiddos! It has surprised me as a mom how much I LOVE having our parents spend time with and play with our kids. I want them to be around and make memories and build those relationships with grandparents. Every time they are laughing and reading and talking...I it.
Here are some pictures:

Pepper loved reading with "Gampa Uhhrr" A couple of days after they left, I was hammering a nail into the wall in our room. Her room is next to ours and I had just put her down for a nap. I heard her say from the other room in a very excited voice, "Gampa Uhhrr?!" Obviously she associates hammering with Grandpa.

Wow, SUCH a good stacker, Pepper. Good job! And, let's just note how she insists on wearing at least one (or four) necklaces EVERY day.

Swinging in the back yard with Grandma! I love this picture and just wish she would have actually looked at me!

Grandma with the girlies! Those mums Mom bought us in the background have all bloomed now and they are SO pretty!


I love this girl.

At the Indians game! It was a really exciting game and we actually won! Pepper got a little scared when the fireworks started at the end of the game, but warmed up to them by the end. Story just slept through all of it.

Story sucking her thumb! The little rascal. She also pulls her ear out while sucking with her other hand and, if you haven't noticed already, that ear already sticks out a bit. I think she'll be mad at herself later. But, meanwhile, she sure is cute. She actually sucks her thumb much less these know, now that I am feeding her enough! Sad story for those who are interested.

She is such a happy girl! Always smiling, we love it!

Hanging out with Grandpa!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thank you, nice Jewish man.

If you'd like to call me, just be prepared to leave a message and I'll be sure to call you back. See, I won't hear your phone call because my phone doesn't ring! No external noises at all. Why, you ask? Well, it appears that I left it on the hood of my car and drove off. It fell a few blocks down the run over a couple of times...and got rained on! Thankfully, a nice Jewish man (have I mentioned that we live in Little Jerusalem? Seriously. Our neighborhood is primarily Jewish - which is great. They are awesome neighbors!) saw it in the street (in the rain), got out of his car to pick it up, called my parents to get ahold of me, and then drove it to me at my house! How nice is that? I am so thankful that he is so awesome and that my phone works...mostly!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pepper's Quotes of the Day

Pepper is at a super fun age right now and is just talking up a storm! She's so smart and I am constantly amazed at what she knows and understands. These are two funny things she said today.

In the car on the way to the store:
Me: We're going to have sweet potatoes for dinner. What should we eat with our sweet potatoes?
Pepper: ummm...a fork!

haha! Of course, yes, we will eat them with a fork! Why didn't I think of that?

Pepper has recently started saying prayers with our help. Today at dinner she was "saying" the prayer and I said, "Dear Heavenly Father" and she said, "Dear Jesus upstairs" We just we explain at this point that we don't pray to Jesus, just in His name?! We figured she'll figure that one out eventually. For now I guess we'll just be glad that she's tying it all together and knows that Jesus (whom she sees on her bedroom wall upstairs) is a really important part of prayers! She has also started adding her own items to the list of thanks:

Me: We're thankful for the food.
Pepper: Swee potao. Chicken. Fork. Mommy's fork...

She's hilarious and we love her more and more each day!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Corn and smiles. Corny smiles.

I think if I could invent a camera that actually does justice to real life I'd make a lot of money! Here is Story giving a smile, but of course she is a even a million times cuter than this picture shows.

And Pepper has discovered that she loves corn on the cob! I was cutting it off for her, but she stole the sister missionary's cob right off her plate and started munching. Now she won't have it any other way and she'll down the whole thing!

Here is Pepper on the swing at the farm where we went apple picking yesterday (so cute, by the way). She looks entirely too grown up!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Yes, I AM posting. I know. You all thought we had died. Turns out we're alive! And in Cleveland, Ohio of all places! We're here for medical/PhD school at Case Western Reserve University and we'll call it home for 7 years. At least. Taylor (side note: T.J. has decided that he is all grown up now and is going by Taylor. It's so super weird when your husband changes his name. I guess I'll just be glad he didn't choose to change his gender.) is doing an MD/PhD program that is perfectly aligned with his career goals of 1) being an awesome doctor and 2) changing our health system through research and policy. He is super excited and rightfully so as he snatched the single spot for the program and the attending grant money (awesome!). We're so grateful and really liking it out here. The people are so nice, we've made great friends, and there are tons of awesome things to do with the kids.

What else has happened in the last...year plus since I wrote? Well, I graduated and am now Master Christensen! :) My thesis was published in a good journal and I wrapped a few other publications under my belt for good measure. I'm still occasionally working with my professor on manuscripts just keep a toe in the door. Just in case.

We had a family reunion (well, half of the fam!) and got to see lots of family and we also got to see a lot of them on the drive out to Ohio. It was so so fun and made moving so far away that much harder! I may or may not have shed some tears.

Oh! And you know, we had a baby! Story Ann Christensen born in May and she is such a doll! We love her to bits! Ann is after Taylor's mom, Julie Ann. She and Pepper are 16 months apart and both are keeping me busy! Story is so sweet. She loves to suck on her hands and her thumb (much to my chagrin) and smiles and laughs and is starting to babble. We love it! Pepper likes her, but doesn't quite understand that she isn't a doll. She likes to see her and touch her and pull her off the couch on to her head. Needless to say it is impossible to leave them in the same room alone unless Story is safely strapped to something.

Pepper is growing up too fast and is all talk. Seriously, she talks all day! Full sentences and learning more and more every day. We love it! She runs all around and still loves to read books. She loves being outside, playing with rocks, sticks, dirt, dogs, and jumping in puddles (there are lots of those here - it rains a ton!) We have a tire swing in our back yard and she loves loves loves to swing. Taylor pushes her so high and she holds on like a champ! I just can't watch! She is such a smart girl, so helpful and so sweet. We can't get enough of her! Okay, occasionally I can. But, I still love her to bits!

The last few weeks we had our sister-in-law Krystle and her little girl Royal staying with us. It was SO fun!!! We had a blast and I loved having a friend around all the time to talk with, cook yummy food with, and help clean up and watch kids. We went to Kirtland (it's only 25 minutes from our house. So, if you're ever visiting church history'd better come stay with us! We have stellar air mattresses, good conversation, and great grub! Seriously though, we'd love to have you.), saw some Amish sites, went to a "petting zoo," the Children's museum, science center, libraries, parks, and Pepper learned how to be tough. We were so sad to see them leave!

Okay, I promised myself that I wouldn't try to play catch-up. But, I am going to sincerely try to be better about blogging every now and then from now on. I can't even keep up in my journal! But, since this counts as that too, I suppose it is worth the effort.