Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Snowman craft

Maggie made some wonderful Snowman decorations this year.  Here she is helping Henry make his own Snowman.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Snowless Christmas

Maggie is our early riser... she is up at 4:30 every morning like clockwork.  Sara had to work this Christmas and since she woke up at 4:30, I too woke up and decided to camp outside the kids bedroom.  Occasionally I would hear Maggie singing Christmas songs or talking with her imaginary friends but she seemed content and I didn't want to spoil my morning solitude.  Finally at 7:00 Henry began to stir and I was starting to worry... why hadn't Maggie emerged from her room? When I finally opened her door she was intently looking out the window.  She asked me, where were the clouds? Was it going to snow?  I sense that this was about Santa and his sleigh, so I explained that he was still able to get around without snow.  I then assured her Santa had left us presents... even so, I still think I was more anxious about Christmas than the kids.  They slowly inched there way down the stairs and opened their stockings and the patently waited for Mom to come home before opening their presents. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Strength of older cousins

Christmas dress

This year I missed the Sunday Christmas program because Henry was restless.  So we took a nap in the car. When we got home we quickly took a family picture.  We were all starting to get a little grouchy, especially me.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lots to do

Maggie loves her morning routine, which starts with plugging in all the Christmas lights and then finding Tree-Elf, eating a chocolate from the advent calendar, hanging an ornament on the tree advent, attaching a piece of beard on Santa Claus, pulling a sock down to discover a small toy from Grandma and all before breakfast.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Rainbows, apple pie, and fruit turkey

Rainbow over the McDonnell house
We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving in Vancouver with my sisters and Mom. Everything was delicious but my favorite thing this year was the Mom's orange rolls (not featured). 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Electrical fence

We have a game in our closet called "Lightning Reactions".  It has four metal handles, each with a button.  To  play you push the button when the creepy music stops, last one to push the button gets zapped.  I hate being shocked, which is why I love the game.  Maggie however didn't even flinch the first time she lost; I had test it because I couldn't believe it.  I rank my fear of being shocked with having needles in my eye.  However, Maggie has never been afraid of being shocked and loves testing these things out.  On our walk we came across an electrical fence.  I told her if she touched it she would get shocked, of course, she touched it. (photo by Rebecca McDonnell)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

bed & breakfast log

I wish I could say I had a photo of every person that crossed over our threshold but I don't... however that is the price.  Anyway, I wanted to update the log of those who paid for their stay.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Our little family has been under the weather.  We didn't even carve pumpkins this year but we did enjoy Halloween albeit simple.  Henry was coughing up lungs but slipped into his lion costume without a fuss, compliments of Aunt Michelle.  Grandma Torgerson made Maggie's fantastic pink tutu, which was her dream. Maggie cleaned up candy from the neighborhood with Mom.  Henry and me camped out on the driveway and passed out candy.  We had a slow trickle of trick-or-treaters until 8:30, all-in-all a perfect night.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First day of preschool

This morning, in her excitement to start preschool, Maggie proclaimed "Dad I don't need you anymore."  When I finally dropped her off in the afternoon she didn't shed a tear until I picked her up, then she cried the whole length of the drive home.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Boy power

Each week we show up to church with Henry and a new injury.  Just when that last bump or scratch heals he manages to find something dangerous. This week he climbed up the tub onto counter and slipped.  At first it looked like a small scratch but swelling soon revealed a deep gash inside his mouth.  The poor little guy still smiles but his lip is sooo swollen.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Peanut butter and jelly

From the beginning Henry has been a relatively clean eater, unlike Maggie who liked to fling food on everything from walls to floors.  Even now Maggie likes to play with her food and sculpt designs on the table.  Designs which I  find myself scrubbing off later because I failed to wipe down before crystallizing.  Recently Henry has decided to join in with his sister and despite my warnings not to play with their food... they are encouraged through the silly laughter of each other.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lemon Birthday Cake: 6 Cups butter

Birthday cakes are not meant to be healthy... after all they come once a year but I had to make a special trip to the grocery to get butter for this one.  Maggie has been eying this cake on the cover of a magazine for months because of its pink layers and we finally found an excuse to make it, Mom's Birthday.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tonya and Megan visit

It was fun to have my sister visit.  Sara was indelibly impressed with the lesson, singing time and games that Tonya and Megan did off the cuff for Family Home Evening.  Our normally rapid 5 minute event transformed into a full hour of productions.  We did a reenactment of "Daniel in the lions den".  Maggie enjoyed being one of the lions and Henry did a fabulous job playing King.  We also sang forgotten songs like "The Family" and "London Bridges".  We also played games like find Dora, which Maggie absolutely loved.   It was by far our most successful Home Evening.

Before we knew it our visitors were off to Michelle's house.  Maggie loved having Megan around to put her hair in braids, normally I just let her run around with wild hair.  We also enjoyed playing strategy games while the kids were down for their naps.  It made me realize how nice it is to have family.  We wish somehow that everyone could lived closer.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Payton's Birthday

Ethan's portrait

A new cousin; Ethan at two months.  Hopefully I will be posting more pictures soon.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hangin with the cousins

Okay, we tried to get pictures with Ethan but I haven't figured out how to get a toddler to hold an infant upright... they fall flat and the pictures always look uncomfortable and strange.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Silverwood Lake, San Bernardino

Camping is a dirty business... I don't care if you have quarter showers or not... after a single day nothing is clean.  It also requires a crazy amount of stuff, just so you can eat and have sleepless fits all night.  Family camping is extremely more hardcore and complicated than guy camping, where everything is optional.  But watching our children playing in the dirt and catching frogs with Grandpa and their cousins makes the whole experience worth any misery we experience.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pine Valley, Dixie National Park

Pine Valley (while Michael slept in)
This was Henry's first camping trip.  Since we didn't have reservations anywhere and it was Independence Day week, we thought it prudent to visit a less popular national park.  Pine Valley was the perfect getaway from the heat and crowds.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Brush fire

Of course, Sara didn't believe me when I told her the interstate in Utah was closed due to brush fires.  I was driving my brother to Utah.  We got a late start so we already expected to arrive in Salt Lake late at night.  But rather than wait for the smoke to blow over we took one of the longest detours of my life.  For the next hour we drove south, down into Arizona... it seemed like forever before we turn north again... up the 89 which slows down at every small town it passes through.  We passed through Kanab... a long way off from our original route.  After nearly three hours we finally pulled back onto the interstate shortly above the point we had pulled off.  On the way home I snapped a few pictures of the brush fire still blazing.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

For the record

During my short visit to Utah I visited Carly + Jeremy and family.  For the record I arrived practical unannounced.  Of course, I brought my camera and took the opportunity to shot their small apartment before they move... documentary-style!  Jeremy updated me on the recently Supreme Court decision on Obama Care.  Carly fed me waffles for dinner and apologize for the mess... no apology necessary.  Raymond put on his cape and socks. Ginny showed me her room and toys.  Carly's children are so adorable.  I am so grateful they let me come over on such short notice,  it was definitely the highlight of my trip.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Clarke & Leslie visit

During my brother's visit, I took them on a short hike to the railroad tunnels.  It was a nice hot day and despite being uncomfortable from the heat, everyone was cooperative enough to let me take pictures.  Maggie had fun with her cousin Michael and Henry had fun sharing rocks with Aunt Leslie.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

On the cob

Henry and Maggie love eating corn on the cob.  Who would have thought!  At first I cut the kernels off for Henry but when he saw Maggie enjoying hers on the cob... I could tell what he was thinking... I want to eat my corn on the cob.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Our first visitors

If I had a couple trillion dollars I would buy a high-speed-railroad between Vegas and SLC so we could visit our family in Utah more often.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chasing the dream

I was born into the middle of my family and I loved the perspective it gave me.  I had siblings I could tease and  siblings to give me advice.  Getting married to Sara has given me the perspective of the oldest.  You see all the family changes with amazing clarity. Life is filled with many struggles and I think her siblings handle them in good stride. It is an amazing wonder to watch her family and it has been fun watching them chase the dream. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's a boy

My little sister had her baby today.  She wanted the sex to be a surprise but during one of her recent doctor visits, her doctor commented, "So... your having another baby girl???" She responded that she didn't know but she was certain the doctor had slipped.  Today's biggest surprise... it's a boy.  She said, Tod's face lit up and they were both shocked.  Ethan Peirce Egelund 8lbs 13 ounces, 20.5" long.

Great Grandma T

Before Sara and I got married, Sara lived with her Grandparents, Bonnie and Chuck.  Whenever I was visiting, I stayed in one of their guest rooms.  I really enjoyed those moments chatting with Chuck and Bonnie in background correcting his stories or filling in little details.  They were both generous and kind to me.  But what I love most about Great Grandma Torgerson is that she has always remembered Taya's birthday and anytime we talked she asks me how she is doing.  It is impossible for me express what that act of consideration means to me.  Needless to say I adore her for that generous and simple act of kindness.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012


There is something dangerous when the oldest and youngest siblings get together.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chasing down childhood

Maggie and Henry had so much fun running around with their cousins.  It was the quintessential moment of childhood endless play.

Friday, May 25, 2012

First baptism

Tanner's baptism was last weekend.  It was a great trip to California.  It is hard to explain the importance of baptism and the feelings that follow.  I remember my baptism very well.  It don't recall all the details but I remember the powerful feelings.  Feelings that have faded over time but have returned with amazing clarity as I have turned my life more and more towards the Lord.  I don't think everyone experiences the same thing but for me it was a feeling of extreme cleanliness and peace. I remember being completely overwhelmed at the time because being only eight it didn't seem like that big of deal until afterwards.  It is something has given me the desire to utilize the fullness of the atonement in my life.  And even though I have felt similar feelings like that since, it has never been with that same force.  Congratulations Tanner, I hope you can always keep the memory alive.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pictures of the new house

Entry / Stairs
Living room

Living room


Master bedroom

Henry's Room

Maggie's Room