Our Visit with Grandma and Grandpa

Story told by: Lainey

We had a great visit with Grandma and Grandpa last week! While we started off big with Valentine’s Day and Henry’s birthday party (and birthday), we had many other fun moments in between.

I got to go on my date first with Grandpa. I chose to go to Zoe’s for breakfast. Yum!

Later that day we went to see the children’s movie matinee, “Arctic Dogs.” The boys wanted their picture taken.

And then we introduced Grandpa to a fun new game we’ve been enjoying since Christmas.

Henry got these tall socks from Grandma and Grandpa. Mommy had to snap this picture to remember how much he loves tucking his pants into the socks.

Mommy and Grandma spent all day on Wednesday shopping for new decorations for the house. They filled the car to the brim.

On Wednesday night we were all supposed to go to the men’s basketball game, but the boys were exhausted, and Mommy and Grandma were working on house projects, so just me and Grandpa went to the game.

Go Cougs!

Lots of popcorn!

While we were at the game, Mommy and Grandma were getting started on transforming this buffet table.

They were just supposed to focus on hanging up wall decorations this week, but Grandma nonchalantly suggested they could refinish the buffet table, and there’s no way Mommy is going to turn down that kind of help. But it made for many late nights!

The next morning while Mommy was out running errands, Grandpa changed her letter board sign. He’s hilarious.

This fixture used to be gold, but Mommy and Grandma sprayed it black. So much better!

Grandpa picked Brody up from preschool to head to his date of choice, Zeppoz for pizza and bowling!

While we were at school and Brody was on his date with Grandpa, this is what Mommy and Grandma were doing…coat number two on the buffet table (plus all of the hangings on the wall).

Grandpa also had to stop with Brody at Starbucks to get a sparkly cup that he’s been wanting for awhile.

We came home to find they also got us each our own cup. So fun!

After school we went to Ferdinand’s for ice cream!

Mirabel got to come with us!

On Friday the work continued. Knobs started going on the cabinet.

And Daddy started prepping my room to paint. I’ve been soooo patient! I could have picked a brighter color for my room, but I really like the gray they have been doing throughout the house, so I requested the same. Easy peasy for Mommy and Daddy!

On Saturday morning, we were up bright and early for my basketball game. I am really starting to enjoy this sport! It was an intense game that ended in a tie after overtime, but it was a lot of fun for the adults to watch!

Some things started arriving that Mommy and Grandma had ordered. This map was one Daddy actually had his eye on, and they thought it was perfect for the entryway!

Last but not least, Henry and Grandpa went on their date to the exotic Taco Bell.

It was Henry’s request, and he ate 1 1/2 burritos!

While they were on their date, Grandma hung new backpack hooks to help with some entryway organization.

We went to see the new Sonic movie that afternoon, and Grandma and Grandpa bought us the fun snack packs.

Mermaid origami!

And FINALLY…the buffet table was done!! It was much more than they expected, but they love the end result!

And sadly the next morning, Grandma and Grandpa had to leave the house at 3:45 a.m. to head home. We are going to miss them so much!

At least they were on a good plane out of Pullman!

Mommy and Daddy spent the rest of the day putting my room back together after Daddy completed the painting. I got a new rug, a new bedding set, and a new chair that I was SO EXCITED about!

I love it!!

Mommy had also ordered a new art organizer, so I begged to help organize the messy art room, and then use the label maker on the new art organizer.

I was SUPER helpful!!

We threw stuff away, gave stuff away, and relocated a few things to make for a much cleaner art/toy closet!

Cleaning was a therapeutic way to deal with Grandma and Grandpa leaving!

I’m Six!

Story told by: Henry

I’m six years old today!

I requested a fun breakfast out, but before we left, I asked if I could open a present or two. Mommy and Daddy agreed to let me open two presents!

I wanted to go to Zoe’s for breakfast before school!

They made a delicious hot chocolate for me.

I played games with Mommy.

I had yummy chocolate chip pancakes and hash browns (my favorite!).

Shortly after I went to school, Grandma, Grandpa, and Mommy came to my classroom for my school birthday celebration.

I got to bring in a timeline of the first five years of my life.

After I tell about each picture, I get to sing a fun song and walk around my friends.

Then I brought stickers to hand out to each of my friends to put in our birthday sticker books.

It’s so fun having Grandma and Grandpa here for my special day!

After school I requested that we head to the arcade! I played this Ninja Turtles game the entire time.

Lainey and Brody played many different games.

I even shared some of my game money with Lainey so she could help me beat the boss on the game.

After the arcade, I worked with Grandpa to build my new Star Wars LEGO set.

For dinner I requested that Mommy make chocolate chip pancakes. Twice in a day! I even got a mound of whipped cream on it. Delicious!

After dinner, Mommy and Daddy took me out for a surprise from Gma and Gpa.

I was so excited!

As soon as we got home, I called everyone out to come see my new bike.

Then it was time for the rest of my presents!

My reaction to the “tall” socks that Grandma and Grandpa gave me.

For my cake I requested a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting.

This is all a little dark because Mommy and Grandma had the dining table light taken down for spray painting. But we made it work!

It was delicious!

I ended the night working with Daddy on one of my new motorized K’nex sets! It was a great day!

My Sixth Birthday Party – Henry

Story told by: Henry

I had my sixth birthday party yesterday! I chose a LEGO theme since I’m loving LEGOs so much lately!

We spent the early part of the afternoon getting ready for the party.

Gift bags for each of my guests.

Lainey took it upon herself to make signs for each of my friends.

She is the best party-planning assistant.

She also made this sign for the front door.

Daddy stayed very busy as well.

But he did actually make this super cool sign for me!

Time to get this party started!

When my friends arrived we dug into the snacks.

Then we got creative with LEGO glasses, and Mommy just had to get a picture of all of us.

But we were allll over the place for this picture.

Then when we saw a glimpse of sun, we ran outside for the pinata. This was the one item I requested and cared most about having for my party.

But the sun didn’t last long, and then the snow/hail started. After we all took turns, I finished off the pinata and showed it who was boss.

After we came back in, we had a LEGO relay race where each of our teams worked to scoop LEGOs onto a spoon and then walk to the other end of the room to fill up a cup. It was a close race, but Desmond, Brody, and Daniel were the winners!

Next up, was LEGO tower building. We worked in our groups to build the tallest tower we could in three minutes. Lainey was our judge.

Our first round winners are on the right.

We had to get down on ground level to determine the winner of round two, but the middle won by just the smallest amount.

For the last round, we each got to build individual towers.

Elijah and I were neck and neck, but Elijah ended up winning with this tall yellow tower. Well done!

Then it was time for cupcakes.

And presents!

I was so surprised and excited for my presents!

We ended the party with building LEGO creations and running around the house. Seems pretty perfect to me. Thank you to all of my friends for coming to celebrate with me! I had such a great time!

Valentine’s Weekend, 2020

Story told by: Lainey

We had a fantastic Valentine’s weekend!

We started Valentine’s Day morning with festive doughnuts and heart-shaped strawberries.

We exchanged a few cards in the morning. I made special art for Daddy.

Then the boys and I got ready to head to our fun day at school.


Mommy did a fun heart in my hair!

Ava, Kenley, and I had matching dresses planned for school, but Kenley hadn’t been feeling well, so when we thought she might not make it school, Mr. Randall made sure to include her in our picture via Photoshop.

But then Kenley came mid-morning, and the day was made right!

Ava’s mom, Mrs. Strader, asked to take our picture seconds after I had just received my pizza for lunch. This is the look I’m going to give you if you ask me to not eat my delicious pizza.

More friends from my class.

Meanwhile Brody was having a fun morning in preschool. They exchanged Valentines.

Played games.

And ate delicious food.

Brody made this very special card for Mommy.

Brody also made this for Mommy. He said, “I made these to look like you because you’re pokey.” Cool, Brody.

The BEST part of Valentine’s Day is that Grandma and Grandpa flew in just in time for our special dinner!

Shirley Temples!

After dinner comes presents!

We’ve been watching some of the older Star Wars movies with Daddy, so we got new shirts!

Then for dessert was cherry chocolate chip cake. Yum!

Gma and Gpa sent us a fun package that included balloons. It was the perfect way to end the night.

I’ve been playing basketball for the past few weeks, and I’m really starting to enjoy it. On Saturday morning I had a game!

My little brothers find many ways to entertain themselves while I play basketball.

In my first game, I didn’t touch the ball. Last week in my second game, I dribbled the ball once. My goal for this game was to attempt to shoot the ball once. I beat my goal by attempting FOUR shots! And I rocked defense.

My team won! We’re now 2-1. I came running off the court saying, “I love basketball!”

On Saturday night we had a babysitter while the adults went to Merry Cellars Winery for a special six-course dinner.

It was beautiful!

The Knights and O’Loughlins joined them there.

The wine and the food were delicious!

Mommy got to sit next to Darrel, and they became quick friends.

Incredible dessert!!

Perfect food, perfect wine, perfect friends.

Trip to Portland

Story told by: Lainey

We got to go to Vancouver and Portland this weekend for a wedding!

After my basketball game on Saturday morning, we started the long drive. We stopped at our favorite place outside of Tri-Cities, The Country Mercantile. We got to pick out some yummy treats!

When Mommy told Henry that he could only pick out one more piece of candy, he went for this giant chocolate rock. Well played, Henry.

We got in late for dinner that night. Mommy and Daddy took us to Olive Garden for our first time, and we were amazed by the delicious bread sticks. How have they been keeping this from us?!

On Sunday morning we were up bright and early to head to OMSI. (It helped that Brody woke all of us up before 6 a.m.)

There was a two-floor exhibit there called “Exquisite Creatures.” It was using animals and insects that had died naturally to create art. Henry and I loved it.

Brody not so much.

We did get pictures next to some of our favorite pieces of art.

Mommy liked this one because of the bright yellow. Brody begrudgingly agreed that he liked it, too.

We also really liked the ones made out of shiny bugs.

There was even a section at the end of the exhibit where kids could create their own art. Henry came up with this grasshopper art.

We also had lots of fun doing hands-on learning about science. Such a fun time!

After a quick lunch and change of clothes, we headed for the wedding of Daddy’s cousin, Jacque. The wedding was on 02/02/2020 and started at 2:02 p.m.

Mommy was very excited to discover that her dress had pockets!

I was lucky enough to catch the bouquet! I kept asking, “When is it turn for my wedding? I’m ready to be the famous one.”

Since we have a long drive, we stayed one more night at the hotel. We went swimming in the pool and then snuggled up to watch TV way past our bedtime. We loved it!

On Monday morning we woke up and headed to Voodoo Doughnuts! We could not believe the amazing doughnuts.

Brody chose a bubble gum one, Henry chose the “dirt” doughnut, I chose the Voodoo doll, and Mommy and Daddy shared the giant mafia doughnut. Delicious! (We’ve recently discovered that Henry can have eggs when they’re in baked goods, so he has been eating many, many doughnuts over the past few weeks.)

Mommy and Daddy’s friends, Christine and Wes, were able to meet us for doughnuts as well. It was really fun getting to see them!

After devouring our doughnuts, the boys fought with each other and then melted down just enough to make Mommy and Daddy suuuuuper excited to drive across the state with them. After leaving Voodoo Doughnuts and grabbing giant coffees, we had a successful trip and made it home just in time to get me to basketball practice and Henry to wrestling!

Housewarming Party

Story told by: Lainey

After being in our house for 2 1/2 months, we decided it was time for a housewarming party! We sent out an all-call to our friends because the more the merrier!

The party was mid morning, so we had a mimosa bar.

We also had lots of yummy breakfast foods.

I made signs for everyone so they would know what to do upon arriving.

We had a craft station for all of the kids.

Let the party begin!

Kids alternated between crafts and movies.

Our 2020 crowns!

One of our favorite parts of the party was this challenge we gave to our guests. They had to take a silly picture somewhere in the house. Not everyone participated, but we had a good amount of people join in on the fun. Here come the silly pictures…

Liz is disgusted with the boxes still holding our still-to-be-hung items.

Checking out our newly painted bathroom!

The Lenssens chose to take a picture with Lainey’s shower that opens to the deck.

Mommy’s book club friends doing what they do best.

Mommy’s friend, Katie, took it one step further and photoshopped the creepiest doll onto the bed.

But the winners of this challenge were Ashley and Elias. They took Mommy’s old Instagram photos, and then recreated them in the house.

Thank you to everyone who participated! These were so much fun to look through when the party was over!

Such a great party! Our house is officially warmed and our hearts are full!

Christmas 2019

Story told by: Lainey

We had a fantastic few days of Christmas!

We started by making cookies on Monday morning. We started with an egg-free batch dyed red so Henry knows they’re safe for him.

Brody didn’t even make it to this first tray coming out of the oven. And we immediately abandoned Mommy and Daddy as soon as this tray was done.

So Mommy and Daddy had a quiet morning of baking by themselves.

But I did come back to help out towards the end of the second batch.

Shortly after cookies were done, Na Na and Ba Ba arrived! We headed down to Lewiston for our annual Christmas light trip!

We were fortunate to get a break in the rain for our time at the park.

The next day was Christmas Eve. Henry told Mommy that we just might not need to get out a plate for Santa, and then he told her that she had to open his present from school a day early. It is perfect!!

Then we decorated our cookies!


We each picked our favorite cookie to go on the plate for Santa.

Aunt Tiffany, Uncle Jaron, and our cousins arrived before dinner. We ate quickly, and then got ready to head to Christmas Eve church service.

I got to have a reading part at church! Our church also did a choir. Mommy was the pianist while Daddy sang in the choir. It was fun to participate!

Brody wasn’t quite sure what to make of the open flame.

When we came home from church, we found our present that Santa had left for us! (And it wouldn’t be a true video without Brody crying in it.)

Our matching jammies from Santa! I can’t believe he also gave me one for my American Girl doll!

We ended the night by reading our new book with Daddy. And then we rushed off to bed because we knew Santa was coming!! (Henry was so excited that he couldn’t fall asleep until 11 p.m.)

The adults finished this puzzle after we went to bed.

After everyone was in bed, Mommy and Daddy sat on the couch for awhile soaking in this view. Perfection.

Mommy, Daddy, Na Na, Ba Ba, and I beat everyone to wake up on Christmas morning. But I know I can’t come out of my room until the boys are with me, so we had to wait until 6:15 to wake them up.

Santa always leaves our “big” gift unwrapped. Here is the Polaroid camera I requested.

Henry’s Beyblade Battle Arena.

And the Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head that Brody requested (plus some fun extra friends from “Toy Story 4”).

The big reveal!

I was SO excited for this camera!

My first picture.

As we were finishing stockings, Matthew, Vern, and Dora came upstairs to join in on the fun.

Dora’s first Christmas!

And then the present-opening started!

We could barely tear Henry away from his Beyblades in order to get him to open any other presents.

My school present (a coaster) that I made for Na Na.

Henry picked out special Cougar socks for me. So warm and fuzzy!

Brody sure loves his new games.

Grandma made us new piggy banks.

I got a picture of me and Vern.

New Cougar sunglasses from Grandma and Grandpa!

The theme of presents for Mommy was coffee, candles, and books. She is 100% okay with that!!

My coffee present for Mommy.

Aunt Tiffany sewed clothes for my American Girl dolls. I love them!

New game from Uncle Juncle.

Brody’s adorable preschool present he made for Mommy.

The whole crew after present-opening was finished!

The rest of the day involved playing and relaxing!

Beyblade Battle with Ba Ba.

Mommy made a yummy Charcuterie Board to snack on for a light lunch.

We all headed outside while Mommy made Christmas dinner.

Brody loved the ham. He said, “This is 100% delicious!”

After dinner we snuggled with Dora.

The LEGOs came out.

Brody asked Mommy to do a puzzle. You can see he was very involved with it.

So we got out one of Brody’s new games instead.

Before everyone left the next morning, Na Na helped me finish my LEGO set!

Henry also finished his skateboard park.

I started my second set…

…and finished it (mostly) all by myself.

Henry has been so excited to have this Beyblade set. On Christmas morning he said, “I thought I was going to get coal because I hit my brother. Wow. Turns out Santa doesn’t actually know if you’re naughty or nice!”

I got a makeup kit for Christmas (it’s just for use at home). You can see that I’ve mastered the art of subtlety.

And as soon as our company left, the painting started! Our entire interior eventually needs to be painted, but for now, Mommy and Daddy have a six-week goal to get the entire basement done (which involves removing wallpaper in one bedroom), as well as a bathroom and the main living area on the main floor. They’re not sure if they’ll get it done, but they’re sure going to try. Here’s to a great Christmas and now lots of painting!