About This Blog

Yes, we made our family blog private for the reasons you would guess. Nevertheless, we still want a public place so that your RSS readers and other internet apps will notify you when we update. Our compromise is this page. We will post up here whenever we post up there, so you'll be notified. BUT look there for the content. If you would like to see the real blog (and you aren't an interwebs SPAMbot), send me an email at joshua (dot) ence (at) gmail (dot) com for an invite. Thanks!

Saturday, July 11, 2015


We had a great trip to Utah last week.  We are grateful for family.  We really missed Tay and Shawn and their family, but we were happy to see everyone else.

We even got to see Josh's parents (although I'm kicking myself because I did not take a single picture of them...ugh).  They just finished their mission in Chicago and are moving to Salt Lake!  

One happy Marmie:)
Cale is so tall!
Papa took the kids fishing at Mirror Lake as promised!  It was such a fun day.
Isaac loved River.
I'm so happy we could hike Bald Mountain.  It brought back so many memories.  I was also happy that the altitude didn't kill me:)
Hooray for spending time with Tice and Shelby
Beautiful views!
Chillin by the lake.
It was especially sweet to see River in the hospital.  Kaitie is a rock star 3rd time mom!
Marmie has the best toys.
Walking to church!
Some of my beautiful nieces!
So grateful for cousin time.
The cutest thing at the Treehouse museum was how excited Bastian was to be in a play.  He paid close attention so he knew what do to and loudly spoke his lines.  He even quickly helped Gideon with his part, too.

Uncle Caleb is the best!  I really appreciate how good he is with all the nieces and nephews .
4th of July Parade cheering Caleb on!
After the hike up Bald Mountain we still had time on the lake.  Hannah and I took the 4 youngest grandkids out.
I loves this picture.  Notice Isaac's little head and hand in the picture, too.  My kids loved their new cousin.

Rainbow Week

Our theme weeks are still going strong.  This week was Rainbow Week and it may have been the least effort most fun week so far!  We took activities that we do anyway and connected them to colors.  For example, the whole family coordinated our clothes each day (Monday = red, Tuesday = yellow, Wednesday = orange, etc).  As it turns out not a one of us has a yellow shirt...the other days we did pretty well.

I went shopping on Monday morning with the kids and we had a great time in the produce section choosing all different colors of fruits and vegetables.  It was undoubtedly the happiest grocery trip we've had in awhile.  The kids were really into it. We also bought otter pops and lucky charms!

We made new playdough and mixed colors!
Orange day - if you couldn't tell:)
We also did really cool color science experiments (twice since it was so fun).  Blend up red cabbage leaves and water.  Strain the mixture and put the purple liquid in several "test tubes."  Experiment adding different ingredients.  If you add an acid (lemon juice, apple juice, soda, or vinegar) the liquid turns hot pink!  If you add a base (baking soda or dish soap) the liquid turns blue!  It is really fun.  And, you can even turn the liquid from pink to blue back to pink.  If you add baking soda to a test tube with vinegar you get a colorful volcano.  You should try it if you haven't.
Blue day.  Not the best picture, but Piper is so helpful with Isaac.
Today is purple day.  Piper sporting her purple with an otter pop and her flower that bloomed this week. 
Next week is ninja week.  Originally I wondered what we were going to do for ninja week but Piper has come up with some fun ideas.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer Themes Week 1: Pirates!

In an effort to create a little structure to our summer I copied an idea I saw from my friend Shelly Jorgensen years ago: weekly themes.  Piper and Bastian were very excited about the idea.  They came up with all the themes and several activities (here's the spreadsheet).  We even started the themes two weeks before school got out (but it is June so it seems like summer).  And, since kindergarten is over at 11am, so we still have plenty of time left in the day.

We start the week on Monday at the library.  I searched last week and about put a half dozen books on reserve (greatest feature ever at the library if you have multiple children).  I lucked out and found a cool pirate activity book, a pirate book on CD and some other picture books.  I also got a pirate cook book, but it was intense.  I hid it from my kids so they wouldn't get any lofty ideas:).

Here are most of the activities we did this week.

I made easels out of cardboard and duct tape (super easy and the kids love them) and then we painted the ocean and the sky.  I was going to cut out and paste pirate ships on top, but the kids lost interest and I didn't care enough to push it.
Super cool pirate park that's about 15 minutes away from our house (a major reason we chose a pirate theme).  It threatened rain the whole time we were there so we basically had the park to ourselves.  Usually it's a popular place.
There are 3 separate play structures.

A sand area at the pirate park (plus periodic stream) with donated sand toys.

 Our treasure map - I could have spent a bit more time (I wouldn't make it with white paper again), but I at least burned the edges.  The map started at our house, wandered through the neighborhood and ended about 1/4 mile away in the woods.  There were enough familiar clues that Piper could follow the map by herself.  The kids also enjoyed making their own treasure maps throughout the week.  Bastian especially liked it because as he told me, he's really good at making "X's."
X marks the spot.  The treasure (chocolate coins and some pennies) was in a small treasure box we had on hand.
They found the X!  We dressed up before we headed out on our hunt.  It's hard to see, but Isaac is holding one of the cutlasses we made.
And, what pirate outing is complete without a little exploration?
We made cutlasses out of cardboard (reinforced with chopsticks).  We also played a pirate board game, watched Peter Pan, and just randomly talked like pirates throughout the day.  I loved hearing Bastian say "ahoy me hearties!"  For pirate food we ate tuna fish sandwiches and marshmallow mateys.  On Saturday we had dinner at a local pirate/pizza/arcade place, but the pizza was overpriced and I wouldn't do that again.  I'm hoping to make these theme weeks fairly inexpensive.

It was a fun week.  Next up, vehicle/construction week.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Oh, Boy!

We are thrilled to welcome Isaac Kendall Ence (aka baby Ike) to our family.

- Born Sunday, November 3, 2013 8:10 pm
- 9 pounds 8 ounces (more than 2 pounds bigger than Piper and 1 1/2 pounds bigger than Bastian!)
- 22 inches long
- Brownish hair (two people have said they see a bit of red).  Definitely darker in the back than in front.

Our sweet little baby is doing great.  He is sleeping and eating well.  I loved watching Piper and Bastian meet their new brother this morning.  Bastian was especially cute with his brother.  Bastian was so excited to hold baby Ike.  The most traumatic thing for Piper was she was very excited to get a baby present when she came to the hospital, but she ended up getting upset with the present we got her (a Periwinkle doll).  Seriously, it was a bit ridiculous.  We finally ended up putting the doll away (probably never to be seen again) and then things got better.

Thanks to my wonderful Mama who's taking care of my big kiddos!  Hard to believe we are a family of 5!

Minutes after birth.
We love you baby boy!
Papa comes to visit!
Aunt Hannah!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blogging again!

My cousin Alison inspired me to try blogging everyday.  I've kept it up for two weeks, so we'll see how long it lasts.