The Jennings' Jabber...a few of our moments, at least...

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Ok, been way too long since I've been on here. No excuses, just don't make it a priority...but I miss blog land, and I miss sharing my kiddos pics and what's new.

My friend Heather is using the theme "inspire" as her 2013 is already working...because here I am. :)

I'm not sure if I will inspire, but I hope to always be inspired by others. So, thank you Heather, and here's to a wonderful year full of inspiration!

My first pic is of the fam at Christmas...we had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

my awesome kids...

I'm absolutely biased, but I love my matter how crazy they drive me! They had the opportunity to get some professional photos done at their school the other day...oh yeah, Calder is going to "school" now that he is 2! He attends a "Tiny Two's" class (3 days a week) at the same location Caydree is attending Kindergarten, and he LOVES it!

So here are a few of my favorites...thanks Heather Van Gaale Photography for capturing my kids just like they are.

Monday, October 3, 2011

JULY 22? I'm a sad mommy for not keeping up with this...

We have birthdays to talk about though, so get ready for some pictures!

Caydree is now 5, and Calder is 2!! I can't believe my babies are growing up, but I love it!

Caydree's special day will be 1st...

Started off our morning with the traditional good morning sunshine birthday wake-up photo. Can't believe I actually got a smile!

Celebrated at school with her Kindergarten friends, a crown and some popsicles!

Grandma and Grandpa picked her up (yay for living close enough to spend some time with us!) and took her for a cool frozen yogurt treat, then home to the sweetly 'birthday girl' decorated (thanks Grandma) house! Then we had Chinese take-out and cake!

This year, Caydree had a tea party for "just girls, no boys." It was a hit, she helped me plan all of the goodies and decor on Pinterest. HAHA, she is addicted to "looking" for stuff she likes! ;)

Pom-poms and beaded necklaces...oooh, la, la!

Treats, treats, and more treats...

A tea party table for a princess and her friends!

Mommy and the birthday girl. :)

Grandma planned some FUN games, like pin the teacup on the saucer...

She also read the girls a fun version of "I'm a Little Tea Pot".

It was a fun day, and the birthday girl went to bed happy!!

OK, now for the little man's turn....

Grandma and Grandpa got the morning pic for me...

yummy strawberry shortcake for dessert!

our traditional BBQ party...the food is always good...

when the drinks were gone, the ice tub made a refreshing bath...

which turned into more water play, so Calder was pretty wet! It was a fun day!

Friday, July 22, 2011


WAY too much to much for having more time this summer. ;) I started this back in July, and I'm just now getting back to finish it, and it's almost mid-AUGUST! What happened?

Oh yeah, that's right, summer is over! I'm already back to school and we are trying to get back into the routines of "normal"...FINALLY. I must be the only teacher who doesn't enjoy the summer and can't wait to get back to work?

Where to even start?

I moved my classroom into the pod with my grade level, so that is awesome. Seem to have a great group of kids, but today was only DAY 2, so that may change by next week ;). Loving being back to work, my same old "song and dance" is that I stink at the stay-home-mom thing. Most days were ok, but there were sure a few that I was not very proud of...

Caydree started this week at her new "school" as well. They will have 2 weeks before "kindergarten" really starts, so she will at least be used to her new surroundings and many of her classmates! Grandma has been here to help/visit this week, so that has been awesome, and Caydree has loved the special attention that only Grandma can give. :) In two weeks I will have a kindergartener...really?? Hard to believe, but I think she is going to love it!

She has cavities, finally took them to the dentist...that was nothing but drama for her. May have to go the general anesthesia route to get any work done, she is so stubborn and just refuses to let them do anything. Apparently, in all of the drama between the regular dentist and the pediatric specialist, I told her she would "die" if she didn't get her cavities taken care of. I don't recall saying that, maybe something along the lines of 'starving to death' because she wouldn't be able to eat if her teeth fell out, but now she's obsessed with that as well. Awesome. Did I mention that I'm a super mom? The guilt from the cavities wasn't enough, now I feel bad and have to convince her that she won't die! Gheesh, another joy of parenthood.

Calder is good, a whopping 27 pounds soaking wet, fully clothed with shoes and a soggy diaper. ;) Had his 18 month well check (late) and also our first speech appointment! He is the cutest and funniest little man I know...and has kept me laughing and crying all summer. I've cleaned up more mess than I ever imagined possible, and he keeps surprising me with something better. He is all about being independent and doing everything by you can imagine how an oatmeal breakfast followed by a dirty diaper change might go. ;) Most often he is a great helper, and will start part-time daycare after his birthday in September. He got to visit the other day and LOVED it, so that will be a really great thing for him socially.

Back to the speech...we met with our team therapist for the initial evaluation, and it went pretty well. I knew he was behind, but forgot to ask her "how far behind" I hope that she will tell us next time. Speech is different for everyone, so I know that I can't really compare, but I still want to know. He has started a LOT more "talking" in the last month, so I expect that it will continue to grow and pretty soon we will be asking him to stop talking. :)

Problems he has:
-very limited consonant sounds
-small fistula (hole in palate) that still lets some air escape, so there is difficulty blowing out of nose and mouth separately. Believe it or not, he blows out of both simultaneously...try it, it's next to impossible!?

SO, we are working on the breath, and the "plosive" sounds like "p" and "b". He likes to practice, but I'm really only seeing improvement in the blowing activities. We use a straw to blow cotton balls and to blow bubbles in water. He loves whistles and noisemakers which are also great practice. It's pretty darn cute, we showed him how to plug his nose when he blows, and he tries so hard! Our next appointment is Aug. 26th, so hopefully she has noticed some improvements as well. He actually asked me for juice in an almost complete sentence last night, but it sounded like this, "ah ooo, eee?" Translated: " want juice, please?" All the while he is signing and gesturing like mad to make sure we understand! I can't help but love how sweet he is...

The funniest thing he does is re-enact his injuries. He falls, cries, gets a "coldie" from the freezer, then he's fine...until he has to tell everyone else about it the rest of the day. He takes you to the place he fell and shows you just how it happened while he is saying things like, "oh, ow...UH!" As he pats his "owie", then smacks the floor, the wall, the table, the corner, the chair, etc...wherever it happened. He is DRAMATIC...poor kid. ;)

Other than that things are getting back to normal, whatever that will look like this year! I like to think that I will be a better mommy in the coming days...more routine = happier kids and that = happier mommy.

Maybe they will look back on our summer and remember the playtime outside with our neighborhood friends, the glittery, painted "projects" that mommy and Caydree made, snuggling on the couch to watch cartoons and eat frozen pancakes, an occasional trip out for errands and a happy meal, slip-and-slide fun, some beach days with the family, or our road trip to Tucson to visit Grandma and Grandpa. That's all this mommy can hope...maybe our summer wasn't so bad after all. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Grandfather

Last week, my last living grandparent, Virgil Falkner, passed away. He was 2 months shy of his 90th birthday, and had lived an amazingly full life. I'm not going to list his many accomplishments, military awards, experiences, or talents...just the character traits that made him the best grandpa in the world.

He was kind and beyond generous. I will never forget the check I received from him in the mail after Calder was born. My grandpa knew that we had good insurance, but he also knew that extra medical expenses can be taxing on a selfless of him to be concerned about us.

He was funny. I personally think that he saved some of his special stories and jokes just for me, because he knew that I'd laugh, even if no one else would. ;) I'm glad to have gotten some of that sense of humor.

He was gentle. I remember as a child, him "painting" our faces with a small, dry paint brush. It would nearly put us to sleep.

He was opinionated and stubborn. He was an "if it's not broke, don't fix it" kind of guy...had many strong ideas, and was never afraid to share them. I loved that about him, even if we disagreed.

He was smart. He knew just about everything and knew how to fix just about anything.

He was caring. Number one in his life was his family, ALWAYS. Spread across the country, he seldom forgot a birthday or special event...for his 11 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren (holy smokes!) and he loved and spoke often of each and every one of them.

He was humble. He never expected anything for a favor, and was more often than not, embarrassed by any attention he received. Everyone should be so lucky to have that kind of generous, yet humble spirit.

He was proud. His gallery of photos, and binders of pictures and documents displayed his pride in all he did. He walked me down the aisle at my wedding (along with my dad), with his quiet and humble was an unforgettable moment.

He was one special man, and I'm so grateful to call him my grandpa. I'm so happy that I got 35 years of time with him, and I will never forget.

I love you and already miss you Grandpa!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Let the SUMMER begin!

Summer is here, I can't believe it...this year has really just flown by! This last week was full of big events for us:
  • Caydree had her last day at Ms. Linda's, her loving daycare provider, whom she has been with since she was 6 1/2 weeks old! We will miss her dearly and know that Caydree has truly had the best experiences there. She will be ready for Kinder in August, whether they are ready for her or not!
  • Calder learned how to go on the slide all by himself (videos to follow) and now enjoys falling onto the bean bags off of the couch...the kid is FEARLESS. He also got a "big boy" haircut, and looks pretty darn cute!
  • Shane has been working on his motorcycle. He got brave and decided that he wanted to get some things done on it, and was going to do it himself! He is pretty much dominating the garage right now, but is making progress. :) We also made our annual trip to the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival...FUN!
  • I finished my 1st year teaching 5th grade, and survived the entire thing! HA HA! This included a softball game in which I hit a triple, a fun "shop 'til you drop" event that gave me tattoos and blue hair, a promotion ceremony with parade, a teacher dance to "Footloose" and a luau. Did I mention it was a busy week?
Summer plans? Well, a mommy and daddy trip to Vegas, Caydree's 1st dance recital, my parents' big move back to Tucson (yay for being closer!!!) and a probable visit, beginning speech therapy for Mr. Man, and hopefully lots of swimming, lots of fun with friends, and lots of patience for mommy! ;) Those who know me well, know why I am a working mom.

Calder's big boy haircut. Yes, that is spiked with "product"...

Our fun evening at the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival...

What a cutie, posing for mommy in the backyard!

Little Man found some new, fun games to play...only gave mommy
a heart attack the first couple of times. :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lots to Share...

I seem to be getting worse and worse at this, but I will keep plugging along. I'll be happy if I can get once a month in!

We are all doing well, but it's been busy around here! The kids and I spent the first week of my Spring Break in Maryland, visiting Grandma and Grandpa...we had a great time!! The long plane rides I could have done without, but the vacation part was awesome. ;) We went to a fun place called Kid's Village, the National Zoo, a park with a train and a carousel, and a nature preserve with a funky name, just to name a few...Grandma was an excellent event planner! She also has a lot more pictures than I do, so my selection may be limited!

Picnic with Grandma at the Nature Preserve...

Hanging out with Uncle Allen at the zoo...

Pretty girl making some pretty eggs...

Grandma and Calder at the park

Sister on the carousel and lovin' it!

Mommy and Calder riding the train!

While we were in Maryland, we had the amazing opportunity to meet some friends we've made through our "cleft" journey. Connecting on the internet, talking and sharing our journeys together...Nick and Calder are only about 3 weeks apart in age. It truly was a special blessing to make the connection in person! The boys were funny, Calder gave lots of hugs, and they ended up even having the same jackets on that day! It was really awesome, and I thank Michael and Susan for having enough trust in me--the crazy, facebook, cleft mommy friend to actually meet up with us! We hope that our paths continue to run as parallel as they have, and that they cross again in the future. Here are a couple pics from our meeting!


We returned to CA after a fun week, just in time for some friend time here, Easter, then back to our normal routines.

We spent Easter at Mamma and Pappa's house for an early dinner, after a quiet breakfast here at home. Rain kept us from hunting for eggs until later in the afternoon, but the baskets of goodies kept us very entertained!

Checking out the loot in our baskets!

Mommy and Daddy hanging out--picture by Caydree. ;)

Happy egg hunting...

Always fun to celebrate with colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, and jellybeans, but best to remember why we celebrate. Caydree still talks about a Vacation Bible School activity we did last summer--Jesus was a marshmallow. :) Maybe a bit more explanation would be helpful??
We put oils and spices on his body (melted butter and cinnamon) and then wrapped him in cloth (crescent rolls). After burying him (in the oven) we were surprised to see that Jesus had "disappeared" (risen). I know that she may not really "get it" yet...but the fact that she remembers the process and story from our activity shows me that she is trying to understand, and she's still thinking about it.

So, we hope that your Easter was filled with sweet treats, colorful reminders,
friends, family, and lots of LOVE!

My two Easter this love, or what?!