Hot Fun in The Summertime




Here are some of our summer adventures –


We pulled out the Superman pj’s for Nate-O. All four of my boys have worn this outfit (and even Olivia once). They were a gift from my Mom when Cal was this age. Warm my heart.


We have spent many an afternoon and evening jumping on the trampoline.


We started swimming lessons. Everett has really turned a corner in his swimming. This is his first jump off the diving board of the season. After this, Ms. Lori is having him jump without her beneath him, and swimming to the side by himself.


Andrew has started swim lessons as well.



Leslee welcomed sweet baby Declan to the family. We are all in LOVE.


IMG_0778Even though it’s the end of June, we’ve only been to the cabin ONCE since school got out. It was so nice to be there though.




Calvin had his scout campfire earlier in the month. He did a great job!





Everett and Jace ready to get on the Kindergarten school bus.

Last night when everyone else was in bed, Everett came in to talk to us.

He told us he was worried because he still didn’t know how to repent.

Two weeks ago he confessed to us that he had stolen a couple toys from his buddy Jace last fall when we went to their second home in Brigham City. We had talked to him about it then and told him he needed to make it right.

Shame on us – in those two weeks we hadn’t given him a chance to do that (we told him we’d give him extra chores to earn the money to replace the toys he took).

And two weeks later his little heart was still suffering. We talked to him about  the steps of repentance: 1) Tell the right people what you did wrong and ask for forgiveness(Mom & Dad, Jace and his parents, and Heavenly Father). 2) Promise to never do it again. 3) Do everything you can to make it right (earn some money, replace the toys). 4) Forgive yourself and not feel bad about it anymore.

Everett knew he’d done steps 1 & 2, but he was still stuck at #3, and it was just eating him up.

So we talked about it, we promised him we would help him make it right. And we told him to say an extra prayer and ask Heavenly Father to help him feel the spirit so he wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.

So he went back to bed, and the next thing we know, we hear him praying out loud – it starts off as a normal enough prayer, and then his little voice breaks, and he says

“please help me to feel the spirit so I can feel better. And please help the Reimann’s not to hurt me when they find out.”

Oh good grief! Melt a mama’s heart! I had to go in and give him a long cuddle to help his little heart feel better.

Today we will report the problem to the Reimann’s and try to get it resolved. (We’ve assured Everett that no violence will ensue).


Calvin and Olivia Mow the Lawn




We’ve been waiting for this day for 10 years! We started teaching Calvin and Olivia to mow the lawn! They’re barely big enough to turn the machine on their own, and can’t quite start it yet. But . . . children doing the yardwork has begun!

(They also weed (all of the kiddos) for 15 minutes every day, which has greatly helped in keeping the weeds down!)

Momento’s – Organizing the kids school stuff




I’m not really a “stuff” person. I have one box of letters and postcards from my childhood . . . and that’s it. No trophies, no pictures (my parent’s weren’t picture people, maybe I’m overcompensating?), no toys, no remains of my life pre-marraige (oh, wait, I also have some of my books from growing up).

This “get rid of it” attitude makes it hard to keep things when multiplied by five kids! But I wanted to keep little things from the kid’s school days -things they may want to look through some day, to give them perspective on where they’ve been, how they’ve grown, and hopefully give them a little chuckle.

So through out the year I set aside little things they bring home – a spelling test they’ve mastered, or an art project they’ve worked hard on, an award for their awesomeness – and put them into bags. Slowly those bags fill to varying degrees. And in the top back corner of a closet, I have all of the bags, accumulated, labeled, ready for the day when the kids want to sift through them.

“You should put them in books” Wyatt tells me. But I don’t want to give myself the work. Instead they are sealed in 2.5 gallon zipper bags. I think that’s enough. I have no grand illusions that my children will want to keep the stuff themselves when they are old enough and moving through life. But you never know.

Christensen Cabin Camp Out 2016





This year for the Christensen annual camp out we went south. We ditched the lake thing for a mountain cabin at Brian Head ski resort. Lance’s parent bought a cabin last year and he volunteered it for our use. It’s a twin-home style cabin, with another unit on the other side that we also rented.

Wynn & Heidi (and kids) and Wade & Katie (and kids) and Jacob weren’t able to make it this year. But Melinda came down with the kids, and the rest of us had a great time 4-wheeling, fishing, painting, playing with cousins, eating, and goofing off.

The fishing was great. Wyatt went each day and caught plenty of fish each time. He took the kids and they loved it (it’s always more exciting when you’re catching).



Summer Report: First Weekend of Summer




Kids ready for the last day of school. Phew! We made it!

Well, it’s 8:34 on Sunday evening. Our first weekend of summer is coming to a golden evening close. Friday I worked hard while the kids were at school to get the house clean (“Why did you do that?” Wyatt asked, “you know it’s not going to last.” “I wanted my house to be clean one.last.time.” I sighed).

When the kids came home we went through their back packs to pick out the work to be saved, and the garbage to be thrown away. And then they put their empty backpacks away for the summer.

Soon after that I sent the kids down the street where a neighbor was having her annual “School’s Out” ice cream party. They spent the rest of the afternoon in and out of the house, playing with the neighbor kids, and generally having a good ol’ time.


Friday evening we set up a movie on the deck. With bowls of popcorn and boxes of movie candy, we watched “The Sandlot” and then let the kids sleep out on the trampoline.


We washed the Chevy on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday morning we got up and worked in the yard. We cleaned and weeded and organized bikes. We got a good deal accomplished! Then we let the kids play and goof off until late afternoon when I took them all (plus Braydon) up to the pool for our first swim. They were so excited about that! Saturday night we put the kiddos to bed so Wyatt and I could go out on a date. And Sunday was a typical Sabbath – HC meetings, and GD lessons and getting everyone’s hair combed at once. (It only happens once a week). Sunday evening Leslee and Jason came over and we made tin-foil dinners in the back yard. Leslee has worked hard to perfect her tin-foil dinner skills, and it was YUM! And the kids were happy to have cousins to play with. It was really a nice relaxing non-hurried, non-agenda’d weekend.

  Movies on the deck #kickofftosummer #sandlot   A video posted by andrea chrisensen ( on

Summer by the Spirit




Summer is here.

By all accounts, that means “I’m Busy.”

I usually start calendaring the summer over Christmas break, and this year was no exception. Plans were presented and made, and over the past six months the calendar has been filling up.

But about a month ago I had this really neat experience. We had an unusually busy spring (more like summer, with stuff going on Every.Day. for about three months). As I contemplated the coming summer, I had this feeling in my heart – a memory – of the long boring summer days that were so glorious in my own childhood. And it gave me courage. And I knew summer had to be slow this year.

And as the month has progressed, that feeling has stayed with me. I take courage from it. I know what I have to do. I have to keep the summer slow and intentional. We still have a lot of commitments that we’ve made. But I’m clearing as many of them as I can. I decided not to sign the kids up for baseball (instead we played spring ball). I decided not to sign up for art class. I decided not to sign up Chinese tutoring. I even decided to cut piano lessons to once every other week.

And when people ask “what are you doing on . . . ” I have answered “we’re busy.”

But I leave out the part where we’re busy at home reading good books and drinking lemonade and drawing with sidewalk chalk on the driveway.

I’m committed to this. I feel directed by the spirit to take this step – to protect our summer from the pull of anything else going on.

I haven’t been this excited for summer in years!