Tuesday, December 29, 2009


We had such a wonderful Christmas break! On Friday, the 18th we left that night and drove through the night to get to my parents' house in Katy, TX. We got there around 8 in the morning. It was so much fun! where to begin?... I'll just list off some of the things we did:

-Kenny and I went to go see New Moon! It was pretty good, I still like the book better. Kenny said that's the last one of those he'll go see with me haha.
-Ate more than our share of BLUE BELL ICECREAM! It doesn't get better than that.
-We went and worked out at Lifetime Fitness, the gym my sister, Laura, works at. It was so nice it made our gym here look like a junk yard (almost).
-Bowling!! We played two games and I won the second game with a score of 159. I even beat my dad which is a rare occurrence. Kenny got like 6 strikes in a row or something in the first game!
-Lots of bocce ball games
-A few intense games of basketball at the church, and then volleyball afterwards. (Can you tell my family likes sports?) It felt SO good to play again.
-I read the book The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned so much, as I always do with his books.
-Made pajama pants for Kenny, me, tyler, and Bryn for Christmas Eve tradition (Laura will you send me the picture you took of us in our matching pj's?)
-Saw a girl at my parents' ward who I had a class with at BYU-Idaho. Her husband works for the same compay Kenny does. Crazy the people you run into sometimes.-Sang around the piano with sisters which I love
-Traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Au-gratin potatoes, ham, corn, salad, mom's rolls, etc.
-Ate LOTS of treats and goodies. I love the holidays, but my love handles don't.
-Acted out the nativity scene, of course
-LOVED playing Santa and watching Tyler and Brynlee on Christmas morning. I had been looking forward to it for a long time and it was so fun! -Played lots of Wii--my parents gave it as a "family gift" for Christmas. Tim set up a tournament and made braccets and everything for Wii tennis. It was so funny. it will be fun to always have that there when we go home now.
-Got together with our old friends, the Roses. Glad our parents have kept in touch all these years. we used to joke about having a triple wedding because their 3 sons are the same ages as me and my two older sisters. Now all but their youngest boy is married and has (or will have) kids so it's fun to get together with them.
-Thrilled to see my sister Cami, and her husband Tyler after they FINALLY made it the day after christmas. They were trying to surprise us by coming for Christmas (driving down from Provo) but they got stuck (for over 24 hours) in an isnane snow-storm in Wichita Falls!! Who would even imagine that you'd get stuck in a terrible winter storm in texas!!?? A memorable first christmas for the two of them :). glad we got to see you for at least a little bit, Cam.-Kenny and I went to the Houston Temple with my parents, and Kim and Caleb. It was wonderful.
Overall we just had a wonderful time! We left Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m. and got home a little before 8:00 that night. Hope everyone had a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Here's a bunch of pictures from the week

This is the doll Brynlee got from Santa. She likes to play with her eyes. Probably because they pop back open by themselves when she closes them
This is the sword tyler got from Santa. He likes to pretend he's putting it in and pulling it out of the imaginary hilt at his side.

a game of bocce ball in the backyard. L to R: Caleb (Kim's husband), Kenny, Tim, Dad

Someday we'll have to get a trampoline. They love it!
Kenny fixed the truck so my sister could drive it again. He loves having projects to do when we go down there, but I think my parents love him doing the projects even more!

Ty and Bryn help by emptying out the tool box (which kenny got for Christmas)

Sunday afternoon naps

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Little Privacy, Please

I have been putting this off for waaaay too long, I know. THIS BLOG IS GOING PRIVATE! So anyone that would like to keep reading (and I don't mind if you do, the more the merrier I always say...) then please leave me a comment with your e-mail. Sorry this is such a pain in the rear, but I'll feel better about this when it's all said and done. I am way too open about our lives on here for it to not be private.

K you know what to do. Thanks!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The end of another week?

I swear, where does the time go?
A few of the fun things we've been up to the past few days...

On Thursday we finally had the Relief Society Christmas dinner/program. We've been planning and preparing for it for a long time, and I'm glad it's finally come and gone. It went pretty well though, and I'm glad people actually showed up.

Friday day we were needing something to do, so Tyler and I made some sugar cookies. He loves helping out, whatever it is. We didn't stop until there was a sufficient layer of flour covering us, and the kitchen.

On Friday night we went out to eat at St. Louis Buffet, just to try it out. It's comparable to a Golden Corral, or Chuck-a-rama. It was alright, I am never overly-impressed with those kinds of places. One terrible thing that happened was I bit into a piece of breaded something thinking it was chicken!! I actually spit it back out onto my plate--yes in public--and immediately reached for my water. It still didn't wash the taste away and I was about to throw up, gagging on the horrible taste in my mouth. I grabbed Tyler's lemonade and gulp some down, even with his protesting. Finally, relief. My family sat there watching this whole scene play out, wondering what is going on. I said, whatever that is, that was NOT chicken. Kenny laughs and tells me it was catfish. YUCK!! I guess it's not just in my head that I don't like any sea food, because I didn't know what that was until I bit into it. It was a fun evening just to all be together though.

Saturday morning we all went to the gym--together. We haven't attempted this in many months because Brynlee wouldn't stand for the little daycare place. Kenny insisted we try it again, and it went very well, if you can believe it. She didn't cry once and we got to run together (ok, next to each other) and then Kenny showed me some stuff in the weight room. Then I went home with Brynlee, and Kenny stayed and took Tyler swimming. The two of them had a wonderful time, Tyler can't get enough of the pool. He gets better and better at swimming each time he goes. I showered, got ready and packed lunches, Brynlee napped. then we picked the boys up and headed out to St. Louis to go to Sams Club. We haven't been there since we moved here, so it was good to go again. We spent a lot of money, but we sure won't run out of laundry detergent, toilet paper, dishwasher soap, etc. for a long, long time. We also bought an ipod touch! It's a christmas present for me and Kenny, but he refused to wait until Christmas to open and use it. I'll admit, I'm getting a little jealous of that thing, he hasn't put it down since we came home! haha. It is pretty cool though. It'll be nice to have music to run to.

That afternoon we decorated our sugar cookies and delivered a few plates to our closest neighbors.

We discovered that we have new next-door neighbors, that have been there since halloween!!?? Hello! Am I self-absorbed or what. Kenny and I were both wondering how we missed that. Surely we would've noticed people moving out and in. So we're going to have them over sometime this week to get to know them. Sat. night we FINALLY got Julie & Julia in the mail from Netflix. Gosh I've been waiting for that one for a long time. I've already seen it, but I was so anxious for Kenny to watch it, and to see it again. Makes me want to cook something fancy.

Sunday: This morning started out interesting. I somehow forgot to put a diaper on Tyler last night. We didn't discover that until he woke up and was out in the living room. He asked, "do I have a diaper on?" Kenny said, yeah you do. So he let the flood gates open. It didn't take long for Kenny to realize he didn't have a diaper on!! hahah. there was pee ALL over; big puddles forming a trail all the way to the bathroom. Thank goodness for hard wood floors, and mops.
Church was great. Kenny got released as a sunday school teacher for youth and called to be a teacher in the primary! Fun fun!
We had fun playing games together as a family tonight. Andy and Shalee got us some fun kid games for Christmas and Tyler loves them. 3 different games: Ants In Your Pants, Don't Break the Ice, and Don't Spill the Beans.

I've got all my lists made and my calendar filled...ready for another fun and busy week!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

That's what parents are for

I've been thinking lately about the parent-child relationship and how wonderful it is. I was reading some quotes this morning by Joseph Fielding Smith about how every child has the right to be born into a family where the parents are married, where they will be cared for, and taught, etc. After all, it was your choice to bring them into the world, not theirs, ya know. So anyway I agree whole-heartedly with that. But I was also thinking how everyone needs to be loved and adored. Nobody else will think of your child the way you do. Every parent thinks that their child is the most beautiful, the most intelligent, the most special, etc. No other person could love everything they do, the way a parent does. I look at my kids and just think, gosh they are the best! They just make me so happy. I catch myself laughing at everything they do because they are so fun, and I just think the world of them. And that is what every child deserves, and needs(along with the basic shelter, food, clothes)--someone who thinks the world of them. Someone who loves them more than their own self, and would do or give up absolutely anything for them. I think that's what parents are for.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


From my last post you might think we are a picture-less family, but that is not the case. So here are a few pictures from the past couple weeks.

It was so fun to watch Tyler get so excited about putting up the decorations on the Christmas tree. Brynlee loves it too and is always grabbing and pulling at it. Thank goodness for shatter-proof ornaments.

This was Brynlee the other day after I fed her dinner and I was finishing up making ours. I knew she was tired but if I had put her in her bed she would have slept for a long time, and that would have meant staying up late. So I just let her sleep for a few minutes in her high chair--a graham cracker in each hand :).

There's no wrong way to eat a cupcake. This is how Ty eats cupcakes, from the top down. Once the frosting is gone, he figures they really aren't worth it.

We made some snowflakes the other day. Tyler is improving each time at using the scissors, and he loves to color so this was really fun for him.

These two are just such good buddies. I love watching their friendship grow and they're able to play more and more as Brynlee gets older. It's awesome.

Brynlee will be 10 months old tomorrow! She is getting closer to walking, but I think it will still be a while. She can stand up by herself as long as you're touching her, otherwise she'll only do it for a couple seconds. Then she realizes she's alone, gets scared, and slowly lowers herself down. She's also pretty good at walking around pushing her little rolling push-toys-whatever it's called. She has this new thing for spitting and it drives me nuts. the worst is when she's eating and spits it all over me. And Tyler thinks that means it's ok for him to spit so they're both always spitting at each other. They think it's pretty funny.
It's snowing today but the wind has beemn blowing so incredibly hard, that along with knocking over power lines and making it harder to drive, it doesn't let the snow hit the ground. So we have yet to go play in the snow. I'm sort of ok with that though.
Missionaries are coming over for dinner again tonight, per their request, and I'm excited for dinner. On the menu is chicken ranch parmesan (from the Lion House Cookbook) and pumpkin pie for dessert. Yum!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our Week

Monday: I was so not ready for the week to start. But Monday didn't care, Monday came anyway. It started with doctors appointments for both children at 10:00. It was Brynlee's 9 month well-check up and Tyler was scheduled to have the small, white bump below his lip, drained. It went well. neither of them even cried and they were both poked with needles. Afterwards we got something to eat, then I dropped Tyler off at his friend Elijah's house. I was grateful to Rochelle for watching him while I took Brynlee down to St. Louis Children's Hospital for some tests. Since she got a UTI, our doc. wanted to see if there was any reflux of urine going back to the kidneys causing the infection. The ultrasound went well. Then we waited a little while longer for the 2nd test, which name I always forget. They stripped her down, put a catheter in her, and had me help hold her while they put dye in the urine and put this huge x-ray type machine over her (it covered her whole body since she's so little) to take pictures and watch the flow of urine. It was not so fun. Turns out, there is some reflux. Thankfully it's not serious enough to have surgery (only a Grade 2 on a scale 1-5), but she does have to take an antibiotic every night until she grows out of it.

Tuesday: Still trying to recover from the trip. Grocery shopping, cleaning van and messy house, laundry, etc. I got sick which is totally lame.

Wednesday we finally put up our Christmas tree, but didn't decorate it because putting it up took long enough and it was the kids' bedtime.

Thursday we finally decorated the tree after Kenny got home from work. This is the first year we've been able to afford a tree and we love having one. Holidays are even more fun with kids :).
Either Thursday or Friday (is it a bad sign that I can't remember a few days ago?) Brynlee was running a fever and was super fussy and waking up a lot so I called the doc. to see what to do. They asked me to take her in. I should have said NO because I hate taking all day and putting the stupid pee-bags on her waiting for her to pee IN them--that never happens. But we went and of course her fever had gone down by then and anyway, they wanted to test her urine again so after the appt. we spent all day driving around Edwardsville running errands and trying to get her urine in a little plastic bag. After the first one fell off and she pooped in the 2nd one I said forget it! So we came home. Looking back I'm sure she just had the same thing I've got (Ty's sick too now) and I was probably over-reacting since I was so worried it was another UTI.

Friday I finished sewing stockings for the kids since they don't have any. They turned out cute! I played Christmas music on Pandora all day and was so happy.

Saturday: Kenny and I went on a DATE! That was the first time since Brynlee was born that we have gone out on a date and it was wonderful. I bought our tickets to the Nutcracker about a month ago and have been looking forward to it so much. It did not dissapoint. It was performed by the Joffrey Ballet and lots of other ballerinas from the St. Louis area. It was held at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. We paid a babysitter and everything. I made it super easy by putting the kids down for a nap RIGHT before she came so they slept for a couple hours, and that way we didn't have to have Brynlee go through the whole saying good-bye/separation/freak-out process. Apparently they were angels and brynlee didn't cry once, which I'm still not sure if I believe haha. Cassie was wonderful and we will definitely do it again sometime. maybe next time we'll even brave a date at night instead of the afternoon....that's a big step. That night we TOTALLY forgot about the ward Christmas party and went out together as a fam. We got papa john's pizza, picked up dry cleaning, bought light-bulbs, and other random stuff like that. It was just nice to be together. We came home and all got in our pajamas, climbed in our bed all together and started Star Trek. (The TV had to be put into our room since we put the christmas tree up) It was all fun and cute until 5 minutes passed and the kids were no longer interested in the movie haha. Kenny and I finished it later after they went to bed and it was a really good show. I had never seen an episode of Star Trek before and I still liked the movie.

Sunday: the kids looked stinkin cute in their new Christmas outfits that my mom sent them. Brynlee looked like a little American Girls doll. Too bad tyler and I are sick. We had somewhat of a rough night last night with the kids waking up so many times. We only went to Sacrament meeting then I brought the kids home. Kenny stayed and taught sunday school. It's been a pretty lazy and sicky Sunday. The christmas devotional was great. I love this time of year. I'm still waiting for it to snow, and stick so I can make sugar cookies :). I was thinking about it though, and last year I got sick at the exact same time. I'm just grateful that this year even though I am sick, I am not pregnant and going through finals too. That was no fun. Hopefully tomorrow we'll all be feeling a little bit better.

Thanksgiving Week Part 3

What do you get when you cram 32 people into a small house in the middle of nowhere? A Big Weston Family Party!! We had so much fun seeing everyone and there were lots of fun activities planned. Thursday was, of course, the big Thanksgiving feast. That night most of us went and played basketball at the school's gym. Friday we did some early morning shopping and got some great deals. We got most of our Christmas shopping taken care of, and got a bigger carseat for Bryn since she will be turning around soon. Among other things we did gingerbread houses, decoratd sugar-cookies to deliver to other families, painted our own t-shirts and took family pictures in them, pinata, football games, had a pro take a big family picutre of us, and lots more. We also did our christmas party early since we won't be going back over there, and since Amanda's about to have her baby. that included a nativity scene, white elephant, and gift exchange. We had so much fun! We love spending time with family and that is why we sacrifice a lot of money and go through all the stress of driving ridiculous periods of time on no sleep so we can be with them. Here's some pictures from our time there.

ty really loved the shirt-painting. He got a little carried away once he realized he could use his hands instead of a brush on his shirt.

The same face when they're concentrating. I love it.

Ty and his best buddy-cousin, Josh. They have powdered sugar all over their faces from the donut-on-a-string competition.

Kenny, Rick, and Chris, had a try at the donut contest too. kenny won!!

The only way to keep her happy sometimes is to let her swing around upside down. Crazy girl.

Tyler was the one who finally broke the pinata and we caught it all on tape. It's pretty cool.
The nativity scene went much better this year for Tyler. He loved participating and giving a gift to baby Jesus.

Saturday night we left around 9:30 and drove through the night and got back home late Sunday. We were all SO sick of the car by the time we got home. glad to be back.

the end.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Week Part 2

Sunday night while talking to my mom on the phone we found out that they were getting to my grandpa's house in Spring City, UT that night instead of the next day. (My fam drove up from Houston) It was about bedtime for the kids (8:00) so we figured that'd be perfect timing for us to go too. we quickly packed up the car and took off. It ended up being THE WORST snow storm/roads/visibility we've ever been in. I haven't prayed that hard in a long time. For a while we weren't sure we would make it through those canyons, and over the Summit. It was seriously awful. But thank goodness our prayers were answered and we made it out, very slowly but surely. It took almost 2 hours longer than it should have. We got there a little before 1:00 a.m. We had to laugh when we got there because when we left Vernal our biggest worry was deer. Although, really that would have been bad too because the roads were so icy we wouldn't have been able to stop very well. Then again we really weren't going very fast...anyways.

Monday we got ready slowly then eventually headed out to Orem to visit family on my dad's side. We talked for hours to my Grandma Andersen, then Uncle VJ and fam, then Aunt LaDawn and fam. Then we got some dinner, grabbed baby food and diapers at wal-mart and headed back to grandpa's.

Tuesday morning Kenny and I took advantage of free babysitters and a close temple, and went to the Manti Temple together. I LOVE that temple so much. It's a live session which is always cool, and it's so so detailed and beautiful. We got to be the witness couple too, probably because we were the only couple under the age of like 60 haha. After the session we got to see the spiral staircase which is awesome. I had seen it before, but Kenny hadn't and it was really neat.
That evening we had a big Thanksgiving dinner with all of my mom's siblings and their families at my Grandpa Backus' house. It was so fun to see everyone again and I totally forgot to pull out my camera the whole time.

Wednesday we packed up and said goodbye, then drove up to Salt Lake City, where my sister Kim and her husband, Caleb, live. My family met us there too and we all had pizza together and said good bye to them too. From there we drove up to Rockland, Idaho.

My sister, Laura, loves being an aunt and really loves Bryn's snuggles

Grandpa Backus and Brynlee

Here's the correct 4 generations :). Brynlee, me, my dad, my dad's mom.

the gorgeous manti temple. it's like a castle in the middle of nowhere.

Grandpa Backus and Joyce

We went on a walk and petted the neighbor's horses. Spring City is such a beautiful place.

bryn, my mom, me
Me and Cami in front of Kim's apartment. Don't mind her husband's shadow haha. I sure miss living by her.

Thanksgiving Week Part 1

Friday, November 20th we left here and drove through the night and the next day, getting to Vernal, UT Saturday afternoon (about a 20 hour drive!). We checked into our hotel, the Weston Plaza, (formerly owned by Kenny's grandpa, so we stayed there for free!!!) and we all had a little nap. Then we went over to the Dinosaur Museum that they have there and had a great time, especially Tyler, looking at all the dinosaurs! We grabbed some Cafe Rio for dinner (Ty got Wendy's) and headed back to the hotel. After dinner we went swimming, which again Tyler absolutely loved. This time we borrowed arm floaties from our friends before leaving so it went a lot better than last time. He was so much more independent just swimming around and jumping in and climbing out by himself without a problem. He was much happier, and so were we. Brynlee loves pools too and just splashes like crazy. We were all completely worn out that night and slept very soundly. Sunday we found a church and decided to go at 9 since that's pretty standard. We were right, and got to go to church there, and it was right next to the Vernal Temple, which is very old and very cool. The day before I had gone to Wal-mart and picked up some microwaveable meals so that's what we ate all of Sunday so that we didn't have to buy any food.

After church, lunch, and a nap, we headed over to McConkie Ranch and looked at the Petroglyphs that are there. It was pretty darn cool. The kids were asleep in the car so kenny and I went and saw the first of them by ourselves. then I went back to the car in case they woke up, and Kenny went and saw some more a little ways over. There are certainly a lot of neat things in Vernal.

Ever since this museum he's been on a real dinosaur kick!

Bryn being cute in the hotel

Vernal Temple. Built in 1907, and some of it was reconstructed in 1997.

Do you see the drawings on the rocks? Cool huh?! I wish I could interpret them to know what they were talking about.