Thursday, February 26, 2015

Valentines, etc.

Tyler had an all-day scouting activity, a "Winter Fun Day" on Valentine's Day, which was pretty lame because all the leaders backed out of going and Kenny ended up having to go. It would have been me, since I'm actually a cub scout leader, but the only other leader was a man. So Kenny went and really they had a fun time. Tyler got to do lots of things for the first time like ice fishing, hockey, and dodge ball. So they were gone from about 8-4. So we sort of had a normal day of Saturday cleaning. But I tried to do a few fun things with the girls. I pampered them a bit by giving them all a bubble bath and painted their nails. It's funny to me how I am often doing assembly lines with the girls. Taking turns washing their hair, one after the other, blow drying their hair, nails, food prep, etc. It's like a girl factory haha. 
We were going to have a fancy dinner of ribs and potatoes, etc. but I didn't get them in the oven in time. Then Sunday we had the missionaries over for dinner, so our nice dinner got made on Monday :). Kenny said, "Wow! I feel so rich. Having ribs on a Monday night!" :) 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Tyler's Birthday

On Wednesday, Feb. 11th Tyler turned 8 years old!!! What a great age! He chose to go to Color Me Mine for his birthday. We knew we wouldn't be able to go on his actual birthday because of other things so we went on Tuesday. We went into Anchorage a little early and ran some errands and hung out until we picked Kenny up from work. We got Subway for dinner then headed over there. Our kids really love this place. It's so fun to watch them create their own dishes and they are SO happy to use their stuff at every meal they can. Last time we went around Thanskgiving, we told them they could do either a cup(mug) or a plate. We had half and half. Ty and Kelsey have plates, the other 2 have mugs. So this time they were going to switch so they would each have their own plate for dinner, and their own mug. BUT they were out of mugs, so Ty and Kels chose an ice cream bowl instead. Kind of a bummer, but they still had lots of fun. 

Yes of course she's wearing her Elsa dress!

On his actual birthday, the 11th: We had to go get him a helium balloon too :). The meals he chose for the day were crepes for breakfast with strawberry sauce,  hot dogs for lunch (with cottage cheese on potato chips) and baked manicotti for dinner, his very favorite meal. Yes, again with the pasta :). He ended up not going to his math class he had that day because his teacher got sick and cancelled last minute. But we had a cake, and 24 cupcakes to make also. Tyler decorated the cupcakes (I didn't even get a picture darn it!) and made them "mustache men". I bought some cute candy mustaches and eyes at the grocery store. He brought them with him to scouts that night and they all sang Happy Birthday to him. He is SOO excited to be a part of Cub Scouts. It's coming at a very good time in his life. Again, we waited for Kenny to come home for presents and cake.
"Make a wish!" When we got in the car later that night he said, "Wanna know what I wished for?" "what's that?" "That I would make a lot of new friends at Scouts." He had no trouble with that, by the way. :)

Please don't judge too harshly on the cake. We were going for a soccer ball. I don't have the time and I'm out of practice, so that's what he got. But he said, it was "pretty good". ;)

Wearing his brand new scout shirt and so excited for his first night. He slicked his hair in record time too!
I know I've said this many times, but I'm so grateful that Tyler is my first born. He sets such a good example for his siblings, and is so responsible and mature for his age. I love having so much time with him and I'm grateful for his good spirit in our home. He can be such a tease, but his sisters and little brother all adore him and we love him so, so much. Happy Birthday big guy.

Brynlee's B-day

On Monday, Feb. 9th Brynlee turned 6 years old!!!! She was very excited about her birthday. We went to the store that morning and let her pick out a helium balloon, which may have just started a new tradition because it was quite the hit. We've never gotten one before and they all loved it. Part of birthdays at our house means you get to pick all of the meals for the day. She chose a sugar cereal for breakfast, mac and cheese for lunch, and spaghetti for dinner. Like pasta much?? :) We went to Bouncin Bears in the afternoon which is a favorite for everyone! They ran around like crazy for a good 2 1/2 hours and just had a blast. That night after daddy came home she finally got to open her presents, and have cupcakes and ice cream. We love celebrating our sweet Brynlee. She is so good at helping other people feel good and is concerned about everyone being happy. She loves life and trying new things. I wish I could bottle up her energy and have her share it with me! She's a great helper and has a smile that lights up the room. We sure love you Brynlee girl!!

Sisters wanted in on the camera fun :)

She ended up only eating the top of her cupcake. She told me later that she only likes frosting, not really the cake part so much. When they were eating leftover cake the next day and Madison said "we need to say a prayer first!" Brynlee said, "No Mads, this isn't healthy. We only need to pray over healthy food." 

Double Party

On Friday Feb. 6th we had a combined birthday party for Tyler and Brynlee. I always have such a hard time with parties because I hate leaving people out! I wish we could just invite everybody and have a HUGE party. But Kenny helps me keep things on a smaller scale, especially since it was double time. So we decided to only invite people from Wasilla, and then they still had to further whittle the numbers down to a few people from their primary classes. Some didn't end up coming, but it was just right. Everybody had such a good time and we kept it really simple. I'm certainly not one of those moms that believe in over-the-top birthday parties. I actually cringe at them. Sometimes getting "cutesy" invitations out is enough to freeze me into not even doing a party at all! So acknowledging this about myself, I decided to just not care about what anyone else would think or say and do what I was comfortable with. So I typed up a very simple invite on microsoft word, printed it out 4 to a page, cut them out and stuck them in an envelope. That's it. It was totally lame, but it got the information out and that's all that I needed. They just played a bunch of different games and had a dance party. I made a bunch of individual pizza crusts and they all got to add their own sauce, cheese, and toppings. Then they played some more and came back for donuts. That's what they wanted as a birthday treat instead of cake. Then they played some more until parents came back to get them. Everything went really great and even though we hardly ever do birthday parties (I think Tyler had one when he was 4, and that's all we've ever done haha!) it's so fun to celebrate birthdays with friends!

Party prep

making their own pizzas

Such a cute bunch of kids. L to R: Scott, Tyler, Allison, Daphne, Mia (in the back, then Bryn, Emily, Madison and Cate

We specifically asked for no gifts, but one little girl decided against it anyway. Brynlee was not upset about that at all. ;)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

My Birthday and a Family Presentation

On Wednesday the 4th I turned 28!! It was a pretty ordinary day of school, cleaning, and Ty and Bryn had their Mat-Su classes. That night we had dinner early and I took the kids with me to the church at 6 for a Pack Meeting. My first one for scouts :). Kenny came and met us at the church and took the kids back home and got them bathed. When I came home we had some brownies and ice cream! The kids were SO sweet in trying to make it a special day for me. They would keep reminding each other, "remember we're trying to be good for mom today?!" Not only that but they wanted to surprise me and cleaned the whole upstairs, and made some cards for me. It was really so sweet. I sure love their little efforts to let me know that they love me. I'm pretty sure I have the best kids in the world. No bias here ;). I have so much to be thankful for and a birthday is a great time to reflect on that. 

On Thursday at CC we were in charge of doing the opening stuff. Tyler said the prayer, and we had to come up with some kind of family presentation to help everybody get to know us better. Everyone's done something different throughout the year and it's a great way to get to know each other better. We came up with a fun little "rap" that we recited. It was very well received! And we had a great time making it up. Brynlee and Madison were a lot quieter while presenting than they were while practicing at home, their nerves got the better of them. But they still did it and I'm pretty sure everyone could hear at least most of it. Tyler was very helpful in coming up with what to say, and even wrote his own section. Here's what we said...

We are the Weston Family and we are strong!
We’ve been in Alaska for 3 years which isn’t very long.
We’re going to introduce ourselves one by one.
We hope you can hang in there till our rap is done.

Daddy is the captain of our family,
He works at Conoco Phillips and his name is Kenny.
Lindsay is the mom, I like to read and bake and such
But with 5 kids in 7 years there isn’t time for much!

T is for Tyler, and that is me
I love wild animals and my family.
I love world history ‘cause it’s really cool,
I play soccer and the piano, like a fool.

I’m 6 year old Brynlee Weston if you please,
I eat all of my vegetables except for peas.
I am a crazy gymnast and I like to read,
Music and movement is all I need.

My name is Madison and I’m 4 years old
I love to go hiking except for when it’s cold.
I help my mommy in the kitchen all the day,
Coloring and dress-ups is my favorite way to play.

I am Kelsey and I’m almost 3,
Play-doh and painting makes me so happy.
Briggs is the last, but not the least
He’s a 6 month old cutie and he loves to feast. J

We’re thankful to be Americans in the land of the free,
We believe in God and eternal family.
We’re happy to be in on this CC fun,

And you’ll be glad to hear that our rap is DONE!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Courageous Boy

Today Tyler had an appointment. He has had some penile adhesion from his circumcision ever since he was an infant. But every time I asked a doctor about it every single year at his well-check ups, they all just briefly glanced and said "Oh he'll grow out of it, that's totally normal." But it wasn't normal, and Kenny told me we needed to get him in. Anyway, I don't want to delve too much into the details. But it was a painful thing for him. He told me he's never felt so much pain in his whole life. He was so brave though, and I held his hand so he could squeeze it hard. After the doctor left the room he said, "I know this might be weird but I just kept thinking about Joseph Smith and how he was about my age when he had something much worse happen to him. So I knew that if he could do it, then so could I." My heart swelled. I bent over and kissed him on the head. I was so happy that he was able to draw upon stories of courage from such incredible examples during that time. That's WHY we tell stories like that to our kids. That's why we study the lives of great men and women who have gone before us. So we can learn from their lives, and emulate them. I hope he always thinks to look to his great heroes and that he can draw strength from them. I am so proud of the young man Tyler is, and I just love being his mother. He teaches me so much.

A Personal Day and a Late Night Show

A couple weeks ago I told Kenny that I was requesting some time off, I needed to take a personal day. :) Sometimes I just like to be alone with my thoughts. Most days I feel like I can't even think because I'm interrupted so much. Not that it's a bad thing to be with them all day, but I just felt the need for quiet--a little breathing room. So Saturday morning after making breakfast and starting some laundry I left them in the very capable hands of their father, and drove to Anchorage. I really needed a new pair of jeans. My favorite pair has a huge hole in the knee and looks so trashy. So I went and got another pair, the exact same one, just a different wash. Also did some shopping for the 3 kids' birthdays coming up. I went out to lunch at the Pita Pit, stopped at the library and looked at books for myself. Then I ended my outing with a big trip to Costco to re-stock our house. After our financial fast I felt like we were like Dr. Seuss' Who's, down to "the last can of who-hash". :) So I didn't do anything too fun or exciting with my day. But I didn't need to. I just wanted to go shopping and not have it be so gosh darn hard. The kids had a really fun time with daddy. He let them do "experiment cooking" which they always want to do with me and I never let them. I generally believe in following recipes and I don't like wasting ingredients. Thankfully Kenny is much more creative-minded then me and has fond memories doing "cooking experiments" growing up. So they all made some sort bread-type thing and ate it for lunch. That night we roasted hot dogs for dinner. It was so cold we couldn't eat outside, but it was a fun change with very little clean up! 

 We play lots and lots of card games. These kids are pretty into games. A few favorites lately are: Go Fish, War, Uno, and Sleeping Queens.

 I took this picture of his hand to remember his little scratching habit. He is always feeling textures this way. A lot of times he will wake up and before he ever makes a sound I know he's awake because he'll start scratching the sheet. He's getting quite a good grip, much to the dismay of his sisters with their long, grab-able hair! (of course that's a word!) I love the face grabs though, it's so sweet, and sometimes painful haha.

Briggs had his first tooth break through on the bottom! The one right next to it is also coming in. Just ask me how much I love teething?! He's got a really runny nose, but thankfully no fever associated with it. But the congestion makes eating and sleeping more difficult of course. Not to mention the pain of teething. But we're getting through :). He's still so stinkin cute we can hardly stand it!

Yesterday after church Tyler had his interview with the Bishop for his baptism coming up. We have been focusing our family home evening lessons on preparing him for being baptized. It's been great to have those teaching moments and discussions in our home. Not just for him, but for all the kids. He was a little nervous going in, knowing we weren't going to be with him. But he did great and the bishop said he knew he was ready.

Last night I had a feeling it was going to be a good night for the Aurora Borealis since the sky was so clear. We kept looking out the window but couldn't see any lights. So I told the kids to go to bed and promised to wake them up if I saw them. Sure enough, around 10:00 there's some green bands so Kenny and I ran upstairs and woke up Ty and Bryn and we watched them out Ty's window for a while. It was Brynlee's first time ever seeing the Northern Lights so she was so excited. They both were, it's pretty fun. They were dancing and moving around in the sky. We thought we'd get an even better view if we drove out of town. So I got in the car with T & B and we drove. Unfortunately they started fading and by the time we got to a great clearing, they were gone. I'm sure they came back later that night but we went home and went to bed. It was a fun time with them and something I hope they'll remember. They thought it was so special to be up so late and doing something so out of the ordinary. Tyler said, "We're probably the only ones in the whole city still awake right now!" haha. yeah it was only 10 p.m. And then we drove way too close to a moose standing just off the side of the road and it freaked me out. Glad we didn't have a collision.