Monday, December 29, 2008

Gift Idea or Simply Family History

I saw on a friend's blog quite some time ago that it was possible to make your blog into a book. I checked out the website and decided to do it as Christmas gifts for mine and Kris' grandparents. They are absolutely wonderful becuase they allow me the opportunity to keep family stories over the past year. The books I made for our grandparents only went up to October, but I'm going to finish the book through this year and create a new book each year. They're fantastic!

The website is You download their book making program, upload your blog, then re-design the pages. It took me two months to do a year's worth of posts, but well worth the time and effort.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

21" is not the White Christmas I was Dreaming Of

Christmas was crazy this year. By evening time on Christmas Day we had 21". We measured an untouched part of the sidewalk and the reading was loud and clear. In places with snow drifts from the wind it was much higher. Then of course, the snowplows pile up the snow and to try and get into the driveway was up to the thigh. The top picture is the side of our yard. If you look closely, you can see the top of our picket fence. And our neighbor's roof gives a semi-good idea of what is there. We shoveled so much the next few days that both of us had sore backs and arms. I don't think I've ever lifted so much snow in my life. I'm so glad the storm only lasted until the next day.

Besides digging ourselves in or out of our house, Christmas was a great day. My parents came over early in the morning and watched Kyson open his presents. He got a few things from Santa and a few from us. His favorite things were the books he got and his "Little People" farm. Santa brought him little missionaries to put in his stocking and he keeps having the missionaries drive the tractor to his farm. It's pretty cute.

After Kyson went through his presents at the house, we went to my sister's house and had breakfast, watched a video of when they swam with the dolphins in Mexico, and opened a few presents. It was fantastic. After my sister's house, we moved on to my parents.

My parents nearly brought me to tears with their gift. There was a card that said, "Christmas comes but once a year, so enjoy each other all year long on a monthly date." With the card was gift cards to 12 different restaurants including: Olive Garden, Appleby's, Madeline's Steak House, Chili's, and many other places. What a perfect gift. It doesn't take up space, it doesn't need to be returned, it's practical, and it gives us an opportunity to spend time together all year long without the stress of money. It was absolutely perfect!!! We had a wonderful dinner and just sat around enjoying the time we had together.

Late that evening after Kyson had a nap, we visited Kris' parents and brother. We couldn't stay very late because it was starting to snow again and we didn't want to get caught in a storm. After such a full day, Kyson was exhausted, but I think that he really enjoyed his 2nd Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Kyson's Stats

Well, we recently took Kyson for his 18 month checkup. I didn't know that he was supposed to have a checkup at 18 months, so he got a 20 month checkup - he's fantastic. He is still dropping slightly on his weight percentage, but, the doctor said it looks like he's leveling out and that is a good thing. Here are some stats for you:

Birth 9 lbs, 5 oz 74%
January 20 lbs, 8 oz 66%
(problems with eating began)
Current 25 lbs, 3 oz 37%

So as you can see, he's dropped significantly. Height and head size have remained pretty consistent.

Birth 22" 90%
Current 35.5" 92%

Head Circumference:
Birth 14" 25%
Current 18" 23%

So basically, looking at his stats, Kyson is really tall, really skinny, and has a small head. Most importantly, however, is that he is healthy and we're so glad to have him in our lives.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More Festivities

This weekend we went to three parties. While I love all of the parties and the chance to see family and friends, it will be nice when life calms down and We're not booked with something everyday. I think poor Kyson is feeling the brunt of it more than anyone.

Thursday night, my grandmother from New Hampshire flew in. I ran over to see her briefly on my way home from work, but we planned to get togehter for dinner on Friday. I love it when she comes into town. I fear that this may be the last time that I get to see her becuase it's getting hard for her to travel so far. She turned 90 in June. It's also hard for us to get to New Hampshire when we're just the Average Joe middle-class working family. Travel is expensive, and it's difficult to get a day off. We're just so glad to have her here and I can't wait to spend quality time with her.

Saturday was a birthday party for my grandfather. He has been in a home for a while after an accident that broke his leg and eventually led to a hip replacement. He's confined to a wheelchair right now. My mother put in a lot of time planning the party for her father. I heard there was quite the turnout at the beginning becuase it was a surprise party. We put Kyson down for a nap around noon, and finally had to wake him up at 3:30. We made it to the party, but missed a lot of the guests. The most important gues was still there though - my grandpa. I'm so lucky to have two grandparents make it to that amazing age. I only hope they can hold on to see all my children, when we eventually have more.

After the birthday party, we went to Kris' step brother's and sisters' Christmas party. This year is the first time for as long as I can remember when everyone who lives in the state was there. Even Christopher, who lives in Cedar City, came. They called their sister, Angy, who lives in Rhode Island and to hear all of her family brought her to tears. All the children put on a little skit where they acted out the Baby Jesus story. They were dressed as Mary, Joseph, wisemen, shepherds and who could forget the Inn Keeper. It was absolutely adorable. It was good times for everyone. We didn't get home until 11:00 and Kyson was so tired.

Next in our Party Marathon was the birthday party of our nephew Blake. He turned two on Saturday. We came earlier than everyone else becuase Kris needed to get home to prepare for work. I also had papers to grade. Blake liked our present, but we think his little brother, Colin, likes it more. Kyson picked it out and I was concerned he wouldn't give it up willingly.

Overall, it's been an exhausting week, but I'm so glad that we'll be able to settle down soon. Thursday we will celebrate the birth of our Savior and exeplify the wisemen by giving gifts to one another to show how much we care and honor those in our lives. I can't wait - even though I'm still not ready.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Festivities Begin

This weekend is our second weekend filled with an obligation. We don't have a single Friday or Saturday night free in the month of December, but hey, it keeps us young - right?! Friday night we got together with the families of all those with whom I teach at La Europa. It's so nice knowing the spouses of the teachers, so when we have opportunities to get together, I feel weird and out of place. I really enjoy my coworkers and I'm so glad I have them to get me through those tough days when I hate my job. (We all have those days).

Saturday, we were supposed to go to see the lights at Temple Square with all of Kris's family, but plans changed. There was a big storm Saturday, I thought maybe we should cancel, but then it cleared up and I was relieved that we'd be able to make it considering this was our only chance to go this year. Rusty and Amy's kids have been sick and they didn't want to have them outside for an extended period of time - makes sense. Instead, we went to Carl's Junior and enjoyed the large playland. Kyson didn't care for the slide too much for some reason. He was crying so loud that it sounded like he was crying into a mega- phone. Amy and I were the freaky parents who were climbing in the playland even though we're more than 4 feet tall. Amy said she's really only 10, just had a growth spurt at 10. Nice try Amy, I know you're as old as me. Amy managed to climb all the way to the top to help the kids go down the slide. I waited at the bottom of the slide to help them. It was pretty entertaining to watch them. Especially when Kris's mom climbed inside to play with them too. I'm surprised we didn't get kicked out. I think they should build an adult playland at restaurants. Who's with me?

After the playland, we went to Rusty and Amy's. We were going to have an indoor snowball fight, but it was getting late and I was the party pooper who said we couldn't stay. The kids all really enjoyed playing with the toys.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Poor Franni Faye

This weekend, Franni was spayed. When we brought her home, it was obvious that she was in a lot of pain and still doped up with the anesthesia. At the vet, they told us that she needed to stay indoors for 24 hours, no activity for 10 days including going up and down stairs, and to have her eat and drink when she got home. That night she wouldn't eat or drink and she seemed just miserable.

By morning, you'd never guess she had surgery. She was bouncing off the walls and wanting to play. We took her to my parent's house while we went to church because she needed to stay indoors, and all she wanted to do was play with my parent's dogs. Now she wants to play in the snow and she's not supposed to get wet for 10 days either.

What a resilient puppy.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Kelley's Birthday, Kyson's New Skills, and Happy Christmas to Us

This weekend we went to Kelley's birthday party. She turned 15 and it's surprising how quickly she's grown up. We had cake and ice cream and an opportunity to talk It's nice that we've had so many opportunities to get together this month. With Chelsie's birthday, Thanksgiving, and Kelley's birthday, we've had 3 chances between the month! Family is so wonderful and I can't imagine how empty my life would be without my family.

Along with Kelley's birthday, we did a little early Christmas gift for ourselves as well. On Black Friday, you know how there are killer deals, well, we bought a rotating can thingy. We've been wanting to buy one for some time to encourage us to do a food storage. It was on sale for about $200 off, so we took advantage of it. That night, I was so excited, we rearranged the pantry, and put it in there. It's beautiful, but has shown us how little food we have in storage. Hey, we have room for the storage now though! The picture doesn't do it justice. I couldn't fit it all in the picture becuase of the wall.

While we were cleaning out the pantry, Kyson found the plunger. he looks like a natural carrying it around. Who knows, maybe he'll grow up to be a plumber. I hear they make pretty good money.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Buon Giorno di Ringraziamento

This year for Thanks-giving, I hosted dinner for my first time ever. I made the turkey and everything! I was terrified all month of making this dinner work and having enough room for everyone, but it turned out so wonderfully. From the pictures, the table may look small, but it's actually quite large. The table is 7.5 feet long and 5 feet wide. We comfortably fit 11 people around it.

I had the honor of cooking the turkey for the family and because it was my first time, everyone told me to give it a lot of extra time. I had a 23 lb turkey to cook and the packaging said it would take 5.5-6 hours to cook. Because we were to eat at 12:30, I got up at 5:30 to make the turkey. I used a table top oven to free up my regular oven and the turkey was finished by 10:00. My dad even commented on how good and juicy it was - wow, that made me feel good.

After dinner we sat around, talked, cleaned up some stuff and enjoyed Kyson's entertainment. My dad bonded with Franni as well. Unfortunately, my sister and her family had to leave by 3:00 because Bill's kids had another Thanksgiving to go to. They even missed pie, and we had pumpkin, apple, banana cream, chocolate, and an oreo icecream pie! They truly missed out! Overall, it was a wonderful day and I'm so grateful for the time I have with my family.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kyson's Big Turnaround

Because I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, you'd think I'd have some big news, and well - I do. As you know, Kyson has had trouble with his eating for a long time now. Well, those problems seem to be ending. In the last week Kyson has eaten pizza, spaghetti, rice with vegetables and ham, lasagna, and he ate his first Kid's Meal at Village Inn. It was chicken nuggets and I only wish I could have pictures of the event. It has been awesome watching him try new things, and then of course the best part, not throwing it up. I will admit Kyson has thrown up the last two days, but it was hours after eating. I believe it's asthma, but only have Kris' behavior to make my diagnosis. I'm just so thankful that he's doing so much better. He's also gaining weight and most of his pants stay on without his belt now!

Also this week as my niece's birthday. Chelsie turned 17 on Monday and wow, it's weird to think that she's so grown up. She was so generous with letting Kyson sit on her lap while she opened presents. What a nice cousin.

The last bit of great news was the BYU/Utah game ended superbly. It's weird though, because I've never felt sorry for BYU before, but Saturday's game was actually brought out that emotion in me. It's funny, we had a BBQ planned with family to watch the game and a half hour before the game began, the cable went out in the entire city. We ended up missing nearly the entire first half. What we saw was good though. GO UTES!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Family Time is a Great Stress Relief

With all the events that have recently happened, our family needed some down time. When Motown passed away, it happened to be the same week as the end of the quarter at one school, the end of the quarter at the other school the following week, and parent teacher conferences. I was a mess dealing with the emotional stress and the worry of getting grades done by the deadline. While we were out of town for the funeral, Kris was entering grades in for me, and I was doing grades every moment I had. We even bought a car power supply for my computer so I could work in the car on the way back. It was an awful time.

Fortunately, I survived and we decided to have some family time to try and just enjoy one another without the stresses that we had been dealing with. Last Friday, we went to the Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum. It is full of animals that are stuffed and had been donated by different people. Kyson absolutely loves animals and we thought he might really enjoy it.

It was so fun to listen to him walk up to animals and say,"Oh," and "Wow!" He loved the tiger and the bears especially. For anyone looking for a great family activity, I'd recommend this museum. It's on the BYU campus and it's free. It's a pretty impressive museum and Kyson loved it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Motown

February 25, 1923 - October 29, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, Kris and I decided we should go to visit his grandparents in Vernal. We were going to go today because I had the day off. The weekend before last, Motown (Kris' nickname for his grandfather) got pneumonia and we started praying to know if we needed to go earlier. Last Tuesday, Kris called me at work. I had been there for two hours and Kris said,"Kelli, we need to go sooner." I didn't question him at all, but asked if I needed to take the next day off. He said, "No, we need to go now." I raced home and we left immediately for Vernal. We spent the day there and came back that evening.

The next morning, Motown passed away. The last couple of years, Motown was developing Alzheimer's and was beginning to forget things. In May, the family put him in a nursing home because Kris' grand- mother couldn't take care of him by herself any more. While Motown faded quickly, the sickness at the end is not what Kris will remember about him. It is the fun-loving man that his grandfather was. He loved children, animals, hunting, and getting into trouble. He loved to tease his grandchildren, scare his great-grandchildren and was a perfect example of hard work. Kris said that he learned how to work from his grandfather. He continually encouraged every one he knew to stay out of debt, to have a food storage and be prepared. These are just a few of the things Kris remembers so fondly about his dear grandfather.

We've been in and out of town a lot the last week and a half and for that reason, I haven't posted this earlier. Over the weekend, we were in Vernal seeing family and celebrating the life of Clifford Zufelt. He served in World War II in the Battle of the Bulge and loved telling his war stories. At the funeral, they honored him with the military rights, and it was a really emotional thing to watch them take the American flag that laid on his casket, fold it gently, and present it to his loving wife of 63 years. The bugle played "Taps" and what a beautiful thing it was to listen to.

Kris and I will miss having Motown in our lives, teasing, scaring, and above all, being an example for us and our son.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

It was Kyson's 2nd Halloween, and still he doesn't care about dressing up or the candy that he gets from strangers. There is no other day in the year when people can dress up like idiots and ring people's doorbells asking for candy. Someday he'll understand how glorious this idea is. We went to a few people's houses: each of our parents' and our siblings'. We only have one sibling each, so it was a total of 4 houses. But those 4 houses with drive time and short visits took nearly three hours. Because we didn't get back until 8:00, the 5 neighbors we wanted to visit had their lights off. When we came back and turned on our porch light, we only had 3 groups of trick-or-treaters. Needless to say, we'll be munching on candy for some time because we didn't give hardly any out and we bought a ton.

Kyson was a hit with the family. My sister nearly peed her pants when she saw him. The pictures of his really don't do justice. At Rusty and Amy's house it was difficult to get pictures of everyone. Collin was Yoda, Avery was a Jedi, and Blake wouldn't dress up. I tried to get a good picture of Avery, but he kept putting his light saber in front of his face.