Monday, October 25, 2010

It's a . . .

Baby! In case you haven't heard: we're expecting baby No. 3 at the Weston residence and today I had my 20-week ultrasound. Everything looked great, so I'm very happy about that.



Here's a great shot of the gender. Check the next photo if you're still confused.


:) Mark and I couldn't be more excited (or more surprised!).


And he's already flexing his muscles, explaining why I've been able to feel him since 12 weeks. I'm not looking forward to the 3rd trimester when his kicks and punches will actually hurt!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Miss Sanpete County

(from left to right: me, my sisters Ariel, Deanna, Alexis, and Mandie)

I'm so excited for my sister Ariel. She was crowned Miss Sanpete over the weekend and will compete in Miss Utah next year!
Because of the way things worked out, both she and my sister Deanna competed at the same time. (Ariel won Miss Manti in 2009 and had to finish her year of service before competing in Miss Sanpete, however Deanna competed for Miss Manti earlier this year and won first attendant so she didn't have to wait a year before going to Miss Sanpete). Anyway out of the eleven girls Deanna was one of the six who didn't make it to the royalty (even though I think she did an awesome job!) She was a good sport about it though and plans to do Miss Manti again next year. Go D! And as for Ariel, I wish her the best of luck this coming year.

And just as a side note, I was also "Miss Sanpete" once upon a time (in 2001) so it's fun to share that with Ariel. I would include a picture from my younger days, but they are all in storage at the moment. So we'll just have to go without.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Regret

I should be posting about our new home, or our adventures in Manti but I feel like this instead:
It took ages to grow out Millie's hair (after she took scissors to it). But then she started begging me to cut it short every time I gave Ivy a trim. So one night I gave in and chopped it off.


I've regretted it ever since.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sneak Peek

We have to be out of our house this Saturday. It came so fast! I'm frantically trying to pack everything up by myself while playing single mom to two needy girls and it's not much fun. I know it will all be over soon enough. And Mark, bless his heart, is working himself to death trying to get our rental home finished. It won't be ready by this weekend, but we don't want to be homeless any longer than we have to be, so work he must. Here's a sneak peek at where we will be living for the next year or so . . . more pictures to come.



I was so excited when I saw the home had peonies! The girls and I brought some home as soon as they bloomed.

And these wild poppies just started growing behind our (current) home this year. Poppies and peonies are my favorite flowers, so I had to include this shot.
It may be while before I'm able to post again, but I'll do my best.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Face Paint and Piccadillies

I took the girls down to Manti over Memorial Day Weekend. We go every year for the Scandinavian Festival. Mark usually joins us, but this year he was too busy fixing up a rental home so we have somewhere to live in a few weeks.

Millie and Ivy were so excited to collect candy at the parade (or at least Millie was). My sister Deanna was on the Miss Manti float. Millie told me that when she grows up she wants to be "First Attendent" and be in a parade. It was so cute.

And here's the famous "First Attendant" after the parade chowing down on Sanpete barbecue turkey and piccadillies -- so good!


Vikings are also a favorite at the festival. Here Marie (a foreign exchange student from Germany who has lived with my family for the past 5 months) poses with one.


My mom took Millie to get her face painted at one of the booths.


She was on cloud nine. Thanks mom.


Sunday morning we took a trip to the Manti Cemetery. Millie was so excited to see where her great-grandfather is buried.


We also visited my friend Emily's grave. It's such a pretty headstone with her signature on one side and her photo on the other. The visit brought back sad memories but it was nice to have my daughters there with me.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Awesome Sisters

Last month I spent a weekend in Manti. My sister Mandie graduated from Utah State University through its extension program in Ephraim.

Here's the graduate with her husband Danny. Way to go Mando.



Then the next night I went to see my sister Deanna (right) compete in the Miss Manti Pageant and my sister Ariel (left) give up her crown (she was last year's winner).
Deanna was awesome and won first attendant. Now she and Ariel will compete together in Miss Sanpete this fall.


And here's the ritual sibling group shot.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Please Take Note: Always Bring a Tote." - Fancy Nancy

Yes, I know Earth Day month is long since gone but I was too busy with my last week of teaching preschool and getting the house up for sale, to blog. But as most all of us are frequent visitors of the supermarket, this topic extends past the month of April.


These are my grocery bags and I absolutely love them! Not only do they keep hundreds (if not thousands) of plastic bags out of the landfill (and out of my pantry) but they are also far more effective at getting my groceries from the grocery cart to the trunk of my car and from the trunk to my kitchen counter top, in fewer trips, and with greater ease and comfort . . . love them!

I also went one step further and purchased my own produce bags as I have started buying more and more produce in an effort to feed my family healthier meals. However a word of caution when buying produce: USDA Certified Organic is always better for the environment and your health than non-organic, but not always realistic when it comes to the pocketbook. In this case I refer to the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists. (Click here to download your own list.) Pesticides were recently link to ADHD in the news, but I have no doubt they contribute to a plethora of maladies and are best to be avoided. And sure Organic foods are more expensive than non-organic but look at it this way: For every dollar you save when buying non-organic (and processed foods for that matter) you will pay later in medical care and sick-leave. So invest the money in good food and save yourself the trouble and the heartache of poor health.

Why Green?
For many people I think the concept of “Going Green” appears to be a fad, or a trend. And I must admit that I purchased my canvas grocery totes (years ago), after watching an environmentally- conscious episode of Oprah, but it has always been an interest of mine. As a girl I remember wishing my hometown would start a recycling program. All these years later that has yet to happen and it breaks my heart because “Going Green” is not about being trendy, but about being responsible consumers of this planet! And it is my belief that the Earth, in some way we cannot fully comprehend, feels pain (Moses 7:48). And while I know my efforts will make little difference and the Earth will most likely fall into ruin before the second coming of the Savior, I don’t want to be found guilty of it on judgment day. So whether it’s trend or conscience that motivates us, we’d all do well to observe the words of Fancy Nancy and remember that “Every day is Earth Day.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For Sale

Our house is officially up for sale. The sign has been up for an entire day now and we've already had two calls on it. Woohoo! We'll see if anything comes of either. In the meantime feel free to browse the awesome house pictures my friend Jenny took for us and pass along the following blog address to anyone who may be looking for a home in the Logan/Cache Valley area: www.westonhome-riverheights.blogspot.com.

And in case you're wondering; we won't be moving far. Mark's father owns another lot in our ward where we plan to build next. Wish us luck.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"The Green Book"

I recently picked up "The Green Book" from Kohl's. It was $5 and touted a "New York Times Bestseller" label. I'm always looking for more ways to live an environmentally-friendly life, so I thought I'd give it a read.

The book is full of small things the average American can do to have less of a negative impact on the planet. It's a bit redundant from chapter to chapter, but I guess that way the reader can pick and choose which topics to read about and apply it elsewhere if they feel so inclined. I especially enjoyed the letters from celebrities at the beginning of each chapter. And while I didn't agree with everything the book suggests (cooking exclusively in your microwave for a year may use less energy than using a conventional oven but it could be detrimental to your health and frequently substituting beef with soy may cut back on the water used to raise cattle but unfermented soy is both extremely estrogenic and most often a dangerous Roundup ready GMO) I still found a lot of ways I can improve at becoming "green".


A few of my efforts now include: trying to use less water by turning off the faucet while I scrub my hands then turning it back on with my wrist to rinse (of course this isn't possible on all faucets), I no longer let my car idol when I pick up Millie from preschool, and I now unplug the surge protectors in the office and theater room every night before going to bed (even if something is turned off it still uses energy if it is plugged in and it all adds up to an enormous amount of wasted resources).

But the biggest thing I took away from this book was a heightened awareness of everything I waste. Paper, plastic, food, water, energy, money . . . waste, waste, waste. We need so little in this life to be happy. And all this STUFF we think "adds" to our life, often times merely makes life more complicated. And while I'm still inherently greedy and selfish, I am trying to be better and that's all I (or any of us) can do.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Green" Eggs

In honor of "Earth Day" month (yes, it is still April even if we have a fresh foot of snow here in Cache Valley) I am going to try to post about ways in which I am trying to "go green" and why.

We have recently started buying our eggs from a local farmer who raises "happy" free-range chickens. My grandma Nora always had chickens, so it has been really fun to expose my girls to a great part of my childhood. Millie and Ivy love our trips out to the farm and we usually end up spending half an hour (or longer) out there.

Now if you're wondering how this is considered going "green" all you need to do is watch Food, Inc. and you will understand how much better a sustainable farm is for the environment in comparison with the disgusting conditions factory-farmed chickens are raised. (Please at least watch the Food, Inc. trailer it's really good.) And not only is my decision better for the environment but it is also better for my health and that of my family's. Organic free-range eggs are higher in vitamins, lower in cholesterol and never contaminated with salmonella. Salmonella-contaminated eggs come from sick chickens, and sick chickens come from factories. And when it comes to "going green" it is always better to buy locally! Oh, and please don't be fooled by the eggs in the grocery store that read "Free-range" or "Cage-free"; they are not any "greener" than the white eggs!

Another highlight of our trips is the dog! Millie loves Quincy (Protector of the Chickens). His owner, Barbie, has been teaching Millie how to be a dog trainer. However Ivy was jealous there weren't any doggie treats for her!

Anyway, I get warm fuzzies when I do my part to "go green". Not only am I doing my part to teach my children but we're making great memories while doing it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Trying to Simplify

My life has been a little stressful lately. And when I'm stressed I get cold sores. The holidays were the worst and in the month of December alone, I had more cold sores than I'd had in the previous 5 years combine! (I've only had one this month, so I guess I should be happy about that.) And on top of the cold sores I have a new ailment that shows up at the first sign of stress: intense upper back pain. It's awful. So now that I'm in the Primary presidency and after having two miscarriages I'm doing my best to scale back and reduce unnecessary stress wherever I can. I came across this list the other day (I did not write it myself!) and thought some of you might benefit from it as well. My lack of blogging helps with numbers 3, 4, 27, and 32. Enjoy and simplify :)

  1. Turn off your cell phone.

  2. Process email only twice a day.

  3. Go to bed early.

  4. Get rid of (or at least reduce) commitments that you do out of obligation.

  5. Create a weekly meal plan.

  6. Automate your finances.

  7. Purge as much unneeded clutter as possible.

  8. Keep your paper shredder on top of your recycling bin.

  9. Add items you want to a wish list as you think of them.

  10. Get a label maker or write labels out by hand.

  11. Set your clothes out for the next day the night before.

  12. Make your lunch for the next day the night before.

  13. Make time to catch up with an old friend.

  14. Just say no.

  15. Ask for experiences not things for your birthday and Christmas this year.

  16. Tell the truth.

  17. Keep your list of addresses and phone numbers up to date.

  18. Consolidate debt.

  19. Create an organizing system that works for you.

  20. Keep a bag for garbage in your car.

  21. Carry a notebook and pen with you where ever you go.

  22. Unsubscribe from emails, newsletters or RSS feeds that don’t provide value anymore.

  23. Apologize immediately when you realize you’ve done wrong.

  24. Enjoy the present moment as much as you can.

  25. Take time to really see the little things in life.

  26. Reduce the amount of TV you watch.

  27. Get outside.

  28. Create morning, daytime, and evening routines.

  29. Ask for help.

  30. Do things at home as much as possible (eat, date nights, entertain etc.).

  31. Don’t get caught up in other people’s drama.

  32. Let go of the self-imposed need to be perfect.

  33. Focus on a simple, but healthy, eating plan.

  34. Share responsibilities.

  35. Reduce your wardrobe to a few versatile items.

  36. Be positive.

  37. Start a gratitude journal.

  38. Finish old tasks before taking on new ones.

  39. For every new item that enters your home set two free.

  40. Want what you have not what you don’t.

  41. Revisit what you carry with you in your purse or wallet.

  42. Focus on one thing at a time.

  43. Store new garbage bags at the bottom of your garbage can.

List taken from Zen Family Habits.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

He's Done it Again

I got an early Valentine's present from Mark this week: A new desk for our home office! (Which of course, he built himself.)
I didn't take a "before" picture of the office, but believe me when I say it was hideous. I am now enjoying computer-time just that much more. Thanks Mark.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

. . . the darnedest things

Last night during family prayers, Millie prayed, ". . . and please bless me to always be beautiful." I tried not to laugh at her vanity, but I couldn't help it!

And here's Ivy with another funny:
video

Friday, January 22, 2010

The 4-year-olds' Circus

We just finished hosting another week of preschool at our house. Where we learned all about the circus.
Complete with a big top tent over the table.
On the last day the kids got to pretend to be in a circus. I had these pictures taped around the room and at each station they got to perform a different circus "act": jumping through a "flaming" hula-hoop, walking a tightrope of tape, juggling scarves, making human letters (below), and tying balloons. It was great fun. And feel free to comment on my remarkable Crayola coloring skills. (My hand ached when I was finished!) And if you likey, visit freecoloring.org.
And although I did not come up with many of the ideas on my own, I'm still very proud of myself for successfully replicating them. Now I only have 3 more turns to go.
Below is a video of the juggling act. It doesn't take much to entertain six 4-year-olds.

video
It was my mother-in-law's birthday on Wednesday and we partied in the snow. Well, everyone but me who didn't bring snow boots. So I played photographer from the sidelines and experimented with my camera's black and white setting. (That's Mark lying in the snow, by the way.)
After the snowman was (painstakingly) built by Trent. We all went inside to warm up with treats and karaoke.
Millie's Uncle Trent treated her to her very first snowball fight. It was pretty funny watching her wait her turn to take a hit. Enjoy!
video

Homecoming

Three cheers for me! I have reached my 100th post! But this post isn't about me, so I'll move on.
Mark's youngest brother, Trent, returned from serving in the Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh mission last week. And we all went to the airport to welcome him home.
We got there pretty early and the kids were getting a little restless by time Elder Weston finally appeared on the escalator. Luckily Mark's a good sport.
The posters were Barbara's idea and she supplied all the grandchildren with poster boards. I hope Trent appreciates all the effort that went into those things :)
Afterward we all drove to Brigham City and had dinner at Maddox. After the meal Trent posed with all his nieces and nephews (minus Cooper who lives in Georgia) for a picture. Ivy was only six weeks old when he left. It's crazy how fast two years can pass.