Monday, April 28, 2008

Family Gathering

My brother Scott was able to come home this past weekend from military training in Washington for a few days to bless his new baby Ethan. Ethan is only 2 weeks old, but it was the only chance Scott had to visit before he is being deployed to Afghanistan.
Saturday we had a large family party (weinie roast) at my parent's garden with the Lalliss side of the family. It was a lot of fun and the weather was beautiful, but Scott couldn't stay for long and his wife Kelly and their new baby weren't able to attend.
Sunday (April 27th) was the day of the blessing. Sacrament meeting was great, but pretty emotional for me. It was really cool during Scott's testimony when he talked about his battalion and how many of the men are members of the LDS church. It comforts me a little that he will have a strong priesthood presence around him while he is out serving our country. He also made an excellent point that all the LDS military men out there are bringing the gospel and priesthood in an area that hasn't had that for a long time.
Scott had to fly out shortly after the blessing. We don't know exactly when he is leaving for Afghanistan (there is a lot of stuff he can't tell us because it's "classified"), but we know it's soon. My brother is so awesome, and I know he will make us proud. We love you Scott, and we will watch over your beautiful wife and kids while you are gone.
Here is Scott's family picture- Kelly, Ethan, Addie, and Scott.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Alexa's Birthday

This weekend we were able to celebrate Alexa's 11th birthday (I can't believe I have a daughter that is almost a teenager; Kenn says it's because I am getting so old).
Saturday we had a ice skating party at the South Davis Rec Center, followed by cake, ice cream, and lots of presents.
Here's the girls that went ice skatings- Tessa, Rachel B, Jolene, Hadley, Audrey, Alexa, Molly, Sharise, Sky, Rachel J, and Tori.

Later that evening we had our traditional birthday dinner at Red Robin, including their delicious mud pie for dessert.

Enjoying dinner at Red Robin.

One dessert, six people- gone in 60 seconds!

Sunday we had dinner with my parents, Kenn's dad and brother, and Grammy Johnson. Luckily the new chicken fettuccine alfredo recipe worked out and no one went hungry.
Alexa got way too many presents as usual including Hannah Montana CD and DVD, money, gift cards, a new bag for her softball stuff, toys, books, etc. I don't remember getting even half the amount of presents when I was Alexa's age. It was like Christmas in April.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Announcing Our Newest Family Member....

After 3 years of promising the kids a dog, we finally brought home our new puppy this last week. We are still debating on a name- Tazer or Napoleon, but he answers to almost anything the kids call him (I prefer Tazer). Tazer is a male purebred toy poodle, born in January and currently weighs 3 lbs.
Our house is now fully converted to a puppy palace with food, toys, a kennel, and even a fenced off area in our living room. Of course the empty promises of the kids taking care of the dog lasted less than a day.
Kenn isn't super excited with the situation of a new pet (between driving a minivan, being a stay at home dad, and now owning a toy poodle, I think Kenn's manhood is being tested), but we are having fun with the new puppy anyway.
Tazer is mostly potty trained, but we are getting good at finding little presents left by him in the house. Our puppy also wakes up at 6:00 AM every morning whining to be taken outside (somehow I am always the one getting up with him). So if anyone is up at that time and in the Bountiful area, feel free to come visit me.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Las Vegas Nursing Conference

This last week, Kenn and I spent 4 days in Las Vegas kid free (thanks Mom and Dad for making that possible). The main purpose was to attend a Neonatal Nursing Conference, but we were also able to do a lot of fun stuff.
Wednesday after we flew in, Kenn and I picked up our rental car and found our hotel. We stayed at a place called Red Rock Resort (it was about 20 minutes away from the strip). It was a beautiful place with an amazing pool, an amazing view of the red rock mountains, a comfy king size bed (with mints on the pillows), big screen plasma TV, ridiculously large bathtub (with another plasma TV above it), and many other amenities. The mini bar/snack bar was weight sensored, so just by picking a product up you were charged for the item. Luckily my kids weren't there, or we would have been charged a lot of money (just a candy bar or a soda cost $4). I forgot to take pictures of our room, but here are some of the pictures from their website (which look exactly like what we saw).
After grabbing some dinner, we went to the Las Vegas Temple. We have been there a couple times before, and it was just as beautiful as I remembered. I was very touched during the temple session, but I was also very emotional because my Grandma Ballard broke her hip just the day before, and she was not doing well at this time (though she is doing a little better now, I feel like this is the beginning of her progression towards death). I am grateful for the Lord's comfort and love toward me, and for the reassurance of the gospel principle that my family will be together forever. Since it was night, we couldn't get as many pictures of the beautiful temple grounds and flowers as I would have liked, but believe me it was beautiful!
Thursday, I actually had to go to a few hours of the nursing conference. Kenn hung out a the sports book in the Venetian casino where he could watch 10 different games at a time while beautiful women would bring him endless drinks (of cherry Coke). Later that evening we went with a group of other friends also attending the conference to the opening night of baseball for the Area 51's who just happened to be playing the Salt Lake Bee's. The weather was perfect for a baseball game (~75 degrees). Even though most people were there because it was dollar beer night (I have never seen such long lines for the beer, but hey I guess it is Vegas after all), it was a great game and the Bee's ended up winning 6-3. These are a couple of my nurse practitioner friends- Miriam Bastian, Nancy Limburg, and Jennifer Whitehead.
Friday I slept in and missed the most of the morning sessions (luckily all the talks are on the internet for me to review later). In the afternoon I hung out with friends at the pool (it was awesome, just don't look at my pasty white legs). Later that evening we went out with more nursing friends to a Mexican restaurant and then we had fun losing our money at the blackjack tables and the slot machines.

Kelly, Andi, Jennifer, Jolene, Paul, Kacey, Nancy, and Miriam (sorry Kenn couldn't be in the picture, but thanks for taking photo).