Friday, May 13, 2011

Weston's Words

Here is a quick update on the Weston Lexicon:

heh-ga-ga = helicoptor
hairbane = airplane
bish druk = big truck
doo beck = scoot back
no dutch = don't touch
ah hoed it = I'll hold it

Monday, May 09, 2011

Button Pushers

As the kids grow we notice how they increasingly take after us. One aspect that is particularly apparent is that Weston and Britta are button pushers, like their father. Literal button pushers. Weston loves to press any and all buttons on my computer keyboard whenever he can get his hands on them. Britta is always "borrowing" my cell phone and our digital camera. Recently I downloaded pictures from our camera (after changing the dead batteries, of course) to find an interesting documentary of the kids' lives. While there are endless blurry headshots of each of the kids, the following pictures were the most interesting to me.

Below is evidence that one of the kids was sneaking drinks to Weston after bedtime. This is strictly forbidden as he is still working on making it through the night without accidents.

This next picture makes me wonder what it was that was in the cup....

Next, Britta documented the progress of her adult teeth replacing her baby teeth.

And finally, Britta captures Weston during a major railroad construction project. While clothing is optional, hard hats are required on the job site.

Easter at the Taylor's House

This year we made an extra effort early in the month to set the focus of Easter on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We held family home evenings on the Atonment, and posted pictures of Christ on the walls. We really thought we were getting through to the kids until we asked Avery to say one of the closing prayers. She thanked God for the Saviour and the Atonement ... and then promptly moved on to the easter bunny and the candy.

We got the kids together for a couple of pictures too:

Each of the girls wearing dresses in colors that suit them (ask Stephanie). Each was excited to receive a new dress for the occasion.

Weston didnt' stay in one spot for too long, so this is the one picture we got of all four kids. Weston wanted to see the pictures captured by the camera.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Can the World End Twice in Three Months?

The winter of '09/'10 will long live in our memories as the winter the world ended twice. News coverage ominously dubbed the first blizzard Snowmageddon, and the second blizzard Snowpocolypse. That's right. Not one, but two blizzards. The first blizzard hit in December the week before Christmas, creating a Thomas Kincade-esque Christmas. Mornings, afternoons, and evenings filled with playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate, shoveling snow for neighbors, Christmas music, snow ball fights, etc. etc. etc. The second blizzard hit in February while Ben was out of town, and we were house bound for two long weeks, creating more of a "One Flew over a Cuckoo's Nest" imagery. Everyone survived. Barely. Below are a couple of pics of the blizzards.
Avery liked to spend her outside time eating the snow. Don't worry. She knew to avoid the yellow snow.

Cars were stuck in the parking lot for several days. One of the benefits of Snowmageddon and Snowpocolypse was a coming together of neighbors to help shovel each other out.

Our neighbors built a snow slide and the kids slid down it like penguins.

Britta Turns Seven!

Britta is loving, energetic, tender, smart, creative, athletic, strong, sensitive, generous, and a peacemaker. She has brought so much joy to our lives in her short seven years. We love you, Britta B!

Best Buddies

The highlight of Weston's Christmas morning was opening Buzz Lightyear and Woody. They were inseparable all morning and for many days after. He has loosened his death grip on them now and actually plays with other toys, but they are still his definite favorites.

Winter Fun

Ben helped the girls build the rebel base on the ice planet Hoth. That's Star Wars for those of you not in the Star Wars know. The fort lasted for three days until the sun, I mean the galactic army destroyed it. The topmost picture shows Eden and Britta in a light saber duel.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


When Weston joined our family on October 3, 2008, I realized I no longer would be alone to face the tidal wave of pink, barbies, curling irons, and everything else girls like. I now had a "little man" to experience it all with me. To celebrate Weston as a part of our family, I put together this short history in pictures. Hope you enjoy.

This is Weston at 10 months old. This was about the time he decided he was old enough to sleep through the night. I think he wanted to make sure he had plenty of food reserves, just in case it was a REALLY long time until breakfast. He has always been smiley.

Weston was always a healthy baby. For several months he displayed his man boobs (or as we often call them, "moobs") without reservation or hesitation.

The girls simply adore Weston. Here Britta and Avery subject themselves to his magnanimous rule. "Oh wise and powerful Sultan! How may we serve you?" (Aladdin reference).

At 9 months Weston had 6 teeth and had a huge appetite for baby food. This boy is ready for a growth spurt!

8 teeth by 11 months old. He can't wait for the meat!

12 teeth had appeared just after his 1st birthday. Again, always smiling!

If it wasn't apparent before, it was obvious by 13 months. Weston has a fixation with food (as do most babies). Someone (girls!) gave Weston a stick of butter one day. He proceded to slather it on. Butterball anyone?

For his second Christmas, Weston's favorite present for much of the day was the sucker Santa left for him in his stocking.

Once the sucker was gone, he replaced it with the broom Grandma Anderson got him for Christmas. Aside from food, Weston's next favorite thing is cleaning. Weston loves sweeping and vacuuming.

At 18 months old, it was clear that Weston's blond hair and blue eyes were here to stay. Stephanie and Ben have siblings with similar coloring, but it was still a surprise to have such a fair child with our darker hair and eye colors.
When asleep, Weston can often be observed to have his hands behind his head. Very relaxed and chill.

I love his many faces. The summer of 2010 he went through a "gritty" phase.

At the end of August 2010, we took the kids to the Chesapeake Bay. This was Weston's first experience with open water. Hesitant at first, he didn't want to get his feet wet. By the end of the afternoon, he was walking fearlessly into the small waves and laughing at how they pulled at his legs.

"Eat it or wear it" in the words of Judy Blume's character Fudge. If you can't fit it all in your mouth, you might as well roll in it. This is powdered sugar, and I don't know who left it on the table for him.

During September of 2010, our family discovered/rediscovered the goodness of Nutella! Weston was an enthusiastic participant in this effort.

For Weston's 2nd birthday, we encouraged his natural curiosity with several small presents. Perhaps his favorite gift to date was the DVD of the Disney Pixar movie Cars. He still regularly (i.e. multiple times a day) asks to watch it.

Weston is a sweet boy. Sweet when he's awake, sweet when asleep, and sweet (sometimes) when he's in between. This was just after a nap and was being very sweet and cuddly.

I've been known to set aside my pride and dignity when it comes to my kids. This year for Halloween I made costumes for Weston and I. Any guesses? (Nope, I'm not Tigger). Calvin and Hobbes!
Since Weston joined our family, there has been a corresponding increase in the amount of cars and trains, wrestling, and roaring in the house. We're so glad he has joined us. We love you buddy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Washington DC Temple Lights

Some of you may call this announcement pre-mature, but the DC temple lights go on only 3 WEEKS from Friday! Temple lights go on at dusk on the evening of Friday, December 3rd. The first concert is that night at 7 pm: The Chapel Ringers from Fort Myer Memorial Chapel - Handbell Choir.

Last year, Stephanie, my younger brother Alan, and I took the kids to the temple on the 23rd of December. We enjoyed the lights, the nativity, and being close to the temple. We also caught a free handbell concert in the visitor center. I love handbell concerts at Christmas time. I think this was my second most favorite Christmas concert ever. My favorite had hand bells, a full orchestra, a choir, and "falling snow" (really a disco ball). We left that night in high spirits, deeply satisfied, and full of Christmas spirit.

If you are near DC, you should check this out. For more information on the DC temple lights and concerts, check out the website:

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Virginia in the Early Fall

The week after Weston's 2nd birthday, our family, including my brother Alan, got in the car and drove out the the Shenandoah Valley. We were in search of apples to pick and fall colors. We found a quaint family farm out past Front Royal in the Granite Hills area, and came away with a quarter bushel of apples (enough for about two weeks at our house!).

Then we headed for Shenandoah National Park's famous Skyline Drive. This scenic highway is purportedly used for filming many of the car commercials where you see a car zipping around curves with great fall foliage in the background. We drove in about 20 miles hoping to see some brilliant colors, but the changing of leaves this year really didn't peaks until a couple of weeks later (around October 25th).

We still enjoyed the scenic overlooks, the early signs of fall, and the beauty of nature. Well, most of nature. There were swarms of stink bugs in the clearings and along the highways. At one point, the girls refused to get out of the car at a scenic overlook. I had to sit with them while Stephanie and Alan got out to take pictures and enjoy the view.

At the end of the day, we found a shady hiking path with no stink bugs, and we were able to convince the kids to get out of the car. We spend a good hour exploring the trail, looking a fuzzy caterpillars, moss, mis-shapen trees, and all sorts of things. Alan took several pictures, including one of our family:

While we were probably out a little to early to see the colors we had hoped for, the weather was beautiful, and we took away several fun memories ...and a few stink bugs that hid in the cracks of our car doors...

Run away!!