Friday, February 13, 2009

John & Allison and kids got Disneyland trip from Santa Clause for Christmas this year. They came down at the perfect time to go, the 2nd week in January. Everyone is back to business, Disneyland is so enjoyable.

They stayed close to Disneyland and went for 3 days. On Sunday, they came out to visit us in Murrieta. We had Mary, Ann, Jayna, Brian Jr & Gma Mary Kay over. It was a nice visit!

We also celebrated grandma Mary Kay's 82nd birthday and Bryce's 9th birthday!

Happy Birthday Grandma Mary Kay!!

Grandma's great-grandkids & grandkid - Brian Jr.
I love my grandma Mary Kay. I have so many fond memories with grandma Mary Kay. She and Junior paid for our family to take a trip on the train from Utah to visit them in anaheim, CA when I was 8 years old. I still remember the train ride and choosing a Christmas tree that was a foot too tall (even though we all told Junior it was just too big!). Mostly, I remember the ride down beach blvd. and getting out to sit on the sand at Huntington Beach. We didn't get in the water but it was my first real visit with the beach. I remember just loving sitting there listening to the waves and thinking "I would LOVE to live here someday!" Little did I know that 11 years later it would become a reality.
I was lucky enough to get to spend 1 month alone with just grandma Mary Kay and Junior. When I was 12, dad came home and announced we were moving to CA. I was excited! Dad had to go start work a month early, they hadn't quite sold the house and his job was starting. Mom was worried him making the long drive to Las Vegas, where he was going to meet Junior and Mary Kay alone. I suggested I go with him to help keep him awake. I was so excited to be living there. I remember riding in the car with grandma and coming down the 215 into the valley and asking Mary Kay what all the brown stuff was, it's smog she explained. No matter to me, I still was excited. We had a fun time reading and exploring the wax museum, the beach again. It was fun having all the attention. Grandma really helped install in me the love of reading! I also got to help her with several home improvement projects. I also owe my brilliant smile to Junior and Mary Kay (I was thankful then but I sure am now!)
Thanks Grandma for everything. May not only your birthday, but every day be happy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

FHE reports

How did I get so blessed with such an amazing family! I have 5 AMAZING children! A wonderful, loving husband who respects and honors his priesthood but most importantly has a strong testimony which he bears to our children!

I am so thankful for the Family Home Evening program. What an inspiration it is in this time when families have so many activities going on it is hard to even be altogether! I find comfort in the words of the prophet that if we have family home evenings regularly, our kids should stay close to the gospel. With 5 kids, I cling to that promise! I need all the help I can get!
I come from a tradition of FHE. We held it every Monday night when I grew up and I remember learning a lot. I'm so grateful for that tradition so that now, as an adult responsible for my own family, FHE is not something I think about doing, it comes naturally. I can't go without it! (thanks mom and dad!)

That's not to say that FHE is always wonderful, spiritual and happy family bonding time. Sometimes, I just feel lucky to be altogether in the same place. However, I DO know, no matter how much the kids moan and complain or argue or seem to be totally not paying attention, it is NEVER a waste of time. If I have learned anything in being a mom for 14 years or working with primary age kids for the last 12, is that you never know what is going to sink into a child's heart or when. Sometimes the lessons that seems like no one was paying attention to is the one that sunk in. I know that I just need to do my part and the spirit will do the rest.

Our past few FHE have really been fun and uplifting. I wanted to start sharing what we've been doing so the kids can remember for when they have a family later on.
A few weeks ago we talked about having "AN ATTITIDE OF GRATITUDE." We started with the story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers and only 1 returning to give thanks.
We talked about how people can turn even a bad situation into being much more bearable if they think of the possitive things. We ended with a quote from our prophet, Thomas S. Monson which will be our new family motto.... "Think to Thank" Don't you LOVE that !! I'm going to have it displayed in our new home to remind us. How much happier we are when we realize all that we DO have instead of concentrating on things we wish we had. We also set forth a new challenge to think of 3 things to thank heavenly Father for before we pray.

The next week we had a lesson on the bearing of a true testimony. We talked about how a testimony is bearing witness of your belief in Jesus Christ and Principles of the Gospel. We don't need to share lengthy personal experiences or travel logs. We testify what we know or believe in about the truthfulness of the gospel. We all took the opportunity to bear our testimonies to eachother. What a sweet experience to hear my children bear their sweet testimonies. Danny and I are always telling them they need to not take our word for it but the gospel is true; but to truly find out for themselves. I felt the spirit enter the room. I know that they are each really striving to find a testimony of their own.

Last week, dad decided we needed to do something fun (which sometimes can be a challenge finding something we ALL think is fun and can agree upon). We decided to go to dinner and a movie. We went to dinner at this place called Richie's Diner. He is good friends with the founder of In-N-Out and named it after him. It's just an all american diner with steak, hamburgers shakes and good old apple pie - YUM!
Then we went to see the movie BOLT. This was the hard part; finding a movie we could ALL enjoy, even Tyson. I have to admit, Danny and I were secretly thinking it was going to be one of those "endure to the end for the sake of the kids" kind but we were all pleasantly surprised and ended up enjoying it! Tyson slept for the first part and enjoyed the end. It was entertaining to the point of laughing our loud. Even Kierstin couldn't complain since it was all about a girl and her dog (if you know Kierstin, you know how perfect that is!) Darling movie, we recommend it! Just an ejoyable night all around.

Yesterday, we had a FHE on the importance of finding good friends. President Hinkley said every member needs to #1: Be nourished by the word #2 Have a Calling and #3 have a friend. Of course we need to feel as if we are friends amongst our family but as we are seperated from our family at school and work most of the day, it is important we surround ourselves with people who will encourage us to make good choices not whom we have to fight for our standards from! We gave the example of "would you eat the cookie dough that had a little mud mixed in?"
I want to again bear my testimony of the importance of family home evening. The prophet has counselled us to hold it every family night with the promise if we do, our children will be blessed to gain testimonies of the gospel in which if they do stray from the gospel, they will return. What better reason do you need to hold family home evenings? I just know that's more than enough reason for me!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Bryce Roy Baak

The Amazing Mathmatical Genius

Turns 9 in 2009!

Our family rang in the new millenium, the new century, 2000, with the 3rd proud addition to our family; Bryce Roy Baak! Already having a daughter and a son, we welcomed our 2nd son, 3rd child, very happily and with no hidden hopes for a girl or a boy. We were just excited to watch our family tree grow!

The middle names of our kids all have meaning. We chose Roy, because it is my dad's middle name, part of my dad's father's first name (LeROY), and my great-grandfather's middle name (Franklin Roy). We not only liked the name Bryce but it also holds family signifigance because my great-gradfather; Franklin LeRoy (whom he shares a name with) engineered all the roads through Bryce Canyon during the great depression.

It ends up being very fitting Bryce is named for them as he has my grandfather and great-grandfather's flare for math. He loves it! (unfortunately, it skipped me) He wants to be a mathmetician when he grows up. Truly, his great- great-grandfather, who was a prominant engineer, and his great-grandfather passed that on. His great grandpa, LeRoy Junior Davis, helped get the first rocket to the moon by creating a computer program that could figure out how thick they needed to build the walls of the rocket containing the fuel so they wouldn't explode on the way to the moon. He also invented a computer program that could figure out how thick they needed to build windshields in airplanes to withstand impact of birds that would oft times fly into and through the windshilds of planes, killing or injuring pilots. Before this time, they would shoot chickens out of rockets at windshields to test them, no joke! (he is a chicken's hero)! Just a little family connection for you Bryce!

Bryce is such a wonderful addition to our family. After crying away the first year of his life, he ended up being a very happy, easy going child. He sucked his middle two fingers so it looked like he was making the sign for "I love you" when he sucked his fingers. It was so cute!
I did worry about how I was going to break him of the habit when the time came since you can't just take your fingers away. I needn't have worried. When Bryce was about 4 we were sitting on the couch watching T.V. He looked at his fingers and noticed the callouses he had on his fingers. He asked me what they were and I told them they were from sucking his fingers. He asked me how to get rid of them. I told him he was going to have to stop sucking his fingers. I could see him thinking it over but didn't really push the issue. About a week later, Bryce comes up to me and says "look mom, my callouses are gone!" Sure enough they were and I realized that he had stopped sucking his fingers all on his own accord! I was so proud of you Bryce!

That is so true to your character. You really think about things you want to apply yourself to. When you decide to do it, you do it full force and follow through successfully! It also shows how self-motivated you are which is why they love to snatch you up for combo-classes at school. When I give you an assignment like "do your homework" or "do your chores." You are usually the first one on it and do a good job of what you are asked to do. That quality will take you far in life.

You are the spitting image of your dad, a mini-Danny, right down to the impish grin! You share so many of your dad's qualities, especially the love of games and his competitive nature! If you're in the middle of Danny and Bryce playing a game, watch out! It's a fight for first place all the way and loving every second!!

Bryce is the quiet button pusher full of mischief, of the fun-loving kind! But you are kind and have a tender heart. You have been so responsible watching out for Brian at school who just starting kidnergarten by having to pick him up from class after school and walking him to the carpool!

Mostly, I am so happy that you try so hard to CTR and that you really think about what you learn about the gospel and ask good questions. You will be blessed for that!


For Bryce's birthday, he wanted to take some friends miniature golfing. So we took a few friends, ate pizza and played a few games at home first

Left: Ethan Campbell, Ronnie, Ryan, Hunter Patton, Corbin Cubute, Brian hiding and Bradley in rear.

then we shot 18 holes of mini golf.

We did this the day before his birthday as there was no school that day.

On your actual birthday, the next day, we followed it up with dinner at your favorite restaurant Soup Plantation and then cake....

and presents....

your own remote controlled helicopter and the book "39 Clues" by Rick Riordon, which we're enjoying right now.

Bryce, we sure love you! You are a priceless addition to our family! May this day and every day be happy!