Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brit's Blessing

On Sunday March 29, 2009 Brit Runner Veenker was blessed. My brother Craig gave such a wonderful blessing to Brit. After we attended Craig and Crickets ward, we went to their house for dinner. Cricket had a very yummy nacho bar! It was such a nice day just to relax and visit with family. Here are a couple pictures of our activity.

The proud parents

Wendy and Dad

Getting ready to eat.

Stockton and KyLee (Don't worry Stockton got his hair cut the next day :))

Libby's cousin (sorry I don't know her name), Libby and McKinsey

The girls table

Ohh, Zach you're so scary

Finally they get to eat!

The girls again playing in Libby's room

Stockton and an other cousin who I don't know (Sorry)

Chris posing for the camera. (He wasn't being so nice before I took the picture :)

McKay found a snowmobile helmet and wouldn't take it off. When he did, his hair was soaking wet.

Waiting for the girls show to start

This was the show...a tea party.

Cheap entertainment. The girls took the table cloths and turned them into capes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What a Weekend!!!

I wrote this letter to my brother Scott who is on a mission, so instead of telling the story twice, I'll just let you read his letter.

Well it has for sure been a crazy weekend. Saturday we woke up planning on having a day of cleaning and fun. Clint's mom called us around 12 really worried about Clint's dad. So Clint asked his mom if she would like us to come up, she did. We took some time getting ready and left our house around 2. We thought we would be good and take trax up to the UofU to save gas. Bad idea. We didn't get there till 4, and the Trax cars really stink. Plus when we needed to leave latter, we had to find a ride down to our car. I'll fill you in on that latter.
Anyway we got up there and Jim wasn't doing well at all. The doctor was VERY concerned! He was in critical condition. His blood pressure was so low and they knew he was bleeding internally somewhere, but they couldn't take him to do a scan because he wasn't stable enough. They had his meds maxed out and said that they couldn't leave him on these meds too long or it would do more damage.
Patti had asked the doctor if she should get the other children up there and he told her it would be a very good idea, he wasn't sure if he would make it through the night.
Jim has a "trach" so he can't talk, he can only mouth things which makes it very hard to read his lips and he is so doped up on Meds that he doesn't really make sense. He kept mouthing, "No more medicine!" Clint asked him if he was ready to go back to Heavenly Father and he just rolled his eyes and said, "no, I have more of a mission." But at the same time he didn't want any more medicine.
Just in case something happened in the night, Clint and I went home to get Clay, Makell and Coleton around 7. Our car was still at the Trax station in Sandy, so we had to get a ride with Clint's cousin. But first we had to pick up her car at her parents in Holiday, have her follow us to Mariah and Enrique's house in Lehi to pick up car seats, and then head to the Meeks. It took us 2 hours just to do that. It didn't help that the wind was blowing so much that we had to drive less than 65 mph.
Anyway, after we dropped a key off at mom and dad's so they could pick up Jax, and picked up the 3 kids, we got back to the hospital around 10. Pattie had the whole family came in, (usually they only allow 2 people at a time) and we had some good family times, you know just telling Jim that we love him and Patti told Jim that she was releasing him to go home if he needed to. We pretty much were saying our goodbyes. It was very emotional!
All but one of Jim's siblings came up to say goodbye and they stayed till about 1:00am. Around 2 things had pretty much stayed the same, so we all tried to get some sleep. I tried to sleep on the hard floor, but the lights were on all night, and it was too noisy. I got maybe a combination on 1 hour sleep. I don't do well with no sleep. Patti stayed with Jim the whole night and Clint spent most of the night in there.
Sunday morning came and things were still pretty much the same. Clint and I decided to go home and shower and get a little more sleep. On our way home Mariah called and said that they were able to do a CAT Scan and found where he was bleeding. The surgeon decided that they better operate to stop the bleeding and see if the infection he had was in his chest. The Doctor cauterized about 50 capillaries which stopped the bleeding. The doctor said that his lungs look really good. Usually after a surgery like this the lungs are purple and discolored, but Jim's looked pink and healthy.
Clint and I finally made it back to the U around 6pm (we made it to Sandy only to find out we had to turn around and go back to Lindon to get some keys). Anyway, we went in to see him and he looked 10 times better. His blood pressure was higher than it has been since the lung surgery, his temperature had gone down and a lot more of the problems they had been dealing with were improving.
Clint stayed the night with his dad so his mom could get some sleep. I got to mom and dad's house around 10:45 and just slept there so I wouldn't have to come all the way back to Lindon for work the next day.
I just talked to Clint a while ago and he said that his dad is doing so well. They have taken him off 2 of the 4 meds and think that by the end of the day, he should be able to be off all of them. They have also lowered the ventilator so he is breathing more on his own.
It's so amazing thinking that 2 days ago we thought we were going to loose him and now we will have more time with him. He's still not out of the woods by any means, he still has the cancer he has to deal with. But it just isn't his time now. The Bishop had come up Saturday to give him a blessing and he told Mariah and Clint that he has people waiting for him on the other side, but neither sides know what will happen.
He also said that he feels like his time to go is soon he's not sure if that will be in a couple days or months but just that it is coming. We'll see what happens. Well sorry to bore you so much, we just had a very emotional week and I needed to write it down before I forget.
Oh one more bit of news, Clint got his first acceptance letter for law school. It is to Akron Ohio which is 35 minutes south of Cleveland and about 45 minutes away from Kirkland. I'm really excited about this school. He got a scholarship that would pay for all of tuition so we would only have to go in debt for cost of living expenses. We're going to go to Ohio in a couple weeks to check out the school and the areal. It's the only school that we've heard back from, but it's such a great opportunity, that we're having a hard time saying no to it. I guess we'll see what happens.

As far as Clint and his dad goes, Clint is doing very well under the circumstances. He is such a great son, brother and husband. He's so strong. We all love his so much. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and concerns. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wii Night

So what do three couples with no children do on a Saturday night? Clubbing, Wendover, eat at a classy restaurant? Nope, they play the Wii! We had ourselves a Mario Cart tournament. Of course the North's dominated (that may due to the fact that it is their game), but we still had a fabulous time. We had planned to have a night of the Wii, board games and lots more fun, but the Wii took up most of the night and after our tournament we were much too tired to play any other game that took too much concentration. So we watched the movie Meetballs. Oddly as it is, none of us had seen us. I recommend the movie if you're in the mood for funny 80's movie. Don't expect anything as good as High School Musical :)!

Clint and me concentrating very hard on winning
Robin and cute Teresa Jensen, so into the game

Nick and Tamsin North playing the championship game! I think Nick just won from the look on Tamsin's face :)

Isn't Tamsin so pretty?

Sunday, March 15, 2009


This is my nephew Stockton. He was baptized just yesterday. It was such a great experience seeing him make this great choice to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His sister McKinsey gave a great talk about baptism and then after Stockton was baptized his brother Hayden gave a very well done talk on the Holy Ghost. It makes me feel like I am the best Aunt when I watch these amazing nieces and nephews grow up to be such great young adults. Here are just a few pictures of our "party" after the baptism.

Afton, Katie and Mya (Isn't the frosting on Afton's face just the cutest?

Stockton opening his present from Clint and I

Brooklynn and Hailey

Afton and Libby

Most of the Young and Veenker boy cousins

Friday, March 13, 2009


Well for those of you who don't know this, my amazing father-in-law has been battling cancer for over a year now. He has been through many rounds of Chemo, some radiation, surgeries, and a lot of of emotional ups and downs. The doctors removed the main tumor that stated it all quite a while ago, but before they took it out, the cancer had spread. It has been in his spine and lungs along with other parts of the body.
A month ago they did surgery on his right lung and removed 5 (I think) tumors, one being the size of a baseball. It ended up being 30% of his lung. Recovery was painful and very hard, but he made it. The doctors felt like he was strong enough to go ahead and fix his left lung on Monday (3/9).
Surgery went well, but they had to remove 50% of that lung. The Doctor said that if he hadn't just taken so much out of his right lung, he would have just removed the whole left lung. Tuesday complication started. He's heart rate was way too high, his blood pressure was way too low along with many other problems. They paralyzed him from the neck down and have him highly sedated. He has SLOWLY been improving each day and we just hope and pray that he will continue to get better.
He's such a great man and I'm so blessed to have such a wonder father-in-law. We are just asking everyone to please pray for Jim. Also my mother-in-law Patti could use some prayers as well. This has been very hard on her and she has been with Jim since Monday as much as possible. (They kick her out at night and make her go home)
If any of you are interested, Jim has an amazing blog that he started a year ago which documents everything that has been happening. Clint has been updating it frequently since Monday with as many updates as he gets. Check it out, it's very interesting:

Clint and me waiting

Makell, Aunt Melody and Patti

Mariah and Enrique

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Valentine's Dinner

Every year my mom likes to do an amazing dinner for her kids. No children are invited, which is a crazy change from our usual Sunday dinners. This year we had so much yummy food! We had shrimp, salads, veggies, potatoes, prime rib and a very yummy desert. It was a great night to catch up with my brother's and sister's in a cozy environment. Here are some pictures of the great night.

Lori and my cute mom and dad

Neither of us can look at a camera

I hate our camera! My sister and I both look like ghosts!

Kyle, Lori, Dad, Mom, and Clint

Cricket, Doug, Clint, John, Wendy's head, Katie, & Craig

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Uncle Clint and Aunt Jen, Again.

Well we are an aunt and uncle again. Britt, is Craig and Cricket's new son. He is such a cute kid. He was also quite big! 9lbs 10oz lucky Cricket. Britt makes 18 grandchildren. 9 Nephews and 9 Nieces. My sister Lori will be making it 19 grandchildren in a couple weeks, and my sister-in-law Katie will make it an even 20 in September. It is so much fun being an aunt to so many nieces and nephews. Of course I am the favorite, or at least I keep brainwashing them that I am. Hopefully we'll still be in Utah so that these new comers will get to know there favorite Aunt and Uncle. Welcome to the family Britt, we already love you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Jax is SOOO Smart!!!

You'll soon be able to tell that I am slowly going to update things. I was looking through some of my pictures, and I saw these and it reminded me how funny it was. For Christmas Jax got a few toys. There were more to give him, but I figured since he has a lot already, I'll save the rest of the toys in the bag for later. One day, he was in the extra
bedroom barking like crazy and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. He kept looking up at the table, so I put the chair in front of the table so he could climb up if he wanted to. A little while later I came up and found him going through the bag. He must have smelled that there were toys up there, because he never saw me put them there. I took the bag and hid it in the closet when he wasn't looking. A few days later he was barking like crazy again,
only this time he was barking at the closet! He knew his toys were in there and he was determined to get them now! I was having a weak moment and broke down and let him have the bag of toys. I never knew dogs could be so spoiled! But wouldn't you give in too, if a face like his was looking at you?


So after my surgery, I was really sad and depressed. I was taking a nap on Tuesday the 6th of January and Clint came up stairs and said, "Get up, our flight leaves in two and half hours." Of course I thought he was joking, but when he started packing suit cases I started asking questions. He said that we needed to get away and clear our minds. He really hadn't booked the flight yet, but was totally serious about going. So, we found a flight that left at 5:30, packed our stuff, dropped Jax off at my parents and then headed for the airport. It was such a fun time.

We flew to San Diego and got there around 8, checked into our hotel and called it a night. On Wednesday we took it easy. I was still pretty sore from my surgery, so we just went shopping, drove around San Diego, went out to dinner and went to a movie.

Thursday we slept in, and by the time we got up to take a shower the hot water in the hotel was gone, or so we thought. We later found out that the hot water takes awhile to get up to the 12th floor. We felt pretty dumb. But while we were waiting for some hot water we decided to head out to the the Wild Animal Park.

It was my first time ever being there and it was really cool. The best part was I couldn't walk much, so Clint pushed me around in a wheel chair. The only bad thing about that was, I was freezing and he was dying of heat. That night we went to a really nice restaurant right on the beach.

Friday we couldn't decide if we should go to Disneyland, or Universal Studios. We decided to go to Universal Studios, and I wish we would have chosen the latter. It really wasn't too bad, just kind of boring. We didn't get there until 12, and little did we know, but they close at 5. So, we didn't get to do everything. But it was a great time of year to go. We never had to wait in line for more than 20 minutes!

When the park closed, we went over to the Mall that is right next door to kill some time so we didn't have to deal with LA traffic. We didn't get back to San Diego till midnight. Boy were we tired!

Isn't he cute with his pink back pack on?

Saturday we went to Sea World, which is always fun. The weather was so perfect, 75 degrees, sunny and the air was so clean! A huge change from the snow we had just come from in Utah. Clint's aunt lives in Ramona, which is about 40 minutes away from Sea World, so we went out to dinner with her and her husband and one of their friends. It was great to see them again.

Sunday we had to come home, but it was so much fun to see Jax again. He missed us a lot and it just makes you feel so good when you have someone to greet you with as much excitement as he has! Thanks Clint for the perfect spontaneous trip. It made things so much better!