Monday, March 29, 2010

Brian Regan

For Christmas, we gave Jack and Ryan tickets to go see the comedian Brian Regan. We had all kind of forgotten about it since the show wouldn't happen for a few months. Glad we remembered a few days before because it was such a great show! Non-stop laughter! I highly recommend you go with your kids--10 and up (younger kids wouldn't get a lot of the humor) if he comes to your town. We couldn't stop laughing and at one point I had to force myself to stop smiling because my face was hurting. He's just that good!

" I would have been a lot better off if I’d studied more when I was growing up, y’know. But you know where it all went wrong was the day they started the spelling bee. Because up until that day I was an idiot, but nobody else knew."
Brian Regan (Live)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


After 3 years in the primary presidency, I was released a few weeks ago. I joked a lot over the years about being released. Almost every meeting had some sort of comment from me about it.

"Heather, can you buy more picture frames for the upcoming Faith in God awards?"
"Don't you think we'll be released by then?"

"Does anyone else want to write the Primary program this year?"
"I guess I could since we won't be in the Primary when the program rolls around."

But when it came down to it and I knew it was over, I started to wonder if I was ready. I thought about all of the things I would be missing. Did I enjoy my last sharing time as much as I should have? It was the perfect sharing time to end on -- it was on the atonement of Jesus Christ. I felt such an appreciation and love for my Savior as I gave that lesson and could barely speak as I bore my testimony of Him. There are so many things I will miss about that calling.

I was excited but also nervous when the Bishop asked me 3 years ago. Griffin was only 8 months old and I found out I was pregnant with Mia one month later. I felt so overwhelmed that first year. Feeling unable to add one more thing to my already busy plate but somehow I made it and after that first year it seemed to just get easier and easier. It was the perfect calling for me at this time in my life. I was able to be in there with all six of my children. I watched Jack graduate from Primary, Griffin become a Sunbeam and Mia start nursery. They got to hear me teach and bear testimony of my Savior every month. And I got to watch them as they participated, read scriptures, gave talks, sang songs, answered questions, played the piano, passed off Articles of Faith, etc.

I was able to witness firsthand the amazing teachers my children had. Teachers who taught my boys the importance of respecting the scriptures, wearing a white shirt and tie to church in preparation of becoming a Deacon, the importance of the priesthood; Teachers who worked hard at helping each child learn all of the Articles of Faith; Teachers who loved their class like their own children and requested to be their teacher for 2 years in a row; Teachers willing to work with Morgan. It's amazing to think of the progress Morgan made in those 3 years. She wouldn't sit with her class, she wandered around the room, trying to sit by Hadley, Jack or Ryan and hugging everyone or shaking their hand on her way. Her teachers genuinely loved her, helped her answer questions, allowed her to sit on their laps and gave her the patience that was required and even though her behavior is far from perfect, she's come a long way! I hope all of those teachers know how grateful I am for each one of them and the positive impact they each had on my children's life.

I'm also going to really miss working with this fun group of girls! And I can call them girls because I was the oldie in the group. Our meetings usually lasted about 3 hours and there was never a dull moment, full of laughter and fun, and serious stuff too, of course. Jessica taught me the importance of being a diligent servant, wrote amazing primary programs for Sacrament Meeting and is seriously a rock. Jennifer taught me how to be organized and get things done and became a close friend and nanny. Andrea had an amazing testimony of missionary work and was never scared to open her mouth and share the gospel. And she got us all the latest text updates on the David/David AI Finale. Lindsay seemed to do it all, no matter what was asked, she was always willing to do it and never complained. Racie was the ultimate party planner. No one could ever top one of Racie's primary activities. Don't even try! And even thought Kerrah was a newbie to the presidency, she jumped right in and went out of her way to get to know all of us and the children.

Racie, Kerrah, Jessica, Andrea, Jennifer, me, Lindsay at our last meeting (dinner).
And we didn't all decide to just wear green -- this was on St. Patrick's Day

I didn't tell my kids I was getting released. They heard about it for the first time when the Bishop announced it. Ryan kept asking me over and over if that meant I wasn't in Primary anymore. I'm not sure but I think he was a little sad. I asked him if he was happy or sad and he said, "a little bit of both." But then he said the cutest thing,

"So you're just like a random citizen in the ward now?"

We call that a member of the church, but yes, as of right now, I am just a random citizen in the church and I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

World Down Syndrome Day!

It's World Down Syndrome Awareness Day . It's celebrated on 3/21 because people with Down syndrome have 3 copies (instead of 2) of the 21st chromosome, aka Trisomy 21.

We are so blessed to have Morgan in our family!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy 39th Birthday, Gavin!

It's a shArK PaRtY!!!

As the kids woke up this morning, I reminded them that it was dad's birthday. Morgan let me know she'd like some cake for breakfast. Unfortunately the cake wasn't made in time for breakfast. Griffin was the most excited though.

"Happy Birthday, Dad! What kind of party is it? I want a Spiderman party for my birthday."

"I don't know. What kind of party should I have?"

"A shark party!"

We went to the store (while Gavin was getting a 90 minute massage) to try to find something "shark" related for his party. We found some cute gummy sharks for his cake and cupcakes. When Gavin got home Griffin ran up to him and reminded him it was his birthday and told him we bought shark candy at the store for his party. So much for a surprise.

Might as well get double use out of this balloon. Hadley got it for her birthday and it's perfect for an almost 40 year old man.

We ended the Birthday festivities with a yummy dinner at our favorite restaurant, Tiburon (which ironically means "Shark" in Spanish).

Adam and Cami joined us for dinner and a movie. Adam and Gavin share the same birthday.

The birthday boys

Happy Birthday Gavin! We love you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Welcome spring!

We enjoyed our St. Paddy's Day and the beautiful, spring weather with an outing to the library, picnic at the park, scooter and bike riding, trumpet playing and getting sunburned. It's so nice to have the sun shine again. And I forgot how dirty the kids get--faces, hands, feet and clothes-- after spending the day outside, playing. It's a good thing!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

American Girl Doll Tea Party

Hadley is THE party planner. She has been planning and talking about her "American Girl" Birthday party for at least 3 months. She knew she wanted an AG doll party but wasn't sure about any of the other details. I threw out a few ideas, like modge podging something with stuff cut out of AG catalogs, but was quickly shut down. "I'm not sure that would really be fun, mom. I was thinking we could do something like a word search while we watched an American Girl movie." Did she really say she'd rather do a word search? We finally decided she would have a tea party, make some sort of craft and watch an AG movie. I made the invitations but she was hesitant about passing them out without having all of the fine details figured out. "What are we going to eat at the tea party? What time will we start the craft? What craft are we going to do?How can we pass out the invitations?" I promised her that she was going to have an amazing party and that we still had a week to figure out all of the details. She happily passed out her invitations. We went to Michael's Craft store the next day and she found the perfect craft idea--a wooden frame to paint and modge podge with AG scrapbook paper.

The invitation

She invited 15 girls (and their dolls) to her party. I wanted to keep the party small but she really love all of these girls and wanted each of them to be at the party. She is very lucky to have such great friends and cousins.

I think I had more fun planning this party than Hadley did. Gavin kept joking that I was more excited for my party than Hadley. My favorite part was finding all of the china and tea cups. I used both my grandmother's and mom's china for the place settings. It brought back so many memories to see my grandmother's china again. All of those Sunday dinners at her house, eating off of the exact same plates. It was neat to be able to use them for Hadley's special party. And I also found this amazing cake stand, hiding in my mom's cupboard. It was a wedding gift 45 years ago. I don't remember ever seeing her use it. It is glass with tarnished silver. Beautiful. It completed the table.

The cake -- I used fondant for the first time. So easy and cute!

As the girls arrived to the party, I took a picture of each girl holding their doll and then they sat their doll down at the doll table. I realized as I was taking this picture that these dolls enjoying their tea party is a little weird. Cute but weird.

The dolls table

The big girls table

Ham and Cheese or PB & J sandwiches
Chocolate dipped strawberries
Carrots and dip
Mini colored marshmallows on a toothpick
Hot cider with sugar cubes

Passing around the bowl of sugar cubes

The Birthday Girl

9 candles!!!

Gifts. And more gifts.

American I-"Doll" -- karaoking to a few songs.

Arts and Crafts. Each girl painted a wooden frame and modge podged AG scrapbook stuff on them. They turned out really cute and were each so different. I put the picture of the girl with her doll that was taken when she first arrived to the party. I wish I would've gotten a picture of all the completed frames but ran out of time. I barely got all of the pictures done by the time the parents were here to take them home.

Hadley's frame creation

They ended the night with popcorn and the AG movie, Samantha.

Parting Gifts-- teacup and saucer full of yummy treats and their picture frame.

A big thank you to Jill and Oakley for all of their help. I kept them running all night and wouldn't have been able to enjoy the party without all of their help! Thanks, girls!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I overheard Griffin in another room talking to Mia in a sweet, little voice. He came into the room where I was and I wondered what had happened to his little shadow, Mia.

"Griffin, do you know where Mia is?"

"She's taking a nap. I'll show you."

He took me into the living room and showed me Mia laying down on a pillow from the couch, covered in 5-6 blankets that he had brought downstairs for her. He'd also brought in all of his favorite toys and was playing with them next to Mia while she took her nap.

I am so glad they have each other.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Way better than snow caves!

(Post written by Gavin)

The Scout troop decided to go down to Snow Canyon for the February overnighter. This camp is a four hour drive south - away from the snow. I learned from the experience last year, not to allow the boys to eat several cans of Pringles on the ride down. Jack taught me this lesson the hard way. During the night, he woke up for a few seconds, and threw up all the pringles he had eaten. I can tell you that he had ingested the Salt and Vinegar variety. So, with this knowledge, there were no Pringles allowed in the car - or tent.

On the first morning, the Scout leader had the boys prepare a hike using a map and compass. We hiked along the Petrified Dunes trail while the boys took turns leading the way.

After the hike, we took to the boys to see the Mountain Meadows Massacre Memorial. Jack was able to give the history of this event as he recently learned about it in school. We didn't realize that the monument would be covered with snow, so some of the boys were still in shorts from the hike.

I have never been part of a patrol that actually has a bugler. This is Jack bugling at the Flag Ceremony.

It was a neat experience having him play "Retreat" while the flag was lowered.

We have a great - and patient - Scout leader that wanted to teach the boys how to chop kindling and build a fire. In this photo, Jack is taking his turn at splitting a 2x4. Notice Ryan laughing and Jack with his eyes closed. It took some time for the boys to get this task mastered.

I love this picture because Ryan was laughing at Jack while he was splitting his wood. Well, look at Ryan's first attempt at splitting the wood. Notice the handle landing squarely on the block of wood. He dropped the axe and was shaking his hands in pain from the vibration of the handle striking the wood. We all had a pretty good laugh about this.

Each boy was able to use their kindling to build a tepee and start the fire.

Snow Canyon is such a beautiful place - with so much to offer. One activity the boys really liked was our visit to the lava tubes. The boys hiked down and entered the cave.

While in the cave, we had to use our head lamps to navigate the terrain.

This is a picture without the flash. It was pitch-black inside.

On the way back to camp. The boys are running on the petrified dunes. These are sand dunes that have been hardened with time - a lot like my heart. Just kidding - I have a nice heart.