Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hello Kitty! Katie has turned 6!

So what would you do if your daughter decided that instead of the Tinkerbell party she'd planned on, she suddenly decided that Hello Kitty is the "new theme?" I assume you'd do like I did. Send your husband off on a marathon of late night volleyball games with the "boys" while you painted larger than life Hello Kitty and Friends. Then after dropping the paintbrush a few times and leaving black freckles across her face, and then trying to wipe them off, creating black smudges, you'd paint the Kitty white as well to hide the mistakes.
You'd wake up early on her birthday (like her daddy) and create her dream Hello Kitty pancake, complete with whip cream and cherry bows and perhaps even use food dye to make long whiskers...which in turn created a lovely blue teeth effect for school.

then you'd create Hello Kitty dream house land and take a million pictures of your beautiful daughter with the new decorations. And of course, you'd dress everyone up like Hello Kitty (note the ears, whiskers and yellow noses)
And why stop at just the family. You'd dress the entire party up with kitty ears and noses. After all, how else can you be Hello Kitty's friend?
And what do little kitties do once they are dressed up? They lap milk out of saucers of course.
And what party would be complete without gifts? Katie couldn't wait to tear through the tissue and pull out all her wonderful surprises. (don't you love all the flowers hanging from the ceiling? They are still up and it creates such a magical effect)
And nothing completes a party like a cake. And with an almost all white cake, I bet you can guess what part all nine girls wanted. Well, except for Katie who wouldn't be turned from the prospect of eating an Oreo eye.
So here Katie makes the wish. She tells me later int he van that she isn't sure she believes wishes come true if you don't tell anyone. I reply "that's true. sometimes you have to tell so others can help you make them come true."
Do you know where this is headed? My curiosity gets the best of me all the time and this is no exception. I explain that if she tells me her wish, perhaps I can help make it come true. And of course, I'm thinking she wants a little sister or a different toy. She looks up at me those trusting 6 year old eyes and her face lights up with joy...."Awesome. I wished for a real fairy to have as a pet. I can't seem to find any, but I'm sure you can help me!"

I was silent for a moment....and then said nothing. After all, who doesn't want to have a real fairy as a pet. I sense some grand hunts in the future.
So after all is said and done...wouldn't you do the same to bring joy to your now six year old? How life flies by.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wanting more

So this is a blog of just Heather's personal thoughts. Feel free to skip if wanted. A few months ago I found myself in a state of total unenjoyment. I wasn't as excited over life, I wasn't challenged and I was slipping into a drifting spiritual pattern. It was unlike my happy side and I was wondering what to do about it. I knew I didn't like who I was becoming and I wanted to show my children that a mom was something worth being. So what to do? With a therapist as a husband one might think it's easy to get my own therapy and help myself, but it simply doesn't work like that.

So I began my own quest. I could find the perfect moment in my life (the one where everything is perfect...weight, friendships, testimony etc..) but how to get back to that feeling. then I found myself picking up one of Andy's therapy books. He always has some laying around. And that did it. I remembered who I am. Who I could be, what my capabilities were. and most of all, I's okay to be who I am. So I have a little extra on the thighs. Who cares. I can move, jump, leap and hug and wrestle with my children. So I don't have grand conversations with the Dahlia Lama. Who cares. I have the world handed to me everyday in the most simplistic verses from my children who love to live. So I don't have all the money to go on every trip. Who cares. I can get in my car and drive minutes away to our makeshift beach and swim in the river with all the friends in the world I could possibly imagine. So I don't get invited to everything that happens with my friends. Who cares. After all, lets face it, I create half the things we do and they are things I want to do and deep down I know people love me, we just all need to branch out every so often. So I don't get a million comments on my blog (this is for Andy). Who cares. There are so many people who read them and think, look at that great family. I don't need it to be written because I know they think that and that they would write that if they had the time. We can't base our self esteem on it. But lets face it. they're busy. I'm busy, we're all busy with our own lives. So my family isn't around me. Who cares. No really, lets face it. I do care a great deal about that and am working ever so hard to make sure we are around family. You can't survive in a world without family who loves unconditionally. And mine does. My sister is my best friend and my crazy loveable parents would do anything they could to make life happier and more fun. Afterall, who else would letterbox with me in snow and rain to find a lemony snicket?

I read somewhere a quote about how the world is like a box of crayons. We are all different colors, some pointed, some dull, some with scuffed up papers, some with funny names, but we all work together to make a complete picture. That's it. That's the secret

You can enjoy just for the sake of it. It is up to you. Now this book changed my life. Did it make it perfect? No. But I'm learning and accepting and going out everyday loving that I live, that I breathe, that I can love myself. That I just don't care about every little imperfection. Does this give me the excuse to do nothing to better myself? No. But it gives me the right to look someone in the eye who wants to degrade me, call me a jerk, hate me, thinks my body isn't perfect and say to them "I don't need it. I am okay. In fact, more than okay. I'm perfect for being here. For fighting. For being a powerful woman and for doing what needs to be done. whatever that is at the time of my life." I challenge you to enjoy life as well.

my big (little) Griffith

I went to take Griffith into the DRS for his 6 month appt. And here he is. Off the charts in both height and weight (a whopping little bit at 12lbs 5 oz) and a new little hernia in his chest they want to surgically take care of. I had to laugh. All my children are small, all have hernias and all one day reach the stage where the DRS wonder if I ever stop feeding them. What a roller coaster it is to try and appease every doctors opinion. My opinion is this, take a look at this perfect happy little boy and fall in love with him like we, his family, have done! This is his little old man smile. One of my favorite looks.
Here he has finally discovered his tongue. Now he never puts it back into his mouth
So click on this next picture (that makes them all big in a new window) and take a look at those beautiful baby blues!
this is the "are you ever going to feed me?" look
tall and proud

so he doesn't look super skinny till you see the wrinkles that have no fat in them on his back. look how strong my boy is!
the I love you lookseriously, how can you resist. No wonder no one ever says no to the boys in my life :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Meet the teacher

Here is Katie with her new Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Dashman. She originally started with another teacher, but knowing how bright Katie is and that this teacher got rave reviews, Andy and I met with the principal and switched her. I am so happy I did. This teacher has really stepped up to the plate with our super smart kiddo and is working with us to further her brilliance (can't say I'm biased huh?)

She has great plans in store and is having Katie work on her very own book to read to the class and is wanting to stretch Katie with having her write notes and leave them i books i the classroom. The reason being that when someone picks that book to read, they will find the note from Katie telling why that is her favorite book, or a question that Katie has written about it and then they will either read the book and tell Katie the answer, or Katie will read it to them and they will discuss it. My very own little daughter book club. Meanwhile I continue to home school to supplement what she is learning.
Katie rode the school bus and boy was she excited to go. Baker was sad until a kind bus driver took pity on him (helps that he has a cute face, a high voice and that no one ever says no to him :) ) But the bus lady let him ride along with Katie. Sitting next to his sissy was a huge deal and he fell in love with school.

the first days of school, the end of freedom

So here it is, The time I have been dreading, but loving for my little girl. Her first day of a much delayed start in life. Kindergarten. She was so excited and we hurried and put on her new school clothes, did her hair, ate breakfast, made her first lunch and put it in her new school lunch box, got everyone else ready and we were off.

Of course Baker couldn't be left out so he hurried right along with his sissy to her classroom.

Here she is coming home after the long day. We jumped in the car and headed off to an ice-cream parlor to get the full the scoop of how the day went. After asking every question we could think of she finally told us these words of wisdom. "Mom, they don't challenge you on the first day. It's only about rules." Sort of like life here, huh? You learn the rules and then come the challenges. How she teaches me and amazes me everyday!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

the bunnies have come

we were watering our little garden when I made the mistake of asking Katie to turn off the water. And then Andy made the mistake of not checking if Katie turned it off. Hours later, there it was, a flooded back yard swamp. Andy went to mow the back yard and luckily (or at least our form of luck) our mower completely broke down right before he mowed over this little family of bunnies that had made their homes under our garden. With the water flooding them out, these new little babies had crawled (or floated) out of their home and were shivering in the tall green grass. Once I saw them, with their little eyes not yet open and shivering bodies, I knew I was in trouble. Not that I am a fan of bunnies, and definitely don't want them for pets...but I couldn't bring myself to kill them or call Randy over (our resident bunny do awayer person...who though we don't quite know what he does, the bunnies never come back). So I gathered up my rubber gloves, a box of grass clippings and made them a new home.
Katie got into the action and after I dug a little hole in the ground in the forest behind our house, Katie and I placed all the little bunnies there hoping the mother would sniff them out (or that nature would help them...knowing that coyotes would get them if nothing else) but regardless, I did what I could to ensure that they were given a fighting chance. Poor little things.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm not sure...

but my guess it that I have the most fantastic husband in the whole wide world!!!

What a Ride: It's been TEN-sational!

Pardon the pun in the title but my creativity has been severely stunted lately. I think it is due to the lack of sleep (which I blame on the kids waking up several times during the night but in reality is due to the fact that I keep staying up late to read a few more pages in Breaking Dawn). Any how, yesterday I had the amazing opportunity of spending my tenth wedding anniversary with the woman of my dreams. I still pinch myself occasionally to make sure that I'm not dreaming. She is a woman who you simply can't describe. Those of you that know her, know what I am talking about. Any adjective that exist in the English language doesn't quite capture how truly remarkable she really is. I definitely have a wonderful life!

I decided that as a token of my love and devotion I wanted to post some pictures of our life through the years; from the crazy stay-up-until-four-in-the-morning-because-we-just-didn't-want-to-leave-each-other's-presence days to the we-can't-stay-up-past-10:30-because-we-are-old-fogies stage. Each picture deserves a little explanation and a tribute to some of my wife's most cherished qualities.

Need I say more. This is one of my favorite pictures of us, except for my crazy face. Heather should of known then what she was getting in for and ran the other way. Luckily for me she had a minor lapse in judgement.


For those of you who don't know, our wedding cake crashed the night of our reception. Most women, in response to this crisis, would have felt their night was ruined and been very disappointed with the outcome. Heather, however, responded very differently. After the initial shock wore off she got her impish grin and laughed it off. I knew that night that I had made an excellent choice.

An Amazing Ability to Multi-task

Here we are dancing, posing for a picture, and cutting cake. She can do it all. In the amount of time it takes me to clean one room she can watch three children, clean the rest of the house, and sing and dance at the same time. I don't know how she does it.


Heather is one of the smartest people I know. She knows more in her bones than I could ever learn from books. She is truly gifted with an amazing ability to learn and digest information. A good example of this? Her degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Zoology, not to mention her associates in Theatre. Talk about balance.

Kind and Loving

I have yet to find a person in the world that Heather is not willing to help. They may have scorned her a day before and yet she is willing to rearrange her schedule to help them in their time of need. I am perhaps the biggest beneficiary of that kindness. I wish I had that level of love.


It would have been impossible for me to obtain any of the achievements that I have obtained with out the support of my beautiful wife. They say behind every good man is an incredible woman. Never before has a statement been so true. I would have very little if it wasn't for Heather's love and support.


Whether it is a lady bug cake, a theme party, a ward activity, a dinner for a sick neighbor, Heather approaches life with a creativity that is unmatched. During our ten years of marriage I have often said that Heather has the Midas Touch because everything she touches turns to gold, including her husband and her three beautiful children.


I knew I married the right woman on the night this picture was taken. We were starving students at the time and a booth at the California fair was handing out free packages of veggies with dipping sauce. We asked, "How many can we take?" They said as many as you want. I didn't think they would anticipate that we would clean them out. But Heather knows a good deal when she sees one. We had snacks for years to come. This frugality continues to shine as we "mine" our neighbors belongings for things they've outgrown.


Heather will go anywhere and do almost anything. It is wonderful to have such a vivacious woman at your side. If you can't tell those hats are stingrays.

Party Planner Extraordinaire

Heather throws the best parties in the world, enough said.


I know I've already used this one, but she doesn't need a prom dress and a fancy hairdo to be beautiful. I mean who else makes levi's, a hoodie, and a winter parka look so good?


What is it about graduations and my wife being pregnant? I joke but being able to have children with this phenomenal woman (especially after going through so many years where we didn't think we'd be able to) is the greatest blessing I've ever been given.


I, nor my children, will ever be able to repay Heather for the sacrifices she makes on a daily basis . Because she is so talented Heather could choose any career and succeed in it, in most cases rising to the top in that profession. And yet, she has chosen to put her imprint where it matters most, three adorable children. Thank you for that sacrifice. I know it often goes unnoticed, is undervalued, and at times feels like it isn't worth it but you improve our world on a daily basis.

Many of you know that I can't fix many things. As a result, my wife has become the female equivalent of McGyver. She can do it all. Look at that van (of course she had some help from her father, who has is fair share of ingenuity). In that case the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Family Centered
Heather is always looking for ways to bring us closer together. This is Baker's first birthday and as always, we are all there celebrating.


We didn't find out the gender of our third baby. The primary reason: Heather and I wanted to know what it would be like to have that experience. Heather's curiosity is one of the characteristics that is most appealing. I personally think her thirst for knowledge, her ability to serve other people, and many of the other characteristics listed above stem from this wonderful quality. She makes it her business to find out, especially if she doesn't know. What a beautiful characteristic.

In the end, it is hard to believe that it has been ten years. I'm a much different man now than I was in 1998, both physically and emotionally. In a book about Sister Hinckley, President Hinckley was asked if the years had changed his view of his wife. In typical fashion President Hinckley gave a response that has volumes of lessons in it. He said (of course I am paraphrasing with a lot of liberty) that many people use age, and physical changes, as a reason to fall out of love. He countered by saying that why would you stop loving your wife for the very things that made her what she is today. Instead of seeing wrinkles as a thing to dread he saw them almost like battle scars, the very things that proved their life and their love to one another. That is how I feel about my beautiful bride. I love her more today than I ever have. She is more beautiful to me now than ever. Everything she does is centered around enriching the lives of others. I am lucky that she decided to spend her life with me. I hope that I've treated her in a way that she is willing to sign on for another ten!