Saturday, June 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Mare Mare!

Rebecca turned 9 today! Here she is sporting her new purse that Rachel made for her. So cute! We played volleyball in the pool as a family, went out to dinner at Macaroni grill (Thanks Haroldsens for the gift certificate). Then came home, opened presents, and watched Black Beauty (one of her presents). Dad, Kathi, and Grandma Judy...Rebecca bought a boy and girl Bratz doll with her birthday money from you. She was so excited! Thank you! and to my friends that I got addicted to tres Leches at cafe rio, I have a new addiction for you. It is the lemon passion at Macaroni Grill. It tastes like a lemon version of tres leches. It is so unbelievable!!!!!! Also, thanks to Sister Burt who brought over a candied party mix on Friday night that is called "addiction". I have been on a non stop sugar high ever since. I can't stop eating it! I will put the recipe on here when I get it. I recommend that you plan on giving most of it away or you will be feeling as sick as I do right now. Anyway, back to Rebecca. She is so sweet and had such a fun day. Her birthday present from us is horseback riding in Tahoe. She lovessss horses of course. Hopefully they aren't suffering from smoke inhalation. I keep asking my Dad if we should still come up with the fire that has occurred. I don't trust him when he says everything is fine up there because I know he will say anything so that we will still come. Well we leave early Tues. fun fun. We are bringing my niece Kelsie home with us and stopping over in so. cal on the way home. I will be alone with all 6 kids then and we are going to hit hollywood, the beach, and see WICKED the musical in L.A. I got cheap (relatively yikes) seats, but I am so excited for them to see it. They have every song memorized from the CD. They can't wait.
So anyway, what a fun family day. It made me nostalgic for the fun days I had with my family growing up. I am so blown away that I have this family of five kids, and get to experience this whole life thing with such an incredible person as DAve. I have the family I always wanted. I remember when Dave and I were engaged. We couldn't wait to just be together every second of every day and never have to say goodbye (or goodnight ha) or part again. And that we could raise a family the way that we wanted to, and have our own little happy world. How cool to realize those plans, and that there is so much more to come and look forward to. I actually sat back a minute as we were all in the pool and watched everyone laughing so hard together, really took it in, and felt blessed.
Happy Birthday my sweet Rebecca Mary. What joy and love you bring to our family every day. And I am so proud of you not getting as grumpy all the time. yah, you heard me right family. I think it is because she is getting more sleep and our schedule isn't as hectic. We really just hang out mostly at home together. So that is the Rebecca update. Gotta go and finish my lesson for Relief Society tommorrow.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Do you RememBEr?

Do you remember this age? So in between. Still a little girl but changing. It is exciting at times, but then so scary at times. Wanting to snuggle in your mom's arms like a baby sometimes and then wanting to really stretch your wings and act older sometimes. That is RAchel. Still such a little girl but a budding young woman. So cheesy to say budding. ha. but so true. Her emotions really fluctuate. She is really affected by things. This book for instance that she is reading. After she finished reading it at 11:30 one night she came down and was sobbing. She wanted to change the ending. The harshness of life was killing her. That was so me (and still is). I want to still be innocent of evil and protected by a parent, and not know of all the bad in the world. That is what we discussed. She was crying the whole time. First about the bad people, and than about the good. She went on and on about how good Brother and Sister Swainston are in our ward. How much she loves them and the feeling of goodness that she has when she is around them. Sister Swainston is her primary teacher, and her husband is in the bishop bric. I understand . i love them too. I could cry about it too. We hugged, and cried and I told her the scripture that always comforts me. Ether 12:4 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." This is one of my favorite scriptures. This is what keeps me going. The hope of a better world. To be with God and everything will be good and perfect. No more evil, no more contention. Just love, and happiness. So I will keep having faith and always abounding in good works, and creating my own little peace of heaven on earth in my home and as far as I can stretch my influence. I hope I can teach my children this. They have some tough times ahead. It can be hard to be an adult. But for now, I just want to let them enjoy as much as possible the wonderful feeling of being completely safe at home and with their family. Where I can protect them and work on their armor for when they have to go 0ut and face the world.

JuSt BeCause

Some just because pictures. Just because I am a happy mom. I am so loving summer and having all of my kids home. I love seeing their faces and giving hugs all day long. I told Dave as we were all in the pool playing together the other night that I am as happy as I can possibly be. Which scares me. Because does that mean it is all down hill from here? Will they all grow up and it won't ever be the same? I can't bear the thought. So for now I will treasure every second, and soak up their yumminess as much as possible.

Saying Goodbye is hard to do!

Our very special friends and neighbors the Thinnes family are moving tomorrow morning. WE have had so much fun with them over the past two years. They bring alot of energy and love to our neighborhood. It will be hard to not be able to just stop by whenever. They were who I went to first when Dave had a heart attack to ask them to watch the kids. My kids just love Jenny and Brian and their three girls. They feel so comfortable and loved in their home. Both Jenny and Brian have taken the time to form special friendships with the kids, and with Dave and I. Brian really wanted to see Jacob before he left. He said he didn't care when the packers finished tonight he would wait until Jacob's flight arrived from Illinois. So here they are at 10 pm tonight. Thanks for all the basketball, tennis, football, and ping pong games. All the goofing around. What will a summer night be without you!

Rachel loves Jenny sooo much. She loves to go over and just hang out and help Jenny. So hard

Just look at Leah's face to know how much we love Jenny.

Jenny from the block, and Brian from the Office (ha ha). You will be sorely missed. Thank you for your friendship. We will always cherish it!

all the thinnes girls, and Lexi making jacob feel comfortable by all turning to the side so we could get jacob's side of his mouth that has teeth. ha ha
We moved to the neighborhood at the same time and they were our first friends. Nicole and Jacob (like the rest of us) were kindred spirits. Their friendship really helped them make it through a rough transition for the both of them. They always had each other. Doesn't hurt that she's easy on the eyes too. ha.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Getting ready for recital

Feeling oh so cute!

getting down the moves!

I admit it. It is me that loves ballet more than them all. i think it is such a beautiful art form. To be able to move with such beauty. I always wanted to take ballet growing up, but we couldn't afford it. i had to choose between violin, and another activity. I don't regret choosing violin, but is it so wrong to want my girls to enjoy something I appreciate so much? They aren't complaining.


saturday night was the recital for "A Time to Dance". The girls have worked really hard to prepare for this night. For the night when all the magic happens! It was at the Maricopa County events center in Sun City. I didn't even know it was there. It is huge and so nice. The girls were so excited to have their own nice dressing room. To be one of the "older girls" finally. To be able to put on make-up and have multiple costume changes etc. All four girls danced. Rachel and Rebecca had ballet, jazz, lyrical, and were in the final production number. Leah and lizzie in tap/ballet and Leah also had a jazz number. And no, I will not be doing this again for quite some time! Too many classes.

lizzie had to add a pose too!

Their favorite is getting flowers from Dad after the show. It makes them feel so special (in their words). Have I said lately that I love having girls.

DANce CAmp StarTed Today

When you have a daughter like Rachel you don't need to enroll your other children in summer programs. She keeps everyone entertained and busy. Since their dance recital and watching "So you think you can dance" (our total favorite). The excitement about dancing is at a high around here. Rachel choreographed a seriously good routine for Rebecca Leah and Lizzie for family night on Monday. It was contemporary and told a story with really good costumes. Than she decided she was going to have a dance camp. So all the girls spent the night in her room last night, and had a big schedule for today. Below is their schedule that Rachel made and had posted on her wall.When I got up they were already to stretching before their first class. I think Jacob is going to be very disturbed at the total girlness of our household activities everyday after being with a house full of boys at my sisters. ha ha. Yesterdays activity was cleaning out the refrigerator and watching the food chanel for great cooking tips from The Barefoot Contessa. The girls loved it!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Rachel-her BIG Heart and Her lOve of SeWing

The other night real late, I am down in my office talking to Kelly. Rachel runs in and says, "Look mom at this apron I made." Immedietely followed by, "Don't ask where I got the fabric." Since it came from my scrapbook supply. I am amazed with this girl. She has such a creative spirit and no fear of failure. I got her a sewing machine for Christmas, and Aunt Kelly showed her the basics and away she went. Doesn't need instructions or a pattern. She just wants to create. Here is her first project her own apron in the picture below. She than did jobs to earn money and organized Leah and Lizzie's room so i would take her to Walmart to buy more fabric. She was so cute. She picked out all the fabric herself and how much she wanted of each. She than came home and made her three sisters matching aprons. What an awesome sister!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


tODAY is the birthday of someone very special! She is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. Let me start by telling how we met. Our love story if you will. On October 30, 1991, we both entered the missionary training center in Provo, Ut. We both had been called to serve in the Italy, Catania mission. After we said our goodbyes to our parents and families that we wouldn't see for a year and a half. We were given our room assignments and a map. As I walked down the corridor to my room (which was at the very end facing the corridor). I had the first glimpse of my dear Nunzia (Italian for nancy). I walked up and we instantly hugged. Have you ever had that experience? Meeting someone that you feel you have known a very long time before even a word is spoken. There was instantly a strong connection between us. An excitement of seeing a dear friend you haven't seen in a long time. From that moment on we could not be parted (luckily since we were companions and you aren't allowed too). We were always arm and arm laughing, talking, singing. Much to everyone's annoyance at times. Here we are being goofy doing our cleaning assignment at the MTC. WE even had fun cleaning bathrooms together. Maybe that is why I don't like to do them anymore. I just need Nancy ha.

It is very unusual to be assigned a companion that is going to your same mission, but we were. We spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas in the MTC together, and new years on the plane going to Italy. We celebrated it twice in two time zones. We both made it to the Cataniai, on Sicily and met our mission president who gave us our first city we would be serving in. After being put on a train by ourselves sending us up north we crossed the Messina together and continued on another train up to Bari for me and Foggia for her. It was a tearful parting. But we begged our mission president to put us together for the holidays again the next year (which he did) and than for the last couple months of our mission.

Isn't this old city street amazing. OOH I just loved Italy.

Here we are at our ending our mission party that the branch in Cosenza gave for us. This was how we made our entrance.
If it is possible to have a girl soul mate. She would be mine. Our husband's just have to understand. Nancy's husband calls me the prophet because she will do anything I say. That isn't true Barry! We just highly respect each other's opinion. I can't believe how blessed I am to not only have 3 sisters but also Nancy and others (sorry my love) that are just as dear to me and I know would do anything for me. Nancy, you are dear to my heart. You make me laugh with your funny stories! You uplift me with your strength of character. I love your patriotism, your love of protecting our beautiful earth (yes, I am recycling, and turning off the water while I brush). I love your strong feelings on motherhood and being a woman. You are such an example of doing what is right, being friendly and kind to all, and sharing your strong convictions with all you come in contact! Happy Birthday bella mia. La tua sorella

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


tHE truth is I have been tagged many many times, but I never do it. I can never think of 7 odd things about me that everybody doesn't already know. So determined to finally respond on the latest tagging, I asked my kids what were some things unique to me. BAD IDEA. Leah offered that I look different without makeup on. RAchel that I look like a witch with my pointy chin and nose. And they just go down hill from there. So again, never ask your kids. That kind of honesty I can do without. Anyway. My 7 items are going to take seven posts (I just don't do things fast.) So here we go.
#1. I am obsessive at times. No secret there. But one of the things I just can't keep my fingers off of are loose teeth. My children are aware of this and stay clear of me. I beg them to let me just wiggle it. Promising I won't pull it out. But inevitably, I will do one hard push. CAse and point on this first picture. Leah just lost her first tooth yesterday (thanks to me I might add, ha). They start out teary eyed and mad after I do that. Then it is the endless looking at it and playing with it (pictures 2&3). The whole family usually is involved in this process. Then the final outcome. Either they get brave enough to do the final pull, or they succumb to my need to pull it out.

But it always ends in this way. Smiling and so excited that they lost a tooth, and can't wait for the tooth fairy to come. The tooth fairy is a whole other story. Why can't she ever remember! Either someone responsible (like Jacob) covers for me, or I end up throwing it behind the bed and having them look to see if it just slipped out while they were sleeping. We really do have the slickest sheets around. ha ha. That is what happened this morning since Jacob is out of town. ha

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Family Home Evening

FHE was spent out in the pool playing with Dad's fathers day gift. And no, Jacob hasn't shrunk. That is Sean my friend's son who is staying with us while his brother is in the hospital.

Dave lovin it! I love the legs sticking up. They must be Rachel's.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Father of my Children

Someone was spoiled by his girls today!

Our lesson in Relief Society today was on integrity. The definition being the willingness and ability to live by our beliefs and commitments. Integrity is a state or quality of being complete, undivided, or unbroken. it is wholeness and unimpaired. it is purity and moral soundness. it is unadulterated genuineness and deep sincerity. It is courage, honesty, uprightness, and righteousness. Integrity in individuals and corporate bodies is not to ask, "What will others think of me, and my practices?" but, "What do I think of myself if I do this or fail to do that?" Is it proper? Is it right? Would the master approve?.... The lesson talked of men in the scriptures that exemplified integrity. May I add another. He is pictured above. I am in daily close contact with a man that fits this definition. I have always said that I know that Heavenly Father loves me because he gave me Dave. How wonderful to be connected to someone who is unwavering in following what is right, and keeping his commitments to his family and his Heavenly Father. What peace that brings. Even today on father's day he kept his committments to a family that he hometeaches and is determined to care for as the Lord would. It is a family of eight children and a single mom. He went over last night to make sure the boys had their church clothes ready and said that he would be picking them up the next morning. The mom called this morning and said that she was at the hospital with her oldest son so Dave went over this morning and got the kids up and ready, brought them to church. Then tonight went over to do scriptures and prayers with them. He then took the 10, 12, and 13 year old boys to the hospital with him and the Bishop to visit their 19 year old brother, give him a blessing. Then they all went to where the mom was working (she had been there since 3 p.m. and will work until 7am tomorrow morning). What an incredible example he is to his children of love and service to others. I could go on for hours. Just want to shout it out that my heart is full. Men like Dave are rare in a world like ours. How blessed I am to celebrate today that my children have such a father.

p.s. If you are wondering where Jacob is he is at my sister's in Illinois having the time of his life!

happy father's day DAD!

(the other half of the layout is down below, click on it to enlarge and read journaling).

Here is a scrapbook layout that I did recently on my Dad. A tradition that we all love! He was good with traditions. Family softball, our two weeks every summer that we planned and planned for. He lived for those two weeks. We loved going to kmart (or Kfart, as he called it, and pic-n-save or pic-your-nose was right next door). He would get us flip flops, new coloring books and crayons, shorts. Whatever we could prove that we really needed for the trip. Usually our trip was to the sierras. One week at Grant Lake and one week in Tahoe. A tradition that we all still carry on. Who could forget ice-creams at the silver lake store. I know my siblings are smiling as they read this reveling in the memory. My dad ( and mom) always had a new hobby they were pursuing and would teach us all. One year racquetball, one year tennis, water skiing, motorcycling, snow skiing, golf, ping pong, bowling. Pretty much every sport. That is how I later impressed the guys I dated. ha. Thanks dad. Depending on your age in the family you missed out learning some hobbies. Being in the middle I pretty much got them all. Lucky me. Now my Dad works on the grand kids. He has them all playing disc golf, the latest thing he is into, since he is such an old man now. ha ha. The cool thing is he was always looking to learn new things, and enjoy life to the max. Something our husbands may have learned too late. ha ha. We like to play! Anyway, thanks dad, for working so hard, and being so fun! I'll whoop you at tennis this summer. Love, your seemingly sweet and innocent heather.

ps. do you see where I get my big round eyes?!