Thursday, August 30, 2007

Well I'm off!

Off to my sister Gloria's in Illinois for her birthday. I will be there until next wed. Than I am off again. This time with Dave to Boston for a radiology conference aka vacation. It's good to be me this week. I am sure to come back with lots of fun stories and pictures! Fun fun. Just for an update. I didn't go to the gym all week, but I didn't have any desserts. I didn't scrapbook one page every day but one day I did quite a few. I spent many days loving and serving others (Lindsay I will help you pack any time to get to rock your baby again) which made me very happy. I edited one photo shoot. But sorry Clifford family, I will have to do yours when I get home. All the laundry is done, and the house clean (ok so I had some help with that). I made many delicious meals, in fact 9 just today for a dinner group that I am in. Now all I have left to do is pack and get up at 4am. Yikes. How does this always happen? I can sleep on the plane right? I better because I know Gloria is going to be ready to go go go nonstop. Although I do plan to spend time sitting by their pond in their backyard reading Harry Potter books 6 & 7. Well, I will leave you with one more scrapbook page that I did that one day I scrapbooked. I love it! I guess maybe the pictures on it should be of me!

Heather's Nice News (HNN)

I have always wanted there to be a news program that wasn't all about the horrible things that people have done, but all of the wonderful things that people are doing. Celebrating the good! So I am going to start one. It is called HNN. And Tonight's top story is........

Giving and generous family move to Prescott!

We are very sorry to have to say goodbye to Lindsey and Ryan Lowry family. Their kindness, excitement for life, and service to others will be missed by local Surprisians. They will especially be remembered for taking a local family out on a hot summer morning (a holiday no less) to help them learn to rappel. With no thought for himself, Ryan Lowry awoke on said holiday at 5am and scouted out a good location and set up all of the equipment. The family lazily awoke hours later and headed out with the Gardners and their super fun and wonderful parents (I think that is where their son Ryan got it). We were rewarded with homemade cinnamon rolls by the lovely Toni Lyn Gardner, and fresh cut fruit. Only the best when they do things for others.The group than hiked in the desert and up this hill to begin their adventure. Ryan, and all his family with no thought for themselves, cheerfully helped everyone learn, and rappel down the steep cliff. All were cheered on no matter how slow they went.

Toni and Ryan's parents who just open up their hearts to everyone and are so enthusiastic!Rachel, and all of the girls looked so cute! I was so proud of them for being so brave!

Yes, I tastefully cut out my backside. It wouldn't be appropriate for headline news!

Here is the man of the day coming down facing forward, and running down the cliff. Thanks Ryan for all of your hard work, and giving of your time so that we could have a special day. We will miss your family. But don't worry we will come up and visit. Isn't there a river we have to rappel down into? smile. We wish you and your sweet family the best of luck! Your family is really an example of finding true joy in bringing happiness to others. We are trying to be just like you Gardner clan! So glad you are our friends.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cate & Lizzie-So Happy Together (ba-bum-bum bum)

There is a special something that happens when these two girls get together. Their eyes take on a glow of mischieviousness and joy mixed. I know that look. It is the look when I get together with my sisters. It's the look like you have a secret that only the two of you know. How cool to see that happen with our kids. When they are together they enter into their own little world where no one else is invited, and have non stop activities that they need to do. I love this picture above. Cate's love for Lizzie is almost worshipful. She will do anything that Lizzie does. Kelly tells me that all she needs to do to get Cate to wear something is to say that it was Lizzie's. Lizzie of course loves this level of admiration, and not having a younger sister, she really soaks it up. Here are a few pics from our trip to Cate's house this summer. Love em!

Here they are snuggled up in Kelly's bed. Notice all of the movies stacked up between them. That was their "to do" list.
In this pic they had just taken a marathon long bath in the big jet tub. They laughed and played for hours. This is when they got out and came into kelly's craft room. Lizzie exclaimed,"that was the best bath I have ever taken!"
this is how we usually find them. In dress up, hinding in some corner doing make-up or nails. Heaven! Kelly and I were off in our own corner. And while I am at it let me show you another group off in their own corner that I found when I took this picture.
I took it through the window of my Dad's house (that Kelly is living in). How cool to capture the moment of another set of cousins hanging out. These are the pictures that really are precious to me! This is a story that I want to remember always. oooh, how I love photography. ok that's all

The Incredibles! (i mean the swainstons)

We had alot of fun being silly! See, it wasn't so bad Tyler
More pictures on my photography site. Check it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Here is just a teaser Hilary. I know you are dying to see your pictures, but it does take alot of time and I am a busy woman you know. ha. You are killin me with the green blue eyes! Gorgeous!
P.S. click on the picture. It's even better bigger!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

No more desserts for awhile!

O.K. Petra maloy has given me a serious workout regime and diet to follow. So I can just kiss all these yummy desserts that I have been eating goodbye until 15 pounds say goodbye. Speaking of desserts the one pictured above I must tell you about. My sister in law's sister (did you follow that?) Made this on pioneer day (more pictures to follow another time on that event). It was unbelieveable. Buttermilk pie and then she made two sauces you could put on it and homemade whipped cream. Of course I needed to try both sauces. One was strawberry and the other a mixed berry. I watched her make them with fresh fruit. Really so yummy. I haven't gotten the recipe yet, but I will share it when I do. Anyway, tonight as I was eating dinner I commented to the Maloys( by the way weren't their talks today in church great?!) who were over for dinner that I felt like I was eating my last supper. So I loaded up. Helped myself to a big piece of chocolate truffle cake and just had some of the yummiest cookies ever that Leilani brought over for our Relief Society Presidency meeting (we missed you AMie). I think maybe something is wrong with me because since I have been Relief Society President since March 2006, i have gone through 2 counselors and a secretary. Yes, that is right. Everyone has been replaced except me. Hmmm... concerning. Really it is just that the primary needed them more than me I guess, at least I hope. Whenever I see these three sisters now I have to hug them because I love and miss them. It really is such a bonding experience serving together. Working to help others. What an opportunity. So tonight we ( the all new but me presidency) had a meeting, and we laughed and talked for 3 1/2 hours (and ate incredible cookies. Ask Leilani for the recipe. They melt in your mouth and I am sure straight down to your thighs. But I am still going to eat another one before I go to bed. You know the diet starts tomorrow right?!!! ha, don't tell Petra. So thanks Leilani, Amy, and Christine. I love you ladies, thanks for being examples of all things good and right in this world.

I just went and checked on my kids and as always I have to try and find Lizzie in what creative space that she invented to sleep in for the night. Tonight I found her in the pack and play. Yes she is almost six and still fit in it. What a nut. oooh just for fun I will share a picture of how cozy and cute she looked in her pajamies saying goodbye to me saturday morning. I was off to do a photo shoot so I whipped out my camera and took a few pictures. Isn't she so yummy still, even at six? Speaking of photo shoots. I did two on Saturday and can't wait to share, but you know I have hours of editing before I can. Also, some exciting news. I committed (after much deliberation) to do a wedding. Remember "the engaged abbotts" from my photography website. I am looking forward to it. Especially doing just the bride and groom shots the week before the wedding. I think it will be so fun, and no pressure of the wedding day. WEll, I am off to eat my cookie and hit the sack. Night.
P.S. Remember Brandon Klippel was doing his first catering job? Well, it was this weekend and they loved his food. He even got a $100 tip from one of the guests! Way to go Brandon! I told you he was good. Dave thinks it is because he was wearing a chef jacket that he convinced him that he needed to buy and wear. ha

Friday, August 24, 2007

Funny True Story!

Ok here's the deal. I am addicted to paradise bakery. It has been one of the best things about living in Arizona, and they just built one literally down the street. So needless to say Dave and I have been there about 4 times in the past week. So Dave and I ran into Target tonight to get some things and ran into Natalie and Ryan. All it took was Ryan saying how he tried one of their lemon cookies and it was so good. Right then and there I knew I needed to have one. After laughing for an hour in the aisle with them (you guys are so fun!!!!), we excused ourselves, made our purchases and booked it over to paradise bakery. People sweeping inside wasn't a good sign, but I was not to be deterred. We parked and walked up. As we did, a guy who worked there (Antonio the baker, come to find out) was walking out with a drink and a paradise bakery bag. I asked, "are they closed." With a look of understanding he let me know they closed at nine (20 minutes before). I said, "that's ok I will just take what you have there in the bag (with a smile and a laugh). He said, "really you can have some, I have like a lifetime supply, I am a baker here." I replied with a half hearted no, that's ok, but then I just had to ask what he had in that bag. Chocolate chippers he said happily. oooohhh I joyfully said with a hop and a clapping hands. (I know you can see that in your mind Christine, I love a good treaty). I caved I couldn't resist. I expected him to hand me one, but he gave me the whole dang bag. I didn't want to be rude and look in I just thanked him profusely, told him he did a very good deed, shook his hand, asked his name, and said I would be back in to see him soon! I jumped back in the car a happy girl. When I got home I opened the bag and found two quiches and about 5 dozen cookies. A jackpot! So the lesson of this my friends is... never be afraid to ask, and be sure to smile smile smile, people respond well to enthusiasm and appreciation. Thanks Antonio!!! I will definitely ask Heavenly Father to send some goodness your way for your generosity to a middle aged woman having a chocolate craving. I am off to get a glass of milk and enjoy the spoils. I think I have convinced Dave to watch "The man from Snowy River" with me. I know gals, it's a good night.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Brandon Klippel-Chef Extraordinaire

What is he making you ask. I will tell you. The most incredible appetizer. He still has to add the grilled chicken and freshly shaved parmigiano cheese. We were fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to be taste testers in preparation for his first catering job. He had multiple samples of drinks, soup, potatoes, steak with different sauces and we had to give our opinion of which we liked better and why, how it could be improved etc. It was a fabulous experience, and I am telling you now that you had better book with him before he gets too famous for all of us. He really has a gift. He created most of the recipes himself, and they all kept us oohing and ahhing (and asking for more!) So I am very excited for him to start this new business endeavor. YOU are AWesoME BRAnDon!!! I am going to come up with some reason for you to cook for us again. Seriously better than any restaurant. Thank you Thank you for the honor of being a taste tester. WE are always available. smile

guilt free scrapbooking, is there such a thing?

Ok. so the kids are back in school, and it is quiet around here, and I have this lucious creative space, and 10 years worth of supplies I never use! So guess what, I am making it a priority to scrapbook and not feel guilty about it! I just have such a hard time thinking that I could or should be helping someone instead of cutting and glueing things. It seems so frivolous and silly when compared to visiting someone who is lonely or needs help. The key for me is to find a balance. I try to do service, scripture study, exercise, cleaning, time with kids, time with hubby, and a little fun time for me every day. It is just so easy to keep going with the fun time when you are all by yourself all day. ha ha. I know Dave is so jealous and wishes he were home with me. He says I am in early retirement. I tell him I am just management now. So anyway, my goal is one or two pages a day. Here are some of the few I have done lately. I am way into textured rick rack lately, I love it! I also love to use fabric, paint, and chip board letters. So hope you enjoy these. I will try to keep sharing.
this one below is one of my alltime favorite. I love simple simple and great colors. And of course I am so loving ric rack right now!!!!! 2 page layout the first above the second below


Our big night out in downtown Phoenix

Some things you just miss out on when you live in the suburbs. This guy was cracking me up. As we walked to the Chase Fields stadium for the Diamond backs game (THey won yeah!) he was just totally rockin out. I can't say it was great music, but he sure looked good. Don't you think?
An Indoor baseball stadium? Air conditioned? I've never seen such a thing. It still had all of the excitement, with the sounds of the game, bright lights, and smells. It was exciting. It has been awhile for me since I have been to a baseball game. Thanks to the Chowdury's who invited us! It was suite! As in we watched from a suite. Very cool. I just liked having a private clean bathroom close by. You know there are five of us girls.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Favorite things!

Here is one of them. Hanging out talking on the bed with my family. This is at Kelly's after Nicole got there. All of my girls, my two sisters, and niece Kelsie. We have so much fun together. Just looking at this picture makes me happy, and sad that we don't all live closer. Lizzie is wearing Nicole's glasses and saying that she is a scientist. What would I do without all of these awesome women/girls in my life? I don't even want to think about it! I bet my Mom misses this, but I know she is close by (in heaven) and enjoying us. They better have a big bed up in heaven for all of us. ooohhhh girl time!!! Can't wait. Anywho, feeling blessed that I have the funniest, smartest, and coolest family ever. Yah me!! (clapping hands like the girl on suite life of zack and cody)

Monday, August 20, 2007


I know so many good people. People that bring light and goodness into my life, and the life of my family. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and so sad by the horrible things that people do in this world. But than I am given hope when I come in contact with good people, like the ones pictured here to the right. So I am going share some of their goodness with you so that you have hope too. Meet Jerry and Kelly Grant. When we first moved here they were in our ward. We discovered that we both had moved from the same stake in Oregon. Most people are scared off by our five kids. Not them. They invited us over for dinner, as well as the Maughn family. They are the type of people who reach out to others. Who really care about people. Whatever they do, they do well. They haven't been members of our church all their lives. Kelly went to an adventist college, but she had more questions than they could answer. Her conversion story is really neat, you will have to ask her about it. I admire her love of service and helping others. Her husband is the same. I love how organized they are. I am always attracted to really organized, disciplined, and motivated people. I guess I am hoping it will be contagious and rub off on me. Mostly I am thankful for their friendship. Every time I see them they greet us with these beautiful smiles. I know they care about us and appreciate our friendship and that makes me feel so good. So thank you KElly and Jerry. Thanks for inviting us and the Maughns over again this Sunday and for your warm hospitality. Even letting us celebrate Jacob's birthday! We love you guys and think you are amazing people who make this world a better place!

Kelly making us yummy assemble your own taco salad!

Our favorite son with our favorite cake from Fry's grocery store, a strawberry shortcake. Try it , it is incredible!


I am nerdier than 93% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out! I believe that Hilary Swainston started this, and then it was on my nieces blog. So of course Dave and I had to take the test too. Who's score do you think this is? You don't know me very well if you think it is mine. I scored a whoping 1, and I think that I got that one because I misread a question (I realized that when Dave took it. I don't think it is something to be proud of. It shows how totally clueless I am in alot of ways. But hey! I had more than 15 good friends, it can't be all bad. and Leah says that it means that I am coolio, so there you go. Dave's would be the 93 there out of 100. It said that he is super nerdy and should apply for a professorship at MIT right away. Too funny. Do you see why we got married. Y&ou know how they say that opposites attract. I love boys that are really smart, and straight laced. Of course they have to be spiritual, athletic and funny too. Dave was the only one that was all of these things. I must admit that every guy that I ever seriously dated was in an engineering program or went to medical school. Dave did both. I am pretty proud of my fine catch. smile. The picture is of him taking the test with a chinchilla on his back (What Lizzie likes to call herself).

Sophia REneer

One of the many exciting events of this summer was getting to meet my brother Kenny's new little baby (kelsie's sister) Sophia. Isn't she a doll? We pretty much fought over who gets to hold her all the time. Kenny is so cute as Mr. Mom. We miss you little Sophia.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Baby's 13 Today!

Woke up to this this morning. A sure sign that we are headed into the teenage years. ha ha. I am guessing the Nielsens did this!!!! Happy birthday Jake!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Someone's 13 Today!!

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love this boy. He has been a gift from the day that he was born. He has the ability to fill my heart with joy and happiness like few people or things can. I think I could handle anything if I had this kid to help me through it. We are so much alike it is funny. We really get each other. We can talk and laugh all day long together. The only problem I ever have with him is sometimes having to remind him that I am still the adult and he is still a kid. He knows just how to calm me down, or cheer me up. I tell Dave if he wants to know how to deal with me just watch Jacob. His wife is going to be one lucky girl, this boy is well trained. How I am going to let him go though I am not quite sure. He has to promise every day to marry someone who likes me. I know you are all laughing right about now. I told him to never grow up when he was about four. Of course he had some wise counsel for me even at four. He said he had to grow up and be like DAddy, but he did promise to always love me and be nice to me. He has been true to his word. I love you Jakie, and I thank Heavenly Father every day that he gave me you!!!

Missing You Kelsie

It was so much fun to have another daughter this summer. My niece Kelsie. One of the things she really wanted to do was go to temple square in Salt Lake city. She went with us last summer and loved it so much. First we met up with some sister missionaries and had a tour. They were so sweet, and had such a strong spirit with them. We were all bawling the whole time we were with them.

After our tour we met up with more cousins to go and see the Joseph Smith movie, where we cried more. The smallest boy on the far right in this picture is my nephew Ian. He is an intense serious boy, who is exactly like my lawyer brother (his Dad) Brett. During the movie as the mobs were tar and feathering Joseph Smith he was so upset he was muttering to the movie with his angry serious face, "you stupid idiots, that's Joseph Smith!" He has a little language problem from being around my brother (who does as well). He always gets in trouble when he uses this phrase but dang it if it wasn't the cutest to see him so devoted to the prophet, and so upset at his mistreatment. this picture is so classic. Really shows all their personalities. You should have seen everyone staring at me alone with all these kids. I was in Utah where large families aren't so out of the ordinary, and I think that people thought they were all mine. After the movie we went and took pictures in the spot where the bride and groom pictures are always taken. The girls wanted one showing their excitement and anticipation for their wedding day in the temple (hence the first photo). Look closely and you will see the boys trying to run into the picture on the right. Love it!