A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shelves, anyone?

Well, we bought wood to get shelves wherever we wanted them throughout the house. And, as I mentioned, my dad offered to finish the boys' closets. Well, he's fast and had the closets done in a few mornings. Obviously I still have some painting to do (to the doors and door frames), but look how wonderful these closets are:
Look at the pretty trim and rosettes
Two bars in the center; shelves on each side

The shelves go around the corner to the front of the closet

Oh, and my Dad's boredom (or his noticing my honey-do list isn't having anything crossed off ;) motivated him to do even more -- now both Becca and Shayla have shelves in their closets, and the old window in our toy room has adjustable shelves. I'm loving our "extra" space! It's amazing how much more organized you can feel with some shelves here and there!


For Shayla's 50th day of school they were supposed to dress up 50s style. Fortunately when digging through our Halloween bin I saw that we have a poodle skirt! I don't even know where we got it since we've had it for years. However, convincing the little darling was a chore. What 5-year-old knows that a poodle on a skirt makes it 50s?

Dancing in her 50s outfit

Fortunately she believed her Momma and wore it in spite of her reservations. Then she got to school and found her teacher ... in a poodle skirt! Score!

(BTW, in case you didn't know, kindergarten teachers are the end-all. They could say what time for a child to go to bed; how many pieces of candy to eat; etc. and it would be gospel. Now if only they would! ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


To ask Kyle to Sadies, Becca gave him a bowl full of goldfish crackers and said, "Of all the fish in the sea, will you go to Sadies with me?" He answered by putting a real goldfish in the bowl and returning it with a note that said yes. I should have taken a picture of her with the fish (Sadie) before she died ...

Anyway, I didn't get any pictures of them on the day of the dance, because they didn't come here. She assures me her friend's mom will share, but I still haven't seen pictures yet ...

But Becca had a cute idea for shirts and put words on them for the couples. She and Kyle had these shirts:
Her friends had these ones:

Apparently this is some inside joke
They had fun until Kyle got sick and threw up. Apparently he wasn't so lucky after all ... ;)

Little happenings

This is how bad my memory is these days -- if I don't have a picture, then I forget to blog about it. Seriously? I can't be that old. Or am I?

A couple of weeks ago Shayla got to celebrate her birthday at school. This is a new thing for us since she's our one and only summer birthday. She came home with a birthday crown and the birthday bag. Yes, birthdays as a kid are much better than they are as an adult ...

Last  month we toured Utah State University since Becca is thinking she'll go there to school. It's so crazy to think that next year she'll leave us and be in college! Anyway, the girl looked like she owned the campus:
(This is where you can become a true Aggie -- being kissed on a full moon at midnight. Paul offered to drive up and give her a kiss on the cheek so she can become a true Aggie. She laughed, but don't put it past him ...)

Our dining table has a few new dents in it. Okay, yes, it was already dented from my mom's cub scouts back in the day. But now my own kid has added his own mark. Which child, you ask? Austin! He was having so much fun with Play-doh and a toy hammer that I let him go at it. It wasn't until the next day I noticed dents all over where he had been hammering:

My Dad is finishing our boys' shelves. I have no idea how he can be bored. He is bishop of a HUGE ward, works a service mission at the meat-packing plant (although they released him when he became bishop, he still goes every week), and has a bunch of grandkids he entertains regularly. However, he is bored and is building shelves in my boys' bedrooms. They look GREAT! I'm so happy. Anyway, Austin has sure enjoyed watching Grandpa work:

And happy birthday to my sweet nephew James, who wanted no part of his cake smash. Poor boy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reflections winner!

My boys decided to enter Reflections this year, much to my dismay ... :) Anyway, Tyler wrote a great story, Star Wars style (it's awesome with flying cake and everything), and Zachary wrote a song for the piano. Great fun ... until you have to do the paperwork that has to be completed! (I also had to play Zachary's song to record since he didn't want to, and it's hard to play music written a little sloppily by an 8-year-old. But I only made one mistake as far as I know. :)

Zachary won in his category -- how fun!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Halloween is such an exciting time for kids! And since my kids aren't picky about what they are going to be, it's enjoyable for me as well. :)

Last year I hit up Walmart after Halloween to get the clearance costumes. That got me 2/4 of the costumes I needed. I had one in storage from a yard sale years back for Austin, so I was left with only one costume to get. Zachary wanted to be Harry Potter. I pulled out an old graduation gown we had, but he was mortified I suggested a blue (Ravenclaw) robe for someone in Gryffindor. Gasp! Fortunately my friend Hilary came through by grabbing an "official" Gryffindor robe from her sister. He already had the wand I made for his birthday party, and we grabbed glasses from the dollar store. Viola! All the costumes were ready to go.

I was worried it was going to be freezing, because when we took pictures in the morning it was COLD! Last year it hailed on us while we were trick-or-treating. However, the weather turned out to be beautiful -- not too hot and not too cold. Phew! (So glad, especially since it snowed today quite a bit!)

Here are the cute kiddos, er, Darth Vader, Harry Potter, a witch and a giraffe:

Oh, and let me document the fun of teenagers! For a month I've been asking Becca if she'd like to have a Halloween party this year, and she kept saying she wanted to, but never got around to actually planning anything. I told her we had to plan games, refreshments, etc. before I'd let her invite people. (We also needed to plan how many to invite and for how long, etc.) After several prods, I finally just dropped it and realized she wasn't going to go through with it. Last week she finally mentioned that she wasn't going to have the party after all. Sunday afternoon I asked what she was going to do for Halloween. She didn't know.

Then Sunday night she came home from a fireside and said she had invited 10 people over for a party. WHAT?!? And they were coming from 6 to 11 p.m. on a school night. REALLY?!? These were the "little" details we were supposed to figure out before anyone was invited two weeks ahead. Sigh. She figured I had planned to make cookies anyway, so why not have friends over to eat them? TEENAGERS!!!

Oh, and Friday night was the masquerade at her school, and she wanted to make a cool mask this year. So she did (after much trial-and-error with paper mache -- instead of just asking for help or looking up how to make it. And her asking me to blow dry it onto her face? That's another story ...). Anyway, what she didn't inform me was that she had also decided to spray-paint her hands gold to match the mask? Really?!? Where does she come up with these ideas? Here's the final product:
And in case you're wondering -- no, the spray paint didn't come off with the initial wash. I only wish it had been harder to get off so she'd think before doing things like that in the future! :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soccer September

I feel like I'm still recovering from soccer, which ate up our September. Generally it's a bit hectic but doable, but this year it almost did me in. I didn't probably take into account well enough that Paul is in school, and then Becca got a job but still doesn't have her license, so it was taking me an hour per day to get her to and from work. Add one more little tidbit that they moved the soccer games around, so now Tyler and Shayla played at different parks on the same night. Yes, hectic and completely tiring!

Of course, they love it and that makes it all worth it (although I'll definitely re-think it next fall :). Here are some pics of the kiddos in action -- I love action shots!

Tyler's field was so huge this year, so I was glad to get a few pics!
Still sticks out the tongue when he's serious. :P
Socializing was as fun as soccer for this girl. Love the dress under the soccer shirt?

Friday, October 28, 2011


Senior year meant Becca's last chance to go to Homecoming. She really wanted to be asked, and I bet you can't guess who came through? Having a boyfriend can sure come in handy, eh? :)
Look at how well that tie matches!
Becca had a wonderful time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Adventures in sewing

When Becca got asked to prom 1.5 weeks before prom her sophomore year, we had to get a dress fast! I was soooo very blessed to find a set of dresses on the KSL classifieds that the lady sold for very cheap (something like $40 for four dresses and a skirt). I donated the skirt since I knew we'd never make a top for it, and we donated one of the dresses that neither of us liked the look of. Becca wore the burgundy dress to prom -- we just added some fancy ribbon to the high waistline to make it look a little more elegant.

The blue dress has been borrowed by two of her friends, but Becca has yet to wear it -- even though it looks good on her. (Then again, she's bought three other dresses from yard sales, so the girl is not hurting for dresses. :)

The teal one had a zipper that worked only half the time -- not a great scenario if you don't know if the dress will zip up the night of the dance. We were going to trade a neighbor her sewing skills to put in a new zipper for free babysitting, but we've done a similar arrangement before (to get sleeves added to a dress) for which Becca has yet to babysit. So I knew if we were going to make modifications I was on my own. I have never sewed a zipper into anything before, but it couldn't be too hard, right? (I hope, I hope! :)

We also decided since all of her dresses are long that we'd shorten the teal dress for a change. I mean, while we're on the verge of destroying it, why not add more danger to the mix? ;)

Here is the dress before we started our modifications (ignore the wrinkles -- they're irrelevant):

My friend suggested that rather than just taking off the same amount around the entire dress that maybe we should measure where it hits a bench so that the dress was straight on her body. This was the most difficult process! It might have been easier if Becca stopped adjusting her hair and moving her shoulders around ... teens! :)

Anyway, we finally got it hemmed shorter and added matching tulle at the bottom. I also took some of the fabric cut from the bottom and put it in the neckline, which was a little uncomfortably low. How'd it turn out? Amazing. Yes, I am impressed with myself. Did I mention that the zipper is a HIDDEN zipper? And although it took me a while, I got it done and nobody (unless they looked way too closely) would even know that someone who had never done a zipper put it in. Can you tell I am very proud of myself? :)

Here is the final product:

Oh, and notice the matching flower. I learned how to make that from a neighbor a few days before the dance just so we could make a matching barrette. I'm so glad we did -- I think it looks great!

My fav part is the new neckline, which I think adds its own elegance, so here's a close-up of that:

Doesn't she look pretty? And not just because of our dress success? :)

I also took part of the bottom of the skirt and sewed a matching skirt for Shayla. What cute girls!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The tale of a walker

When people ask me at what age Austin learned to walk, I'm not sure what to tell them. Yes, he's 18.5 months and still not walking. Does that mean he's unable? Nope, it just means he's totally and completely content to not walk.

Don't get me wrong -- he pushes around a baby walker and loves doing so. At church he "borrowed" a little old lady's walker in nursery (she was in there helping) and pushed it around until Paul retrieved him (much to his dismay!). He'd also walk holding my hand, but only until he was 18 months -- then he decided that wasn't for him. And walking without assistance -- not a chance!

When I took him in for his 18-month check-up, our pediatrician said I should probably have the early-intervention people give him a look. I wasn't too keen on the idea, because I know he's fully capable, just not willing. But WHAT IF? ... so I called them. She came and watched him and agreed -- he's fully capable, just not caring to walk quite yet. She even set up a couple of little "traps" thinking she'd get him to walk, but to no avail.

Well, a couple of nights later, I was rolling a ball back and forth with him. I got distracted with another of the kids (shocking, I know), and he crawled over to where the ball had ended by our train table. He pulled himself up, turned around and kicked the ball. He then proceeded to walk behind it and kick it across the room. I called Paul into the room excitedly. Austin loved the attention and kept loving kicking the ball. The kids were ecstatic. Austin was enthused -- so much so that he continued to walk around and kick the ball for the next 20 minutes! He pulled himself up in the middle of the floor if he fell down (which he'd never done) and just got back up and started kicking again.

Here are the pics of the fun evening. (Ignore the food on his pants -- I hadn't planned to take pictures!)

Then the next morning in my excitement I put him on his feet. He got annoyed then got back down to crawl all day -- little stinker! (This all happened last week, but now he's a full-fledged walker. FINALLY! Oh, and he doesn't qualify for early-intervention help after all ... just as I suspected.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Piano Lessons

My kids are required to start piano lessons when they turn eight. Yes, this mom values music, and I enjoy hearing them practice. Well, really practice is often a chore -- as much for me as for them. I hear probably at least once a week (or at least did for the first two years Tyler took), "Mom, why did you sign me up for piano without asking me?"

However, the boys have both been doing great this year! Zachary started in June and has been excited to jump in and learn as best as he can. I bought a book with more popular and fun songs for Tyler, and that was enough to motivate him a little more. (He loved learning the Davy Crockett song when he had Mr. Crockett for a teacher last year, and this past week he's been playing the Darth Vader march.)

Anyway, they had their first piano recital this month and did great! Zachary went first and didn't seem nervous at all. Tyler played the Mickey Mouse club song -- always a favorite :) -- and did just great. They both enjoyed playing for others, and because the teacher takes very few students, they didn't even get bored with the rest of the recital. :)


Now the hope is that Shayla can get in when we want her to -- she's already been on the waiting list for a year. (That's what happens when you find a great teacher for a great price. :)

I love to see the temple!

This month has been an exciting one for us with regards to temples! First at conference they announced the rebuilding of the Provo Tabernacle as a second temple in Provo. Amazing! I was so touched that I bawled as soon as they announced it. Then less than a week later we went to the groundbreaking for the Payson temple. Imagine that -- in a few years we'll have three temples within 20 minutes of our home. That just feels miraculous to me, even though we are in Utah. :)

Anyway, we are so thrilled about the Payson temple, which will be our temple as soon as it is built. The temple rendering is just gorgeous:

They announced at the groundbreaking that it will be one of the biggest temples built in recent years. It was amazing to hear from Elder Oaks, who has a history of attending school in Spanish Fork when he lived with his grandparents. (He attended Peteetneet Academy, which is now a museum it's so old.) Anyway, the thing I loved most about the speakers was the woman who said something to the effect that any time children are gathered around a table, that table becomes an altar. This means our dinner table becomes a sacred place if we are eating together as a family with our children. I had never thought of that before, but no wonder family dinner is emphasized so much!

Anyway, the day was cold and rainy, and I was worried about that. However, I'm hoping that it will make it even more memorable for my children who will remember WHY we sat out in the rain and cold.
Becca, Tyler, Austin, Paul, Zachary & Shayla
Dad, Mom, Heidi & James
Elder Oaks broke ground with all the stake presidents, then invited up dignitaries (local politicians and such), then the Aaronic Priesthood members. Elder Oaks had fun:

Then the coolest thing, which I wasn't expecting at all, was that we got to go up and break some ground where the temple is to be built! What an awesome and amazing opportunity for my kids! I was thrilled. It took us a bit to get up there, but the kids loved the golden shovels, and I'm hoping they remember this day forever.

Becca, Austin, Tyler, Shayla & Paul

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer Stuff: A Wolf and A Bear

I missed blogging about a lot of things this summer, and I'll never catch up. But I have to mention that my boys got their Wolf and Bear badges on the same night. That was cool for them to receive them the same night. Maybe the can do the same for their Webelos and Bear, but I think Tyler will get his Webelos before Zach can turn 9. Zachary is LOVING scouts, and I had to make a rule that he can no longer wake me up in the morning to see what we can work on for scouts. Cute boy wanted to do it first thing in the morning and would wake me up! Sigh ... :)

Way to go, boys!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First days of school

Yes, I know school started a month ago. It's been like we're on fast-forward ever since! The weekend after school started we had another yard sale and did just as great as the first one! I couldn't believe it. People LOVED our bake sale (surprising to me, really), and my neighbors came through with some really big donations (telescope, Victorian couch, wingback chair, desk, coffee table, etc). We didn't sell the big items, but we have since sold several of them on KSL.com. In fact, the raft my dad sold actually sold for more than we listed it because we had people fighting over it. Needless to say, we've hopefully got plane tickets covered for my brother and his wife to get to the Lisbon temple open house. But now I'd like to get enough to cover room, board and transportation. Wish us luck! :)

But I digress ... Other things have kept us busy in the last month as well: This year Tyler has an insane amount of homework. Add to that soccer 4 nights a week, cub scouts meetings every week for Wolves (Zach), Bears (Paul and I) and Webelos (Tyler), piano lessons for two, dance lessons for one, work two to three nights a week for one (who still has to be driven around!), community council at the school for one, a Bears backyard carnival at our house, a "licious" party for one, and a Relief Society retreat getaway (LOVED a night away! :) ... well, you can see why I haven't blogged for a bit.

So here I am trying to start back up, and I'll begin with the traditional photos of my kids on their first days of school.

Becca is a senior this year -- I can't believe it! She was in fifth grade when she came to live with us, and it's crazy to think she's already finished junior high and almost high school. She is taking a LOT of art classes, so hopefully she'll learn some great technique and make millions as an artist! (or at least enjoy herself :).

Tyler is in fifth grade. Yes, it is the dreaded year for homework. So far it hasn't killed us, but there are nights when I thought it might. Fortunately his teacher this year is WONDERFUL! I am so happy about that after last year's not-so-great teacher.

Zachary is in third grade. He has two teachers sharing a contract. We haven't done this before, but I think we'll like it. He has one teacher in the morning (the daughter of Becca's principal, actually), and one teacher in the afternoon (Tyler's third-grade teacher). They're both so great that I have no doubts Zachary will love this year.

My boys are still buddies, and I absolutely love that! I remind them all the time about Hyrum and Joseph and how close they were and hope my boys are that kind of brothers to each other.

So Shayla LOVES, LOVES, LOVES kindergarten. And can I just say so do I? :) She tells me more than my boys ever have, which is so stereotypical of them all. She was so excited for her first day, especially since it was a week later than everyone else's first day.

She loved taking pictures so much on the first day that we HAD to do it again the second day. She posed as if she were walking away and then showed off her backpack.

And here's what Austin's up to:

Yes, he's loving life as usual, and I'm loving that he sleeps while Shayla's gone to school. I generally have 2.25 hours from the time Shayla leaves until Becca gets home, and I'm loving some quiet time. Now if only my house would clean itself ... ;)