Saturday, August 30, 2008


I usually just post pictures and exciting things on my blog. Today, I feel really grateful for many things. I thought I'd list some...I may add more later. Who knows? But, I have to preface with a disclaimer: I don't allow myself to feel grateful like this every day...dang it! If I did, I wouldn't be writing about it. I feel different today. My gratitude list today is:

  • My children: I have felt that each moment counts with them. The adorable family in Saratoga Springs, who lost their little boy when he was run over, has given me new perspective. Like most of you who heard about it, I was devastated and saddened by this tragedy. My cousins are close friends with them, and wrote about it on the Graham Clan's blog. When I read about it, I cried. So, I began to think about my own kids. They are 90% fabulous. I am trying to not let the 10% get in the way of enjoying them every minute I have them. I learned a couple of weeks ago at a choir practice led by Sister Webb that every time you enter a room, you either add to it, or take from it. Especially when entering my own home, I'm trying to remember this important lesson. I want to generate good and great things to my children. Believe me, I have a long way to go.
  • Health: our little family has not faced a serious illness yet. How can we possibly know how hard it would be to not have our health, unless we loose it? Even with this stupid viral cold thing our family had a couple of weeks ago, now Jonathan has it...that thing threw us for a loop. No energy, nothing is getting done around the house...etc. I feel very blessed right now for our family's health.
  • Safety: we pray for it every day, don't we? Do you? I truly feel that Heavenly Father has blessed our family with this simple blessing. Both of our kids have had head injuries in the last few weeks. They are both OKAY! How can I dismiss this as just "luck"? I can't! I am overwhelmed that they are both healing fine and doing great.
  • The Resurrection: today in the car, we saw a dead deer on the side of the road. Briggs was so sad. But he told me that he thought its spirit was with Jesus. I agreed with him, then watched him in the rear-view mirror, as he was quietly thinking. Then Briggs said, "Mom, I don't want my spirit to leave my body when I die". We talked about Jesus Christ, and how his spirit left his body, then came back to it when he came back to life. In testifying of this beautiful gift we have, I gained further strength and testimony of it. Brigham was clinging to ever word I said. I felt a HUGE responsibility to get it right as I was telling him about it. He got it. I think he already knew it, but it comforted him when he was thinking about how scary death seems. Whoa, I'm teary right now. I feel like a rock is in my neck!
  • Jonathan: nothing in my life would be the same without him. He is my best friend. He is an amazing dad. He misses his kids so much right now, because he's not home much. He is in the Fire Academy, and really is only home 3 evenings a week and Sunday...the rest of the time he's working or in his classes. He has so many idiosyncrasies that used to drive me BONKERS!!!...such as... (I know your spouse has some of these things, too): carrying his toothbrush with him around the house while he brushes, then leaves it somewhere new each day...forgetting where exactly it is the next day...; he takes off his shoes and socks wherever he wants to...and I have the privelege of detecting the smell in order to find them a day or two later, shoved between the cushions of the couch; he never know where his wallet is, or his's the biggest mystery to him how they end up where they do once he finds where that is; he schedules dinners/parties at our home with friends, and fails to mention it to me until the day of the dinner...they usually fall on the day when my house looks like a bombed-out bunker with toy/clothes/papers/garbage-shrapnel everywhere; he buys motorcycles and sells them months later, only to buy another; he always asks me, "where's that one belt of mine?"...I have no clue, where did YOU put it, Jonathan?; he double-books things A LOT!...and I'm usually the lucky one to call to flake on one person or the other...the list goes on and on! HOWEVER, these little quirks and pet-peeves have become more than endearing to me. I wouldn't like him if he didn't do these things. It's who he IS. I wouldn't have him any other way. Because, these things are only 1% of what he does. Jonathan is amazing. I don't care who is reading this, going: oh, come off of the CHEESE, Heather!...truly, I just don't care about you right now people! I just love my husband. I love that he's not perfect, because I sure as heck am far from it. We sort of weave on and off of our paths, but we always, always, always, can find each other in the middle of the path again. No matter what. He hasn't failed me yet. I always can depend upon him: not necessarily to find his keys, but in all of the important stuff. That's why I am grateful for Jonathan. I love him! (okay, cheese session is over)...
  • Time: because I'm out of it right now, but I'll possibly add more to this list soon. Thanks for reading!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Brigham's fun day that ended at the Instacare...

Cute Briggs and Baby Will
Briggs is always the kind and considerate brother that we hoped he would be...okay, maybe too considerate.
Proud Nelly! Grandma's little permanent lap fixture. Nobody else is allowed, in Nelly's book!
Holly is having more fun than Joshua!
Staples in Briggs's head...poorly done by the rent-a-doc at the Instacare in Bountiful. Dang.

We are so excited that Holly and Creston are in town with lil' Joshua! He's so cute. He's almost a head taller than Chanel, and she's older!
The kids had so much fun riding behind Grandma in the cart...until tragedy struck. While it was parked, the boys stood up and somehow lost their balance. Grandma was shocked to see them all on a pile on the ground. Blood everywhere, thanks to Brigham. Dax was scraped up with a bump on his head. Joseph was okay. I took B into the Instacare and he received 2 staples to close up the hole in his scalp. It was not fun. However, he was so brave and didn't even cry once we were in the car and on our way. He had cried to not go to the doctor...but I think he just didn't want to leave Grandma's house. He's doing great now. It only hurts if he bumps it. He doesn't complain, otherwise!!!
This was his first injury-visit to the doctor in his life! Can you believe we made it 4 1/2 years!?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Briggs's First Soccer Game

Check me out! Briggs, Kade, and Landon
Ready to go!
He's got it!
And...face-plant! He jumped right back up. It was so funny.

Brigham amazed us! We know that he's a cool kid, and tons of fun...but we didn't think he had caught on to soccer, since we haven't really practiced much. However, Briggs kicked the ball up and down that field! He was an animal! We loved watching him rally his team and cheer for the others on the field. He was such a great sport, and loved every minute. His team didn't win, but he had a blast!

Campin' with the Capels!

Daddy and Brigham putting up the tent.
Dan and Valerie...expecting their third baby in a month!

Brigham and Pierce
Daddy and Nelly
Heather, the pyro, stoking the fire. Caroline, Val, Briggs, Pierce, and Nelly hanging out until dinner's ready.
It all started with the idea that the men were going on a camping trip for the night. Great! The girls get a break, right? No. They tell us to come up and have dinner together, then we can go home to our own beds. Okay, but that's it! We finally get going up the canyon at about 5:30 pm, Val and I with our little girls in her van and the boys in our van ahead of us. We follow them to a campground that appeared to be perfect...until we notice they are turning around. They think it's too busy at that one, so they want to drive up to Cascade Springs and find another place to camp. Ugh! Okay, fine...but hopefully they find something quickly...the baby's are hungry, we're's time to find a place and stick with it. We turned onto a dirt road, or shall I say "sharp rock" road. Oh yeah, off-roadin' in the Odyssey is awesome. We drove for about 15 minutes on this road, to find several great campsites they could use...but they kept on drivin'. We were losing patience, and it was about 6:15 by now. Then, they decide to turn around on a single-lane dirt road, and help us do the same. They weren't sure that we'd even stay with them (in marriage or on the campground). However, we finally found the place. It was beautiful there. Aspens and pines all around, and a small stream nearby.

We had a spectacular meal, courtesy of Chef Dan. Perfect steak, corn, and fresh-herbed potatoes. We had smores and snacks and enjoyed our time together. Then, we left the men and Charlie to fend for themselves, and the girls went home. Maybe they will talk us into following them to go camping sometime....just maybe.

Brigham's first day of school

Brigham is ready to go to school! 3 mornings a week. He's lovin' it!

At the park after school on the first day. Nelly, Brigham and Jessica

Nelly was 1/2 laughing, 1/2 crying...because she couldn't get her whole face above the table to see the camer.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandma Karen!

Here's you and the kids this past March...
Hugging Jesica at your "Happy Retirement" party!
Mr. Fireman at his 3rd bday...
This is a tender picture of Nelly Goosey when she was only about 2 months.
Happy to be with grandma!
We miss you way too much! On your birthday, we thought about you and wished we could see you and hug you! We know you'll be back, but it couldn't be soon enough! Please know that we love you so much. The kiddles miss you too! Have a marvelous time, and feel better! Love you!

Happy Birthday!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Brigham's amazing surprise...shhh!

Check out this face: he has no idea!... Brigham pretending to drive such a cool car...not knowing that Garrett is checking to see that it fits the cute kid!
Oh yeah!
What is with this hat? Dude!
The king of the world!
Brigham has no idea what is about to hit him. We are overwhelmed, too! Our amazing friend, Lincoln Watkins, has been busy building a customized race car for Brigham. Seriously. We are so excited and grateful for this chance to get Brigham into racing (don't worry...just for fun, supervised, with all the protective gear...etc)! On Saturday, Jonathan and Brigham went with Lincoln out to Tooele's Miller Motorsports Park. Garrett, the manager over the small race cars, measured Brigham as he sat in his (not knowing it's his) race car. Brigham will be totally blown away. They have never built one for such a little guy. In a couple of weeks, he will be gifted with the nicest thing he's ever been given ever...or probably ever will be gifted. I will be keeping you posted on the race car. Shake 'n bake!

Did I mention that I like the slip-'n-slide?

I have no idea why I did the the reunion in Logan...I just did it. Who knows why.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jeppeson kids at the ranch!

Joseph Cannon, Nelly, and Cooper Jeppeson...dancing on the hot tub cover.

Alyssa Jeppeson, Ashley & Joseph, and Nelly...playing with water balloons

Briggs is up to NO GOOD here!!!

The tired moms after a full day of play outside with the kids.
Briggs with Mitch Jeppeson squirting the kids as they slide down.

Emily Day Jeppeson brought her adorable family up to the Armstrong Ranch for a day of fun. We had a great time relaxing, horseback riding, playing in the water, and talking! We had a wonderful time. We both wore our grubbies and got dirty and wet at the ranch. Sweet Grandma Gloria facilitated all of the fun, as always!!! Lisa brough her kids up, too. They all had a fantastic time. It was so fun to catch up with Emily on all the amazing things she's been up to. I love seeing my old friends still happy!

Briggs and Nelly being crazy and cute!

Briggs and Charlie...Best Buds!
Beautiful Nelly...she's still learning table manners.
...At least she knows how to cheese it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Disneyland and the Beach July 2008

Breakfast with Minnie!
Tarzan and Son...

Spaceship ride with Daddy...5,4,3,2,1...Blast-off!!!

At the beach in California. This is classic Briggs and classic Nelly.

Lovin' life at the beach!!!
After our Zion trip, we were lucky to be able to go to Disneyland and the beach. It was a whirlwind trip in less than 1 1/2 weeks...that ended in Las Vegas at the Fife's house, as you saw below in a post. We're a little bit out of order.

Zion Ponderosa Ranch July 2008

The whole Brent and Gloria Armstrong Gang!

The Johnson Fam

Briggs and Daddy

The Swimming Hole

Rex, Ashley and Briggs, ready for the zipline!

What an amazing place to go with our family! We had an insanely fun time. All of my siblings, nieces, nephew, parents, and my own family came to Utah for this vacation. We stayed in cabins at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch, which is east of Zion National Park. We hiked, swam, did the zipline, rockwall, rode ATVs, ate tons of food, relaxed, played, talked, watched movies...just about everything you can do on vacation.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

American Idol Auditions!

Me, Monica, and Mandy...and our stalker. He was always standing close to us...even though we weren't ever kind enough to say "hi". We kept moving away from him, and he'd move with us. We were waiting outside of the Delta Center at 3:40 am on Tuesday. Then, we had to do some little cheers and waving for lots of cameras. They let us into the Delta Center by about 9 am. We went to our seats, learned some group songs to sing for the cameras, and waited...all day. The best part was when Ryan Seacrest came. He's so great! We were freaking our freak!..."RYAN!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!"...and so on. I was so nervous off and on all day, watching hundreds of amazing singers get turned away. There were about 6000 or 7000 people there. Only about 70 received yellow tickets to go into another room, where they auditioned again in front of producers...then those who make that cut get to see Simon, Randy, and Paula in September here in Utah. It was so funny to see so many really sorry singers/entertainers/ventiloquists...get through to the next round. It was such a scary experience, but I am so glad I did it. Mandy and Monica sang right after me...we were in a line of 4 people, we stepped forward to sing, then stepped back in line. None of us made it...surprise, surprise! I still cannot get over the fact that we did it. I was one of the oldest people there. Sad! The worst part of the day was getting in our car to go North right into the worst traffic of the year. We laughed, cried, screamed...then finally arrived home. I slept for 12 hours straight at my mom's house that night. Then, Jonathan called at 9 am..."honey, can you come home?" REALITY CHECK!!! I was so glad to see my family again. I hate to be away from them...even if it's 1 1/2 days. The one good thing that came of the whole AI Experience?...I dare to do any flipping audition ever now. I think I just may try out for a little musical next summer! How about that, Simon!? Ha!

Here's a quick shot of Ryan Seacrest when he came in to film stuff like, "Home of David Archuleta...welcome to Salt Lake City!!!"...etc. He was really fun. He let a big huge polynesian guy pick him up. The funny part was watching the director switch the position of the audience by Ryan, so he had 2 short girls next to him.