Days 2019

Days 2019

Sunday, January 13, 2019

One Year Wiser and Older

Leslie decided to start the holiday season off right--by preventing herself from eating all the good stuff.  I should have tied my jaw shut as well.
Happy Wisdom Tooth Day.  Notice the spidey pillowcase--she didn't want to bloody her own.  The ride home from the surgeon's was pretty funny.  She kept yelling and freaking out that she needed chapstick (she had some--and put it on several times--but she kept forgetting.)
Luke also did some yelling.  Usually my kids stop crying and start laughing after we get the tooth out.  Not this one, even though it was an easy job.

Well, atleast the rest of us laughed.

Rosie was having fun living up the toddler life during the Christmas season.  The day we decorated the tree she immediately figured out what those red and white stripey things were good for.
 Caught her red handed...
 She only rearranged the decorations a few times.
 Here she is in her new Christmas dress.  

But the most entertaining was when she figured out that "sniff sniff" with her best wrinkly nose is what we do to flowers (Leslie got some from her Wisdom Teeth Day), and the poinsettias were a huge hit.  Every time Mark would come home for dinner she would demand that he pick her up and help her sniff (mostly put her face into since they don't smell) the flowers on the table.

Oh, and we also thought it was hilarious how excited she got for the "Here Comes Santa Claus" song when she didn't even know who that was.
She did pretty good watching the kids' Christmas concerts as well.  I think we had five in one week.
 Boston has been in a percussion class and got to do several instruments.  Here he is on the jingle bells but we liked the big thundering tympanis the best.

 Somehow I missed a picture of Macy's.
 After recovering from her widom tooth removal, Leslie did some fun things to ward off the senioritis (or maybe because of senioritis).  One day she texted me that, "Everything about me is long.  I think I want to chop my hair."  So she did.  She and some friends also decided to brave the TRAX system and go up to downtown SLC on their own to see the Christmas lights at Temple Square.  (Her trip to DC gave her some confidence with commuting).
 Isn't she cute?
 Isn't she cute?
 Aren't they cute?
It's been super fun watching her learn to talk, with new words evey day.  She can say everyone's name in the family now.  "Mama, Dada, Lelleh, Bottin, Boocabooca, May, and Luke.  And I've heard her say "Osie" once.  It's always hilarious how some words are hard and some words are easy.  This was a fun moment at Cooper's orthodontist when she learned to say "Turtle" of all things.

Santa looked a lot like our good friend and neighbor Pres. Funk.  In fact, our kids would have been just as excited to hang out with him as with Santa, I'll bet.
Luke helped make Christmas spritz cookies with our Grandma LaVonne vintage cookie shooter.  He was bugged at it after about the second try, so that held with her tradition of always sputtering and yelling during the cookie making process (much to the entertainment of her granddaughters.)

And tada!  Christmas arrived.  Macy asked for a gymnastics mat.  She is self taught and works very hard on learning new skills.  Her goal for the year was to land an aerial.

Luke asked Santa for Hershey Kisses.  Past that he didn't have many ideas, so Santa brought him that and he got a few other things from his parents.
These boys.  They both wanted pennyboards.  Cooper said, "Let's pretend we are surfers for the picture!"  Also loving the mismatched jammies that I am just now noticing.  These boys.
Rose wasn't really sure what to think, but she got two doggies with fun accessories, books, and a big can of freeze dried strawberries, which she new right away was for her and yelled at me when I tried to put them away in the pantry after her first serving.
Leslie got some new clothes and a George Foreman grill, per her request, for college.  Here she is with Grandpa and Grandma Day who came to be with us Christmas morning.
This was our "Mothers' Day Miracle" (a gift that the giver wants more than the receiver).  I finally ordered the shelf our freezer was missing so that the boxes of ice cream and bags of spinach aren't always tumbling to the floor when we dig for food.  We are kind of a freezer family.  I was raised with two deep freeze chests out in the shed, also a regular freezer, so it's just kind of how we roll.  Lots of room for ice cream.  And spinach.
Rosie was not a fan of our habit of wrapping gifts in empty boxes of food.  I think she had just learned to say cracker, and she was a bit miffed that there were no crackers in this box, even though she doesn't even like this kind.
Cooper had an exciting month.  Our church dropped the age of when Cooper and other 12 year olds are invited to participate in religious ordinances, specifically passing the sacrament to the congregation and attending the temple.  Since a white dress shirt is the norm, I was happy that I had already purchased him a new one before the mad rush on the department store.  (Such is life in Utah.)  Normally he would have to wait until his birthday, but now the ordination is the January of that year.  I was so excited when I found out that I called him at school.  He thought he was in trouble, but now he'll always remember what a big deal this is.  So, last week he was ordained a Deacon and this was his first week passing the sacrament.  He was pretty nervous, so last night we talked about "Fear Not" from Luke 1 during our family scripture study.  That night Luke prayed for Cooper at his bedtime that he would be able to do a good job and not be afraid.  (So sweet!)  Mark had the idea this morning to explain the "route" of where to walk and what to do, as a football play.  Much better.  Cooper also gave a talk during the meeting, so it was a big day.  He did great.
Mark surprised me on Christmas with this fun followup from our Chocolate Tasting Event that we did for my birthday.  Mmm.  I think my favorite was the dark chocolate coconut toffee.  The honey one was pretty good, too.
This was from Mom.  Made me laugh and cry after the year we've had.  Then I realized that all my siblings got one as well, which also made me laugh.  (My naughty brothers enjoyed texting pictures of themselves modeling this with their plumbers' cracks showing.   I'm sure that was a proud moment for my mom on our group text.)

Christmas afternoon we drove up to visit Mark's sister Kathy, who happens to live near my Aunt Michiel, so we dropped in to surprise Grandma and Grandpa Heagy and say hello to my cousins (I'm the eldest).  Sigh, I don't see my extended family often enough.  They're awesome.

We spent some good time together Christmas break trying out the new toys and board games.  This one is Prime Climb, a math game.  They even like it.
We were extra glad that the weather held and we were able to drive up to Logan and visit my brother Jake and his cute family at Rachel's mama's house.  I hadn't seen them for a year and a half.  It was extra cute that little Jett wanted to be Leslie's sledding buddy, and I was glad that she got to play with the kids before she thinks she is too cool.  We drove through USU campus on the way home to let the kids see where she will be next year.
Leslie and Jett
First day wearing a non-hat accessory.  I was a little excited.  I've had lots of people ask me if I'm going to keep it short (and often they are fairly insistent that I do.)  I'm sure I will come back to the short look since it's easy and somewhat polished, but for now my plan is to try a bunch of different styles that I never would have been brave enough to do.
This was a pretty awesome day.  I was at the Payson temple, and during the session found myself missing my Grandma LaVonne.  Sometimes I miss her as much as my Dad--she was such a huge part of my formative years and my best friend.  And I think all of us felt that way about her.  Also was missing my Dad.  As I was leaving, I saw an ancestor card on the credenza that had the name "Haynes" on it.  My maiden name.  Then I saw that it also said, "Linn, Iowa", which was 
where my Haynes family lived years ago, so that was weird.  Then, I noticed that the card belonged to a Joan Loomis Luster.  I don't know a Joan, but Loomis was also a family name.  I was about to walk away when it occurred to me that my Dad occasionally talked about his cousin "Joey", and that this might be her.  I don't remember ever meeting Joey, atleast as an adult.  Sure enough, this very Haynes-looking beautiful lady found her card and I was able to introduce myself.  We had a great visit and talked about both my Dad and my Grandma, and cried.
The odds of me identifying a complete stranger, who knew BOTH my Dad and Grandma from MONTANA on this particular day in the temple in Payson, Utah, are staggering.  And she doesn't even live around here but was visiting!  I felt very loved and connected to my angels on the other side who surely pushed the two of us together.

Mark has had a crazy busy last few months as he has started his own company, Remarkable Home Loans.  (I helped him decide on the name and earned my pay for the year;)  Isn't this a great logo?  Things are going great and he is so excited every day that he wakes up early with his brain spinning of all the things he wants to do.

 Luke's still working on the giant Hershey Kiss.  
New Years' Day we decided to take the kids out to dinner.  At ChuckaRama.  For lunch.  With coupons.  This is why we never go anywhere.  Atleast we didn't find strawberries in the baby's shoe later (Brooke).
And lastly, here is a copy of our Christmas letter, written by my hubby.

Dear Friends and Family,
Merry Christmas!
This year has been amazing, and hard, and joyful, and tear-filled, and prayerful, and hopeful.
Just before last Christmas, Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Initially, my thoughts turned to the worst possible outcome, and I was struck with sadness and heartache for not only Jackie and me, but for our 6 children. I wasn’t quite sure what I would do without my best friend by my side to raise these 6 hooligans.
Through much pleading and prayers, peace came quickly to all of us.
Jackie handled things like a champ, as she underwent chemo treatments over a 16 week span, and recovered well from surgery. She is now cancer free, and once again has more hair than I do. (Although, I do set a low bar.)
This year, I think our family might have drawn closer to our Savior than in any other single year.
From the outside, one might think that an obvious thing, as my wife and children’s mother was saved. However, drawing closer to the Savior didn’t simply happen once the trial had passed. Drawing closer came during the pleading. Drawing closer came from the wishing for the relief of someone you love. Drawing closer came from witnessing the goodness of neighbors, and the sacrifice of a mother coming to care for her daughter’s children for months on end.
Although I would never wish a trial like this on anyone, I am grateful to have witnessed such faith and goodness in my wife, such kindness from friends and family, and the submissive faith of our children.
We are all SO grateful that our Savior saves. We trust in God’s plan for us. And we are eager to live the best we know how, and to follow promptings that come. God IS Love, and Love casteth out all fear. 
In other news, (excuse the clumsy transition) the kids grew like weeds this year. Leslie (17) is the band President and a senior in High School and will be attending Utah State next fall. Boston (13) and Cooper (11) played on the same baseball team this year and I got to coach them. Macy (9) has spent half the year upside down, as she does cartwheels seemingly non-stop. Luke (6) is in kindergarten and continues to say funny things on a regular basis. Like, “Get the fly swapper!”  “Can we go to Nick Donald’s?” Or when he thought I was driving too fast and he asked, “Are the Police chasing us?” Rosie (1) is fun and cute. She is walking a little, talking a little, and knows when a picture is being taken of her that her job is to crinkle her nose and sniff until the picture is shown to her. Jackie turned 40, beat cancer, and in her spare time juggles the family calendar, keeps up a blog, does family history, has studied and learned some German (to help with her family history), and keeps the family well fed, on schedule, and happy.  And after 16 years of working as a mortgage loan officer, I (42) started my own mortgage brokerage named Remarkable Home Loans, something I would have never imagined at the beginning of this year. Rather than only surviving 2018, we have truly been blessed to THRIVE.
As a family, we want to thank you for your prayers. And we wish to testify of Christ. He is our Redeemer and Savior. He saves us in so many ways. He saves us from sin and death. And one day, when He calls us home, we hope to be more like Him.
We love you. Merry Christmas!
With Love,
The Days (Mark, Jackie, Leslie, Boston, Cooper, Macy, Luke, and Rosie)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Fight Like a Girl

It's been a good fall. The first week of October I had one last outpatient surgery so my Mom came to stay with us for the month to help with the heavy lifting.  A few days after surgery Leslie and I played hooky and went to this fun Breast Cancer Survivors luncheon, featuring Ann Romney as the main speaker.  It was cool to be there with all those other ladies and also to meet Ann--a celebrity I had actually wanted to meet for some time because I admire her as a person.

 We all got a free copy of her cookbook.  I already had one, so Leslie can take her autographed copy to college.
This is my friend and mentor Dedee.  She has about a year's growth on me.
 I recovered pretty quickly and felt great by fall break, so we were able to have a little getaway to Vernal and do some hiking and sightseeing.  Since Mom came with us we were able to take a few family pictures (just on my phone).  These are at the Vernal Temple.

 Leslie is Mom's eldest granddaughter.

 Grandma is a bad influence.  Rosie's first ice cream cone.

 Boston entertaining himself in the car.  Rosie also thought he was entertaining, so we all appreciated it.
 Speaking of bad influence, when these boys were oh so tired and whiney on the hike back from the dinosaur tracks at Red Fleet, Mom (I think) suggested that they would not be so hot and sweaty if they took their shirts off.   It worked like a charm.  Magically recovered, they ran almost all the way back to the car.
 We also explored Flaming Gorge Dam.  Leslie tends to get carsick and can't read or look at her phone during the ride, so she's enjoying her novel here in the last bit of fall sunshine while the kiddos spotted fish and threw rocks.  Gorgeous water.  They were pretty spooked to see the other side of the dam and just how tall the dam was.

 Macy and Luke at Dinosaur National Monument's visitor center.

 Since Mom was here to watch the baby, we decided that it was important for Mark and I to go watch Leslie's last marching band competition at State in St. George.  It was kind of a last minute decision and she didn't know we were coming, so I took this picture as we were getting out of the car to text to her--"Have you used your friend finder (app for tracking each other) lately?  'Cause you've gotta friend in me!!"
She was stoked.  Thanks a ton to Aunt Di Day in Fillmore for bringing her a lunch feast on practice day and to Aunt Patti and Uncle Gib in St. George for coming to watch and letting us crash at their place!

 Here she is back corner.
While we were in St. George, Grandma whipped out the sewing machine and made this rose costume for Rosie!  So spoiled!

At the award ceremony they had all the bands in blocks on the field, at attention.  It was pretty impressive to look at, but kind of a downer because the kids couldn't celebrate at all as their schools were announced.  Leslie's band was reigning champion but took second to Lehi and their Peter Pan show.
Here is a link to the show.  Look for the tallest flute.  The battle scene is pretty cool.

Leslie and her flute friends.  They all enjoyed not wearing their hats (pardon, Shakos), this year.
This was also the first year in a few that Leslie has been home for Halloween.
 No, that's not Leslie, that's Luke in the Halloween parade.  Here's Leslie.
 Lots of people thought she had whacked her hair.  I think this old chemo wig is going to have a good life in the Halloween box.

Here some of us are.  Cooper is the mysterious man in blue.  Rosie didn't like him. 

 Boston got to go to a Halloween pizza party with his buddies.
 This wasn't Halloween, but it was a fun fall Mother Daughter activity.  I even sort of remembered how to do the Boot Scootin' Boogie.

 Leslie has been living a bit of a whirlwind.  After state band, she left for a weeklong trip to D.C. hosted by her government teacher.  She had a blast and we were so excited for her to go.  That kind of learning is like drinking through a firehose. 
 Now we know what she'll do first when she moves out next year.
 This is part of the Berlin wall.
 I hadn't seen this monument when I was there a couple times in high school.  This is part of the FDR memorial.

Mt. Vernon.

 She also went to Sadie Hawkins with her friend Parker.  They did a crazy utensil lasagna dinner at our house (Leslie makes her own lasagna)  The theme was Rock, so all these clean cut kids were dressed in black, and a few of them had dyed their hair or maybe even had a fake piercing.  I wouldn't have wanted to meet up with this bunch in a dark alley.

 I've been having fun with the ice cream maker Mark got me for my birthday.  This flavor is raspberry creme brulee.  
 I love Luke's laugh in this picture.

 These two are so hilarious.  Rosie wanted to help wash Luke's hair.
Mom uncovered this fun picture of my Dad on his mission in Oregon.  He won a basketball spinning contest among the elders.  A few years ago he lost that fingertip in an accident and was chagrined that he could not longer maintain the spin.  Well Dad, happy resurrection to you!  Boston got to teach a lesson in church to his peers a few weeks ago and discussed the significance of this photo.
 I think Luke had been admiring that picture of his Papa (I put it on the wall) with the sweater vest INSIDE the jacket.  He was pretty bugged that I made him switch his outfit around.
 Boston dove into the sandbox while we were gone and landed on the sharp edge of the old Blue Thunder steering wheel I keep buried out there for the kids to play on.  Leslie got him cleaned up and had our neighbor nurse assess the damage.  We came home early from our date and Mark took him to get stitches.  Leslie is threatening to never babysit again--the time before that Cooper smacked his foot against the wall and needed an xray.
 I'm enjoying the short hair.  Usually I wear it Pixie style (I love me some Audrey Hepburn) but this day I was feeling a little bit sassy.  Lots of people have asked if I'm going to keep it short, and my reply is that I'm going to grow it until I don't like it and then I'll probably go back to short.  I don't think I'll go long again--I'll let my girls do that.
 One warm day Rosie and I went and laid in the leaves.  First time at this house that our tree was big enough to make a leaf pile.

My friend clued me into the Christmas tree tip that all 4th graders can get a free permit, so I talked Mark and our friends the Moore's (who have a truck) to brave the woods once more (Mark had sworn off cutting a tree ever again.)  He loves me.  So nice to have a Montana style tree that goes all the way to the ceiling.