Monday, August 24, 2009

Trampoline Fun or (as we like to call it) An Insurance Agent's Worst Nightmare

We always have so much fun on Grandma's trampoline. The funny thing is I don't think my mom has ever been "on" the trampoline, but it's at her house, so she gets the rights. We always had a trampoline growing up and I remember spending hours and hours every day jumping on it and when I got older "laying out" on it.

The kids had an awesome water fight this year on it. Here's a few shots:

I also got some shots of the kids jumping. They always make me laugh when they're jumping. I hear a lot of "Heather, watch this!" and "Heather, look at me!" It's always so much fun and thankfully no body has gotten seriously injured, which is a miracle because there is always 5 or so kids on it at once. Man, when I was growing up there were just 2 kids at a time allowed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our Trip to Utah Part ....(oh, who cares?) Putting Up Corn

Every year in Utah I'm lucky enough to be home just in time for the corn harvest, which is great, because I love me some corn. However, the bad part is it's time to for the annual "Putting Up of the Corn," a Higley family tradition. You'd think I'd somehow be smart enough to get myself out of this one, but no. I never see it coming. Ha! Just kidding, Mom (sort of). I actually don't mind it. Over the years we have gotten quite good at this chore and have made several stream-lining changes to make the process more efficient. Trust me, guys, we know how to do it.

It takes a lot of corn....a LOT of corn. I was shucking for probably an hour and a half straight without stopping and there was usually another one or two people doing the shucking with me. I should some day count how many ears of corn we do, but I always forget. But trust me when I say it was a lot.
After the shucking, we boil the corn. We used to do this in the house which was murder back when we had no air conditioning and after we were done with the whole process the entire kitchen had a sticky film. So about 20 years ago (or more) we started moving everything to the outdoors. We use camp stoves to heat the water and coolers to blanch. It works a lot better that way and then mom can just spray down the patio with the hose when we're done.
Mom blanching the corn. Erin "helping."
After we blanch the corn we cut it off the cob (with electric knives, of course) and put it into freezer bags. We have lots of fun talking and goofing around while we work and it's fun for the kids to get involved. We had a great time this year and ended up spending about 2 or 3 hours and yielding about 70 quarts of corn....that's 70 sides dishes for my mom's roast for Sunday dinners! It tastes so good that I refuse to buy frozen just doesn't compare!

Dad "helping"
Olivia looked after Oakley

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our Trip to Utah Part III (Oquirrh Mtn. Temple)

We were so lucky to get a chance to go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house, which is in South Jordan. It was great for the kids to be able to see the inside of a temple before it is dedicated. They actually enjoyed it very much and Livi is planning to get married there (a little prematurely??). The Cuteness especially liked the mirrors that went on forever and stood in front of them making all kinds of faces and pretending like he was Indiana Jones stuck in some kind of eternal video game (I honestly have no idea where he gets these ideas). He is already planning on using these type of mirrors in his upcoming movies. I think he feels they are a great way to incorporate some cheap special effects. Ahhhh, my Isaac.

The temple had beautiful murals and wood work. The chandeliers were all in the shape of stars and they were stunning. I also was impressed by how they used natural lighting throughout. The celestial room was lit almost entirely by the light from windows. Also I was excited to see the endowment rooms were split into 2 parts, I think for live sessions. The beginning room had amazing, beautiful murals of the wilderness painted on the walls. They were much smaller than the rooms I'm used to in Seattle. It was a fantastic day and I felt such peace and love while I was sitting there waiting to go inside. I'm glad I could spend that time with my family.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our Utah Trip Part II (Our House in the Middle of Our Street)

This is our house. Okay, technically it's my parent's house. I grew up here though, so that should give me some sort of right to it. I can at least say it was my first home and I still refer to it as "home," even though I live 800 miles away. I spent my whole childhood here and I have great memories. I love that old house!

Our house was at one time one of only a few on the street called Higley Road, named after my Grandpa Higley. The land on Higley Road was mostly owned by him and it is where he had his farm. After he died, it was left for my dad to farm. Now there are houses and houses and more houses being added. Every time I go home I'm amazed to see a few more houses going in. It is a good thing I guess, but I can't help but remember the land as it was when I would go help dad hoe beans, bail hay or irrigate. It was more untouched, more a part of me. Now it's just some stranger's house. That depresses me a little bit.

Anyway, I got to spend a lot of time with my nieces and nephews which is the joy of the vacation for me. We went swimming and played on the trampoline, had water fights and rode the four-wheeler. It was such a blast! Here's a few pictures of the kids swimming at my sister Mindy's Mother in Law's pool. She was nice enough to let us crash all day at her house! Thanks, Grandma Laurie!!

These are my favorite pictures from the day:
Alex looks like such a dork!!

Cute Livi!

My adorable niece, Oakley

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Our Trip to Utah Part 1

We got to Utah just in time to help my brother-in-law, Jeff celebrate his 47th birthday (man, he is old). Just so you know, Jeff is probably the funniest person I have ever met and any time I am with him I can pretty much count on peeing my pants at some point. It's been that way for over 25 years. His birthday was no exception. His imitations of my sister Lesa are classic.

We met at Manuel's El Burrito in Clearfield (hola, enchiladas and's been oh so long), which is Jeff's favorite. This place has the best salsa I have ever tasted and that's saying a lot. Jeff was his usual charming and funny self and was so pleased to get to wear the traditional birthday sombrero while we ate amazing home-made tortillas and made fun of him.
I spent the day leading up to Jeff's party with my bff from Utah, Jen Vesper who is a cake decorator. She was kind enough to make my dear brother-in-law the "ultimate Geek cake." It had all Jeff's favorite things on it: Worlds of Warcraft, his stupid motorcycle and Star Trek. It also had an awesome chocolate sculpture of Jeff which I had to tell Jen to fatten up 3 different times because she was being way too forgiving.

Can I tell you Jen is a genius?? No, really, she is. I had so much fun sitting and talking with her as she wove her cake magic (I think she might be a witch). We had a fun time catching up and doing my favorite activity: making fun of people. :) It always feels like no time has ever passed between us when we get together. Thanks for the laughs, Jen! (and the cake, which, btw was delicious!)
Jeff and Mini-Jeff posing

My niece, Erin and Martin at Manuel's. They have a cute little bond.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just Catching Up

I haven't blogged for a while. I didn't write anything while I was in Utah...I don't know why, other than I was having too much fun doing other things.

I had surgery on July 17th. It was a futile attempt to find some scar tissue attached to my uterus and/or ovaries. Alas, I had no problem there but did have some in my abdomen left over from my last laparoscopy -- go figure. I don't mind being put under for surgeries, I usually have no problem. However, when they fill up the abdominal cavity with air I wake up sick as a dog and have to puke several times before finally convincing the nurses to release me already so I can puke in the privacy of my own home. To make things so much more fun, my doctor decided I didn't need any pain medication. "Ibuprofen will do the trick." Well, I was in a lot of pain, friends....A LOT of pain. I don't know if you have ever had a couple of sharp, long metal instruments fishing in your belly, but it makes for a sore recovery. I was more sore than after my c-sections. It took me 24 hours for me to convince my doctor I needed something more, shall we say, substantial. After I got the Lortab, I was much better.

3 days following my surgery we so wisely decided to head off to Utah for our annual visit with family. I look forward to it all year, and what would a surgery for Heather be without a recovery spent in the car?? It really wasn't so bad and I was so excited to get "home."

I will post more about our trip when I have more time. For now, I am posting some pics of Olivia's hairstyles so that you can see what things I've tried recently. They are at the bottom of the blog. I have been finding the ideas on the blog "A story of a princess and her hair" which I have posted a link to on the sidebar if you want some "how to's."