My Family

My Family

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mom, Can We Talk?

I'm feeling lucky and grateful today. Lucky to have 4 wonderful boys. And grateful - oh so grateful - that they feel like they can tell me anything. There nothing quite like listening to a teenage boy pour his heart out, knowing that his mom will always accept and love him, no matter what.

My heart feels like bursting.

(This post wasn't prompting by anything specific, just memories)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

ALMOST WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - Grant Herron Photography

Thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures that my son, Grant, has taken...

Grant is on a team in a pool league, and snapped this shot at their last game...

This is his first photo shoot for senior photos. I love the composition of this picture...

He went to a yard sale and found this cool old Schwinn bike...

Senior pictures for our friends' foreign exchange student - Anna Marit...

The college life...

Our newest family picture - LOVE it...

Another senior pictures photo shoot - it was a rainy day, and Grant made the most of it...

This last picture is from Grant's latest family photo shoot. Is that not the most adorable little boy you've EVER seen?!

If you'd like to see more, just visit Grant's photography blog:

He also does photo restoration. Here is a sample...

From this...

To this...

Amazing, right?

Friday, July 29, 2011

FRIDAY FREEDOM: Rescuing Liberty

"The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power." ~Daniel Webster

Thursday, July 28, 2011

THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Do I look like I want to live in the 60s again?!

I waited until this evening to post today for Thursday Thoughts, mostly because I didn't have alot of thoughts this morning. But, since I've spent the day today shopping, I now have LOTS of thoughts - mostly bad!

Can I just say how much I HATE the clothes they have in stores right now?! Seriously, this is my second day of trying to find a skirt and shirts to wear to church, and I can't find one thing I like. I feel like I'm in some kind of time warp that just dumped me back into the sixties! YUCK! And what's with all the sleeveless shirts? Geez! I'm kind of in between regular sizes and women's sizes right now, and so finding something that fits is impossible. The women's sizes all drown me (I swear, they must think that the bigger someone's butt is, the bigger their boobs are! That is NOT the case, believe me.) Anything I try on looks like I'm a little girl trying on my mom's clothes. It's ridiculous. But, I'm not yet able to get into the biggest of the normal sizes. So, I'm pretty much out of luck.

All I want is a simple skirt - one that comes down to about mid-calf. But, right now, nothing goes below the knee. If I had nice looking knees and calves, that wouldn't be a problem. But, right now, the last thing I want to do is show off my knees and calves. Another problem I have is that the buyers for the stupid stores must think that if you have to wear women's sizes, you are not that into fashion. You must WANT to look like your grandmother! Right?! WRONG! Why, oh why, can't they make those cute dresses in women's sizes too? Huh?

I was so depressed after my shopping trip today, that I ended up at the fabric store, buying this really beautiful, silky material for a skirt. I. DON'T. SEW. Slight problem, there. The last time I tried to just get a bunch of material, hem it, and put an elastic through the waist, I ended up with something that looked like a parachute (complete with wind) around my waist. I looked like I weighed 800 lbs. I know there are patterns, and sewing machines, and WAYS to do this kind of thing, but I don't have a clue. *sigh*

So, now, I'm resorting to trying to order a skirt from the internet. I have a feeling this is not going to go well. If I was a perfect size 8 or whatever, I would probably always order things online, but, well... I'm not.

The good news of the day... I did find 4 new shirts. I have nothing to wear them with, but I feel like I made a little progress today. I'm not even going to tell you what that cost me. Two of them are made from this shimmery, pretty material. Yes, I said TWO. Yes, I did buy the exact same shirt in two different colors, because I just loved it so much.

And, you know, that Dillards store is EXPENSIVE! I'm never going there again. At least not until I'm a gazillionaire.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - 24th of July Pioneer Parage Memories

Just found these cute pictures of my kids with the Spear kids at the 24th of July parade in Salt Lake City many years ago. As far as I can tell, it's probably about 14 years ago!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


"Dinosaurs may be extinct from the face of the planet, but they are alive and well in our imaginations." -Steve Miller, Freaks!

Dinosaurs are a big attraction to little boys, and I've got four of them (boys, not dinosaurs). I've been looking through some pictures because I remembered a hilarious one that involves the boys and dinosaurs. This picture shows Alex sitting on his dad's shoulders, screaming at the top of his lungs, while behind him looms a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex. Also in the picture, of course, is Rick - the guy who is suppose to save little Alex from the big, bad dinosaur, but instead of running away, Rick is standing there, laughing! Unfortunately I can't find that exact picture (doesn't it just drive you crazy when that happens?!) But, here is another dinosaur with Alex crying in front... (and Rick laughing, of course)

Let's clear a few things up: First, said dinosaur was indeed huge, but was NOT real (are you surprised by this?). It was, however, making a very real sounding dino growl. In fact, if you closed your eyes, and listened, it did sound like the dinosaur was very close, and was going to be enjoying a meal consisting of Alex at any moment. Second, Alex was probably 2. He had no idea the dino wasn't real. Third, Alex's hero was his dad, so when Rick chose to laugh instead of run, he moved down the ladder a couple of rungs in Alex's eyes.

I have to admit, though, it was HILARIOUS! Just look at Alex's face! (He was actually trying to crawl over top of Rick's head to get away from the dinosaur in the picture that I couldn't find.) *snicker* And this amused his brothers to no end.

As I thought about dinosaurs, I realized that we've been lots of places to "see the dinosaurs". We are just miles from the world's largest dinosaur museum - Thanksgiving Point - and have visited a couple of times. We've been to St. George to see the Dinosaur Discovery Site at the Johnson Farm. We've taken the kids to Dinosaur National Monument - near Vernal, UT. The Dinosaur park we visited (where the dino almost ate Alex) is up near the Ogden area of Utah. And I hear that Hogle Zoo, in Salt Lake City, now has a dinosaur exhibit. I guess we'd better load the (not so little) boys up, and visit Hogle Zoo soon. If I remember right, we also had a dinosaur room for Grant and Michael in Pennsylvania. Oh, and I can't forget the dinosaur underwear that all of the kids wore.

Here's some more fun dino pictures I found...

This is in Park City - their balloon festival in 1989, or something like that...

This is my friend LoriAnne with my boys, walking past that huge T-Rex...

This is a dino birthday party we had - wish we could see it better...

This is a picture of my kids (top row) and my nephews (Kris's kids)... and a disembodied dino head - no wonder they don't look worried...

Here are the boys with a giant Triceratops...
If you click on this picture, it will be enlarged, and you can see little Matthew in front of that same big T-Rex, and he looks pretty worried...

Here, Grant and Michael dig for dinosaur bones with their friends, Jeff and Riley...

And here is another cousin picture in front of an other Triceratops...

I read this quote that I think explains the fascination my kids had/have with dinosaurs:

"It's very simple why kids are crazy about dinosaurs -- dinosaurs are nature's Special Effects. They are the only real dragons. Kids love dragons. It's not just being weirdly shaped and being able to eat Buicks. It's that they are real." -ROBERT T. BAKKER, Honolulu Advertiser

I've even saved a bunch of the boys' dinosaurs for my grand-kiddoes. I can't wait to show them the joys of dinosaurs. ("They" don't actually exist yet.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday Motivation - Thanks Be To God

I've been blog-surfing today, and found a wonderful quote that THIS BLOGGER used to paint on rocks. I really love this quote. I've been trying to figure out lately how to get myself to pray more often. This just might do the trick...


Monday, July 4, 2011

Sweet Land of Liberty

Today is the 4th of July, and I sit here watching the mini-series John Adams, based on the book by David McCoullough. I am just amazed at the wonderful men and women who founded this free country.

I love with all my heart the country I am privileged to live in. I am more grateful than I can say, for those brave men and women whose sacrifices allow us to remain free.

Even though our country's problems are great, and I disagree with the leaders at this time, I know that we will be ok. God's mercy and love shines on this country, and always will, as long as we remember God in our lives.

I am often inspired when I read words that have been written about this country. So, I thought I'd share some here...

"If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace." -Hamilton Fish

"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." -Benjamin Franklin

"It is the love of country that has lighted and that keeps glowing the holy fire of patriotism." ~J. Horace McFarland

"My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!" -Thomas Jefferson

"I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth." -John Adams

"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased." - Alexander Hamilton

"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible." -George Washington

Two years ago, I wrote a similar post that included many great quotes about our country. If you'd like to read those quotes, click HERE.

Have a wonderful 4th of July.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Boys - The Similarities and the Differences

Last Thursday, I was reminded once again of the difference between my boys. I've always been fascinated with the fact that Grant and Alex are SO much alike: both artists, musicians, good students, athletes, etc. I've also been fascinated that Michael and Matthew are SO much alike: Both quiet, VERY smart, love science and math, etc. Grant and Alex are 6 years apart, and Michael and Matthew are 7 years apart. It's weird. They even look alike - kind of now, but especially when they were young...






So, I'm not surprised that on Thursday, at Matthew's band concert, this likeness once again was manifested. Matthew told us he had a band concert, and asked if we would come and record the songs he played. He is in both the Concert Band, and the 2nd Jazz Band.

Side note: I NEVER hear him practice at home, so I really would have no idea if he can play or not. In fact, I just recently found out how good he is, when we started practicing for the Solo Night a few months ago. We had only a few days to pick a song and learn it. I was very stressed out, and even more freaked out. Then, Matthew picked up his saxophone, and this beautiful music just came right out. To say I was stunned - floored - amazed - all understatements!

Back to the band concert on Thursday - we all decided to go and hear Matthew's band play. The Jazz Band was first. They played a great jazz number first. And then, Mr. Bateman got up to announce the next number, and who the soloists would be. And guess who's name came out of his mouth?! Yep. Matthew soloed. I about had a heart attack. He can ad-lib??!!! WHAT????!!! I sat there with my heart in my mouth, and then he got right up, went to the microphone, belted out this great solo, and sat back down. Just like that. No warning ("Mom, I'm going to solo tonight - can you come and hear it?"). Nothing. And this is where the likeness with Michael, and the difference between him and Grant and Alex come in...

Grant and Alex have always told us everything! They seem to need to have us know everything that is going on in their lives. And then there's Michael and Matthew. They never tell us things. It's just not necessary for them to publish any accomplishments at all. We tend to hear about their adventures after the fact. When Matthew's name was said over the microphone, you could have knocked me over with a feather! We all just looked at each other, and our mouths dropped open. "What?" What if I wouldn't have gone?! Geez.

Funny, funny kids. I love them TO DEATH! Both my outspoken, me-me-me kiddos, and my quiet kiddos. LOVE THEM!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Grant - Spreading His Wings

It's been a little over a week since Grant took a job in another part of the country. It always worries me a bit when one of my kids tries a new thing. Of course, Grant has lived in Japan for 2 years, so it's not like he's new at this. But, the past week has been kind of tough on him...

He was offered a job with a company that sells and installs security systems. The job is just for the summer, and he will be able to make quite a bit of money - between $10,000 and $30,000 - depending on how many installs he can do in 3 months. It took him awhile to decide whether or not to take the job. He really didn't want to move away by himself for the summer. When I suggested that he tell a few friends about the opportunity, and they were hired along with him, it became an adventure! At first, they were hired to go to Spokane, WA. Then, due to some circumstances with timing, they were told they would be going to Calgary, Canada. This required a student visa, which takes a little time. While waiting, they finished up finals, and got ready to go. A few days before they were scheduled to leave, a call came in from a supervisor - the visas weren't coming through. So, they needed to go to Texas for awhile. This is where it started getting annoying. They had to split up - Mike, by himself, and Grant and Jeff together. The day they left, Mike was told there wasn't room for him, and was put on hold. Grant and Jeff left, and drove 23 hours to Tyler Texas. Meanwhile, Mike got a call that sent him to California. He arrived there before the others arrived in Texas. Grant and Jeff were in Texas for 2 whole days, before another call came from a supervisor, saying the company had over-hired for that area, but there was room for them (and in fact, they were desperately needed) in Charlotte, NC! There was a catch though - this was late on Sunday, and they would have to get to Charlotte by Monday night, so that they could get licensed on Tuesday - the last day the license guy would be there. So, they got up at 4:00 am on Monday, and drove for 15 hours. The good news is that they made it to Charlotte. And Grant loves it there. He doesn't remember this, but he lived in No. Carolina for 3 years when he was young. He calls once every few days, to let us know how things are going. He is trying to get trained right now, so he hasn't done any solo installs. Today, he called, very frustrated (something that is becoming very common) - he took his car to get an oil change, and they charged him $60! Apparently, they replaced some brake lights without asking - he was on the phone, and they didn't want to bother him. So, instead of $4.00 for some bulbs (which he easily could he changed himself), he ended up paying $20, in addition to the oil change. Plus, today is payday, and the company owes him $500 for gas and training - they haven't paid him yet.

When Grant said he was going to have an adventure, none of us thought it would be quite like this. I know that once he does some installs by himself, and feels more confident, he'll do well. I know that once he gets paid, he'll feel a little bit better. Things will work out, and this summer really will be a great adventure. And, pretty soon, he'll be so busy, he'll stop calling so often, which makes me sad. I'm glad he has the opportunity to spread his wings a little bit, but, it's hard to hear about the growing pains, and not be able to do anything about it. I read posts on other blogs all the time, about how tough it is to raise little kids. It is. Been there, done that. Just wait until your little kids get bigger. The problems and challenges seem to grow as they do. And, as a mother, you never stop worrying, or wanting to put things right. But, part of growing up is learning to do things on your own.

I read a quote that said: "Until you spread your wings, you have no idea how high you can fly." This is one of the great lessons of growing up - learning to take chances, leave the nest, and spread your wings. And one of the lessons of parenthood is that you have to allow that to happen. Good luck, Grant!

Friday, May 6, 2011

In the Arms of a Mother

Thought I'd share a post I did for the breast cancer blog earlier this week...

This weekend was a momentous one for our family. We were all together for what will probably be the last time - at least for about 4 1/2 years. My oldest son, Grant (23), came home from college to spend some time with us. We spent Saturday as a family - it was Michael's 21st birthday. We had a great time together. Family pictures were in order. Even though it snowed in the morning, we were able to go in the afternoon and spend time at the Utah State Hospital grounds - what is referred to as "Provo Castle" - for pictures. This is a really old, rock amphitheater - we got some great pictures (I hope - I have yet to see them). We laughed, and laughed, as we tried to be serious for the pictures. Grant took them - he has started a photography business - and I saw just how hard and time-consuming it is to set a picture up that you, yourself, have to be in. But, I'm grateful I could have him do that. The kids played around on the grounds - even going so far as to have races rolling down the hill. You'd think they were all under 5! We went to lunch - something that doesn't happen very often because of the cost. And, then, that night, Michael, Grant, Rick, and I went to see the movie, Atlas Shrugged - something we'd been waiting to do for awhile. We've all read the book, and couldn't wait to see the movie. Anyone who hadn't read the book (Alex and Matthew), had to stay home! ;-)

All in all, it was a wonderful day - a special kind of day that we don't often get to have. And won't, again, for a long time. You see, Grant is leaving the country for a summer job, and he won't be back until the end of August. Michael is leaving on August 3rd for an LDS mission - we won't see him again for 2 years. He'll leave before Grant comes home. And then, Alex (who is almost 17), will most likely leave for his mission before Michael returns home. He, also, will be gone for 2 years. By the time he returns home, we will probably have more members of the family. So, this really is probably the last time we will be a family - together - just the way we are right now. My heart is breaking just a little bit at the thought.

Late Saturday night, Rick gave Grant a priesthood blessing - a father's blessing (something we do in our church) for his protection and safety. And then Grant spent some time giving Michael advice about his mission. It was very tender. There was a lot of weeping.

If you would have driven past our house on Saturday night - just a little bit after 10:00 pm - you would have seen what looked like a football huddle out on the lawn, next to Grant's car. It was actually a huddle hug. We all grabbed each other, and hugged tight - arms wrapped around bodies. It felt, to me, like something was ending. Some precious, special time. I can't adequately describe it. Of course, I was the only one who felt like my body was cracking apart. With a house full of boys, there is usually some confusion at to why Mom is crying at any given point! But, I'm so grateful for that time - for the huddle hug. A mother needs to have her arms around her children sometimes. Ah... those beautiful, beautiful boys of mine!

As I've been reflecting on my feelings this weekend, I've tried to pinpoint why I had to have that time - just the six of us. Why was it so important to me? 2.5 years ago, when I was diagnosed with cancer, that's all I wanted - to gather my kids and husband around me, and not let them out of my sight. My son, Grant, was on a mission in Japan, and I could physically feel that hole in my life. I remember not being able to sleep at night, and roaming my house - looking in on my children and watching them sleep. If I could just touch each of them each day, that was enough to get me through whatever the day held. Why is that? Why is it that at every momentous time in our lives, having family near is so important? As important as food or water, or even air.

As you can probably tell, I'm having a hard time with this changing time in my life. I don't want my kids to grow up and leave. As a mother, just the thought rips my heart to shreds. But... life goes on, doesn't it? We grow, we survive, we thrive. We look forward - not backward - and continue to find joy in simple things. Things like putting our arms around our children, or feeling gratitude for a sweet neighbor who serves us, or even just waking up to another beautiful day here on this earth.

I hope all of you can find something that will give you joy - no matter what you have to face in the future.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Unusual Sign

Imagine our surprise when we saw this sign! Those are two names that you don't see often, and we saw them together! Funny!

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Artist - Adele

Here's my new favorite artist - I love her voice. Grant just introduced me to her music. Adele...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


These are my twins nephews, Jordan and Taylor Glad. In this picture, they are opening their LDS mission calls. They just arrived in their missions a week ago - one is in Paraguay, and the other is in Argentina. I'm so proud of them! Good luck, Elders Glad!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Sometimes I am reminded of cute things my kids have said over the years, and it makes me long for my little kids again. Yesterday, my husband said something about "heart beeps" that made me laugh and remember...

Michael has wanted to be a doctor since he was a little boy. My other kids didn't love going to see the doctor, but Michael was always fascinated with everything about the doctor's office. He couldn't sit still - he had to touch and try out everything. One Christmas, we decided a doctor's "kit" would be the perfect present for him. The one we got was all heavy-duty plastic. There was a bag that was full of "instruments". There were bandages that you wore like a bracelet, a syringe to give shots, a thermometer, and a blood pressure cuff.

Michael would make us sit down, and he would shove the thermometer in our mouth to take our temperature. He would tell us we needed a shot, and then proceed to give us one. I always made a big deal of hating needles. ;-) He would put the bandages on our "hurts", take our blood pressure, and try to makes us feel better. But, my favorite part was when Michael would say he wanted to listen to my "heart beep" (instead of "beat"). It was so cute! It cracked me up! Wish I had 3 year old Michael here again, for just one day!

Monday, January 31, 2011

MONDAY MENU ITEM: Crock Pot Bavarian Pot Roast

Just have to share this YUMMY recipe with you! I made this yesterday. My family rarely has red meat dishes. I just don't think it's that healthy, plus the only red meat I like is a good roast (I abhor hamburger - yuck!). And you just can't have a roast very often - too expensive! While I was working on a menu for this week, I decided to make a roast for Sunday's meal, but wanted something a little different than I normally make (Roast, onion soup mix, water - in a crockpot ALL DAY - the only way to cook a roast). I found this recipe online - I can't remember where...

Crock Pot Bavarian Pot Roast


1 beef pot roast, about 3 to 5 pounds (I don't really love pot roast, so I used Top Round - nice and lean)
1 tsp. vegetable oil (I used Olive Oil - again, it's more healthy)
1 1/2 tsp salt (I use Mediterranean Sea Salt)
1/8 tsp pepper (freshly ground, of course)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 whole cloves
4 medium apples (I used Gala), cored and quartered (leave skin on)
1 sm. onion, sliced
1/2 c. apple juice or cider
3 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp water

Core and quarter the apples (I cut them into 8 pieces instead of 4), and slice the onions.
Place the apples and onions in the bottom of the Crock pot.

Trim all excess fat from the roast. Lightly rub top of meat with oil.

Sprinkle meat with the salt, pepper and ginger.

Insert the whole cloves in meat. Put the roast on top of the apples and onions.
Pour in the apple juice.

Cover and cook on a LOW setting for 9 to 12 hours (with the Top Round roast, I cooked only for about 8 hours, and it just fell apart!)

Remove the roast and apples to a warm platter when fully cooked. Turn the slow cooker to HIGH. Make a smooth paste with the flour and water and stir the paste into the liquid. Cover and cook until thickened. Pour gravy over the roast when serving. Makes about 6 to 8 good sized servings. (I didn't do the gravy part. It was taking too long to thicken, and my family was dying from starvation apparently, because they weren't patient enough for gravy. :-)

I served this with potatoes: I peeled and cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces - enough to cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Next came the onions - chopped, which I put all around the potatoes. I then sprinkled with salt, pepper, and creole seasoning, and stirred everything to distribute the seasoning. I put a few pats of butter on the top (ok, so this wasn't the most healthy dish - but it was good!). I baked for about 45 minutes, and then pulled it out and sprinkles the top with medium cheddar cheese. Back into the oven until the cheese melted. When I pulled it out, I stirred it to distribute the cheese and onions. We also had French cut green beans.

ENJOY! (My family did!)
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My Gorgeous Boys

My Gorgeous Boys