Sunday, August 25, 2019


Maddie made the freshman volleyball team last year. We were both thrilled. Overall it was a good experience. She made new friends, had something to do (practice was every single day after school on top of 2 games a week). It was such a better experience than when she was playing for the city rec team. It wasn't perfect by any means, she got to play in every game but wasn't in for long which was an annoyance. She wasn't played to her true potential. Unfortunately Hurricane is still a small enough town that if you don't have the right last name you don't succeed in sports here. But their team was undefeated the entire year. We even won regional. If Freshman went to state we would have gone! It was exciting. 

This past January she signed up to play in Club. It cost us $400 which is quite a bit of money. We were pretty disappointed when we discovered that she wasn't going to be put on the same team as her other volleyball team mates. 9 of the 12 girls were put on one team with the JV high school coach as there Club coach. Maddie was put on the "upcoming" Freshman team. The other 2 girls of the original 12 were also put on Maddie's team. The team was then filled with 8th graders. 

There's nothing wrong with 8th graders! Maddie was an 8th grader. The problem we quickly ran into was that these girls had only ever played for the rec teams. They had never played a real high school volleyball game. They had only practiced once a week during the 6 week volleyball rec season, not every single day for 10-12 weeks. All of our games were against other freshman aged girls. Our team was 8th graders, we had different rules and a different way of playing than what they knew. It didn't help that our coach was a volunteer mom who hadn't played since college. Her daughter, Jo, was one of the freshman put on the team. Jo didn't want to play volleyball. Her mom was forcing her too. Our coach didn't keep up with the high school rules and had a hard time following them. In fact we were the only team participating that didn't have a Libero because when "she played" they didn't have that position. We had games every other weekend in the Salt Lake area. We hated it. It wasn't fun having to pay for a hotel and food every other weekend and then loosing every single game! 

This is Maddie May Heider and Maddie Mae Heaton. Maddie and her mom, Tonya, was our lifesaver. The Maddie's were both on the Freshman team together and then dumped to the 8th grader team. We usually took turns driving up together and then splitting the cost of the hotel room. We had a lot of fun when we were together.  

So each tournament had 5-7 courts. Each court then had 5-6 teams assigned to that court. Those teams played against each other on there assigned court. This was called the bracket. Then the top playing teams from each court were put together to play in a tournament. 2nd best, 3rd, and down the ladder were put together to play against each other for the tournament.  We lost almost every single game so quite often was playing for the copper trophy.  There were 2 times that we came in 2nd to last during the bracket that put us in copper division but then lost the first game in the actual tournament.  

Because we mostly took last place in the bracket we got to know the other teams like us pretty well. There were only 3-4 of them and there teams were made up of all 8th graders. They couldn't rotate or keep track where they were suppose to be. They were more concerned with their cheers I think. We usually won by 15-20 points every single time. We didn't have to try very hard to come in first place against them. Our last tournament our girls didn't even really try! We knew we were going to win that Copper Medal. We had already played this team 5-6 times. Sure enough we won, like 25-6 

For fun after the rest of the team left these 2 goof balls wanted this picture. We are #1 of the LOOSER tournament. So funny! 

During the summer we learned that our club coach was hired on for the Sophmore high school team. When Maddie participated in the summer games she saw "the writing on the wall". She came to me and said she wasn't going to try out. She knew she wouldn't make it. There was already talk of who was going to be on JV team and who was staying on Sophmore team. The problem is that the JV team is all Sophmore's. So to fill the actual Sophmore team the coaches would fill it with the upcoming Freshman, those 8th graders on our club team. Maddie just didn't want to deal with all the drama that came from the Club team. So she didn't try out. Sure enough what Maddie had thought she saw during summer came to pass. Our other Maddie tried out and didn't make the team this year either. Again something we saw coming. 

She say's she misses being with her friends everyday but that's about it. She "hears" about the drama at school with the girls and coaches and is so glad she is not a part of that.   

Monday, August 12, 2019

Back to School 2019

 Why do our summer's go by so quickly?
In just a blink of an eye it's back to school again!

This handsome young man is a Junior this year. How did this happen? 

And she's a Sophmore!
These 2 will be at the same school again this year. Last year I had kids at 4 different schools that all start and end and have early out's on different days. This year we are back down to 3. Yippee! 

This young lady is a 7th grader, the oldest grade at the Intermediate School. She has asked not to be in a carpool and wants to ride her bike every day. This mom won't complain. 

This is the last year these 2 will ever be at the same school until Brayden is a Senior. 
Brayden is in his last year of elementary school. He's the big 5th grader. He's so excited this year to have multiple teachers like his older siblings. His 5th grade teacher is going to be his "home room" teacher. He will go to his room first for Reading. Then as a class they move through out the day to the other teachers for Math, Science and Language Arts.  

Miss Kylie is in 2nd grade! It's hard to believe she's my baby. This will be my second year not having kiddo's at home with me anymore. I do miss them! 
Here's to an AWESOME first day of school!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Look Who's 10!

This handsome young man is finally 10! 

I love his enthusiasm for life. He loves science, lego's, reading and building things with his hands. 

He also loves insects and anything creepy, crawly. 

His favorite series at the moment is Percy Jackson. He has read this series numerous times all ready. He was pretty excited for his Camp Half Blood shirt. 

Brayden specifically asked for Costco's cheesecake this year. 

Yummy, yummy!

We sure love this little guy in our home! He keeps us laughing with his most random facts about everything and anything he's learned through his readings. He also loves to tell jokes. He's quick to share with his family any new ones he learns during the day. Happy Birthday little man!

Monday, April 15, 2019


The Easter Bunny a few years ago started hiding everyone's gifts. The kids leave their baskets on the table the night before. When they look inside on Easter morning they have a few pieces of candy with one strand of curly ribbon. Everyone's strand of curly ribbon is a different color. They then go on the "hunt" for items they can find wrapped in their color of curly ribbon. 

There is no spot untouchable.

The kids LOVE it! 

Miss Kylie was given a new Easter book, Go Fish Book of Mormon, a jump rope and new necklace. 

Emily also got a new book, new necklace, Who Said It Book of Mormon game and a kit to make her own lip balm.

Hunter also received a new book, Cover Your Assets game, a case of Mountain Dew and a tie tack. 

Brayden loves his new bullets, Spot It game, new book and tie tack. 

Maddie loves the next book in her series, a journal, package of Spree's and a YW bracelet. 

Kids were happy with their new books. This little one not only read her own book but them read Brayden's too!

 She is such a good little reader.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Big 16

How is it possible that my little boy is now 16?
He is so awesome! He's a great student who gets straight A's. He excels in almost everything he tries and of course makes it look super simple too. He has been so helpful when we work on the house. He's just an awesome young man and I'm so glad he's mine!

Maddie made him a candy bar poster. 

His favorite gift? Why that would be his very own set of keys! No more having to borrow mom's or dad's. 

I took off from work a little early to take him to the DMV. How awesome is this going to be? He finally has his license and can drive by himself. He's only been driving for a full year now. We were both so ready for this day!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Brayden's Engineer Project

Oh how I hate science projects. I hated them as a kid and my opinion of them haven't changed. I don't mind the kids doing their own little science projects they have seen in books or on the internet but I hate the whole having to keep track of everything, remember to take pictures, putting the board together using the scientific method and being on a time crunch, etc.

This year it was a requirement for Brayden to choose between a science project or engineer. The engineer project was to have the child pick a problem or something he doesn't like to do and make something to do it for him or easier to do it. What???? It took us a few days to come up with something. 

One of Brayden's chores is to collect the chicken eggs everyday for me. If we keep the saw dust full in their nesting boxes the eggs are generally clean and don't need washed. But every so often it gets low, the eggs are dirty and Brayden has to wash them. He doesn't like doing that. So he decided to make his own egg washer.   

We went to the dollar store and bought a wire basket and few different sponge scrubbers in different roughness. 

He then took the scrubbers, cut them to his desired length and then zip tied them to the basket. 

Once his basket was ready he started his chores by collecting the eggs in the morning. 

The eggs weren't to dirty so he rolled them around is some fresh poop. Nasty! 
We wanted the poop to be dried on so we continued his project after school. 

He put one egg in his basket and turned the water on to soak the sponges. He then gently shook the basket to get the egg to roll around the sponges and "scrub" itself. 

It worked but it took longer than if he would have just washed the egg with his hands. 

So he put 2 eggs in to see if he could do it a little faster. 
Oops! The eggs hit each other and cracked!

So using more sponges Brayden set up a barrier to keep them from hitting each other. 

We had another success but was still taking more time than if he had done it with his hands. 
So he rigged up one more separation so he could do 3 eggs at a time. 

Brayden really had to shake the basket with all 3 eggs inside. He was afraid he'd shake on out. So he added a cover to keep that from happening.  

Then he could shake, shake, shake. 

It worked! He got all the eggs clean. He felt it was faster this way then if he had to wash them all by hand. He says this engineering project is a success! It is something he will continue to use when he has to wash eggs. If there was something else he could change to make it even better it would be somehow stop the water in the sponges from splashing out when he shook the basket, think a wet dog!  

Then came to fun part of putting everything together. 

Brayden ended up being the only kid at school to do an engineering project. Everyone else chose science. He won 1st place by default and also gets to go to regionals if he chooses. One of the judges that judged regionals last year was at Braydens school and said he was very impressed with his project. The project was suppose to be about one of his chores or jobs and to create something to improve it and then make changes to make it better. Brayden did exactly that. It was also obviously done by a 4th grader and NOT mom or dad. Brayden did a great job explaining what he used to create it and why. Good job Brayden!!

Spring Break 2019

It's the most WONDERFUL time of the year!
Oh how we love, love, love our spring break. I don't know if it's because we get to get away for a few days or its being in the mountains in the snow or like Kory mentioned its a reminder that tax season is almost over and Mom will be back. It's probably a mixture of all 3 and more.  Regardless this trip has been anticipated for weeks now! I took an extra day off of work this year to give us 2 full days at Brian Head. These little ones of mine thought it would never get here! We left Sunday afternoon and didn't leave Brian Head until Wednesday late morning.  In the end Kory and I thought it was the perfect amount of time. The kids however want us to make it even longer next year. 

Oh how I love this toothless smile of hers.

Brayden's facial expression cracks me up!

This year we accumulated a few necessities for our Brian Head trips. Everyone has snow pants, snow boots and gloves. We were even able to pick up 2 different snow boards, helmets and some more sleds.  

Emily wanted to practice going down the hill behind our rental before heading to the bunny slopes. Her expressions make my laugh!

Brayden wanted to practice too before hitting the slopes. The board is a little big for him but he did a pretty good job for it being his first time too. 

While her older siblings were practicing on the snow board this little one made snow angels and had a snow ball fight with mom.  

When the kids are tired of the snow we head inside to swim. 
Brayden wanted me to capture a picture of him standing on water. 
We weren't too successful but close.  

Kory and the big kids come and join for a lunch break. 

After lunch those that want hit the slopes again. 

Hunter brought a friend with us this year. Karson lives with his grandparents across the street and he's become one of ours! His birthday is in April just like the boys. He's in Maddie's grade so just a year younger than Hunter. One night at the pool we were asked if Hunter, Maddie and Karson were triplets and then I continued to have 3 more children. Ummm nope! The little kids look up to him like another big brother. Karson was being kind and told Emily he would ride the lift with her so she didn't have to go by herself. 

I sent Emily with my phone and asked her to take pictures.
She did a great job!

The little kids and I hit the pool again and made funny faces. 

We brought some board games with us this year. The kids favorite right now is Ticket to Ride. 

Maddie let Emily take her pass and she stayed behind with the little kids and I. She brought a book to keep herself entertained. 

Back at our rental one night the kiddos thought it would be fun to grab some snow outside and put it in pool/hot tub.  
They'd get it wet real quick and then hold it over their heads while it melted. 

It didn't take too long for all the kids to want to go outside and collect their own snow too. 

Silly kids!

Our last day at Brian Head a storm was heading in. It was darker outside than normal but a little warmer and less wind on the slopes. Brayden decided he was ready to hit the slopes too.

Brayden was able to go down the slopes 2 times before they closed for the night. 
Kory, Brayden and Maddie. 

Thank you Brian Head for another memorable Spring Break.
I'm sure we'll be seeing you again next year!