Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

Oh what fun the Harkers had this Christmas. I don't know if it's because we have a bunch of kids now or what, but every Christmas seems to be more fun than the last, even though we had less money to celebrate with then some years. Maybe simpler is better! We began our Christmas Eve celebration at Jeff and Suzie's house with a feast of every kind of "finger food" you could imagine. Yummy!
Then of course it was the traditional nativity play. Suzie's mom had made these awesome costumes to use this year and everyone looked adorable! Miles was supposed to make his acting debut as baby Jesus, but fell asleep just minutes before he was supposed to perform. Oh well. I had a cute Joseph, Shepherd, and Wise Man.
We also played chimes, sang Christmas carols, and had some of the best desserts ever! After the party we went home to lay out cookies and chocolate milk for Santa and watched "The Nativity" and "Mr. Kruger's Christmas." Then time for bed to wait for Santa.
Mitchel slept upstairs with the other boys and brought up his alarm clock. I told them they could not leave the room until 7:00 am. So right on the button, Mitchel was up and waking up his brothers (who probably would have slept for another hour) Then I made them all wait upstairs while I got my video camera ready to film the first reactions as they came down the stairs.
This was Mason's Santa gift. The Extreme Shake 'N Go Raceway. He also got a walkie talkie in his stocking.
Max was thrilled with his lego Star Wars set. He knelt down on the ground, held it high above his head, and said, "Thank you Santa!" Priceless! He got the other walkie talkie in his stocking.
Miles got this cute ball rolling down the track thing. I'm sure he'll like it a lot more when he can sit up on his own.
Everyone was happy!
Miles loved rolling around in the wrapping paper. It's a good thing, because the only gift he got was the one from Santa.
Mitchel's Santa gift was an extension set to his Geo Trax railway. He can now build track that covers the entire living room floor.
Next it was off to Grandma and Grandpa Miller's house for more fun and lunch with the Miller clan.
Thought I better get at least one picture of me on Christmas day. My mom has a tradition of giving all of us girls slippers every year. I love it because I wear them EVERY day so mine get worn out and a new pair every year is awesome! That's what was in this bag.
Then it was off to visit Grandma and Grandpa Harker. While we were there, Uncle Matt came over and surprised his parents with a 40" flat screen T.V. and gave Mitchel and Max these awesome remote control cars. This was a relaxing way to end our Christmas day because none of the other siblings or grand kids came over. We spent time just talking and playing with the cool helicopter Grandpa Harker got.
The next night, the Harker family had our Christmas party with all of Mike's family. We took a family picture outside in the snow with all 12 grand kids. I hope it turns out. Then we had soup and exchanged cousin gifts and just relaxed and talked and laughed. It was wonderful!
So really, the 2009 Harker Christmas was one to remember. When it was all over, I asked my boys what their favorite part was, and all of them said something about spending time with the family. And really, isn't that what it is all about! Loved it!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

6 months old!

Tomorrow is Christmas of course, but it is also Miles' 6 month birthday! Isn't it cool that his birthday and Christmas are exactly 6 months apart? Makes remembering it pretty easy. I think he will like getting presents in the summer and winter for the rest of his life. He has been such a joy to have in our family. I love his soft, fluffy hair, his cute giggle, his melt-your-heart smile, and his cry-baby face (it makes me laugh) The other three boys sure are loving him too. Now that he has more of a personality, they love making him laugh and smile. What a blessing it is to be his mom! Thank goodness he is the best sleeper ever and pretty easy going. He brings me joy every day! He has just started playing with his feet and socks and putting everything into his mouth.
I love you so much Miles and am so glad you are my baby. I can't wait to see how you grow and change over the next year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Christmas Fun

The Larry H. Miller family is so incredibly generous and does so much for our community. I heard about the free Christmas sing-along at the ESA and thought we would give it a try as a family. They gave us a free ride down town on the TRAX train, free hot dogs and drinks, a free concert, free singing, and as we left, we all got a free Jazz ticket, Bees ticket, and free popcorn at the movies. It was a great night and we think we might make it a tradition every year (especially if it stays free.) Here we are waiting in line to get into the ESA. We were joined by THOUSANDS of other people who also took advantage of the Miller family's generosity. Thanks Larry!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


The "real" Santa came to our ward Christmas party this past weekend. He was so beautiful and cute with the kids! The best part was we didn't have to go to the mall or pay $20 for a picture with him! Max asked for some Walkie-Talkies.
Mitchel asked for Team Geo-Trax.
Miles asked for a hug.
Mason followed the lead of his big brother and also asked for some Walkie Talkies.
I have also been a very good girl this year and asked Santa for some peace and quiet. I think I will get some come January 31st when Mike and I take off for a cruise around the Caribbean!! My wish will be granted! That is why I still believe in Santa Claus!

Random Houses

What do you do with old Halloween candy and a box of graham crackers? Make random, hodge-podge "gingerbread" houses of course! (I use the term gingerbread lightly). We spent Friday after school decorating our masterpieces. They looked HORRIBLE but the kids had fun and I got all the Halloween candy used up! So it was a success for everyone. (Except now they won't let me throw them away and they are cluttering up my counter top and are quite ugly to look at). Look at the concentration!
All done!

Mason just wanted to use as much candy as possible. The red laffy taffy on top is supposed to be fire!
Mitchel made a "spy" house complete with a diving board off the roof and a protective tootsie roll fence.
Max's had dynamite on top and fire coming out of his roof as well.
Watching these guys make this reminded me that I am surrounded by BOYS! Everything about what they did was so random and either had to do with guns or blowing things up or fire. There was no thought given to beauty or symmetry or matching colors or anything like that. Oh well. It was a fun, Christmasy thing to do.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Time is Here!

At the beginning of the Christmas season, I have to admit I was kind of a Scrooge. I wasn't looking forward to getting out the mess of the tree or shopping or any of the Christmas things. Well, it's a good thing I have Mitchel. He got me out of my funk right away by playing Christmas music as loud as he could and begging to put up the tree. My sister came over to help us and this is by far my favorite Christmas tree we have ever had! That really got me into the spirit. Then we've really simplified and stuck to only 3 gifts per kid this year and that has helped me feel less stressed about shopping. And then I remembered all the wonderful gifts I already have, like these adorable little boys who make me smile EVERY day! If they were all I had in this world, I would be happy.
I have to say that most the time, I hate that our front yard is a hill, until it snows! I love that my kids can go sledding right in our own front yard and I can just watch out the window toasty warm in my house. They have such a great time. And this last storm, I actually got out there and joined them. It was so fun!
Another favorite tradition is Grandma Miller's famous cookie party. All the cousins got together to frost and decorate yummy sugar cookies and then ate themselves silly. My kids would rather spend time with Grandma Miller and their cousins then anyone else in the world, so we had a great time.
Their decorating skills sure have improved over the last couple of years. It used to be just one crazy mess, but now their cookies look good enough to eat.
I also went to Temple Square to see the lights with the YM/YW and hope to get my family down there before Christmas is over. It really is a great time of year and my Scrooge attitude has completely disappeared! Only 10 days to go!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


One of the great advantages of having all children of the same sex is the handing down of clothes. I love that I haven't had to go buy all new wardrobes each season for all of my kids. My favorite thing to pass on is pajamas. These are by far my favorites. I found them when Mitchel was about three and Max was about 6 months old. I now have pictures of all of my kids in the same pajamas. Cute huh! Mitchel and Max

Max and Mason

Mason and Miles
(we've lost the bottoms now for the bigger pair. Who knows where they possibly could have gone??)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Missing Person

Please help find 32 year old woman who used to be organized, punctual, neat, sane, and "had it all together." She has been missing for a few months now and is missed very much by her owner. She used to live by the motto "A place for everything and everything in it's place." It has now been replaced with, "I have no idea where anything is," and "what are all these piles of crap doing everywhere?" She used to get everything done with time to spare. Now she lives by the skin of her teeth and hopes that somehow, everything will come together at the last minute. She used to get bored sometimes. Now days go by and she has no idea where the time has gone and has nothing to show for all the hours she spent doing whatever it was that she was doing. She used to remember events and could keep track of everything. Now, she frequently forgets appointments or events or lessons or anything else that is not written on the calender. She used to live in a clean house. Now the garage, basement, every closet, every cupboard, and every drawer is jam packed with "stuff" that may or may not be important. She used to never go anywhere without her makeup on and hair fixed. She was recently spotted at her child's school in her pajamas and slippers and went to a wedding reception with hair in a matted pony tail and only mascara on for makeup. She used to have plenty of time to scrapbook, work on home movies, watch T.V. and take naps. She now finds time to check her email and facebook accounts and Yahoo new stories, but not much else. She used to think that a dirty bathroom was the worst sin a wife could make. Now it can be weeks before the sinks and toilets get a needed scrub and the bathmats only get washed when they no longer look white. She used to love going to movies with her husband. She can't remember the last movie they saw together.

Anyway, she is missing, and if anyone knows where she is or when she'll be back, will you be sure to let me know? Thanks!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sisters and Friends

The best thing about my sister, Tracy, is that she is also my best friend. Growing up, I was the pain in her side and always wanted to do everything she did. We fought a lot and had many hair pulling, clawing with fingernails, and yelling fights. But luckily, all that changed when we went to college together. We both decided to attend Weber State and that changed our relationship forever. If finally felt like I wasn't the "little sister" anymore and instead we were more on the same level. We lived together, studied together, had the same roommates, played together and really got to know each other as women, not just sisters. That was awesome. Our lives have changed a lot since then, but Tracy and I have remained best friends. I am so grateful for that.
She is seriously one of the most talented people I know. She is amazing at her job and so successful at what she does. She has such an eye for decorating and arranging things so that they look good. I love it when she comes to my house and rearranges my furniture or art work or whatever. It always looks so much better than how I had it. She is also very giving of her time and means to help me and my family. She babysits my boys or lets them have sleepovers at her house so Mike and I can have a much needed date. She takes me out to lunch or will give me some extra cash when I just don't have any at the time. And she shares in her "perks" that she gets from her jobs with Mike and I. For example, she gets to take clients to Jazz games a few times a year. She had tickets for the game on Thanksgiving and took Mike with her, then took me to the game on Saturday. (At the Jazz game)
(on Thanksgiving)
(Helping me decorate my Christmas tree, using some old decorations of hers that she donated to my cause.)
So Tracy, I just wanted you to know how thankful I am for you. Thanks for listening to me, laughing with me, helping me, teaching me, hanging out with me, encouraging me, supporting me and just being there always. I love that we are not only sisters, but friends too.

5 months old!

Miles turned five months old on November 25th. He sure is looking a lot like his older brothers. He can roll over now and is starting to eat solid foods. So far he has tried rice cereal, peas (yucky) and carrots. He sleeps from about 8:30 pm to 8:00 am. He loves his binki and being wrapped up like a burrito. I am getting to the point where I wish he could sit up on his own and maybe start entertaining himself more. Having a baby has been fun, but it sure is hard to get things done. Miles is a cutie though and I'm glad he's in our family.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

San Diego Wedding

I had the privilege this past weekend to go to San Diego to film the wedding of Mike's cousin, Derek, and his new bride, Ashley. I had made a wedding video for his brother about 5 years ago and the family liked it so much, they hired me to do their next son's wedding as well. I flew into San Diego on Thursday night, all by myself, and got to stay with Mike's aunt and uncle for a night. Their home is absolutely amazing and huge and I felt like I was at a 5 star hotel. Here is the bed I got to sleep in. I've never slept so good in my whole life! Then the next day, we went to take some pre-wedding video and photos at the temple and then at the beach during sun set. Unfortunately I have no still pictures of the beach because I was too busy filming with my video camera, but trust me, it was amazing. The sunset was absolutely perfect and I can't wait to see how it looks on video with the bride and groom.
That night Mike and his parents drove into San Diego and met me at the beach. I spent the rest of the time with them in a hotel close to the temple.
Saturday was the day of the wedding. The San Diego temple has to be by far one of the most beautiful temples. It looks just like a castle in heaven, especially with the bright blue sky behind it. Mike's Grandpa is a sealer, so he did the marriage and it was wonderful. He reminded the bride that when she was mad at Derek, to pray to Heavenly Father that she would be able to see Derek the way Heavenly Father sees him. And he told Derek that if he was ever mad at Ashley to pray to love her the way Heavenly Father loves her. I thought that was really good advice.
These are some pictures I got with my still camera to use as the cover on their DVD. They were absolutely adorable and you could see how happy and in love they were. (and can you believe how blue the sky was?)
Here is the coolest family on the planet, the Harkers, who all came to support Derek and Ashley. It was really fun being there with everyone. It's too bad we all couldn't have stayed a few days more to play in San Diego.
The reception was held at an amazing hotel/resort/golf course. Every detail was planned to perfection. There was wonderful food, a DJ and dancing, and yummy treats everywhere. I didn't get to enjoy too much of it since I was busy working, but I think all the guests had a lot of fun. (Don't worry, it's only apple juice)
I absolutely love being a wedding videographer. I don't really advertise and only get hired by word of mouth. I've been doing it for about 8 years now and I think each video I do only gets better. It's fun to spend a day with people who are happy and in love and I love catching all their cute looks and kisses they give each other when they think no one is watching. It's a great job.
Mike and I flew home together on Sunday. By the time we got back to Salt Lake, a big storm had blown in and it was snowing. Welcome to Utah! We picked up our kids from Grandma and Aunt Tracy (Thank you so much for watching them while we were gone!) and got back to reality.
I sure thought a lot about my boys while I was gone. Mike's aunt also had four boys, the groom being one of them. They have all turned into such amazing, handsome, rightous young men who have all served missions and are marrying wonderful girls in the temple. I can only hope that my four boys turn out as well as those four. But it's good to see that it is possible and I hope that the dreams I have for Mitchel, Max, Mason, and Miles come true too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Who's the boss?

This picture represents my total loss of control lately. I think the boys have realized that they out number me, and so it's getting easier for them to ignore any direction I give. On this particular night, they started by jumping on the couches. My plea to stop jumping on them was blatantly ignored. Then they took all the cushions off. They took no heed to my request to put them back on. Then it turned into a building towers and jumping off game which included knocking over some picture frames and landing on each other and basically causing a ruckus. I was about to go crazy and yell at them all to clean it up and get on pajamas "NOW!" when it struck me at how much fun they were having. So instead I grabbed the camera and took a picture. These are the moments that one day, I know I will miss. Even though they are loud, messy, and destroy all sense of order I have, the boys are getting along and doing something together. I love that they have brothers to play with and I hope they will remain friends for life. So I'm residing myself to the fact that I will probably not have control most of the time, but I am going to do my best to make the most of it.
Other news is that Miles has learned to roll from his back to his tummy. He doesn't like it very much once he gets in that position and doesn't really enjoy "tummy time."