Friday, September 26, 2008

Harrison's Birthday Celebrations...

We only do Birthday parties every other year for our kids. On the other years, usually the even birthdays, we take them out on a date with mom & dad. We let them pick their favorite restaurant (we still love Nathan the most because he picks

On Harrison's birthday, it just happened to be a day off of school for he and Nathan, so Harrison agreed that Nathan could come with us.

Rick took the day off and we went up to the Clark Planetarium and out to lunch at Tucano's, an all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steak House (his favorites are always expensive).

We had such a great day with Harrison, he is really a joy to be around. He is always so happy, excited and positive. The boys had fun at the Planetarium. They pretended to walk on the moon, enjoyed a 3-D movie and wandered around looking at the exibits.

When Harrison was young, he would get into more trouble than all of my kids combined! We used to say that he would either end up in the State Prison or become the President of the United States. We are sure glad that it is now looking more like the latter one.

On Sunday we invited Rick's parents over for dinner and a birthday celebration. They were babysitting Jared & Jackie's kids, so we got to have them over as well. It was so much fun. Harrison got to choose his favorite dinner (which was really hard for him, since he loves EVERYTHING) and cake...he picked angel food with strawberries.

We love Harrison so much and we are proud of the boy he has become. Happy 10th birthday, Harrison.

Ten Years ago...

Ten Years ago today Harrison joined our family. I got to take treats into his class yesterday (as today school is out, on account of his birthday) and the kids were so darling! Harrison had requested Rolo cookies and all of the 4th graders asked for the recipe...I guess that's a compliment! He has a wonderful teacher this year named Mrs. Knight. She is new to the school and a great addition...she is funny and kind and smart and good at discipline...everything a teacher should be.

Mrs. Knight had Harrison stand up front and she read his "All About Me" paper (that he wrote). Here it is, just for fun:

All About Me
Full Name: Harrison Oliver James (After Grandpa Cozzens)
Age: 9 (Now 10)
Birthday: September 26, 1998
Number of People in my family: 6
My Pets: 2 cats, sally, comet and midnight (who shows up once every 6 months)

Song: Viva la Vida, move along & Dani California
Movie: ?
TV Show: Sonic X
Restaurant: Tempenyaki (his spelling, not mine)
Family Activity: going to my grandma's on special ocacions (when the teacher asked which Grandma, he said both)
Animal: Cheetah
Game: ticket to ride
Book: hardy boys
Scripture: if any of you lack wisdom let him... James 1:5
After-school activity: homework, clean (brown-noser)
Color: blue
Talent/hobby: piano, run, read
Famous Person: ?
Childhood Memory: a trip to disney land
Food: all foods (the truth...he eats everything)
Treat: all treats
Saturday activity: play with friends
Sport: baseball (which is weird, because he chose to play soccer this year)
Season: summer
Holiday: christmas (wouldn't that be every child's answer?)
Daydream: ?

What I like best about school: everything (like I say, brown-noser)
Favorite thing about my mother: how she is always nice (now that one is true!)
Favorite thing about my father: he is fun to play with (so true as well)

Happy Birthday to Harrison!

Harrison's Favorite Rolo Cookies...
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 t. baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
36 Rolo candies

Mix sugars together with the butter until creamy. Add vanilla and eggs and mix. Add baking soda, mix and then add the flour (sometimes it needs just a tad more). If you have time, refrigerate dough for an hour...if not, just go for it. Take a rolo candy (un-wrapped of course) and wrap a little dough around it, forming a small ball. Roll the ball into sugar and place onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Cool for a minute on a wire rack, but not for too long, as they are best warm & gooey and served with cold milk! Yummy!

Baby Harrison...

In honor of Harrison's birthday, I got out the scrapbook and started reminiscing. I thought it was completely selfish of me to laugh and cry while looking at these pictures alone, so I thought I would share. Boy, how I wish digital cameras were around when my kids were born. I had to scan these, and they didn't turn out great (they are actually beautiful pictures in the book). But, I thought you would enjoy some of them.

Harrison was supposed to be born on September 21st. I was born on my dad's birthday, as a birthday present to him while he was in the hospital (read Karen's blog for that story). Since Harrison was due on that day, I thought it was perfect...fate, if you will. He didn't think so. He decided that he didn't want to share a birthday with us, so he came 5 days later. We still named him after my dad (middle names are both Oliver).

Sometimes you have to lie and say that someones baby is really cute, when we all know most newborns aren't that cute. Well, I'm so glad that nobody had to lie to me...everyone knew that Harrison was the cutest newborn baby ever born. (He did have a little bruising, however, from coming out upside down and face first. My doctor wanted me to name him Jamal.) Diaper courtesy of my limited knowledge of Photoshop (you are welcome, Harrison).

Now, we get to the really funny pictures. 10 years doesn't seem too long ago, does it? But take a look at Logan and Devan. If anyone knows Logan now, you know that he is very handsome. It sure gives hope to those nerdy teenagers now, doesn't it?

This is such a great one too. Carri and her kids; Jill, Kimbrey and Brennan. Brennan is serving a mission in France and Kimbrey and Jill are both married with adorable sons of their own. Jill, I am so sorry...I tried using Photoshop like you have taught me, but there really wasn't anything I could do for you!

I know this picture is super dark, darn that scanner. But, I thought it was a really cute one of Rick's sister Leslie with Harrison.

Andrew loved his new baby brother...until he started stealing his Legos!

Janessa loved him too, until he was 5 years old and started playing the piano better than she did...without lessons!

Here's me, 25 years old with my third child. How about my Jennifer Aniston hair cut...didn't I look just like her? This was Harrison's blessing day...I remember him sleeping through most of it. He was so sweet.

This is Rick's family at Harrison's blessing, right after our trip to the tanning salon. (Just kidding...I don't know why these are all scanning with such crazy colors, but it's too late at night to deal with it, so just pretend they went tanning.) Sarah is so cute and little!

Here's my crazy family at the blessing. Not only do we look like we are sunburned, but we look like we escaped some loony hospital. Check out Devan's face, what happened? I can't remember. Mark is attacking Kimberly. What in the world is wrong with Scotty? Such a funny picture. I love Janessa sitting on my dad's desk, just as I did as a little girl. Elaine's hair was dark back then. (She was the first to see Harrison, she dropped by the hospital early and saw the birth.) Brian is now on a mission in Florida...he looks so young. Harrison sure has been blessed with a wonderful, crazy family that loves him so much!

Man, it's amazing how fast time flies. Kimberly (on the right) is the one who just arrived this week in Milan, Italy, on an LDS mission. Lisa and Marianne look so young.

This is my favorite. A picture of Rick's sister Karen. She passed away when Harrison was still a baby. She was such a wonderful aunt to her nieces and nephews. She taught school at Timpanogos High School, right up the street from where we lived. She would come and get our kids after school ended, and then run back quickly so she could show them off to her students.

After she passed away I would cry every time I thought about Harrison never remembering her. I know that she is a very special guardian angel of his.

Happy Birthday Harrison, your family loves you so very much.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My sister is AWESOME...

I know, I know. I have heard from all of you. You are mad that I haven't finished blogging my trip to Italy. I am sorry, I don't know what else to say. I promise I will finish up by Christmas, how is that? Life has been insane and crazy ever since I have been home. I have over 3,000 pictures and I think we visited nearly 35 cities. It's a bit daunting. And, so many other things have happened since I've been home that I need to blog about. Please, be patient. Don't give up on me! :)

In the meantime, I have some exciting news about my sister, Karen...

I really love my sister Karen. She is not only the most AWESOME Mission President's wife there ever was, but she still does everything else. She always invites people over for dinner, lets all kinds of people in who don't have a place to stay, and does homework with her kids, sometimes until the early morning hours.

She has given this talk in the mission, I believe she has called it, "Just say YES." She talks about people who always tell her to "just say no" when it comes to taking on too much. I don't think she has ever said "no" to anyone who has asked her to do something. It is actually a family curse that started with my mother. My mom has so much on her plate, you can not even imagine. However, while we were growing up, she never said "no" to anyone in need. Karen's talk addressed the fact that every time she has said "yes" when everyone had told her not to take on so much, she has been richly blessed. Even during the mission, when things are already so busy and crazy, she is still saying "yes" and being blessed.

Anyway, enough rambling and onto my point about my great sister. She has started a BLOG!! How great is that? She called me Sunday afternoon. I panicked when I looked at the clock and realized that it was 3:30 a.m. her time! She was blogging! And, she even posted something yesterday as well. Her daughter, Lisa, was over for dinner and I told her that I was excited that she would be writing in the middle of the will be lots more entertaining. However, when I told Karen that, she said she edits in the morning. Darn. It is still entertaining though.

So, check out her amazing blog, and her great writing and stories about mission life in Rome, Italy. I am so proud of my sister and miss her so much every day.