Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Tag

I borrowed this idea from my friend Tonya. It looked fun. Here it goes...

1. Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags?...Definetely wrapping paper...I prefer solids, stripes or a subtle print with thick fancy ribbon

2. Real Tree or artificial?...for sure real...we're Oregonians.

3. When do you put up the tree?..The first weekend of December

4. When do you take the tree down?... Usually right after the New Year.

5. Do you like egg nog?... in small doses

6. Favorite gift received as a child?... baby doll

7. Hardest person to buy for? parents

8. Easiest person to buy for?...the kids

9. Do you have a nativity scene?...Yes...we currently have 3 displayed

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?...Mail

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?... I've never met a gift I didn't love

12. Favorite Christmas movie?... It's a toss up...Christmas Vacation or Christmas Story

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?... Whenever I see a good deal

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? ...Yes, as a white elephant gift

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? ... Judy's bon bons and Hershey's Candy Cane or Mint Truffle Kisses
16. Lights on the tree? ... YES--all white and about 4000 (we counted this year)
17. Favorite Christmas Song?...Anything on the John Denver & the Muppets Christmas album
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? ... Home
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? ...Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet, Cupid and Donner and Blitzen and of Course Rudolph.
20. Angel on top of the tree or star? ...Star
21. Open the presents on Christmas Eve or Morning?... Both because we celebrate with each side of the families on different days.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? ... shopping on Saturdays
23. Favorite ornament?...I like the Margaret Furlongs that my mom started collecting for me
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?... Smoked Salmon Pasta
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? ... a new computer

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

And the winner is...

Can I please have a resounding "YAHOO" from all the ladies in the house!!!
As Wolfman in X-Men he was okay, but one night I was flipping through channels and landed on PBS where Mr. Jackman was playing Curly in "Oklahoma" and I was smitten. It took "People" awhile, but they finally hit the nail on the head with this one. Since "People" hasn't discovered my husband yet, I'll settle for Hugh in the meantime.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gobble, Gobble

We've only done it for three years now, but the Jason & Rachel Short family have decided that participating in the Oregon Zoo 4 mile Turkey Trot is a great way to start our Thanksgiving day and we hope it's a tradition that we will carry on. This year we talked Grandpa & Grandma Heder into joining us.

Here's all of us before the race. We couldn't have asked for better weather...chilly, but sunny.

Here is Clara before the race. (Notice the smile and cheerful dispostion...)

The gun shot and the race began. Grandpa and Jaykob were the first to dart off with Jason and I to follow. Grandma was nice enough to push Max and Clara in the jogger with Mary's help. We don't know how it happened, but as we finished the first 2 miles and we were running back up the hill, we saw Grandpa & Jaykob heading down. There were so many people that we didn't see it when we passed them. We then passed Grandma and we noticed that Clara was crying, Max was trying to get out of his seat and Mary was 10 feet ahead (obviously, not helping out much). She told us to go ahead and she would wait for Grandpa to help her.

I finished the race, Jason followed...alright, alright, Jason slowed down as we approached the finish line to "let" me win, it's true, regardless, we finished the race and then waited, waited and waited for the rest of the group to join us. While Jason was in line for water, I backtracked to see if I could find the gang. I finally saw my dad with Clara on his shoulders coming around the corner. I yelled at him to go find Jason while I waited for Mom and the other kids. I waited and waited some more. Jason then found me and said he never saw my dad. We wandered around the zoo and the parking lot for what seemed like forever trying to track everyone down. We finally headed back to the finish line and to make a long story short we found everyone. My mom had headed to the wrong finishing spot and got hot chocolate for the kids and sat around wondering where everyone was. Clara was not enjoying the jogger and so Grandpa had to run with her on his shoulders for the last two miles.

It was crazy, hectic, but in the end everyone said they had fun.

We made it to the finish line and caught the turkey! It looks like we are all still smiling too!Clara was quite fascinated with this fine feathered creature.

I am thankful for...

(My plan was to post this on Thanksgiving, but I didn't have access to a computer, so better late than never.)

I am thankful for...

* being an Oregonian
* being an American
* electricity
* seasons
* being a Heder, Heninger, Brammer, Knudsen and a Short
* my gas fireplace
*Gabe, who has helped me become a "yes" person
* Heidi, who kicks my behind and teaches me that it's okay to do "hard" things
* eternal marriage
* my makeup
* Marcy, who through example teaches me the joy of serving
* being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
* my Egyptian cotton sheets
* my computer
* Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Freeman, who educate my children
* Ryan & Dave, who "play" with my husband
* entertainers in general
* Rockelle, who teaches me about generosity
* Leslie, who has a very warm car on Tuesday and Thursday mornings so that I am more willing to go to strength training class
* books
* television
* scrapbooking and scrapbooking stores
* shoes with heels that slightly aid in making my legs look longer
* board games
* running shoes
* candy cane Hershey Kisses
* scriptures
* flattering, well-made clothing
* Trader Joe's Pasadena Chicken Salad
* my husbands fuzzy arms
* blueberry pancakes
* Diana, who is okay with being cheesy regardless of the brutal teasings that may follow
* Staci, who challenges my often way of "little" thinking
* Sarah, who cracks me up
* Kirsten, who has rockin' taste in home decorating
* all flowers and all trees
* Target
* cars
* Stacey, Melissa and Emily who help me relieve stress through our fun scrapbook outings and through their many funny and endearing stories
* my brothers
* Jenny, who made the MTC bearable and now is making H2C bearable
* my parents, (why I'm thankful for them will have to be it's own post)
* my extremely, hilarious, wonderful beautiful children
* my husband's love for cleanliness and his willingness to help maintain that cleanliness around the house
* Jared's wisdom
* Jeannie's inspiring loyalty
* art projects
* dishwashers
* bike trails
* Judy, who teaches me the art of unconditional love
* Jay, who's enthusiasm is contagious
* Jen, who fills all my needs that I require in a friend and then some
* Angela, who makes me laugh and think
*my Heavenly Father and my Savior

I could seriously do this all day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Follow Me Boys"

So lately our family has been resurrecting some of the old Disney classics to watch on Sunday nights, such as "Pollyanna", "Summer Magic" and tonight we watched "Follow Me Boys". I particularly enjoyed this one because it answered a lot of questions from my youth for me, such as, "Why did my dad love boy scouts so much?" and "Is snow camping with 12 smelly boys really a lot more fun than hanging out with your cute daughter on her birthday?". Well, all you have to do is watch Fred McMurray in action to get the answers. Heck, I wanted to be a scout master after watching this film. I mean sure, Lem Siddons (Fred's character) never got to practice law as he always planned to and he never had any of his own children, but he got the wife, inherited the store and was named Scout Master Emeritus in the end with a celebration that put Mardi Gras to shame. I mean that town of Hickory really knows how to throw a party! I realize that most people reading this haven't a clue as to what I'm talking about, so you better go check out the movie and then tell me how much you loved it! It's good clean family fun that I'm sure you'll enjoy and you'll probably be stuck with that darn marching song in your head for the next 10 days too!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Little Brother

My little brother can be pretty cute and funny when he wants to be. Check this out:

Look at "Winter Wonderland" and the cast's version of Jingle Bells (you can watch the other ones too if you want).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Rocks...

at least that's what Elvis said, as in our Jaykob dressed up as Elvis...

and there was Max who woke me up at 5:30 am on October 31st to ask, "How many more days until Halloween?"
Mary was a hippie and Clara was a kitty...

Grandma and Grandpa Short along with the Janeways, Jensens, Dixons and Updikes came over to have some yummy chili before we headed out the door for trick or treating. I must say that we really do have a fun neighborhood for trick or treating. We must have passed out 400 or more pieces of candy and the houses really get decked out. It rained all day until about 4:00 pm when it tuned a beautiful 65 degrees...perfect for trick or treating!

After settling the kids down from their sugar high, they went down to bed and Jason and I started the partying...okay we waited until Saturday night to don our costumes as we headed for the coolest Halloween party ever!!

Along with good friends, the Merritts, the Wolfes, the Updikes, the Laings and the Bakers, we spent the last two months planning the most anticipated spook alley/ party of the season ( at least in our minds that was the plan). The men conjured up enough animal bones and fake blood to pull off a very creepy spook alley and since I was too busy screaming and digging my nails into Stacey's arm, I didn't get any pictures. I know my bad, sorry, especially since it would have been nice to have some proof of my husband pulling off a very convincing acting job of being the patient getting his leg hacked off by the mad doctor. Yes, gross I know.

The ladies decorated the barn and planned the food. We had dancing, games, spook alley and food...and no kids...Fun for all!!! And of course there were the costumes...

Not meant to be, but scary nonetheless...this is supposed to be our attempt at Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone (from Anchorman)...I know I shouldn't even admit that that was what we were going for and just left it at...aren't we a cool couple from the 70s? Strangely, Jason really liked the feel of polyester...

Paisley and Chi Miller
Ben and Stacey Wolfe
Curtis & Amy Updike

Rockelle & Shawn Dixon (as Sharon & Ozzy)
Ryan & (pregnant) Heidi Janeway

Finn & Beth Schade

Learning the "Thriller" dance

the onlookers from the balcony where creepy movies were being played

Here's Emily ( I mean Marilyn) who so graciously let us use her barn and property for the event...she also happens to be a crazy dancer (crazy as in good!)

Good times for all...can't wait for next year!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


WARNING...mothers reading this post may feel a strong sense of inadequacy and jealousy because Mary just told me that I am like the coolest mom ever and after you hear about the birthday party I threw her you might feel the same. With Mary's birthday only two days before Halloween you'd think we'd have thrown her a Halloween party by now, but princess and make up parties kept getting in the way, but not this year. Mary requested a Halloween bash and that is exactly what she got! (Nothing but the best for our little princess.)

For starters you need to have a cool barn for the proper setting. Lucky for us, my friend Emily has a really cool barn (this isn't like a gross animal's like a cool party barn...have I mentioned that it's cool?)

(I forgot to take pictures of the outside of the barn...a different post)

And then of course, you need a really scary witch that can make a really good concoction of chicken toenails and bat wings and even bring a few kids to tears (it's true).

The witch is none other than Grandma Heder! Heder Boys...ever wonder where you got your flair for drama? Look no further than your own mother! No joke...she was good...a real genuine cackle. Oh and yes, Jason had plenty of obvious mother in law/ witch jokes (didn't see that coming).

Then there were plenty of appropriate fall time activities...

There were donuts on a string...

and apple bobbing...

don't forget the fun costumes...

Alexis, Sydney, Hannah & Annika

Here is your hostess with the mostess, in costume as a tribute to the guest of honor...Mary (my favorite line was "Third grade and Hannah Montana are awesome!")

Here we have Sarah and Abby Dixon dressed as prom queens and that is Jaykob as Elvis. Sarah & Abby surprised Mary with tickets to High School Musical On Ice and they whisked her away right after the party.

How little black cat holding a little black cat.

And here is my cute little white cat.

It was a birthday party and so there were presents, cake & pizza...

Mary was very spoiled by her friends with a lot of fun presents! She got several Webkinz? They are little stuffed animals that you can register online and play online games with, etc. I'm rolling my eyes, but in reality I'm thinking "why didn't I think of that?"

Mary is blowing out the candles on her tower of cupcakes. We are covering our ears because all the guests were singing an extra loud version of "Happy Birthday".

What a cute birthday girl!!!

So there you have it moms...I know, I know, you're all thinking how are you ever going to live up to this. You can't say I didn't warn you.

Let's get real though. I actually didn't have to do much. My friend Emily provided the barn, my friend Melissa brought the decorations, my friend Heidi decorated the cupcakes and my mom provided the entertainment. All I did was stretch out my daughter's new Hannah Montana t-shirt. Luckily, she still thinks that I'm like the bestest mom ever. Let me bask in it while it lasts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Patches

Within a span of 5 days, I visited 3 pumpkin patches, but you know what? I'm okay with that. I love fall and pumpkin patches are the ultimate way to enjoy this season. On Tuesday, I took Max and Clara to Lakeview Farms for Max's preschool field trip and then on Friday we went back for a birthday party with the whole family. On Saturday we met Jason's parents and sister at Bauman Farms. Both Jason and Jaykob won a gallon of freshly pressed apple cider by slingshotting apples into the eye of the jack o lantern...way to go boys!

Max and Clara taking a ride on the train

Max with best friend, Avery

I just had to post this picture of Avery...too cute and so Avery

Climbing on one of the many hay forts at Bauman's

Here's another hay fort
After all those visits, we somehow only ended up with two little pumpkins. How did that happen? In any case, that means we probably aren't done with pumpkin patch visits. Oh well...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Clara!

A year ago today I was sitting in Dr. Stewart's office with the the results of a non-stress test. Clara had flunked it. I had been having problems with my amniotic fluid being too low for almost a month and being put on and off bedrest with the hopes to increase it. It seemed to be doing the trick, but when I went to my appointment on October 1, 2007, Dr. Stewart said that it was too low again and we shouldn't keep waiting anymore for the fluid to go back up but that it would be safer to induce me. He called the hospital right away and arranged for me to come in that afternoon. I called Jason and made babysitting arrangements for the other kids. We checked into St. Vincent's hospital around 12:20 pm. At 12:45 Dr. Stewart broke my water and it came out at 1:15. I was given pitocin at 2:04 and by 3:15 I was having contractions every two minutes. By 4:20 the contractions were coming every minute and I then received my epidural. At 6:15 I was dialated to a 10 and Clara was born at 6:27 pm at 7lbs. and 1 oz.!
The delivery couldn't have gone smoother and she was so healthy despite being my smallest baby.
For her birthday today, we went to the doctor's for her 1 year check up and she is a healthy 21 lbs.! She also got 4 shots (not much of a birthday present) and then we met Jason for sushi afterwards (she played with the chopsticks).
I look in awe at this beautiful little girl everyday and can't believe that our family was the lucky ones that she decided to experience mortality with. (Think of "Raising Arizona" when I say) I love her soooo much!!!
Happy Birthday my darling little girl!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Summer Cookin'

It's official...summer is gone. We had rain today and the forecast is calling for more starting Thursday, so we can truly say goodbye. I would be more sad if I didn't love Fall so much, but I am feeling a bit melancholy to say adieu to summer cookin'. I'm not much of a cook. I do it more out of necessity than desire, but when you have a great crop from your garden and berry patches just down the street, you can't help but have a small place in your heart for the culinary art. Plus, when the produce is fresh, it makes anyone look like a good cook, including me. For instance, I've had several requests for my spaghetti sauce recipe which in reality is just veggies from my garden coupled with italian sausage. I thought for posterity's sake and as a tribute to good 'ol summer cookin' I would post some of my favorite summer recipes.

Spaghetti Sauce
( modified from a recipe given to me by Gabe Jensen)
You can use whatever veggies you want, but this is what I typically use:
1 thinly sliced medium zucchini
1 thinly sliced yellow squash
1 thinly sliced small white onion
4 cloves of garlic finely diced garlic
Sautee the above vegetables in 2T of olive oil and then add 1 lb. browned and drained ground Italian sausage.
Add 1 large can of crushed tomatoes and 1 can of diced tomatoes. Add 2 T of balsamic vinegar and 2 T of sugar. Mix well, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Marionberry Cobbler
(given to me by Marcy Leonard)
Cream together 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar until fluffy.
Sift the following:
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Stir in sifted ingredients alternating with 1/2 cup milk.
Beat until smooth. Pour into 2 quart casserole dish. Spoon 3-4 cups of cleaned marionberries over dough. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar. Pour 1 cup of juice from a can of peaches over the top. Bake @ 375 for 45-50 minutes.
Tres Leches Cake
(after we pick our strawberries we usually make strawberry shortcake that night, however this year, we have found this recipe to be our favorite to couple with our fresh pick)
1 yellow cake mix (with pudding) baked as directed in 13x9 inch pan
For topping mixture:
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
Mix well.
To finish:
whipped cream, to cover cake
Poke holes in the cake with a fork all over. Pour topping mixture over cake. Let mixture absorb completely in refrigerator ( a couple of hours or more). Cover with whipped cream and serve with lightly sweetened fresh strawberries or peaches.
Zucchini Bread
(given to me by Heidi Janeway)
3 eggs 1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. apple sauce
1 c. sugar
2 c. grated zucchini 1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
Beat eggs. Add oil and sugar and beat well. Beat in zucchini and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat until mixed thoroughly. Bake in two greased loaf pans at 350 for 45 minutes-1 hour.
Well, there are a few of my favorites. On the grill we always enjoy salmon grilled on cedar planks, chicken and steak kabobs and skewer our zucchini and brush it with olive oil and seasoned salt. Oh yeah, I almost forgot my version of bruschetta:
4 diced tomatoes
finely diced half of small onion
finely diced 3 garlic cloves
hand torn into tiny pieces, a handful of fresh basil
Combine in bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
spoon onto thinly sliced baguette and then sprinkle with shredded parmesan. Bake on cookie sheet for 10 minutes at 350.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Camping and Ode to the Smiths

Jason, Jen & Derrick Smith and I in Victoria B.C. in August 2006

With Jason having started his own law practice in May, we decided to take it easy on the vacations this summer, EXCEPT for our annual camping trip with our dear friends, the Derrick and Jennifer Smith family. Before I continue, it's important that I give you a brief history on how it is that we came to know the Smiths...

It was my freshman year at Ricks College and the first day of my group piano class. I walked in, looking for a place to sit and one of the few seats open was next to a cute blonde girl that looked friendly enough and so I hurried and sat down. We had a couple of minutes before class started and so we exchanged the usual questions, ie. "Where you from?", etc. After a short conversation we discovered we were both from the Northwest and we had both been cheerleaders and we obviously both played the piano. Apparently that was all it took. We were immediately kindred spirits. The next two years consisted of us trading a lot of clothes, breaking many hearts (mostly pre-mission boys, because you know, we were helping them build character), ripping up the dance floor at Retrix, campaigning for student body officer, etc., etc.

Jen and I in Spring of 93...

Our years at Ricks came to an end and we went our seperate ways. We kept in touch for awhile, but then I went on my mission and we lost contact. A few months after my mission I moved to Logan and I was looking through an old address book and came across Jen's parents phone #. I thought I would give it a try. I talked to her sweet mom and she told me that Jen was still at BYU, but was no longer Jen Christensen, but Jen Smith. She gave me Jen's # and I immediately called her. We talked forever and decided on a time that we would get together. So one weekend, Jason and I made the drive to Provo ( this was pre engagement for us) and we met up with Jen and her new husband, Derrick. It was like the good ol days and luckily for us, our husbands hit it off well.
Now I can get back to the camping part of this all. After Jason and I had been married for almost a year, we invited the Smiths to come up from Provo and go camping with us for 4th of July. We had so much fun! We camped in Logan Canyon and the next day we went hiking and then to a car show and then found a great place in the football stadium to watch, what I still believe is the best fireworks show ever. We knew at that point that we would be moving to Michigan at the end of the summer and so the future of our friendship was uncertain. I remember talking with Jen during that trip about how great it would be if we could reunite every summer even after we started our families and have a camping trip as fun as this. Little did we know that our great idea would become a reality a few years later. We kept in touch through the years even though grad school and job moves kept us seperated by miles and in 2003 we both found ourselves back in the Northwest. We decided then and there that we had to start up our camping trips again. We started in 2003 and have been going strong every year since then. With 7 kids between us, all approximately the same age and who get along perfectly, we always have an incredible time and look forward to the next year. We have visited Detroit Lake, Pendelton, Cape Lookout and this year we met at Ensign Ranch in Cle Elum, Washington.
Jen, on account of her immaculate literary skills, can give you a much funnier and realistic view of how this years camping trip went, so check out her "Reality Bites" post at:

Regardless, of the sickness and the dirt, we loved it and have been begging for more.