Monday, February 28, 2011

18 and Counting

Wow!!!!! Hard to believe that Jessica turns 18. It's unbelievable because I can remember with clarity the details of the day she was born. I'm sure that the details of the day are not what I want to share. I do want to share some of the events that are unique and special to me about Jessica.

#1. As the first born in she has always lived up to being an example to her siblings. ( When she was about 3. On one particular Sunday morning, she asked me what important meant. I explained it to her. She then went and picked up the Primary Song Book brought it over to me and said, " This is important". I understood what she meant. We have rarely missed church since.

#2 Jessica is happy! I can't ever remember not being able to read Jessica's emotions. They are always apparent on her face and the way she carries herself. It's not that she has never been sad its that she has a happy disposition and enjoys life.

#3 Jessica is a leader. She's had to be with her brothers and sisters following behind. She has grown from her experiences as a leader in church.

#4 Jessica stands up for what she believes. Several times in high school Jessica has asked to leave classes when teachers have shown rated R movies.

#5 Jessica loves her family. She would do anything for any of her brothers and sisters. It will be hard for us when she leaves, because we will miss her goodnight hugs.

#6 Jessica is reliable. She always does what she says she'll do.

#7 Jessica loves Math and Chemistry. She has declared Chemistry as her major at BYU I!

#8 Jessica cares about people. She has always been one to make sure that everyone is involved. She wants everyone to be accepted.

#9 Jessica has a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

#10 Jessica likes to serve others.

#11 Jessica is a hard worker she can see what needs to be done and she does it!!!

#12 Jessica likes to be early. She likes it best when Willy and Emily are ready for school early so that she doesn't feel rushed when Bill drops them off at school. She is like her mom this respect.

#13 Jessica loves little kids and babysits often.

#14 Jessica is a good friend. You and Emily were always together. You were always the first to try out new things and then you would get Emily to join in. I can see you in those twin striped dresses walking into school together. You were asked if you were twins. You said no I'm helping my little sister. You glowed as if to say Em I'm here for you.

#16 Jessica loves girls camp. She is so sad that she can't go this year.

#17 Jessica has the skills to leave home and be a positive influence in the world.

#18 Jessica is a light to a dark world. She shares the gospel with the way she lives her life.

Jessica your dad and I love you very much.

Thanks for teaching us how to be parents because we didn't know how to parent until we became parents!!! I guess you could say you were our first lab experiement in parenting. Thanks for helping us learn the ropes.

Have a great Birthday!!!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Unmentioned Details

I just wanted to list a few of the details that made the week what it was.

#1. No school on Monday. Presidents day

#2. No school on Tuesday. Snow day just enough to cover the roads, by 10:00 am mostly gone.

#3. Teacher calls for parent teacher conference.

#4. Bill home between 7:00-8:00 every night but Friday. Happy for the work.

#5. Unrest in the Ward household. Open rebellion (oh no that's the middle east)

#6. Verizon installing Fios.

#7. Spending too much time trying to scrapbook 20 years of married life. Completed 12 pages, part of one summer vacation.

#8. Trying to work out details of other important events. (The flowers that never got to my mom for her 80th Birthday, a new plan to help kids be more accountable for their actions)

#9. Calling mom with all the kids to sing Happy Birthday.

#10. Missing my youngest brother Steven, it was his 35th birthday today. He's been gone 13 years.

#11. Primary!!! So glad to be a part of teaching children and working with a dedicated group of leaders.

#12. Printed shirts. Worked out details for other orders.

#13. Taxes done!!!!! Refund soon

#14. Shopped for a dishwasher ( a real no hands dishwasher) Not installed yet or delivered but should have one soon. We have been doing dishes by hand for over a year. Yippee!!!! Do the cowboy dance good.

Well, no more details essentially my life is just like everyone else's. The differences are in the details. We are all looking for happiness (seeking moments of joy that flutter by) and yes I have had a lot of that this week too!!!

Ready Set Go into another week!!!!!!!

Weekend activities

It was a super busy week and I've neglected blogging about it. So tonight after settling everyone in bed including myself after listening for Bill's snoring and double checking to see if the kids were asleep, I tip toed down to the computer and am beginning to blog about the weekend. It's not like I don't need the sleep. It's just that this next week looks just as busy and if I don't write now when will it happen.

Intense consentration. Notice the tongue.

Friday night the Young Women had a basketball game. They haven't won a game this season but they are improving. It's fun to see them shoot the ball, run up and down the court, dribble and pass. They continue to make more baskets then they did at previous games. They best thing is they have a lot of fun playing a game that helps them work together.

Saturday we decided to take a trip into DC and visit an orchid show at the natural history museum. On the way from our car to the musuem we got side tracked and ended up at the african art gallery. We enjoyed looking at the art as much as looking at the Orchids. The Orchids were gorgeous. We also made our way through parts of the natural history museum. We have been through the museum before but, Lydia couldn't remember seeing all the animals. It's like visiting the zoo but none of the animals move so you get to see all of them. Here are some of the pictures from our day!

Find the similarities

Of course both with their tongues out

Studying the Zulu warrior

Above is a picture of a water fountain located on the bottom floor of the African Art Gallery As boys do they goof around. To make a long story short Willy ended up with a wet foot and pants. It wasn't funny then, but as I write it, it's "wholarious". Thinking about Willy walking the rest of the day with a wet foot just makes me giggle.

Beautiful delicate orchids

Pointing at what?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fifth Grade Band Concert

Wow!!!! We made it through Austin's first band concert it was great! I really mean that for a beginning band of over a 100 students they really did well. Austin looked great in his khaki pants and black Mayfield band shirt. Mary had a Little Lamb, Old McDonald, Mexican Hat Dance and the other usual beginner pieces were the featured songs. It's great to hear the sixth grade band too. It lets you know that with practice they will be better next year. Good job Austin!!!! After the concert we made strawberry and pineapple smoothies and enjoyed a few minutes of family time before saying prayers and going to bed.

Emily Completes Program!

Emily in clean room bunny suit (far left)
I had a great opportunity with Emily this morning to go to BAE to receive her certificate of participation in Women in Technology program. Emily and I got to participate in an interview about the program that will be used to open up this program to other BAE sites. Emily gave an awesome interview. At lunch we had the privilege of sitting and talking to a man that helps recruit college grads for engineers. He had some great advice for the three girls from Osbourn High. He was very interesting to listen to. The program was great we heard from the Vice president of the company. He talked about the CEO of the company who is a woman and how she became an engineer when engineering was a man only field. He talked about how diversity in the field makes it better. The 12 girls who attended this 9 week course presented with their groups a skit or song about some of the things they learned. It was informative and entertaining. They also received a disk with pictures as they did different activities. Emily's favorite thing she learned was soldering. She made a Simon game by putting together (soldering ) different electronic parts. I'm so glad she took part in this program.

Emily learning Cad design or designing her web site

Emily soldering her Simon game

Monday, February 21, 2011


Emily Austins and Lydia's
Jessica was in charge of the Family Home Evening so after the calendar, song and opening prayer she introduced us to her topic. She broke us into teams and had us create our own Mormonads, like the ads you find in the New Era. Emily, Austin, and Lydia created the grand prize winning ad. I think it is so good we should send it in to see if they will publish it. Let us know which one is your favorite. It was a fun activity !!! We had some great donuts (Thanks to the Losee's) for refreshments. We love Family Home Evening. It's a great excuse to have time together!!!

Jessica's and Willy's

Mom and Dad's

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hair Cuts

My long hairy boys were desparate to get their hair cut, so I finally took the time to cut it. I am the first to admit their hair gets shaggy because it's hard to make it the top priority on my to do list. For some reason as their hair begins to get too long I make a note of it as low priority, several weeks later its still a low priority even though it's grown. Finally when Bill says he's going to go get it cut I finally get out the razor and cut it. This time Willy even went to a barber with a coupon for $6.99, and paid to get his cut. But I'm too frugal to let all of them spend money on a hair cut. I am glad the hair cuts finally make it too the top of the list. Boy do my boys look so much better.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spring Forth

The last couple of mornings I have noticed the tiny heads of the crocus popping up through the brown soil. In the cool mornings their purple heads appear, by afternoon they are fully opened and the yellow center bursts forth. The daffodils and tulips stems are breaking the stiff brown earth. The birds are chirping louder to greet the day. The sun feels warmer and the kids are packing their coats instead of wearing them.

Soon the trees will bud and the leaves will burst forth filling the country side with greens of every hue. The Daffodils and Tulips will bloom in a magnificent color assortment. The air will feel fresh and new!!! Soon the kids will exchange coats and boots for shorts and sandals, sledding for swimming, and hats and mittens for sunglasses and sunblock. But for now Spring is peaking through and we are going to enjoy the energy of life being rejuvenated. It feels so good after a long winter. It's like a stretch after a long sleep filled night. Invigorating Spring!!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cubs and Cars

Tonight was the big Pine Wood Derby Bash for our pack!!! We had a great dinner with a noodle bake, salad, rolls and dessert. It was a lot of fun. All my boys are too old for cub scouts, but I am the committee chair for our pack so I helped where ever I was needed, mostly in the kitchen. It was nice to help with it and not have a child in the race. I was able to work with some great leaders and parents who really helped to make it fun for the boys. Lydia and Austin thanks for helping set the tables you did great.The boys made some great awesome looking cars. It's great to see how much the boys love the races. It's a great time, but I'm happy that it only comes once a year. Until then so long Pine Wood derby!

Brother Boxer our awesome cub master and the mega phone. He kept it all together.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Joyful Day

What a joyful day!!!!! Today Bill took the day off and gave me the gift of spending the entire day with me!!! We started off the morning by going to Austin's school and visiting with a group of educational professionals who helped us to see Austins strengths and weaknesses. We are so pleased that he can receive services to help him in areas that need strengthened. He will also be given accommodations when he needs them. We are grateful to his teachers for working with him to help him to receive the services that will help him progress.

Bill, Maddie, and I enjoyed a wonderful lunch together at Chilli's. It was so nice to talk without being interrupted. I have the greatest husband. He is so kind and thoughtful. He still makes me giggle like a little school girl. I am often reminded of when we dated he could make me laugh until my sides hurt. His sense of humor is one of the many reasons I married him and he can still make me cry with laughter. It's a great life with Bill. Happy Valentines Day!

It was a beautiful day, the first after a long winter. I can feel Spring in the air. I couldn't stand wasting the after school part of the day, so we took Willy Austin and Lydia to the park and tried to fly kites. Willy really got his way high in the sky, to the end of the string. It was awesome. There is something about flying kites it's like the freeing of the soul letting it see something bigger and brighter. It draws your eyes heaven ward. After succeeding and failing with the kites, Lydia and Austin enjoyed playing on the "happy toys". Willy shot a few hoops before we put the beautiful sunny day to rest.

It truly was a joyful day. Thanks for the sunshine today!!!! Thanks Bill for spending the day with me!!!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I'm sure Austin has been eyeing the wheel barrow of water for some time. He loves to observe changes. Every day as he left out the back door and through the yard and past the wheel barrow on his way to school, he has probably noticed the wheel barrow. First when it was full of snow. Then the water that was left in it after the snow melted. I'm sure that he has been waiting for the ice to form from the water. He is observant when it comes to nature and changes. So it doesn't surprise me that he calls me over to look at the chunk of ice he removes from the wheel barrow what does is, that he takes the ice out of the wheelbarrow and puts it up to his lips and........ well you know what comes next.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Earlier in the week, I'm getting breakfast dishes on the table and Willy says to me Mom look out the front window. And of course in a mom doubting way I say why. In my mind I'm thinking I've got to hurry and get everyone off to school, can't this wait. He insists come on mom you've got to see this. He sprints into the office to retrieve the camera, and says mom you'll want a picture of this. "Oh great what has he done now." I trudge into the hallway and look outside the sky is lit up with this amazing color of pinks and reds and oranges. It's bright pink not just where the sun is peeking through on the eastern horizon. The whole sky is enveloped in the coloring of a beautiful new day. Willy snapped a few pictures. The beauty of the sky soon disappeared and I am glad a young man wanted to share the sunrise with his mother.

Later in the afternoon I had been doing laundry for the most part of the day I looked down at all the colors of the folded laundry and noticed the colors of many days. I know it's a little far fetched but the laundry, probably because it was done, and full of pinks reds, blacks oranges and blues reminded me of the sunrise earlier that day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Honorable Mention

Emily has had a very long day!! After school at 4:00 Emily returned to the school for her big science fair. We joined her at about 7:30 to see what the judges had decided. She had been texting us so we knew that she qualified for the second round of judging. Emily's experiment fit into the area of Biochemistry. Seven of her peers were competing in the same area. She received an honorable mention and a second place was given in this area and no first. The first place of each area goes onto regionals so no one in this area was top enough to go on to regionals. There were some really cool displays but all of the kids were anxious to get home after a very long day, so we didn't get to see too many of them. Congratulations Emily on all your hard work!

This is Emily with her good friend Kaitlyn who was also a participant in the science fair

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lydia In The Middle

Jessica really likes Math and she really likes to help others. Put that together and she tutors Math. Today Crissy came over and Jessica helped her with her Algebra. Once Lydia got home she was all over in the middle of it. You would have thought Lydia was the one trying to learn Math. Lydia tried to have Crissy decide for her what books she should get at the book fair. I'm not sure if Crissy ever got her Math done but we enjoyed having her over.

Just as Crissy left Joe came over all dressed up in his scout uniform. Austin and Joe are good buddies that really like to play on the their DS's. They didn't get much time together without Lydia into their business. Joe couldn't even get his coat off before she made them stop and show her the DS. She just has to see what is going on with everything. The boys were so good just to let her tag along. Joe stayed for dinner. Which I must say he was so polite and he even helped set the table. I hope my kids are that polite when they go other places.

Lydia did stop and do her home work. She completed her letter writing it was so fun to see how she continues on the Harrison tradition of sticking out her tongue when she concentrates. I do the same thing. Well as usual she stops what she is doing to see what else is going on and as the mailman appears she runs out to get the mail. She has to be in the middle of it all.

Try Not to Over React!

I woke up think about how I had sent Jessica to the store last night and how the front wheel area of the car grazed the garage opening. The dent and the white scratch are a new look for the van. And the house needs a hammer to the trim. I know it can be a little tricky getting out of the garage when the suburban is parked to the side of the driveway. I know because I hit the suburban one time and have a damaged back bumper to prove it. I must say I was proud of Bill for not over reacting. Knowing us we'll keep the look on the van for a while.

This is the snow pile it's hard to tell but it is about as high as our mailbox

Bill loves to play in the snowbanks with his suburban. It's an ongoing adventure. You know that as long as there is an available snow pile to run into he's going to do it. There is a nice size snow pile in the culdesac in front of our house. at least twice a day he has to drive through it. This morning he informed me that he got high centered and it was hard to get our of. When Willy got home he told me that Dad was even worried for a little bit and that it felt like they were going to tip over. All I can say is that I'm glad I wasn't watching. I probably would of over reacted. I can't wait until all the snow has melted then I won't have to worry.

With Willy I am never sure what to expect when he comes through the door well today he came in with his black hood over his head, which is not that accepted among his peers, so I knew something was up. "Willy show me your face." " I'm going to go use the bathroom." "No show me you face." He preluded the unveiling with this story " I fell asleep in my English class and this girl wrote my name on my cheek in marker. The kids kept telling me there was something on my cheek so I asked the teacher if that was true. She said yes then she got mad and I stood up for the girl so she wouldn't get into trouble." Later he pronounced this as his good deed for the day. I tried not to over react by laughing. I think his peers got the better of him this time.


This morning I woke up wishing today was Friday. Yet I know that I shouldn't wish my life away. It's just that I look forward to having some family time and after family home evening on Monday it seems that life doesn't give us much together time until the weekend.
Bill is the teacher of our family he knows how to give a life lesson in about 30 minutes. The kids usually stay focused but last night Emily was having a hard time staying awake, Willy and Austin kept talking and doing strange things. Lydia kept interupting. Jessica seemed the only one intent on learning. However, we continued and were able to evaluate our rally cry. We improved with one green and two yellows. We are focused on our Rally cry, but, we have to continue doing other tasks. So we decided that the other two changes that we will monitor are:
#1 Do a Good Deed Daily
#2 Use Patience and Unity to help us when we have conflict.

I even forgot to get a treat ready for refreshments so the kids had granola bars before bed. All I can say is we continue on.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A New Sunday Dress

Lydia looked so pretty in her new Sunday dress. I know it's weird timing for a new dress, but I saw this dress and couldn't pass it up for 15$. She has grown so tall over the last six months, that she's had only one Sunday dress for a while. I couldn't wait until Easter to give it to her. She looks so grown up like a princess in pig tails.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Yes camping! Yes bowling!

The idea of camping in the cold has never been something that I would want to do, but for some reason camping and scouts is a year round adventure. Last night Willy went camping with the young men and and their leaders. Willy always has a way that makes me laugh and worry.. Lets just say he doesn't always take my advice and act on it. So though I know he won't lose fingers and toes he may have an awfully uncomfortable night. He may decide that wearing wet clothes to bed will be okay and that wearing his tennis shoes instead of his boots will be best. I have to stand back and let him make his choices. I'm sure that he will laugh it all off when he gets home and I pray that he has an opportunity to see that his choices have consequences even the small ones.

Austin is an 11 year old scout but, he's not quiet old enough to go with the older scouts. So Austin and Bill invited his friend Joe and his father to go bowling. They bowled two games and then went to five guys for lunch. Bill enjoyed talking with Troy in fact so much that he mentioned it several times during the rest of the day. It must have been great because Bill isn't one to say it unless it's really fun. Austin had a great time and I hope Joe and Troy did too.

Willy arrived home about two in the afternoon. He had a lot of fun. He still had all his fingers and toes. He never put on his boots so he had cold toes. I don't know if he took my advice about changing into dry socks before he went to bed but that was up to him. He did get a little wet at night because he slept near the edge of the tent. He used the hand warmers in his socks and loved them. He learned some new knots, and did orienteering. A big thanks goes out to all the leaders who made this camp out possible. I'm glad he's home even if he isn't!!!!