Harmon's Haven

Meet amazing dad Robbie, mother-in-training Jesika, 7 year old best big sister Bree, 5 year old boy in every way Gabe, 3 year old who thinks he's 10 years old who makes us all laugh McKay,
and 9 month old sweetest Quinn Marie...the Harmon Family!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Paper Christmas Tree Topper

Just found this easy tutorial on a way cute star for the top of a Christmas tree. I wanted a natural looking one for our Thankful Tree for this month and think it turned out well!

I am trying a new thing this year where each Monday before Thanksgiving we do a lesson on Giving Thanks...for family, for God and Jesus Christ, for the beauty of the earth, and for others. There is a story and a scripture for each one, and then afterwards we all write (or draw) something we are thankful for (having to do with the discussed topic) on the paper ornaments and hang them on the tree.
I love it because it is helping me think of my blessings more than just on Thanksgiving Day. It's been especially good timing this year...I was quite down after the election. The moment they called Ohio in Obama's favor and determined that he won I felt like the world was going to end. As dramatic as that sounds, I really was devastated. Mostly because besides voting, as much as I believed in what Mitt Romney stood for, believed in his economic policies, believed he would be far superior to Barack Obama as the President of our country, and knew he was the only hope of bringing America back to where it needed to be to succeed...I did nothing! I didn't have a sign in my yard, no sticker on my car, only posted a few things on my FB page, didn't volunteer to make calls for the campaign, didn't donate money, didn't do squat. My husband assured me that I surely couldn't have made a big enough difference to really change things...and while that may be true, I could have done something and who knows what would have happened? If nothing else at least I would have felt like I did my part. Lesson learned I guess. But neat for me, and on a spiritual note, the next day as I was studying the Book of Mormon reading in Alma 5 where the prophet Alma is asking, when we get to the judgement day and are before our Lord, is he going to say you are blessed because your works have been good and righteous while on the earth, or are you going to feel guilty and know that you didn't do what you were supposed to do?! It hit me so hard, that the feeling I felt about the election was just a sample of how awful it would be, to get before Christ and know that I didn't follow him as well as I could have! That I didn't do those things that I was prompted to do and didn't live the way I knew I should have lived. That would be THE WORST! As horrible as I felt after the election, oh I can only imagine how awful this would feel.

Grateful for the ways that the Lord teaches us. Grateful for the scriptures and the insights they can give. Grateful that while the election didn't pan out the way I personally would have liked, that Mitt Romney was a good example of light and goodness and won't stop doing good in the world just because he wasn't elected President. Wish I could thank him personally.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

MVD 101

What is the most fun thing you can think of to do with 8 hours of your time? Exercising, going on a date, shopping, cooking, reading, hanging out with your sisters, going to Traffic Survival School...oh wait, I mean that is NOT one of them! But alas, I did have the priviledge of attending EIGHT HOURS of Traffic Survival School. Long story short, I ran a red light. It was 5 AM, I was on my way to the temple, and since (as I later learned) in Arizona we have the highest number of intersection fatalities, if one pays the red light violation ticket, and thus admits guilt, they are REQUIRED to take an 8 hour Traffic Survival School class.
This was going to be a much longer post, but long story short I had the worst attitude going into it, but came away SO GRATEFUL! Seriously I learned SO MUCH! The teacher for the first half of the class was really, really good. He helped me see that really the city and state have to make money some how...if I break the law they set, I have to pay. No need to be bitter about it. Just don't do it. And I was in the class with people who had way worse problems than just running a red light! I have been such a better driver since! I had NO idea how dangerous driving and texting was. I admit it, I did it sometimes. But after watching videos and seeing statistics about how much more dangerous it is that drunk driving (they showed us the studies and documentaries), never again. I have told my children to help remind me...and they do :)
So while I was not happy about the $370 I had to pay for the ticket and then the class, honestly I can say it was well worth my time. Thank you Discount Traffic Survival School!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The end of June we were able to spend some time in Provo with the Harmons! It is amazing how when Robbie and I first got married we were CERTAIN we would never live in Utah. Well...now we are not too sure?! Horray for the RANCH! Our favorite thing. The kids (and Robbie and I) are in absolute heaven up there.
Grammy planned a fun scavenger hunt for the kids on the four wheelers where they went up through the mountains to find different prizes. So fun! We love the four wheelers!
(Robbie even let Gabe drive for a minute...and was slightly surprised at how fast they went until Robbie got control again!)
We got to watch Uncle Larry and the new bee hives. So neat! I have never seen how they pull out each comb to check on the bees and their progress. Fascinating. Robbie had the bee suit on and Gabe begged to put it on too!

Grandpa got Bree and Gabe slingshots...and they LOVE them! I was actually impressed with how well they could do them!

Also while up north we got to go to the Strawberry Days Rodeo (ye haw!) Gabe has been talking about "bunking broncos" ever since. He loved it! Then there was golfing for the men of course (that may be Robbie's favorite thing about visiting family...he got to go golfing three times while we were there!) The men were nice enough to take Gabe...and happy about it until he started throwing golf balls in the lake! Only one slight damper on their game: on the last hole Robbie's brother (I won't mention which one :) teed off only to watch his ball cruise down the runway, veer off to the right and hit a guy in the head who was on the adjacent hole 175 yards away. Yes, the man fell to the ground. Yes, there was blood. He was nice enough about it, but needless to say it put a damper on the golf outing!
We also went to the Alpine slide...talk about beautiful! Since we have been entertaining the thought of moving to Utah someday Robbie often talks about Park City, or Heber. And I have said sure, ok, but what about the winter time...but the summer beauty would make up for that!!  After all the years I was at BYU this was my first time on the Alpine slide! It. was. gorgeous. Honey, we can move there whenever you want :)

Grammy Robin loves taking the kids to the Bean museum on BYU campus (it is an animal museum, not a "bean" museum!), but since it was closed for renovations when we were there, we went to the dinosaur museum instead. It is a small museum just across from the BYU football stadium (go cougars!) but it was perfect for the kids! They loved it!
McKay loved the stairs there. Since he was feeling crummy I was just happy to see a smile on his face!
Grammy also took them to the splash pad at the RiverWoods, which is always a hit. McKay even loved it...which was nice caused he wasn't feeling well. (It was such a bummer he was sick most of the trip! Poor thing.)

Really Bree and Gabe just love anything they get to do with Grammy!

And of course one of my favorite things about being in Provo are the beautiful morning runs I get to go on. The hills, the Provo temple, the lovely homes, the crisp cool air, all fill my soul with a renewed energy and love for life. (Gosh do I subconsciously want to move to Provo?!)
And just like the end of our time with my family, our trip ended with a baby blessing. Robbie's brother Tanner and his beautiful wife Kassi blessed their first baby girl, Lee Kathryn. It was so fun meeting her for the first time, and such a blessing for us to be there for her special day. Yay for more cousins!! And the best part was the uncle Robbie got her to smile more than anyone! Yes, I think he is the best too Lee.

Thank you Mark and Robin for such a wonderful week! Sigh. We loved the month of June :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Fun!

Summer is flying by thanks to the fun we have had thus far. I can't believe it is almost over and Bree will be starting kindergarten! She can't wait though, so that makes up for my end of summer sadness. In a nutshell:
 Quick trip to Lego Land! The kids had set several goals with Robbie a few months before and the end prize was a trip to Lego Land. (For example, Not saying "I don't like this dinner!" when you first sit down...even if you have had a several times before and ate it without problems. Or keeping clothes picked up after changing four times a day...you can guess which goals went with which child!) They worked really hard and were so excited to go. Our dear friend Nicole watched McKay for us and we played hard! Until lunch time when Gabe said he wasn't feeling very well :( He started coming down with a fever and kept saying he wanted to take a nap. WHAT?! You have been waiting and talking about this trip for months you can't be getting sick! Poor thing. So I took him to the hotel and slept for three hours (which honestly after the previous night with McKay...a whole other story...I welcomed the nap and slept the whole time too!) while Robbie and Bree continued to have a blast at Lego Land. That night Gabe asked Robbie for a blessing and then fortunately the next morning he woke up fine. We met up with our friends at the beach and then drove home that afternoon. Gabe was so excited and not nervous at all to hold the little sand crabs they were finding. So glad he was feeling better.

McKay was just happy to be in the sand...got a lot on his face cause he kept doing the sign for "water" when he would look at the ocean! We love the beach! And I love you Nicole! SO fun to get to see our dear friends!

Then a week later we took a trip to St. George for the Henderson Family Reunion! Wish I could post pictures about everything we did! We did a morning workout with my parent's amazing trainer, Mark.
Went swimming several times.
Did some canyoneering down a side of Pine Mountain I had never seen before! Had a boot slapping hoe-down in grandpa's airplane hangar...with BBQ and a square dancing caller and everything! So fun :) McKay was in heaven with all the space and the music!

The men had a steak cook off...Robbie proudly tied for first for place for "best taste" and yes it was so yummy! Traveled up to enjoy the beauty of Sundance where my sister Lizzy had the baby blessing for sweet Tille Rose. And of course, there was plenty of golfing for the men.

It was such a wonderful reunion. We are so happy to finally have some cousins...and before we know it they will actually be able to play with each other! But in the mean time Uncle's Taylor and Kurt and Aunt Sarah kept the children thoroughly entertained. Really I wouldn't rather be with any other people. Love my family!

More summer fun I still need to blog about...still to come!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! The number one reason I love being a mother is because it means I married Robbie Harmon...SO AMAZING! I still can't believe that I get to be his wife. We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary a couple weekends ago (surprised me with an overnight trip to the beautiful Pointe Hilton in Phoenix! We walked into our room and there were  two dozen amazing lavender roses surrounded by five pair of white shoes...from which I could pick :) I have been needing some new white dressy shoes and he totally went and picked a whole bunch out! And did an impressive job! Oh it was such a fun get away!). Our friends the Nelsons (love you guys!) watched our children...we watched their four children the weekend before so they could do the same thing (well I should say I watched them cause Robbie was on a campout with the scouts...yes, me and seven children under the age of 7 for 18 hours! It was memorable for sure. But SO worth it once we got to go on our overnight excursion!). Reasons two, three and four that I adore Mother's Day are these smiling faces...Bree, Gabe and McKay. The most wonderful children in the world. 
Bree I love your sweet voice and that you got up in front of the whole Relief Society today at church and sang, "I Love To See The Temple" with a beautiful smile on your face and even if you were nervous! I love that you love to dance...and are getting so good with your kicks and cartwheels and arabesque and holding passe for so long! I love how you are always so willing to help with your brothers, who love you so much. You are are such a good example to them. I love how you remember to pray for people. I love how you love to help me cook. I love that you love to pose for pictures like I used to when I was five. (In this picture I had my phone and she says "Mom take a picture!" and strikes this pose :) I love how excited you were to have a mommy daughter date while the boys were camping and that we got to watch "girl" movies. I love you Bree.
Gabe I love your big smile! I love how good you are at riding your two wheeler without training wheels. I love how excited you were to go with daddy on the Fathers and Sons campout. I love that you love to help me cook. I love that you love babies and are so sweet around them. I love that you still can't say the "F" sound. I love that you are learning your letters and how much you love school time with mommy. I love that you love to cuddle. I love how "super" is your favorite adjective. I love you my sweet boy.

McKay I love that you are learning to walk! I love that you go crazy to go outside. I love that you love my soups. I love that you love your daddy so much. I love that you love to dance! I love that you say hi to people in the store with a huge smile. I love that you love to cuddle before bed. I love that you love your blanket and will nap anywhere. I love your teeth. I love your chubby-ness. I love that you want to do everything that your brother and sister do. I just love you McKay!

I am SO blessed to be a mother. It is truly the best job in the world. Happy Mother's Day to my wonderfully amazing mother, my mother-in-law, sisters, and all of the dear friends I look up to so much!    

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter

Just wanted to say how grateful I am for this beautiful time of year. I am so grateful for my knowledge of Jesus Christ. My life is blessed every day because of him. We really tried this Easter week to focus on our Savior...on Wednesday we went to the Mesa Temple Easter Pageant, which is a huge production about the life, death and resurrection of Christ. It was so neat, and really well done, but the best part was watching the eyes of my sweet children, and the questions they asked about Jesus. "Why didn't everyone believe him when he only did good things?" asked by Bree. The only answer I had was I don't know, because that is something I wonder too. We had a birthday dinner for Jesus on Friday (April 6th)...and instead of singing Happy Birthday (which didn't quite seem apropriate) after going around the table and sharing something we love about him we sang He Sent His Son. It was actually really neat, and really helped us think of Christ all weekend.
We did an Easter Egg hunt and breakfast with the neighborhood, had some good Saturday work (removed an area with rocks and put in a sand box! Thanks daddy!),  and Robbie and the kids even jumped in the pool! (Air is nice, but the water is freezing!) Then today we enjoyed a beautiful Sunday. We did an Easter Scavenger Hunt through the house that led the kids to a little Easter gift from Robbie and I. The kids loved it. But my "Easter dinner" didn't turn out so hot: deviled eggs were too salty, broccoli had gone bad so I made some brussel sprouts but they were gross...well because I had to boil them because they were frozen but then tried to saute them to taste like I usually make them...but they tasted like drowned, burnt mini cabbages. Robbie pulled out a great accent however pretending he was from "Brussels" and got the kids to eat them. So it was totally worth it. It was histerical :) I love that man! And of course he said the dinner was delicious.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Happy Easter!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Conference weekend!

Oh we love conference!! We did some fun things this year I just thought I would share...of course the old standard "Conference Bingo" was a hit again. Bree and Gabe are getting better at not "hearing" things that haven't been said just because they want to eat a treat! They both got to choose the treats at the store that week to put on the squares (marshmallows surprise, surprise...) and were SO excited Saturday morning to open them!  
Also I got a couple of new ideas from here ...and that is also where I got the packets with the bingo and some coloring pages. But my favorites were the print outs of pictures of the 1st Presidency and 12 Apostles, which I taped up on the wall, one for each child, with boxes under each person for the kids to run over and color in when that person came up to speak. Then we did the "Conference Spring Garden" which I am excited about. I had cut out all of the flowers that had pictures of the 1st Presidency and 12 Apostles on them, and put up some "grass and stems"...so they were curious the minute they saw it in the morning. They took turns coloring the flower for each speaker and then put it on the wall. Then after the talk I would write on their flower what they spoke about. Now, for the next few months we will "pick" a flower and do a FHE lesson/activity about that topic. I love it cause it's a great way to review what they spoke about, and keep the spirit of conference around even longer.
We also started a couple of traditions: We had a pre-Conference camp out in the back yard Friday night...so fun! (Ha, I slept in the house with McKay, but Robbie and the kids loved it! It was perfect cause they stayed up late, and woke up early, and then both fell asleep during the afternoon session!) Then had a BBQ lunch with burgers and beach salad (that acini de pepe salad that we love...but it's pretty involved to make so I never make it, but Robbie loves it...so I thought it could be a great Conference treat!) And then crepes for breakfast on Sunday morning (first time for the kids and they were a hit! I wanted to do something that we didn't do very often.) It's hard to just "start" traditions when you're not sure what you want to do...and neither of our families had any particular Conference traditions...but these were fun and we'll see if they stick!

But aside from the treats and the traditions, Conference was just amazing. My father taught me to always go to Conference with questions, and then listen for the answers. And just like in every other Conference they were answered.  I was blessed with ideas and inspiration on how to be a better mother, a better person, and a better follower of Christ. The brethren are so inspired and without fail, speak with power and the spirit. I am so grateful for a living prophet and apostles and the guidance I receive from them. Such a blessed weekend!  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fun with Grammy and Grandpa!

Yay for company!! We were so blessed to get Grammy Robin, Grandpa Mark and two of Robbie's siblings Markell and Adam here last week because Robbie's cousin got married (congratulations Hunter and beautiful Lindsay!). Since Grammy knew she would be needed to help her sisters with the wedding, she came a couple days earlier just to be with us! The Zoo, Peter Piper Pizza, tee-ball with Grandpa, and then all of the wedding fun made for a wonderful week!
The wedding went so well (thanks to Markell for watching the children while we were in the temple!), and Bree and Gabe just loved every minute with family.
(They loved Grammy's ipad and iphone a little too much :) and wondered why we didn't have one!) Robbie's parents are such wonderful grandparents...they are full of hugs, tickles, games, and patience :) And Robbie and I loved the little date moments: wedding dinner, temple ceremony, and a fun hike up camel back mountain with the cousins! Seriously I was going through withdrawels this week...LOVE alone time with my hubby! Weddings are such beautiful reminders of the blessing it is to be married to such an amazing man.

AND we had a break through with McKay..., he loved everybody!! Since we don't live close to family all of my children when they are babies don't go to others very well :( They get clingy and fussy when others try and hold them and it's no fun! I always feel so bad. BUT, he has outgrown it!! He was all smiles and went to everyone!

I should mention though, the above situation with my children is not the case with Uncle Adam...they ALL have loved him from the start! We love Uncle Adam! (Bree is the only one who can make him smile in pictures...he's usually so serious! And he has such a great smile too! This one is silly for Bree :) Hope fully Sami can come down next time too!
Thank you so much Grammy Robin, Grandpa Mark, Adam and Markell for such a fun week! We love you!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cuteness by Bree

Though it's not quite swimming weather, with the warm weather Bree and Gabe have been dying to swim. They have tried on their old swimsuits and have both outgrown them, so they got new swimsuits today. Before dinner Bree said,
"Mom, could I pleeeease wear my swimsuit for dinner?" (the rule is no dress ups at meals)
I thought for a minute, my heart softened a bit, "Sure" I said.
"Oh thank you mom!" and then with a smile, "I said a prayer that you would say yes!"

Love it :) Only what if I would have said no?!

Also so cute, on Monday we were cleaning the house getting ready for Robbie's family to come for his cousin's wedding. I was wiping the table and Bree walked in with a binder under her arm.
"Mom, pretend that I am a sister missionary."
"Ok, Hi Sister missionary!"
"No mom, pretend that you don't be-love in Jesus" (That is what she says for "believe"...but I can't bear to correct her because I think it is SO cute when she says it!)
Me: "Oh, ok. Then I wouldn't know who you were so you'll have to say hi to me first."
Bree:"Hello! I am a sister missionary! I am hear to teach you the gospel!"

Then we proceed and she ends up "coming in" to my house and teaches me a lesson about Christ :) The binder she had was a Sunday book filled with pictures of Christ. When I asked her where her companion was she said she was teaching my next door neighbor. It really was the sweetest hearing her explain about the pre-mortal life, about how Jesus died for us, and just watching how excited she was to "teach" me. Love it. She is really becoming such a sweet, sweet girl. McKay absolutely adores her. Gabe thinks she is hillarious. She makes friends wherever she goes. I just love my girl.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Week and Grandma Carrie's

Whenever I leave town I feel like my life goes on hold a little bit. Even though I have my cell phone, and usually my computer, there is something about being "home"that gives me no desire to check in with the real world. And I love it. I just want to spend time with my parents and sister, and let my children enjoy every minute of being with family. I can honestly say it is that way at my in-laws too. Well last week Robbie was going to be in Florida for work, so rather than be home alone we took a little trip to St. George! Oh we had such a wonderful time! As you can see, the kids were all smiles too :)
Working with grandpa in the tractor, riding down to the river, jumping on the tramp, feeding the dog, picking fresh broccoli from the greenhouse, playing in the amazing playroom, spending time with my sweet 93 year old Grandpa Ralph (my dad's dad who is living there...the kids LOVED him! Especially McKay?! He was ALL smiles!) riding the carousel, and just. having. fun! We even got to spend a little time with my cousin Ash-e-ly (as my children call her) and her son Wyatt who are living there right now. LOVE HER!

And it was so fun getting to see my sister play soccer, go to a Zumba class (my first time...yes, loved it) and have some great talks. She is amazing and such a great aunt. And I have to say how proud I am of my parents...for the past few months they have been developing some great healthy food habits and doing very consistent exercise. I mean, they have always been pretty healthy and exercized some, but they realized recently that now is such an important time to really take their health seriously or soon it will be too late. Well, they have taken it really seriously and they both look and feel AMAZING! I only hope I can look like them when I am 55! My mom is gorgeous, inside and out. My dad is a rock, inside and out :)
I am so blessed to have such wonderful parents who give so much and teach me so much every time I am with them. Thank you mom and dad!