Sunday, November 30, 2008


My brother Brendon Berc Hutchings got his mission call to...
He will enter the MTC on February 11th--(one month after his 19th birthday)--and will be gone for 2 years!
He is such a STUD! He electively chose NOT to attend BYU this past semester so he could leave as soon as possible on his mission. He is also the only 3-4 yr. old I knew who electively woke up, got dressed, and waited by the front door w/ his scriptures to go to early morning seminary with his teenage siblings-NO LIE (he went a few times with us and would have kept going if my parents had not toned down the issue!)
He is the 8th of 9 Hutchings children to serve--he is potentially the last missionary to serve in both Dan and I's families...(since my 17 year old sister is pretty sure she is marrying Edward the Vampire before she can go!)
We are going to treasure having a missionary again in our family's-there has been a "break"!
We cannot wait to write letters and send packages!!!
We are so proud of the decisions you have made to get there!
Colton is sure going to miss his 'older brother'!!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We DO Blue in Arizona! GO BYU~

Rise all Loyal cougars... So... all fellow BYU FANS gathered at the Hoggard household on Saturday (11/22) Eve
to cheer on the cougs against Utah. It was an important game for us when it came to bowl placement, and even though we lost...we certainly were not too BLUE!
well..maybe some of the men (Big Bad John) were bummed!
You certainly could not be wearing enough blue that evening!
Uncle John even had the garb all the way down to the flip flops, pants, shirt and hat...think he is excessive? Dacie was in awe...ha ha
We certainly start em' young!
It was a bring your own beef BBQ--with some sides and desserts--it made the night complete!
While the parents were cheering the kids did their thing(meaning pulling every toy the Hoggards owned out).
Thanks to the Hoggards for being brave and making the game more fun to watch--since we miss the good ol' BYU game days in person.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


OF Course, I read the books (ALL of them) and OF COURSE I went to the movie.
IF I spent hours late into the eve pouring over the pages to get my coveted reading time....I certainly could "sacrifice" to get in some of the movie time.
I was a twilight gal LONG before it became a rage and there was talk of the movie. I have to give my babysitter/YW/friends (Jentry Taylor, and the Westover twins) credit for opening the door of curiosity.
I was looking for something new to read and they recommended the Twilight series. I was a little skeptical hearing the story line, BUT I thought the books were great. Not to mention it has come in handy to be well versed w/ this knowledge for my new calling in stake Young Women's!
I am typically not a vampire werewolf gory kind of fan AT ALL, but I felt the writing was well done and mature so that this story was not "cheesy" and I was drawn in. I did feel in the 2nd book there started to be too much killing and I began to question my devotion...but I continued reading and was content.
There are adult themes talked about in them, but I feel like the author is careful and also mature in her writing of these topics (after all she IS LDS).
I have been excited to see it in a movie!!! ...
(Waiting in line..we got the best seats in the house due to covert operations of my fellow friends!)
I went with some die hard fans and it made it all the more fun. I can safely say I am a Twilight fan,
As in most cases the movie is NEVER as good as the book--
I felt like we were laughing when it was suppose to be serious. It was hard to get pulled in through the movie. As one of my friends (Kelli Bargar) put it put it... I thought-- oh!, this movie is good and then I would think oh!, it's OK a few minutes later.
AND I was pleasantly surprised by most of the casting even if that was not who I would have chosen originally! Not gonna lie...EDWARD was HOT!
It was still a SUPER FUN night!

(Don't we make great vampire mommas?...ha ha)
Nights don't get much more fun than this...when you get a group of FUN moms and friends together, Go to dinner at the Outback AND be teens together, just for the night!
Stories and laughter don't get much better than this. Especially when you have people running around the theatre in vampire capes and boy friends out front of the theatre picketing w/ signs that say "Boyfriends against vampires!" ha ha ha
There is time to laugh...
(Like I said, a securely married woman certainly can be a teen for the eve!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Synchronized candle blowing!

Here is Sterling blowing out the candles with one of his favorite friends (Brynley) who has the same birthday as him, but was at HIS party!!! So CUTE how excited he gets about sharing. I love that kid!

ps- don't listen to my voice...I cannot do more than one thing at a time and I was taking pictures-ha ha

Happy Happy Birthday Sterling Dear!

Sterling Daniel Sorensen turned 6 TODAY!!
and it was a day of PARTAY!!!!
I don't know how many of you get woken up to a hot air balloon pretty much in your backyard for your birthday...but STERLING sure did!
I kept hearing a funky sound from my room
So I threw open my shutters and threw out the sash
and what to my wondering eyes did appear..a HOT air balloon flying SO NEAR
(The air filling up the balloon can be quite loud! )
We had a breakfast of donuts while watching it follow the river by our home--
and float away out of sight!
IF that was not the best day ever....Aunt Cara came over the day before and helped mommy make 23 ice cream cone cornucopia's for Sterling's class. Cara's looked prettier, so she did a majority of em'.
They turned out looking pretty yummy if I do say so myself!
of course, Sterling got the royal treatment at school. With the class cake at his place all day, a birthday sticker, and new sunglasses!
Mommy came into help in Sterling's class that day as well.
I pulled Sterling out of school after for lunch and took him to McD's for a happy meal!
What a glorious day...
ONLY for Sterling to come home from the school day less than an hour, AND go to another friends b-day party (Riley Bliss). The boys are only 3 days apart.
While he was party'ing mom was busy making sure the Turkey cupcakes were iced & finished... and party bags filled--before she headed out to Sterling's party

WITH his friends (they invite the number of kids according to the age they are turning...he invited 6) at the local ceramic shop! Including a surprise appearance from Grandpa Sorensen (who drove over and hour to be with Sterling on his birthday)
Everyone painted ceramics, except mom (including Dad and Grandpa)
and opened presents and cake and drank Punch.
Sterling even got to add his hand print to the famous birthday wall in the back of the shop!
Incidentally, one of Sterling's favorite buds who has been one of his friends the longest (Brynley Taylor) shares the same birthday as him. He has always taken her flowers for her birthday-(despite them moving farther away and not getting to play as often)! She came to his party, and Sterling LOVED sharing it with her (check out the video clip I included)

oooh...but don't let the fun end there. We drove everyone home and then returned home to PARTY with the FaMilY (who had to wait very patiently w/ Aunt Cara for us to return) They had painted their own little pumpkins and wrapped all the presents.
One last round of cake, singing, and presents and we called it a night....
Sterling said it was the best day of his life!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weekly Synopsis...and then some!

Some other things that happened the week of Halloween were:

Play dates with friends. Ryland's preschool had been cancelled for sickness that he was lonely for friend time. His friend up the street called and asked him to come over and play (Brayden Reay)--and Ryland was ecstatic.His mom is a split-week teacher at our elementary of course, they made cute pumpkins out of paper plates that Ryland adored and hung proudly above his bed!

Our High School basketball Glory wall!
It was really just pictures/articles,trophies of Dan and I playing H.S b-ball (w/ the same number I might add)! It is our mutual LOVE!

We also did some re-decorating that week. I found the PERFECT dresser I had wanted for Dacie's room for quite sometime on criagslist. So we replaced our "highschool glory wall" (what my brother Chad lovingly calls it) with the new dresser-before pictures above and after pictures below! Sterling was REALLY into this and was the initiator for doing it-he kept telling me to do it w/him...he helped me re-arrange,throw away, vacuum, and move the dresser in-he even skipped playing computer games to do it!

Last but not least, that weekend Dan and I attended a seminar called "Smart Discipline" presented by Dr. Larry J Koeing --the school district had sent a flyer home for it. It was held on Saturday morning (that was little hard to do the morning AFTER Halloween) in Sedona at a local Lutheran church. Dr. Koeing is well-known in the parenting expert world and a very experienced therapist and counselor. BUT besides all that it was the sweetest deal. We only had to pay $25 for Dan and I, and that included daycare for all four kids-- at the most phenomenal of facilities I have EVER seen (I wish I had money and time to drive my kids there every day...maybe I will go and teach there!). They also gave us breakfast, snack and lunch along with the 2 hour seminar. I believe it was the best $25 we have spent in awhile!

The seminar came at a time where Dan and I had found ourselves really struggling trying to discipline our children effectively, at such different ages, with such different personalities. We felt like we were yelling constantly.We are always looking for new ideas. We had actually been praying for help in this matter, when the flyer came home.

Now I am not saying this is the end-all system, BUT it has helped us allot. It is ALL things I know, but it is combined in a simple system. The first day of doing this was DREAMY! We have hit rough patches since then, but as with all things--it requires diligence on the parents part...and I am not gonna lie it is difficult sometimes to keep up with four kids different ages and stages! We were grateful for this fresh idea, it reminded me of so many classes and seminars I attended as a student getting my BS in education! We see ourselves using this system regularly in our family--
We got a babysitter that evening and went to stake conference as well. It was all about marriage, family and being successful single--it was a day of learning while dating!


Cara and John standing on the opposite corner at the intersection holding signs for Prop 102--it was fun waving signs by them--a true family affair!

Monday November 3- I felt like I have either been gone every weekend, had lots of company, or that we have been on 'holiday' for awhile-so I went FALL CLEANING CRAZY!! I cleaned out the fridge, the stove, the oven, the microwaves,the cupboards, the game closet, the bathrooms, mopped every tile floor, did laundry...and re-organized closets or whatever else I could get my hands on during the cleaning spree! Mind you some of these things typically do not get done unless I am nesting before I have a new baby! I guess normally I would be nesting about this I could not let tradition go to the wayside! I also went and took dinner to a lady I visit teach who had a procedure done that day at the hospital, and has 3 grown men to feed! (I have gotten a little taste of that)
For FHE we presented the new chart system w/ the discipline plan and the kids were excited to get started!

Tuesday November 4- Dan was home for a majority of the day--(except to run in a bit and do some paperwork). We got budget and shopping done. I finished what I did not get done the day before and stripped every ones sheets and did three more loads of laundry. You see...I am a task driven person and joy, happiness and relaxation follow easier when I have accomplished something. I felt very satisfied!

Election Day! We had already sent in our early ballots, so we did not have to worry about coordinating voting today. However...we waited for our kids to get home from school before we volunteered standing on one of the busiest intersections in town, showing support for Prop 102! We were only signed up for a half hour shift, but it was invigorating once you got out we stayed an hour as a family. The kids started getting chilly and grumpy, so Dan took the munchkins home while I stayed for another hour and a half w/ some of the YW who had showed up.I LOVED it! I felt like I was doing something good for something I felt strongly about (the same 'high' I got as a missionary tracting)--I felt like I was working! I was not sure our children got much out of it, but after explaining why we were doing it and then having to talk about 'biggots' and a few other touchy issues AFTER standing on the corner. I think it was a wonderful teaching opportunity for our children and they jumped up and down the next day when they had heard the proposition had passed. I had a happy heart seeing them rejoice in righteousness!

...and I thought I had bad bed head in the mornings!
Wednesday November 5- Post election feelings were strongly felt today! I ran lots of errands including picking up my re-sized wedding ring! I am married again!!! Yeah! I have missed that ring for years and realize how easy and reasonably priced it is to get done! I guess I have not wanted to give in to the weight...because when I lose my fingers are the first place. I wear it everywhere and sparkle it at everyone. It is amazing what a good cleaning has done for it as well.
That evening I had another stake presidency meeting, this time it was I could wait until Dan got home from work. I am glad I got to be with Dan a total of 2 hours that day! ha ha ha I have to smile when people think that after they are married they are together ALL the time--ummmm, no--that would be during dating!

This is what I brought to Pokeno

Thursday November 6- No preschool again! It has been cancelled 2 weeks in a row w/ the host families getting sick! Tis' the season (I am not ready for). I spent most of the morning re-arranging schedules for preschool again. It was better that way b/c we had flu shots scheduled for the little kids at 10am, and I would have had to pull Ryland from or take him super late to preschool. Dacie has had a rash that has looked like a mild form of chicken pox on her belly, so I thought that might prohibit her from shots...but unfortunately for Dacie it did not. She did not cry a tear, but made this super hurt feelings pouty lip. Ryland got the last of the nose spray version. So, that afternoon when I pulled the two older boys from school at the end of the day to go get the shots-they were sorely disappointed they were out of the spray. Again, only tons of tears before. After the little kids got their shots we went over to my sisters for a couple of hours to help her unpack--we have had a couple of days of this!
That evening was pokeno night. Always fun laughs and good times. I actually won what I wanted and got pokeno three rounds! Love my friends. Cara was inducted into the 'sisterhood' ha ha ha
This is the gift I brought home from pokeno
Friday November 7- Our water shut off a few weeks ago for about an hour, after about noon today it was off until after 8:30pm. I guess some main water line down here keeps breaking. For a mom who tries to take showers while the kids are sleeping , that meant she did NOT get one today-and it was MUCH needed!
I also had not been feeling well all week. Achy w/ headaches and tooth aches...something was off. That evening I found a lump in my lower jaw bone. A tooth that had been causing so much pain had abscessed. Luckily, I have connections (mom s) and talked with my dentist that evening. I was on some good antibiotics the next day.
We still had fun Friday w/ pizza and movies. I had scratched the idea of camping in oak creek canyon that evening that I had been so ambitious about, My sister and I were going to set up solo and be joined by our hubbies SUPER late that night. After the days events, my tooth, and walking outside to freezing temperatures. I am glad I did not try it! So instead we went up Saturday for a picnic (the leaves had all but fallen from a few weeks ago, it was not as pretty as I had imagined it).

Saturday November 8- We did our Saturday morning chores quickly. My old mission companion Alaina Taylor (the one I was with the longest) came up from Phoenix w/ her VERY new hubby (Ben)! We watched a video we had made for our families while we served together in Paradise-- and laughed so hard we cried (our husbands were not quite as entertained). Then we went up to the canyon and had a chilly dinner and a little football under the red rocks of Sedona. It was a fun day of reminiscing and made me hopeful for Sister Taylors future. Her past hubby(s) have made poor choices at the cost of my friends happiness. I was impressed with her new man, it probably helped that he had been in Dan's first district he taught at the MTC! Small World--

On the mission-- We worked HARD, BUT had fun doing it!

... of course, Zeus came too (my comps dog)--much to my children's happiness!

A little nippy!

Sunday November 9- Was a typical Sunday. I had to go visit Sedona ward during their Young Women's--I got to go to Sedona twice that weekend-how beautiful! Dan did getting the kids home and fed after our ward.We had played a heated game of settlers the Sunday before w/ my we decided to cool it down a bit for the Sabbath this Sunday- ha ha! We had Dan's Uncle and cousin come up that evening from Winslow and stay w/ us for two nights while they hunted deer in our area. My kids are always fans of company!
Of course, it has been some great weeks and we look forward to another one!