Friday, November 9, 2012

"Trick or Treat!" Halloween Dress up!

Grandma Houk came to visit her girls! It was a short week, but we loved having her close. 
Little Mermaid Anne, Ursula Nancy, Fairy and Pumpkin Annie and Mabel. Grandma Houk joined us Trick or Treating round 1 before the storm. 
Out walking the streets of Hummelstown. Heidi wasn't good at begging for candies, but she held them tightly in her fists when the kind neighbors gave them to her. Lots of people enjoyed her costume and even guessed what she was. 

Spencer was out of town for a conference for our first Trick or Treat. Glad he could dress up with us for Halloween Night in the Joneses Neighborhood. Our costumes were inspired by the Hunger Games movie. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Before we lose power: Hurricane Sandy Days

Well, Hurricane Sandy is upon us, not in its full force, maybe, but there is rain and wind and we still have power @ 11:15 pm Monday night. The last couple of days have been interesting as far preparing for the storm has gone. I grabbed some more water on Saturday Morning and filled up the car with gas on Saturday night. Sunday was restful and we watched and waited for rain and wind-but really we went to church and practiced the primary program. We made a great dinner of butternut squash soup and cheesy pizza rounds with red peppers.

This morning Spencer made the rounds to a few stores where he picked up a few more bottles of water, canned beans and some butane/propane for a cooking stove I didn't know he had in his hiking stuff in the attic. I made bread-the full 4 loaves of Mary Jensen's recipe that we love, and got apples into the slow cooker for applesauce. We did all of our laundry and dishes and watched an episode of Survivor. I felt like we have been consuming all the electricity we can get all day before we maybe lose it.

Heidi has been a delight, though she was not ready to get to sleep at her usual 8pm bedtime. She has not been happy to be put down much lately, but Spencer did see her stand up without holding onto something for the first time yesterday.

As I type, I hear the winds picking up and the rain spraying the windows. It makes me a bit anxious-the unpredictability of it all.

Last night Heidi helped Spencer knock down block towers. Spencer loves building awesome structures with blocks. They have a good time together and I love watching and joining in too.
It looks like she is building this tower. (She has also examined our pack of water bottles closely.)

Not so. Heidi is all about the demise of the block tower.
 Heidi is so hilarious. She does this scrunchy faced fast breathing trick from her nose with Spencer. Spencer got some great pictures of it tonight at dinner when she sampled the hummus spatula.  

Some nice hummus to top off her black bean, bread crumb, carrot, soup feast

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Heidi's Summer Style

Our sweet little Heidi is always grabbing after her mama's sunglasses, so we thought we would let her try them on.

She also reached up to play that toy piano on her own. If she kept her shades on and played, we would be convinced of some foreshadowing of a successful music career.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Heidi Bath, Fruit, Dad

Bath time from above. 8/22/12

Heidi started enjoying bath time even more when she started sitting up. Playing with rubber duck and splashing makes our Heidi happy. We are using hand towels as slip protection and to keep her clean and comfortable. 

Heidi enjoyed sucking on some of the peaches we picked at Strite's Orchard.
She REALLY did like sinking her two bottom teeth into that juicy peach. 8/24/12
Heidi loves her Daddy's excited smiles!

Is it the shirt or the man in the shirt? Daddy is the best! Skyping with Aunts Kristin and Natalie. 8/24/12

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dance, Dance, Yeah!

Heidi singing and dancing to her favorite song, "Little Talks" by Of Monsters and Men.

She doesn't do this to ABBA's "Dancing Queen," or ELO's "I'm Alive," or "Xanadu," or even CASCADA. I'm not saying I've exhausted the dancing list because experiments are ongoing, but she loves this song. It could be because we've been playing it a lot lately and making a big deal when it comes on. Anyway, enjoy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wedding, Blessing, Funeral

We traveled to Utah to witness and celebrate my brother  Gordon's wedding. He married Catalina Dayton in the Draper Utah Temple on April 14, 2012. We shared some of their sweet sweet moments in the temple and at the family dinner the night before. Nancy and I finally finished off the striking quilt we pretended to slave over for more than a year. Nancy had started it back in her college days and finally decided that my brother would make a good home for it and the wedding was a necessary deadline. I said my prayers when Nancy dropped it off at my house the day before we left on their way out of town. I was responsible for binding it. Whelp, I did my best and I think it will hold together for them. The report is that they are finding it useful around their apartment. (I write this in August.)

The timing for the trip was ideal. Spencer arranged to have Heidi's Baby Blessing in the Oak Hill's 7th Ward, his parents' ward the Sunday after the wedding. Both of Heidi's grandfathers, Jon Green and David Steele, were able to participate and a few of Spencer's close friends. My mom and sister could be there and many of Spencer's family member. Some of my friends and extended family attended as well. It was so wonderful to see them all. Such dear people have really enriched our lives and continue to be rays of sunshine whenever we think of them. Mamma Green made some lovely pork sandwiches and Diana made some delicious cupcakes modeled after our wedding cake she crafted. So thoughtful. Diana's baking is masterful. 
Aunt Diana with Heidi at bath time. So cozy and clean!

Uncle Gordon holding Heidi for the first time and soon to be Aunt Catalina with her bright smile. 
The happy couple getting ready to debut their declaration of love music videos. They are so talented and technically savvy. They were sure looking forward to the next day at the temple. Sharing memories was so sweet and a fun way to get more acquainted with Catalina. 
Heidi and cousin June at the pre-wedding family dinner.

Heidi waited with Aunt Annie in the car while Spencer and I went into the Draper Temple for the wedding. 
We are a happy family.

Aunt Annie and Heidi with their beautiful smiles on blessing day. 
Heidi wore this darling simple dress from Aunt Kristin for her blessing. 
Cousin Dylan taking a photo op.
Uncle Soren cradling Heidi with two hands-tiny baby, but she sure grows fast. 
Grandma Beth Houk and Aunt Nancy and Cousin June stuck around for a sweet photo. And we all wore royal blue. I guess we brought a few options to match the wedding colors. 

Soren, Annie, Grandpa Jon Green, Grandma Karen Green and Aunt Diana. Looking good.

Ricky Rick Rick sharing some grins and some good times. 

Another blessing, was that we were able to attend my Grandpa Robert Que Steele's funeral the next day. A few years ago when I was living in Utah going to school, I visited Grandpa on Father's Day. He was already in bed for the day/night. I remember the sun was still out, but it may have been getting on to the evening. I visited with Grandma for a while in the front room and then I went in to see Grandpa. He had been going down hill after strokes and various health issues and grew increasingly tender hearted/weepy and dear. But I believe his grip grew stronger, probably from shelling walnuts in front of the TV. It was when he was grasping my hand as I sat next to him at the edge of his bed that he asked if I would sing, "How Great Thou Art", at his funeral. I was choking on my emotions and I think he was too. But he was also apparently about the business of getting his will for his funeral recorded and he called out his signature, "Lucile!" to make sure she wrote down what he had arranged and I had agreed to. 
Since singing for my dear Aunt Gwen's funeral last October, I've had funerals on my mind from time to time and I recall wondering where we might be when it would be time to celebrate Grandpa's life at his earthly journey's end. I am so grateful that all of my family was able to be there. He passed away the Wednesday we were traveling to Utah. I think my Dad left a message on my phone or sent a text initially. What a dear, good, hardworking man. I loved hearing more stories from his kids about the great teacher he was for them as their father. He and my Grandmother established a family that is sprawling and faithful. Their thrift and industry is remarkable and has brought many blessings to their family. The serious loving ties that they fostered in the Steele family is a huge strength and something I hope to emulate in my own family. We love you Grandpa. See you soon! 

Robert Que Steele
December 9, 1927 – April 11, 2012
On Wednesday, April 11th, Robert Que Steele returned home to his loving Heavenly Father. Que was born on December 9, 1927 in Sandy, Utah as the first child of Robert Steele, and Geneva BlackSteeleQue graduated from Lincoln High School in 1946 where he met the love of his life, Lucile Moon.
Que served his country as a soldier in the United States Army in World War II and the Korean Conflict. Upon returning home from World War II, he and Lucile were married in the Manti, Utah LDS temple on April 19, 1948. Que calls his marriage to Lucile "The best thing that ever happened to me." Que and Lucile had 10 children together.
Que accomplished many things during his lifetime. He was a talented athlete. He had a love for animals and raised many different animals throughout his life. Que studied vocational agriculture at Brigham Young University, and then transferred to Utah State University in Logan where he received his B.S. degree. Que then became an educator and taught Vocational Agriculture at Union High School in Roosevelt for 2 years. Que and Lucile then moved home to Orem where he taught at Lincoln & Lakeridge Jr. High.
Que was an active member of the LDS church throughout his life and served in many church callings. He also had the opportunity to serve as a missionary with Lucile in the England London mission after their children were grown.
Throughout his life Que demonstrated the importance of hard work and devotion to his family. There was nothing more important to Que than his children and grandchildren. A constant highlight in his life was the cabin he and his family built together in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. The Steele Family have had many family reunions at this cabin and shared many special times together there. Que looked forward to visiting "Steeleaway" even up until the last years of his life.
Que is preceded in death by his Mother and Father, his brother Murray Frost, his infant sister, Kathy, his infant son, Matthew, and two granddaughters—Whitney Steeleand Michele Tucker. He is survived by his wife, Lucile, and his children Coreyne (Val) Mortenson, Lorraine (Gayle) Davis, Brigg (Janet), Erwin (Barb), David (JoDee), Beth (Brad) Gale, Robert (Laurel), Frost (Marie), and Samuel (Keri) Steele. He is also survived by his sisters GenaVee (Lee R) Broderick and DaNec Lyman Watts. He will be fondly remembered by his 51 grandchildren and 88 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to express hearfelt thanks to Marcus Dela Cruz for his tender care and dedicated service. They would also like to thank the hospice staff who helped keep Que comfortable these past few months.
There will be a viewing Sunday, April 15, 2012 at Walker Sanderson Funeral Home at 646 East 800 North, Orem, from 6-8 p.m. Funeral services will begin Monday, April 16, 2012 at 11 a.m. at the Sunset Heights Stake Center, 1260 S 400 W, Orem. Friends may visit with the family prior to the funeral from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


So, we took a day trip from Florence to lovely Sienna. I'd been a couple times, and when the sun is just right, it really makes the bricks and buildings glow. Plus, that tower just looms. It can barely fit into pictures... as you'll soon see.
See what I mean? Here we are outside, and even from our waists up you can get to the top of that thing, but wait, we forgot something!

 Oh, Heidi's napping again! She really didn't seem to get into the sights and museums like we did. She enjoyed people watching, but one piazza was plenty for Heidi, and the Italians put them everywhere, so by the time we made it to Sienna, I guess she'd had enough. 'Just more cobblestones to rumble across,' sighed Heidi in her best Eeyore. We've been reading Heidi The House at Pooh Corner and she's reasonably interested.

 Here's the tower from below. We took advantage of the shade and the view and the not having to pay to go up. We didn't always take advantage of that--look out Eiffel Tower--but it suited us here.


Jumping with the old gang...

 Did you see that Cathedral, today? Talk about bright...

 Jordan being manly, Heather being motherly, and Natty and Heidi being totes.

 A nice street. Another church. Charming Sienna.

I love Heather's and Heidi's looks here. I'm looking weird, but then I'm acting kind of weird for this post. So, a good place to end? 

I'm going to try and pick up the pace on some of these posts so that we can post some videos--cause I guess chronology is so important to me all of a sudden--of Heidi jumping around in her jumper with her two bottom teeth coming in. 
Spoiler alert: she's adorable.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

More From Florence

Here we are waiting for our first train into Firenze from Rignano on Monday morning. The weather started off on the cooler side but warmed up for us throughout the day.

 Here we are in front of the Duomo. WOW! We hurried along the narrow old streets, trying to keep track of everyone, gawking at the gelato displayed in storefront windows, and suddenly we turned a corner and this gorgeous, almost other world building pops up out of nowhere. The lighting was perfect for making it look even more out of place-everything else seemed to be in shadows but the Duomo. Really, though, I was not expecting to be so impressed and somewhat baffled by the design and the grandeur of this structure. So cool. We got tickets for a tour up to the top.

Isn't this floor neat? I bet it was exciting for the architect and designers to see their ideas become concrete. 

 I like this picture of everyone getting closer to the top of the Duomo. Can anyone spot Kristin twice?
                                            A shot of the Babtistry from above and here are the doors.

 We made it all the way to the top. Heidi rode up in the Baby Bjorn strapped to Spencer. It was a brave thing in those winding staircases, but Spencer is super brave. Happy Heidi. Happy Family.
 This hike to the top was the start of our "Body by Europe Workout." We made up for some of our calorie shedding walks with plenty of gelato. Arancia was a favorite until the Pear in Rome.