Friday, May 28, 2010

Brayden's Graduation

Graduation is an important event.  Kind of boring for the spectators, but important!  It was amazing to me how many of the graduates I knew between Brayden, my current ward, and my previous ward.  One boy, Holden, was one of my piano students many years ago.  He will forever be 9 in my eyes...
Tanya is so beautiful and she looks so great while she is pregnant.  I had to get a picture of her belly.


Ellie now makes it seem easy to pull herself up to standing.  She does it so quickly!  Just puts her hands up on something (the couch, her crib), pushes on her legs, and - bam!- she is standing.  I am really happy Greg lowered her crib, because every time one of us has gone to get her in the last couple of days, she has been up, chewing on the rail.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

9 month doctor visit

Ellie is starting to hate the doctor's office.  Can't say that I blame her!  She gets poked and prodded and stuck.  This time the nurse took some blood from her toe to test her iron (or something).  It was downhill from there.
Head Circumference: 45.5 cm ~ 75th percentile
Length: 28.5" ~ 75th percentile
Weight: 19 lbs ~ 50th percentile

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Montana Trip - Days 3-5

Saturday morning started out rainy and cold.  Tammy and Kyle left around 9 to go and watch Kaysen play in a soccer tournament.  The rest of us enjoyed a relaxing morning at the house.  Around noon, Jonette, Kylene, and I went prom shopping (picking up Loren's boutonniere, getting Kylene some nails and jewelry) which was so much fun!  Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that Kylene is 17 years old...

After taking Kylene back home to start getting ready, and delivering Kiera to a Girls' Camp First Aid Certification activity, Jonette, Daniel, and I met Greg and Kyle at Kaysen's second soccer game of the day.  It was fun to see Kays in action, even though his team got slaughtered.
Tammy had volunteered to stay home with Ellie, because T didn't want to stand in the rain again.  Luckily for us, it was sunny and nice.  Tammy took Ellie up to the loft and was playing with her.  T reports that after a few minutes, Ellie started crawling towards the door.  She almost got there, and then just put her head down and looked at Tammy.  E started sticking her tongue out (the little mimic will always stick her tongue out if you stick yours out) and after a few minutes of that, her eyes closed and she was fast asleep.  Tammy said it was easy babysitting, because E basically slept the whole time we were gone.
After shopping (at Costco, of course), we headed back to the house to play and eat and play some more.  Ellie loves all of the people to play with!
Ellie is so smart and is starting to sign back to us.  She has done "more" and "shoes" so far.  In this picture, Kiera is watching Baby Signing Time with Ellie, and Ellie is doing "shoes."  

After dinner, I put Ellie to bed and the rest of the family went to Kylene's friend's house to take prom pictures.  The problem with multiple cameras is that no one ever looks in the same place at the same time...  Greg did pretty good, though!
On Sunday, we got up and went to church, and then spent the day visiting and playing Hand & Foot.  Greg was on a total winning streak and creamed the rest of us every time he played.  Mom and I agreed that someone has to be the loser, and it's OK that it was us ALL DAY LONG!

Ellie makes the funniest faces sometimes.  It's part fake cry, part whining, part cuteness.  This picture does not really do it justice, but you get the idea.
We stayed up way too late playing cards, trying to pretend that we did not have to come home the next day.  We were supposed to get up at 4 and leave by 5.  I woke up in a panic at 3, then rolled over again and did not hear my alarm go off.  Luckily, I woke up at 5:02 and we were gone by 5:45.  Tammy was a good girl and got up at 4, but she didn't wake us up!  Ellie did awesome in the car again on the way home.

 It was good to go, and it is good to be back.  Greg made the most interesting comment on Sunday afternoon.  He said that he has never heard anyone say anything mean about Grandpa John.  And it's genuine.  Grandpa John was one of the nicest people you will ever meet.  It was a privilege to know him.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Montana Trip - Day 2

Friday morning was Grandpa John's funeral.  Even through the emotion of the morning, some wonderful things stand out.  Jonette's sister Robyn wrote most of the eulogy, and Grandpa Virg read it with Kaysen standing right by his side.  Kylene, Kiera, and Kaysen also wrote some of their favorite memories of Papa John.  Kaysen read his own, and then Grandpa read the girls'.  They each captured some essential part of Papa John's personality. 

I got to lead the music, and Kiera played the piano.  We sang "Each Life That Touches Ours For Good" (which we also sang at my Grandpa Camp's funeral - that brought back memories), and I made the mistake of looking at Kylene while I was trying to sing.  Oops.  The closing hymn was "God Be With You Until We Meet Again" which we also sang at Jonette's mom's funeral (the hymn has been 'ruined' for her ever since - and every time I sing it, it makes me think of Grandma Lois and how much she was loved).  I told myself as I was leading NOT to look at Ky.  So I didn't.  And made the huge mistake of looking at Jonette instead.  Big oops.

After the services, we got to drive in a funeral procession with a police escort.  (Is that a perk of being in a small town, or what?)  The cemetery is in the most beautiful place, overlooking Flathead Lake.  I promised Kylene that I would not put any pictures of crying people on the blog, but I did want to share some pictures from the graveside portion.
Ellie fell asleep during the funeral, and so we let her continue sleeping in her car seat during the dedication of the grave.  She was so peaceful and serene.  Quite a contrast to the emotions felt by the rest of the group.
My heart is so full for Jonette and her kids right now.  Grandpa John basically lived with them ever since Jonette's mom died 10 years ago.  For the kids, it is like losing a parent.  Grandpa was part of their every day lives. 

And yet, as hard as it is, I have also witnessed many tender mercies.  Things like empathy for each other (Kiera said multiple times that it is hardest to watch Kaysen cry because he and Gpa had such a special bond) and feelings of peace and the opportunity for us to be together and watching Dan give everyone hugs.  Dan can always sense when you are sad, and he gives the best hugs.  Jonette said that it was nice to have Daniel with us because he helped things feel more "normal."

After the funeral, we headed back to check out of the hotel.  Ellie was glad to go (I think) because we didn't want her to crawl on the hotel carpet, so her activity had been limited to crawling around on the bed.
We all went to lunch at the famous Polson bakery and then headed to the Cove for huckleberry ice cream.  Well, all of the rest had huckleberry ice cream while I looked on with jealousy.  I settled for some sherbet....  Then we loaded up and caravaned to Helena.
Friday was an emotional day.  I am glad we were able to honor Grandpa John and his impact in our lives.  He will be missed.

John M. Heinrich

Helena, Montana
September 10, 1927 - May 16, 2010

John M. Heinrich, 82, of Helena, MT passed away on May 16, 2010, at home, surrounded by his family.
He was born Sept. 10, 1927 in Glendive, MT, the son of late John C. and Mary Della Heinrich.  He was the 7th of 9 children.
He graduated for Dawson County High School.  He served in the Navy for a year during WWII. He then attended Rocky Mountain College on an athletic scholarship graduating in 1950.
He went to work for KG Men Stores, where he worked his way from sales to Senior VP. He spent 30+ years with KG’s.  It is during this time he met his late wife Lois.  They were married on June 3, 1967. They had one daughter, Jonette, in Sept .1969.  In 1982, John took on a new adventure in life, moving to Polson, MT and running his own hardware business, Davis Hardware, for 9 years.
John was a very active, independent man.  He never really retired, working for numerous ACE Hardware stores in Montana and Utah for the last 15 years. He enjoyed sports of all kinds throughout his life. In Jan. 2006, he was honored at Rocky Mountain College, along with his 1947-48 teammates, as the most winning team in RMC history with a 31- 1 record and was inducted into the “ Ring of Honor”.
John was the most wonderful father and ultimate grandfather to all of his family and even to some of their friends.  Everyone referred to him as Grandpa, G-pa, or Papa John.
He was a kind, charming, loving, patient, gentle, hardworking man. Everyone he ever came in contact with only had nice things to say about him.  He was dearly loved and will be deeply missed.
John is preceded in death by his wife, Lois, of 32 years, parents and five siblings. 
He is survived by his sister Willie Ament of Billings, two brothers, Clarence Heinrich of Glendive, MT and Chuck Heinrich of Monmouth, IL, daughter Jonette Spencer (Kyle) and grandchildren Kylene, Kiera and Kaysen of Helena, step-daughter Robyn Perry (Bill) of Sunriver, OR, step-grandchildren Scott Carpenter of Boise, ID, Michelle Powell of Bend, OR, Jodi McDuff of Birmingham, AL and Ryan Perry of Parrish, FL, step-son Scott Larson (Bonnie), step-grandson, Bob Larson both of Missoula and extended family of 10 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 21, 2010, 10 AM at Grogan Funeral Home, 101 Sixth Ave. E., Polson, MT. Friends may call one hour prior to the services. Burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery, Polson.  In lieu of flowers, a donation to Hospice of St. Peters, 2475 Broadway, Helena, MT 59601. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family online at The staff of Grogan Funeral Home considers it a privilege to care for Mr. Heinrich’s family.

Montana Trip - Day 1

On Thursday morning, we got up at 4 a.m. and picked up Tammy at 5:15. We were on the road by 5:19 a.m.  Virg has trained us all well...  (Actually, we did it because we knew we could feed Ellie at 5ish, and then she would sleep for a long time.  We did feed her, but then she was awake until almost 7 and only slept an hour.  Ah, the best laid plans.)

We had a few stops (more and longer than Tammy prefers, but that's what Ellie needed) and still got to Polson by 3:30.  That is the reason I love leaving early - you get there with plenty of daylight left.  Polson is on the shore of Flathead Lake, and it is an absolutely stunning town.  Jonette was so lucky to grow up there (as far as scenery goes)!
 After checking in to the hotel, we took some pictures, hung out for a while, and took Ellie swimming.  She loved it again, maybe even more than before because it was less noisy.  Daniel the fish was also in the water (but somehow I did not get any good pictures of him).
After a bath, it was time for dinner.  Ellie crashed hard on the way to the restaurant and slept through most of it.   Then she was up until 11.  We really messed her schedule up that day! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"I Pick You" Anniversary

Yesterday was the anniversary of one of the best days of my life.  One year ago, we found out that Tayler  picked us to parent her baby.  I still remember the rush of emotion I felt as I turned on my street and saw her sign and balloons.  I could not believe it was real - and yet it was.

Our lives were good before, but are nearly perfect now because of Tayler's gift.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Ellie is always happiest when she has dumped out all of her toys and she is eating her toy baskets....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lyssa's Birthday

Our cute niece Lyssa turned 13 on Sunday, and we had the opportunity to go and have pie with her family and 2 sets of grandparents.  It's hard to believe that Bobi and Brian's kids are so grown up!  Bobi was pregnant with Adam at our wedding...

You just get lucky sometimes...

....and show up at church in an outfit that matches your best friend.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Grandpa John

Grandpa John passed away last night.  We knew that he had been struggling lately, but it still feels sudden.  Our hearts are full and our prayers are with Jonette and her family.  We will miss Papa John!  He is sweet and funny and caring and loves to tease everyone.


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